New Faction

Q: A new faction amongst the Muslims has emerged that advocates our Muslim brothers to leave
home for three days, ten days or forty days for Allah’s sake. Is it right to leave our homes in order to
seek Allah’s blessing or not? Please throw some light on it with special reference to Hadith.
Muneer Dar, Kashmir

You could have named the faction that is engaged in this activity. We presume you are referring to Tablighi Jamaat which asks people to come out of their homes and travel in delegations to ever new destinations inviting people towards Allah. If it is what you mean by the ‘new faction’, we are certainly not in favour of terming Tablighi Jamaat a faction. This Jamaat is engaged in imparting knowledge
about fundamentals of Islam and rites and rituals. They reach out to the poorest of the poor and lowliest of the low and teach the Muslims the basics of Islam. One could differ with their method of reaching out to people, but they have neither invented any new version of Islam or digressed from the original core doctrine. One could however question as to how wise it is to ask professionals, intellectuals and people engaged in raising livelihood on a day to day basis to devote three or forty days for the purpose of going out and preaching in various villages and towns. This may distract  some people from their basic  duties towards their families or even may cause loss of jobs for persons who are employed in government, armed services or other essential services. Tablighi Jamaat had its origin in the backward region of Mewat which lies in Haryana and Rajasthan. Those were special circumstances when the Muslims of those regions needed to be taught about basics of Islam. The founder of Tablighi Jamaat introduced this method for the specific society and time. But currently Tablighi Jamaat applies the same method to do the preaching work all over the world. One could differ with heir methodology and question if the same can be effective in Mauritius, Baghdad, Florida and France. But there is no doubting their intention. Context has changed and therefore the missionary groups should focus on priorities according to the region and time. In  some situations, socio-economic upliftment of the community urges priority rather than imparting them fundamentals and ideals. When basic human needs are crying for fulfillment, one cannot fill up the gap with mere sermons and rituals. If Tablighi Jamaat does not address these kind of woes, others should take up these sectors rather than criticising them.

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