Jamaa’at al-Tableegh – pros and cons
“Jamaa’at al-Tableegh” is one of the groups that are working for Islam. Their efforts in calling people to Allaah (da’wah) cannot be denied. But like many other groups they make some mistakes, and some points should be noted concerning them. These points may be summed up as follows, noting that these mistakes may vary within this group, depending on the environment and society in which they find themselves. In societies in which knowledge and scholars are prevalent and the madhhab of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is widespread, the mistakes are much less; in other societies these mistakes may be greater. Some of their mistakes are:
1 – Not adopting the ‘aqeedah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah. This is clearly seen from the variations in the ‘aqeedah of some of their members and even of some of their leaders.
2 – Their not paying attention to shar’i knowledge.
3 – Their misinterpretation of some Qur’aanic verses in a manner that was not intended by Allaah. For example they interpret the verses on jihad as referring to “going out for da’wah”. The verses which mentioned the word khurooj (going out) etc. are interpreted by them as meaning going out for da’wah.
4 – They make their system of going out for da’wah an act of worship. So they started to misquote the Qur’aan to support their system which specifies certain numbers of days and months. This system, which they think is based on evidence from Qur’aan, is widespread among them in all countries and environments.
5 – They do some things that go against sharee’ah, such as appointing one of them to make du’aa’ for them whilst the group goes out for da’wah, and they think that their success or failure depends on whether or not this man was sincere and his du’aa’ accepted.
6 – Da’eef (weak) and mawdoo’ (fabricated) ahaadeeth are widespread among them, and this is not befitting for those who aim to call people to Allaah.
7 – They do not speak of munkaraat (evil things), thinking that enjoining what is good is sufficient. Hence we find that they do not speak about evils that are widespread among the people, even though the slogan of this ummah – which they continually repeat – is:
“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:104 – interpretation of the meaning]
The successful are those who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, not just those who do only one of the two.
8 – Some of them fall into self-admiration and arrogance, which leads them to look down on others, and even to look down on the scholars and describe them as inactive and sleeping, or to show off. So you find them talking about how they went out and travelled, and they saw such and such, which leads to unfavourable results, as we have mentioned.
9 – They regard going out for da’wah as better than many acts of worship such as jihad and seeking knowledge, even though those things are obligatory duties, or may be obligatory for some people but not others.
10 – Some of them audaciously issue fatwas, and discuss tafseer and hadeeth. That is because they allow each one of them to address the people and explain to them. This leads to them speak audaciously on matters of sharee’ah. So the inevitably speak of the meaning of a ruling, hadeeth or verse when they have not read anything about it, or listened to any of the scholars. And some of them are new Muslims or have only recently come back to Islam.
11- Some of them are negligent with regard to the rights of their children and wives. We have discussed the seriousness of this matter in the answer to question no. 3043.
Hence the scholars do not allow people to go out with them, except for those who want to help them and correct the mistakes that they have fallen into.
We should not keep the people away from them altogether, rather we must try to correct their mistakes and advise them so that their efforts will continue and they will be correct according to the Qur’aan and Sunnah.
There follow the fatwas of some of the scholars concerning Jamaa’at al-Tableegh:
1 – Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz said:
Jamaa’at al-Tableegh do not have proper understanding of the issues of ‘aqeedah, so it is not permissible to go out with them, except for one who has knowledge and understanding of the correct ‘aqeedah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah, so that he can guide them and advise them, and cooperate with them in doing good, because they are very active, but they need more knowledge and someone who can guide them of those who have knowledge of Tawheed and the Sunnah. May Allaah bless us all with proper understanding of Islam and make us steadfast in adhering to it.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 8/331
2 – Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said:
Going out for the sake of Allaah does not refer to the kind of going out that they mean nowadays. Going out for the sake of Allaah means going out to fight. What they call going out nowadays is a bid’ah (innovation) that was not narrated from the salaf.
Going out to call people to Allaah cannot be limited to a certain number of days, rather one should call people to Allaah according to one's abilities, without limiting that to a group or to forty days or more or less than that.
Similarly the daa’iyah must have knowledge. It is not permissible for a person to call people to Allaah when he is ignorant. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): This is my way; I invite unto Allaah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge”
i.e., with knowledge, because the caller must know that to which he calls people, what is obligatory, mustahabb, haraam and makrooh. He has to know what shirk, sin, kufr, immorality and disobedience are; he has to know the degrees of denouncing evil and how to do it.
The kind of going out that distracts people from seeking knowledge is wrong, because seeking knowledge is an obligation, and it can only be achieved by learning, not by inspiration. This is one of the misguided Sufi myths, because action without knowledge is misguidance, and hoping to acquire knowledge without learning is an illusion.
From Thalaath Mihaadaraat fi’l-‘Ilm wa’l-Da’wah.
And Allaah knows best.