On December 6, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia issued an order asking its Maulanas to preach about the dangers of Tablighi Jamaat, calling it the first door to terrorism.
After the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia issued an order against Tablighi Jamaat, Indian Muslim organisations and clerics criticised the move.
One of the most influential Islamic seminaries, Darul Uloom Deoband, issued a statement on Sunday (December 12) criticising Saudi Arabia's decision, saying that linking Tablighi Jamaat with bidat (religious invention) and terrorism is baseless. It asked Saudi Arabia to review the ban.
Darul Uloom Deoband Vice-Chancellor Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani said the Saudi stricture was wrong as the Tablighi Jamaat was only working for the well-being of the Muslim society and improving the religious observance. He added that they're doing it very successfully.
"Despite small differences, the Jamaat is working on its mission and is popular across the globe. Allegations of polytheism, heresy and terrorism against the Tablighi Jamaat in general and groups or individuals associated with it are absolutely meaningless", The Economic Times quoted Nomani.
Syed Sadatullah Husaini, president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, said the stricture by the Saudi authorities against the Tablighi Jamaat was un-Islamic.
As reported by the Organiser, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had asked all Imams to preach about the dangers the Tablighi Jamaat poses to society. It had explicitly mentioned that any association with the Tablighi Jamaat is prohibited in the Kingdom.
The order was issued by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs on Monday (December 6). The Ministry of Islamic Affairs said, "His Excellency the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dr. Abdullateef Al-Sheikh, the preachers of mosques in which Friday prayers are held, are instructed to dedicate the next Friday sermon 6/5/1443 AH to warn against (the Tablighi and Da'wah group)."
It said, the preachers are directed to talk about four major points about the group:
- Explanation of the misguidance, deviation and danger of this group, and that it is one of the gates of terrorism, even if they claim otherwise.
- Mention their most prominent mistakes.
- Mention their danger to society.
- A statement that affiliation with partisan groups, including (the Tablighi and Dawah Group) is prohibited in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Ministry explicitly mentioned that association with the Tablighi Jamaat opens "the gates of terrorism".
The Tablighi Jamaat is an ultra-conservative Sunni Islamic missionary movement started in Haryana in 1926. It urges Muslims to follow the conservative beliefs of religion, particularly in matters of ritual, dress, and personal behaviour. It has about 400 million followers globally.
The US Government has been closely monitoring the Tablighi Jamaat since September 2001. According to the US officials, the teachings and beliefs of the Tablighi Jamaat have been a starting point for pushing their members to join the radical Muslim organisations. Russian authorities have also warned about the dangers of the Tablighi Jamaat. In February last year, it cracked down on the centres run by the Jamaat.
In March last year, when the Union government announced lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19, hundreds of Tablighi members were detained from a mosque in Nizamuddin. It included many foreign members of the Jamaat. The last batch of the foreign members of the Tablighi Jamaat, who were serving their sentences for flouting Covid-19 norms, left the country last Friday (December 10).
The Tablighi Jamaat is "a conduit and a fertile recruiting ground for jihadi organisations such as Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-i-Taiba," the Milli Chronicle quoted political analyst Shireen Khan Burki. Islamists in India and abroad defend Tablighi Jamaat, claiming it only asks its followers to stick to Islam's "true teachings".