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What is Tablighi Jamaat?

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What is Tablighi Jamaat?

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of the event, its purpose and how is it carried out?

For Mains: What impact has it had on the spread of Corona Virus, how it should have been handled and standard measures to be put in place to monitor such events in future.

Why in News?

Over 200 have tested positive for COVID-19 from among 4,000-odd who had gathered in Delhi’s Markaz Nizamuddin, the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat.

What is Tablighi Jamaat?

Literally, it means a society for spreading the faith. It is a conservative Muslim organisation.

It is a Sunni Islamic missionary movement. The aim is to reach out to ordinary Muslims and revive their faith, particularly in matters of ritual, dress, and personal behaviour.

It has significant base in various countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan, United States, Britain, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

How did the movement begin?

Launched by prominent Islamic scholar Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Khandhalaw in 1926 in Mewat (Haryana).

Its roots lie in the Deobandi version of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence.

Maulana Ilyaz trained several young men from Deoband and Saharanpur and sent them to Mewat, where the Tablighi Jamaat established a network of madrasas and Mosque.

The Tablighi Jamaat is based on six principles:

  1. Kalimah, an article of faith in which the Tabligh accepts that there is no God but Allah and that Prophet Muhammad is his messenger.
  2. Salaat, or prayer five times daily.
  3. Ilm and dhikr, the knowledge and remembrance of Allah conducted in sessions in which the congregation listens to preaching by the imam, performs prayers, recites the Quran and reads the Hadith; the congregation also uses these sessions to dine together, thus fostering a sense of community and identity.
  4. Ikram-i-Muslim, the treatment of fellow Muslims with honour.
  5. Ikhlas-i-niyat, or sincerity of intention.
  6. Dawat-o-tabligh, or proselytisaton.

Its scope:

It is estimated that the organisation has somewhere between 70-80 million followers across the world, which makes it the biggest Muslim movement in the world. In fact, outside of the Hajj, it is believed that its annual meetings in countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, bring together the largest congregations of Muslims.

What’s the criticism wrt its functioning?

While the scope of the organisation seems to be limited to spreading the Muslim faith, the group has at times been accused of having ties to radical outfits, who, as per some observers, could take advantage of its loose organisational structure. Besides, they also don’t publish the scope of their activities, their membership or source of their finances, though it is believed they do not rely on donations and are largely financed by their senior members.

Sources: Indian Express.