Saudi Arabia ‘ban’ order: Tablighi Jamaat silence fuelling doubts, leaving rooms for Hindutva group to defame it further

By Abdul Bari Masoud

New Delhi: As usual the Tablighi Jamaat kept cryptic silence on the Saudi Islamic Affairs ministry’s vague Tweets obliquely referring or without naming it “one of gates of terrorism”, but latching with alacrity onto it, the Hindutva-inspired Islamphobic Indian media went gaga over it. It is still fresh in memory how this section of the Indian media went berserk after the Tablighi Jamaat during the first Covid-induced nationwide lockdown last year. This 95-year-old “pacifist, and apolitical” religious movement is confined to telling people to offer five-time prayers and recite Kalimah etc is being dishonestly portrayed as ‘terror outfit”.

Sharing the decision on social media site, Twitter, Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dr. Abdullatif Al Alsheikh on December 06, 2021 directed the preachers of the mosques to warn during the Friday sermon about the Tablighi Jamaat and its activities.




The second tweet of the minister does not have the blue tick which is gives authenticity to one’s account. In this tweet, it is attributed to the Minister that “His Excellency also directed that the sermon include the following topics:

1- Declaration of the misguidance, deviation and danger of this group, and that it is one of the gates of terrorism, even if they claim otherwise.

2- Mention their most prominent mistakes.”

3- In the third tweet, also without blue tick, it says: “3 Mention their danger to society.

4- Statement that affiliation with partisan groups, including (the Tablighi and Da’wah Group) is prohibited in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

In all the three tweets, the Saudi minister did not specifically stated the name Tablighi Jamaat, India, or any other Indian Muslim organization but this section of media attributed its allegations to the Saudi government to brand the Jamaat as “terror group”.

Naturally, this has not only enraged the followers of Tablighi Jamaat but also the Indian Muslims and their organizations who are generally not in agreement with the Tablighi Jamaat’s views of Islam.

This scribe reached out to some key members of Jamaat for their reaction but in vain. It may be a case of the plaintiff is lethargic but the witness is more than energetic. This scribe also contacted a close confidant of the TJ ameer Maulana Mohammad Saad who promised but stopped even attending the phone calls. “I told him TJ leadership silence on the Saudi government decision would make matter worse not only for the group but also for the community as a whole as happened during the first of wave of Covid-19.”

Even the known religious groups who have ideological affinity and bonding with the Tablighi people also do not come forward immediately to the rescue of Jamaat because of the high stakes involved with Saudi Arabia.

The first reaction belatedly comes from the Darul Uloom Deoband. Its rector Maulana Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani expressed concern over the campaign against the Tablighi Jamaat by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). He reminded that the founder of Tablighi Jamaat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas (ra) was one of the disciples of Shaikhul Hind Hazrat Maulana Mahmood Hassan (ra). He said allegations of polytheism, heresy and terrorism against the Tablighi Jamaat in general and groups or individuals associated with it are absolutely meaningless and baseless. “Darul Uloom Deoband condemns such allegations and appeals to Saudi Arabia to reconsider its stand and refrain from such campaign against Tablighi Jamaat,” Maulana Nomani added.

Later on both the factions of Jamiat Ulama-i- Hind swung into actions.
The President of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (M), Maulana Mahmood Madani said that those who are opposing the Tablighi Jamaat are either influenced by baseless propaganda or ignorant about facts. In an appeal, Maulana Madani said that the Tablighi Jamaat is at present the largest peaceful religious and constructive movement all over the world. During its hundred years of existence, it has guided the misguided youth to righteous path, brought the astray youths out of pubs to mosques.

The protection and support of such an organization is the core responsibility of the entire Ummah, especially of the religious scholars, he said.

Interestingly, in official statement of JUH (M) nowhere any word mentioned about Saudi Arabia. Nor it condemns Saudi government’s action what it calls malicious campaign.
While JUH’s another faction President Maulana Arshad Madani met ambassador of Saudi Arabia Saud Muhammad bin Sati in Delhi. Issuing a statement in a guarded language, Maulana Arshad Madani said he told the Saudi envoy that the Saudi Ministry’s action is a cause of grave concern for Muslims all over the world. He too did not utter a word of condemnation on the Saudi action.
It is really puzzling that Muslim groups, which are ideologically on the same page with the Tabligh people, are not forthcoming on the issue. In stark contrast, Jamaat Islami Hind took a bold stand stating that the Saudi decision on Tablighi Jamaat cannot be justified in any way.

Senior journalist Faizul Haque, who worked in the Arab media and a keen observer of the Middle East, said it is surprising to note that Tablighi people are not even explaining their position while others are taking cudgel on behalf them.

Describing Tablighi Jamaat as the most harmless Muslim group for others on the planet, Haque said they do not even talk about political, economic, and social teachings of Islam.

“This group does not pose any challenge to any authority and power. They cannot even stand up to protect themselves against any propaganda. They are only vagabonds who keep roaming from one place to another from one mosque to another just to tell people to offer five-time prayers and recite Kalimah etc”.

The Juma sermon is written by the Saudi authorities and read in all mosques of the country. But this particular sermon was not delivered in the grand mosques of Makkah and Madinah, he told Muslim Mirror. Not a single word about terrorism attributed to Tablighi jamaat.

Therefore, it gives credence to doubt about tweet on terror.He also underlined an important point that the question of banning a organization ( read Tablighi) does not arise as the Saudi government does not allow any faith-based organization or group to work on its soil.

Haque concluded by saying that the most shocking was the news spread by Indian media that Saudi Arabia has banned Tablighi Jamaat.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *