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Tassawuf and Tabligh

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When Allāh’s ta‛ālā mercy is directed towards His
servants, He displays the means for their
guidance. This is the reason for commissioning
the Prophets ‛alayhimus salām. They call the
servants of Allāh ta‛ālā towards Allāh ta‛ālā. By
virtue of the finality of the prophet-hood of
Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam, this work
[of inviting people towards Allāh ta‛ālā] fell on the
shoulders of every member of the ummah of
Muhammad sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam. The
‛ulamā’ and mashā’ikh are specifically qualified
and responsible for this duty.
The virtues of inviting towards Islam and the
merits of making efforts in this regard are
mentioned in the Qur’ān and Hadīth. We also find
the statements of the ‛ulamā’ and mashā’ikh in
this regard. Rejecting these entail rejecting
Rasūlullāh’s sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam system
of da‛wat. Thus, this great work of da‛wat wa
tablīgh does not need unnecessary and newlycoined
terminologies. It has its own greatness and
The person whom Allāh ta‛ālā enabled to get
involved in this blessed work is truly blessed. It is
therefore necessary for him to acknowledge his
weakness, lack of resources, and incapability; but
to remain fully attached to it with gratitude and
excessive istighfār (seeking forgiveness from Allāh
It is necessary for those whom Allāh ta‛ālā
blessed with the opportunity of engaging in
da‛wat to make efforts to understand the
methodology, nature and delicacy of this work.
They must not allow their words and actions to be
tainted in any way. Our relations with people
must be correct, and our way of speaking with
them must also be correct.
When a movement spreads, it becomes difficult
for it to continue in its methodology and
principles. Hadrat Maulānā Ibrāhīm Sāhib
Dewlah dāmat barakātuhum says:
“When a movement is moving ahead and is
well-received, it causes conceit in its
members. This is a calamity. A person is
conceited by his wealth, his worship, and
everything else. When foods are digested,
they give strength to the body. When they
are not digested, they cause indigestion.
Similarly, we get indigestion in Dīnī works
in the sense that this results in conceit.
When conceit comes in, mutual love,
affection and unity come to an end.”1
It is extremely necessary for those who are
engaged in the field of work to be taught by those
whose works were accepted by Allāh ta‛ālā. Allāh
ta‛ālā opened the way of this work [of tablīgh] to
Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad Ilyās rahimahullāh
1 Al-Furqān, April 2011.
because of the pain, sorrow and concern which
he had for the ummah. However, the level of his
caution can be gauged from the following
statement made by him:
“My position should not be considered to
be any higher than any ordinary believer.
To do something solely because I say it
would be irreligious. When I say anything,
weigh it against the Qur’ān and Sunnah,
then think and ponder over it, and act
according to your responsibility. I merely
give out advice.”
He says further on:
“Hadrat ‛Umar radiyallāhu ‛anhu used to
say to his companions: ‘You placed a very
heavy responsibility on my head. You must
all keep a watchful eye on my actions.’ I
also insist on and beg of my friends to keep
a watchful eye on me. The moment I err,
they must reprimand me. They must also
make du‛ā for my rectitude and
Thus, just as it is essential for the workers to
carry on with their good work, it is essential for
them to be constantly on their guard. It is also
necessary for them to understand the concerns,
thinking, and far-sightedness of their elders so
1 Malfūzāt Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad Ilyās, p. 169.

that the movement may remain on its original
There is a lot of accommodation in this work, and
we have to move ahead with open-heartedness. In
the first half of the 19th century, certain writers
and authors wrote in a manner which caused the
1. It resulted in people making objections
against the ‛ulamā’.
2. It resulted in lack of confidence in the aslāf
(pious elders). This resulted in an
atmosphere of liberal-mindedness and selfopinionated
3. Dhikr and tasawwuf came to be regarded
as poisons which were given to people as
In this way, disregard for the madrasah,
khānqāh, etc. developed in the ummah. The elders
turned their attention fully so that the ummah
does not become a target of such controversies.
The ‛ulamā’-e-haqq spoke out openly against such
disrupting thoughts. This was an occasion when
the work of tablīgh wa da‛wat was on the rise.
Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad Ilyās Sāhib
rahimahullāh also perceived this danger and
turned his direction to putting a stop to it.
(a) Those who were proceeding in jamā‛at
were encouraged to meet the ‛ulamā’ and
sulahā’ (pious servants of Allāh ta‛ālā) if
they went to any place where such

personalities resided. They were told to
visit them first, request them for their
du‛ās, and try their utmost to obtain their
assistance. This type of encouragement
was given so that a distance is not created
between the ‛ulamā’ and the masses.
(b) Lack of confidence in the aslāf (pious
elders) must not develop whereby people
succumb to liberal-mindedness and their
self opinions and in so doing, the ummah
goes further away from Dīn. Hadrat
Maulānā Muhammad Ilyās rahimahullāh
said the following very explicitly:
“There is one principle in this regard: there
must be no liberal-mindedness and selfopinions.
Instead, restrict yourselves to the
advice and counsel of those elders who
expressed their reliance on the elders of
the past in Dīnī matters, whose special
bond and affinity with Allāh ta‛ālā is wellknown
and accepted.”1
(c) The third thing towards which he turned
his attention was that people should not
distance themselves from dhikrullāh (the
remembrance of Allāh ta‛ālā) and thereby
sever their bond from Him. The
importance of knowledge of Dīn and
dhikrullāh must be created in those who
1 Malfūzāt Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad Ilyās, p. 120.

are occupied in this work [of tablīgh]. He
said in this regard:
“All your going and coming, and all your
efforts and endeavours will go to waste if
you do not give due importance to
knowledge of Dīn and dhikrullāh. In fact,
there is a serious danger of all these efforts
opening a new door of tribulation and
deviation if you disregard these two factors
[i.e. knowledge of Dīn and dhikrullāh].”1
In this way, Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad Ilyās
rahimahullāh paid particular attention to having
ta‛līm (education), tazkiyah (purification of the
soul) and da‛wat (propagation) moving together.
This was the only way of creating unity and
harmony in the ummah, and this was the
essential objective of this work of tablīgh. In fact,
Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad Ilyās rahimahullāh
considered the creation of unity in the ummah to
be the actual objective of his efforts. He says:
“Through this movement, we want to
create unity and harmony among the
‛ulamā’, people of religion, and people of
this world in every place. Moreover, we are
concerned about creating love, affection
and unity among the different circles of
‛ulamā’ and people of religion. In fact, it is
an important objective of our work. Inshā
1 Malfūzāt Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad Ilyās, p. 39.

Allāh, it is this religious da‛wat which will
be a means to realize this objective.”1
We will therefore have to be extremely vigilant in
ensuring no word or action of ours causes any
defect or disunity. And, as per Hadrat Maulānā’s
expectations, this blessed work of da‛wat must be
a means of creating a bond and link among all
these departments.
So there is a need to understand the aim and
objective of the broad-mindedness of the original
elders of da‛wat. How did our three elders of
tablīgh (Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad Ilyās
rahimahullāh, Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad Yūsuf
rahimahullāh and Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad
In‛āmul Hasan Sāhib rahimahullāh) perceive this
phenomenal work of da‛wat? And what did they
want to achieve through it? It is necessary for us
to understand this. This book is written with this
objective in mind. May Allāh ta‛ālā set right our
thoughts and views through what is said here. If
not, there is a fear of all our efforts going to
waste. May Allāh ta‛ālā enable us to understand
the essence of this great work of da‛wat wa
tablīgh, its features and its intricacies. Āmīn.
Qutb ad-Dīn Mullā
Friday, 23 Jumādā al-Ukhrā 1432 A.H./27 May
1 Malfūzāt Hadrat Maulānā Muhammad Ilyās, p. 39.