By M.B. Ahmed
Long time before we faced the pandemic COVID-19, another pandemic had already spread in the world. This earlier pandemic has now grossly taken the control of our lives and yet we seem to be least concerned. In fact, we have accepted this pandemic with an open heart and a smile on our face.
This pandemic is the ‘Screen-Addiction’!
What is Addiction?
Many of us think that the term ‘addiction’ refers to dependence on alcohol or substances such as marijuana, cocaine, nicotine, gutka (chewing tobacco) etc. If we do not have these addictions then we think we are living an addiction-free life.
We are mistaken.
We are forgetting there are some behavioural addictions too. These behavioural addictions are characterized by an inability to resist an urge or drive to partake in activities such as gambling, excessive and repeated food consumption, shopping etc.
However, the behavioural addiction that has taken the world by storm, of course, is the internet based Screen-Addiction or repeatedly watching the screen of the digital devices like desktop computers, laptop computers, mobile phones (especially the smartphones), etc.
The cycle of screen-addiction has really taken full control of us, making everyday life a constant struggle. We always seek out more and more opportunities to engage in the activity of viewing the screens of our digital devices. The desire to experience a ‘high’ from this behaviour becomes so strong that we continue to engage in the activity despite negative consequences.
For we Muslims the internet based screen, if misused or abused, can definitely become the commonest and the most widespread means of committing sins like watching pornographic stuff, making friends with members of the opposite sex, listening to music, watching Islamically undesirable pictures/videos, playing video games, wasting time on social media and getting involved in other futile activities.
However, if we are not involved in the above activities then we might think that our use of the screen is ‘addiction free’.
No, we are mistaken. Even if our constant use of the screen does not involve any of the above mentioned sinful activities we can definitely not consider ourselves free from screen-addiction.
By watching the screen most of time we are wasting a lot of Very Precious Commodity and extremely important Amanah that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has bestowed upon us.
This commodity is Time!
If we try to keep track of the time we spend each day glued to our screen we will be in for a shock.
We should not forget that every minute of our life is like an exceedingly valuable Gem and wasting that precious minute is like throwing away that gem!
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “There are two blessings regarding which many people are in deception (they lose it): health and free time.”
Proper utilization of time leads to success in this temporary world and eternal bliss in the hereafter. Since time is limited in our life, we must utilize it in the best possible manner so that we can attain eternal success.
‘Vaccine’ to combat screen-addiction
There is no need for us, Muslims to join the Avaaz ‘Screen-Free Sunday’.
We have a very special ‘Vaccine’ to fight this addiction. This vaccine comprises some deeds that will inshaAllah bring an end to our pandemic of screen-addiction.
Some of these deeds are:
- Utilizing plenty of our free time in reciting the Qur’an, making Allah’s Zikr, sending Durood to His Beloved Nabi Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam and making Istighfar.
- Strictly limiting the time that we and our family spend in watching the screens of our digital devices.
- Spending a lot of our time with our family without connecting to the screen.
Here are a few Benefits of Unplugging from Technology
- We will get closer to our Rabb.
- Our relationship with our family members will improve.
- Our stress will be reduced.
- We will discover time.
- Our physical as well as mental health will improve.
Turning off screens and disconnecting from the online network helps us use technology in a way that prevents technology from using us. Remember, technology is a great servant, but a bad master!
May Allah guide us to use technology in the right manner and without abuse of time…Ameen.
“THE LIFE OF THIS WORLD IS BUT PLAY AND AMUSEMENT WHILE THE ABODE OF THE
AAKHIRAH IS BEST FOR THOSE WHO HAVE TAQWA. WHAT! DO YOU HAVE NO
INTELLIGENCE?” — Qur’aan
The culture of Islam is the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) which
covers every aspect in every sphere and department of the Muslim’s life. The greater
part of this Culture of Islam has been displaced from the homes and lives of most
Our ways of life are permeated by western influences. Not only our style of
practical life and appearance have been satanically revolutionised by the alien
culture in whose substratum we live, our thinking too has been colonized. We
consequently cast our leisure and pleasure in the mould we have purchased from the
alien culture of the kuffaar.
While the vice of emulating western ways and pleasures is an incremental process
gripping the Ummah, the most…
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The UNANIMOUS rulings of the mujtahid scholars of the ummah are that anyone who does not accept as kafir any person who is outside of Islam, such a person is himself a kafir.
It applies to atheists, jews, christians, budhhists, hindus, etc. – ANY ONE who is NOT a Muslim.
The scholars of the ummah are UNANIMOUS in calling christians and jews as kafirs, AND in ruling that anyone who doesn’t call them as kafirs, he is himself a kafir, as this is a matter directly and explicitly explained in the Quran.
A lot of converted/reverted Muslims have been confused by the munaafiqiin who pretend to be scholars of Islam, and they somehow think that ahl al-kitab, a term which applies to christians and jews, are not kafir or mushrik. Nothing could be further from the truth. ahl al-kitab are kuffaar indeed.
Imam Fakhruddin Ar-Razi, a TRUE…
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Our Master RasulAllah ﷺ has said:
مَنْ لَمْ يَمْنَعْهُ عَنْ الْحَجِّ حَاجَةٌ ظَاهِرَةٌ ، أَوْ سُلْطَانٌ جَائِرٌ ، أَوْ مَرَضٌ حَابِسٌ ، فَمَاتَ وَلَمْ يَحُجَّ ، فَلْيَمُتْ إِنْ شَاءَ يَهُودِيًّا ، وَإِنْ شَاءَ نَصْرَانِيًّا
Translation of meaning: The one who is not deterred by a genuine need, or an unjust ruler, or a disabling illness, and he is dying without performing the Hajj, then he may die a jew if he wishes, or if he wishes, a christian. (Sunan Daarimi)
Just so the resident idiots of the internet know, the “he may die a jew if he wishes, or if he wishes, a christian” in the above hadith is not an approval of the evil religions of judaism and christianity nor does is convey “choice” implying all three of Islam, judaism and christianity are equals. Rather, it is abhorrence for judaism and christianity and a severe warning against…
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Allah-Ta’aala has taken oath of the night in Suratul-Fajr of the Quraan.
Nabi (S.A.W) has said: “there is no better time to perform ibaadah(devotion) to Alaah that on the (first) ten days of Zul Hijjah. A Days fast in it, equals the fast of a year, and a nights Ibaadah in it, equals the Ibaadah of Laylatul Qadr”.- Tirmizi Ibn Majah.
According to the majority, the ten nights are those of the ten days of Zul-Hijjah, especially the ninth, which is the day of Arafah and night preceeding the eid day. All these days are filled with special virtues.
The observance of the fast of the ninth of Zul-Hijjah is a atonement of the fast and concerning year, and to remain awake on the night of Eid and perform Ibaadah is a source of great virtue and thawaab.
It is related that Nabi (S.A.W) said: ” Whoever stays awake on the ights of Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha, his heart will not die on the day when all hearts will be dead.” -Targheeb
Hazrat Muaaz Ibn Jabal (R.A) relates that Nabi (S.A.W) said: “Jannat is Wajib for those who stay awake with the intention of making ibaadah on the following nights; 8th, 9th and 10th Of Zul-Hijjah, the night of Eidul Fitr and the night of the Shabaan.” Targheeb
The other night while laying in the bed, my husband was as usual busy on his WhatsApp. He belongs to a few chat groups.
He spends hours sometimes up to four hours straight, texting. As you can imagine they only talk, fuzool and rubbish, especially if you know the kind of people that are on the group — “Birds of a feather flock together”. They even have braais to consummate this relationship on the WhatsApp. He is on the phone even at Fajr time before he even goes to the toilet.
He even delays Maghrib Salaat by half an hour. He doesn’t like me because I disapprove of this satanic behaviour. Six months ago when he upgraded his phone and got WhatsApp, it brought a misery and a worse dimension in our lives. He would put any teenager to shame. He doesn’t even read books anymore.
On many occasions I wanted to bring this issue to Moulana’s notice, about this agent of Shaitaan which is bringing about so much of fitnah in everybody’s homes. This is a universal fitnah. In fact it is worse than TV. People are using this WhatsApp Iblis for futile and haraam entertainment 90% of the time. You can send video clips, etc. to each other.
Somebody put it so aptly- It’s the halaal T.V. (In fact, television recedes into oblivion in front of the shaitaaniyat
of this vile, immoral contraption– The Majlis).
While laying in the bed my husband was on WhatsApp and each time a message comes through, it makes a ding-dong
sound. This ding-donging carried on for over an hour. I asked him nicely to switch off the volume but he ignored me.
After another hour of this I went to sleep in another room. So enraptured was he in the haraam that he didn’t even realize this until midnight when he got off his chat. It was so peaceful that I did it again .
The next day in an argument over food, he said: “Take your children and get out”. ”I can’t bear the sight of you, you are old and ugly. I don’t want to see your face .”Pack your bags and go stay at your mother’s house till you are blue in the face.
Just go! Just leave me!” I asked him if it is a Talaaq, he said: “No!” What is my position in the Shariah. If I leave here I have no intention to have any contact with him whatsoever. He can have contact with his children. (End of the Sister’s lament.)
(1) You are still in his Nikah. Since he had explicitly negated Talaaq, the harsh, insensitive litany of haraam pejoratives he had uttered do not represent Talaaq.
(2) If you are determined to leave, endeavour to leave with his permission. If you leave with his consent, he will
still be responsible for your maintenance while you will be living with your parents. If he refuses to maintain you, you will then have valid grounds for lodging an application for annulment of the Nikah. If you leave without his consent, he will have valid grounds for denying maintenance. You will then be in a limbo. You will not have grounds for annulment.
(3) If you are able to make Sabr and tolerate his injustices and haraam conduct, you will Insha-Allah, attain the rank and thawaaab of a Shaheed (Martyr).
WHAT IS WHATSAPP
The internet and its many facilities are instruments of use and misuse like all other instruments and devices which are per se permissible.
If a permissible instrument is misused or used in conflict with the Shariah or utilized immorally, it will obviously be HARAAM, just as zina, liquor, interest, etc. are haraam. This ruling applies to all instruments which are per se permissible, e.g. radios, cell phones and innumerable other devices. the WhatsApp medium is used strictly for permissible and necessary communication, it will be permissible. If misused, it will be haraam. In the current context,
WhatsApp, cell phones and computers are haraam for children. The sin of destroying the Akhlaaq and ruining the Imaan of children with these vile, shaitaani contraptions of immorality settles on the parents if the children are nabaaligh, and if baaligh, on both the children and the parents. he prohibition of WhatsApp multiplies manifold as far as
girls are concerned. It introduces them to a world of fisq, fujoor, kufr, prostitution and satanism. Their Akhlaaq are utterly corrupted and destroyed. This very same ruling of prohibition applies to males who utilize this medium for haraam as the sister’s husband. In fact, most are using WhatsApp for haraam. And it applies to wives as well. Husbands
too have written complaining about the zina relationships which their wives have struck up via the internet, and vice versa. The hurmat applies across the board – to all and sundry. Ulama, Madrasah students, husbands, wives, children,
the rich and the poor are all entrapped in the internet snares of Iblees. We are well aware of the internet vices – fisq and fujoor – immorality and zina – which even molvis, sheikhs and madrasah students perpetrate. Shamelessly, and without the slightest concern and fear for Allah’s permanent Presence and the presence of the two Recording Malaaikah, do even the personnel of Ilm indulge in the internet filth. It is therefore no surprise to see the mass of ulama-e-soo’ being churned out by the madaaris of this era. It never occurs to them that Maut may strike precisely at the moment when they are trapped in the internet zina. The sister, pouring out her lament, said that 90% of those addicted to the WhatsApp Iblees are entrapped in the haraam filth being disgorged like effluvium and sewerage waste. Her observation is an understatement.
Perhaps 98% of people are mired in the moral effluent excreted by the device of Iblees. There is no doubt that misuse of
WhatsApp and other similar social media apps such as Facebook are Haraam.
Article extracts from- The Majlis vol 22 no 11
Shy of getting too direct, South Asian poets often get lyrical about the various attires and garments of their real or imagined beloveds. One crucial part of the dress that never finds a mention in our poetry is the naarra or drawstring. A society where adab — respect or modesty — is a central value, any mention of the humble naarra is best avoided.
But the elusive naarra, usually well hidden in baggy trousers, suddenly found a prominent place in public discourse recently. Someone ‘discovered’ that a newly inaugurated store, carrying the brand name of Maulana Tariq Jamil, was selling naarras at a price that was 10 times higher than the normal market value.
In another twist to the tale, the naarra that had gripped the imagination of Pakistan’s social media users for over a week did not even exist. The store, MTJ-Tariq Jamil, clarified that they did not manufacture naarras and their website had “never placed any such article for sale.”
One of Pakistan’s most celebrated Islamic evangelists was under attack, yet again, after he had decided to lend his name as a brand to a clothing chain (this was hardly the first, or likely last, time the Maulana found himself trending on social media and on television). A religious scholar, said his detractors, should not be a commercial brand in today’s neoliberal marketplace. Many find his store upscale, catering only to the rich only, while he teaches a simpler way of life and the denial of luxuries day in and day out.
Maulana Tariq Jamil is an enigma to many. Millions look up to him and sing his praises as a tolerant man of religion. His detractors claim he is an orator rather than a scholar and is out to rake in fame, political influence and fortune. Can he be explained in easy terms?
According to Ahmet T Kuru, a well-known US-based Turkish scholar, during the golden period of Muslim societies (8th-11th century), most religious scholars were children of traders and funded their religious activities through their business activities. They used to be extremely shy of forming any bond with the state and its officials.
The Maulana, it appears, wants to have the best of both worlds. He wants to be a trader-religious-scholar, like those in the ‘golden age,’ but he also wants to enjoy close connections between the ulema, particularly himself, and powerful state officials. Incidentally, such an ulema-state alliance, according to Kuru, was a major reason for the decay of Muslim societies.
Many of Tariq Jamil’s opponents find it amusing — while his detractors find it downright outrageous — that he has transferred his carefully calibrated personal brand of a popular religious scholar to a retail marketing brand. He is certainly trying new things that many of his celebrated predecessors had kept away from.***
During the seven decades of our national life, we have had many kinds of maulanas. We had orators such as Ataullah Shah Bukhari, who would keep his audiences mesmerised with his speech for the whole night; we had scholars such as Syed Maududi, whose thoughts left a deep imprint on political Islamist movements all over the world; we had a rabble-rouser, the ‘red maulana’, Maulana Bhashani, who Islamicised socialism and mobilised the poor; we also had sectarian militant religious leaders such as Haq Nawaz Jhangavi, who fanned the flames of sectarian hatred in country. Last, but certainly not the least, very recently we had Maulana Khadim Rizvi, whose meteoric rise in religious politics and political legacy we are still trying to understand.
Though as popular as these glorious figures of the pulpit, if not more, Maulana Tariq Jamil belongs to a very different category. He is associated with the Tableeghi Jamaat, an international proselytising movement that has never produced a public figure before him — not because it did not have one, but because the group has always avoided the media limelight as an act of faith. But Tariq Jamil is not one to shy away from the limelight.
Tariq Jamil’s half-a-century-long relationship with the Tableeghi Jamaat defines his identity, ideas and style of oratory. He, however, is an unlikely Tableeghi in many ways, and there are signs that he has been evicted from the hallowed circle of the Tableeghi elders and is no longer welcome to deliver a speech at the group’s annual congregations.
He has tried to downplay this impression. “I have stepped back [only] due to my ill health,” he explained in a television interview. “[Otherwise], I have spent my whole life in Tableegh.” And quite a life it has been.
Unlike many religious scholars, Tariq Jamil was not born in a religious family and did not study at a madressah as a child. Belonging to a well-off upper-caste landholding family of South Punjab, he traces his ancestry to the 12th century near-mythical ruler of Ajmer, Prithviraj Chauhan, who was defeated by Sultan Mohammad Ghauri. His
later ancestors were far less eminent minor rajas of his native town Tulamba, before they were defeated by Sher Shah Suri.
His own father and forefathers were large landholders. In a speech at his madressah two years ago, a teary-eyed Maulana narrated how his elders used to mistreat members of the lower caste families. He contrasts this by then talking about a time in life when, in a willing act of renunciation, he would use a brick for a pillow and not change his dress for weeks in the hot month of June. Here one may find the universal formula of evangelist preachers, which emphasises a dramatic transformation.
Like children of many landholding families, Tariq Jamil was sent to a school in Lahore. From school he moved on to the prestigious Government College Lahore and then to Punjab’s most prestigious medical college, King Edward Medical College. (Both colleges are now universities). But rather than completing his MBBS, Tariq Jamil decided to hop on to the salvation train of the Tableeghi Jamaat.
The great transformation that Tariq Jamil went through is a legend among Tableeghi activists. Tariq Jamil joined a friend on a three-day preaching mission, called seh roza in the Jamaat’s language. Every serious Tableeghi is supposed to set aside three days a month for such a mission. During these missions, a group of Tableeghis stays at a community mosque, doing rounds in the neighbourhood and preaching at the mosque.
An equally important part of the mission involves peer learning within the group. Learning from the example of seniors and paying attention to prayers are the main path to transforming for newly recruited Tableeghis. Community members, who are the main target of the Tableeghi missions, are transformed when they also become part of the Jamaat and join similar missions. In a way, the Tableeghi Jamaat works like a ponzi scheme, new members recruit more members and the cycle of recruitment keeps growing.
Not many can match his influence and following. The subscribers on his two YouTube channels exceed 13 million. He has his own official apps on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. The Maulana’s services have also been officially recognised and he received the President’s Pride of Performance Award this year.
A much longer preaching mission is called a chilla, where a group of preachers leaves on a mission for 40 days. No Tableeghi is considered a serious part of the group unless he joins a chilla group every year. However, Tableeghis don’t stop at this. Those who want to dedicate themselves to the cause can go on a mission for four months, a year, or even dedicate their whole lives to the Jamaat.
Instead of returning back from the seh roza, Tariq Jamil went ahead and joined a four-month-long mission. This mission turned him into a dedicated member of the Jamaat and there has been no turning back after half a century, from his side at least. While returning from the mission, Maulana met a young man who advised him to become a religious scholar instead of a doctor.
“A doctor was a person of high stature in those days,” Maulana explained to a sizable audience in a February 2019 speech, “while a maulvi was past-tareen gandagi ka keerra [the lowliest worm of garbage] in society. In our rural set-up, a maulvi was a mere kammi — a low-grade menial worker — at par in status with an ironsmith, potter or washerman.” Still, Tariq Jamil decided to become a maulvi rather than a doctor. On the fateful day of November 23, 1972, his father evicted him from his house for a year for making such a horrible decision.
Leaving King Edward Medical College, Tariq Jamil joined the Jamia Arabia, a madressah at Raiwind, where he studied the Dars-i-Nizami curriculum that has been taught at South Asian madressahs since the 18th century. Maulana has not shared many details about the eight to nine years of his life at the madressah. Meanwhile, his brother Tahir Kamal completed his medical education and became a cardiologist, joining the high rank that the Maulana had rejected for the sake of religion.
TABLEEGH OVER SCHOLARSHIP
Maulana has never revealed what degree he received at the madressah. However, he is not recognised as a mufti or a serious aalim (scholar) by his fellow Deobandi scholars, some of whom criticise him for being a lightweight in religious learning.
Maulana does not disagree: “I read a lot but I did not become a mujtahid like you,” a smiling Maulana once told a group of religious scholars at a madressah. “[This is because] I did not question what I learnt from my teachers and I have the same attitude even today.” This mystic, anti-intellectual attitude is typical of a Tableeghi activist. Interestingly though, he has founded and supports an institute that offers a six-year multidisciplinary Alimiyyah (scholar) programme.
Still, even the Maulana’s most ardent supporters lament his lack of emphasis on authentic scholarly sources. “One [unfortunate] aspect of his glorious struggle is the fact that his understanding of the Holy Quran and Hadith is shallow,” notes one of his admirers from Srinagar, Imtiaz Abdul Qadir, in an article celebrating his achievements on an Islamic website. “Instead of these sources, we find an emphasis on unauthentic stories, wazaaif [chants], and non-authoritative topics and traditions.”
As a religious leader, Maulana Tariq Jamil carries the identity of a khateeb — an orator. This class of religious leaders are known for their art of speech rather than scholarly pursuits. Their source of charisma is rooted mainly in their art of public speaking. Ataullah Shah Bukhari (1892-1961) was perhaps the most celebrated member of this group, though he was also known for his religio-political activism.
On many occasions, Tariq Jamil has come under attack from leading Sunni scholars for “fabricating” or distorting religious stories. Sheikh Muhammad Khair Muhammad, popularly known as Sheikh Makki, a Hanafi scholar of Pakistani origin who teaches at the Masjid al-Haram that surrounds the Ka’aba, accused Tariq Jamil of being a charlatan for narrating the famous story of Prophet Yusuf incorrectly. “Everyone has become a maulvi,” he said in a speech deriding Tariq Jamil. “Anyone can put a piece of cloth around his neck, grow his hair and claim to be a maulvi, even if he has not read the qaida [alphabet primer].”***
Established in 1926 in India as an off-shoot of the Deoband movement, Tableeghi Jamaat is not about scholarship but transformation within the Muslim community. This transformation often happens through the tools that Tariq Jamil uses, not through the scholarly activities. During its small, as well as long, missions, the Tableeghi Jamaat relies on only one book: the Fazail-i-Aamal — a book that is full of the miracles of saints. For this reason perhaps, a different book — Riazus Saliheen — is taught to members of Arab origin. The Jamaat not only avoids scholarship but also scholars and scholarly debates, often angering the ulema who find their authority challenged.
The Jamaat’s single-minded focus on Tableegh, or proselytising, has earned it criticism even from some leading Deobandi scholars. According to these scholars, instead of proselytising the religion (Tableegh-i-Deen), the group has ended up creating a religion of proselytism (Deen-i-Tableegh). Political Islamists also criticise it for abandoning worldly attachments and preferring instead to surrender themselves to the mercy of God.
The late spiritual leader Tuan Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat (a former head of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party and a graduate of Darul Uloom Deoband in India) summed up this criticism in the following words: “What I don’t accept about them is that they are too influenced by their history and their origin. [The] Tablighi Jamaat began in India and I find too many Hindu ideas and practices in their way of life, like begging and staying in mosques.”
But the Maulana does not conform to what he declares are stereotypes about the Tableeghi Jamaat. According to him, the Jamaat demands that you create a balance, it does not demand you to abandon the world. “If someone follows these things, it is his choice,” he explained in a recent television interview.
The Maulana is no Ibrahim bin Adham, the king of Balkh who abandoned the throne to become a Sufi saint. He is still a Rajput Sahu landlord with his SUV, large mansion-like house, entourage of servants and a comfortable way of life. This lifestyle may not match with many members of the Tableeghi Jamaat, but it does not differ much from many religious leaders who acquired their wealth after becoming prominent leaders.
MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF
The Maulana’s detractors try to portray him as a seeker of fame and fortune. Last year, he performed the nikah ceremony at what was termed the most ostentatious marriage in Pakistan’s history, where the two matchmaking business families allegedly spent some 2,000 million rupees, according to some reports circulated on the media. While the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) sent tax notices to the two families, the Maulana was also accused of having received 10 million rupees for gracing the occasion.
A furious Tariq Jamil called the media “Dajjal and Kazab” (the Antichrist and a false prophet) for making such allegations. The Maulana explained that he enjoyed a two-decades-long friendship with the families and did not receive any remuneration from them for performing the nikah ceremony. According to him, the families had spent only 100 million on the marriage. Though it was israaf (extravagance), according to the Maulana, it was not a very high amount considering that the two families were billionaires.
Tariq Jamil’s success in reaching out to the powerful elite was seen as an asset. And his huge popularity is clearly seen as an asset by state officials as well. His close association with them can be seen as a mutually beneficial relationship.
The Maulana also explained that he goes to all kinds of places and meets all kinds of people for the sake of his mission. “I don’t have any hesitation in going anywhere, because I have to convey my message. I have to convey the message of Allah. I disagree that one should not go to such events. Perhaps, you should not go as a participant, but one can go there for a cause.”
Maulana has certainly gone to places where no religious person would like to be seen dead.
He is admired and mocked in equal measure for his work in the red light area in his hometown. “There is a 200-year-old residential area of prostitutes [in Tulamba Town] that was set up in 1818 by Maharaja Ranjit Singh,” the Maulana once said. “I worked there tirelessly for 10 years. I started giving them stipends and helped them leave their profession. There were 235 girls in the profession and I used to give them four million rupees a month.”
For his detractors, Maulana’s association with women is his soft underbelly.
“He is the worst zindeeq [misinterpreter of religion] so far,” stated Mufti Zarwali in a speech. Zarwali was a Deobandi mufti, also popular on social media, who died recently. “He calls [actress] Meera his daughter. [In fact,] he has the same ancestry as Meera.” These comments made the Maulana cry in public and explain his family’s glories in many speeches.
In Pakistan, the Maulana also stands apart due to his apparent respect for all religions and denominations. He explains his attitude in these words: “Allah has given me wealth that I want to share before I die. I do not have hatred in my heart against anyone — on the basis of religion, denomination, caste or identity. I hate alcohol but not the one who drinks alcohol. I hate fornication but not a fornicator. I hate lies but not a liar. I hate wrong beliefs but not the person who holds wrong beliefs. I love everyone.”
Extending love to people of a different sect has been a no-go area for religious scholars in Pakistan. Many Deobandi scholars raise objections to the Maulana’s open acceptance of the Shia community and his Shia majlis-like speeches about the Karbala tragedy.
In 2013, when sectarian tensions were high in Gilgit city, the Maulana chose to visit the city’s largest Imambargah where he made a speech that is still appreciated by the city’s Shia community. “This speech was a turning point in sectarian relations in the city,” says Shabbir Mir, a Gilgit-based journalist. “Maulana in his speech proved that Shias were not only Muslims, but a superior sect of Muslims,” he adds with a smile.
The city’s most prominent Shia scholar reciprocated the gesture by attending the Tableeghi congregation for which the Maulana was in the city. “It changed the atmosphere in the city completely, and left a lasting impact. Such a thing had not happened for a long time,” says Mir.
THE INFLUENTIAL PREACHER
Though Maulana was popular among followers of the Tableeghi Jamaat for decades, the educated middle class noticed him only after the Pakistan cricket team came under his influence. It was quite a spectacle, when the nation’s star cricketers started growing beards and were spotted on Tableeghi missions. Even a Christian cricketer converted to Islam and soon started sporting a beard.
A wholesale conversion of cricketers to the Tableeghi Jamaat linked the cricket team’s performance with their newfound religiosity. It was reported that cricketers were performing badly because they kept awake at night to pray for their success rather than taking a good night’s sleep.
From star cricketers, the Maulana moved on to influence star politicians. The Tableeghi Jamaat does encourage members of the powerful elite to join its ranks. Many high-ranking state officials, including some prime ministers, have joined the annual Raiwind congregation on the last day, when hours-long duas (prayers) are made by a senior Tableeghi elder. The Jamaat has also succeeded in bringing some retired generals and bureaucrats into its fold.
Tariq Jamil’s success in reaching out to the powerful elite was seen as an asset. And his huge popularity is clearly seen as an asset by state officials as well. His close association with them can be seen as a mutually beneficial relationship. Maulana’s endorsement, even a picture with him, extends an aura of religiosity to members of Pakistan’s political elite, who have always used religion as a major source of their legitimacy. They also find him valuable in extending the state’s messages to the religiously inclined masses. It is hard to guess who benefits more from the relationship — members of the political elite or the Tableeghi Jamaat and its mission.
However, this is not what the reclusive elders of the Tableeghi Jamaat had bet on. The last straw came when the Maulana almost joined the current ruling party, extending divine endorsement to Imran Khan. “He is the first ruler who has presented the concept of Madina’s welfare state. I salute him,” the Maulana stated at a symposium attended by the prime minister in 2018.
“We have been blessed with a very good ruler. All of you should pray for him,” he stated at another event some months later, and repeated these sentiments many times. His teary bayaan (speech) and dua for Imran Khan during a live telethon for the Ehsaas programme last year made him a controversial figure among those who oppose the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). He has since been a regular visitor to the Prime Minister House.
The Maulana says he is not happy with receiving zakat to fund his madressah. He thinks that the income from his clothing brand — that he does not manage himself — will free him from the need for receiving donations.
This position has, once again, perplexed some religious leaders. “What is wrong in receiving alms? Darul Uloom Deoband and all madressahs run on donations,” Maulana Tanveerul Haq Thanvi said in a video, responding to Tariq Jamil’s statements. “Those who used to criticise maulvis for collecting donations, now collect donations themselves. Even our prime minister collects donations.”
But Tariq Jamil does not want to run his madressahs like a ‘lowly’ rural maulvi who collects grain from landholders at every harvest. He went out to convert celebrities to the mission of Tableegh, but became one of the country’s most influential celebrities himself.
Not many can match his influence and following. The subscribers on his two YouTube channels exceed 13 million. He has his own official apps on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. The Maulana’s services have also been officially recognised and he received the President’s Pride of Performance Award this year. In a way, he has become the Maulana Laureate of Pakistan.
The ‘lowly’ maulvi has achieved a far higher stature than his cardiologist brother. “I did not know that one day so many doctors would sit in front of me to listen to my speeches,” he says in one of his speeches shared on his YouTube channel.
If the Maulana’s father were alive, he would probably change his views about his son’s choice of career and accept him for what he is — a Maulana for our times.
The writer holds a degree in social anthropology from the University of London and works in the field of social development. He tweets @zaighamkhan
Published in Dawn, EOS, June 20th, 2021
The era of colonialism has not ended. It has only moved into another sphere. While political colonialism has seemingly ended, the aims of colonialism—the aims for which the western countries had colonized the African and Asian 1ands—are very much alive. The same aim which had motivated political colonialism is today the motive of all western conspiracies, in particular American conspiracy.
The African, Arabian and Asian countries were colonized by the western powers to enable them to siphon off the wealth of these lands. The colonial masters were ‘far-sighted. They had realized that the day will come when they will be compelled to relinquish the colonies and hand them over to the local inhabitants. They, therefore, set in motion their well -prepared plot to retain their hold over these territories.
The pivotal base of the plot was the colonization of the minds and hearts of the slaves whom the colonialists had subjugated. The minds of the Arabs, Africans and Asians had to be transformed or westernized so that while the new rulers would be from the local population, the intelligentsia in control of the affairs of the land would be mental slaves of the colonial masters of the West who will pull the strings. The colonialists have undoubtedly achieved a great success in the implementation of their plot. Today all the countries of the so-called third world—Muslim and non-Muslim—are ruled by westernized minds governing on behalf of America, Britain and France.
THE MUSLIM WORLD
The initial stage of the plot to colonize the minds and the hearts of Muslims was to disrupt and dismantle the Islamic system of education (Ta ’leem and Tarbiyat) which the Ummah had inherited from the Salf-e-Saaliheen. The first move for achieving this end was the repression and elimination of the Ulama who always were the Defenders of the Deen. Thousands of ‘Ulama, especially in India (now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), were massacred. The Madaaris were closed down and the Auqaaf properties confiscated. The growing generations of the Ummah were held in ignorance of their Deen. Then came the final installment in the plot. Western education was thrust onto the populace. The cream of Muslim youth had their minds subverted with kufr and immorality. They were exported to western universities in England and thoroughly groomed and schooled in kufr. Thus came into being a new breed of ‘muslims’ with minds colonized. This breed of pseudo-Muslims returned to rule their lands on behalf of their colonial masters.
THE NEW BREED
This new breed of hybrid ‘muslims’ returned with a hatred for Islam—a hatred for the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). But they were schooled in western diplomacy which made them adept in the exercise of concealing their kufr and presenting a false facade of nafsaani ‘Islam’ which was appealing the ignorant masses of slaves living in the Muslim lands It was this new breed of kuffaar—westernized Arabs and Asians—born in Muslim homes and educated by kuffaar in kuffaar universities masquerading as Muslims under the subterfuge of Islamic names, who dismantled the Khilaafat and introduced the kaafir system known as democracy. It is by the medium of this system of government that the westernized ‘muslims’—the puppets and slaves of the West—entrenched themselves in the seat of government. The West had thoroughly prepared the stage for their protégés to perpetuate their colonial stranglehold on the lands of the Ummah. We therefore see today that all the countries of Islam barring Afghanistan, are thoroughly under western yoke. They are still ruled by the colonialists who have put up their democratic fronts to impose their kufr and immorality on the ignorant Muslim masses. The corruption of the western protégés—those in government in Muslim lands—suits the plan and plot of the western kuffaar. The policies for government are formulated by the West, sometimes directly by America, Britain or France, and mostly through their agents—United Nations, the World Bank and other similar agencies which are all the creations of the western kuffaar.
Tashabbuh bil kuffaar (Emulating the kuffaar) is the product of colonized minds and hearts. Everything of the kuffaar appear appealing and progressive while the sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is detestable and retrogressive. It has therefore become convenient and expedient for the pseudo Muslims to attribute the Sunnah to the Ulama so as to find plausible grounds for refuting and rejecting it. The masses are misled into believing that the Shariah is the creation of the Ulama while in reality it is the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. But colonized minds and hearts have made people the slaves of the nafs and the slaves of their colonial masters. This disease is deeply embedded in the hearts of Muslims. It is for this reason that they are still under the yoke of colonialism, albeit in different spheres—mental, social and economical. About these westernized puppets parading as Muslims and milking the lands of Islam on behalf of their colonial masters, the Qur’aan Majeed says: “Those who do not govern according to that which Allah has revealed (i.e. His Shariah), verily, they are the kaafiroon.” This is the situation prevailing in all Muslim lands today—all governments besides the government of the Talibaan, are kufr governments.
Q. I see many Muslims who flagrantly sin are enjoying life. They have wealth and appear to be happy. On the other hand, I see many pious Muslims in difficult conditions. They follow the Sunnah yet they are struggling. What explanation is there for this?
A. The prosperous life of flagrant sinners is called Istidraaj. That is, Allah Ta’ala is giving them line to run along. Suddenly the line will run out and they will be overtaken by punishment. Never be misled by the prosperous life of sinners and kuffaar. Allah Ta’ala will severely apprehend them. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The dunya is a prison for the Mu’min and a jannat for the kaafir.” The difficulties experienced by the pious cleanse them, bring them closer to Allah Ta’ala and treasures are stored for them in Jannat. This life is short and full of struggle and trials. In the Qur’aan Majeed, Allah Ta’ala says that one should not cast longing eyes at the worldly prosperity and glitter of those who are doomed for destruction in the Aakhirat.