Tabligh literally means ‘to convey’. Contextually, it refers to conveying the message of Islam. This is the sunnah of all the prophets. The most important rule of tabligh is hikmah. Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran: ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة Invite (people) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good counsel. (Verse: 16:125) Whosoever does tabligh must adopt hikmah. It is only then, that people will understand and accept. Tablighi Jamaat is not a jamaat/group Rather it is a movement that saw a gradual evolution starting from 1920-27.
Their objective is that each and every Muslim adopts the Islamic way in all aspects of life. They do not advice anyone to leave all their daily activities and join this work, but they encourage people to take out some time from their daily engagements so that the rest of the time could be spent in accordance to the teachings of Islam. Spending time in the path of Allah is not the objective of the work, but rather it acts as a motivation to practice on all other aspects of Deen.
Basis in Quran
The work of tabligh ‘has strong basis in Quran and sunnah’. There are numerous verses of the Quran and the Ahadith of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that support the practice of tabligh. Hereunder are a few of them:
From the Holy Quran:
1. ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة
Invite (people) to the way of your lord with wisdom and good counsel. (Verse: 16:125)
2. ولتكن منكم أمة يدعون إلى الخير ويأمرون بالمعروف وينهون عن المنكر
And there has to be a group of people from among you who call towards good and prevent from evil. (Verse: 3:104)
3. ومن أحسن قولا ممن دعا إلى الله وعمل صالحا وقال إنني من المسلمين
And who is better in utterance than the one who called people towards Allah, and acts righteously and says, “I am one of those who submit themselves (to Allah Ta’ala). (Verse: 41:33) From the Ahadith of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam):
4. فقال أبو سعيد أما هذا فقد قضى ما عليه سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول من رأى منكم منكرا فليغيره بيده فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه وذلك أضعف الإيمان
Hazrat Abu Sa’eed (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that he heard Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying, “Whosoever witnesses a forbidden act being committed, he should prevent it by the use of his hands; if he is unable to do so, then he should prevent it with his tongue; if he is unable to do so, he should at least consider it a vice in his heart; and this is a very low level of Iman”. (Sahih Muslim Vol.2 Pg.211/2 – Darul Ma’rifah)
5. عن النعمان بن بشير رضي الله عنهما عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال مثل القائم على حدود الله والواقع فيها كمثل قوم استهموا على سفينة فأصاب بعضهم أعلاها وبعضهم أسفلها فكان الذين في أسفلها إذا استقوا من الماء مروا على من فوقهم فقالوا لو أنا خرقنا في نصيبنا خرقا ولم نؤذ من فوقنا فإن يتركوهم وما أرادوا هلكوا جميعا وإن أخذوا على أيديهم نجوا ونجوا جميعا
It has been reported on the authority of Nu’man bin Bashir (Radhiyallahu Anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “There are people who do not transgress the limits (laws) of Allah Ta’ala, and there are others who do so. They are like two groups who boarded a ship; one of them settled on the upper deck, and the other on the lower deck of the ship. When the people of the lower deck needed water, they said, “Why should we cause trouble to the people of the upper deck when we can have plenty of water by making a hole in our deck”. Now, if the people of the upper deck do not prevent this group from such foolishness, all of them will perish; but if they stop them, they will be saved”. (Sahih Al Bukhari Vol.3 Pg.152 – Darul fikr)
Migration & Motion’ and ‘Collectiveness’ are the soul and the foundation principles of this Ummat. In the 1st century Hijrat, deen got spread all over the world. We should all think over this fact that the resources – both material and spiritual – which we consider as necessary for spreading deen today, were not present in the days of Sah’aba (radiyallahu anhum). The present-day means of transportation and communication were not available with them. The spiritual means of which we have today, for example, printed copies of the Holy Qu’ran and Hadiths, religious books, commentaries on the science of religion, etc., even the names and signs of these resources were not present. Qur’an was printed centuries later. Imam Bukhari (Rah), who is the first in the line of and is the leader of the Commentators of Hadiths, born in 194H, that is, after about two centuries of the start of Islam, and worked on Hadiths at least two decades later. Commentaries on hadees in the form of books started appearing after a period many centuries. Even then deen reached in four corners of the earth. We should at least think how deen got spread?