Indian clergy reacts to Saudi Arabia’s ban on Tablighi Jamaat: Who said what

Lashing out against Saudi Arabia, Maulana Salman Hussain Nadvi said the kingdom has always been a "loyal puppet" at the hands of "zionists powers" and now it is slowly showing its real face to the world in delusion.

Hyderabad: About a week ago the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued a decree banning the “Tablighi Jamaat,” labelled it as a “gate of terrorism” and dictated the mosques throughout the country to give the subsequent Friday sermon warning the public against the missionary movement.

The decision has drawn much criticism from different Islamic organisations and the traditionalist movement’s ideological parent institution, Darul Uloom Deoband, Uttar Pradesh. Darul Uloom Deoband is an Islamic seminary founded by freedom fighter and Islamic scholar Muhammad Qasim Nanautvi and his colleagues.

Lashing out against the Kingdom, former board member of the All India Mualim Personal Law Board and one of the most prominent clerics of the day, Maulana Salman Hussain Nadvi released a 37-minute video criticising Saudi Arabia. He went on to reiterate that the kingdom has always been a “loyal puppet” at the hands of “zionists powers” and now it is slowly showing its real face to the world in delusion.

Maulana Salman Nadwi added that the kingdom supported and promoted the controversial Wahhabi ideology, which has often been linked with extremist groups, on the orders of the United States and that it is now burying the same on the orders of its zionist masters. He also criticised Saudi Arabia’s promotion of entertainment and dubbed it as promotion of “immorality and corruption.”

Another prominent Islamic scholar from Mumbai and founder of an online Islamic University, Al Ilm Academy, Mufti Yusuf Asad said that the hundred-year history of Tablighi Jamaat is witness to the fact that they have never harmed anyone. “This decision is proof that the Saudi Government is a slave of the west.”

He told that 45 years ago the Kingdom had put restrictions on people who wanted to independently give speeches or Friday sermons and dictated what people could say in religious gatherings, and now their control over religious institutions is getting worse. He alleged that the move was politically motivated.

The Darul Uloom Deoband, which is also known as the ideological parent institution of the Tablighi Jamaat, in the press note on Sunday signed by rector Maulana Abdul Qasim Noumani stated that the charges were baseless and that the Jamaat’s role was to spread deen (faith) and asked Riyad to review the decision.

The president of the Jama’at-e-Islami Hind, Syed Sadatullah Hussaini also stated that this is an attack on the universally accepted human right to preach and propagate one’s religion.

A member of the Tablighi Jamaat who didn’t want to be named told that in times of spiritual corruption and degeneracy, sticking to basic traditional principles is being seen as an act of rebellion against society. “This is nothing new for people who call towards good and forbid evil, this has always happened in history and will continue to happen till the end of the world. We’re taught to persevere through trials and tribulations and we are not at all bothered by this,” he remarked.

What is the Tablighi Jamaat

The Tablighi Jamaat which roughly translates into “the society of preachers” or “preacher’s organisation” was founded in 1926 by Maulana Ilyas Khandelwi. It aims towards a spiritual reform of Muslim society.

As of now, the jamaat is supposed to have about 400 million adherents worldwide and is spread across 150 countries. It has often been criticised by other groups for being too apolitical, however, scholars suggest that the secret of the sustained growth and spread of the missionary movement is being away from politics. Right now the Maulana Saad Kandelvi is heading the Tablighi Jamaat in the Indian subcontinent.

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