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Tablighi Jamaat

In some post-Soviet countries, the activity of the religious organization Tablighi Jamaat is prohibited. Unofficially, it is called «Islam for the poor». However, the term «poor» has a sufficiently broad meaning, from «uneducated» to «unenlightened», «stupid» and «illiterate».

It was not even invented in India and Pakistan, where Tablighi Jamaat was actually created about 90 years ago. Artificially, as a counterbalance to real religion and belief. Of course, on a commercial basis, otherwise pseudo-religious institutions did not work. Initially, it was planned to create a network of madrasahs, religious schools of a certain orientation, but it did not grow together here either, the sponsors simply refused to pay for the dubious result. And then educational and seemingly Muslim institutions were hastily converted into missionary preaching centers. Education was no longer required to become preachers. It was enough to know a few Sunnahs from the Quran, not even too well. Beggars don’t choose.

After short training, Muhammad Ilyas Kandehlevi united missionaries in small groups of 10 persons and sent them to preach – those who were at the beginning will tell later.

– Soon such a very peculiar system of conducting davat (invocation) bore fruit. An increasing number of Muslims began to join the ranks of the movement.

Subsequent leaders of «Tablighi Jamaat» somehow, but always turned out to be connected by family or kinship ties with Muhammed Ilyas Kandehlevi and up to the mystical level. True Muslims should doubt this and see a field for abuse and fraud, however due to the extreme closeness of the organization and the terrifying information vacuum around it, there were no such precedents.

The movement was gaining momentum and looking for itself … no, not spiritual, but quite material ways of development, expanding from the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, to China and after the 90s in Central Asia. For some reason the mood of the organization was too political. Spirituality remained in the background. Despite of religious contradictions, the tablighites approached radical Islamists. The followers of the Quran were slipped and slip dry extracts of the book «Tablighi Jamaat» instead of the Quran, and representatives of the organization declared their apolitical nature so loudly and often, that it was time to doubt. As in a parable, where the thief himself yells the loudest: «Stop the thief! ». According to many former Kyrgyzstan’s tablighites, amirs of Tablighi Jamaat donate millions of dollars to their patrons in Pakistan annually.

Actual practice hinders apolitical statements. Ideologists and followers of the current consider the institution of a modern state to be inconsistent with Islamic ideas about political education, in which Muslims should live. Instead, we are talking about a worldwide ummah, a community of Muslims outside the borders of existing states.

At the same time, people forget a very important verse of the Quran, which says: «There shall be no compulsion in the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong» (2: 256). Allah wants people to accept the faith of their own free will, with their mind and heart, without violence from anyone. Otherwise, the difference between faith and unbelief would be obliterated. 

What are the followers of Tablighi Jamaat doing in practice? Somehow it happened that 80% of radical Islamists left the ranks of the Tabligans. The entire apolitical organization is somehow recruiting volunteers for terrorist attacks that have swept around the world. For example, the terrorist attack in the London subway in 2005 was organized by tablighites Muhammad Siddyk and Shahzad Tanvir. After visiting one of the Tablighi Jamaat mosques in London, they received training at a terrorist camp in Pakistan. The Uzbek authorities have repeatedly accused the organization of recruiting Muslims and sending them to terrorist camps. In addition, it was established that the Tabligans were involved in several explosions in Tashkent. As a result, it was decided to ban the activities of Tablighi Jamaat in Uzbekistan. The organization was honored with the same fate in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. Well, the listed states were not satisfied with «Islam for the poor». Perhaps because the poor were assigned exclusively to the role of kamikaze. To be more honest, cannon fodder to satisfy other people’s political needs.

What can save the right Muslims from such a fate? First of all, competent Islamic education and quality education in real Muslim educational institutions. Now many countries have the opportunity to satisfy the need for spiritual development without the help of questionable preachers. Honest, pure Sacred Islam, which the souls of many believers strive for, does not need poor intermediaries; and in retellings, convenient for the political conjuncture, certain politicians do not need either. Islam is not a commodity for sale, as Tablighi Jamaat believes, it is a sincere aspiration of souls seeking faith.

The ideology of Tablighi Jamaat is based on the fact that the Muslim ummah allegedly requires a «cure» for which it is necessary to turn to the missionary «jihad», which is declared to be the only duty of every Muslim during his earthly life. People who have embarked on the path of «tablighi» are opposed to the rest of society and are declared «the best» among people, including among other Muslims, who preserve «true» Islam. You need to be really blind and deaf so as not to see chauvinism in this, from which post-Soviet countries were saving themselves during the years of independence; is it worth changing one «owner» to another?

How can true mankind protect themselves from political manipulation by their best and sincere feelings? First of all, by reading and knowing their religious holy book and denying any options for its replacement. Today, everyone has the opportunity to satisfy the need for spiritual development without outside help. 

Everyone should take the responsibility for obtaining sufficient religious knowledge in order to avoid the threat from radicals of various stripes who seek to disrupt the peace and spread evil and violence with their incorrect interpretation of the religion.

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