“Jamaa’at al-Tableegh” is one of the groups that are working for Islam. Their efforts in calling people to Allaah (Da'wah) cannot be denied. But like many other groups they make some mistakes, and some points should be noted concerning them. These points may be summed up as follows, noting that these mistakes may vary within this group, depending on the environment and society in which they find themselves.
1 – Not adopting the ‘aqeedah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah. This is clearly seen from the variations in the ‘aqeedah of some of their members and even of some of their leaders.
2 – Their not paying attention to shar’i knowledge.
3 – Their misinterpretation of some Qur'ânic verses in a manner that was not intended by Allaah. For example they interpret the verses on jihad as referring to “going out for Da'wah”. The verses which mentioned the word khurooj (going out) etc. are interpreted by them as meaning going out for Da'wah.
4 – They make their system of going out for Da'wah an act of worship. So they started to misquote the Qur'ân to support their system which specifies certain numbers of days and months. This system, which they think is based on evidence from Qur'ân, is widespread among them in all countries and environments.
5 – They do some things that go against sharee’ah, such as appointing one of them to make du’aa’ for them whilst the group goes out for Da'wah, and they think that their success or failure depends on whether or not this man was sincere and his du’aa’ accepted.
6 – Da’eef (weak) and Mawdoo’ (fabricated) ahaadeeth are widespread among them, and this is not befitting for those who aim to call people to Allaah.
7 – They do not speak of munkaraat (evil things), thinking that enjoining what is good is sufficient. Hence we find that they do not speak about evils that are widespread among the people, even though the slogan of this ummah – which they continually repeat – is: “Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:104 – interpretation of the meaning]
The successful are those who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, not just those who do only one of the two.
8 – Some of them fall into self-admiration and arrogance, which leads them to look down on others, and even to look down on the scholars and describe them as inactive and sleeping, or to show off. So you find them talking about how they went out and travelled, and they saw such and such, which leads to unfavorable results, as we have mentioned.
9 – They regard going out for Da'wah as better than many acts of worship such as jihad and seeking knowledge, even though those things are obligatory duties, or may be obligatory for some people but not others.
10 – Some of them audaciously issue fatwas, and discuss tafseer and hadeeth. That is because they allow each one of them to address the people and explain to them. This leads to them speak audaciously on matters of sharee’ah. So the inevitably speak of the meaning of a ruling, hadeeth or verse when they have not read anything about it, or listened to any of the scholars. And some of them are new Muslims or have only recently come back to Islam.
11- Some of them are negligent with regard to the rights of their children and wives.
Hence the scholars do not allow people to go out with them, except for those who want to help them and correct the mistakes that they have fallen into.
We should not keep the people away from them altogether, rather we must try to correct their mistakes and advise them so that their efforts will continue and they will be correct according to the Qur'ân and Sunnah.
There follows the fatwas of some of the scholars concerning Jamaa’at al-Tableegh:
1 – Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz said: Jamaa’at al-Tableegh do not have proper understanding of the issues of ‘aqeedah, so it is not permissible to go out with them, except for one who has knowledge and understanding of the correct ‘aqeedah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah, so that he can guide them and advise them, and cooperate with them in doing good, because they are very active, but they need more knowledge and someone who can guide them of those who have knowledge of Tawheed and the Sunnah. May Allaah bless us all with proper understanding of Islam and make us steadfast in adhering to it. [Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 8/331]
2 – Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said:
Going out for the sake of Allaah does not refer to the kind of going out that they mean nowadays. Going out for the sake of Allaah means going out to fight. What they call going out nowadays is a bid’ah (innovation) that was not narrated from the salaf.
Going out to call people to Allaah cannot be limited to a certain number of days, rather one should call people to Allaah according to one's abilities, without limiting that to a group or to forty days or more or less than that.
Similarly the daa’iyah must have knowledge. It is not permissible for a person to call people to Allaah when he is ignorant. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Say (O Muhammad): This is my way; I invite unto Allaah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah — Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge” [Yoosuf 12:108]
i.e., with knowledge, because the caller must know that to which he calls people, what is obligatory, mustahabb, haraam and makrooh. He has to know what shirk, sin, kufr, immorality and disobedience are; he has to know the degrees of denouncing evil and how to do it.
The kind of going out that distracts people from seeking knowledge is wrong, because seeking knowledge is an obligation, and it can only be achieved by learning, not by inspiration. This is one of the misguided Sufi myths, because action without knowledge is misguidance, and hoping to acquire knowledge without learning is an illusion. [From Thalaath Mihaadaraat fi’l-‘Ilm wa’l-Da’wah] Shaykh, Muhammed Ibn Ibraaheem Aal-ash-Shaykh in warning against the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh
From Muhammed Ibn Ibraaheem to his excellency Prince Khaalid Ibn Sa’ood, leader of the Royal Court, as-Salaam ‘Alaykum wa-Rahmatullaahe wa-Barakaatuhu, to proceed:
I received the noble correspondence of your excellency (No.36/4/5-D on 21/1/1382 A.H)
and that which it contains of the request directed to his excellency, the king, from Muhammed Ibn ‘Abdul-Haamid al-Qaadiree, Shaah Ahmad Nooraanee, ‘Abdus-Salaam al-Qaadiree and Sa’ood Ahmad Dahlawee regarding their request for assistance in the project of their organisation which they have named (Kulliyyatud-Daw’ah wat-Tableegh al-Islaamiyyah) - and also the pamphlets that have been enclosed with their request.
I inform your excellency that there is no good in this organisation for certainly it is an organisation of innovation and falsehood which I have discovered by reading their pamphlets which were attached to their requests. We found it to comprise of falsehood, innovation and the inviting to the worshipping of graves and shirk. Quite simply, something which (we) cannot remain quiet about.
Therefore, we shall (inshaa-Allaah) put forward a refutation revealing their misguidance and falsehood.
We ask Allaah to assist his religion and make high His Word, was-Salaam ‘Alaykum wa-Rahmatullaahe wa-Barakaatuhu [S-M-405 on 29/1/1382 A.H]. Shaykh Muhammed Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee regarding the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh
He (rahima-hullaah) was asked:
"What is your opinion concerning the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh? Is it permissible for a student of knowledge or other than him to go out with them under the guise of inviting to (the path of) Allaah?"
So he responded: The Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh does not uphold the manhaj of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger and that which our Salaf as-Saalih were upon.
And if the situation was such, then it is not permissible to go out with them because it defies our manhaj in calling to the manhaj of the Salaf as-Saalih. So in the path of inviting to Allaah, then an ‘aalim (one who is knowledgeable) can go out with them but as for those (ignorant – without knowledge) who go out with them, then it is obligatory upon them to remain in their countries and (study Islaam) seek knowledge in their masaajid until there graduates from amongst them people of knowledge who hold study circles inviting to the path of Allaah.
As long as the situation is like that, it is upon the student of knowledge to invite these people (those from Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh) to study the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah and invite people to it.
And the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh, with respect to da’wah to the Book and the Sunnah, do not intend by it a starting point, rather they consider that to be a divided call (da’wah)/approach; And because of this, they most resemble the Jamaa’ah of al-Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen.
They say their da’wah is based upon the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah, however this is mere idle talk for certainly they have no ‘aqeedah upon which they are united (which unites them) – so you find some are Maatureedee, others are Ash’aree, whilst others are Soofee and even some who have no madhhab (affiliation to any particular ideology). This is because their da’wah is built upon amassing (the people), then gathering together and culturising/instructing them, and in reality they do not really have any culture. More than half a century has passed and there has not appeared from amongst them a scholar.
As for us, then we say instruct them, then gather together, such that the gathering together is based upon a foundation in which there is no doubt.
So the da’wah of the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh is that of the Soofiyyah, they call to good manners, as for correcting the differing ‘aqeedah of the group, then they do not exert themselves one iota. This is because they believe this will cause differences (and splitting apart).
It came to pass that a brother, Sa’d al-Husayn had much correspondence with the leader of the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh in India or Pakistan and it became clear from that they acknowledge (belief in) intercession and seeking help (from other than Allaah)
and many other such things. And they require their people (members) to make bay’ah (oath of allegiance) based upon four issues: amongst them the Naqshbandiyyah methodology. So it is upon every tableeghee (one who ascribes to the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh) to make bay’ah of these fundamentals (issues).
A questioner may ask: Indeed this group has corrected its faults (returned to Allaah) as a result of the efforts of many individuals and quite possibly many non-Muslims have accepted Islaam at their hands. Is this not sufficient (proof) for the permissibility of going out with them and participating in that which they call to?
So we say: Indeed we know these words and hear them a lot and know them to emanate from the Soofiyyah! For example, there is a Shaykh whose ‘aqeedah is incorrect and does not know anything about the Sunnah. Instead they deceitfully take from the wealth of the people, so together with this, many open sinners seek forgiveness from them!
So every group which invites to good, then it is imperative they should be in adherence (to the Qur'ân and the Sunnah), and (this) our approach is pure, so what are they (others) calling to?
Are they calling to adherence to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger and the ;aqeedah of the Salaf as-Saalih, abandoning blind following of the madhhabs to such an extent that they adhere to the Sunnah over and above their madhhab!? So the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh do not have a knowledge-based (manhaj), rather, their manhaj is according to the place where they are to be found, so they change their "colours" to suit themselves. [al-Fataawa al-Imaaraatiyyah of al-Albaanee].
Shaykh, ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee regarding the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh
The Shaykh was asked regarding going out with the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh to remind the people of the Greatness of Allaah.
So the Shaykh said: That which is the case, is that they are innovators and those who adhere to the manhaj of the Qadariyyah and other than them and their going out is not (regarded as) in the Path of Allaah, rather it is in the path of Illiyaas.
They do not invite to the Book (of Allaah) [There book is Fazail-e-Aamaal and Bahest-e-Zewar]
and nor the Sunnah, rather they invite to Illiyaas, their Shaykh in Bangladesh. [one of their Shaikh]
As for going out with them with the intention to invite to the path of Allaah, then that is (regarded as) going out in the path of Allaah but not that which is going out with the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh.
And I know of the Jamaa’ah at-Tableegh from a long time and they are innovators wherever they may be; Egypt, Israel, America, Saudi Arabia and all of them attach themselves to their Shaykh Illiyaas. [Fataawa wa Rasaa.il Samaahhtu ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee, Volume 1, Page 174].
And Allaah knows best.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 8/331
Al-Fataawa al-Imaaraatiyyah of al-Albaanee
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Thalaath Mihaadaraat fi’l-‘Ilm wa’l-Da’wah
Fataawa wa Rasaa.il Samaahhtu ‘Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee, Volume 1, Page 174