I am from Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan there is a very famous group named Tablighi Jamaa’ah. They gather a group of people and stay in some of the masjids for three or forty days and performing da'wah. Sometimes they would spend forty days where they would go everywhere on foot and not use any vehicles. I have also seen this group in Qatar. Is this form of da'wah on foot without the use of any vehicles a religious innovation? Is the reward for da'wah on foot greater than that which uses vehicles when such vehicles are available? I have one more doubt. In the Hindu religion, they would walk from one temple to another as a sacrifice for their god. Would we be following them if we were to use the same method?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
If walking on foot is done sometimes for training and accustoming oneself to be patient and to bear hardship without the intention of getting closer to Allaah The Almighty or believing that this is a Sunnah, then there is nothing wrong with it.
However, one should be careful not to make this a habit where it might be held comparable to the Sunnah or that the laymen might believe that it is a Sunnah and so it would become a religious innovation.
The fact that this exists in the Hindu religion does not necessarily mean that doing it – in the manner which we have mentioned – is imitating them, as here it is a means for a correct purpose and is not done with the intention of worship as the Hindu do.
Allaah Knows best.
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