Questions about Tablighi Jama'ah and other issues
Fatwa No: 87957

  • Fatwa Date:1-7-2004 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 14, 1425
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Question

I have a few questions pertaining to Tablighi Jama'ah. 1) I have spent 40 days once and 3 days a few times. Most brothers in "the effort" are Indo/Paki and they hold tight to cultural things. I am American and I do not think it is permissible for me to take sub-continental cultural practices and adhere to them. I also do not have much knowledge so to always sort out what is Sunnah from what is just an Indo/Pak thing that is not always easy to do. Do you have some advise in this regard? 2) People say that this effort in fard(obligation) I do not understand how it can be as it originated with Ml. Ilays (ra). Is it a permissible Bid'ah, the Jama'ah program? 3) On Tabligh tours often people choose to do the work of their Jamah at times when another Sunnah is confirmed for example it is Sunnah to make dhikr after Fajr but Jama'ah people have talk, shura until no time for dhikr is left. Why replace confirmed Sunnah with amal of the work? 4) Jama'ah is always traveling Friday mornings when some Ulama consider it Haram to travel. Also eating meat and onion gravy in the Masjid which is offensive to locals and getting mad when locals object to this. These things make going less appealing, how can someone whose words do not carry much weight with Tabligh elders continue doing work when Jama'ah does makruh if not Haram things? 5) Jama'ah people say that to practice complete Din (religion) people have to do this work, what about before Ml. Ilyas? 6) Jama'ah people do not teach Shariah much on tour which end with people doing what is opposed to fiqhi rulings. I am not an Aalim so to censure them I possibly would be wrong but they neglect at times certain fiqhi matters and expect every one else to follow suit, I am uncomfortable with this any advise? 7) I do not follow Hanafi and the majority of workers are Hanafi they censure people of other Madhabs and declare it not permissible to do things like combine Salah and trim the beard. This I know is not right how can non- Hanafis deal with the Hanafi practices?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

          1. We advise you to study the rulings of the religion of Allah so that you can distinguish between what is right and what is wrong.

Islamic jurisprudence urges people to seek knowledge and makes it obligatory upon every Muslim (male and female) to learn it.

Ibn Majah reported that Anas Ibn Malik, (may Allah be pleased with him), narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim (male and female)."

Moreover, Al-Thirmidhi reported that Sakhbara narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Whoever seeks knowledge, it is an expiation for this previous sins."

Furthermore, Ibn Majah, Ahmed and Al-Darimi narrated that Safwan said reporting from Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam): "There is no person who goes out of his house to seek knowledge, except that the angels spread their wings to express their appreciation of what he is doing."

          2. Before answering your question, I want to inform you that Bid'ah (innovation) in religious meaning is not permissible. Any innovation is a misguidance, as the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) informed us as he said: "… and the worst of the matters are innovations (Bid'ah) in religion, and every innovation is a misguidance…" reported by Muslim and others.

As regards whether going out is a Wajib (obligation) or a Bid'ah (innovation), our answer is that going out for the purpose of Dawah (calling towards Allah), and calling to Allah is a communal obligation, but calling to Allah can be done without going out. Going out for Dawah in itself is not a Bid'ah, but people could perform acts of Bid'ah while going out, and this differs according to individuals.

1.     It is not permissible for a Muslim to neglect the Sunnah and do something else instead of it. However, the example that you have mentioned does not apply to this. In fact the purpose of the consultation is to organize the activities of Dawah, hence this is permissible. The time of the morning remembrance extends until the sun nears the meridian, according to some of the people of knowledge. And there is no doubt that the duration of consultation does not extend to time the sun reaches its meridian.

2.     The people of knowledge differed about traveling on Friday morning whether it is forbidden, dislikeable or permissible. As regards a person who knows that he will not miss Friday prayer, then it is not forbidden for him to travel. Khaleel said: "It is dislikeable to travel after Fajr, but it is allowed to travel before Fajr, and it becomes forbidden (to travel) when the sun is at its meridian."

Besides, Al- Dardiri said: "It is not permissible for him to travel on Friday except if he knows that he will arrive on time for Friday prayer in a town on his way, and unless he fears for himself or his wealth if he travels alone, if the people of his company leave him behind (as in this case it is permissible for him to travel)."

With regard to smelly meat, if one fears that it will harm his health, then it is not permissible to eat it, but if it does not harm him, it is not forbidden.

However, it is not permissible to do in the mosque what could harm other people, like cooking and the like.

You have to know that if one knows that any group does what is forbidden, it is not permissible for him to participate with them in their activities or go out with them, if he cannot prevent them from doing what is forbidden.

3.     This question should be asked to those who say such things.

4.     The person should learn what is required for him to know about the rulings of his religion; we answered this in the first response above.

5.     A person is not obliged to follow a school of thought of one of the scholars. One should follow the guidance of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and the methodology of Ahl Al-Sunnah Wal-Jama'ah, and should imitate our pious predecessors.

It is confirmed in the Sunnah that it is permissible to join Dhuhr and Asr, Maghrib and Isha, while traveling.

As regards trimming the beard, this is a matter of difference of opinion among the scholars. The correct opinion is that it is dislikable to trim what is beyond the length of a handful.

Allah knows best.

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