In the first place, we would like to emphasize that Muslims should beware of all routes and channels that may lead to differences and conflicts among them. Muslims should abide by the Qur’an and Sunnah, keeping in mind that they are the assured means of salvation both in this world and in the Hereafter. Referring to this, Allah says what means: (And hold fast, all of you together, by the covenant of Allah and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided.) (Al `Imran: 103)

 Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh, a prominent Azhararite scholar states that: “The Tabligh group is one of the current Islamic groups that call to Islam. Members of this group are of good intentions and morals. The group plays an important role in some places where its members educate and invite people to Prayer and Islamic teachings. They travel throughout different countries with the intention of calling people to Islam.

However, members of this group have some shortcomings. They, for example, believe in the obligation of traveling abroad for the sake of da`wah (calling people to Islam), heedless of leaving their jobs and families. Also, they lay a great emphasis on a certain form of dress, which may seem improper in some countries or cultures, while neglecting fundamental issues in order to be safe from confrontation with the different authorities and powers.”

Moreover, Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, professor of Fiqh and Its Principles, International Islamic University, Malaysia, adds: “May Allah Almighty bless everyone who works for the sake of Islam regardless the titles and organizations. Surely, the Tabligh group has been contributing a lot to the propagation of Islam around the world. May Allah bless them.

Yet, as any group, they do have weaknesses and strengths, and nobody can claim any group is perfect. Saying that, I shall point out they need to improve and re-evaluate their methods of da`wah. In other words, they have to develop their mechanism and methods to be at the level of challenges to Islam nowadays, especially in terms of spreading and propagating Islam in the Western world.
I am confident that with moderation and realistic approach they can gain much ground in many places in the world.

Furthermore, it is evident that da`wah nowadays badly needs new approaches and methods. Therefore, our beloved brothers in the Tabligh group should try to be realistic in this context. For instance, many of their opinions about women’ s participation in da`wah activities should be reviewed and corrected in the light of the Divine sources, which call upon all Muslims, men as well as women, to be involved in da`wah.

Having stated the above, I can conclude by saying that there are many wonderful and great jobs done by this group in this era of materialism. May Allah bless all devoted and hard-working Muslim brothers and sisters for the sake of Islam.”

As to the concept of traveling and leaving one’s responsibilities, we cite for you the following:

“Men and women do not have to go with the Tabligh group and it is not obligatory. Each Muslim, within his or her own community, may invite people to Islam and teach others. The Tabligh group started in Pakistan with the sole purpose of reminding people to love their religion and abide by it. Their usual approach is simplicity, and they emphasize going out of their homes and countries to invite people to the religion as Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) did, and to teach care and morals.

Generally speaking, they don’t get involved in any political or economic activities related to Islam.

Moreover, the propagation of Islam is the duty of all Muslims. The name “Tabligh” means conveying the message of Islam. Hence, the idea of this organization is sound. To go from one place to another in order to explain Islam to people and to call on Muslims to be more conscious in the fulfillment of their Islamic duties is commendable. However, leaving such activity to be done by only some people leaves much to be desired. The system followed by the Tabligh is to ask its members to devote a certain portion of their time to the propagation of Islam. A member is expected to devote one hour a day, or one day a week, or one week every month or two, or one month a year, when he would go out and call on people to attend more conscientiously to their Islamic duties. At times, some missions spend four months with the sole purpose of conveying Allah’s message. Members who go out on these missions are supposed to pay for their transport and their living expenses. Members who are well off can support those who are not, when the latter intend to go on a mission.

The strongest emphasis is based on Prayers because the Tabligh believes that when a Muslim attends regularly to his Prayers, he is set on the way to be a better Muslim and his Prayers will have a positive effect on his behavior, making him a better person. All this is sound in theory; when people take an active part in the propagation of Islam, they feel that they themselves must be more diligent in observing their Islamic duties. It is true that, after completing a task in the service of Islam, some people may think that they have done their duty. They may become a little lax in their observance of Islamic duties or in their efforts to improve their own understanding of Islam and work better for it.

What is important is to follow a successful mission with actions that are calculated to enhance one’s commitment to the cause of Islam and to make the next mission even more successful. Furthermore, important as it is to remind Muslims that they must attend regularly to their Prayers, it is not sufficient. People must learn what while Prayer is the cornerstone of Islam, building an Islamic community requires much more than a cornerstone. Going on an extended mission of four months or so raises a few questions.

It may be that the leaders of the Tabligh have made it clear it their guidelines that anyone who wants to go on such a mission must meet certain conditions, such as having acquired a minimum standard of understanding Islam, having provided well for his family during his absence, and not allowing equally or more important duties to be neglected during his absence. Take, for example, a man who has a young family, with two or three children still at school and a young wife. He may leave his wife enough money to look after the family for the whole period of his absence, and he may ask a close relative, such as a brother, to look after his family. But we do not think that such a prolonged absence in such case is justified, especially when we consider the fact that there is much to be done within the local Muslim community. The man will render a better service to Islam if he concentrates his efforts on bringing up his children as good Muslims and using his spare time to help his local Muslim community understand Islam better. An example of misuse of this system is found in the fact that some people who live in Europe may take themselves out of work, register with the state as unemployed and draw social security benefits for their families to live on while they go abroad, or even travel within the same country, on their propagation work. Such an arrangement cannot be approved by Islam. We are certain that the leaders of Tabligh would not approve of it either. Still it is done.”