Many of the famous contemporaries of Mohamed Ilyas, though engaged in other spheres of religious activities, either support him or are like-minded men who mislead the Muslim masses similarly, with their own methods.  
  • Ali Miyaan nadvi / Daarul Iftaa, Nadwathul Ulama, Lucknow
  • Thanavi.
  • Abdul Kareem Parekh.
  • Late Abul Hasan Ali (Miyaan) Nadvi :

    ( Chief administrator of Nadwathul Ulama Lucknow and
    President of All-India Muslim Personal Law Board. )

    The July '99 issue of "Al-Furqaan", Lucknow, published a speech of the late Ali Miyaan Nadvi, which he made in the Tableegh Jamaa'ath congregation on 13th June 99.

    The speech deals with the subject of "The position of distinction of Muslims", based on verse of 8:29 of Qur-aan. (Whether Allaah is referring to "position of distinction" in this verse when he says "yaj'al lakum furqaana" is another matter.) In the first three pages, the speech details as to how, by adopting Taqwa (cautiousness), the early muslims acquired a position of distinction and how Islaam spread rapidly in whichever land the musims migrated to. The speech also exhorts the audience to enter into Islaam fully and regain that position of distinction. So far, so good. At the end of his speech, however, he brings in an unconnected subject when he says:

    " I do not find it necessary to say anything more. Much would have been said about the principles of the Tableegh Jamaa'ath and whatever is left, it will be said, too. I have also learned from there alone. And you too will learn from there alone. But one thing I say to you, to make a resolution when you go, that now there will be a distinction in your life. "

    What ?!!! Did he learn from there (the Tableegh Jamaa'ath) alone?  And we all have to learn from there alone ? In order to acquire that "position of distinction"? If this is true, then where did the early muslims learn from, in order to acquire that "position of distinction"? Any layman from the muslims will be able to tell you. And certainly we do not need to learn from people who concoct and fake dreams in order to make innovations in the deen of Allaah.

    Nadwathul Ulama, Lucknow :

    A question was put to the enquiry (iftaa) department of his Nadwathul Ulama university as under in Feb. '99. :

    " What do the learned men of deen say about the following question:
    The work that is going on from the 'banglay waali' mosque, Delhi, named as "Tableeghi Jamaa'ath" ; whether this work is correct or not. Please give complete and substantiated answer in the light of Qur'aan and Hadith. "

    Their answer to this question under reference No. 11697 is given below :

    " Whatever method is adopted for the propagation of or call towards deen, it is correct ; let it be from any place, in any form, and the name of that movement could be Jamaa'ath-e-Islaami or Jamaa'ath-e-Tableeghi or Jamaa'ath-e-Islaahi or Jamaa'ath of guidance, howsoever named. "

    The answer is signed by two officials of the enquiry department of the university.

    It is amazing as to how cleverly the main issue has been skipped in this answer.

    The words of the question are : whether this work is correct or not. ( Only in order to indentify which work, the name of the movement and place of its headquarters is mentioned.)

    Its name could be anything and it can be carried on from any place and any method could be adopted, says the answer. As you could see from the translation of the question above, the propriety of the name or place was not at all questioned.
    The question asks :

    Please give
    a) complete and substantiated answer
    b) in the light of Qur-aan and Hadith.

    The answer doesn't refer to either Qur-aan and Hadith. An answer drafted by one official and attested by another official is good enough, it seems. And how is one permitted to adopt whatever method for the propagation of the deen, is another incomprehensible matter in this reply.

    Thanavi :

    In the Urdu book titled "The favorite anecdotes of Hazrath Thanavi", the following is narrated :

    It is harmful for the public (common man) to see the translation of Qur-aan:
    I met an elderly man who was regular in his nightly worship and zikr, but was misguided on seeing the translation of Qur-aan. He said to me : "When I recite Qur-aan, should I skip 'RAA-INA', for the reason that Allaah says : (Arabic Aaya :) 'Oh believers ! do not say Raa-ina.' So should I not say Raa-ina at the time of reciting? I said: do not omit Raa-ina but from today onwards stop seeing the translation because you do not have the ability to understand.

    In this verse of Qur-aan, (2:104) After telling the believers not to say Raa-ina, Allaah tells us to say 'Unzwurna'. Both the words mean : 'look to us', an expression meant to draw attention.

    The background of this instruction is simple : In the assembly of prophet Muhammad, the non-believers, with a slight distortion to the word Raa-ina, used to utter a similar word with an undesirable meaning. So Allaah instructed believers to use the word 'Unzwurna' instead of Raa-ina. He commands: "Oh believers ! do not say Raa-ina and say: Unzwurna." , so that there is no room for misuse or misunderstanding.

    We should note that the man asking the question to Thanavi Sahib has not started acting on his defective understanding but is asking this learned man what he should do : whether he should stop reciting the word ? Instead of giving this simple explanation, the learned man is just waiting for the smallest opportunity to block the understanding of Qur-aan and asks the enquirer to stop seeing the translation.

    Such misguidance by the learned men not only stops with the one man who enquired. This incident is further narrated before an audience and then also published in the book with a glaring heading which proclaims : "It is harmful for the public to see the translation of Qur-aan."

    In another narration in the same book (page 248, 249) a man raises a question about the procedure for ablution, as a result of his inability to understand properly a Qur-aanic verse, due to lack of clarity in the translation. At the end of this narration the learned man reprimands the enquirer with the words : "Be warned ! lest you should ever see the translation again. Just recite the Qur-aan and never see the translation."

    Abdul Kareem Parekh :

    I have heard Abdul Kareem Parekh Sahib (of Nagpur) speak on many occasions in the Periamet Mosque in Chennai and also address Friday congregations there. The speeches I heard from him were all forthright and would cover concisely many facets of a Muslim's obligations.

    However, the monthly "Deen-e-Mubeen" of Bhopal, in its August 1999 issue, published an extract of the speech made by Abdul Kareem Parekh Sahib, on the topic of four nikaahs allowed for Muslim men. The venue was Vigyan Bhavan, Delhi, the dates were 26th and 27th September 1998 and the meeting was presided over by the president of India.

    Let us see what Abdul Kareem Sahib has to say on the subject of four nikaahs :

    The four marriages are not obligatory, but optional, which depends upon personal needs. Man is bound by his natural needs ; Qur-aan has, in view of this natural need, imposed additional condition of equality : " fa in khiftum alla ta'diloo fa waahida " : " If you fear that you cannot do justice (between more wives), then (restrict to) one. "

    Abdul Kareem Sahib has quoted just a part of the verse, which conditionally speaks about one wife, suppressing the earlier portions from it, which speak about more than one wife.

    I quote below the entire verse : (4 : 3)

    " If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, 
    then marry women of your choice, 
    two, or three, or four; 
    but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), 
    then one, 
    or (captives) that your right hands possess. 
    That will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice. "


    On the question of the number of wives, what the Qur-aan says is quoted above entirely. There are no more ifs and buts. However, Abdul Kareem Parekh gives a long list of circumstances which necessitate taking a second wife and in which taking a second wife is helpful. Let me enumerate them :

    " Someone married a woman ; becomes 54 years old, the wife develops leprosy, gets cancer, becomes mad, developes irregularities in menstrual period ; now, how can he use her body. Either he kills that woman or divorces her ; then, who will be prepared to marry such divorced woman. Therefore, Islaam allows the man to contract a second marriage, keeping the status of the (first) woman as his wife. "

  • That is the first set of circumstances, which the learned man gives, to justify a second marriage.
  • The second reason says that the woman who is taken as the second wife will also be benefitted, as she might be a divorcee, or may not be good-looking and, therefore, not getting a good proposal for years. So what is lost if they are tied into a pure alliance, i.e., nikaah.
  • The third reason : the woman, the first wife, may be issue-less.
  • The fourth reason : Men of certain geographical areas and certain races have more strength ; during the menstruation or other illness of his wife, should he resort to unethical acts or relationships ?
  • The fifth reason : It is not only among Muslims, but in certain Hindu clans it is a practice to have upto six wives.
  • The sixth, seventh and eight reasons quote wars, in which men in huge numbers are killed, leaving behind their wives. This poses a problem not only for the war-widows but also for the unmarried girls, due to a shortage of men caused by the imbalance in the ratio. 
  • Of the many problematic circumstances cited above, a second marrige relieves some problems of men, some problems of women and some problems common to them. But Allaah has not made His direction to take more than one wife, conditional upon any of the above circumstances. In fact, restricting oneself to one wife has been made conditional that if, I repeat, if, one fears that he cannot do justice between wives, then he is permitted to have one wife ; otherwise, the standing direction is to have two and three and four wives.

    In another verse ( 4 :129 ) , Allaah has clarified about the fear of doing injustice among wives. Allaah says that how ever much you would crave to do justice between wives, you will not be able to do it. What is required of us is that we do not lean totally towards one as to leave another in suspense ; and if we reform (that is keep up our endeavor to do justice) and fear (Allaah), indeed Allaah is forgiving and merciful.

    To conclude : It is Allaah's prerogative to command what he wills, permitting certain things and prohibiting certain other things. It is possible that we may recognize some of the logic for those directions and the benefits that arise in different circumstances. If we have to mention them, we should take care that those circumstances are not misunderstood by the audience as preconditions for carrying out the command of Allaah.

    Also, we should not be evasive and need not be apologetic about Allaah's commands, even though those who have not submitted to the will of Allaah, i.e., the non-Muslims, may consider those commands as uncivilized, illogical or unfashionable.

    Allaah says in two verses of Qur'aan (2:216 and 4:19) that may be you dislike a thing and Allaah has kept benefit in it.

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