Ahead of the Tablighi Jamaat’s annual congregation in Raiwind near Lahore — one of the largest congregations of Islamic world attended by at least one and half million Muslims — there has been a day-long meeting of at least 50 former officers of Pakistan’s armed forces in Raiwind to discuss the future agenda of the rapidly-expanding movement.
Though party sympathizers term the meeting as ‘routine’, insiders claim these retired officers had travelled from across the country to attend this special meeting of “Halqa-e-Khawas” (group of special people) and were well-taken care of and hosted by the Ameer of TJ, Maulana Abdul Wahab. It may be interesting to note that Maulana Abdul Wahab is no seminary student but an ordinary landlord.
The annual congregation of TJ, which is considered a non-resistant and non-political Islamic revivalist movement, is scheduled from Nov 5-8, 2009.
The meeting, convened under the driving force of this group in Pakistan armed forces, Lt Gen (r) Javed Nasir, former director general Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was attended by at least 50 former high-rank officers of the military including many generals, brigadiers and admirals and even top police officers etc. Apart from Lt Gen (r) Nasir, there were Lt Gen (r) Agha Masood Hasan, former naval chief Admiral (r) Karamat Rehman Niazi, Lt Gen (r) Aftab Ahmed and others.
The objective of this meeting was to discuss the possibility of politicizing its agenda. Many retired army officers were convinced that the TJ now should have a political manifesto. Maulana Abdul Wahab, the head of TJ, reportedly related the first phase of the party to Prophet Muhammad’s time in Mecca where he tolerated all violence and criticism by infidels and patiently focused on preaching Islam. Maulana Abdul Wahab, who believes that one day the rule of Allah must be set up in the world, however, asked these retired army men that being the main force of this party, they should start planning about the direction this gathering of millions gathering should take.
“There are thousands of serving army men who have joined this party and no force disallows the soldiers from practicing their religion,” said a former army officers who was privy to this particular meeting. “If you want to know the depth of this party, you have to jump into it.”
The Jamaat is extending its influence throughout the world, especially South Asia. In Pakistan it has impressed people from all walks of life including soldiers, rulers, political leaders, scientists, businessmen, sportsman, showbiz people, singers, doctors, engineers, students and many other important professions.
TJ has a loose structure and a non-charismatic leadership. The leadership is so non-charismatic that the party has no official name. The name “Tablighi Jamaat” has been publicly adopted following their motives and the way their groups have been preaching street to street.
Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Kandhalawi [1885-1944], a student of Dar-ul-Aloom Deoband conceived this unmanned group, which later emerged as Tablighi Jamaat in Mewat (India) in mid-1920s. After completing his education at Deoband, Maulana Ilyas took up a teaching position at seminary Mazaharul Uloom in Saharanpur. He also prepared a team of young madrassa graduates from Deoband and Saharanpur and sent them to Mewat to establish a network of mosques and Islamic schools throughout the region.
According to historical accounts, the first Tablighi conference held in November 1941 in Mewat was attended by 25,000 people. Many of them had walked on foot for ten to fifteen miles to attend the congregation.
In Pakistan, the family of political leaders like Nawaz Sharif are also great sponsors of Tablighi Jamaat. Mian Sharif, his father, is believed to be a prominent member and financier. He also managed to make his Tablighi friend Muhammad Rafiq Tarar president of Pakistan when Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister. In 1995, the military officers who hatched a conspiracy against the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto were associated with Tablighi Jamaat. A coup was thwarted against many high-ranking military officers and civilians, all of whom were members of the Tablighi Jamaat.
An investigative report published in The News on Feb 13, 1995 discussed the connection between the Tablighi Jamaat and Harakat ul-Mujahideen, founded in 1980 and “their clandestine role in supporting Islamic extremist movements in different countries.”
Westerns press reports term this Jamaat as having a great potential for jihad. After more than 80 years of this ‘quiet revolution’, voices have started rising that this Jamaat should do more to purge the world of infidelity, predicting another storm.
The Mysterious Activities of Tablighi Jamaat in Balochistan.
After reading the Background and Intentions of the TJ, if one analyzes their activities in Baloch, the agenda reveals many conspiracies in form of Preaching of Islam during a period when Baloch Nation is at war. We find a sudden increase in the TJ activities in Balochistan, specifically in areas where the resistance movement is stronger and the Baloch Resistance Fighters got more sympathizers. Every year only one Tabligi Ijtimah is organized in Each Province of Pakistan that is one in Sindh, One in Punjab and one in Kyber Pakthunkwa, but in Baloch the number exceeds dozens. It’s strange that the Pashtoon Parts of Balochistan is completely neglected when venue for the Ijthimah is selected. Some parts of Balochistan where the notorious act of killing women, burying them alive and worshiping the graves is common like Naseerabad, Jaffarabad etc we never see these Tabligi Jummat people arranging Ijthimahs or other events. All events are organized in the areas where Baloch resistance is higher and where raising the flag of Pakistan is not possible due to the sentiments of the Baloch People.
May be the TJ administrators consider the Balochs as Infidals and Non muslims specifically those who are fighting for the independence of Balochistan from Punjabi occupation.
In April 2009 when Shaheed Ghulam Muhammad Baloch and his companions were martyred by the Pakistani army in Kech Makuran after kidnapping them from their lawyers office in front of dozens of witnesses. Violent protests started throughout Balochistan, and suddenly Mr Tariq Jameel started a long Tabligi Campaign in the most disturbed areas of Balochistan, where he declared the Punjabi murderers as oppressed and the murdered Balochs as the oppressors, and he preached the love for the slavery Punjab rather than love for Islamic teachings and Values.
Religion depends on one’s personal believes and faith and should not be associated with politics. Indulging religion with politics creates catastrophic effects, we have examples like the Indo-Pakistan Partitiion which resulted in the massacre of hundreds and thousands of innocent human beings (both hindus and muslims), similar results we saw in World War 2 when Hitler ordered the genocide of Jews. The history is full of such incidents when religion was used as a tool to oppress others and Tabligi Jummat is no Exception that Punjab is using this as a tool to suppress Baloch Nation.