Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sejarah Ringkas Maulana Muhammad Ilyas RA – The Revivalist of TablighMaulana Muhammad Ilyas RA was born in 1885. His childhood was spent in his maternal grandfather's home in Kandhla, and with his father at Nizamuddin. In India those days, the Kandhla family was the cradle of piety. The ladies used to recite the Qur'an themselves in the Sunnah Nafl prayers as well listen to its Tarawih and other Nafl prayers. standing behind the male relatives The month of Ramadhan, in particular, was the springtime for the Qur'an. It was read for long hours, almost in every home.Like all other children in the family, Maulana Ilyas began his education in the maktab (basic religious school), and, according to the family tradition, learnt the Qur'an by heart. The learning of the Qur'an was so common in the family. that in the one-and-a-half row of worshippers in the family mosque, there was not a single non Hafiz except the Muazzin (tukang azan). From his childhood, there was present in Maulana Muhammad Ilyas a touch of the religious passion and fervent feeling of the blessed Companions RA of Nabi Muhammad SAW. One of his teachers remarked, "when I see Muhammad Ilyas, I am reminded of the Holy Companions RA. Eagerness and enthusiasm for Faith were ingrained in his nature. Even in his early years, sometimes, he did things which were much above the common level of the children.In 1908, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas went to Deoband where he studied Sahih Tirmidhi and Sahih Bukhari. Deoband is the main and most prestigious seat of learning for traditional Sunni Islam in India. In those days too, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were all part of one country.Ardor and eagerness were deeply rooted in him. Together with zikr, spiritual exercises and exertions, Nawafil and Ibadat, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas was, also, infused with the spirit of Jihad. Throughout his life, he was never without it. He concentrated wholly on his studies, and on Zikr, and other forms of worship.In 1910, a large number of men, including most of the senior teachers of the Madrasah of Mazahirul Uluum, Saharanpur (another prestigious madrasah that produce pious scholars) - left for Hajj. It necessitated the recruitment of new teachers for the Madarasah, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas being one of them. He was given the secondary books to teach. On the return of the senior teachers from Hajj, all the new entrants were relieved of their duties, but the services of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas were retained.Maulana Muhammad Ilyas once went to Delhi to look after his sick brother. It was there that his brother died and the burial took place at Nizamuddin, near Delhi. After the burial, people urged upon Maulana Ilyas to take up residence at Nizamuddin in order to fill the void caused by the death of his father and brother, as both of them were Ulama who used to teach people in the area.The resources of the Madrasah were so meager that, some times, they had to starve, but. Maulana Ilyas bore it all with a cheerful heart. Occasionally, he would say plainly, that there was nothing to eat. Whoever wanted to stay' might stay and whoever wanted to go might go and make his arrangement elsewhere. The moral and spiritual training the students were receiving, however, was such that none of them. was willing to leave. Often, they would live on wild fruits. The scholars themselves brought wood from the forest to prepare bread.Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, exclusively, kept himself occupied with prayers and other spiritual exertions. He offered the five daily prayers in congregation, and was very particular about Sunnah, even to its minutest details.Maulana Ilyas would perform Wudhu and offered two Rakaats of solat before commencing the lesson of the Ahadith. He did not talk to anyone, while teaching Ahadith. Maulana Ilyas took keen interest in his pupils and personally taught all the subjects, elementary as well as advanced. Sometimes, he had as many as eighty students directly under his instruction.A small mosque, a shed, a living apartment, a small settlement, and a few Mewati and non-Mewati students that as all that formed the world of the mosque and the Madrasah.The area to the south of Delhi is called Mewat. Its people and race are called Mewatis. In history, Mewatis were very notorious during the early days of the Muslim Kingdom of Delhi. Aided by the long range of thick forests that extended up to Delhi, they used to raid it frequently and had become such a terror that the gates of the capital were shut at sunset.Owing to the negligence of the Muslims religious teachers, the moral arid religious condition of the Mewatis had sunk so low that there was little to distinguish between their beliefs and practices and wholesale apostasy. Even non-Muslim historians have commented at length on their estrangement with Islam, as the following extract will show:"All the Mewatis (Mewatis) are, now, Muslims, but only in name. Their village deities are the same as those of the Hindu landlords, and they celebrate several Hindu festivals. Holi is a season of special rejoicing among the Mewatis and they observe it like their own festivals, such as, Moharrum, 'Id and Shab-i-Barat. The same is the case with Janam Ashtami, Dussehra and Diwali, The Mewatis engage the services of the Brahmins to fix the dates of marriages. They have Hindu names, with the exception of the word 'Ram', and their last name, often, is 'Singh', though not as frequently as 'Khan'. Like Ahirs and Gujars, the Mewatis, too, observe Amawas as a holiday on which they abstain from work….…..Mewatis are, largely, ignorant of their faith, i. e., Islam. Very few of them know the Kalimah,' and fewer still observe Solat regularly. About the hours and rules of Solat, their ignorance is complete. This is the state of the Mewatis of Alwar. In the British territory of Gurgaon, the position is a little better because of the Madrasahs. In some parts of Alwar, also, where the mosques have been built, the religious duties are observed to some extent. A few of them know the Kalimah and offer up Solat and an attachment for the Madrasahs, also, is found among them. As we have seen earlier, the initial ceremonies of marriage are performed by the Brahmins, but the real ceremony (of nikah) is performed by the Qazi. Men wear dhoti and loin-cloth. The pajamas (jubah / kurta) are not worn at all. Their dress, thus, is wholly Hinduised. Even ornaments of gold are worn by men."Contact with the Mewatis was established during the lifetime of Maulana Ilyas's father. It was not a chance occurrence, but an act of destiny that Maulana Muhammad Ismail came to live in Nizamuddin which was the gateway of Mewat, and much before the arrival of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, seeds of loyalty and devotion of his. family had been sown on its soil.Maulana Muhammad Ilyas felt that the only Way to the religious reform and correction of the Mewatis was promotion of religious knowledge and familiarization with the rules and principles of the Shari'ah.His late father, and his brother, had adopted the same method. They used to keep the Mewati children with them and educate them in their Madrasah, and, then, send them back to Mewat to carry on the work of reform and guidance, and what little religious awareness was found there was owing to the efforts of these pioneers.Maulana Muhammad Ilyas went a step ahead and decided to establish Maktabs and Madrasahs in Mewat itself so that the influence of Faith could spread to a wider area and the pace of change was accelerated.Maulana Ilyas knew what was, commonly, meant by inviting a spiritual mentor or his successor to their place by his disciples and admirers, and he was not willing to go to Mewat only to fulfill the formalities of attending the dinner given in his honour, delivering a few sermons and giving good counsel. He wanted to make sure before undertaking the trip, that some real advance would be made, as a result of his visit, towards bringing the Mewatis closer to Islam and improving their moral condition, low, during those days- the setting up of Maktabs and Madrasahs in Mewat appeared to him to be the most effective step in that direction. He had, thus, made it clear that he would accept the invitation only on the condition that they promised to establish Maktabs in their territory.For the Mewatis, however, this was difficult. They considered the establishment of Maktabs was next to impossible for the simple reason that none of them would be sending his children to him because they will be depriving themselves of their children's contribution to the family income as daily wage-earners.Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, accordingly, demanded the fulfillment of the promise. After great persuasion, the beginning was made and the first Maktab was established.Maulana Ilyas used to tell the Mawatis, "Give me the pupils, I will provide the money." The Mewatis who were, mainly, farmers, could not easily reconcile themselves to the position that their children applied themselves to reading and writing and stopped working in the fields or looking after the cattles. It took a lot of tact and perseverance to bring them round to it.Ten Maktabs were opened during that visit. Once the ice was broken, the progress was easy. Sometimes, several Maktabs were opened in a day till, within a few years, hundreds of such schools were functioning in Mewat.Maulana Ilyas had not undertaken the service of Faith as a "national cause", the burden of providing the funds for which fell wholly upon the nation or the community, but as a personal affair and felt no hesitation in spending all he had on it. He believed that a person should perform a religious task as his own and expend his time and money freely in its way.Once a person presented a purse to him with the request that he used it, exclusively, for his own needs. Maulana Ilyas replied, "If we do not regard Allah's work our own, how can we claim to be His bondmen ?" With a sigh, he added, "Alas! We are not true appreciators of the Noble Prophet (SAW). We do not know his (SAW) true worth."This was Maulana Ilyas's rule of life. First of all, he spent from his own pocket on the religious endeavour he had launched in Mewat, and, then, alone, would accept help from others.Due to Maulana Muhammad Ilyas RA's sincerity and hard work the work of Tabligh began to spread and Jamaats started to visit all parts of the sub-continent within his life time. Hazrat Maulana Syed Suleiman Nadwi RA remarks, " Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas RA with his simplicity and dedication to the correct principles of Da'wah (invitation) quietly turned the Mewatis into sincere and pious Muslims over a twenty five years and made them the envy of even the Muslims belonging to traditional religious families.His hard work bore fruit in his life and he raised thousands of dedicated Muslims who continued on the path of Da'wah even after his passing away. Finally the humble, physically weak and thin Maulana passed away in 1324 Hijrah leaving behind not one or two but thousands to take up his cause and continue on the path of reformation

Friday, April 4, 2008


The Tablighi Jamaat was founded in the late 1920s by Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Kandhalawi in the Mewat province of India. The inspiration for devoting his life to Islam came to Ilyas during his second pilgrimage to the Hijaz in 1926. Maulana Ilyas put forward the slogan, ‘Aye Musalmano! Musalman bano’ (in Hindi / Urdu) which translates 'O Muslims! Become Muslims' (in English). It is not an officially recognised group or association but a movement for Muslims to become practising Muslims.
With the ascent of Maulana Yusuf, Ilyas’ son, as its second emir (leader), the group began to expand activities in 1946, and within two decades the group reached Southwest and Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Initially it expanded its reach to South Asian diaspora communities, first in Arab countries then in Southeast Asia. Once established, the Tablighi Jamaat began engaging local populations as well. Although the Movement first established itself in the United States, Britain is the current focus of the Movement in the West, primarily due to the large South Asian population that began to arrive there in the 1960s and 1970s.
As early as 1978, the World Muslim League of Saudi Arabia which is a Salafi/Wahabi Organization subsidised the building of the Tablighi mosque in Dewsbury, England, which has since become the European headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat. Ameer or Zimmadar are titles of leadership in the movement. The first Ameer, also the founder, was Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Kandhalawi (Maulana Ilyas) (1885-1944). The second was his son Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Kandhalawi. The third one was Maulana Inaam ul Hasan. Now there is a shura which includes two leaders: Maulana Zubair ul Hasan and Maulana Saad Kandhalawi. In Pakistan the duties of the Ameer are being served by Haji Abdulwahab. Maulana Muhammad Zakariya al-Kandahlawi is also among the prestigious personalities of the jamaat, as he compiled the famous book Fazail-e-Amal.


‘Aye Musalmano! Musalman bano’

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wahai saudara,

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