Another baseless argument tendered for the permissibility of women’s tableegh journeys is the Hadith: “Verily, you (women) have been granted permission to emerge (from your homes) for your needs.” On the basis of this Hadith the Tableeghi Molvis contend that it is permissible for women to undertake journeys through the minefields of fitnah and immorality to execute tasks which the Shariah has not at all imposed on them. Tableegh to the masses in distant places which necessitate journeys is definitely not among haajatikunna (your needs) mentioned in the aforementioned Hadith. The circumstance which evoked the aforementioned permission to emerge for needs, was the need to answer the call of nature. In those days, there were no toilets inside the homes. Even females, were constrained to go to remote spots to relieve themselves. The law of Hijaab created a dilemma due to misunderstanding, hence Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) explained to his wife, Hadhrat Saudah (radhiyallahu anha) that since answering the call of nature is a dire need, emerging from the house to fulfil this haajat is permissible. It is preposterous to claim that tableegh by women to the masses is among their needs. This is not a haajat which permits them to leave their homes and expose themselves to all and sundry. Even Nafl Hajj for women during the times of peace and absence of fitnah, was frowned on. It is abnormal for women to embark on a journey for even Nafl Umrah. One Mufti Sahib conditions the permissibility with: “Provided there is no fear of fitnah.” One has to be either a moron or a deliberate liar to contend that this age in which we happen to be is without fitnah, and that there is no fitnah along the journey for women. All the Fuqaha of the early times as well as all our Akaabir Ulama of recent times prohibit women from attending even Walimah feasts on the basis of the presence of fitnah. They are not permitted to go to the Musjid because of the element of fitnah. Yet, the Tabeeigh Molvis wish everyone to blindly believe that there is no fitbah for women in the journeys they undertake for a task which the Shariah had never envisaged for them. Another act which they abortively force into the scope of ‘needs’ is the exceptional presence of a couple of ladies in Jihad campaigns during the age of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The logic which brings such female participation in Jihad within the scope of Haajat is indeed pathetically baseless and lamentable. Neither were females called to participate in Jihad nor were they granted permission. Some husbands on their own accord took with them their wives. There was no mass khurooj of females to participate in Jihad in the manner of the mass khurooj of women in this era for Tableegh journeys. There was no female brigade or nursing group to accompany the mujaahideen. The impression created by the promoters of female khurooj is extremely deceptive. Instead of permission, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) reprimanded them and expressly forbade women from participating in Jihad. The following Hadith knocks out the bottom of the women in jihad argument and is in fact the last nail in the coffin of the spurious arguments of the promoters of women’s khurooj. Hadhrat Umme Kabshah (radhiyallahu anha) narrated: “A woman of the tribe of Israh Bani Qadha-ah requested Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): ‘O Rasulullah! Do you permit me to participate in that army?’ Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) refused to grant her permission. The woman then said: ‘O Rasulullah! My intention is not Jihad. My motive is to tend to the wounded and sick and give them water to drink.’ Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) responded: “If it was not for the fear of women’s participation in Jihad becoming a Sunnat, and people (in the future) saying that a certain female (Sahaabiyah) went in Jihad, I would have given you permission. But, you remain behind (at home).” How can Ulama be so dishonest to deliberately cast a blind eye on this explicit command of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) prohibiting women from participating in Jihad? With what conscience do they contend that Jihad is among the ‘needs’ for which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) granted females permission to emerge from their homes? For hallucinated ‘benefits’ they brazenly and blatantly deny the explicit prohibition on female khurooj and participation in Jihad announced by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that the argument of Jihad for women to justify Tableegh journeys for them, is satanically inspired, hence it has become so simple to ignore the unambiguous prohibition. Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) narrates: “I sought permission from Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) (for participating) in Jihad. Then he said: ‘The Jihad of you women is Hajj.” On another occasion, Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha), again seeking permission, said to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): “Why should we (women) not wage Jihad with you, for verily I do not see in the Qur’aan any act superior to Jihad?’ Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Verily, for you (women) the best Jihad is Hajj of Baitullah-Hajj-e-Mabroor.” The Tableegh Jamaat has a penchant to apply the Qur’aanic aayaat and Ahaadith which deal specifically with Jihad, to their specific Tableegh methodology. The virtues, importance and significance of Jihad are extended to the specific Tableegh activities of the Jamaat. This is permissible since the Qur’aanic verses have a general application despite the revelation being occasioned by specific circumstances. There is nothing wrong in this. However, it is improper to be baselessly selective and ignore certain Jihad verses and adopt others on the basis of which capital can be extracted for the specific methodology of the Tableegh Jamaat. In terms of the Tableegh Jamaat penchant mentioned above, honesty demands that Rasulullah’s proscription of female participation in Jihad should likewise be applied to female participation in Tableegh journeys. It is furthermore, incongruent to present the isolated cases of female participation in Jihad to scuttle the teaching and spirit of the Qur’aan and Sunnah on the issue of female khurooj and participation in Jihad and Tableegh journeys. Rasulullah’s categorical statements of prohibition may not be rescinded or abrogated by the isolated examples of women in Jihad. There was no organized women’s jihad jamaat as there is an organized mass ladies tableegh jamaat in this age.
THE CURSE OF RASULULLAH (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
Females who emulate males have been cursed by Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Regardless of the area of the emulation, be it in deeds of virtue, imitation of males is haraam. Even their Salaat is distinct from the Salaat of males. In this regard, Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Allah has cursed men who emulate women, and women who emulate men.’ A woman equipped with a bow around her neck passed by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He said: ‘Allah curses those women who emulate men and those men who emulate women.”
This Hadith strongly prohibits female participation in Jihad, and the prohibition is logically and in terms of the Tableegh Jamaat penchant extended to Tableegh. Even to bear arms in the way men do is forbidden for them. By the same token, tableegh in the style of men is forbidden for women. Khurooj and Safar are exclusive for men. Women have no share in these male activities. Their khurooj is permissible only for genuine need. Their needs are specified by the Shariah. Undertaking journeys for the sake of tableegh to the masses is not among their needs, hence not permissible. The Nusoos prohibiting women from khurooj even for ibaadat and jihad are numerous. It is baseless and not permissible to ignore them on the basis of the ‘benefits’ perceived nowadays in their khurooj and safar.
THE ARGUMENT OF THE LESSER EVILS
The Mufti Sahib has also attempted to justify female journeys for tableegh on the basis of the Fiqhi principle of Ahwanul baliyatain (the lesser of the two evils). This argument too is spurious. This principle applies only when there is no third lawful alternative. When all lawful options are closed, and one is faced with two evils from which escape is impossible, only then may this principle be invoked. If a starving man is able to find somewhere some halaal food, he may not invoke the principle of the lesser evils to consume haraam meat or pork. The basics of the Deen can be acquired from numerous simple books, and from females in the immediate locality, and also from their husbands and fathers. If women are willing to learn, they can arrange in their locality to be taught. It is therefore not permissible for them to perpetrate the haraam acts of unnecessary khurooj and safar on the basis of the principle of the lesser of the two evils.
MEN AND WOMEN –
THE DIFFERENCE IN THEIR PARTICIPATION
The Mufti Sahib, arguing in favour of women’s tableegh journeys, says:
“It is also important to note that when Hadhrat Moulana Ilyas Saheb Rahmatullah, commenced this noble work of Tabligh, there were reservations from some Muftis who did not understand and see the work of Tabligh from within. As the effort of Tabligh became widespread and Ulama and Muftis observed the work closely and from within, they supported the work including the Mastooraat Jamaat.”
The initial hesitation of the Ulama regarding the Tableegh Jamaat is standard attitude and procedure in the department of Ifta’. This caution was not restricted for the Tableegh Jamaat. It applies to every new development. The Tableegh Jamaat was a totally new development whose methodology has no precedent in Islamic history. The hesitation and caution were therefore simply necessary. A variety of factors has to be investigated and ascertained before a fatwa could be issued.
This initial caution cannot be extended to Makshufaat jamaat. There is no need to infiltrate the Makshufaat jamaat to ascertain its position and reality. Regardless of the perceived benefits, its reality is in conflict with the Shariah, hence numerous Ulama are opposed to it. The opposition to the Makshufaat jamaat is not the effect of remaining ‘without’ nor is there a need to participate and journey with one’s wife to ascertain what the Makshufaat jamaat is. There is no conundrum in the Makshufaat jamaat. It is a development simply in conflict with the Shariah whereas there was no conflict with the Shariah in the males wing of the Tableegh Jamaat. Whilst some ghulu’ has crept into the Tableegh Jamaat in this age, it did not exist in the early days of the Jamaat. All movements veer from the Haqq with the passage of time.
It is essential that the elders of the Tableegh Jamaat take stock, assess the situation and ensure that the Jamaat does not veer rudderless widely off the mark of Siraatul Mustaqeem. It will indeed be a sad day when bid’ah takes over the Jamaat. Bid’ah is the natural consequence of ghulu’. Everything has limits. The Qur’aan states: “These are the limits of Allah. Whoever transgresses the limits, verily he has oppressed his own soul.” The enemies of the Haqq, especially the Barelwi Qabar Pujaaris, are praying for the deflection and demise of the Tableegh Jamaat. The Jamaat will be ignoring the sagacious advice and admonition of the Ulama-e-Haqq at the peril of selfimmolation.
We are not the enemies of the Tableegh Jamaat. We are of the same spiritual and academic roots. We are in conformity with the Jamaat’s methodology. But we emphatically reject the idea that the methodology of the Jamaat is the sole and exclusive method of Tableegh. The Jamaat’s method is one of the Mubah (permissible) methods of Tableegh which is a multifaceted institution of Islam. Extremists in the Jamaat should divest themselves of the haraam attitude that the Tableegh Jamaat methodology is Fardh-e-Ain and that only its method is the valid method of Tableegh.
Baatil accretions must necessarily be weeded out. If not, these attitudes of bid’ah will throttle the Haqq from the Jamaat. This lamentable fate has happened to all institutions of the Haqq in Islamic history. The Jamaat is no exception. The elders must be careful. They must keep this huge Ship of Tableegh on course – on Siraatul Mustaqeem. Whilst it is undoubtedly, a huge Ship of the Haqq, it is definitely not the Ship of Nooh (alayhis salaam) as the extremists in the Jamaat are projecting implying thereby that all those Ulama and non- Ulama who are not participating in Tableegh Jamaat activities are kaafirs. This is the clear implication of not being in the Ship of Hadhrat Nabi Nooh (alayhis salaam). Thus, the comparison with Hadhrat Nooh’s Ship is palpably false and an example of the ghulu’ which is choking the Jamaat.
In the perpetration of crass ghulu’, one senior of the Jamaat, Maulana Taariq Jameel is outstanding. He holds some decidedly weird views which are even bizarre and Imaan-threatening. If Allah Ta’ala grants us the taufeeq, we shall discuss some of his baatil for the guidance of the Ummah. This is our obligation. This is part of the Amr Bil Ma’roof Nahy Anil Munkar obligation which the Shariah imposes on us. It is our desire and Dua that the Jamaat remains on course. For securing this, it is imperative to arrest the ghulu’ and bid’ah and weed it out.
A CONVOLUTED ARGUMENT
Despite arguing in favour of female’s khurooj to participate in Tableegh journeys, the Mufti Sahib says:
“When this was the condition in the era of the Sahaabah that due to fitnah women were prohibited from attending the salaah in the musjid, then one can well imagine the need for not allowing women to participate in the congregational prayer in this time and age, where the fitnah is rampant and widespread everywhere to such an extent that controlling the fitnah is impossible.”
The reasoning of the Mufti Sahib is most pathetic. He concedes the preponderance of fitnah in women’s khurooj just to attend the Musjid which is the holiest of places, and which is in close proximity to their homes. He furthermore acknowledges the impossibility of controlling the fire of fitnah which has engulfed the whole world. Yet, he sees no fitnah in women undertaking journeys to distant places for tabligh to the masses which is not their function – which the Shariah has not imposed on them. In a vain and abortive attempt to neutralize the severity of the prohibition which he himself stated in the aforementioned statement, he flabbily avers: “As far as the second type of need is concerned, just as it was permissible in that era, it is permitted in this time and age provided there is no fear of fitnah.”
It has already been explained earlier that what has been imagined as ‘need’ to justify female emergence and undertaking journeys, is absolutely not a need in terms of the Shariah. It is a despicable falsehood to peddle the baatil that women were permitted to participate in Jihad. Furthermore, Tableegh to the masses and undertaking journeys to do tableegh are not at all among the Shar’i needs of women. Their imperative need is to stay within the confines of their holy homes.
Despite his weak attempt to justify female khurooj, the Mufti Sahib is constrained to say: “provided there is no fear of fitnah”. Now which Muslim in his sane senses can honestly claim that this era is devoid of the fear of fitnah? The fitnah which constrained the Sahaabah to prohibit even the very pious Sahaabiyah from attending the Musaajid has multiplied a thousand fold. To acknowledge the widespread fitnah, the “controlling of which is impossible” in this era according to the Mufti Saheb, and to condition the female’s khurooj with absence of fitnah, then to say that it is permissible for them in this age to undertake tableegh journeys, is to speak with a forked tongue. The stunt to proclaim permissibility defies credulity.
The “unimaginable maladies and uncontrollable ailments which have spread in the ummah” mentioned by the Mufti Sahib cannot be remedied by acting in conflict with the Shariah – by encouraging women to participate in a mass female’s movement. The solution is to revert to the original Sunnah system of educating womenfolk within the precincts of their homes. This is the obligation of the menfolk who are in Tabeegh. Their prior Tableegh is for their families.
But the problem is that the men have no patience with their wives and children. They are prepared to globe-trot and spend ages away from home making ‘tableegh’ to others whilst they think nothing of neglecting Tableegh to their families. This speaks much for the corruption of their intentions. Brandishing the aim and the goal of the Tableegh Jamaat to justify a method which is inherently fraught with grave moral consequences for the entire Ummah, does not justify the abrogation of an explic it law of Islam, namely, the prohibition of female emergence for activities not imposed on them by the Shariah. The noble end does not justify a haraam methodology.
MORE CONVOLUTED ARGUMENTS
The Mufti Sahib also argues:
“The Ulama of the Tableegh Jamaat have analysed that when the Shariah has granted women permission to leave their homes for a physical need, such as to acquire medical treatment or be hospitalized, then why would they not be allowed to leave their homes to acquire their Imaani need through attending madrasahs and Mastooraat Jama’at?”
They are not allowed for the simple reason that Allah Ta’ala has prohibited the latter while permitting the former. It is massive deception to utilize personal logic to deny and cancel any law of the Shariah. The Sahaabah and the Aimmah Mujtahideen were better poised to have understood this imagined mystery. Despite this, they prohibited females from the Musjid in that golden era when fitnah was practically nil. For the protection of posterity, the Sahaabah enacted the ban on female’s khurooj.
In the 14 centuries of Islam’s history, the Tableegh Jamaat has been the first to innovate the evil of female khurooj on a mass scale. It appears that the Hadith in which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned that the reason for his refusal to grant the woman permission to participate in Jihad was the fear that such khurooj would be interpreted to be Sunnah, was directed to the Tableegh Jamaat.
It is only the Tableegh Jamaat which has flagrantly violated this express prohibition of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and they utilize personal logic and whim to deny what Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had proclaimed regarding women’s Khurooj. In fact, their attitude and conduct testify that they have given female khurooj the status of Wujoob (compulsion). The interpretation which is employed to skirt the explicit prohibition is ta’weel-e-baatil (baseless interpretation). The reasons proffered for ignoring what Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, and what the Sahaabah had ordered are the effects of fanciful imagination.
FEMALE KHUROOJ IS NOT THE SOLUTION
The Mufti Sahib in his promotion of khurooj-e-nisaa (emergence of women from their homes) laments:
“However, due to the sad and unfortunate plight of the ummah witnessed across the globe, where a decline and degeneration of Deeni morals and values are seen in women, to the extent that they are openly seen frequenting the shopping centers and bazaars, halls and malls, occupying positions in shops and offices, driving about freely, going for morning walks and jogs in groups, taking part in national and international sports and even the Olympics, attending schools and universities, getting involved with or marring non Muslims, being influenced by anti Islamic beliefs and ideologies e.g. Darwin’s theory etc. and are also seen intermingling and interacting with the opposite sex without any sense of shame and modesty. Due to this sad and unfortunate plight, the need was perceived to use some other Halaal alternative which may perhaps not be the ideal but a means to acquire the ideal – a means through which a woman can once again come onto the path of the Sunnah and find her true place in her home and observe complete purdah. Hence the ‘Ulama have thought of ways (through girls madrasahs and Mastooraat Jama’at) to reform and rectify the unimaginable maladies and uncontrollable ailments which have spread in the ummah.”
This sad and lamentable plight of the Ummah’s females painted by the Mufti Sahib is supposedly the basis for the justification to promote a mass movement of women undertaking journeys. If the Mufti Sahib makes an honest appraisal of the droves of women in the Makshufaat jamaats, he will find extremely few women who were former factory girls, shop girls, street girls, university girls, participants in Olympics, jogging girls, sportsgirls, etc.,etc. Females involved in these lewd outdoor occupations and professions continue with their haraam professions. Hardly any of these females are captured by the Tableegh Jamaat.
Even the daughters of Tableeghi brothers and of even Molvis are attending universities. The females of fathers who are staunch Jamaat workers are on the streets and brushing shoulders with all and sundry. A man goes for 4 months believing himself to be in the Path of Allah whilst his wife manages the business and interacts with ghair mahram males and prowls around the streets. The females who are attracted to the Tableegh jamaat are those who are from so-called respectable homes. They are not factory and shop workers. They are females who are generally in their homes although not in full purdah. These are the women who are encouraged to leave their homes and undertake tableegh journeys. Girls working in factories, in shops and the public sector are not targeted. Seldom will such females join the Makshufaat jamaat. The immoral condition of females is not set to improve. It will deteriorate further as we approach Qiyaamah. The downward plunge in the abyss of immorality cannot be arrested. All the predictions of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) have to necessarily materialize.
The solution is only to propagate the Sunnah methodology and to leave the end result to Allah Ta’ala. The analysis of the Tableeghi Molvis is baseless. Methods in conflict with the Sunnah and Shariah are doomed to failure, and the consequences of such methods are always disastrous. Currently the public sector females are beyond the reach of the Makshufaat jamaats. If it is possible to organize bayaans for the ‘emancipated’ females, there is no need for women from other countries to undertake journeys for this purpose. There are many women locally who could arrange for bayaans at someone’s home in a very unostensible manner to advise and teach the females. There is no need to organize the females to go out in jamaats. Ulama and other knowledgeable women should organize bayaan programmes for the lost females. What is the need for a mass movement? What is the need to create a specific public mould for women’s tableegh? Why adopt the male tableegh model for women?
Whilst Makshufaat jamaats are being justified by using the public sector girls as a smokescreen, hardly any of them (i.e. the factory, shop and university females) join these female jamaats. Mostly women who are generally in the homes are the members of the Makshufaat jamaats undertaking journeys to distant places. The claim by the Mufti Sahib that most of the women in the Makshufaat jamaats “are from the underprivileged class” is incorrect. The Tableegh Jamaat is not too active in the underprivileged areas whether for males or females. They operate more in privileged areas. Whatever the case may be, and whatever benefits are imagined, the bottom line is that methods which contravene the Shariah are not permissible and should not be employed. The work should be executed in compliance with the Shariah, and the result be left to Allah Ta’ala.
The Qur’aan Majeed tells Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) that he has not been appointed a guard over people nor can he grant hidaayat to people. His duty is only to deliver the Message of the Deen. This was the function of all the Ambiya: “On us is nothing but to deliver the clear message.” (Qur’aan) Hidaayat cannot be rammed down the throats of people. Those who innovate new methods in conflict with the Shariah are desirous to supersede the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam). They believe that the inability to gain recruits is failure. Their emphasis is on their effort and on quantity whereas the sincere Muballigh’s focus is on Allah’s Ridha’, hence he does not act in conflict with the Ahkaam of the Shariah. This is an important lesson which the Tableegh Jamaat of our time should learn. Allah Ta’ala has created females for the home, not for outdoor activities, be these Deeni activities. Female khurooj is unnatural and haraam. Tableegh activities for women in the manner of the Makshufaat jamaats and by undertaking journeys are not permissible.
FEMALES WITHIN THEIR HOMES ARE NOT DEPRIVED OF THE IMMENSE THAWAAB OF TABLIGH AND JIHAD FI SABEELILLAAH
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
* “Whoever of you (women) who remains at home, verily, she will acquire the amal (with its rewards) of the Mujaahid in the Path of Allah.”
* “Your Jihad is Hajj.” That is the performance of the Fardh Hajj.
* A woman who adopts patience when her husband marries again, will attain the thawaab and rank of Shahaadat. Thus she is not deprived of the thawaab of Tableegh whilst remaining within the precincts of her sacred home.