Sunday, April 20, 2008


Abu Abdallah Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abdallah Ibn Idris al-Abu Abdallah Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abdallah Ibn Idris al-Qurtubi al-Hasani Abu Abdallah Muhammad Muhammad Ibn Abdallah Idris al-Qurtubi al-HasaniQurtubi al-Hasani, was born in Ceuta, Spain, in 1099 C.E. He was educated in Cordova. Later he traveled far and wide in connection with his studies and then flourished at the Norman court in Palermo. The date of his death is controversial, being either 1166 or 1180 C.E.

Biographical notes on him are to be found rather rararely, and according to F. Pons Boigues the underlying reason is the fact that the Arab biographers considered al-Idrisi to be a renegade, since he had been associated with the court of a Christian king and written in praise of him, in his work. The circumstances which led him to settle in Sicily at the court of Roger II are not on record.

His major contribution lies in medicinal plants as presented in his several books, specially Kitab al-Jami-li-Sifat Ashtat al-Nabatat. He studied and reviewed all the literature on the subject of medicinal plants and formed the opinion that very little original material had been added to this branch of knowledge since the early Greek work. He, therefore, collected plants and data not reported earlier and added this to the subject of botany, with special reference to medicinal plants. Thus, a large number of new drugs plants together with their evaluation became available to the medical practitioners. He has given the names of the drugs in six languages: Syriac, Greek, Persian, Hindi, Latin and Berber.

In addition to the above, he made original contributions to geography, especially as related to economics, physical factors and cultural aspects. He made a planishere in silver for King Roger II, and described the world in Al-Kitab al-Rujari (Roger's Book), also entitled Nuzhat al-Mushtaq fi Ikhtiraq al-Afaq (The delight of him who desires to journey through the climates). This is practically a geographical encyclopaedia of the time, containing information not only on Asia and Africa, but also Western countries.

Al-Idrisi, later on, also compiled another geographical encyclopedia, larger than the former entitled Rawd-Unnas wa-Nuzhat al-Nafs (Pleasure of men and delight of souls) also known as Kitab al- Mamalik wa al-Masalik.

Apart from botany and geography, Idrisi also wrote on fauna, zoology and therapeutical aspects. His work was soon translated into Latin and, especially, his books on geography remained popular both in the East and the West for several centuries

Mohammed Suharto


Mohammed Suharto (1921- ), second president of Indonesia (1968-1998), who oversaw the country’s unprecedented economic growth and emergence as a regional power.

Born to a peasant family in Kemusu, a village near the city of Yogyakarta in central Java (then under Dutch control), Suharto had an unsettled childhood. His parents’ marriage broke up before he was two years old, and he was brought up variously by each of his remarried parents and by relatives in other villages and towns around Yogyakarta. Suharto attended local Javanese schools, worked for a short time in a village bank, and joined the Dutch colonial army in 1940.


By 1942 Suharto had been promoted to sergeant. That year, Japan invaded and occupied Indonesia during World War II. Believing that cooperation with the Japanese offered the best hope for eventual Indonesian independence, Suharto joined a Japanese-led militia and received military training. After Japan surrendered anMohammed Suharto ,Muhammed Suharto biography,Mohammed Suharto biographyd Indonesia declared its independence in August 1945, Suharto joined the newly established Indonesian army and fought in a five-year war against the Dutch, who attempted to regain control of the region after Japan’s withdrawal. The Dutch captured much of Java in 1947 and Yogyakarta the following year. In March 1949 troops under Suharto’s command attacked the Dutch in Yogyakarta and recaptured the city. The Dutch agreed to leave all of Indonesia except Dutch New Guinea (West Irian) later that year.

Over the next 15 years, Suharto rose steadily through the military ranks. In the early 1950s Suharto led military operations to suppress uprisings by Muslim and Dutch-led groups in various parts of Indonesia, and in 1957 he took command of the central Javanese army division. Suharto became a brigadier general in 1960, and in 1962 he headed a military operation to recover West Irian (now the province of Papua; formerly Irian Jaya) from the Dutch. In 1963 he was put in charge of the army’s strategic command, a special force kept on alert for national emergencies.

By the mid-1960s both the military and the Indonesian Communist Party (Partai Komunis Indonesia, or PKI) had gained considerable power under the regime of Indonesian president Sukarno. When a group of dissident pro-Communist army and air force troops attempted to seize control of the government in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, in October 1965, Suharto successfully suppressed them. Although he was not Indonesia’s dominant military leader at the time, Suharto outmaneuvered his military competitors for power during the succeeding months. The army alleged that the PKI was responsible for the abortive coup, and in late 1965 army units and Muslim groups began to massacre Communists and their supporters throughout the countryside. In March 1966 Suharto successfully persuaded President Sukarno to authorize him to restore security and order, which effectively transferred executive authority to Suharto. In 1967 the Indonesian parliament appointed Suharto acting president. He was elected full president by the parliament in 1968 and was reelected to successive five-year terms in 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, and 1998. The Indonesian constitution does not limit the number of terms a president may serve.


From the outset, Suharto focused heavily on national security, adopting a strong anti-Communist stance in contrast to his predecessor, Sukarno. Suharto quickly eliminated the PKI and associated organizations and subsequently began repressing other organizations and people he viewed as a threat to his hold on power. These included Muslims pursuing a more prominent role for Islam in state affairs, writers desiring greater artistic freedom, and politicians seeking increased freedom to promote their ideas to the public. When Portugal ended its colonial rule of the territory of East Timor in 1975, Suharto intervened in the struggle for control of the region. The Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin), a leftist revolutionary party, eventually took power, and in December Suharto ordered an invasion of the region, arguing that an independent East Timor under Fretilin would threaten the unity of the Indonesian state. Suharto’s government annexed East Timor the following year.

Suharto also sought to restore Indonesia’s relations with the Western world, which had deteriorated under Sukarno. Suharto ended Indonesia’s hostile stance toward Malaysia, whose independence Sukarno had felt was a front for continued British colonial activities in the region. Suharto also rejoined the United Nations (UN), from which Sukarno had withdrawn in 1965, when Malaysia was elected a nonpermanent member. Finally, Suharto froze the diplomatic ties forged by Sukarno with Communist China.

With internal political stability largely in place by the 1980s, Suharto set out to expand Indonesia’s role in international politics. He continued the country’s leadership role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional economic and political alliance that Indonesia had helped found in 1967. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he promoted efforts to bring peace to Cambodia and also normalized relations with China. In 1992 Indonesia chaired the Nonaligned Movement, an association of nations not specifically allied with a world superpower.

Economic development was another major focus of Suharto’s presidency. Under his rule, Indonesia experienced unprecedented growth beginning in the early 1970s. Economic success resulted from substantial foreign investment and from economic diversification, which reduced the country’s reliance on oil and agriculture. Suharto’s government developed roads and irrigation systems and implemented food production programs. The government also made social improvements, expanding health and educational facilities and family planning programs. Although most Indonesians enjoyed greater economic security than ever before, the benefits of the country’s growth were experienced unequally, as Suharto’s family members and their business partners became immensely wealthy.

Mohammed Suharto ,Muhammed Suharto biography, Mohammed Suharto biography

By 1997 Suharto was concluding his sixth five-year term of office and had not given any indication that he was contemplating retirement. Although critics periodically raised the question of succession, Suharto always managed to deflect the issue. He also ensured that his vice presidents were always politicians with no reasonable likelihood of succeeding him. In the second half of 1997 the value of the Indonesian currency began to plummet, sparking a massive economic crisis in which inflation soared and unemployment rose. Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) produced three possible rescue packages for the economy. However, these packages failed to convince international financial managers that recovery was possible. These managers made it clear that they did not believe economic stability could be restored as long as Suharto was president.

In March 1998 Suharto was elected to a seventh term. His cabinet appointments—mostly loyalists unlikely to challenge his authority or push for change—sparked demonstrations by university students calling for democratic reforms. In May police shot six students at a demonstration, triggering two days of arson and looting in Jakarta in which about 500 people died. Opposition to Suharto’s rule spread to many political and community leaders who had previously supported him. On May 21 Suharto bowed before this pressure and resigned. His vice president, B. J. Habibie, succeeded him as president.

Gamal Abdul Nasser

Gamal Abdul Nasser was a Egyptian revolutionist that successfully drove British out of his country after 72 years of rule, under his presidency Egypt came out of intense poverty to prosperity, he became famous all around the Arab Peninsula after standing firm against the western nations and his efforts of combining the Arab power to combat anti-Muslim forces mainly the Israel.

Childhood January , 15th 1918. Gamal Abdul Nasser Hussein was born in Banny Mor Asyout,Egypt. One year before the 1919 revolution against the English Colonization. He lived 8 years there where he learnt the South Egyptian strict and generous traditions. He moved then to Asyout city, then to Alexandria, then Cairo. All of these moving were because of his father’s job as an inspector in the ministry of Post. His mother passed away on 1926. Gamal spent 10 years in Cairo until he received his high school diploma from “Nahda” school in 1937. At these years Gamal was part of many demonstrations against the English colonization where he was injured in one of them and got a scar in his face that stayed until he died. 1937 was the year when Nasser joined the military school where he graduated on 1938 to join the third platoon in Asyout where he met Anwar El Sadat, and Zakaria Mohyi El Deen who later joined him in the “Free Officers” organization. 1939 Nasser was transferred to Alexandria where he met with Abdul Hakeem Amer who became his best friend, and played a controversial role in his life.

Free Officers Revolutionary organization

Egypt was a kingdom ruled by English and the figure head of the country was the Puppet King Farouk , thousands of English army men were on Egyptian soil to protect United Kingdom interests in the region. Not to repeat the 1882 army revolution, or the 1919 revolution, the UK worked hard to prevent any development of the Egyptian army. Corruption was spreading with each government, the royal palace aided by the English interference in the internal affairs. Such environment gathered a group of young officers to fight corruption and work for the development of Egypt and Egyptians.

1942 Nasser was transferred to Sudan with Abdul Hakeem Amer where their friendship became stronger, and they exchanged their rebellion ideas about the future of Egypt. While serving in the Sudan during the late 1940s, he and other three other officers founded the secret Free Officers revolutionary organization. Their objective was the overthrow of the British occupying regime and the puppet Egyptian king.

Nasser holding the flag

The 1948 war was the ignition for the “Free Officers Organizations”. It gave the free officers the time to meet, and share their thoughts about the future of Egypt and quoted from Nasser diaries “…We were fighting in Palestine, and our dreams were in Egypt. Our bullets were targeting the enemy but our hearts were with our nation who was left for the wolves”.Such war added a lot to Nasser’s personality, it gave him confidence, and it added more to his rebellion nature for Freedom. Nasser gained his leadership reputation after the battle of “Falouga” where he managed to fight with no backup support, and under siege against the Israeli armed forces, he was also wounded. The confidential organization became active on 1949, started by a committee of young officers that included Gamal Abdel Nasser, Kamal El Deen Hussein, Hassan Ibrahim, Khaled Mohey El Deen, and Abdul Menim Raouf. New officers were also added to this.

In 1950, Nasser was chosen president for the Free Officers organization. They faced Lots of obstacles like being monitored by the “political police” which was responsible to stop any action against the royal palace or the English personnel. This made the attempts of recruiting new officers a difficult task; lots of investigations were to take place before adding a new officer to the organization.

In November 1949 The Organization distributed their first “flyer” which discussed the Defeat in Palestine War. The flyers continued to be sent by Mail and to be delivered by hand according to the sector that the free officer who is delivering it (Air Force, Infantry...etc).

In1951 the Organization started a newspaper called “the voice of the free officers” which was sent to 700 Egyptian officers by mail. The royal palace had information about such organization, and King Farouk tried to destroy it before it threatens his crown.

Yet the Organization kept working for its goal, and more officers were drafted until July the 1952 date of revolution.

The Revolution

After becoming a mature organization, the free officers started publishing their demands by the mailed flyers. They requested a strong Egyptian army, where its duty to protect Egypt not to be used for serving the royal palace, nor the English interests in the region. They demanded quick solutions for the starvation of the Egyptians. The need of a revolution against the royal system became a nation’s dream after the poor standards that the citizens suffered, and increasing of corruption. 26th January 1952, named “black Saturday” when a huge fire burnt downtown Cairo destroying stores, factories, houses and killing tens of innocent Egyptians. Corruption was the main cause of such tragedy. The failure to pin point the responsible of such fire was a knock out for “The Wafd” party who were in charge of the Egyptian government for years before such incident. King Farouk tried to calm the Egyptians but failed. At that time, the Free officers were well known by the palace, and the political police exerted lots of effort to neutralize them, such environment pushed ahead the date to start the revolution. Days before the 23rd of July 1952, the officers started their plan to rebel against the current system and change it. The plan was to move at the night of 22nd of July to capture the main base of the army, followed by taking charge of the whole army and controlling them from there. Then the Free officers controlled the telephone systems, Airport, train stations and the Egyptian radio station. Controlling such major buildings allowed the officers to give false information to the palace in Alexandria where King Farouk was residing. The revolution managed to capture the Army central bases in Al-Areesh and Rafah, by doing so the officers controlled most of the army platoons which eased their mission in controlling Alexandria. The revolution succeeded in their plan, and Anwar El Sadat announced the evolution of a new Era that will work for the sake of development of Egypt cleaning all the corruption caused by the royal palace. King Farouk was exiled with none of his assets, and brigadier Mohammed Nagueeb was given the authority to be the leader of the Army and the political authority in Egypt. In 1953, the Egyptian constitution changed and the royal system was cancelled and replaced by the republican system. . Gen. Muhammad Naguib became the nominal head of the government, but Nasser held power through his control of the Revolutionary Command Committee. In 1954, following an attempt on Nasser's life, he arrested Naguib and became premier of Egypt

Presidency and rise to a Outstanding Arab Leader

Soon after Nasser took power, the British became aware of there fall and thus signed an agreement , ending their 72- year presence in Egypt.

Nasser introduced new political system, it was called Arab socialism, with a one-party system and with Islam as its official religion. With this program he confiscated 243,000 hectares (2,430 km²) farm land from a small group of rich landowners and distributed it evenly to the population Later on in his presidency he nationalized banks and industries. In July,1956,Nasser announced to a huge cheering crowd in Manshia, Alexandria and, via Cairo Radio, to the rest of the Arab World that he was nationalizing the Suez Canal Company and creating the an Egyptian Canal Authority to manage the Canal. The entire Third World was thrilled and delighted. There existed no potent symbol of Western colonial domination and a legend of the Western imperialism and hegemony more than the Suez Canal. But there was worry about the consequences; the West would surely not allow Nasser to succeed. USA and Britain withdrew a promised support for the construction of a new Aswan. He also continued his purchases of military equipment from Soviet bloc countries. He had gone there after being turned down by the West, which suspected plans to use the weapons against Israel.

The nationalization of the Suez Canal was met by an Israeli invasion of the Sinai Peninsula and an Anglo-French invasion of the Canal Zone. Although Egyptian forces suffered military defeat but with Nasser’s diplomacy, the invading forces were put under pressure from the UN and United States, and had to withdraw. Egypt kept the full ownership of the Suez Canal With US assistance the Canal was cleared and reopened in April 1957. All the British and French property in Egypt was sequestered. About 3,000 British and French nationals were expelled, and more thousands decided to leave. Britain and France attempted to retaliate by imposing an economic blockade of Egypt, but the gesture was ineffective, he also managed to get Soviet support for the construction of the dam, which was completed 14 years later. Due to his economic policies specially construction of Dam and the Canal to take water to un-irrigated land, Egypt emerged from poverty stricken country to a prospering nation.

Nasser and Arafat

Nasser(left) handshaking with Yasser Arafat

By this time Nasser had become a hero in the Arab world. In 1958 Syria and Egypt united under his presidency, forming the United Arab Republic ,hoping that one day all the Arab nations would join, but the Egypt-Syria union, however, broke up in 1961 after a military coup in Syria.

By 1967 the Arab-Israeli situation had deteriorated. After the UN peacekeeping force, at Nasser's request, had been withdrawn, and Egyptian guns blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli ships, Israel attacked Egypt and occupied the entire Sinai Peninsula up to the Suez Canal ( Six-Day War) in just six days.After humiliating defeat of Egypt’s forces, Nasser, taking responsibility for the debacle, resigned, but the thousands of people took to the streets, demanding his return to government. He stayed in power for 18 years even in the face of a large number of domestic competitors and opponents .On September 28, 1970, he died suddenly of a heart attack.

Even after his death till now he is still remembered by Muslims as a man who stood up to Western Dominance and lead his country from a poor slaved British Colony to a Free Progressing Nation. Even his harshest critics which accuse him of turning Egypt into a police state with controlled rule, censorship, still beyond doubt see him as the foremost Arab leader, who restored Arab dignity after the long humiliation of Western domination.
Nasser's ideas were laid down in his book of 1959, The Philosophy of the Revolution.


Sheikh Muhammad Nasiruddin, al-Albani as he was most famously known, was born in the city of Ashkodera, then the capital of Albania in the year 1332H (1914 AD) into a poor family. His father al-Haaj Nooh Najjaatee al-Albani had completed Sharee'ah studies in Istanbul and returned a scholar to Albania. After Albania was taken over by atheism the family made Hijrah to Damascus. In Damascus, al-Albani completed his initial education and was then taught the Qur'an, Tajweed, sciences of Arabic language, fiqh of the Hanafee madhab and further branches of the Deen by various Sheikhs and friends of his father.

He also learnt from his father the art of clock and watch repair - and became highly skilled in that and famous for it and derived his earnings through it.

He began to specialise in the field of Hadeeth and its related sciences by the age of 20, being influenced by articles in 'al-Manaar' magazine. He began to work in this field by transcribing al-Haafiz al-Iraaqee's monumental 'al­Mughnee an-hamlil-Asfaar fil-Asfaar fee takhreej maa fil-lhyaa minal-Akhbaar' and adding notes to it. He delved further into the field of Hadeeth and its various sciences despite discouragement from his father. Furthermore, the books he needed were not to be found in his father's library which was composed mainly of various works of Hanafee Fiqh - and since he could not afford many of the books he required he would borrow them from the famous library of Damascus - "al-Maktabah at-Thaahiriyyah", or sometimes from book sellers.

He became engrossed with the science of Hadeeth to the extent that he would sometimes close up his shop and remain in the library for up to twelve hours - breaking off his work only for prayer - he would not even leave to eat, but would take two light snacks with him. Eventually the library authorities granted him a special room to himself for his study and his own key for access to the library before normal opening time. Often he would remain at work from early morning until after 'Ishaa. During this time he produced many useful works - many of which are still waiting to be printed.

The Sheikh's studies of Hadeeth of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) had a great effect on him and resulted in his turning away from blind-following of his former madhab and instead to accept and act upon the Book and the Sunnah - with the understanding of the pious predecessors (i.e, As-Salafu Saaleh) of the Ummah. This naturally meant he was sometimes at variance with some of the local Sheikhs who blindly followed their Madhab, and likewise with the local Sufi Imaams and innovators who began to oppose him and incite the common people against him by calling him a 'Wahhaabi deviant'. He was, however, encouraged by some of the noble Sheikhs of Damascus who urged him to continue, amongst them Sheikh Bahjatul Baijaar, Sheikh Abdul-Fattah, the Imaam, and Tawfeeq al-Barzah, Rahimahum Allah.

The Sheikh faced much opposition in his efforts to promote Tawheed and the Sunnah but he bore this with patient perseverance. After some time he started giving two weekly classes attended by students of knowledge and university teachers - in which he taught various books of 'Aqeedah, Fiqh, Usool and Hadeeth sciences.

He also began organised monthly journeys for Da'wah to the various cities of Syria and then Jordan. After a number of his works appeared in print the Sheikh was chosen to teach Hadeeth in the new University in Madeenah, Saudi Arabia, for three years from 1381 to 1383 Hijrah, where he was also a member of the University board.

After this he returned to his former studies and work in "al-Maktabatu at-Thaahiriyyah" leaving his shop in the hands of one of his brothers. He visited various countries for Da'wah and lectures - amongst them Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, the Emirates, Spain and England. He was forced to emigrate a number of times moving from Syria to Jordan, then Syria again, then Beirut, then the Emirates, then again to 'Ammaan, Jordan.

Sheikh Nasiruddin Albani became the pre-eminent scholar of Hadeeth (Al-Muhaddith) in recent era. His works - mainly in the field of Hadeeth and its sciences - number over 100. Among his gems beneficial for the whole Ummah include:
- Sifatu Salaatu Nabi mina takbiri ila taslimi ka annaka taraaha, the most widely distributed and printed book on 'How to' in Salaah according to the Sunnah of our Prophet (PBUH);
- Silsilah Saheehah, and Silsilah Dhaeefah wa Maudhucah, on Ahadith;
- Saheeh wa Dhaeef Jaami Sagheer, authenticated works originally compiled by Suyuti;
- Al Irwa' Ghaleel;
- Saheehs of Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasaa'i, and Ibn Maajah.
- Saheeh wa Dhaeef Adabul Mufrad of Bukhari.
- Mishkaat Masaabih, the authenticated version of the original hadeeth collection.

His students are many and include many prominent Sheikhs of the present day amongst them: Shaykh Hamdi Abdul-Majeed, Shaykh Muhammad 'Eed Abbaasi, Dr. Umar Sulayman al-Ashqar, Shaykh Muhammad lbrahim Shaqrah, Shaykh Muqbil ibn Haadi al-Waadi'i, Shaykh Ali Khushshaan, Shaykh Muhammad Bin Jameel Zainoo, Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan Abdus-Samad, Shaykh Ali Hassan Abdul-Hameed al-Halabi, Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaali, and Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Abdul-Khaaliq.

The Sheikh passed away on Saturday 22 Jumaada Thaaniyah 1420 H (2 October 1999).

Muhammad Ilyas

Mawlana Muhammad Ilyas, the founder of the Tablighi Jama’at of South Asian subcontinent, is arguably one of the most influential, yet least well-known , figures of the twentieth century Islam. Despite his enormous contribution towards the development of a powerful grass root Islamic Da’wah movement, Mawlana Ilyas has not received much attention in the literature on modern Islamic movements. Most of the Western, and even Muslim, scholarships have remain occupied with the more spectacular and dramatic manifest ions of Islamic revivalist upsurge. The available literature on Maulana Ilyas and his Tablighi movement is mostly in Urdu and that too consists mainly of inspirational works by its leaders and devotional writings by its followers and supporters.

Mawlana Ilyas was born in 1885 in a small town in the United Province of British India in a family of religious scholars. He received his early religious education at home and later went to the famous center of Islamic education in Deoband where he studied the Qur’an, Hadith, Fiqh and other Islamic sciences under the early Deoband luminaries. After completing his education at Deoband, Mawlana Ilyas took up a teaching position at another famous Madarsah Mazaharul Uloom in Saharanpur (U.P., India)

It was at this point in his life that Mawlana Ilyas became aware of the "dismal Islamic situation" in the Mewat region near Delhi where majority of Muslims were living a life that had very little to do with Islamic teachings and practices. Mawlana Ilyas sent several of his disciples to Mewat to survey the situation and later himself undertook many Da’wah trips there. Mawlana Ilyas met Mewati Muslims who could not even recite Shahadah and who had not prayed even once in their life because they did not know how to pray. He saw Muslims greeting each other in a typical Hindu manner; some had even adopted Hindu deities and visited Hindu temples to participate in devotional practices.

Mawlana Ilyas fully aware of the difficult task ahead was, nevertheless, determined to bring the Meo Muslims back to the fold of true Islam. In the early 1920s, he prepared a team of young Madrasa graduates from Deoband and Saharanpur and sent them to Mewat to establish a network of Masajid and Madrasas throughout the region. He soon realized, however, that the Madrasa ulama trained in the Deoband tradition were simply reproducing their prototypes and had no significant impact on society at large. Mawlana Ilyas concluded that these Madrasas were ill-equipped to produce Muslim preachers who would be willing to go door to door and remind people of their Islamic obligations. These institution were good only for producing religious functionaries, not Da’wah workers.

It was because dissatisfaction with the Madrasas that Mawlana Ilyas resigned from a prestigious teaching position at Madrasa Mazaharul Uloom in Saharanpur and came to Basti Nizamuddin in the old quarters of Delhi to begin his Da’wah. The Tablighi movement was born in this place in 1926. Basti Nzamuddin became his permanent residence as well as the headquarter of the Tablighi movement.

The new movement met with dramatic success in relatively short period of time, thanks to Mawlana Ilyas’s utmost devotion, untiring efforts and sincerity of purpose. As a result many Muslims joined Mawlana Ilyas to preach the message of Islam in every town and village of Mewat. The rapid success of his efforts can be seen from the fact that 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 conference. Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi, the founder of the Jama’at-e-Islami paid glowing tribute to the spectacular successes of the Da’wah efforts of Mawlana Ilyas in Mewat and elsewhere in India and described the Tablighi movement as a major step toward the Islamization of Indian Muslim society.

Mawlana Ilyas was neither a charismatic leader like Mawlana Mohammad Ali Jauhar of the Khilafat movement, nor an outstanding religious scholar like Abul Kalam Azad of the Indian National Congress. He was not even a good public speaker like Ataullah Shah Bukhari of the Ahrar movement. Unlike Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi of the Jamaat –e-Islami who was a prolific writer and a systematic thinker, Mawlana Ilyas did not author a single book in his life.

Physically frail and intellectually unassuming, Mawlana Ilyas was, nevertheless, enthused with the zeal of a dedicated Da’wah worker. His passion to reach out to the Muslim masses and touch them with the message of the Qur’an and Sunnah knew no bounds.

Like a true missionary, he was persistent, untiring, and whole-heartedly devoted to his cause. During one of his many missionary tours of Mewat, he was once hit with a stick by a peasant upon whom he was impressing the importance of leading a religious life. The Mawlana, already physically frail, fell on the ground and collapsed. When he regained consciousness, he got up and, holding his assistant affectionately, said: "Look, you have done your job. Now would you let me do my job and listen to me for a little while?" As one of his colleague put it, "Mawlana Ilyas, though a mere skeleton, can work wonders where he takes up anything."

His eagerness and indomitable determination to reach every Muslim and remind him of his obligations as a believer took precedence on every thing else. His passionate concern for the spiritual welfare of his fellow Muslims caused him great anguish. A friend once came to visit him while he was on his deathbed. Mawlana Ilyas greeted his friend by telling him. " People out there are burning in the fire of ignorance and you are wasting your time here inquiring after my health!"

He wanted every Muslim to be on his feet, preaching the message of Islam to others. He exerted his friends and followers to dedicate their lives to this cause. Once when he was trying to peruse his audience to volunteer for a missionary trip to Kanpur, U.P. India, not a single person responded to his call. Spotting one of his friends in the audience, Mawlana Ilyas asked him what prevented him from going to Kanpur. His friend was suffering from serious ailment and was obviously too weak to travel. He told Maulana Ilyas that he was "almost dying" and there was no way he could travel. The Mawlana said, "If you are dying already, you had better die in Kanpur."

It is important to note that while Mawlana Ilyas kept himself completely aloof from politics of the day and focused his program of action exclusively on making the Muslims aware of their religious obligations, he did not, at any time, criticized those Islamic groups which were actively engaged in politics. On the contrary, he maintained extremely cordial relations with Hussain Ahmad Madani and other Ulama of Deoband school whose political organization, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, a pro-Indian National Congress group, was very much active in Indian politics. Mawlana Ilyas had equally warm relation with pro-Pakistan faction of the Deoband school led by Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi and Mawlana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani. However he refused to take any position on the issue of united India vs. a separate Muslim state of Pakistan for the obvious reason that this would distract his movement from its main religious tasks, and would also create dissensions within its ranks. Mawlana Ilyas was of the view that the Tablighi movement and the politically-oriented Islamic groups, although operating in two different spheres, were complementing each other’s work and hence there should be no competition and rivalry between them.

Once when someone pointed out that his movement was "too narrowly focused" and did not address the larger issue of socio-political reforms in Muslim society, the Mawlana responded that this narrow focus in the initial phase of the movement was necessitated by the available manpower and that the movement could grow to encompass a larger and more comprehensive program in the future. It is unfortunate that those who succeeded Mawlana Ilyas did not realize his larger vision and saw the Mewat model of Da’wah as eternally fixed. Nevertheless, the fruits of Mawlana Ilyas’s efforts are visible all over the world today.

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