The fourth part of The Dharma Dispatch series on the comprehensive history of the Tablighi Jamaat in India narrates the actual founding of the Tablighi Jamaat by Muhammad Ilyas
Of all ancient civilisations that came in contact with Islam, only Sanatana Dharma continues to survive in whatever stuttering fashion that it manages to do so. Imagine the same scenario applied to Bharatavarsha, imagine that Bharatavarsha had not survived the successive locust sweeps of Islamic holocausts, imagine if Hindustan had also become a Muslim country. Imagine…what would be the national character of its vast population, all former Hindus?
We would be celebrating the victories of Islam in non-Muslim nations throughout the world. We would have celebrated say, the flight jihad against the Twin Towers and said a silent prayer for the “martyrs” of 9/11. We would have felt proud about organising all sorts of Islamic revolutions like the Arab spring. We would be at the vanguard of various pan-Islamic movements throughout the world…this list would keep multiplying.
Actually, we still do all these. Except that technically speaking, our criminal jurisprudence instantly recognises these as acts of terrorism. In the times we live in, it is actually a divine blessing that the Indian sovereign state regards the ever-expanding terrorist alphabet soup comprising JeM, LeT, ISIS, HuM as dangerous jihadi organisations and threats to national security and not as bands of freedom fighters and pious heroes.
This clear recognition is definitely not an accident. It is the fortunate outcome of the gritty, unrelenting, centuries’-long fightback against these pious heroes, a fightback whose cost is the countless rivers of Hindu blood and extraordinary sacrifices whose contours we can’t even begin to fathom. This is the real reason Bharatavarsha didn’t become a Muslim country and has lived to tell the tale.
That is really no consolation because at a very pivotal civilisational crux, Bharatavarsha dangerously missed the bus. Had it shown spine then, in 1947, we wouldn’t be witnessing a today where the corona virus is welcomed as a great blessing from Allah. Unconditional, complete population transfer was a great opportunity for civilisational victory which Hindus with their own hands slaughtered at the altar of cowardice veiled as compassion and tolerance.
Politics, especially the sort of democracy practised in India cannot hold fort for long against a fanatically determined, relentless civilisational battering by primal forces galvanized, renewed five times every single day by a self-righteous transnational religious imperialism which “rationalizes the lowest human passions and stamps them with the supernatural seal of an almighty,” a jealous male God. What such religious imperialist cults inflict at a deeply fundamental level to its adherents is remarkably explained with a masterful economy of prose by V.S. Napiaul.
Everyone not an Arab who is a Muslim is a convert. Islam is not simply a matter of conscience or private belief. It makes imperial demands. A convert’s worldview alters. His holy places are in Arab lands; his sacred language is Arabic. His idea of history alters. He rejects his own; he becomes, whether he likes it or not, a part of the Arab story. The convert has to turn away from everything that is his. The disturbance for societies is immense, and even after a thousand years can remain unresolved; the turning away has to be done again and again. People develop fantasies about who and what they are; and in the Islam of converted countries there is an element of neurosis and nihilism. These countries can be easily set on the boil.
Had Bharatavarsha become a Muslim country, we would be eternal slaves of the Arabs, a slavery which doesn’t require the constant, oppressive, physical presence of the master but merely a Holy Book. And writing something like this would have been even beyond the realm of my imagination by the virtue of my birth in such a country.
In “independent” India, two classes of such slaves exist. The first is the deep-fried flashy urban enclave of generationally deracinated mutants of Macaulay and Nehru. The second is the selfsame class that believes that the corona virus is a gift sent by Allah. The first class serves the second, it is the slave of a slave.
Naipaul’s trenchant note about neurosis and nihilism and the unresolved problems of a thousand years is precisely what recently resurfaced in a nightmarish fashion in the form of the Tablighi Jamaat’s open declaration of corona jihad against Hindustan.
About two decades after Syed Ahmed Khan died after spending a lifetime busily groveling at the British boot planning a long-term Islamic subterfuge in India, his much junior but more honest—that is, openly bigoted—counterpart was busy devising a scheme of a different hue but with the same goal about three hundred kilometres away. He was a well-known Maulana teaching advanced courses in Islamic theology at the prestigious Jamia Mazahir Ulsoom Madrassa in Saharanpur, birthed just six months after its more notorious elder sibling located close by: the Darul Deoband. This Maulana was himself a distinguished alumnus of Darul Deoband.
After spending some years at Mazhir Uloom, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas al-Kandhlawi felt dejected and upset at the direction the Deoband “movement” had taken. All around him, he witnessed the appalling deterioration of “pure” Islam, degradation of pristine Islamic morals and laxity even in some aspects of the pillars of Islam.
Muhammad Ilyas decided that his “real” task of purifying Islam was grassroots work. Accordingly, he relocated to Basti Nizamuddin with a bunch of his well-trained disciples and began laying the groundwork. The first place he selected as his launchpad was the selfsame Mewat, the ancient homeland of Sanatana Kshatra. For a practical reason and a daily sighting that made his blood run cold. The ramshackle Madrassa (which his father had established) at Basti Nizamuddin where he now taught was also attended by some children of the Mewati Muslims, the same Tablighi Meos of today. This is what Ilyas saw in 1920.
Distressed by their religious and spiritual poverty, [Ilyas] set himself to reform their condition through religious education.
These uncouth and illiterate people had converted to Islam on a mass scale as a result of the efforts of the well-known sufi Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia.. But in practical life they were far from Islam� They kept their Hindu names, like Nahar Singh and Bhup Singh; they left a lock of hair [chõtî] on top of the shaven head as Hindus do; they worshipped idols, celebrated all the Hindu festivals and made sacrifices to the pre-Islamic gods and goddesses� They could not even recite the creed of the Muslims [kalimah]. So unfamiliar even was the sight of prayer [namaz], let alone of the saying of it, that if by chance they came across someone praying, they gathered to enjoy the spectacle, assuming that the person must either be mad or suffering from some ailment due to which he was kneeling and prostrating himself again and again. Major Piolet, the Bandobast officer of Alwar at the end of the 19th century writes; �Meo are half-Hindu in their habits and customs…
When it came to convincing the Mewatis that they should send their children to school, they were tough nuts to crack…[Muhammad Ilyas] succeeded in establishing a number of schools where besides the teaching of the Quran, elementary religious education was also imparted. Work on this pattern continued until another incident occurred which changed the course of his activities. On a visit to Mewat, the Maulana was introduced to a young man who had just completed his education in one of his schools. Much to his astonishment, he saw no traces of Islam in his clean-shaven appearance. He was quick to realize his failure. His aim had not been fulfilled. He had been aware of the problem to some extent before, but now it had become plain for all to see.
Muhammad Ilyas nearly had a heart attack at this live demonstration of his colossal failure despite all his painstaking efforts. This is how he lamented the failure.
Ilyas ‘clasped his head in his hands and began sobbing’, crying out, Oh Allah! What should I do? My life and my money have been completely wasted producing a hafiz of the Qur’an like this one!... a hafiz of [Ilyas’] maktab still ‘appeared as a non-Muslim’ despite so many years of Islamic education that he reportedly, ‘nearly fell unconscious’ and, in fact, ‘just missed having a heart attack.’
Of course, Allah rescued him. Muhammad Ilyas slowly realized the real reason for his flop show. The moment the Mewati children left the pious confines of his Madrassa, their larger and ancient cultural milieu completely roasted the bigoted tuitions they were taking. They became semi-Hindus again…as we have seen in the earlier episodes of this series, this is one more of the infinite examples of the sturdiness of the Sanatana roots. Imagine the depravity of a psyche that wants to forcibly pluck these roots and replace them with something that is not only far inferior but basal, violent and genocidal.
Brooding, disheartened, gloomy, Ilyas turned in the only direction that all such pious fanatics turn towards as the last resort: Mecca. Akin to a fundamentalist photocopy of his more violent predecessor Syed Ahmad Barelvi, he embarked on a second Haj in 1925. After staying there for a year undergoing intensive higher education, Muhammad Ilyas returned to Hindustan. At a mosque in Medina, an ultra-pious Maulana coached Ilyas and reassured him that Allah had specially chosen him to continue his work in infidel Hindustan. Upon return, a hagiographer gloats how, “Allah through a dream, taught him the tariqa-i-tabligh.”
On ground, the tariqa (method or technique) translated into the founding of the Tablighi Jamaat in 1926.
Soon, Ilyas and his band of Tablighis began touring the Mewat region giving out daʿwās to the half-Hindu Mewatis—all scripted and directed from the modest structure of the Banglawali Masjid, now the sprawling skyscraper better known as the Nizamuddin Markaz, the global HQ of the Tablighi Jamaat, an Ivy League school of Jihadi theological indoctrination.
The main tariqa that Allah had taught Ilyas in his dream is something deeply familiar to all of us and so commonplace that we forget it even exists: indoctrinating innocent schoolchildren in all-encompassing barbarism, a perversion which was given a modern dress by communists. It is happening with and to our children even as I write this. It is happening at the hands of left-liberal degenerates masquerading as teachers, lecturers and professors who are churning out entire bloodlines of Incurables.
Muhammad Ilyas did the same thing with the semi-Hindu Mewati kids. And this is how he did it: by locking them up in his Madrassa and force-feeding seventh century fanaticism disguised as schooling. The elaborate details of this highly devout service to Islam are sickening to read but here’s a sample.
As soon as the young people left the school they mingled with company of their own sort, which nullified the school influence altogether. The only solution to this problem, as the Maulana saw it, lay in separating them from their milieu, and it was decided that they should be withdrawn from it in groups for a period of time, and gathered together in mosques...away from bad spheres of influence. This formula proved the right one, Engaging them in religious activities round the clock for some length of time made them into new human beings. Once the trial proved effective, this pattern was to be followed in future…
Staying day and night in a religious and spiritual atmosphere indeed worked wonders for them, for when those people returned home after having undergone the training, they were changed people, Far from falling under the bad influence of their surroundings, they sat out to be a good influence on their environment. The Maulana had found the solution to his problem.
The whole of Mewat was transformed. Great spiritual excitement and enthusiasm could be seen among the people at large. Where previously, mosques had been few and far between, now mosques and religious schools came up in every settlement. They changed their way of dressing and grew beards, shaking off one by one almost all their pre-Islamic customs that they had retained after their conversion. Not only did they reform themselves but they were also inspired to spread the message of God to those who were as they had been before.
The results were indeed astounding. An entirely new generation of a robotic army of bigots had been created from scratch. Their descendants today adorn the hall of fame of the Tablighi Jamaat and continue to breed at terabit speeds. Globally.
The Tablighi Jamaat also drew first blood almost overnight. On 23 December 1926, a member of the Tablighi hired goon squad barged into the room of an ailing Swami Shraddhananda and stabbed him to death in cold blood. The warrior Swamiji was 70 years old. Sounds familiar?
This was how Mohandas Gandhi “mourned” Swami Shraddhananda’s ghastly murder at the Congress session at Guwahati on the Christmas of 1926.
If you hold dear the memory of Swami Shraddhanandji, you would help in purging the atmosphere of mutual hatred and calumny. You would help in boycotting papers which foment hatred and spread misrepresentation. . . Now you will perhaps understand why I have called Abdul Rashid a brother and I repeat it. I do not even regard him as guilty of Swamiji's murder. Guilty indeed are all those who excited feelings of hatred against one another. For us Hindus the Gita enjoins on us the lesson of equi-mindedness…
The murderer “Brother” Abdul Rashid was duly absolved by this fake saint who quoted the Bhagavad Gita to justify the Quran.
This was the true death of Swami Shraddananda.
That then was the other prime mover and urgent impetus behind establishing the Tablighi Jamaat: the extraordinary civilisational, social and cultural reclamation work of the Arya Samaj that was notching success after intrepid success in purifying the Indian Muslims in the truest sense. Its doughtiest face was the warrior-monk leader, the steel-spined Swami Shraddhananda. When he surveyed this scene, this was how Muhammad Ilyas poured out his anguished fanaticism.
Ilyas himself was greatly troubled at the prospect that, like their neighbours, the Malkanas, the Meos, too, might fall into the Arya trap, for they also were Muslim only in name. This thought is said to have so pained him that: “He completely lost his sleep. He would cry out in anguish and would beseech God for help. He did not know what to do because he had tried the conventional way [of attempting to spread awareness about Islam through setting up makatib], but that had been a complete failure.”
A little known and carefully buried fact is that Muhammad Ilyas’ fanatical project of heartlessly isolating the Mewati children in his dingy Madrassa of bigotry was generously financed by the psychotic Nizam of Hyderabad, other major and minor Nawabs and landed Muslims.
But there’s a parallel track to the Tablighi Jamaat, which equally catapulted Muhammad Ilyas to the galaxy of zealots who championed Islamic revivalism during the freedom struggle period. This was the Khilafat “movement.” Reading the fine details of just this episode leaves us stunned as to how Mohandas Gandhi could attain the status of a deity. Indeed, a case can be made that almost every single blunder in the treasure chest of Gandhi’s violent experiments with Hindu lives has its roots in the Khilafat “movement.”
This story will be narrated in the next episode.
To be continued