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Tablighi Jamaat

Tablighi Jamaat was founded in 1926 in India by Muhammad Ilyas in order to assert a separate Muslim identity over and against the Hindu/Muslim syncretism that he found in the Mewat region south of Delhi (The Origins and Development of the Tablighi Jama’at by Yoginder Sikand (Orient Longman) p 13)

After 1945 TJ expanded out of South Asia and in recent decades has developed into the largest Islamic missionary organisation anywhere, with 80 million followers worldwide in, they claim, over 150 countries. (Abbey Mills Mosque open days brochure, 15 & 16 March 2008, p 4)

TJ teaches a narrow form of Deobandi Islam based primarily on the simplistic Six Points of Tabligh (  and their Faza’il-e-A’maal (formerly Tablighi Nisab) (  teaching manual. Veneration and emulation of Islam’s Prophet are part of their distinctives; a committed TJ member in the UK will refuse a bed and sleep on the floor – to exactly imitate Muhammad in 7th century Arabia. Another distinctive is that TJ requires followers to leave their families ( and go out on regular self-funded proselytism tours of between three days and four months duration.

Ilyas banned the use of written materials and today there are no organisational websites, newsletters or publications. The group is secretive and inaccessible.

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