It was an ache that it distressed him all the time; he couldn't eat, he couldn't sleep. was a worry that had engulfed all other worries; it was a topic, the explanation and elucidation of which took up all energies of his tongue and pen to the extent that writing on any other subject was a trial for him. He had written to Shaykhul Hadith Maulana Zakarya (rahimuhullah), "My heartfelt desire is that at least my brain, thought, time, and energy should be limited to nothing but this work." He used to say, "How can any other occupation be lawful for me when I see that the soul of Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihe wasallam) is distressed (because of the weakness of the Muslims' faith and the supremacy of kufr)." One day an attendant complained that he saw a lack of attention and affection in his behaviour as previously compared. He replied, "I am very busy; I feel that Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihe wasallam) is in distress; I cannot pay attention to anything else."
He did not attend gatherings where there was little chance of putting forward his message; he disliked going for the sake of an obligation only. He used to say, "If you go to a place, go with your message and put it forward, keep your invitation above anything."
Once in Delhi, he had to perforce attend a wedding ceremony of an acquaintance. He addressed the gathering at the wedding thus, "Today is the happiest of days for you when even the lowliest is pleased; it is not done to displease even the sweeperess………tell me! Do you have any concern of pleasing Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihe wasallam)?" then he explained that the endeavour to revive the deen brought by Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alaihe wasallam) was the greatest way to please him (sallallahu 'alaihe wasallam).
This fine references are of the founder of the Tablighi Jama'at, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Noorullah marqadahu, who adored calling to the Faith to such extent that all other sensory pleasures and opinions were dimmed before them; this spiritual pleasure had become sensory and natural for him.
Once, Maulana had defined 'Ishq', (adoration) as such, "The pleasures and interests of man that are divided between so many things come out and converge at one point; this is Ishq." This definition was personified in the Maulana himself. He used to sob and cry on the departure of the ummah from its deen. Sometimes he used to writhe in pain, sigh, sob, and complain, "O Allah! What else should I do? I am not doing enough." Sometimes he used to turn agonizingly on his bed, then get up and pace the room. One night his wife at last asked him, "What is the matter? Can you not sleep?" he answered, "What can I tell you? If you get to know what I do then the waking ones will become two."
The result of this heart ache and dedication to his aim was that in just a few years, the ache that had bothered one breast caught fire in hundreds. The Mewatis who had become half Hindu despite being called Muslims, who celebrated many of the Hindu festivals, whose villages rarely had a mosque in them, who even used to kill their newborns; suddenly, little beacons of light sprung up in the same Mewati dwellings. Mosques were built, religious schools and madaris mushroomed, the number of huffaz exceeded hundreds, and there was a good number of qualified `ulama. The birth of the love of Imaan extinguished the following of kufr. The customs and traditions that had come to be a way of life for them began to be eradicated. An experienced Mewati explained this in a very clear manner when he was asked what was happening in his area; he said, "I don't know anything else, what I do know is some things for which we used to strive and they did not happen, are happening on their own; some things which we tried to stop with battles and great endeavour and did not stop, are being stopped on their own."
Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas had a keen concern that if the `ulama did not overlook the preaching and this task was left to the common man alone, it would develop lots of flaws. His wish was for the educated `ulama to take an interest in this task and use their God gifted talents for the propagation of this work. Because most of his life Maulana had been associated to learning, he knew intimately the pursuits of the madaris, its teachers, and students. He wanted them to join hands with this work of calling to God but he also wanted a way out that would help those of the madaris in their learning but not interfere with it. He writes, "Deen can progress and develop according to the progress and development of learning, and under the progress and development of learning. It would be the greatest of losses if my movement caused any set back to learning. I do not mean by tabligh to prevent or hurt progress towards learning………"
He used to council the groups going in the way of Allah for tabligh to sit and learn from the gatherings of elders with the intention of improving oneself, and never to mention their own work in their presence. If the elders asked anything of their own accord, well and good, otherwise they were to keep silent. He wrote to Shaykhul Hadith Maulana Zakarya rahamahullah 'alaih, "I have an old wish, that these groups benefit from the khanqahs, keeping to all the manners of khanqahs, and that the missionary work be done in particular timings in surrounding villages. (Please) make a plan concerning this after council with the coming groups. This humble person is also overwhelmed with the wish to attend with some companions; I am also thinking of Deoband and Thana Bhawan."
Hakim-ul-Ummah, Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi was of the opinion that when `ulama educated for eight to ten years failed to solve some matters when on mission work, what would the ignorant Mewatis do without any formal education and training? His cautious and farsighted nature was unsatisfied and he feared some harm would come out of it. But when he received continuous news that the groups were working under supervision of the `ulama and getting guidance from them, and that they did not mention anything for which they were not allowed, he became satisfied.
The founder of the Jama'at always tried to link the workers of Tabligh to the `ulama. He used to stress the importance of `ulama, the need to benefit from them, the rewards of meeting them, and used to teach the manners of talking to them. He used to educate the workers to take the best possible explanation of things they did not understand and keep their faith in the scholars. The results of this effort became apparent when those big businessmen who were against the `ulama started attending their gatherings with respect and reverence and invited them for discourses to their congregations. They did not have the condition that only those `ulama would give talks who had spent time in the Jama'at; all authentic and righteous `ulama were invited.
The connection of Shaykhul Islam Maulana Sayyed Hussein Ahmad Madani (rahimuhullah) with politics was no secret, but he often gave discourses in gatherings although he had not spent any formal time in the Jama'at. Maulana Sayyed Abul Hassan Ali Nadvi (rahimuhullah), who was the heart and soul of Nadvatul `ulama--- and who is unaware of the barrier between the Nadwah and the rest of the madaris because of its special ambience and isolation of some of its founders---his dealing with the founder of the Jama'at was totally different. Hazrat Ilyas respected and loved all `ulama and so he did Ali Mian (rahimuhullah), and gave importance to his advise.
One day Ali Mian said that although the Nadwah had always extended an effectionate hand towards the people of deen, they had seldom had a positive response; thank God that he, Maulana Ilyas, had been loving towards them. Tears ran down Maulana's face and he said, "What are you saying? Your Jama'at is that of deen; I am not in favour of leaving out even the people from Aligarh." Besides Ali Mian, Hazrat Maulana Manzoor Ahmad Naumani rahimihullah was also among Maulana's close associates. Hazrat Maulana Abdul Qadir Raipoori was also a frequent visitor.
Not even a blind person can deny the fruit born by the whole world seems in a stir by its blessing, millions of people have been reformed by joining it; but despite all this, there is a need for guidance from the `ulama at each step. God forbid, if a rift is created between the Jama'at and the `ulama and the `ulama are made to follow the Jama'at instead of the other way round, it will have grave results for the religious circles.