Is the particular style of Dawah work started by Moulana Ilyas (and used by Jama'ah Tabligh) established by evidence from the earlier Islamic period?
A 3.) As was explained in the answer to question #1 above, Shariah has not mandated a particular format for Dawah work. Religious education, Tabligh, Jihad, etc. are different ways of discharging this collective responsibility and they are all important in their own right.
The popular format chosen for a given function is an administrative matter.
today our religious schools (Madarsas and University) offer instruction for ten months a year, for six days a week, for six hours a day. They also have exams at predetermined intervals.(They have a course period and defined syllabus.
This arrangement has been found useful through experience but it was not used at the time of Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and one cannot find any evidence requiring it in the books of Hadith.
However, since this arrangement is not considered mandated by Shariah, but it is only an administrative matter, therefore it cannot be considered a bid'a (innovation).
The format adopted by Tablighi Jama'ah is also an administrative matter, and therefore, is permissible and it does not need any evidence in its favor as long as it is not considered mandated by Shariah.
However, for our understanding, it is sufficient to note that all Prophets and Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself had gone to the people to invite them to Islam. And Allah knows best.
Written by Aleem Ahsan Aziz,
Darul Ifta, Darul Uloom, Karachi.
Comments by Justice Mufti Taqi Usmani
I concur with the above Fatwa. The discussion of Fard Ayn and Fard Kifayah included here is in accordance with the juristic evidence. However, it does not diminish the importance of the work of Tabligh and it should not be used as a basis for reluctance in this matter. In our times when the forces of evil are very active, the work of Tabligh and Dawah has assumed special importance and Masha-Allah Jama'ah Tabligh is, overall, discharging this responsibility very well. Therefore, Muslims should cooperate with it. At the same time, efforts should be continued to correct the overstatements (ghuloo) made by some of its members. And Allah knows best.
(Abridged and Translated into English by Khalid Baig. The responsibility for any error in translation does not rest with the Darul-Uloom.)