What is your opinion about going out in Jamat for 3 days/ 40 days / or 4 months? What are the basis of these specific days from Quran and Sunnah?


Assalāmu `alaikum Warahmatullāhi Wabrakatuh,

A brief introduction to Tablīgh Jamā῾ah and their objectives

Tablīgh literally means ‘to convey’. Contextually, it refers to conveying the message of Islam. This is the sunnah of all the prophets. The most important rule of Tablīgh is hikmah. Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Qur’ān:

ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة

Invite (people) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good counsel.

(Verse: 16:125)

Whosoever does Tablīgh must adopt hikmah. It is only then, that people will understand and accept.

The system conducted by the Tablīgh Jamā῾ah was initiated by Hazrat Mowlāna Ilyās Sāheb rahimahullah. He observed that people were too engrossed in their worldly activities and had forgotten the objective for which they had been sent to this world. He realized that they had to free some time from their worldly engagements, to sit and ponder about Allah Ta’ala and their purpose for being sent to this world. Therefore, he started calling people to the masjid, and reminded them about Allah Ta’ala and His greatness. Initially people rebuked him, they discouraged him and used to say that they had no time for all of this; but as time went by, they realized the truth behind it and the need for it, and started joining him in calling others towards Allah Ta’ala. Thereafter, when more people started joining this work, a few guidelines had to be set, to make sure that the work was done in a proper manner. Different time periods of 3 days, 40 days, etc. were set, so that people knew for how long they had to be away, and could make the necessary arrangements for that period.

Their objective is that each and every Muslim adopts the Islamic way in all aspects of life. They do not advice anyone to leave all their daily activities and join this work, but they encourage people to take out some time from their daily engagements so that the rest of the time could be spent in accordance to the teachings of Islam. Spending time in the path of Allah is not the objective of the work, but rather it acts as a motivation to practice on all other aspects of Deen.

Proof from Qur’ān and Hadīth

There are many verses of the Qur’ān and the Ahadīth of Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam that support the practice of Tablīgh. Hereunder are a few of them:

From the Holy Qur’ān:


ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة

Invite (people) to the way of your lord with wisdom and good counsel.

(Verse: 16:125)


ولتكن منكم أمة يدعون إلى الخير ويأمرون بالمعروف وينهون عن المنكر

And there has to be a group of people from among you who call towards good and prevent from evil.

(Verse: 3:104)


ومن أحسن قولا ممن دعا إلى الله وعمل صالحا وقال إنني من المسلمين

And who is better in utterance than the one who called people towards Allah, and acts righteously and says, “I am one of those who submit themselves (to Allah Ta’ala).

(Verse: 41:33)

From the Ahadīth of Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam:


فقال أبو سعيد أما هذا فقد قضى ما عليه سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول من رأى منكم منكرا فليغيره بيده فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه وذلك أضعف الإيمان

Hazrat Abu Sa’eed radhiyallahu ῾anhu narrates that he heard Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam saying, “Whosoever witnesses a forbidden act being committed, he should prevent it by the use of his hands; if he is unable to do so, then he should prevent it with his tongue; if he is unable to do so, he should at least consider it a vice in his heart; and this is a very low level of Iman”.

(Sahīh Muslim Vol.2 Pg.211/2 - Darul Ma’rifah)


عن النعمان بن بشير رضي الله عنهما عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال مثل القائم على حدود الله والواقع فيها كمثل قوم استهموا على سفينة فأصاب بعضهم أعلاها وبعضهم أسفلها فكان الذين في أسفلها إذا استقوا من الماء مروا على من فوقهم فقالوا لو أنا خرقنا في نصيبنا خرقا ولم نؤذ من فوقنا فإن يتركوهم وما أرادوا هلكوا جميعا وإن أخذوا على أيديهم نجوا ونجوا جميعا

It has been reported on the authority of Nu῾mān bin Bashīr radhiyallahu ῾anhu that Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam said, “There are people who do not transgress the limits (laws) of Allah Ta’ala, and there are others who do so. They are like two groups who boarded a ship; one of them settled on the upper deck, and the other on the lower deck of the ship. When the people of the lower deck needed water, they said, “Why should we cause trouble to the people of the upper deck when we can have plenty of water by making a hole in our deck”. Now, if the people of the upper deck do not prevent this group from such foolishness, all of them will perish; but if they stop them, they will be saved”.

(Sahīh Al Bukhāri Vol.3 Pg.152 - Darul fikr)

The objection that 3 days, 40 days, 4 month going in the path of Allah is not in the Qur’ān and Sunnah

It is a commandment of Sharī῾ah to acquire knowledge, but the manner in which the Madāris are established today, is not proven through Qur’ān and Sunnah. Up until the recent past, the scholars used to teach in the masjids of their respective towns and villages. The students had to go to different scholars to learn the different sciences. No arrangements of food or boarding were made. However, the zeal for knowledge had decreased as time went by, and the scholars felt it necessary to establish the system of Dārul Ulūms Dārul Ulūms as is established today. Nobody regards such a system to be bid’ah!

Similarly, Sharī῾ah has commanded us to do the work of Tablīgh. This work used to be done on an individual basis. The learned people used to preach people and prevent them from all vices. As time went on, vice started prevailing, and people had stopped doing the work on an individual basis; therefore, a collective effort had to take place, and rules had to be set up for the work to carry on in order.

Importance of seeking knowledge

We accept the fact that it is important to seek knowledge, and certain aspects of Deen are such that it is compulsory for each and every Muslim to know them. There are millions of Muslims in the world. It is not practically possible that all these Muslims join Dārul Ulūms and madaris or (as mentioned by the Shaykh) sit in the masjid and acquire knowledge, as is the custom in , etc. All the Muslims in the world will not be prepared to do this, nor can the Dārul Ulūms and madaris accommodate such a big body of students. Therefore, a different mechanism had to be adopted.

It was observed that only the minority that were in Dārul Ulūms and madaris were acquiring knowledge, and the vast majority was too engrossed in worldly activities, resulting in the ignorance of even the basic principles of Deen. Therefore, a method was engineered where the Muslims were requested to take out some time from their daily engagements and come to the masjid. Here they were reminded about Allah Ta’ala and how ignorant they were of the teachings of Islam. This led them to spending more time in the path of Allah and eventually they were educated with the basic teachings of Islam. It is apparent today that anyone who spends atleast 40 days in the path of Allah is acquainted with the basic rulings of salat, wudu, etc. and also learns to recite those suras of the Qur’ān that are read frequently in salat. Moreover, the work of Tablīgh has created awareness for the lack of knowledge in Muslims in the past few years, resulting in more students joining madaris and the opening up of more Dārul Ulūms and madaris.

The position of knowledge in Tablīgh Jamā῾ah

Tablīgh Jam’at does not discourage people from acquiring knowledge, but rather it acts as an encouragement for people to go seek knowledge. The teachings of Tablīgh Jamā῾ah are based on “six points”, the third point of which is “’ilm (knowledge) and zikr (remembrance of Allah Ta’ala)”. When the brothers who go out in the path of Allah, the virtues of knowledge are read to them and they are encouraged to go to the scholars of Deen to acquire knowledge of the rulings of Islam. The students and teachers of schools and madaris are discouraged to disrupt their studies for the work of da῾wah, but they are inspired to give their free time for this work. There are extremists that give preference to da῾wah over knowledge, but this is totally against the teachings of the seniors of Tablīgh Jamā῾ah.

Propagating without knowledge

It is true that one should not preach what one does not know. However, not having knowledge in one field does not mean that one cannot propagate at all. There is no one present on the face of the earth who can say that he has mastered all fields, or even one field for that matter. Knowledge is so vast that no creation can encompass it. Therefore, we cannot say that one should wait till he has perfected his knowledge in order to propagate it. It is enough for a person to know one aspect of Deen to propagate that aspect to another person. We also understand from the Ahadith of Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam that he ordered the Sahabah radiallahu ῾anhum to propagate whatever they heard from Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam, even if it was one sentence.

عن عبد الله بن عمرو أن النبى - صلى الله عليه وسلم - قال « بلغوا عنى ولو آية ... » .

It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah bin Amr radhiyallahu ῾anhu that Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam said, “Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single verse or sentence (from the Qur’ān or the Sunnah …”.

(Sahīh Al Bukhari Vol.4 Pg.175 - Darul fikr)

Similarly, the brothers who go out in the path of Allah discuss the “six points” with those who have spent more time than them. After they are well acquainted with the “six points”, they are allowed to give talks in the mosque. They are advised to speak only within the “six points” and not speak anything besides that. In this way, they propagate only what they know and not what they do not know. Only the qualified scholars are allowed to elaborate on issues other than the “six points”. This is the reason why most of the brothers that take part in the work of Tablīgh do not answer questions posed on aqeedah and rules of Islamic jurisprudence. Anyone who poses such questions is asked to consult an ‘alim for an answer.

It has also been the concern of the seniors of the work of Tablīgh that many of the Jamā῾ahs go out in the path of Allah without a single ‘ālim in the whole Jamā῾ah. They are trying to rectify this situation by inviting more scholars to do this work. However, they make sure that there are at least one or two ῾ulamā’ in every Jamā῾ah that is sent to another country.

Misquoting the Ahadith of Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam

It is a great sin to falsely attribute anything to Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam. Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam has said:

ومن كذب على متعمدا فليتبوأ مقعده من النار

Whoever tells a lie against me intentionally, then surely let him occupy his seat in the (hell) fire.

(Sahīh Al Bukhari Vol.4 Pg.175 - Darul fikr)

It is a sad fact that scholars and the general masses are all involved in this malpractice of misquoting the Ahadith of Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam. Incidents and sayings are taken from books and other talks, and attributed to Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam without trying to figure out if they are authentic or fabricated. This malpractice is not found only amongst those brothers who are involved in Tablīgh Jamā῾ah, but is a common practice of many of the speakers who want to spice up their talks with interesting stories.

The seniors of Tablīgh Jamā῾ah discourage the others from quoting such narrations, but there are many who do not adhere to this advice. However, it will not be advisable for one to abandon the work of Tablīgh because of these speakers, but rather join the work and correct this malpractice.

It is because of the fear of misquoting the narrations of Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam that the brothers of Tablīgh Jamā῾ah attribute the narrations to their seniors and say that ‘so and so said it’. In this way they are saved from attributing those narrations to Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam of which they have no knowledge.

The ones nearer to you have more right

We accept the fact that the ones nearer to you have more right, and you should propagate to them before you start propagating to others. Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Holy Qur’ān:

وأمر أهلك بالصلاة واصطبر عليها

Bid your family to perform Salāh, and adhere to it yourself.

(Verse: 20:132)

However, this does not mean that one has to wait till everyone in his family and locality has come totally upon Islam before he could propagate to others. Nabī sallallahu ῾alaihi wasallam did not wait for the whole of Makkah Mukarramah to accept Islam before he went to Taif. All madaris do not wait till everyone in that town or village becomes an ‘alim before they accept students from other towns or countries. Similarly, the brothers involved in Tablīgh go out in the path of Allah, but they are also doing this work in their locality when they are not out in the path of Allah.

Moreover, this objection needs to be justified only if we assume that the brothers go out in the path of Allah to rectify the others, whereas, their objective of going out in the path of Allah is to rectify themselves. We have mentioned above that spending time in the path of Allah is not the objective of the work, but rather it acts as a motivation to practice on all other aspects of Deen. The objective is to be involved in masjidwar a’mal after they return home. Masjidwar a’mal includes doing gusht (going door to door) in the locality and reading ‘the book of virtues of good deeds’ at home.

Ref: Taken mainly from Fatawa Mahmūdiyah Vol.4 Pgs.228-243 (Jami’a Farūqiyah)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best

Mufti Abu Yahya,
Sri Lanka

Checked and approved with the following additions with regards to 3 days/40days and 4 months:

The principle and simple response to this objection is,

· One is a general order of Sharī῾āh. For example Da῾wah and Tablīgh, seeking Knowledge etc.

· The other is the procedure in carrying out these orders.

The procedure to do da῾wah and Tablīgh, seeking knowledge etc. are subservient to Maslihah (prudence). Maslihah is a very important juristic principle and governs many orders of Sharī῾āh based on circumstances.

It is the wisdom of a wise person/s to understand circumstances and guide and act accordingly.

Rasulullah salallahu ῾alayhi wasallam wanted to rebuild the Ka’bah Sharīf and include the Hatīm area in it as it was excluded by the Arabs at the time of Jahiliyyah due to shortage of funds.

· Consider, the Ka’ba Shareef is the house of Allah.

· It was built by His beloved prophet Ebrahim alayhis salam with the order of Allah.

· The Ka’ba Shareef is a symbol of Allah on earth.

· The final and most beloved Rasul of Allah salallahu alayhi wasallam expressed his desire to rebuild the Ka’ba and include the Hateem in the enclosed part of the Ka’ba.

Inspite of such overwhelming positive points, Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam decided against rebuilding the Ka῾ba as that was against Maslihah.

The people would accuse Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam of starting a new religion and changing the symbols that are near and dear to them. That in turn would turn the people away from Islam.

It is also important to consider that this consideration of Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam was during his final Hajj. Makkah was conquered. Islam has spread and thousands entered into the fold of Islam already. Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam could have all had the support to change the Ka’ba. Yet he exercised restraint. All this was due to Maslihat.

There are innumerable examples in Seerah of invoking the rule of Maslihah for purpose of Da῾wah. A wise person looks beyond the surface of the issue.

Da῾wahh (propagation) is an integral part of Deen. It is actually one of the missions of Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam. In fact the mission of every prophet of Allah.

Any person having insight on the history and life of the prophets will understand that the procedure of da῾wahh during the different prophets was circumstantial. Every prophet faced a different challenge which required a different approach of da῾wah.

It is common knowledge,

“The laws of one nation cannot govern the other”

Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam is the last prophet. His mission of Da῾wahh will remain till the day of judgement.

The Ummat will face changing conditions all the time.

What was the best method of da῾wahh 1000 years ago, may not be the best now. New methods had to be introduced to achieve the common objective of Sharī῾āh and Da῾wahh. Surely, any new method must not violate any injunction of Sharī῾āh. At the same time, Sharī῾āh does not oppose introducing methods to uphold the common objectives of Sharī῾āh. In fact to some extent Sharī῾āh encourages it.

اذا ثبت الشئى ثبت بلوازمه

When something is established, it will be with all its imperatives

Take for example, Sharī῾āh has emphasised on building Masājid. There are great rewards promised for a person that builds a Masjid.

مَنْ بَنَى لِلَّهِ مَسْجِدًا بَنَى اللَّهُ لَهُ مِثْلَهُ فِي الجَنَّة

Whosoever builds a Masjid for Allah’s pleasure, Allah will build for him a similar in Jannah

(Sunan Tirmidhi Shareef #318, Vol. 2 Pg 134)

Building a Masjid is an expression of a person’s Imān.

However, what takes place before building a Masjid and what happens after a Masjid is built are all administrative issues left to the discretion of the person, for example:

· Consulting appropriate people in the choice of the land.

· Choosing a builder

· Obtaining funds

· Drawing a constitution

· Appointing an Imam

· The daily activities in the Masjid

There are no specific rules governing all the issues surrounding the building of a Masjid. However,, Sharī῾āh does not oppose these issues as it is a means to achieve the objectives encourages in Sharī῾āh.

Will anyone object to these issues in establishing Masjid?

Can anyone claim, where is it in the Qur’ān and Hadīth to have a constitution for a Masjid?

Where is it in the Qur’an that there should be specific talks and programmes in the Masjid? All this is left to the discretion of the trustees of the masjid.

Similarly, Sharī῾āh emphasizes on seeking knowledge of Sharī῾āh? There is no specific order of Sharī῾āh to learn Arabic.

However, it is understood that he Arabic language is a medium to understand the Qur’an and Hadīth. Hence, the learning of Sarf, Nahw, Fasahat and Balaghah etc.

Similarly, there is no mention of establishing madrasahs and Dārul Ulūms with a five year or seven year curriculum. All these are based on careful thought, experiences and administering an agenda to achieve the objective of being educated in Sharī῾āh.

Nowhere in the Qur’an it is stated to study specific subject or for a specific time period?

If these lawāzimāt (imperatives) of a masjid or becoming an Alim are not implemented, a masjid would not be built or not properly administered. There would not be well educated Ulama.

This is also understood in the circular field. There is a need for doctors, lawyers, and other apprentices.

It is only after a person spends a few years studying and doing apprenticeship in a particular field, is one qualified enough to practice in that field. To practice as a doctor without fulfilling these administrative requirements is termed as fraud. Will it be wise to question where is this in the Qur’an and the Hadith?

How can such a huge responsibility of Da῾wahh be fulfilled without undertaking training in the field of Da῾wahh. Da῾wahh is not merely representing ones client in law. Da῾wahh is not merely administering medicine or fixing someone’s lights like an electrician does!

It is to guide mankind from the darkness of kufr to the lights of Iman and faith in Allah.

It is to guide one from the attachment of their temporary materialistic world to the everlasting hereafter.

This is a huge and mammoth task. It requires the pain in the heart to witness kufr and shirk, to witness people treading the path to jahannam (hellfire).

Once that pain is there, the rest follows – sacrifice with wealth and life.

This pain is inculcated by going out and witnessing the condition of people immersed in their worldly life. Knowing something can never be like personal experience.

ليس الخبر كالمعاينة

Information (of something) is not the same as witnessing (through eyes)

Our Ulama have thus encouraged people to go out for a few days, 3 days, 40 days, 4 months to witness the condition of the people and feel the pain of Ghaflah (obliviousness) , kufr and shirk and then exert oneself to guide oneself and other on to Sirat al Mustaqeem.

The best answer to your objections is join the work with experienced elders and witness the noor of the work yourself.

No amount of explanation will fulfil you equivalent to your personal experience.

There is a saying,

The taste of the pudding lies in tasting it.

Looking at the pudding will not make you understand the taste.

And Allah knows best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa
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