TABLIGHI JAMAAT The Tablighi Jamaat (Organization for the Spread of God’s Word) was established in Delhi in 1880 The organization operated out of an office located near the shrine of Sufi saint Nazimuddin Aulia in a suburb of Delhi In the 1940, Muhammad Ilyas, a Muslim reformist scholar, gave the movement its present day structure After the establishment of Pakistan, the Jamaat set itself up in the new country, using Raiwind near Lahore as its headquarters The Tablighi Jamaat is different from other major religious organizations in Pakistan in that it neither has regular membership nor any identified leadership All Muslims can participate in its activities as long as they fulfill certain requirements Those wishing to join the Jamaat’s traveling missions must demonstrate that they have made arrangements to have their dependents looked after during their absence The Jamaat’s main purpose is to establish contact with both Muslims and non-Muslims and teach them what it considers as correct Islamic practices The task of proselytizing involves members of the Jamaat, both male and female, leaving home in small groups for varying periods of time, ranging from 3 to 40 days All expenses for these trips must be borne by the members themselves

Only those who have already performed a four-month-long domestic mission and two 40-day local tours are allowed to embark on foreign trips After the resurgence of Islam in Pakistan in the 1970s and 1980s, the Tablighi Jamaat’s attractions increased enormously Now hundreds of thousands of people attend its annual meeting held in Karachi’s Madani mosque According to some estimates, 2 million people are currently associated with the Jamaat in Pakistan The organization remains active in India and has established itself in the United States, Europe, and Africa

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