The Tablighi Jamaat has emerged as the ‘super-spreader’ of the Wuhan Coronavirus in India. members of the Islamic Missionary organization have spread the deadly virus across the lengths and breadths of India and its clerics have engaged in the most nefarious of behaviours such as spitting on the doctors in order to infect them with the virus. Furthermore, the Maulana of Markaz, Nizamuddin, Mohammed Saad Kandhalvi, has been revealed to be a deluded bigot who urged Muslims to defy the nationwide lockdown imposed by the Government of India.
Maulana Saad Kandhalvi has a rather intriguing past. The Darul Uloom Deoband categorically issued a fatwa in 2016 against the Tablighi Jamaat for comments made by Maulana Saad Kandhalvi. Accusing him of ‘perversion, misinterpretation of Islamic texts and desecration of prophethood of the messengers of Allah,’ Darul uloom Deoband declared him “misguided” and “deviant”. The fatwa stated, “It is our religious duty to warn Muslims particularly those with the Tablighi Jam’ at that Maulvi Sa’ad Kandhaulvi, the current chief of the Jam’at, is misinterpreting Quran and Hadith.”
Darul Uloom Deoband took particular offense at Maulana Saad Kandhalvi for claiming that after Mecca and Madina, the Markaz, Nizamuddin is the holiest place in Islam. “We can’t remain silent and a mute spectator when Maulvi Saad Kandhalvi continues to disseminate his perverted views and wrong interpretations about Islam in large gatherings”, the Darul Uloom said. “After a close analysis of his speeches we have come to the conclusion that Mualana Saad Kandhaulvi has gone astray and he must repent without any delay”, the fatwa stated.
Darul Uloom Deoband has also said, “Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb khandhelwi Saheb, due to a lack of knowledge has strayed from the path of the majority of the Ulema of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah in his ideologies and his explanation of Qur’aan and Hadeeth, which is undoubtedly the path of deviation. Therefore, silence cannot be adopted regarding these matters, because, even though these ideologies are those of a single person, they are spreading with great speed among the general masses.”
Maulana Saad Kandhalvi has also run into trouble within Tablighi Jamaat itself. Former head of the Tablighi Jamat Inamul Hasan Kandhlawi had formed a 10-member legislation before his death in 1995 to look after the affairs of the Jamaat and this legislation (commonly shura) was intact until 2015. Over the years, most leaders of this shura passed away and subsequently in 2015, a meeting was held in Raiwind, Pakistan in order to fill the vacant spaces. Consequently, a new shura consisting of 13 members was formed. However, Maulana Saad Kandhalvi did not agree with this newly formed shura and declared himself the head of the Tablighi Jamaat.
Following Maulana Saad Kandhalvi’s usurpation of power, the group split into three factions. One was the Markaz Nizamuddin faction headed by Saad himself. The second was in Pakistan known as the Raiwind faction and the third was in Bangladesh. As a consequence, there was a split in the Tablighi Jamaat in other countries as well based on their allegiances to the respective factions.
In January 2018, Maulana Saad Kandhalvi was forced to return to India without attending the Biswa Ijtema organized by the Jamaat in Bangladesh following protests by what was said to be by the Bangladeshi faction of the Jamaat. However, later, the blame for the demonstrations against the Maulana was placed on Hefazat-e-Islam, another Islamist group. Maulana Saad Kandhalvi is also known to hold extremely fundamentalist views of Islam. He is reported to have once said, “Using Mobile phones with an Islamic app or Qur’an app is worse than fornication (Zina). Thus, those even the Ulema and Islamic clerics who enter washrooms with such mobile phones in their pockets are worse than the fornicators (Zinaakaar)”.
Maulana Saad Kandhalvi was born on the 10th of May, 1965. He has a degree in Aalim from a madrasa known as Kaashif-ul-Uloom. He is the son of Maulana Muhammed Haroon and grand son of Muhammad Yusuf Kandhalvi. After the death of Inmul Hasan Kandhalvi, Maulana Saad became one of the three decision makers of Shura. He has three sons and two daughters. He has written numerous books as well.
Maulana Saad Kandhalvi in a sermon the 23rd of March instigated Muslims to defy the lockdown. He said, “This is the time to fill the mosques. I have been saying this since beginning that this is the time to fill up the mosques. Do not come into the talks to empty the mosques. In fact, it is the time to increases the mosques.” He added, “Those who have no faith in Allah, through these schemes and excuses of trying to save Muslims from the disease are trying to keep us away. They have found an excuse to keep Muslims away from coming here. They want to put this fear in the Muslims that those who gather in huge numbers can get infected. The disease will pass but the fear will not. This is a tactic to create fear amongst the Muslims and to end the love and brotherhood Muslims have amongst each other. This is a program created. This program is created against Muslims to make them appear ‘untouchables’. They think this is a good excuse to do this. There is no problem in staying away from those who have caught the infection. But Muslims should not meet Muslims? This is ‘jihalat‘.”
“This is not the time to leave mosques and disperse. Why did people believe that gathering in group will spread coronavirus? Why did people not believe that if we come together then Allah will send angels and with the help of angels the peace will return to the world,” the Maulana said further. He stated, “If you start listening to doctors and stop doing the namaaz and stop meeting people… yes, so you are sick, then pray to the 70,000 angels. Why are you not having faith in the angels? How will you be cured by taking medicines from doctor if you cannot be saved by the 70,000 angels? This is not the time to stay away and be afraid.”