Since 1995, Tablighi Jamaat was governed by a Shura (World Council) instead of a single Leader (Ameer). In 2014, a Shura member, Maulana Saad violated the Shura agreement and unofficially declared himself the new Ameer (leader) of the Jamaat.
During Ramadhan 2016, Maulana Saad orchestrated a violent purge of the Tablighi Jamaat HQ known as Nizamuddin Markaz. Those who were not in line with him were severely beaten. Many were hospitalized (See: 2016 Nizamuddin Markaz Bloodshed).
This unimaginable turn of events sealed all hopes of mediation which eventually led to the Tablighi Jamaat Split.
Many attempts to advise and mediate, even by Makkah/Madina elders failed.
Finally, the most senior Shura member, Haji Abdul Wahab Sahab, rallied all the elders and took a stand against the matter. By now, much of the crisis has settled. Maulana Saad’s followers are still there but they are in the minority. Above all, the work of Da’wa and Tabligh has been restored worldwide.
An Important note!
Before delving into the Tablighi Jamaat Split (or Ikhtilaaf), understand that disagreements in Islam always exist. We differ in Schools of Thought, Islamic movements, and even the day of Eid! Regardless, we are all united as Muslim Brothers and must respect each other.
Three(3) causes of the Tablighi Jamaat Split
Unlike splits in other organizations, disputes can be confusing as both parties have valid arguments. Alhamdulillah, the Tablighi Jamaat Split was not confusing at all. The incorrect party was crystal clear as it was just one person vs all the other Elders/Shura members. The only problem was how to deal with it.
On March 2018, all Tablighi elders worldwide stood up against Maulana Saad. They listed 3 reasons why he was at fault.
#1 – Maulana Saad tried to change the Manhaj (doctrine) of Tablighi Jamaat without approval
One of the key doctrines of Tablighi Jamaat is to always bind itself to the Ijma (Consensus) of the Ulema and adhere strictly to the legendary Mufassirin, Muhaddiseen and Fuqaha, especially in deriving rulings and explanations of the Quran, Hadith and Seerah (stories of the Prophets and Sahabas).
Source: Maulana Ibrahim Dewla’s Letter
The biggest change done by Maulana Saad was to deviate the movement out of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah (Majority of the Sunni Ulema) through his Ideologies and new understanding of Islam. Many fatwas have been issued on Maulana Saad, including the prestigious Darul Uloom Deoband.
It is from the original Manhaj (doctrine) of Tablighi Jamaat that it had never established itself as a separate group within Islam. By disconnecting from the Ulema, it will be reduced to nothing more than a cult.
Maulana Saad also made many other changes to the Jamaat without approval. His first major change was the introduction of the book Muntakhab Ahaadith to be one of the official books for the Jamaat. This change was never approved. Many of his unapproved changes caused confusion and disruption to the organization worldwide.
#2 – Maulana Saad violated the 1995 agreement. Declaring himself Ameer & causing the Tablighi Jamaat Split
Back in 1995, the Shura (including Maulana Saad) signed an agreement that stated: The responsibility of patronizing the work will not be on one individual but a (World) Shura.
In 2014, Maulana Saad treacherously violated this agreement by claiming himself the new Ameer. He rejected the Shura which had been the main authority of Tabligh since 1995. He also started taking Bay’ah (pledge of allegiance). All this was done without approval (Mashwara).
Undoubtedly, It is a sin to break an agreement, let alone divide the biggest Islamic movement in the world with approximately 100 million followers. Allah SWT mentions in the Quran: O believers! Keep your agreements. (Quran 5:1)
The Prophet(ﷺ) said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three: When he speaks he tells a lie. When he is entrusted he is dishonest. When he promises he breaks them.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2749).
For more details, see Maulana Saad’s Treacherous Violation of the 1995 Agreement.
#3 – Many fatwas have been issued on Maulana Saad’s Ideology
As mentioned in point #1, Tablighi Jamaat has always been bounded by the majority (Ijma) of the Ulema, which is guarded by well-established Islamic Institutions. Unfortunately, many institutions and Darul Ulooms have deemed Maulana Saad’s Ideology as being out of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah. Complaints have been recorded since 2001. The elders have tried to handle it internally but Maulana Saad’s ideology became increasingly deviated year after year.
On 28th November 2016, Darul Uloom Deoband issued its first fatwa on Maulana Saad. Maulana Saad played a Rujoo (retraction) game, which his followers began to chant. On 31st January 2018, Darul Uloom Deoband rejected his Rujoo, stating:
The Ideological divergence of Maulana Saad cannot be ignored at all. Even after the so-called Rujoo, he continues to make several misguided statements
Most recently, Darul Uloom Deoband issued another Fatwa in 2023. They clearly state that Maulana Saad should not be followed and those who follow him are answerable to Allah SWT.
Many other Institutions and Darul Ulooms have also issued fatwas on Maulana Saad. We have collected up to 40+ Fatwas on this site.
Why can’t the Elders compromise and try to resolve differences?
All hopes were lost when Maulana Saad did the unimaginable:
Maulana Saad initiated a violent purge of the Markaz (India HQ) in the holy month of Ramadhan.7 Proofs Maulana Saad was the Mastermind
Many were severely beaten with sticks and iron rods. This ultimately sealed all hopes of resolving differences. See 2016 Nizamuddin Markaz Bloodshed (7 Proofs M Saad was the mastermind).
Can’t ordinary Tablighi members just ignore this top-level issue?
This question is commonly asked. The answer is unfortunately no, It is no longer a top-level issue. As Maulana Saad wanted to overthrow the current Shura, he had to rally ordinary members to support him.
- He sent many delegations worldwide to spread misinformation
- He promoted his loyalists to local heads worldwide creating factions
The disagreement was thus spread to ordinary members.
Haji Abdul Wahab and the Elders finally made their move
On November 2016, 93-year-old Haji Abdul Wahab and the elders finally took a stand against the reckless Maulana Saad.
- They united all the elders together. Almost all the elders are with the Shura.
- They empowered the Shura with new members. This minimized Maulana Saad’s authority who was already a member of the Shura.
- Haji Abdul Wahab instructed people to abandon Nizamuddin Markaz (Saad’s HQ) saying it has been occupied by irresponsible people.
- Haji Abdul Wahab exposed the fact that Maulana Saad himself has not spent time in Tabligh and delivered an ultimatum to him.
Maulana Saad’s continuous decline after causing the Tablighi Jamaat Split
Maulana Saad has been on the decline since.
- In 2020 March, Nizamuddin Markaz was shut down following the Covid-19 hotspot where it became a super spreader. Many foreigners were jailed for up to 6 months.
- In 2020 April, the media exposed Maulana Saad’s large farmhouse mansion with plush interiors, CCTVs, electric fences, dogs, swimming pools, luxury cars, and exotic animals [source1, source2, source3, source].
- In 2020 March, a money laundering case was opened against Maulana Saad as authorities found a large sum of money in his bank account.
- In 2022, the Indian courts enforced strict conditions on Nizamuddin Markaz: No Tablighi activities, no lectures, no foreigners, and CCTVs must be installed at all entrances, stairs, and every floor [source]. Nizamuddin was reopened in late 2022 under these strict conditions.
- 2018 – 2023 – Maulana Saad was barred 6 times from entering Tongi Ijtema, the largest Muslim gathering after Hajj.
- 2016-2023 – Many Fatwas have been issued on Maulana Saad. This includes a fatwa from Mazahir Uloom Saharanpur which was signed by his own father-in-law.
- 2023 – A strong and detailed fatwa was issued by Darul Uloom Deoband. They prohibited people from spreading Maulana Saad’s views and clearly mentioned his followers will be answerable to Allah SWT.
Why are some people still following Maulana Saad?
- They don’t have a clue about Maulana Saad’s mistakes. They simply follow their local/demographic affiliations. These people are usually sincere and more neutral in nature.
- They have been fed lies and unproven theories. This is where we come in. We have prepared the complete history of Tablighi Jamaat for this. Their logic is simple => Maulana Saad is the Ameer => We should obey him no matter what!
We can only Unite upon the Truth
It is without a doubt that the young and ambitious Maulana Saad was the cause of the Tablighi Jamaat Split Crisis in 2014. Most elders and scholars(Ulama) have united against him. Due to this, the crisis has settled and the Jamaat have united upon the truth.
The minority followers of Maulana Saad still exist. We have nothing against them except their leader. Insha’Allah, most of them are sincere, and we pray for them to see the truth. Above all, we are united as Muslim brothers. As for doing the work of Da’wa, we can only unite upon the truth, we cannot call people towards falsehood.
When you recognize a wrongdoer, do not mention it to others. Ask and mention his goodness. But in the matters of Deen, if you recognize a wrongdoer (i.e. corrupted beliefs), mention it to others so they are aware and do not follow him”Imam Abu Haneefa Rahmatullah Alaih
Allah SWT knows the best