Monday, October 25, 2010

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo

INTRODUCTION:
Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو), the founder of the Tableeghi Jama’at (تبلیغی جماعت) of South Asian subcontinent, is arguably one of the most influential, yet least well-known , figures of the twentieth century Islam. Despite his enormous contribution towards the development of a powerful grass root Islamic Da’wah movement, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) has not received much attention in the literature on modern Islamic movements. Most of the Western, and even Muslim, scholarships have remained occupied with the more spectacular and dramatic manifest ions of Islamic revivalist upsurge. The available literature on Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) and his Tableeghi movement (تبلیغی جماعت) is mostly in Urdu and that too consists mainly of inspirational works by its leaders and devotional writings by its followers and supporters.

EARLY LIFE:
Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) was born in 1885 (1302 Hijri), in Mewat (which was inhabited by Rajput tribes known as Meos. The area to the south of Delhi where the Meos have been settled from the olden days is called Mewat, a small town in the United Province of British India in a family of religious scholars. His childhood was spent in maternal grandfather's home in Kandhla, and with his father at Nizamuddin. In those days, the Kandhla family was the cradle of godliness and piety so much so that reports of the high religiosity nightly devotions and Zikr and Tilawat of its members, both male and female, would seem imaginary and fictitious to the faint-hearted men of our time. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) received his early religious education at home like all other children in the family; then Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) began his education in the maktab, according to the family tradition, learnt the Quran by heart. The learning of the Quran was so common in the family, that in the one-and-a-half row of worshippers in the family Masjid, there was not a single non Hafiz except the Muezzin and later went to the famous center of Islamic education in Deoband where he studied the Qur’an, Hadith, Fiqh and other Islamic sciences under the early Deoband luminaries. After completing his education at Deoband, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) took up a teaching position at another famous Madarsah Mazaharul Uloom (مدرسۂ مظہرالعلوم) in Saharanpur (United Province of British India)

FAMILY:

Maulana Mohammad Ismail Meo (مولانا محمّد اسماعیل میو) the father of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) died on Saturday 26th February, 1898 (5th Shawal 1315 Hijri) in Khajoor Wali Masjid at the Tiraha of Bahram in Delhi, he was very fond of the recitation of the Quran. He was very particular about some member of his family keeping vigil in the night. His second son, Maulana Yahya Meo مولانا يحی' میو, used to study till midnight, and, then the Maulana himself got up and Maulana Yahya went to bed and for the last part of the night, he woke up his eldest son, Maulana Mohammad Meo مولانا محمّد میو)). Bi Safia, the mother of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو), had learnt the Quran by heart and attained great distinction in it. It was a regular practice with her to recite the whole of the Quran and additional ten Juze (part) every day during Ramadan. She, thus, completed the Quran and was so fluent in it that her household duties did not suffer on account of it. She, generally, kept herself engaged in some work while doing the recitation.

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) was Ammi Bi's favorite child. She used to say; to him ”I feel the aroma of the holy Companions in you.” Sometimes, placing her hand on his back, she would say,”How is it that I see figures resembling the holy Companions moving along with you?”.


NEED OF TABLEEGHI JAMA’AT (تبلیغی جماعت)
It was at the point in his life when he took up a teaching position at Madarsah Mazaharul Uloom (مدرسۂ مظہرالعلوم). Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) became aware of the "dismal Islamic situation" in the Mewat region near Dehli where majority of Muslims were living a life that had very little to do with Islamic teachings and practices. At the time, some Muslim leaders feared that Muslims were losing their religious identity to the majority Hindu culture. Meos were generally benighted Muslims and lacked the necessary acumen required to resist the cultural and religious influence of Hindus.

Owing to the negligence of the Muslims religious teachers, the moral arid religious condition of the Mewatis had sunk so low that there was little to distinguish between their beliefs and practices and wholesale apostasy. Even non-Muslim historians have commented at length on their estrangement with Islam. The moral and religious condition of the Meos in Mewat can be imagin in the light of following extracts:


The Alwar Gazetteer of 1878, written by Major Powlett, syay:

“All the Meos are, now, Muslims, but only in name. Their village deities are the same as those of the Hindu landlords, and they celebrate several Hindu festivals. Holi is a season of special rejoicing among the Mewatis and they observe it like their own festivals, such as, Moharrum, ‘Id and Shab-i-Barat. The same is the case with Janam Ashtami, Dussehra and Diwali. The Meos engage the services of the Brahmins to fix the dates of marriages. They have Hindu names, with the exception of the word ‘Ram’, and their last name, often, is ‘Singh’, though not as frequently as ‘Khan’. Like Ahirs and Gujars, the Mewatis, too, observe Amawas as a holiday on which they abstain from work. When they build a well, they begin with the construction of a parapet in the name of Beeriyi or Hanuman, but when it comes to pillage, they do not show much reverence to the Hindu temples and other places of religious significance. If, on such an occasion, their attention is drawn to the sanctity of these establishments, they, unhesitatingly, says, ‘You are "Does" and we are "Meos".’ Meos are, largely, ignorant of their faith, i. e. Islam. Very few of them know the Kalima,’ and fewer still observe Namaz regularly. About the hours and rules of namaz, their ignorance is complete. This is the state of the Meos of Alwar. In the British territory of Gurgaon, the position is a little better because of the Madrassas. In some parts of Alwar, also, where the Masjids have been built, the religious duties are observed to some extent. A few of them know the Kalima and offer up namaz and an attachment for the Madrassas, also, is found among them. As we have seen earlier, the initial ceremonies of marriage are performed by the Brahmins, but the real ceremony (of nikah) is performed by the Qazi. Men wear dhoti and loin-cloth. The pajamas are not worn at all. Their dress, thus, is wholly Hinduised. Even ornaments of gold are worn by men.”

At another place, Major Powlett writes:

“The Meos are half-Hindu by their habits. Mosques are rarely to be seen in their villages. There are only eight mosques in the fifty villages of the tehsil of Tijarah. Leaving aside the temples, the places of worship of the Meos are very much similar to those of their Hindu neighbors. These are known, for instance as Paanch Peera, Bhaisa and Chahand or Khera Deo is consecrated to the service of Maha Davi where animals are offered as a sacrifice. In Shab-i-Barat, the banner of Syed Salar Masud Ghazi is worishipped in all Meo villages.”

Similarly, ii the Gazetteer of Gurgaon (1910), it is stated that ‘‘the Meos, still, are a very loose and careless type of Muslims. They share most of tile customs of the neighboring community specially those which possess an element of fun and merriment. Their basic rule seems to be to observe the religious celebrations of both the communities and disregard the religious duties of either. Lately, some religious teachers have appeared in Mewat and a few Meos have started to keep the fasts of Ramzan and to build mosques in their villages and observe namaz. Their women, too, have taken to wearing Pyjamas instead of the Hindu Chagras. All these are the signs of religious awakening.”

The Gazetteer of Bharatpur, again, says:

“The customs of Meos are a mixture of Hindu and Muslim customs. They observe circumcision, perform nikah and bury their dead. They make a pilgrimage to the tomb of Syed Salar Masud Giiazj at Bahraich, and attach a great importance to the vow taken under his banner, and consider it a religious duty to fulfill it. They, also, visit the other shrines of India, but do not perform the Hajj. Among the Hindu festivals, they celebrate Holi and Diwali. They do not marry in the family or in their own branch or sub­division of the clan (گوتھ), girls do not have a share in ancestral property, and they give mixed Hindu and Muslim names to their children. They are, wholly, illiterate and have a fair number of bards and minstrels among them whom they pay liberally. Many quatrains on the themes of agriculture and rural life are popular which they love to recite. Their speech is rough arid coarse, and the manner of addressing both men and women is the same. Intoxicants are widely in use. They are extremely weak of faith and highly superstitious, and believe in omens and auguries. Both male and female dresses are Hinduised.

Moral virtues

All the same, the Meos are distinguished for some excellent moral qualities and their vices and weaknesses are in the nature of the evil ways and practices that become a part of the moral and social pattern of brave and adventurous races as a result of want of education, isolation from the civilized world and indifference towards religion. These were rampant even among the Arabs during the Age of Ignorance. Natural talents and capabilities had taken a wrong turn owing to the perversity of the environment. Chivalry had degenerated into banditry, man­liness had found expression in mutual warfare and bloodshed, sense of pride and self-respect, with no better purpose to serve, had sought fulfillment in the defense of imaginary standards of honor and renown, and high mindedness, for its display, had adopted the path of pomp and flourish on petty occasions in the family or clan. In brief, God-given gifts of mind and character were being put to unworthy use; otherwise there was no dearth of virtue and merit among the,

Rugged simplicity, hardihood and firmness of purpose were the chief characteristics of the Mewatis in which they were far superior to the urban Muslim population. It was on account of these qualities that in spite of having drifted so far away from Islam, the floodtide of Apostasy could not submerge the territory of Mewat even in the darkest period of its history.

FORMATION OF TABLEEGHI JAMA’AT (تبلیغی جماعت)

Tableeghi Jamaat (تبلیغ) originated in 1926 (1344 Hijri) in Mewat, in north India. Presently; it includes the Gurgaon district of the Punjab, the native states of Alwar and Bharatpur and the district of Mathura of the United Provinces. Like all other regions, its boundaries, too, have been changing from time to time and the dimensions of the old Mewat must have been different from what they are now. The link with Mewat, was established in his lifetime. It is related that, once, he went out in the hope of finding a Muslim whom he could bring to the mosque and offer Salaat with him On meeting some Muslim laborers, he inquired from them where they were going.? "We are going in search of work", they replied. "How much do you expect to earn?' asked the Maulana. The laborers, thereupon, told him about the daily wages they, generally, received. "If you get the same here," the Maulana asked, "What is the use of going elsewhere” The laborers agreed and the Maulana took them to the mosque and began to teach the Salaat and the Quran. He would pay them their wages every day and keep them engaged in their lessons. In a few days, they developed the habit of offering up Salaat. Such was the beginning of the Madrassa of Bangle Wali Masjid, and these laborers were its first scholars. After it, about ten Mewati students always remained in the Madrassa and their meals used to come from the house.


The new movement met with dramatic success in relatively short period of time, thanks to Maulana Muhammad Ilyas’s (مولانا محمّد الیاس) utmost devotion, untiring efforts and sincerity of purpose. As a result many Muslims joined Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) to preach the message of Islam in every town and village of Mewat. The rapid success of his efforts can be seen from the fact that the first Tableeghi conference (تبلیغ) held in November 1941(Zeqa'ad 1360 Hijri) in Mewat was attended by 25,000 people many of them had walked on foot for ten to fifteen miles to attend the conference. Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi, the founder of the Jama’at-e-Islami paid glowing tribute to the spectacular successes of the Da’wah efforts of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) in Mewat and elsewhere in sub-continent and described the Tableeghi movement (تبلیغ) as a major step toward the Islamization of Indian Muslim society.


Beginnings

Maulana Mohammad Ismail Meo came to live in Basti Nizamuddin which was the gateway of Mewat, and much before the arrival of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو), seeds of loyalty and devotion of his family had been sown on its soil.

When the followers of Maulana Mohammad Ismail Meo and Maulana Muhammad Meo came to know that their true successor, the son of Maulana Mohammad Ismail Meo and the brother of Maulana Mohammad Meo had come to live at Nizamuddin they, again, started coming to it and requested Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) for a visit so that the old suppliants of his family had an opportunity to renew the ties of fealty and spiritual allegiance.

Real remedy
Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) felt that the only Way to the religious reform and correction of the Mewatis was promotion of religious knowledge and familiarization with the rules and principles of the Shariat. The inspiration for devoting his life to Islam came to Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) during his second pilgrimage to the Hejaz in 1926 (1360 Hijri).

Maulana Mohammad ismail Meo, and, after him, Maulana Mohammad Meo had adopted the same method. They used to keep the Mewati children with them and educate them in their Madrassa, and, then, send them back to Mewat to carry on the work of reform and guidance, and what little religious awareness was found there was owing to the efforts of these pioneers.

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) went a step ahead and decided to establish Maktabs and Madrassas in Mewat itself so that the influence of Faith could spread to a wider area and the pace of change was accelerated.


Stipulation

The Maulana knew what was, commonly, meant by inviting a spirtua! mentor or his successor to their place by his disciples and admirers, and he was not willing to go to Mewat only to fulfill the formalities of attending the dinner given in his honor delivering a few sermons and giving good counsel.


He wanted to make sure before undertaking the trip, that some real advance would be made, as a result of his visit, towards bringing the Meos closer to Islam and improving their moral condition, arid, during those days, the setting up of Maktabs and Madrassas in Mewat appeared to him to be the most effective step in that direction. He had, thus, made it clear that he would accept the invitation only on the condition that they promised to establish Maktabs in their territory.

For the Mewatis, however, no undertaking could be harder to give. They considered the establishment of Maktabs next to impossible for the simple reason that no one would be sending his children to them, and, thus, depriving himself of their contribution to the family income as daily wage-earners. The enthusiasm of those who came to invite quickly subsided as they heard of the stipulation. In desperation, however, a Mewati, finally, made the promise, leaving the rest to Almighty Allah.

Establishment of Maktabs
Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو), accordingly, went to Mewat and demanded the fulfillment of the promise. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) met Mewati Muslims who could not even recite Shahadah and who had not prayed even once in their life because they did not know how to pray. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) fully aware of the difficult task ahead was, nevertheless, determined to bring the Meo Muslims back to the fold of true Islam. After great persuasion, the beginning was made and the first Maktab was established.

The Maulana used to tell the Mewatis, “Give me the pupils, I will provide the money.” The Meos who were, mainly, farmers, could not easily reconcile themselves to the position that their children applied themselves to reading and writing and stopped working in the fields or looking after the cattle. It took a lot of tact and perseverance to bring them round to it.

Ten Maktabs were opened during that visit. Once the ice was broken, the progress was easy. Sometimes, several Maktabs were opened in a day till, within a few years, hundreds of such schools were functioning in Mewat.

Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) had a keen concern that if the `ulama did not overlook the preaching and this task was left to the common man alone, it would develop lots of flaws. His wish was for the educated `ulama to take an interest in this task and use their God gifted talents for the propagation of this work. Because most of his life Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) had been associated to learning, he knew intimately the pursuits of the madaris, its teachers, and students. He wanted them to join hands with this work of calling to God but he also wanted a way out that would help those of the madaris in their learning but not interfere with it. He soon realized, however, that the Madrasa ulama trained were simply reproducing their prototypes and had no significant impact on society at large.

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) writes, "Deen can progress and develop according to the progress and development of learning, and under the progress and development of learning. It would be the greatest of losses if my movement caused any set back to learning. I do not mean by Tableegh (تبلیغ) to prevent or hurt progress towards learning". He wanted to set forth a movement that would exemplify the Quranic decree of 'enjoining good and forbidding evil'. His initially strove to establish a network of Masjid-based religious schools to educate Muslims about correct Islamic beliefs and practices. Shortly afterwards, he was disappointed with the reality that these Madrasas were ill-equipped to produce Muslim preachers who would be willing to go door to door and remind people of their Islamic obligations, these institutions were good only for producing religious functionaries, not preachers (Da’wah workers).

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) set “Six Basic Principles” the guidelines for the movement, he sought inspiration from the practices adopted by prophet Muhammad at the dawn of Islam. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) put forward the slogan, Urdu: "!اﮮ مسلمان! بنو مسلمان ", "O Muslims! Be Muslims". This expressed the central focus of Tableeghi Jamat (تبلیغی جماعت); their aim to renew Muslim society by uniting them in embracing the lifestyle of Muhammad.

Six Principles

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) devoted to what he described as “the mission of the prophets”. The method adopted by him was simple. It was to organize units (called jamaats, Arabic/Urdu/Persian: جماعتِ meaning Assembly) of at least ten persons and send them to various villages. This unit jamaat, would visit a village, invite the local Muslims to assemble in the mosque and present their message in the form of Six Principles. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) articulated six demands in the form of Six Principles which are quintessential to Tableeghi Jamat’s (تبلیغی جماعت) teachings. These six principles are:

  1. Kalimah (کلمہ): "An article of faith in which the Tableegh (تبلیغ) accepts that there is no god but Allah and the Prophet Muhammad is His messenger."

  2. Salah (نماز) : "Five daily prayers that are essential to spiritual elevation, piety, and a life free from the ills of the material world."

  3. Ilm and Dhikr(علم و ذکر) : "The knowledge and remembrance of Allah conducted in sessions in which the congregation listens to preaching by the emir, performs prayers, recites the Quran and reads Hadith.

  4. Ikram-i-Muslim(اکرام مسلم) : "The treatment of Muslims with honor and deference."

  5. Tas'hih-i-Niyyat (تصیح نيّت) : Reforming one’s life in supplication to Allah by performing every human action for the sake of Allah and toward the goal of self-transformation."

  6. Tafrigh-i-Waqt (تفریخ وقت): "The sparing of time to live a life based on faith and learning its virtues, following in the footsteps of the Prophet, and taking His message door-to-door for the sake of faith."

Role of women

Women were encouraged to participate since the beginning of the movement. Some scholars objected on the participation of women but Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) slowly gained their support and the first jamaat of women was formed in Nizamuddin, Dehli. Accompanied by a close male relative, women are encouraged to go out in jamaats and work among other women and family members while following the rules of modesty and seclusion. Jamaats of women sometimes participate in large annual meetings; otherwise, they commonly hold neighborhood meetings. Tableeghi Jama’at (تبلیغی جماعت) tends to blur the boundaries of gender roles and both genders share a common behavioral model and their commitment to Tableegh (تبلیغ). The emphasis on a common nature and responsibilities shared by both genders. Just as men redraw the gender roles when they wash and cook during the course of da'wa tours, women undertake the male responsibility of sustaining the household


PERSONAL LIFE SKETCH:

Stay at Gurgaonh

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) used to live with his father at Nizamuddin, and, sometimes, with his maternal grand-father's family at Kandhla. Maulana Muhammad Yahya, requested his father that as the education of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) was suffering, he might be allowed to take him to Gangoh. The father agreed - and Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) came to Gurgaonh in 1896 or early 1897 at the age of 10 or 11 years old, where Maulana Mohammad Yahya began to teach him regularly.

Maulana Mohammad Yahya was an ideal teacher and benefactor. He wanted his brother to derive the utmost advantage from the society of illustrious men.

Death of Brothers

The death of Maulana Mohammad Yahya, on Wednesday, the 9th of August, 1915, was an extremely sad and frustrating event for the Maulana. In addition to being a most affectionate brother, he was, also, his teacher and benefactor. He could not get over the shock till the end of his days.

Two years after the death of Maulana Mohammad Yahya, the eldest brother of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو), Maulana Mohammad Meo, also, passed away.
There was a Madrassa in the Masjid which had been founded by Maulana Mohammad Ismail Meo (Father). Only primary education was imparted in it, and, among its pupils were mostly the children from Mewat It had no regular source of income and reliance was placed solely upon Almighty Allah for meeting its needs.

After the burial of Maulana Mohammad Meo, people urged upon Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) to take up residence at Nizamuddin in order to fill the void caused by the death of his father and brothers. They, also, promised monthly donations for the Madrassa to which the Maulana agreed subject to certain conditions which he observed throughout his life.


Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) had made it clear that he would come to Nizamuddin and take charge of the Madrassa only if Maulana Khaiil Ahmad Saharanpuri approved. Maulana Khalil Ahmad latter gave his approval, but added that, in the first instance, only a year’s Ieave be taken from Mazharul Uloom (مدرسۂ مظہرالعلوم)and if the stay at Nizamuddin proved useful and it was decided to settle down there permanently, he could resign at any time.

Before Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) could move to Nizamuddin, he was suddenly taken ill with pleurisy and went to Kandhla where his condition worsened. One night his illness took such a grave turn that all hope was lost. The pulse sank and the body became cold, but Almighty Allah had to take some work from him. unexpectedly, he began to improve, and, in a few days, was able to leave the bed.

On regaining health, Maulana came to Nizamuddin from Kandhla. In those days, there was no habitation in that part of Nizamuddin, and, adjoining the Masjid, later the Basti Nzamuddin became his permanent residence as well as the headquarter of the Tableeghi movement (تبلیغ). Maulana Ihtishamul Hasan who, in his childhood, had come to live, for sometime, with Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) tells that “I used to go out and stand in the hope of seeing ‘a human face. When anyone appeared, I felt so happy as if someone had given me a precious gift.”

Absorption in prayers

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو), generally, remained silent and spent most of his time in meditation. He used to offer Nafl prayers much and often at that time. From Maghrib till a little before Isha, he devoted himself exclusively to Nawafil.

Spirit of Jehad

Together with Zikr, Saga (spiritual exercises and exertions) Nawafil and Ibadaat, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) was, also, infused with the spirit of Jehad. Throughout his life, he was never without it, and had, in fact, taken the pledge of Jehad at the hand of Maulana Mahmood Hasan for that very reason.

Estimation in the eyes of elders

From his early days, he was held in the highest esteem by the elders of the family as well as the spiritual leaders of the day. Maulana Mohammad Yahya was like a father to him. He concentrated wholly on his studies, and on Zikr, and other forms of worship.


Sometimes, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) was asked to lead the service in the presence of renowned theologians and spiritual leaders. Once Shah Abdur Rahim Raipuri, Maulana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri and Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi happened to be in Kandhla. When the time for Salaat came and Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) was asked to lead it, a senior member of the family, Molvi Badrul Hasan, humorously remarked that "such a small engine has been fastened to so many big carriages." "It depends on the power (not the size of the engine", replied one of them.

Marriage

The Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) married the daughter of his maternal uncle, Maulana Rauful Hasans on Friday, October 17, 1912 (8th Zil'Hajja 1330 Hijri) was performed by Maulana Mohammad, and Maulana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, Shah Abdur Rahim Raipuri an Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi, all the three of them, attended the ceremony. Maulana Thanwi's celebrated sermon, Fuwayid us Suhbat, was delivered on that occasion.

Hajj

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو), for first Hajj was sailed in August, 1914 (4th Shawal 1332 Hijri), and returned in February, 1915 (Rabi-ul-Awal 1333 Hijri) and performed second Hajj in 1926 ( 1334 Hijri).


LEGACY:

Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) was neither a charismatic leader like Mawlana Mohammad Ali Jauhar of the Khilafat movement, unlike Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi of the Jamaat –e-Islami who was a prolific writer and a systematic thinker, nor an outstanding religious scholar like Abul Kalam Azad of the Indian National Congress, he was not even a good public speaker like Ataullah Shah Bukhari of the Ahrar movement. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) did not author a single book in his life. Physically frail and intellectually unassuming, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) was, nevertheless, enthused with the zeal of a dedicated Da’wah worker. His passion to reach out to the Muslim masses and touch them with the message of the Qur’an and Sunnah knew no bounds. Like a true missionary, he was persistent, untiring, and whole-heartedly devoted to his cause. During one of his many missionary tours of Mewat, he was once hit with a stick by a peasant upon whom he impressed the importance of leading a religious life. The Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو), already physically frail, fell on the ground and collapsed. When he regained consciousness, he got up and, holding his assistant affectionately, said: "Look, you have done your job. Now would you let me do my job and listen to me for a little while?" As one of his colleague put it,” Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو), though a mere skeleton, can work wonders where he takes up anything." The Maulana was spending his days in obscurity. Worship, Zikr (repeating the Names, praise and Attributes of the Lord), attending to the needs of the travelers and teaching the Quran giving instruction in the Faith were his sole occupation in life. He used to take down the load from the heads of the thirsty laborers who passed the way place it on the ground, draw water from the well and give it to them to drink, and, then, offer two Rak'ats of Salaat, expressing gratitude to the Lord that He had given him the opportunity to serve His bondsmen, though he did not deserve it. His eagerness and indomitable determination to reach every Muslim and remind him of his obligations as a believer took precedence on everything else. His passionate concern for the spiritual welfare of his fellow Muslims caused him great anguish. He exerted his friends and followers to dedicate their lives to this cause. Once when he was trying to peruse his audience to volunteer for a missionary trip to Kanpur, U.P. India, not a single person responded to his call. Spotting one of his friends in the audience, Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) asked him what prevented him from going to Kanpur. His friend was suffering from serious ailment and was obviously too weak to travel. He told Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) that he was "almost dying" and there was no way he could travel. The Maulana said, "If you are dying already, you had better die in Kanpur." He used to council the groups going in the way of Allah for Tableegh (تبلیغ) to sit and learn from the gatherings of elders with the intention of improving oneself, and never to mention their own work in their presence. If the elders asked anything of their own accord, well and good, otherwise they were to keep silent.


The Maulana never bore a grudge against anyone. His detachment with the world was so complete that it had made him attached to everybody. All the persons who came into contact with him were impressed by his piety, sincerity and selflessness. Leaders of the different warring groups of Delhi held him in the highest esteem, and put an equal trust in him. From his childhood, there was present in Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) a touch of the religious ardour and fervent. Eagerness and enthusiasm for Faith were ingrained in his nature. Even in his early days, he, sometimes, did things which were much above the common level of the children. It is important to note that while Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) kept himself completely aloof from politics of the day and focused his program of action exclusively on making the Muslims aware of their religious obligations, he did not, at any time, criticized those Islamic groups which were actively engaged in politics. On the contrary, he maintained extremely cordial relations with Hussain Ahmad Madani and other Ulama of Deoband school whose political organization, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, a pro-Indian National Congress group, was very much active in Indian politics. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) had equally warm relation with pro-Pakistan faction of the Deoband School led by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi and Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani and with the founder of the Jama’at-e-Islami Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi. However he refused to take any position on the issue of united India vs. a separate Muslim state of Pakistan for the obvious reason that this would distract his movement from its main religious tasks, and would also create dissensions within its ranks. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) was of the view that the Tableeghi movement (تبلیغ) and the politically-oriented Islamic groups, although operating in two different spheres, were complementing each other’s work and hence there should be no competition and rivalry between them. Once when someone pointed out that his movement was "too narrowly focused" and did not address the larger issue of socio-political reforms in Muslim society, the Mawlana responded that this narrow focus in the initial phase of the movement was necessitated by the available manpower and that the movement could grow to encompass a larger and more comprehensive program in the future. It is unfortunate that those who succeeded Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) did not realize his larger vision and saw the Mewat model of Da’wah as eternally fixed. Nevertheless, the fruits of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو)’s efforts are visible all over the world today.

The result of this heart ache and dedication to his aim was that in just a few years, the ache that had bothered one breast caught fire in hundreds and thousands. The Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) had not undertaken the service of Faith as a “national cause”, the burden of providing the funds for which fell wholly upon the nation or the community, but as a personal affair and felt no hesitation in spending all he had on it. He believed that a person should perform a religious task as his own and expend his time and money freely in its way. This was the Maulana’s rule of life. First of all, he spent from his own pocket on the religious endeavor he had launched in Mewat, and, then, alone, would accept help from others.

Once a friend came to visit him while he was on his deathbed. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Meo (مولانا محمّد الیاس میو) greeted his friend by telling him. “People out there are burning in the fire of ignorance and you are wasting your time here inquiring after my health!" He wanted every Muslim to be on his feet, preaching the message of Islam to others. Finally the humble, physically weak and thin Maulana passed away in 1362 Hijra (1943) at the age of 84 years leaving behind not one or two but thousands to take up his cause and continue on the path of reformation.


10 comments:

  1. JAZZAK ALLAH, Brother it is a great post. May Allah Bless u in All the aspects of this life and life here after.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Masha allah .... allah tala moulana jaise walion ko phirse duniya me paida farmaye. ameen..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Definitely MAULANA MOHAMMAD ILYAS R.A. was the legend personality of MEWAT and all will Mewati will respect him always inshahallah we would not forget him
    MOHD JUBER KHAN DEMROT MEO FROM JAMIA MILLIA ISLAMIA NEW DELHI 9999045386

    ReplyDelete
  4. Brother Maulana was not mew nor he born in mewat

    ReplyDelete
  5. mulana ilyas meo [lfounder of tabligi jamat] did great job,,,,,,,,,,,,,,God bless him,,,may his soul rest in peace,, [[[[[
    from,,,, m waqas meo [international islamic university islamabad,,pakistan]]

    ReplyDelete
  6. Moulana Ilyas Sahib was not born in Mewat and he was not a Mewati. Please correct it.
    They were from Khandla.UP state.
    Allah had accepted him for this Great cause and now the work of Tabligh is going on in every part of the World in a very peaceful manner. Mashallah Tabarakallah.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The different directions of the activity of this person became the reason for his all-round development. The quality of the material can be improved through the writer company.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Alhamdulillah, thou i stay in malaysia, i had the chance to feel the beauty of khurruj...this work must continue till kiamah...

    ReplyDelete