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Dhaka Tribune

Hefazat-Tabligh Jamaat rift deepens in Chittagong

Update : 25 Mar 2018, 10:20 PM
Followers of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh and Islamic preaching group Tabligh Jamaat’s top leadership are in strong disagreement over the formation of an eight-member Majlis-e-Shura, a top decision making body, for conducting preaching activities in Chittagong. The rupture in ties deepened when Majlis-e-Shura member Mufti Kefayetulah of Hathazari Madrasa went to deliver a sermon on March 20 at the Love Lane mosque, which is known as Tabligh headquarters in Chittagong. Mufti Kefayetulah had to leave without delivering his sermon as the followers of Tabligh's chief Moulana Saad Kandhalvi allegedly barred him from delivering sermon. The followers of Moulana Saad Kandhalvi, a Delhi-based cleric who heads the Tabligh movement, wanted that Abdul Halim, a veteran of Tabligh Jammat in Chittagong, conduct preaching activities. The Tabligh Jamaat is an Islamic ideological movement that emphasizes spiritual enlightenment and preaching activities. The group has traditionally shunned politics. But the madrasa-based group Hefazat has been seeking to exert influence over the movement’s preaching activities. As tensions mounted over the dispute, additional policemen were deployed to the mosque on Thursday (March 22). Weekly sermon is delivered on this day. Jasim Uddin, officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station, said additional policemen were deployed at the request of two senior leaders of Tabligh Jammat fearing attack. “There was a dispute among them over the formation of a committee. We deployed addition forces as a precaution. However, no untoward incident took place and we withdrew the force around 9:30pm on Thursday,” said the OC. Mainuddin Ruhi, central joint secretary general of Hefazat-e-Islam, said that their chief Shah Ahmed Shafi recently formed an eight-member Majlis-e-Shura of Tablig’s Chittagong headquarters Love Lane so that every decision taken by Tabligh Jamaat was in conformity with basic principles of Islam. “In most cases the senior leaders of Tabligh Jamaat are not Islamic scholars. Sometimes it becomes difficult to make any decision conforming to Islam if the person is not an Islamic scholar. “There is chance to deviate from tenets of Islam unwittingly if Tabligh Jamaat activities are run by people with general education,” said Ruhi, adding that there was no harm in reforming any committee if it is comprised of Islamic scholars. Replying to a query, Ruhi said: “On Tuesday, Mufti Kefayetullah went to deliver his sermon but he was intercepted by some overzealous people of Tabligh Jammat. Later, he quit the place.”
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