Tabligh Jamaat, an Islamic non-political organization based in Bangladesh, is being ripped apart by a long standing internal dispute among its top leaders.
The dispute over establishing dominance reached a new height after two factions of the organization engaged in a violent clash on the premises of Kakrail Mosque in Dhaka on Tuesday.
According to sources from the Tabligh, scuffles between the two factions are becoming a regular occurrence.
Seven people are leading the Bangladesh chapter of Tabligh Jamaat as Faisal (Ameer). Syed Wasif Islam is one of the ameers and also a Majlis-e-Shura member of the organization.
A senior Tabligh leader named Professor Mushfiq Ahmed and his followers began a long-standing dispute with Syed Wasif after they accused him of misusing power. However, following Mushfiq’s death in 2015, his followers became isolated inside the organization.
Sources said the Nizamuddin Markaz of Delhi is considered the international headquarters of Tabligh Jamaat, and that Maulana Saad Kandhalvi is one of the leading influential leaders there.
Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, however, is also a religious leader known for making controversial statements which have caused uproar in India on several occasions.
He received harsh criticism for speaking against taking money for religious teachings and claiming that prayers cannot be offered if the devotee carries a mobile phone with a camera.
According to sources, among the faisals of Bangladesh Tabligh Jamaat, Maulana Muhammad Jubayer, Maulana Rabiul Haque and Maulana Omar Faruq have protested against the upcoming visit of Maulana Saad Kandhalvi to the country.
Qawmi Alems of Hefazat-e-Islam have also demanded cancellation of Maulana Saad’s visit.
Following the heated exchange between the top leaders, Madrasa students locked in a clash and carried out acts of vandalism which later lead to the violence in Tabligh Jamaat’s Kakrail Markaz on Tuesday.
Later, police arrived at the scene and brought the situation under control.
The Shura Council members of the Tabligh held a meeting on the same day and agreed upon some terms to help resolve the ongoing dispute.
When approached, the son of Syed Wasif Islam, Maulana Osama Islam, admitted to the incident. He said future disputes will be resolved in a civil manner through council meetings.
The leaders agreed that in future meetings, every decision must be approved by receiving two-thirds of the vote from the members. Disputes will also be resolved in council meetings.
It was also decided in the meeting that no one will be allowed to carry weapons at any Tabligh programme.
On the issue of inviting a guest from abroad, the leaders agreed that they will follow a decision made in a previous meeting attended by the home minister.
The agreement was signed by Maulana Muhammad Jubayer, Syed Wasif Islam, Maulana Rabiul Haque, Khan Muhammad Shahabuddin Nasim, Maulana Omar Faruq, Mohammad Mosharraf and Mohammad Hossain.
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune