Molana Tariq Jamil’s biography
Hereunder is a brief biography and overview of the life and views of the renowned Pakistani Islamic scholar Molana Tariq Jamil, commonly referred to as “Muballigh-e-Islam”, or the great preacher of Islam.
Early life and Secular Education
Molana Tariq Jamil was born in the year 1953, in Tulamba, a small town situated on the eastern edge of the Ravi River, between the cities of Abdul Hakeem and Mian Channu in the Punjab province of Pakistan. His father, held a lofty political status in his area, due to him being an agricultural landowner and his tribe’s chief man. Molana Tariq Jamil was raised in a very lavish lifestyle, as is the case with agricultural landowners in the Punjab district of Pakistan. He grew up around maids and servants, with his father hoping he would take over his responsibilities after the former’s demise.
After completing his Higher Secondary School education in pre-medicine from The Government College University in Lahore, he enrolled in the renowned King Edward Medical College in Lahore. He intended to do his M.B.B.S. and purse a career in medicine.
Transformation and return towards practicing Islam
During his time there, some on-campus members of the Tablighi Jamat (a non-political, religious movement to encourage people to spiritually better themselves for the better of this world and the afterlife), used to visit his roommate and often call him to come with them to the mosque and sit in the weekly post-prayer lecture, and to spend some time with them and at least see for himself what these people did. Molana Tariq Jamil’s roommate agreed to spend 3 days with these people and brought the Molana with him, fearing he would be bored alone with these religious people.
Molana Tariq Jamil was extremely impressed by the character of these people, their simple way of thinking, and their deep spiritual connection to their lord, which made them think of life’s everyday problems as tests, which God would reward them for on the day of judgment. During his stay with them at a local Masjid, the local Imam, a fanatic Brelvi, came and saw them sitting in the courtyard of the Masjid, began cursing and yelling, saying that these “dirty”, “filthy’, “Gustakhs” (haters of the prophet) had made the Masjid impure and that they should be kicked out and the Masjid be washed. Molana was left confused as to how these people, who were calling people towards the Masjid, and encouraging people to follow the Sunnah, or the ways of the Prophet could be called “haters of the prophet”. It was from this very moment that he realized the amount of hatred and malice sectarian thoughts had planted in the hearts of Muslims. He made the firm intention that if he ever had the opportunity, he would try and reconcile between the different sects and get them to come closer and focus on bettering the state of today’s Muslims, knowing that the fundamentals of Islam are agreed upon, generally.
After arriving back on campus, he become actively engaged in Dawah activities and spent most of his free time with the Tablighi Jamat, trying to get a better picture of the true Muslim’s identity.
Islamic Education and path towards becoming a scholar
His thirst for knowledge and understanding Islam took him to Jamia Arabia Islamiyyah, in Raiwind, Lahore, he enrolled in the Dars-e-Nizami program, where he began studying Farsi and the Arabic Language. After having mastered the subjects related to Arabic (Sarf, Nahw, Balagha and Adab). He began studying the higher Islamic Sciences, namely Tafseer, Fiqh, and Hadeeth.
The Jamia Arabia Islamiyyah in Raiwind, designed its program in which academic studies are one part of considered one part and engaging in Dawah and Khidmah, or service and hospitality of the many thousands of guests at the nearby Markaz, that are coming and going, daily, from different parts of the world, all travelling for the purpose of Dawah and bettering themselves. Molana excelled in both areas, respectively. As for his academic progress, his teachers recall that he would master every book taught and always ranked at the top of his class in the yearly final exams. His teachers also recall that he had committed all of the books in the Dars-e-Nizami syllabus till the 5th year to his memory. When it came to Dawah, he brought over his expertise in Arabic and would engage with the Arabs, speaking Arabic fluently, and leaving them dazzled as to how it was possible for this young Pakistani student, who never had travelled abroad, to have such command over the Arabic language. Whatever time would be left over after studies and Dawah, Molana would spend it in the service of his teachers and the guests, helping out by standing in the severe heat of Raiwind in front of a Tandoor, or a clay oven, baking bread for the guests along with the chefs and other volunteer students. And then afterwards, by cleaning in the cafeteria, hours after all the students would leave, cleaning all the pots and utensils and then often going back to the students’ hall, only to find that there was some guest who needed bedding to sleep on. Molana recalls the many nights he spent, without bedding, sleeping on a mat made of straw.
When having reached his final year of Dars-e-Nizami, he travelled to Jamia Rasheediya in Sahiwal, as was the customary practice of all students at the Jamia Arabia Islamiyyah. In Sahiwal, he studied the six major Hadeeth collections, known as Al-Kutub As-Sittah or the six books. After graduating, he returned to Jamia Arabia Islamiyyah in Raiwind, hoping to be appointed as a teacher due to his extreme love for academics, and in particular: poetry, history and Tafseer or the interpations and meanings of the noble Quran.
When the elders and scholars of Raiwind had finalized their decisions, as to which graduate would teach and which would engage full-time in Dawah, Molana was called and told that he had been appointed as a full time Daee or preacher and he had been given the task of being a translator for the Arabs. This news might have served as a dream come true to some graduates, but to Molana, he saw the dream of him becoming an academic vaporize in front of his own two eyes. He desired many times to go to his teachers and explain these feelings to them but he was told that the teachers wished for him to be involved in Dawah and that his talents would be better served out amongst the common people, inviting them towards Islam. Little did he know, that there would come a day, when it would be difficult for him to pray in a Masjid, due to the amount of people rushing to meet him and try to take a glimpse at this man who was known as “Muballigh-e-Islam”, or the great preacher of Islam. Little did he know, that he would sit on a pulpit and address hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would come to listen to his address. Little did he know, that the videos of his lectures would be aired on TV channels and he would meet government leaders of different countries, and little did he know, that Allah would accept him in his path that he would have gained the honor of travelling the majority of the six continents, only for the sake of spreading Islam and encouraging Muslims to live peacefully, with their families, their fellow Muslims and the greater human community.
In the field of Dawah and preaching
Preaching in regards to the Public
Molana has tired and is tiring himself in the field of Dawah since his graduation, and that was more than 35 years ago. He tried focusing on those people that preachers generally never reach, government leaders, athletes, celebrities, musicians and political figures. His tireless efforts have changed the lives of many celebrities and athletes. Hereunder, we will mention a few:
Junaid Jamshed, a famous musician and a member of the Vital Signs band, he currently travels the world speaking of his change and sings Islamic Nasheeds. He currently is a board member of many peace and charity organizations.
Saeed Anwar, Inzimam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Saleem Malik are just a few of the cricket legends whose lives have dramatically changed due to the efforts of Molana.
Veena Malik, a famous Pakistani actress and model, met Molana Tariq Jamil in January of 2014, along with her then newly-wed husband, Asad Bashir Khan in Dubai. She explained to Molana the harsh words she had to face, especially after her stay in India for an erotic photo-shoot for a certain magazine. Molana explained to her the beauty of Islam, its acceptance of everyone, regardless of his/her sin, and explained to her that he disagreed with the approach of these clerics who had bashed her on live TV and in news columns. Molana also gifted her and her husband a wedding gift as they had married very recently. He talked to them about the principles of marriage in Islam and how it was considered that a married person has completed half his faith just by marriage, and that Islam placed great importance on mutual love, respect and harmony for both the husband and wife. He also advised them to try and perform Umrah, or the smaller pilgrimage to Mecca together. The couple agreed and ended up going that very month. Veena Malik also agreed to quit the film industry, as soon as her contracts for upcoming films that she had agreed to do expired. She also agreed to don the Hijab, or the Muslim headscarf for a woman.
Sohail Ahmad, a famous TV personality, known best for his role in the hit Pakistani comedy show Hasb-e-Haal as Azizi, also has applauded Molana for his efforts to present Islam in its true picture, free from violence and hatred.
Aamir Khan, a famous Bollywood actor, also met with Molana Tariq Jamil at Hajj, or the major pilgrimage to Mecca in 2013. Molana had several meetings with him at Mecca and Medina along with Junaid Jamshed and Shahid Afridi.
Imran Khan, a former cricket star turned politician, leader of the Tahreek-e-Insaaf liberal political party of Pakistan met with Molana on several occasions, most notably in the summer of 2014, when Imran Khan planned to march to Islamabad to protest the recent elections he deemed rigged. Molana advised him to take a peaceful approach and to change the name of his march from “The Tsunami March” to “The Azaadi March” as tsunamis usually bring about destruction and Azaadi, or freedom brings about goodness and peace.
Views in regards to Islam and Muslims today
Within religious circles, Molana usually has two focal points, upon which he bases his talks. The first being the importance of spreading peace and harmony, between Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The second being the importance of social etiquette and character, which includes the issue of minority rights. He is also regarded as a women’s rights activists due to his excessive talks on the rights of women that Islam gave, yet they are not being fulfilled by today’s society.
Hereunder are some of his views in a summarized form:
Spreading peace between different Islamic sects
- Molana believes that clerics in recent times have misused the Minbar (pulpit) and other social platforms to spread discord and sow seeds of hatred between Muslims, promoting sectarian agendas and encouraging violence towards Muslims of other sects and non-Muslims in general.
- Molana strongly disagrees with these tactics and condemns them publicly. He bases his view off of the fact that an honest study of the Quran and the life of the prophet Muhammad (S) reveals that he was an extremely compassionate individual, a mercy to mankind. His way of preaching was going door to door, inviting people towards god by explaining to them god’s words and the reality of the afterlife that humans will face. Never did he resort to violence or war except when attacked or tortured. The amount of love he showed, even for non-believers and hypocrites, clearly shows his view on how they should be dealt with. However, in today’s times, people have forgotten how he spread the message of Islam, and refuse to look at the rights he gave to non-Muslims, and how he would be upset and when he would hear of an incident in which someone was wronged, regardless of his religion or color.
- He believes that academic differences have been present since the time of the prophet’s companions, and they will remain till the end of times. However, they should only be discussed in academic circles, classrooms and between scholars in a dignified and appropriate manner, free from fanatsicm. There is no need, in his opinion, to exploit these differences by saying that a Deobandi’s prayer isn’t accepted behind a Brelwi, or that a Salafi’s prayer can’t be accepted behind a Deobandi, or as it commonly occurs in Pakistan, the leaders of a certain sect will encourage their followers to stay away from even greeting Muslims of other sects.
- He strongly disagrees with the concept of baseless Takfir in regards to those who believe in the fundamentals of Islam, even if there are some differences when it comes to more detailed issues of Aqeedah (Creed) or Fiqh (Jurisprudence).
- He has been one of the few Sunni scholars of Pakistan to try and ease the tensions between Shias and Sunnis. He has visited numerous Shia mosques and met with popular Shia clerics in the country, explaining that although there are many important differences of opinion in theology and creed between Sunnis and Shias, a common goal everyone can work together for is to stop acts of violence, from both sides, and work together to build a more prosperous country. He has strongly condemned attacks of Sunnis on Shias and vice versa, saying that they have no basis in Islam.
- Molana regularly mentions in his lectures that men and women are equal in the eyes of god, and women deserve just as much respect and honor as men do, even if they both have been created in different ways and they may play different complementary roles in our societies. He also mentions that if one’s wife and children are scared of him when he comes home, then he isn’t a husband or a father, rather he would be considered a police sheriff.
- He also regularly mentions that forced marriages are forbidden in Islam and those that allow for them, do so due to their cultural values, not due to Islamic teachings. Islam has given women the right to accept or decline marriage proposals.
- It is compulsory for men to give women their allotted shares in inheritance and not doing so is a sin and a clear form of disobedience to Allah and his prophet.
- He also regularly mentions that there is a lot of injustice from the in-laws towards their daughter-in-law in today’s societies. This also something that has no basis in Islam and is a gross cultural practice that needs to be removed.
- If you are good to your wife, you will be the best in god’s judgment. The prophet (s) said in an authentic narration: “The best of you is he who is the best to his wife, and I am the best of you (in regards to) treating his wife”.
Advice to Muslims living in non-Muslim countries
In the summer of 2013, while on his Europe tour, Molana gave a lecture in Spain to a large crowd of Muslims. In his lecture, he advised Muslims that Islam obligated that they may be law abiding citizens of their respective countries and be good towards their fellow countrymen by being fair and honest towards them in all forms of interaction and dealings. He explained that marrying only for gaining the citizenship of a certain country is wrong according to our prophet’s teachings and a despicable act that is not acceptable. He also encouraged them to pay their yearly taxes in full and that any form of fraud with the government, especially in taxes, is a grave sin in Islam and one will be held accountable for it on the Day of Judgment.