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Tablighi Jama`at, or “[Islamic] transmission group,” is a vast, transnational Islamic propagation and re-pietization organization. It is estimated to be active in at least 165 nations throughout the world. Its annual assembly in Tongi, Bangladesh, is larger than any other in the Islamic world except for the Hajj itself,1 and estimates of TJ’s membership range from 12 to 80 million.2 Officially apolitical and preferring word-of-mouth instruction to public, written or online communiqués, TJ has heretofore flown largely under the analytical radar, unlike other pan-Islamic groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Muslim Brotherhood, which are more transparently political and occupy a significantly higher profile. But TJ’s global presence and growing influence in both Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries make it arguably the modern world’s most dynamic Islamist group.

History & Ideology: 

Tablighi Jama’at, or TJ, began in British-ruled India, emerging from the Islamic Deoband movement active in South Asia.3 From its inception in 1867, the Deoband movement fused some aspects of Sufism with the study of the hadith and a strict adherence to sharia, as well as advocating non-state-sponsored Islamic da`wah (missionary activity).4 The Deoband Movement emerged within the context of an increasingly self-aware Muslim minority in British India which in the late 19th and early 20th century felt itself caught between the resurgent Hindu majority and a small British-supported Christian missionary agenda. 

Mawlana Muhammad Ilyas, TJ’s founder, graduated in 1910 from a central Deobandi madrassa. While he worked among the Muslim masses of Mewat, India, he came to question whether education alone could renew Islam.5 He eventually decided that “only through physical movement away from one’s place could one leave behind one’s esteem for life and its comforts for the cause of God.”6 Indeed, some have even described his movement as the missionary arm of the Deobandis.7 Other Muslim groups in the subcontinent, notably the Barelvis,8 had previously developed the idea of itinerant missionary work—known as tabligh9—in order to counter Hindu (and Christian) conversions of Muslims, but it was Ilyas’ genius to teach that tabligh should be the responsibility of each and every individual (male) Muslim.10 He aimed to recapitulate the alleged piety and practice of Muhammad and his companions in the 7th century A.D. and as such was concerned not just with Hindu or Christian inroads into the Muslim community, but with stemming the rising tide of Westernization and secularization. Unlike other contemporary Islamic renewers, Ilyas did not believe that Islam could be reconciled with Western science, technology and political ideologies.11

In the mid-1920s, Ilyas enjoined upon his followers the practice of gasht, or “rounds” in Persian: going to Muslims who lived near a mosque and summoning them to Quran study and prayer. By the mid-1930s, Ilywas was promulgating a more detailed program of belief and praxis. This new doctrine went beyond the five pillars of Islam12 and belief in the usual Islamic doctrinal staples, to include:

  • Islamic education (especially of children, at home),
  • Modest Islamic dress and appearance (shaving the moustache and allowing the beard to grow long),
  • Rejection of other religions,
  • High regard for other Muslims and protecting their honor,
  • Propagating Islam,
  • Self-financing of tabligh trips,
  • Lawful means of earning a living, and
  • Strict avoidance of divisive and sectarian issues.13

The missionary procedure of TJ incursion into new territories follows a regular pattern. An initial “probing mission” is followed by entrenchment into several local mosques which are increasingly controlled by the organization and eventually either taken over by TJ or, barring that, supplanted by TJ-built or -controlled mosques.14 From these mosques, the TJ teams teach their beliefs and practices to local Muslims, initially approaching local religious leaders, then intellectuals and professionals, followed by businessmen, and finally conducting outreach to the general Muslim community.15

There is a typology of Islamic renewal/reform movements as either 1) emulative (adopters of Western ideas); 2) assimilationist (attempting to reconcile Islamic and Western concepts and practices); or 3) rejectionist (allowing only strictly Islamic answers to the challenges of personal and collective life).16 TJ is clearly in the last category, based on its promulgation of strict adherence to the Quran and sharia, as well as its emphasis on emulating the lifestyle of Islam’s founder, the Prophet Muhammad. However, while undeniably conservative, even puritanical, whether TJ serves as an incubator for jihad remains the subject of some debate. 

The movement teaches jihad primarily as personal purification rather than as holy warfare.17 This may be because, following Deobandi doctrine, TJ takes the utilitarian approach that martial jihad is not wise when the umma is weak, rather than because it disavows violent jihad altogether.18 In any event, because TJ eschews jihad of the sword currently, it has met with the disapproval of Saudi clerics, with TJ missionaries banned from preaching in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a number of online Wahhabi fatwas listing TJ as a “deviant” group, alongside Shiites.19 However, practical connections between TJ practitioners and acts of terror (such as the 1998 attacks in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya), as well as anecdotal evidence that Ilyas himself believed he was “preparing soldiers” for jihad,20 paint a more complex—and possibly threatening—picture of the organization.

The available data today indicates that TJ, at least in the preponderance of locations around the world where it is found, can be considered ipso facto a passive supporter of jihadist groups via its reinforcement of strict Islamic norms, intolerance of other religious traditions and unwavering commitment to Islamizing the entire planet. TJ is thus both like and unlike its major transnational Islamic rivals: Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT) (dedicated to re-establishing a worldwide caliphate); the Muslim Brotherhood (focused on expanding sharia’s scope in both the Muslim and non-Muslim world); and the Gülen Movement (devoted to re-establishing Turkish power in the Islamic, and broader, world in order to advance Islam). TJ is much less political than any of these organizations, and much more focused on personal Muslim piety. However, its eschewal of politics (at least publicly) has enabled TJ, in most places, to escape suppression by wary government organs. Whether TJ ever decides to risk this situation of state tolerance by transforming into an active supporter of jihadist movements remains to be seen.


Global Reach: 

Under Mawlana Yusuf, Ilyas’ son, TJ expanded out of India and Pakistan to much of the rest of the world, and broadened its mission from simply re-pietizing Muslims to undertaking efforts to convert non-Muslims to Islam.21 Most of the Muslim-majority nations of the world saw the infusion of some TJ presence between the end of World War II and the 1960s, with the exception of Soviet Central Asia.22 It would not be until the end of the Cold War, post-1991, that post-Soviet nations opened up to TJ teams. TJ has been perhaps most successful in Africa, where it is at work in at least 35 of the continent’s 54 countries.23

Gambia, in West Africa (whose 1.5 million people are 90 percent Muslim), may be the hub of TJ activity in that part of the continent.24 First established in Gambia in the 1960s, TJ’s popularity there was limited until the 1990s, when its missionaries’ knowledge of English (spoken prevalently in Gambia as well as in India and Pakistan) and the global Islamic resurgence made many Gambian Muslims, especially Gambian youth, more receptive to the organization’s agenda. Currently, some 13,000 Gambians are estimated to be involved with TJ. Some Gambian Muslim leaders, steeped in West Africa’s heavily Sufi tradition, have expressed fears of TJ coming to dominate the country.25

In 99-percent-Muslim Morocco, TJ was introduced in 1960 under the name Jama`at al-Tabligh wa-al-Da`wah (JTD), although it was not recognized by the government until 1975.26 While proselytizing to Moroccan Muslims to re-Islamize their lives, JTD also makes hospital calls upon sick Muslims. But JTD’s focuses on increasing ritualized conduct—persuading Moroccans to eat, drink, prepare for bed and sleep, go to the market, and bathe in the proper ways, emulating the Prophet Muhammad.

TJ has also committed several teams to Mali, Mauritania and Niger,27 a three-country region of some 26 million people, the majority of them Muslim. The local version of Islam has traditionally been more closely aligned with Sufism, but by the late 1990s, TJ had a substantial presence.28 Shortly after 9/11, the government of Mali extradited 25 TJ members.29 This crackdown did little to slow the group’s growth in the region, particularly among the Tuareg tribal leaders, who in turn have hastened to point out that the group’s activities are totally unconnected to global jihad.30 As the Tuareg’s long-running rebellion exploded into a civil war in 2012, the impact of TJ’s inroads became evident. Alongside the traditional Tuareg separatist group, Movement National Pour la Liberation de l’Azawad (MNLA), the Islamist Ansar ud-Dine (Defenders of the Faith) emerged. Ansar ud-Dine began establishing harsh sharia law in areas it controlled including the historic city of Timbuktu, in addition to allying with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.31 Mali’s Islamists were pushed back when the French intervened, but they have continud their violent campaign with high-profile attacks throughout the country. In March 2017, the leader of Ansar ud-Dine, Iyad Ag Ghaly, appeared in a video where he appeared to be the leader of a new coalition of Islamist terrorist groups that pledged their allegience to al-Qaeda.32 Iyad Ag Ghaly had been a Tuareg tribal leader and diplomat, known for his drinking and corousing. In the early 1990s he encountered TJ missionaries and then travelled to Pakistan where he became devout and began his path to radicalism.33 His cousin, Hamada Ag Hama, leads Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. This new coalition, called Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, claimed responsibility for the June 2017 terrorist attack on a luxury hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako, resulting in the death of five international civilians and six Malian soldiers.34 

South Africa has also become a focal point for TJ’s work, despite 85 percent of its population of 55 million identifying as Christian.35 South Africa shares a legacy of British rule with India and Pakistan, and some two million of its people are of South Asian origin, of whom perhaps half are Muslim. TJ’s “Sufi-lite” orientation and its Deobandi origins give it legitimacy with many South African Muslims, although the more Salafi/Wahhabi groups dislike any hint of Sufism and denigrate TJ for “un-Islamic” practices such as asking for Muhammad’s intercession and promoting the reading of other books in tandem with the Quran. Many Muslims in South Africa, encouraged by TJ, also became disenchanted with majority Christian rule after prohibitions were relaxed on abortion, prostitution, and other “immoral” activities. TJ appears to have contributed to, and possibly sparked, the polarization of the Muslim community in Africa’s southernmost country.36 

TJ also has a significant presence in Eastern Africa. This is partly because of geographical proximity to the Subcontinent, but also because, like South Africa, there are substantial expatriate Indian and Pakistani communities there, particularly in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Perhaps one-third of Tanzania’s population of 52 million is Muslim (but over 90 percent of the population on the islands of Zanzibar37 and Pemba is Muslim). Kenya is home to about five million Muslims (out of a population of over 46 million, mostly Christian) and the majority of Uganda’s 38-million-people are Christian, with almost 14 percent of the population identifying as Muslim.38 The founder of Uganda’s Allied Democratic Force, a Muslim separatist group that straddles the border between Uganda and the Demorcatic Republic of Congo (DRC), Jamil Mukulu converted to Islam under the auspices of TJ. Founded in 1989, in recent years the groups presence in the Eastern DRC has grown and they have claimed responsibility for large-scale massacres. They are also linked to the infamous al-Shabaab in Somalia.39

But TJ has been most visible in Tanzania, particularly in Zanzibar, where its message of “return to Islam” has been received as complementary to Wahhabi/Salafi ideology. These two strains of Islamic renewal have come together in the preaching of militant TJ members such as Zahor Issa Omar, who, from his base on Pemba, travels to mainland Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to advocate jihad, reportedly supported by Saudi Wahhabi money and even khutbah (“sermon”) outlines.40 More traditionalist Tanzanian Muslim leaders consider TJ to be an intruder bringing a foreign brand of Islam, mainly because of the group’s opposition to full-blown Sufism.41 There are anecdotal claims that TJ serves as a conveyor belt, at least indirectly, to Islamic terrorism.42 Two of the al-Qaeda terrorists indicted in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi—Khalfan Khamis Mohammad and Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani—were Zanzibaris previously involved with TJ.43 

There is conflicting data on the relationship between TJ and the neo-Wahhabi al-Shabaab militia which controls much of southern and central Somalia. In 2009, a story surfaced that al-Shabaab had attacked a TJ mosque, killing at least five of its members.44 However, in mid-2010 Indian media cited at least one terrorism analyst who claimed that TJ “has been very active in Somalia, including sending terror fighters to Al Shabaab.”45 TJ members have continued to be attacked by al-Shabaab, although TJ may continue to act as an inadvertent feeder to the more violent group. Regardless, there are numerous reports indicating an extensive TJ presence in Somalia through at least 2015.46

Southeast Asia
Aside from Africa, one of TJ’s primary theaters of operations is Southeast Asia; so much so, in fact, that the organization’s members active in the region no longer use Urdu or Hindi to communicate, but rather rely on Malay or the various Indonesian languages.47 TJ has been active in Indonesia since 1952, and in its far-eastern province of Irian Jaya (West Papua, the western half of the island of New Guinea) since 1988.48 Originally a phenomenon of the large urban areas’ working classes, it has increasingly penetrated the smaller cities, towns and villages.49

TJ has tried, with limited success, to exploit the Jakarta-supported transmigration of thousands of Muslims from the rest of Indonesia to heavily-Christian West Papua.50 TJ teams are stymied by indigenous Papu customs (especially the affinity for pork) and the large Christian missionary presence.51

TJ has, counterintuitively, been more successful in majority-Buddhist Thailand.52 In 2003, some 100,000 Muslims from Southeast and South Asia came to a mass TJ gathering at Tha Sala in Nakhon Si Thammarat province.53 Over the span of some two decades, TJ has made inroads not only among the five percent of the country’s 66 million citizens who are Muslim, but among Buddhists as well. One effective strategy has been to play up the Sufi, mystical side of TJ while also practicing asceticism, practices more familiar to the largely Buddhist population. However, TJ activities have also polarized the Thai Muslim communities; many traditionalist Muslims dislike the long absence of husbands and fathers on TJ mission treks, while more modernist Muslims denigrate TJ members as “fanatic mullahs” who neglect their families and have given up on the world. However, TJ in Thailand gives every indication of being well on its way to creating an independent mosque network that can serve as an alternative to the existing national Muslim association created by the Thai government.54

The Indian Subcontinent 
The heart of TJ activities is in the Indian subcontinent, where it was founded. In Pakistan, the group has obtained significant prominence. In the 1980s, as part of his Islamization campaign, Pakistan’s President, General Zia al-Haq, attended TJ’s annual conclave in Raiwind (Pakistan’s largest Sunni gathering, attended by by hundreds of thousands.)55 General Javed Nasir, director of Pakistan’s all-powerful Inter-Services Intelligence for a year in the early 1990s, was an open member of TJ who expanded ISI engagement with religious extremists, including supporting TJ proselyitizing in Chechnya, Dagestan, and Xinjiang.56 

Pakistan is one of the world’s centers of radical Islam and home to numerous terrorist organizations. There is significant cross-fertilization between TJ and these groups. While TJ’s leadership insists that it eschews violence and rejects efforts by terrorist groups to infiltrate their ranks, there is significant evidence of groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi attempting to recruit from TJ’s cadres.57 There are also reports that Harkat-al-Mujahedin, a Pakistani terrorist group active in Kashmir, was founded by TJ members and that thousands of TJ members have trained in its camps.58 Some stories have suggested that the Pakistani Taliban have used death threats and kidnappings to force singers and actors to renounce their former professions and join TJ—indicating, if true, a troublesome intersection between South Asian Islamic militancy and ostensibly peaceful Islamic missionaries.59

The United States and Europe
In the West, there may be as many as 150,000 TJ members in Europe, mainly in the UK (primarily among the large South Asian diaspora) and France and Spain (where TJ members from North Africa predominate).60 TJ’s European headquarters is at the Markazi Mosque, which was established in 1978 by Hafiz Patel in Dewsbury, in the British Midlands.61 For decades, until his death in February 2016, the leader of TJ in Europe was Hafiz Patel, and under his leadership became a dominant influence in shaping Islam in the UK.62

In 2007, TJ in the UK announced plans to build a “megamosque” with room for over 10,000 worshippers and 190- foot minarets. The site was adjacent to the site of the London 2012 Olympic Games and engendered substantial community opposition. The plan was rejected by the local government but was appealed. Ultimately, in 2015, the government made a final decision to block the proposed project.63

In the United States, some analysts claim that there may be as many as 50,000 Muslims affiliated with TJ,64 and that the influential Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) cooperates with, and hosts, TJ teams and activities.65 TJ’s North American headquarters is alleged to be either at the al-Falah Mosque in Queens, New York,66 or at the Masjid al-Noor in Chicago.67  

There have been numerous cases of Western recruits to al-Qaeda who had links to TJ. In the early 2000s, French intelligence asserted that about 80% of French radical Islamists were from TJ’s ranks. Two of the London subway bombers and “shoe bomber” Richard Reid had all been involved in TJ. Several prominent American Muslims have been linked to TJ as well (including “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh, the “Lackawanna Six” and al-Qaeda operative José Padilla).68 Simlarly, in the United Kingdon, Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, two of the London Subway bombers, began their path to Islamic extremism at the TJ mosque in Dewsbury. However, they left that mosque because they found it apolitical and were exposed to calls for violent jihad elsewhere.69

The extent of TJ’s role in the radicalization process is not clear. Lindh initially converted to Islam under the auspices of TJ, but in Pakistan left it to join the Taliban. The Lackawanna Six, Yemeni-Americans who travelled to Afghanistan and fought with the Taliban, (and who were disillusioned with bin Laden and returned to the U.S.) claimed to be members of TJ going to study in Pakistan. However, they were later shown to not have any affiliation with the organization.70

Recent Activity: 

Upon Mawlana Yusuf’s death in 1965, Ilyas’ grand-nephew Mawlana In`am al-Hasan assumed leadership of TJ, and subsequently directed the group’s activities for the following three decades. Then, beginning in 1995, and for the next decade or so, the organization was supervised by a collective leadership based at Nizamuddin, New Delhi and consisting of Mawlana Sa`d al-Hasan (grandson of Yusuf), Zubayr al-Hasan (son of In`am) and Izhar al-Hasan (another relative of Ilyas’).71 In recent years, Mawlana Sa`d has moved to the fore, once again giving TJ a single spiritual leader.72 Yet it is also noteworthy that the world’s most famous TJ personality is not Sa`d but the group’s emir in Pakistan, Hajji Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab, who, according to Oman’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, is the 16th most influential Muslim in the world.73 

In the past few months, an internal struggle for leadership of the organization has emerged. In Bangladesh, a senior Tablighi leader named Professor Mushfiq Ahmed and his followers began a dispute with the current leader of the Bangledeshi branch of TJ, Syed Wasif Islam. This dispute reached new heights when in November 2017, the two factions engaged in a violent clash outside of the Kakrail Mosque in the Bangleshi capital of Dhaka.74 In August 2017, Tablighi Jamaa’t was banned from the Darul Uloom Deoband Islamic seminary and will only be reinstated only when the two factions of TJ warring over the title emir end their dispute.75

Even though “the Tablighis have apparently moved from a fringe phenomenon to the mainstream of Muslim society in South Asia,”76 they engender no small measure of opposition from other Muslims on their home ground. From one side, TJ is attacked by Barelvis, whose mystical Sufi leadership deems the group “a thinly disguised front for the Wahhabis”77 and has orcehstrated armed attacks on TJ members. Some Barelvi propagandists even accuse TJ of being a tool of the British, Americans, and Indians, employed to drain Muslims of jihadist zeal.78 From the other side, the Ahl-i Hadith groups charge TJ with abandoning the concrete concerns of the world for a vacuous mysticism.79 And Jama`at-i Islami, the Islamic political organization established by Sayyid Abu ala `Ali Mawdudi, considers TJ a threat to its own powerful position in Pakistani society, and disparages TJ’s alleged lukewarm attitude towards establishing a caliphate.80 At least some Islamic groups outside of South Asia appear even more ill-disposed toward TJ, evidenced by the fact that in October 2010 Pakistani intelligence was reporting that “four foreign militants have been assigned by their commanders to assassinate two prominent leaders of Tablighi Jamaat.”81

TJ does not always succeed in its attempts at winning foreign hearts and minds for strict Sunni Islam. In early 2010, almost a hundred members of the organization were arrested in Tajikistan and given lengthy jail sentences for running afoul of that country’s laws against miscreant versions of Islam.82 In neighboring Kazakhstan, there have been numerous instances of TJ members being arrested for advocating extremism, although human rights groups accuse that government of repressing the exercise of religious activity in order to marginalize any potential opposition.83

Perhaps the most significant question about TJ is the extent of its role in leading followers to violent extremism. As described above, there have been several incidences of violent Islamists who started their path with TJ. TJ’s complex relationship to terrorism is illustrated in the case of Mubin Shaikh (the undercover agent that helped Canadian authorities disrupt the “Toronto 18” terrorist cell.) Shaikh had grown up studying with TJ in Canada. When he chose to become more religious he travelled to Pakistan with TJ but while partaking in his missionary work came into contact with the Taliban. Shaikh states that TJ is separationist and non-political. Since he was seeking a more political and martial life, he found the Taliban’s message of jihad appealing. Shaikh later rejected violence and has since advised the Canadian and American governments on countering violent extemism. He argues that TJ is not a “conveyor belt to violent extremism” for most of its members, but, as was his case, it can galvanize identity crises, making individuals more susceptible to extremism and bring them into contact with more radical actors.84

As the Islamic State (IS) has displaced al-Qaeda as the world’s most prominent Islamist terrorist group, TJ has again emerged as a possible feeder for this newer terrorism threat. A survey of the more than 50 Indians who have gone to fight for IS in Iraq and Syria found that nearly a third had been linked to TJ.85 A group of French Muslims was also found to have attended a TJ mosque before traveling to Syria to fight for IS.86 Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife Tashfeen Malik committed the San Bernadino massacre in December 2015 and pledged loyalty to IS, had worshipped at a TJ mosque in San Bernadino.87 

Ultimately, TJ is perhaps the modern world’s most effective Islamic group at fostering pan-Islamic identity. One only has to be a Muslim to join and enter a “virtual transnational space” where every Muslim is immediately part of the Dar al-Islam.88 As such, TJ is both a help and a hindrance to more political and “extremist” Islamic groups. 


[1] Yoginder Sikand, The Origins and Development of the Tablighi Jama`at, 1920-2000: A Cross-Country Comparative Survey (Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2002), 2-12.
[2] Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, “Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe: Tablighi Jama`at,” September 15, 2010,
[3] Sikand, The Origins and Development of the Tablighi Jama`at, 1920-2000, 2-77; See also Muhammad Khalid Masud, ed., Travelers in Faith: Studies of the Tablighi Jama`at Movement as a Transnational Movement for Faith Renewal (Leiden: Brill, 2000), esp. “Introduction” and Chapter One, “The Growth and Development of the Tablighi Jama`at in India.”
[4] Ira Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 725-26.
[5] Masud, Travelers in Faith, 6.
[6] Masud, Travelers in Faith, 7.
[7] Shireen Burki, “The Tablighi Jama`at: Proselytizing Missionaries or Trojan Horse?” Journal of Applied Security Research 8, no. 1, January-March 2013, 101.
[8] Founded by Ahmad Riza Khan Bareilly (1856-1921), the Ahl al-Sunnat (“Family of the Sunnah”) movement—popularly known as Barelvis or Barelwis—advocated Islamic renewal much as did the Deobandis, although Barelvis were (and are) “more inclined toward the emotional or magical,” according to Usha Sanyal, Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi: In the Path of the Prophet (Oxford: Oneworld, 2005), 129.
[9] In Arabic-speaking Islam, the word usually employed for such work is da`wah; but in Urdu, in India and, later, Pakistan, tabligh (“transmission, communication, propaganda”) came to be substituted.
[10] Sikand, The Origins and Development of the Tablighi Jama`at, 1920-2000, 48.
[11] Sikand, The Origins and Development of the Tablighi Jama`at, 66.
[12] Profession of faith (“there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”), fasting during the daytime during Ramadan, praying at the appointed five daily times, zakat (tithing 2.5 percent) and going on the Hajj once in a lifetime.
[13] Masud, Travelers in Faith, 10-11.
[14] Farish A. Noor, “The Arrival and Spread of the Tablighi Jama`at in West Papua (Irian Jaya), Indonesia,” S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies RSIS Working Paper, February 10, 2010,
[15] Masud, Travelers in Faith, 134-35.
[16] This paradigm is adapted from Albert M. Craig et al., eds., The Heritage of World Civilizations. Volume II: Since 1500. Seventh Edition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2006), 812-816.
[17] Barbara Metcalf, “‘Traditionalist’ Islamic Activism: Deoband, Tablighis, and Talibs,” Social Science Research Council/After September 11, November 1, 2004,
[18] Burki, “The Tablighi Jama`at: Proselytizing Missionaries or Trojan Horse?” 102-03.
[19] Yoginder Sikand, “A Critique of the ‘Tablighi-as-Terrorist Thesis,” n.d., 
[20] Masud, Travelers in Faith, 106.
[21] Masud, Travelers in Faith,121.
[22] Masud, Travelers in Faith,125-130.
[23] As extracted from
[24] Marloes Janson, “The Prophet’s Path: Tablighi Jama`at in The Gambia,” Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World Review 17 (Spring 2006), 44-45.
[25] Marloes Janson, “The Prophet’s Path: Tablighi Jama`at in The Gambia,” 45.
[26] Masud, Travelers in Faith, 161-173.
[27] Baz Lecocq and Paul Schrijver, “The War on Terror in a Haze of Dust: Potholes and Pitfalls on the Saharan Front,” Journal of Contemporary African Studies 25, no. 1 (2007), 141-166.
[28] Stephen Harmon, Terror and Insurgenecy in the Sahara-Sahel Region: Corruption, Contraband, Jihad and the Mali War of 2012-2013 (New York: Routledge, 2014), pg. 159.
[29] Lecocq and Schrijver, 151.
[30] Lecocq and Schrijver,155.
[31] David Graham, “Mali’s Tangled Mix of Jihad and Civil War,” The Atlantic, Nov. 20, 2015,
[32] Conor Gaffey, “African Jihadi Groups Unite and Pledge Allegiance to al-Qaeda,” Newsweek, March 3, 2017,
[33] William Lloyd-George, “The Man Who Brought the Black Flag to Timbuktu,” Foreign Policy, October 22, 2012,
[34] Idrissa Sangare, Adama Diarra, “Al Qaeda-linked group claims deadly attack at Mali resort,” Reuters, June 18, 2017,
[35] “General Household Survey 2013,” Statistics South Africa, June 18, 2014,
[36] Goolam Vahed, “Contesting Orthodoxy: the Tablighi-Sunni Conflict among South African Muslims in the 1970s and 1980s,” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 23, no. 2, October 2003, 313-334; See also Masud, Travelers in Faith, 206-221.
[37] Zanzibar was the power base of the Omani Sultans who had taken control of the coastal areas of East Africa and the lucrative Muslim slave trade in the late 17th century and in 1856 was made the capital of the Omani Sultanate there; as such Zanzibar has been, under German, British and then independent Tanzanian rule, a hotbed of Islamic political thought and aspirations.
[38] Population figures from The CIA World Fact Book, 2016 (Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2016),
[39] Sunguta West, “The Rise of ADF-NALU in Central Africa and Its Connections with al-Shabaab,” Jamestown Foundation Terrorism Monitor, Volume 13, Issue 1, January 9, 2015,
[40] Gregory Pirio, African Jihad: Bin Laden’s Quest for the Horn of Africa (Trenton, NJ: The Red Sea Press, 2007), 167ff.
[41] For example, Maalim Mohammad Idriss has stated that TJ and Wahhabism both pervert Islam and wrongly undermine Sufi traditions and practices. Ibidem, 168.
[42] Fred Burton and Scott Stewart, “Tablighi Jamaat: An Indirect Line to Terrorism,” STRATFOR, January 23, 2010,
[43] Pirio, Radical Islam in the Greater Horn of Africa, IAQ, Inc., February 2, 2005,
[44] “Somalia: 5 Pakistani Preachers Killed Outside Tawfiq Mosque,” Huffington Post, August 12, 2009,
[45] “Indian Jihadis in Qaida’s Somalia Arm?” Times of India, August 23, 2010,
[46] “Somalia: Al-Shabaab Beheads Teenage Boy in Beledweyne,” Sabahi, January 6, 2015, and “Somali Government Official Survives Car Bomb Explosion,” Somali Update, February 27, 2015,
[47] Farish Noor, “On the Permanent Hajj: the Tablighia Jama`at in South East Asia,” South East Asia Research 18. no. 4, December 2010, 729-30.
[48] Noor, “The Arrival and Spread of the Tablighi Jama`at in West Papua (Irian Jaya), Indonesia,” 1-10.
[49] Noor, 1-10.
[50] Noor, 18.
[51] Noor, 14, 16, 22.
[52] Alexander Horstmann, “Inculturation of a Transnational Islamic Missionary Movement: Tablighi Jamaat al-Dawa and Muslim Society in Southern Thailand,” SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia 22, iss. 1, April 2007, 107-131,
[53] Alexander Horstmann, “Inculturation of a Transnational Islamic Missionary Movement.”
[54] Farish Noor, Islam on the Move: The Tablighi Jama’at in Southeast Asia (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012), pg. 182.
[55] Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005), 151.
[56] B. Raman, “Dagestan: Focus on Pakistan’s Tablighi Jamaat,” South Asia Analysis Group, September 15, 1999, (page removed).
[57] Jane Perlez, “Pakistani Group, Suspected by West of Jihadist Ties, Holds Conclave Despite Ban,” New York Times, November 19, 2007,
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