My husband and I are involved in the work of Tabligh. Although I have firm belief on this work, but sometimes people around you have so many questions that even one being such a staunch believer even cannot answer due to not having any scholarly approach and being ordinary layman. I wanted to ask you that is it objectionable when women go out in the path of Allah with their Mahrams and they perform everything in a secluded area from making meals to their Ibadah and Ta’leem etc.?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
It is pleasing to note that you as a woman are involved in the noble effort of Tabligh and firmly believe in the noble work. You should continue your participation in Tabligh and do not entertain any doubts about women (Mastooraat) going out in Tabligh.
Tabligh refers to conveying the message of Islam to the non-Muslims as well as reminding Muslims of their religious duties and obligations to Allah. Tabligh was one of the missions of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam.  It is now the responsibility of every Muslim, male and female to carry on with the mission of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam.
The different forms and ways of Da’wah and Tabligh are subordinate to Maslihah(well-being/expediency) on condition there is no violation of the laws of Shariah. It is sufficient that the present form of Tabligh where males and females (Mastooraat) go to different places locally and abroad is not prohibited. It is thus permissible (Mubah) for females to accompany their Mahrams in their travels of Tabligh on condition they adhere to the laws of Hijab.
It is incorrect to state that women are not tasked with the responsibility of Da’wah and Tabligh. The core of this noble work is الأمر باالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر which is translated as enjoining the good and forbidding evil. Allah Ta’ala enumerates some noble qualities of believing males and females. He says:
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِناتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِياءُ بَعْضٍ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ (سورة التوبة، رقم الاية 71)
The believing men and believing women are close friends to one another. They enjoin the good and forbid the evil. (Quran 9:71)
It is clear from this verse that women making Tabligh to women is actually praiseworthy.
Enjoining the good and prohibiting evil brings along with it self-reformation and spiritual upliftment. It is a well-known fact that women who go out in Mastooraat Jamaat have reformed themselves and their families. They became more Allah conscious and adherent to the Sunnah. Their focus of life has changed and they are more conscious of preparing for death with Imaan and life after death.
Apart from personal benefits of women going out in Tabligh, such women have positively impacted and influenced other women to the path of righteousness and educating them on basic aspects of Islam, making Wudhu, performing Salah and donning the Hijab. Nowadays, there is lots of literature and talks on Islam. That is not sufficient to reform. The noble work of Tabligh offers an environment of spirituality and a practical way to learn about Islam. Women see how women perform Wudhu, Salah, and how they conduct themselves. That practical demonstration is the most effective way to learn and reform. Men cannot practically demonstrate such issues to women.
It is incorrect to object on women going out in Tabligh under the premise of the following verse of the Quran:
وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ (سورة الأحزاب، رقم الاية 33)
And remain in your homes. (Quran 33: 33)
The following part of the verse explains the reason for women leaving their homes:
وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى (سورة الأحزاب، رقم الاية 33)
And do not display (your) beauty as it used to be displayed in the days of earlier Jaailiyyah (ignorance). (Quran 33: 33)
The exiting like the time of Jaahiliyyah refers to women exhibiting their beauty.
Shariah permits women to exit her home on condition she adheres to the laws of Hijab. This is also clearly understood from the following verse of Surah al-Ahzaab:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْواجِكَ وَبَناتِكَ وَنِساءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلابِيبِهِنَّ ذلِكَ أَدْنى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلا يُؤْذَيْنَ (سورة الأحزاب، رقم الاية 59)
O Nabi, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they should draw down their shawls over them. That will make it more likely that they are recognized, hence not teased. (Quran 33:59)
This verse further explains the intent of verse 33:33 referred to above that a woman may exit her home due to need and necessity and the restriction for exiting her home is not absolute. The emphasis is on adhering to the laws of Hijab when a woman exits her home.
Many of the Azwaaj al-Mutahharaat (blessed and honorable wives of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) performed Nafl (voluntary) Hajj and Umrah even after the demise of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. It was not necessary to do Nafl Hajj and Umrah, yet they exited their homes for this reason. 
Furthermore, it is incorrect to align women going out in Mastooraat Jamaat to women who leave their homes without need and necessity and just to move around. The Fitnah attached to such women is understood and prohibited. In the core of Tabligh, a woman is protected from such Fitnah due to the Deeni environment she is engaged in.
It is also incorrect to state that at the time of Khair al-Quroon women did not come out in the path of Allah. The books of history are replete with incidents of the illustrious Sahabah, Tabi’een, etc. making Hijrah with their families to propagate Deen. It is inconceivable that the noble women folk of the Sahabah would not actively take part in Tabligh among women wherever they were.
To substantiate the prohibition of Mastooraat Jamaat with women going to the Masaajid and Eid Gaah is non-analogous. The prohibition is based on Fitnah which is clear in the case of the latter. That is not so in the Mastooraat Jamaat.
It should be noted that all aspects of the noble work of Tabligh are supervised by great and illustrious Ulama. They are highly educated and also understood the Mizaaj (temperament) of Deen. Their concern is the upliftment of Deen. Their guidance is based on Shariah. If anyone observes anything un-Islamic in any particular Jamaat, that should be brought to the attention of the elders of Tabligh for correction.
According to the principles of Iftaa(issuing Fatwa), we are guided to seek counsel from that Mufti who understood the issue at hand best.  For example, if one is faced with a complex issue in Inheritance, we should seek the counsel and guidance of a Mufti who is an expert in the field of Inheritance.
The different angles of this work have been thoroughly analyzed by Faqih al-Ummah Hadhrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi Rahimahullah. Hadhrat was an expert in every field of Shariah: Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, and Sulook. He even took part in the noble work of Tabligh and witnessed the benefits from within. Hadhrat has endorsed the Mastooraat Jamaat. Hereunder are the translations of two of Hadhrat’s Fatwas:
“There is tremendous need for Tabligh amongst women. It is of course best to arrange for family women to be taught at home. Otherwise a gathering may be arranged once a week in the locality, where all the women should arrive in Hijab. If the women need to travel, they should do so with the husbands or other Mahram men so that they come to no harm and no evil arises. In this manner, they can also achieve personal reformation. And Allah knows best.”
“The purpose of the Tabligh Jamaat is to learn Deen. In order to strengthen one’s Deen and to encourage others to learn and strengthen their Deen, long long journeys are undertaken. Just like how men are in need of learning and strengthening their Deen, likewise women are also in need of learning and strengthening their Deen. Normally, Deen is not learned in the homes. Hence, if you undertake the Tablighi journey towards London or any other remote area with your Mahram, keeping in mind the Shari’ Laws of Hijab, and without depriving others of their rights, then it is permissible. In fact, from the religious point of view it is important and beneficial.”
It is also important to note that when Hadhrat Moulana Ilyas Saheb Rahimahullah commenced this noble work of Tabligh, there were reservations from some Muftis who did not understand and see the work of Tabligh from within. As the effort of Tabligh became widespread and Ulama and Muftis observed the work closely and from within, they supported the work including the Mastooraat Jamaat. In fact, some Muftis who actively participated in Tabligh with their Mastooraat felt it essential for women to go out in Mastooraat Jamaat.  It is incorrect to adopt the view of an Alim who objects to the Mastooraat Jamaat without him going out with his Mastooraat and observing the work closely.
This Fatwa is purely aimed at the Shari’ position of women (Mastooraat) going out in Jamaat. The points raised in this Fatwa should not be taken to mean that the Mastooraat Jamaat is the only way of propagating and reforming women.
End of Fatwa
شيخ الحديث شيخ المشايخ Hadhrat Moulana Fazlurrahman A’zami (أطال الله بركاته)’s Ta’yeed (support) of this Fatwa:
In the recent past, the Darul Iftaa received many queries regarding the Shari’ position of the Mastooraat Jamaat. We drafted a response and presented it to شيخ الحديث شيخ المشايخ, my Ustaadh, Hadhrat Moulana Fazlurrahman A’zami
أطال الله بركاته for advice.
Hadhrat’s personality in the field of Ilm is well known and highly respected all around the world. His commitment and dedication in the field of Tabligh is exemplary.
Hadhrat studied our Fatwa and concurred with the Fatwa with the following words:
میں متّفق ہوں، میں اس فتوی کا مؤیّد ہوں
Translation: I am in agreement and I support this Fatwa.
You may refer to the website of Shaikhul Hadith at http://rahmaniyyah.co.za/pamp.php for a more detailed explanation on Mastooraat Jamaat.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
 هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ (سورة الجمعة، رقم الاية 2)
 Ma’ariful Qur’an, Vol. 7, Pg. 142
أحكام الأحكام للتهانوي، ج 3، ص 319، إدارة القران والعلوم الإسلاميّة
 فلا بد للمفتي والقاضي بل والمختهد من معرفة أحوال الناس، وقد قالوا: “ومن جهل باهل زمانه فهو جاهل” وقدّمنا أنهم قالوا: يفتى بقول أبى يوسف فيما يتعلق باالقضاء لكونه جرّب الوقايع وعرف أحوال النّاس. (شرح عقود رسم المفتي، ص 92-93، قديمي كتب خانه)
 فتاوي محمودية، ج 4، ص 265، فاروقية
Hadhrat Mufti Mahmud Hasan Sahib Gangohi Rahimahullah and the Tabligh Jama’at, Pg. 152-153, Madrassah Da’watul Haqq
 فتاوي محمودية، ج 4، ص 266، فاروقية
 (آپ کے مسائل اور ان کا حل، ج 7، ص 241-242، مکتبه لدهيانوى)