In the biography of Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ilyas رحمه الله (the Founder of the Tabligh Jama’at), Hadhrat Maulana Sayyad Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi رحمه الله, the author, writes:
A great evil which is the source of a thousand evils these days and has deprived the Muslims of each other’s virtues and Islam of the collective goodness of the Muslims, is the disparagement of fellow Muslims. Every Muslim has taken it for granted that he is the embodiment of virtue while all other Muslims are mean, vicious and sinful, and hence, he alone is worthy of esteem. This attitude is responsible for all the ills and evils that are plaguing the religious and social life of Muslims.
There was a special favour of the Lord on Maulana Mohammad Ilyas رحمه الله in this regard and he made respect for Muslims a cardinal point of his endeavour. The nature of the tabligh movement is such that, in it, one has to deal with all sorts of Muslims and numerous difficulties can arise if this basic principle is overlooked.
In place of the prevalant attitude of self-righteousness, the Maulana insisted that people saw their own faults and learnt to admire the good qualities of others. It was the only way to ensure peace and co-operation in individual as well as collective life.
As the Maulana once wrote: ”There is no man or Muslim who is wholly good or wholly bad. Everyone has his own virtues and weaknesses. If the practice of appreciating the good and ignoring the bad points of each other became current among us, many evils will disappear by themselves from the world and virtues will take their place. But, unfortunately, what obtains in actual practice, today, is far different.”
Life and Mission of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas, Academy of Islamic Research and Publications (Lucknow), Page 137