Prophet swm’s tradition: “la tushaddu al-rihal illa li thalathati masajida, ilal masjidil harame, wa masjidi hadha wal masjidil aqsa”. Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol 12, 177, 7191, 241, 7248. Isnad includes Abu Hurayra, Ibn Umar, Al Zuhri, Ibn Jurayj, Amr B. Dinar, Ma’mar, Talq B Habib amongst others who all lived in the first Hijri.
The meaning of the above hadith is, you shall not set out except for three masjids, masjid al haram (Makkah), my masjid (Madinah) and Masjid al Aqsa (AL Quds, Jerusalem).
The contextof this hadith is going to the masjid for praying in order to get higher rewards at certain masjids. The cause behind travelling to a masjid is therefore the magnitude of reward attached to that masjid. Thus, this particular hadith is a negative command. Muslims are prohibited from travelling to a masjid for the sake of getting more reward, except for the three masjids mentioned.
What about travelling to masjids in other countries? Travelling to visit masjids, museums, historic places holds a very different cause, like visiting, tourism etc. On the other hand, Hajj, is not a pleasure trip, its an obligatory pilgrimage for the sake of performing certain rituals to please God.
A Haji during Hajj season may travel to historic places in Makkah and Medina like masjid Quba, masjid juma, masjid Qiblatain, mount Noor, mount Thawr, Uhud, Badr, and many other places, which are not connected to Hajj, as such they are only for visiting, tourism, pleasure, academic etc. Similarly, someone may travel to Cairo, Istanbul, Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran to visit famous masjids in those cities. It would be a visit or a ‘holiday’. Saying sunnah or fard salah there would be as per normal practice and reward.
What about travelling to Turag Bank for World Ejtema? Travelling to Turag for the sake of being rewarded with greater amount of ‘sowab’ would mean travelling to Turag for ibadah and worship alone. But there are no mosques there, so why is this gathering taking place?
The sahabis gathered together outside Medina leaving their families behind for a particular cause. At the battle of Badr, muslim men left their homes and set off for the wells of Badr. They made camp at the foothills and stayed together with their tribes. The night before the battle of Uhud Muslims made camp at the foot of Uhud. During Fateh Makkah, tribes from many parts of the Peninsula arrived at Medinah and camped outside city walls till they joined Medina’s 10,000 strong army which later camped outside Makkah for few days before taking Makkah.
Before the Battle of Mutah, many Arab tribes came to Medina and as per tradition camped outside Medina, under the command of Zaid, who along with Jafar and Abdullah used to visit tents to enoucrage the soldiers with Quranic ayahs.
The cause for congregation outside Medina was to join the Muslim army in order to engage in battle, under the banner of islam. That is not the ’cause’ expresed by tablegh jamat at Turag Bank for World Ejtema.
Why dont they make it their cause, all the evidences from Islamic sources are easily available. Is something stopping tablegh from speaking up?