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Raiwind Tablighi Markaz.jpg
Raiwind is located in Pakistan
Coordinates: 31°15′15″N 74°13′16″E / 31.2542°N 74.2211°E / 31.2542; 74.2211Coordinates: 31°15′15″N 74°13′16″E / 31.2542°N 74.2211°E / 31.2542; 74.2211
Country  Pakistan
Province Punjab
Elevation 203 m (666 ft)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)

Raiwind (Urdu: راۓوِنڈ‎), is a town in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is part of the Allama Iqbal Town subdivision of Lahore District[1] and is located at 31°15'16N 74°13'4E with an altitude of 203 metres (669 feet) and lies about 40 kilometers (25 mi) from Lahore.[2] The history of the town dates back to the pre-independence days before 1947. Raiwind also houses one of the biggest railway track workshops of Pakistan. The city flourished in the early 1990s in Nawaz Sharif's regime when an industrial zone was set up in the west of the city. Later Mr. Nawaz Sharif selected the vicinity of the town as his home, making it even more notable for the world outside.

In the first decade of the 21st century, the town gained more prominence when Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhary Pervez Elahi established Sunder Industrial Estate in the vicinity of the town, a few kilometres away from the town. Punjabi and Mewati are the main languages of Raiwind. MPA of Raiwind Abdul Rashid Bhatti was the first individual to deliver a speech in Punjabi in Punjab Assembly, Lahore.


During British Rule, Raiwind was part of the tehsil of Lahore, and the town was a junction on the North-Western Railway, where the line from Delhi via Bhatinda joined that from Multan to Lahore. At the time of partition, in 1947, Mian Said Rasool from Arain family was appointed by the newly formed Pakistani government as the Zilledar (District Administrator) of Raiwind.


The city is home to a number of government and private educational institutions. Previously, the education sector was not as prominent an aspect of the life of the citizens there as it is now.


The population according to the 1901 census was 1,764. Before the Ferozepore-Bhatinda Railway was opened, it was an important centre of the local trade in agricultural produce; and it had two cotton-ginning factories and a cotton-press, which employed around 203 people.[3] Following independence in 1947 the railway links eastwards were no longer functional. There is also the famous Mission school of Raiwind. This school has produced politicians, academicians and scholars, prominent one is, Professor Dr. Gulzar Ahmed Niazi, who did his Ph.D. in 1968 from university of Bristol, England. He is an internationally recognized expert in Thalassemias and other genetic diseases. Dr. Niazi belongs to oldest family of Raiwind and he is currently living in USA.

Annual Tablighi Ijtema[edit]

Every year a Muslim religious convention is held here.[4] An annual gathering of followers in Pakistan, the ijtema, is held at Raiwind Markaz. A typical ijtema starts on a Thursday afternoon and continues for the next three days and ends with an exceptionally long prayer.[5] These gatherings are considered moments of intense blessings by Tabligh Jamaat members and are known to attract members in excess of 2 million in Pakistan.[6] The last day of Ijtema may often see several million people, including devoted celebrities, political and administrative brass of Pakistan. The Pakistani Ijtema is the largest of annual Tablighi Ijtemas after Bangladesh. In 2011 Pakistan divided the Ijtema into two parts and total 1 million People attended each of the two Ijtema.[7][8]

This gathering lasts for 3 days and then groups of 10 to 15 people in a "Jamaat" (Muslim Group) are made to go around the world to preach the message of Allah. Hundreds of thousands of people attend this religious gathering yearly. Presently the Ameer (principal) of Raiwind Center is Haji Abdul Wahab.Since 2007, this congregation has been held semiannually in Pakistan. A few Muslim scholars come from India, and the majority comes from Pakistan. The central theme of the sermons of Ulema is that the success in this life and the hereafter lies in the commandments of Allah and ways of Muhammad. Maulana Tariq Jameel is a scholar who delivers lectures during this annual convention which in Pakistan is called ijtema.

Tabligh Jamaat encourages its followers to follow the pattern of spending "an evening, one night, three days, a week, or forty days, 40 continuous days a year, and ultimately 120 days at least once in their lives engaged in tabligh missions". During the course of these tours, members are generally seen dressed in simple, loose-clothing. The Jamaat's walking on streets can be identified by its members carrying sleeping bags and packs of bare minimum cookery on their backs and walking in a straight line along the pathways and footpaths, when they are aiming to arrive at a destination by foot.[9] These members use mosques as their base during their stays but particular mosques, due to more frequent tablighi activities, have come to be specifically associated with this organisation. These mosques generally hold the periodic, smaller scale convocations for neighbourhood members.[10]

During their stay in mosques, these jamaats conduct a daily gasht, which involves visiting local neighbourhoods, preferably with the help of a local guide.[11] They invite people to attend the Maghrib prayer at their mosque and those who attend are delivered a sermon after the prayers, which essentially outlines the Six Principles. They urge the attendees to spend time in tabligh for self reformation and the propagation of Islam.[12][13] Also the regular activities like eating, sleeping etc. are also carried out in the mosques.

Generally, the assumed role of these jamaat members cycle in a way that they may be engaged as a preacher, a cook or as a cleaner at other times. Among Tabligh Jamaat members, this is generally referred to as khidmat which essentially connotes to serving their companions and freeing them for tablighi engagements.[9] The members of the Jamaat are assigned these roles based on the day's mashwara. The markaz keeps records of each jamaat and its members, the identity of whom is verified from their respective mosques. Mosques are used to assist the tablighi activities of individual jamaats that voluntarily undertake preaching missions.[14][15] Members of a jamaat, ideally, pay expenses themselves so as to avoid financial dependence on anyone.[9] However, reverent members may at times also sponsor expenses of some of their "brothers" who might be devoted members but without necessary financial means.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Towns & Unions in the City District of Lahore - Government of Pakistan
  2. ^ Raiwind - Falling Rain Genomics
  3. ^ Raiwind - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 21, p. 63.
  4. ^ Angel Rabasa; Cheryl Benard; Peter Chalk; C. Christine Fair; Theodore W. Karasik; Rollie Lal; Ian O. Lesser; David E. Thaler (December 10, 2004). The Muslim world after 9/11 (PDF). RAND Corporation. ISBN 978-0-8330-3534-9. Retrieved 2010-05-15. Tablighi Jama’at has captured the attention of the global community and has been associated with being a “portal” for recruitment for extreme Islamist organizations.17 However, while Tablighi Jama’at does hold a massive gathering of the world’s Muslims in Raiwind every year, it does not permit groups to set up recruitment booths. 
  5. ^ Khalid Hasan (13 August 2006). "Tableeghi Jamaat: all that you know and don’t". Daily Times. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "600 couples wedded at Ijtema". Daily Times. 21 November 2004. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Raiwind Ijtema: Thousands head home as first session ends – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  8. ^ "Religious conference: Second Raiwind Ijtema session ends – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  9. ^ a b c Barbara, Metcalf (27 February 1996). "Islam and women: The case of the Tablighi Jama`at". Stanford University. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  10. ^ Barbara, Metcalf. "Traditionalist" Islamic Activism: Deoband, Tablighis, and Talibs". Social Science Research Council. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  11. ^ Howenstein, Nicholas; Dr. Eva Borreguero. "Islamist Networks: The Case of Tablighi Jamaat". Retrieved 14 June 2007. 
  12. ^ Masud 2000, p. 27
  13. ^ Masud 2000, p. 28
  14. ^ Burton, Fred; Scott Stewart (23 January 2008). "Tablighi Jamaat: An Indirect Line to Terrorism". Stratfor Intelligence. Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  15. ^ Sameer Arshad (22 July 2007). "Tabligh, or the enigma of revival". Times of India. Retrieved 2 May 2009. 

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