Why did I launch MTJ Brand?: Explains Maulana Tariq Jamil
Maulana Tariq Jameel is a well-known religious figure in and outside Pakistan. The religious scholar has been the subject of rumours for the past several days after he decided to launch his clothing brand under his own name titled ‘MTJ’.
The social media users on—Twitter and Facebook—stormed the internet forums asking whether Maulana Tariq Jamil would continue his religious activities or not along with his business venture.
The ‘controversy’ reached a point that Tariq Jameel had to release a video message to explain his position.
Maulana Tariq Jamil in a two-minute video uploaded on his social networking websites said, “I started this brand under my name only for the permanent earning of the religious seminary.”
He explained the context of the MTJ,” Since 2000, I had been thinking about doing business for my religious activities, especially for running a madrassa. In COVID-19, I have the opportunity to put that idea into practice.”
Maulana Tariq Jamil, who has millions of followers inside and outside the country, said, “Businesses came to a standstill last year (2020) amid the coronavirus wave
"I closed madrassas and started online lessons. I started worrying that people's business had come to a standstill. Our madrassas are run with the cooperation, zakat and charity of the people. So how can I ask them to pay Zakat when they themselves are in dire straits?”
“Madrassas used to run with the help of people’s charity,” he explained in a brief video.
"My madrassa did not have a permanent system of soliciting donations, nor does it exist now," Tariq Jamil said.
“I used to phone my few friends to ask for asking donations and they help. But when Corona hit everyone, I thought I wouldn't ask for donations anymore. Then I came up with an idea. Allah put it in my heart that we should do a business whose earnings should be spent on madrassas. It was my intention to have such a business,” Maulana Tariq Jamil said.
The MTJ’s LinkedIn profile reads, "This is a fashion brand that will be run with quality and honesty," and it is "inspired by Maulana Tariq Jameel's service to the people."
The company employs 50 to 100 people, according to the profile.
“Connected with tradition, enlightened by truth and inspired by virtue, we (MTJ) uphold all the values that reflect the purity of character. Our traditional attire is the epitome of all the virtues we have kept alive and built upon. In every stitch, we have sown the nobility our culture stands for. In every design, we rediscover the elegance that has stood the test of time,” says the profile.
Tariq Jameel says in his video, "I am not doing any business to make money. I haven't made money all my life ... I have no business mind. I haven't done business since I started tableegh (preaching). I only sewed cotton once in 1984. The brand has no business intentions. I want to invest my earnings on the foundation.”
He also vowed to use MTJ clothing brand money to build a good hospital and school.
Responding to the criticism of him about starting a brand being a religious scholar, Tariq Jamil said, “In our subcontinent, it is considered a ‘defect’ in religious scholars to do business or trade. I don't know where it came from. However, in the time of Imam Abu Hanifa (8th-century Sunni Muslim theologian and jurist), whose fatwas we believe, there was no greater cloth merchant than him in that era.”