Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Islam 'Denotes Peace in Every Aspect of Life'

Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, a leading Muslim spiritual authority who denounces terrorism, says the term "Jihad" is incorrectly translated and widely misunderstood in Western countries.

By Mike Sandrolini | September 10, 2011
Source: http://elmhurst.patch.com/articles/scholar-islam-denotes-peace-in-every-aspect-of-life

Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri gives a lecture at Elmhurst College Thursday night.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, one of Islam's most influential scholars, stated during a lecture Thursday night at Elmhurst College that those who perpetrated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks violated the basic teachings of Islam and the Koran.
Tahir-ul-Qadri said acts of terrorism, such as those conducted on 9/11, are “outside the boundaries of Islam.”
“The true believer (of Islam) is the one who abstains from harming his neighbor,” he said. “The one who is the true believer of Islam is the one who honors his guests, cares for other people and ends suffering.”
Tahir-ul-Qadri gave the annual al-Ghazali Lecture, titled Islam and Peace Today, on Thursday before a capacity audience at Elmhurst College’s Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel.
Tahir-ul-Qadri is the founding leader of Minhaj-ul-Qur’an, which is an international welfare, human rights and educational institution. He has written more than 1,000 published or yet-to-be published books on Islam, and made headlines two years ago when he issued a 600-page fatwa, or legal edict, stating that terrorist acts are criminal and violate Islam, international law and human rights.

Islam 'Denotes Peace'

Throughout most of Thursday’s lecture, Tahir-ul-Qadri emphasized that the three levels of Islamic faith—Islam, Iman and Ihsan—mean peace and “denote peace in every aspect of life.”
Tahir-ul-Qadri said the first level, Islam, means “the door to enter peace—free of aggression and free of any kind of cruelty and injustices” toward other human beings, regardless of whether someone is Muslim or non-Muslim.
“He alone will enter paradise who has a peaceful heart,” Tahir-ul-Qadri said.
The root word of Iman, the second level of Islam, means peace and security for all, regardless of one’s religious beliefs, according to Tahir-ul-Qadri.
Ihsan, Islam’s highest rank, means to do beautiful things that please Allah (God) and emphasizes benevolence, or performing kind and charitable acts.
The Koran, he said, also instructs Muslims to live in community and peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims, and to treat them with courtesy, kindness and generosity. He added that the Koran forbids Muslims from threatening or harming individuals who practice other religions, such as Christianity and Judaism.
In fact, Tahir-ul-Qadri noted that the Constitution of Medina, drafted by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, underscores peace and security for everyone in a community, as well as religious freedom for all community members.

What Jihad Really Means

Toward the end of his lecture, Tahir-ul-Qadri addressed Jihad, which many in the West believe to mean “holy war,” and a call for violence and acts of terrorism. He explained that the term has been incorrectly translated and, thus, widely misunderstood.
He said there are 35 verses in the Koran that contain the word Jihad, but the words “Jihad” and “killing” are not mentioned together in a single verse. In Islam, Jihad has no link to violence or terrorism, and means to struggle within oneself for good and eliminate evil. The actual term in Arabic for “holy war” is al-harb muhadassa, not Jihad, he said.
Tahir-ul-Qadri went on to say Jihad is a broad concept that does include what the Koran interprets to be grounds for a just war—one that is waged strictly for self-defense if a nation is attacked. In such a war, he said, the Koran makes it clear that innocent non-combatants are not to be hurt or killed.
“Only if war has been imposed on you are you allowed to fight for your defense,” he said.


Rev. Ronald Beauchamp, director of Elmhurst College’s Niebuhr Center, said he thought Tahir-ul-Qadri delivered “a wonderful message.”
“It was challenging, but inspiring,” he said, “because for those of us who have lived through the last 10 years (since the 9/11 attacks), it’s very climactic to hear someone talk about, ‘What does the Koran say? What does Muhammad say?’ and then try to put the pieces together as we try to move forward together in peace.”
Joshua Longmire, an Elmhurst College sophomore majoring in religious studies and exercise science, said he was pleased with what Tahir-ul-Qadri had to say, particularly when he spoke about how Jihad is misinterpreted.
"It was an eye-opening experience, especially his scholarly points of view,” said Longmire, a Woodridge resident. “Nowhere is it (Jihad) mentioned as war; it’s always mentioned as a (personal) struggle.
“All the things he said lined up with the base faiths of Christianity and all other religious sects. I think it was a very interconnecting speech, especially the way he spoke to all people of all different faiths.”

Friday, September 2, 2011

Itikaf City 2011: International Spiritual Gathering of Layla-tul-Qadr

International Spiritual Gathering at Minhaj-ul-Quran, Lahore

On 27th of August, an international spiritual gathering of Layla-tul-Qadr was held in the Itikaf City of Minhaj-ul-Quran International. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri delivered a special address and led a tearful Dua. In addition to thousands of the Mutakifeen, millions of people traveled from all parts of the country to take part in the annual mega event of Minhaj-ul-Quran International. The complete proceedings of the program were telecast live around the world through www.minhaj.tv and ARY-QTV, while the special prayer of that night was telecast live by Geo TV, City 42, Dunya TV, Sama TV and other TV channels.

A large number of religious scholars and Amir-e-Tehreek Faiz-ur-Rehman Durrani, Sajjada Nasheen Astana Alia Bhaira Sharif Sahibzada Pir Amin-ul-Hasnat Shah, Secretary General Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, Sheikh Zahid Fayyaz and others attended the program. Huge digital screens were installed both inside as well as outside the venue.
The formal proceedings of the program got underway with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Qari Allah Baksh Naqshbandi followed by Naat Khawani in which Muhammad Afzal Noshahi, Minhaj Naat Council, Zaheer Bilali Brothers, Amjad Bilali brothers, Anser Ali Qadri, Shahzad Brothers and other renowned Naat Khawan took part and had the honour of presenting Naat. Allama Ghulam Murtaza Alvi gave a brief introduction of the newly published books of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. He told the audience that the number of published works of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has reached 415. The participants of the spiritual gathering offered ‘Tasbih’ prayers at 11 p.m.

Sahibzada Allama Zaheer Ahmad Naqshbandi presented introduction of the welfare activities of Minhaj Welfare Foundation and particularly threw light on ‘Aaghosh’ project of MWF.
Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, Secretary General of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, presented a welcome address on the occasion. He said that the people have not come to perform ritual of Itikaf here, rather the Itikaf has been held for the progress and security of Pakistan in which people have taken part to seek forgiveness of their sins and pray for peace and security of Pakistan. He said that the holding of Itikaf City in an age marked by violence and mischief signifies a strong hope for which Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is spreading the message of peace and harmony around the world. He said that Shaykh-ul-Islam’s special addresses on the occasion are a source of spreading public awareness and inspiration to the Muslims to expose the so-called terrorists from their ranks. He said that Shaykh-ul-Islam has told the world in crystal clear terms that Islam is not a religion of terrorism, extremism and narrow-mindedness, but is a religion of peace, harmony and human dignity.
In his speech to the participants of the spiritual gathering, Sahibzada Pir Amin-ul-Hasnaat Shah, Sajjada Nasheen of Aastana Alia Bhara Sharif, said that Itikaf City is that place where dirt on the hearts is being removed. He said that Layla-tul-Qadr was the night on which the Holy Quran was revealed. He said that it is a result of this sacred night that countless blessings are being showered and the participants are enriching themselves with it. He asked the people to submit themselves to Allah Almighty and plead for His mercy and forgiveness. He said that he was full of prayers for MQI and its mission of peace and interfaith dialogue.

Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi said that 30-year old struggle of MQI is epoch-making, which we have to work hard to make more historic. He said that we would have to make a resolve that wherever we go, we would convey the Islamic message of peace, welfare and happiness in the world.

Shaykh-ul-Islam’s address
In his special address to the millions of participants of the international spiritual gathering, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri spoke on “excellence of morality”. He said that all Sufis have their consensus on the definition of spiritualism that it is all about gathering eight basic characteristics. He who succeeds in inculcating these characteristics in him becomes a Sufi in the true sense of the word. These eight characteristics are munificence and generosity of self like Hadrat Ibrahim, remaining pleased with Allah like Hadrat Ismael, patience like Hadrat Ayyub expression through body language keeping reticent like Hadrat Zakariyya, indifference to the world like Hadrat Yahya, piety, tourism of Hadrat Isa, and woolen cloak of Hadrat Musa representing Faqr.

Shaykh-ul-Islam said that benevolence is the first condition of spiritualism. That is why no miserly or close-fisted person can become a Sufi. The best example of benevolence was presented by Sayyidna Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) when he rendered the supreme sacrifice of his son. He never gave the impression as to why Allah asked for sacrifice of his son. Allah Almighty put Hadrat Ibrahim in the second test when he was thrown in the fire by Namrud. He was also tested with regard to benevolence of his belongings or possessions.He said that the second prerequisite is to be pleased with Allah Almighty in every case. The sacrifice of life presented by Hazrat Ismail (R.A) represents the best example of being pleased with Allah. He asked his father to slaughter him and if Allah willed, he would find him among the patient. This was the state of being absorbed in pleasure of Allah.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the fire of jealousy, strife, worldly greed, bias, and enmity is raging today. Spiritualism means to break the shackles of greed and avarice and become free. The Sufis start their journey on the path of gnosis from this point. He said that in early times when people had raging desire for spiritualism and strove hard to become its followers, there was more a manifestation of its essence than its form. Today, spiritualism has become devoid of essence and is all about form and presentation.

He said that the second prerequisite is to be pleased with Allah Almighty in every case. The sacrifice of life presented by Hazrat Ismail (R.A) represents the best example of being pleased with Allah. He asked his father to slaughter him and if Allah willed, he would find him among the patient. This was the state of being absorbed in pleasure of Allah.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the fire of jealousy, strife, worldly greed, bias, and enmity is raging today. Spiritualism means to break the shackles of greed and avarice and become free. The Sufis start their journey on the path of gnosis from this point. He said that in early times when people had raging desire for spiritualism and strove hard to become its followers, there was more a manifestation of its essence than its form. Today, spiritualism has become devoid of essence and is all about form and presentation.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that we have touched the pinnacle of oppression whereby the competent have been rendered incompetent and vice versa. This explains why we are exposed to severe conditions. The ruling elite is ready to everything for the sake of power.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the world has become our ultimate destination and we have practically broken our relationship with our Lord. The majority of people are so overwhelmed by the materialistic desires that acquirement of the worldly interests has become our topmost priority. He said that this materialist attitude is gnawing our faith and our mental and physical capabilities are being used for the attainment of luxuries only.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri maintained that today’s concept of spiritualism is devoid of action while it is all proactive. Spiritualism, he said, means sacrificing one’s own rights and struggling to restore others’ rights. “Spiritualism advocates the inculcation of attitude of patience, self-control, hard work, bravery, and justice and frees its followers of the hold of ignorance, oppression and lust,” he held. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that there is a need to launch a struggle against ignorance and illiteracy, which in other words, requires the attainment of productive knowledge. He said categorically that we have no future without knowledge. Urging the need for self-accountability, he said that positive values can take root in the society only if we work towards eliminating negative attitudes like arrogance, jealousy, enmity, revenge and pursuit of lusts. Spiritualism is all excellent morality, proprieties and social interactions. It is righteous character.
After the conclusion of his speech, Shaykh-ul-Islam led a tearful Dua for security and peace in the motherland, its progress and prosperity and reform in our individual and collective attitudes, conduct and behaviour. Millions of people beseechingly implored Allah Almighty to take mercy on them and steer the nation of the present crises. The special address of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri was broadcast live around the world through Minhaj.tv and various private TV channels including Geo, ARY, City 42, Samat TV and Dunya TV networks.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Third International Scholars Conference on Nursi Studies held in Turkey

In the third week of June 2011, on 18 and 19, the Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture (a leading research-based educational institute in Turkey) arranged a “Third International Scholars Conference on Nursi Studies”. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was a contemporary of Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal. Both of them “were two stars of the 20th century”. And “although they never met and [probably] were not aware of each other’s ideas, they put forward similar views on many subjects”. Said Nursi was a sufi saint, and the most distinguished Muslim thinker of the twentieth-century in Turkey. Bediuzzaman’s endeavour throughout his long life was focused on the betterment of the Islamic world, and their happiness in this world and the next. These he believed to lie in the Qur’anic teachings. So, with his deep knowledge of both the religious and modern sciences, Bediuzzaman opened up new ways to the Islamic ideology through Risale-i Nur, a collection of 6000-page commentary on the Quran.
University professors and research scholars from around 40 countries, where research work on Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s personality is in progress, participated in the conference on Nursi studies. Dr Ali Akbar al-Azhari, an associate professor at the Minhaj University and director research at FMRi, represented Pakistan and spoke on the occasion. During his 10-day research tour, he closely observed the educational and training centres for the propagation of Islamic values in the progressive Turkish society.

It is hoped that Dr Azhari’s visit to turkey will open new channels for introduction of MQi to the Turkish nation. The contents of the speech he made before the participants of the international conference is given below.

Speech by Dr Ali Akbar Azhari: The “Nursi” of our age

At the outset, I would like to take this opportunity to felicitate the organizers and participants of the excellent arrangements. I would also take this opportunity to greet the people of Turkey in general and Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Science in particular on behalf of my own self, my alma mater Minhaj University, Minhaj-ul-Quran International and the people of Pakistan.
I am also deeply thankful to my respectable brother in Islam, Mr Muhammad Mashooq, on this rare occasion, who introduced me to Bediuzzaman Said Nursi in Masjid al-Haram, Mecca, two moths ago.

Dear and respectable audience! We, people in Pakistan, have deep respect and love for the people of Turkey and vice versa. We have been sharing one another’s joys and sorrows and have stood by one another in times of crises. This mutual relationship is based on faith, whose edifice has been erected on the foundation-stone of the concept of brotherhood provided by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and this would stay intact till the Last Day.
I am representing my alma mater Minhaj University, which is an educational project of Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI). MQI is a great movement of the Islamic world, which is engaged in the struggle for promotion of peace, dialogue, love and interfaith harmony across the world through various initiatives. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, who is the founding leader and patron-in-chief of this movement, is a leading authority on Islam in the contemporary world. He has authored hundreds of books on diverse topics in English, Urdu and Arabic languages besides delivering over 6000 lectures. When I came to know the philosophy and ideas of Said Nursi through his books, I felt in my heart of hearts that Allah Almighty has blessed the Muslims with another Said Nursi in the person of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri. The 600-page fatwa against terrorism and suicide bombings authored by Shaykh-ul-Islam is a gigantic effort at defending Islam and conveys the real Islamic teachings to the western world.
Because of this intellectual and practical similarity, we have included the books of Said Nursi in the syllabus of Minhaj University.
One of the greatest trials of our age is corruption in Islamic beliefs. Some Muslim countries are exporting their own version of beliefs abroad. Under the circumstances, the introduction of exalted and moderate personalities just like Said Nursi and Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is itself a jihad. And, by the grace of Almighty Allah, We have initiated this jihad.
I have come from the city of Allama Dr Muhammad Iqbal. The souls of Said Nursi and Mawlana Roomi would not be pleased if I do not make mention of this great poet, thinker and philosopher of Islam here. Iqbal and Noorsi are both contemporaries, have the shared message and believe in the employment of love and harmony to spread the message of Islam. There is another aspect of resemblance between both. According to Allama Iqbal, his spiritual and intellectual development owes itself to Maulana Room whom he dubs as his mentor and guide. Likewise, the greater personalities to whom Imam Nursi has expressed his devotion include Hazrat Mujadid Alf Sani at the top of the list, who lies buried in Hindustan and with whom Iqbal was also greatly attached. These mutual spiritual relations stay intact even today.
After this introductory talk, I want to present a few submissions to the youth. I would like to congratulate them, for Allah Almighty has chosen them for the propagation of religious knowledge and historic research. These youths are the real asset of the great Turkish nation and the Muslim community. The future of Islam appears bright from your radiant faces; here the spiritual eye of Mawlana Room and Said Nursi seem at work.
As you know, Islam is a combination of faith and practice. Faith is our internal strength and is a motivating factor for action. This faith, which comes into being through unification of devotion and love, also guarantees the acceptance of a deed. The Muslims have extreme love and devotion for Allah Almighty, His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), the Companions and holy personages. If devotion and love merge, faith comes into being. Devotion is wanting without love and faith is incomplete without action. Therefore, all of us must establish a relationship of love with Allah Almighty and hold the respect, dignity and obedience to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) dear to our heart. The same must be our conduct with the Companions and the saints
Imam Said Nursi is also included in this category of people whose life is worthy of emulation for the youth of today. All spiritual and religious leaders including Imam Nursi are the source of inspiration and motivation for us. Said Nursi’s extraordinary interest in acquiring knowledge at a tender age, his intelligence, passionate feeling for the Muslim community during his young age and his selfless sacrifices for the Muslims are the proud heritage of the Turkish Muslims. The recent results of elections in Turkey once more elevated Recep Tayyip’s mildly Islamist Justice and Development party. This political development is also openly attributed to the ideology of Imam Nursi.
That Turkish nation has steadfastly resisted the secularism in the face of all the odds, and promoted the Islamic values, contains a message for the rest of the Muslim world how to spread the message of Islam with strategic wisdom. And this courage came to them through Imam Said Nursi’s unwavering determination and great achievements. Imam Nursi’s life illustrates that the real greatness and excellence is the one which Allah bestows upon His subjects. This greatness is permanent and universal, which has nothing to do with time and space. This is a shared legacy of all members of the Muslim community without any discrimination of creed and race. To pay homage to you, the great Turks, and your spiritual leader, I travelled all the way from Lahore to Istanbul.
Those who dedicate their life for higher ideals in life, have their deep faith in Allah Almighty and are prepared to face any hardship and difficulty in their way, Allah places their remembrance and thoughts in our hearts. These people are the beloveds of Allah and He also loves those who love such people. As the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated:
إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ الْعَبْدَ نَادَى جِبْرِيلَ: إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ فُلَانًا فَأَحْبِبْهُ، فَيُحِبُّهُ جِبْرِيلُ، فَيُنَادِي جِبْرِيلُ فِي أَهْلِ السَّمَاءِ: إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ فُلَانًا فَأَحِبُّوهُ، فَيُحِبُّهُ أَهْلُ السَّمَاءِ. ثُمَّ يُوضَعُ لَهُ الْقَبُولُ فِي الْأَرْضِ..
“If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying, ‘Allah loves so and-so; O Gabriel! Love him.’ Gabriel would love him and make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven. ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should love him also,’ and so all the inhabitants of the heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.’” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim.)
Said Nursi is not present among us today but his thought, courage and passion can be felt. The spring has set in the garden of his love and devotions. His journals are the repository of knowledge, gnosis, intellectual and spiritual arguments. The number of those who benefit from his knowledge would continue to increase with the passage of time
In the end, I would like to give a message to the youth who are working for the Muslim community in this very difficult age. We have been getting bogged down in a crisis, which struck us 500 years ago. A large number of organizations and movements are working to disseminate the Islamic teachings in the world today. The Muslims fritted away their energies over their mutual and sectarian fights. But Saeed Noorsi was the key thinker and preacher who fought against the enemies of Turkey in war, and when he was asked to wage a war against the secular government of Turkey in 1925, he refused to shed the blood of Muslim brethren. He refrained from taking part in a fight which he dubbed as inconclusive civil strife. His conduct has proven out to be so true after the passage of one century. Those who have employed violence, hatred and barbarism, as means to serve Islam, have only damaged the cause of Muslims and rendered no service except bringing disrepute to the sacred name of Islam, a religion of peace, harmony and love.
Today, some people have misunderstood the real Islamic perception of jihad, and restrict it to physical fight with weapons, whereas the fact remains that it is a wider concept. Jihad has many kinds and those who engage in physical jihad neglect the 90% of the conditionalities attached with such kind of holy war and become instrumental in creating hatred between the Muslims and the non-Muslims. We cannot broadcast our religion by putting arguments, knowledge, science and technology at the backburner. This approach is not destined to succeed. Therefore, peaceful, scholarly, intellectual and spiritual struggle of Said Nursi promises to produce positive results in this age.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mawlid Festival 2011: A struggle of peace, love and knowledge

Address of Sahibzada Hassan Mohuddin Qadri in Mawlid Festival
The Hague – On Sunday March 27th, Mawlid Festival took place for the fourth time: the biggest multicultural event in The Netherlands entirely focused on Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) . This year's theme of the festival was "A struggle of peace, love and knowledge". Minhaj-ul-Quran Youth League NL wanted to dispel the numerous misconceptions regarding Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and show his true character. Mawlid Festival was held this year for the fourth time in a row and it was a unique opportunity to convey the teachings and message of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Minhaj-ul-Quran Youth League NL attempted to counterbalance the spiral of negativity concerning Islam, Muslims and the Prophet (peace be upon him) through lectures, discussions, photo slideshows, seminars and performances in order to show who Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) really was. The programme consisted of two sections: in the afternoon there were parallel side events such as lectures, nasheed recitals, presentations and the Mawlid market. In the evening the main programme took place in the theater’s biggest hall. The chief guests of the festival were Shaykh Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri (son of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri), Shaykh Abdulaziz Fredericks from Glasgow, Peter Sanders from London and Shaykh Ramadan Qadri (Farghana Institute Manchester).

The festival took off with the lecture ‘Smiles of the Prophet’ by Shaykh Muhammed Ramadan Qadri where those present got acquainted with the humorous moments from the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The visitors left the room with a big smile on their faces. Subsequently there was a lecture of Tasneem Sadiq, called ‘Traditional Islam in the modern world’. People were willing to stand for more than an hour (due to lack of space) to attend the lecture indicating how interesting the subject was. The subject matter of this lecture was taken from Shaykh-ul-Islam’s workshop which he gave last year at the GPU in London

At the same time a seminar took place, ‘Islam and Environment’ where Shaykh Muhammad Ramadan told about the Green Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Noer’dien Teekens from the foundation ‘Groene Moslims’ (Green Muslims) gave suggestions for a more conscious and greener life. Visitors were offered the possibility to take a journey through the Islamic world via the photo slide show ‘Meeting with Mountains’ by Peter Sanders. Mr. Sanders spoke of his inspiring encounters with great scholars from around the world. Shaykh Abdul Aziz Fredrick’s from Glasgow (UK) gave an inspiring, humorous and reviving lecture on 'The need for Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in our time'. During the seminar ‘Struggle against terrorism’ Shaykh Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri (son of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri), Professor Maurits Berger (University of Leiden), Peter Knoope (International Centre for Counter-Terrorism), Edwin Bakker (Clingendael Instituut) and Mohammed Ghaly (University of Leiden) entered into a discussion regarding Islam and terrorism and in particular about the fatwa against terrorism by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
In his introduction Shaykh Hassan Qadri explained the uniqueness of this fatwa, how it reflected the message of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and how it is an important tool to promote peace and combat terrorism. Edwin Bakker gave a talk on where Europe stands concerning counter-terrorism and Mohammed Ghaly spoke about the general impact of fatwa. At the end there was a panel discussion and an opportunity for the audience to interact with the speakers. The English translation of the fatwa was presented for the first time in the Netherlands at this seminar and was received very well by the audience.

At the end of the evening Minaj-ul-Quran gifted several presents; a smarthpone amongst its visitors, a laptop for one of the new monthly donors and a camera for the winner of the Mawlid Talent show. The main sponsor, energy supplier Green choice, gave an Umrah ticket to Mekkah and Madinah to one of the visitors. Amongst the VIP’s present were Islamic scholars, professors, ambassadors and alderman Baldewsingh of the Hague. Minhaj-ul-Quran would like thank all the sponsors, donors, volunteers, partners and visitors for their indispensable contribution to this year’s Mawlid festival. This festival and all the other events of Minhaj-ul-Quran are utterly selfless and are only to serve Allah (SWT) and His Prophet (PBUH) and to give Islam a proper place in the Netherlands and in our hearts
During the entire day the Mawlid Market was accessible with stands of Minhaj-ul-Quran Youth League NL, information stands of student associations and educational institutes, Islamic art exhibitions, an exhibition of the daily utensils of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from England and stands where books and clothing were sold. Aside from all of the activities mentioned above the Children Mawlid was taking place simultaneously. Approximately 80 children participated in a nice, instructive and relaxing programme. Just like previous years, this part was yet again a huge success; as parents witnessed how their children were reluctant to head home. During the evening programme at the World Forum Theater visitors were given the opportunity to attend the lectures of Shaykh Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, Shaykh Abdel Aziz Fredericks and Peter Sanders and enjoy the performances of well-known artists like Mesut Kurtis (Turkey) and Hicham Karim (Morocco) in Arabic, Turkish and English.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Minhaj-ul-Quran International: Minhajians’ special sitting with Shaykh-ul-Islam

Minhaj-ul-Quran International: Minhajians’ special sitting with Shaykh-ul-Islam

Minhajians’ special sitting with Shaykh-ul-Islam

A special sitting of graduates and alumni of Minhaj University with Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri was held in the central secretariat of MQI on April 16, 2011 Lahore. The meeting was attended by the central leadership of MQI, teachers and students of Minhaj University and the hundreds of Minhajians from across Pakistan.

The formal proceedings of the sitting got underway with the recitation from the Holy Quran followed by recitation of Naat by Muhammad Usman Siddiqi from Faisalabad, Muhammad Zill-e-Hussain from Islamabad and others. Allama Farhat Hussain Shah and Muhammad Sharif Kamaconducted the proceedings in a befitting manner.

Mufti Abdul Qayyum Khan Hazarvi, Prof Muhammad Nawaz Zafar, Syed Farhat Hussain Shah and Dr Zahoorullah Al-Azhari addressed the participants before Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri addressed the audience.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Muhammad Nawaz Zafar, senior teacher of Minhaj University, said that Allah Almighty has ordained man to do justice. He said that when the inner and outer parts of human personality become one, it is called justice and if the inner part becomes more beautiful than its outer counter part, such a state is called ‘excellence’ or (Ihsan). He said that MQI is working for the cause of global peace, harmony and interfaith dialogue in the world and the Minhajians are playing the leading role in this sacred fight for the welfare of humanity. Addressing the Minhajians, he said that they held the central position in the body politic of MQI and hence they needed to attain not only the state of ‘justice’ but also that of ‘excellence’. He also high lighted the need of character building to be able to play their role effectively for the promotion of peace and interfaith harmony in the world.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri joined the proceedings of the program at 10 p.m. through video conferencing from Canada, while his keynote address began at 10:20 p.m. In his introductory talk, Shaykh-ul-Islam welcomed the teachers, intellectuals and scholars of MQI and said that he was immensely pleased to see them all.

He chose the subject of “Dawa and Daai” for his speech and recited the verse no 125 to 130 of Surah Al-Baqra. Shaykh-ul-Islam said that there are four kinds of people who are playing the role of educator and opinion formulator in society. The first category, he said, consisted of religious, social and political people i.e. religious scholars, social activists, and politicians. The second category is that of traders, the third of the ruling elite and the fourth one is media. He held that these four sections of society play major role in opinion making in society.

Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that since we do not imbibe ourselves with the habit of ‘action, that is why we cannot bring about change in ourselves. He said that it also shows why the humanity continues to be in the stagnant waters spiritually. He emphasized the need of internal purgation and riddance of spiritual pollution which has impeded our way towards attaining productive knowledge. He said that we need to present Islam as a code of life capable of meeting the contemporary global challenges. He said that a heavy responsibility rested on the shoulders of the Minhajians. “If they played this role responsibly, time is not far when Islam would turn out to be a champion of peace and human well being,” he concluded.
This sitting of Minhajians was also broadcast around the world by Minhaj Internet Bureau through U-stream. The program ended on Dua.

Friday, April 15, 2011

OIC Leaders, Qatari Foreign Minister & other international dignitaries meet Shaykh-ul-Islam at U.S.-Islamic World Forum

At the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Washington D.C., which was jointly organized by the Brookings Institution, the Qatar Government and the OIC, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri met with the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. They spoke about various issues of mutual interest and exchanged views on a host of issues.

The discussion focused on the recently authored Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings and ways of combating terrorism in the Muslim world. Prof Ihsanoglu highly appreciated the scholarly work and was impressed by the quality of content. He said that he is looking forward to reading the complete book. The OIC Director General Ambassador Hemayet Uddin was also present in the meeting. Both leaders were very pleased to meet Shaykh-ul-Islam. Mr Hasan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri was also present.

Shaykh-ul-Islam also met with the Foreign Minister of Qatar, Ahmad Bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud and presented him a copy of the Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings who highly appreciated the great work. Senior Advisor to the Turkish Prime Minister, Prof Ibrahim Kalin also met Dr Qadri who was fully aware of his book against terrorism and was highly appreciative of the magnum opus on the subject of terrorism.

U.S. President Obama’s Special Envoy to the OIC, Mr Rashad Hussain also called on Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri during the conference and spoke about the historic Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings. He said that they have received this book at the Whitehouse and were well aware of this great work. Mr Hussain discussed issues of mutual interest with Shaykh-ul-Islam. Mr Hasan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri and Shahid Mursaleen were also present in the meetings.

The Vice President of Brookings Institution, Dr Martin Indyk, was pleased to meet Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri who spoke highly of the great work condemning terrorism. A signed copy of his Fatwa book was presented to Mr Indyk. Mr Stephen Grand and other senior think-tank representatives also held a meeting with Dr Qadri and exchanged view of mutual interest.

Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri signing the Fatwa on Terrorism book for Dr Martin Indyk (Vice President of Brookings Institution)

In addition to that, various government officials, think tank representatives, policy makers, politicians met Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri during the course of the 3-day conference.
Dr Qadri attended five different closed-door sessions and spoke on issues including the treatment of minorities, integration and identity, the impact of media and politics and security and counter-terrorism. The fourth session focused on the discussion around the historic fatwa on terrorism by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.

These sessions will help form future policy vis-à-vis terrorism and would offer recommendations to the think-tanks and the Government officials on handling various problems faced by the western and Islamic world.
Dr Qadri’s participation at the 3-day U.S.-World Islamic Forum was highly successful, which will help tackle terrorism from an ideological and intellectual perspective and also tackle anti-Islam views. Dr Qadri presented various core arguments on how to grapple with issues of minority rights, clarified issues of blasphemy laws and presented solutions to take on Islamophobia. He also presented ways of promoting integration in the west.

At the gala dinner Shahid Mursaleen (spokesman of Minhaj-ul-Quran) who was present at the conference met with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and presented a copy of the book Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings to her. He briefed Secretary Clinton about the key features of the book and that it is the most comprehensive condemnation of terrorism to date from any Muslim leader. He said that this book will help in the fight against global terrorism. She highly appreciated the work and promised to read it.
Holland Taylor (Chairman & CEO of LibForAll Foundation) meeting with Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri