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‘Peace for Humanity’ Conference was held in historic Wembley Arena under the banner of Minhaj-ul-Quran International UK on September 24, 2011. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri presided over the Conference, which was also attended by human rights and peace activists, religious scholars, opinion leaders and key leaders and followers of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.
The representatives of all religions made special prayers for the establishment of peace in the world according to the teachings of their religions. Later on, the faith leaders gave their hands in hands of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri to make a collective peace prayer. The peace candles were also lit on the occasion. Thousands of people, attending the historic Conference, stood up from their seats and the venue resounded with chants of ‘Allah is Great’.
Over 11 thousand people from North America, South Africa, Europe to Asia including Sahibzada Pir Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jamal-ud-Din Al-Gillani, Pir Sayyid Abdul Qadir Shah Gillani, Sahibzada Pir Amin-ul-Hasnat Shah, Dr Usama al-Abd, vice chancellor of renowned Al-Azhar University of Egypt, Dr Abdul Dayyan An-Nasir, Shaykh Muhammad al-Nanowy (USA), Dr Joel Hayward (UK), Noor Muhammad Jarral Mesut Kurtis (Macedonia), Ms Naeema Jaleel, Sahibzada Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, Ms Ghazala Hassan Qadri, Ms Khadija Atkinson, Ms Swaba, Sahibzada Pir Fayyaz-ul-Hassan, Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi and Qari Sayyid Sadaqat Ali. Shaykh-ul-Islam delivered his keynote speech on the occasion.
The proceedings of the Conference got underway with the recitation from the Holy Quran followed by recital of ‘Qaseeda Burda Shairf’ and Naat in different languages of the world. At the outset of the program, the leading participants and scholars held one another’s hands to show their solidarity for promotion of peace in the world.
Ms Khadija Atkinson read out a document with regard to establishment of global peace, which was named as ‘London Declaration’ meant to promote peace and foster resistance and opposition to extremism. The participants were told that about one million people from across different nationalities, cultures and regions would sign this document till December 2011 to demonstrate their support for peace. The document has been launched online as well as through broachers. Ms Atkinson said that MQI has done justice to its task of representing the Muslims at the international level. She said that Islam is a religion of peace, which espouses equality, social and economic justice in the world without any discrimination of any kind. Its followers have been ordained to take care of even animals and plants. She said that the Conference has given a clear message to the world that terrorism and extremism have nothing to do with Islam and it is unfortunate that actions of a select group of misguided individuals were being associated with Islam, which was unfair. She said that it was wrong to blame Islam in this regard. She demanded that the anti-Islam policies framed on these erroneous perceptions should be discarded. She reminded the international human rights organizations and the world powers of their moral duty to rid the Islamic countries out of oppression. She said that doing so would guarantee the establishment and durability of international peace.
Address of Shaykh-ul-Islam
Addressing ‘Peace for Humanity Conference on the subject of “Islam and establishment of global peace’, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, the founding leader of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, said that the world needed peace, security and brotherhood more than before. He said that after 9/11, the difficulties of the Muslims around the globe have increased manifold. The picture of Islam spread in the world has nothing to do with Islam and 99% of Muslims are peace-loving. He said that terrorism and extremism had affected the Muslims more than the world. He said that thousands of people were killed in terrorist incidents, affecting millions of families. Extremism, he said, divided people and produced pessimism and despondency. He congratulated MQI UK on holding such a grand and purposeful Conference.
Addressing the leaders of different religions, who were present in the meeting, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri invited them to join their forces and collectively launch a peace drive in the world. He said that the entire world had become global village and humanity had a shared stake in the establishment and maintenance of peace. He said that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) gave the lesson of brotherhood, tolerance, moderation and peace. All Prophets and religions propagated the message of peace and harmony in the world. He said that it was important to prove ourselves a true inheritor of this legacy and dedicate ourselves to establishment of peace in the world. He hoped that ‘Peace for Humanity’ Conference would become the basis for further strengthening interfaith ties between the Muslims and the non-Muslims.
Addressing the Muslim youth, Shaykh-ul-Islam asked them to unite for the establishment of peace, respect, dignity and welfare of humanity. He asked them to dissociate with the Islam of Osama Bin Laden and become the true followers of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He urged them to reject the ideology of Al-Qaeda and submit themselves to the real teachings of Islam. He said that MQI had established think tanks and planned lectures, conferences, and seminars for training and guidance of the Muslim youth. These think-tanks are playing their due role in promotion of peace.
Shaykh-ul-Islam said that after the 9/11, the blood of thousands of innocent people has been shed and the millions of families have been ruined. He said that the human life and values have lost their meaning. “It is about time, this process of de-humanization was stopped forthwith. The way the migration to the holy city of Medina paved the way for the beginning of a new age, likewise, the Wembley Conference would lay the foundation-stone for reviving the lost glory of Islam founded by the Holy Prophet (SAW). The Muslim youth should launch a sustained struggle for spreading the Islamic message of love and peace and expose and foil the conspiracies hatched enemies of Islam,” he added.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the Western media supports 99% peaceful voice of majority Muslims, while only one percent is bent on projecting radicalized, bigoted minority. This one percent part of media should change its policy as well. “Gone are the days when extremist and terrorist mindset held sway. It is about time democracy replaced dictatorship, which is essentially part of Islam. The people must have inviolable right to enjoy fundamental rights and a free life,” he maintained.
Shaykh-ul-Islam made it clear that the time to heal wounds and bridge gulf had long come and the conduct of Peace for Humanity Conference condemned all forms and manifestations of terrorism and extremism in clear terms. He said that the people of the world must join their forces to eliminate fear, hatred and bigotry from the world and carve out a new direction for humanity where people have access to the necessities of life, enjoy socio-economic justice, live in an amicable and harmonious environment and have equality of opportunities to flourish in their lives. He urged upon followers of all regions to get united on the minimum agenda of humanity by keeping individual identities intact. “This is how peace can be established in the world,” he added.
Shaykh-ul-Islam said that he wanted to see the world transformed into a hub of happiness and peace from which issued forth the fountains of love, freedom, compassion, generosity and morality. He hoped that the international peace conference would lay the basis for establishment of brotherhood between the Muslims and non-Muslims.
The thousands of participants expressed their support and approval of Shaykh-ul-Islam’s mission by extending him a standing ovation, chants and slogans punctuated in between his speech.
The proceedings of the Conference were broadcast live throughout the world via Minhaj.tv and ARY QTV. The gatherings were also arranged in different parts of the country where people watched the proceedings of the Conference live from London.
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Scholar: 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.
“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.”
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.”
One of the world’s leading Muslim clerics will issue a global declaration against terrorism at a speech in London on Saturday. Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri will make the declaration at the ‘Peace for Humanity Conference 2011’ at Wembley Arena.
The peace declaration, which will call for an end to terrorism and for the protection of human rights in new Arab regimes, is expected to be signed by major religious and political leaders, including David Cameron and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Tariq Jahan, whose son was killed in the Birmngham riots, is also expected to attend.
The Pakistani scholar who lives in Canada is the founder of Minhaj-ul-Qaran International, a Sufi-based organisation that promotes moderate Islam. He issued a fatwa against terrorism last year and has since received death threats from many groups, including al-Qi’ada. A $10m bounty has reportedly been placed on his head.
The Muslim scholar has been running de-radicalisation youth camps across the UK, America and Europe for several years. He believes the declaration is urgently needed because he sees a growing number of young Muslims who could easily be swayed to extremism.
He said: “We want to give the message to the whole of the Muslim world and the youths who have been brainwashed that this is Islam and what it stands for: peace, harmony, tolerance, moderation and love and compassion for humanity. This message will go out all over the world, from coast to coast.”
He said the “historic document” was needed a decade after 9/11 to combat extremism and ensure the Arab Spring became an opportunity not just for democracy but also the upholding of human rights.
Outlining the content of the declaration he said: “Number one will be the absolute condemnation of terrorism; number two the protection of complete human rights, as it is seen in the Western world and endorsed by the United Nations”.
It will also call for “support for the concept of humanity and fraternity between all cultures, religions and human beings”; “democracy and good governance in the Muslim world” and “total ecological and environmental responsibility”.
“We want to emphasise education to bring an end to extremism, violence, hatred and racism,” he said, “To educate the Muslim people and youth and at the same time educate the West so that the hatreds are removed. We will be condemning every kind of racism and xenophobia and we will support all Muslims living in Western countries to have integration and citizenship and we will condemn isolation.”
The day will include what the group claim is the first collective cross-religious peace prayer instigated by a Muslim. The last collective peace prayer was called by the late Pope John Paul in Assisi a decade ago.
“Mankind is burning now in a fire of hatred and fanaticism and aggression and terrorism,” said Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri. “The peace prayer is another way to show that all religions can come together to pray for global peace.”
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri believes it is essential to rebuild the boundaries between Islam, terrorism and politics. “I look around me and I see people are confused”, he said. “Extremists and terrorists have created a very big misunderstanding in the minds of generations. They have mixed up religion with international and political issues.
“By talking of the Palestine issue, the Israel issue, the Afghanistan issue and the occupation of Iraq, they have mixed up these political issues with the issue of Islam. They have connected their terroristic and criminal activities with the political issues of the Muslim world, making many young people confused.
“My struggle is to differentiate between the issues – to take the political issues as a totally separate agenda that has no link with suicide bombing and these crazy activities,” he said.
Following the successful anti-terrorism fatwa in March 2010, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri was invited by renowned scholar Professor John Esposito to speak at Georgetown University at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.
Prof John Esposito introduced Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri and invited him to speak to an audience which included US-government officials, cadets from US Army, Navy and Air Force as well as academicians, policy makers and representatives of various organisations and agencies. Former Director of Operations of World Bank, Mr Ziad Alahdad was also present.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri focused his speech on the clarification of the concept of Jihad in Islam, concept of Khawarij and clarification on Dar al-Islam/ Dar al-Harb.
He said that Jihad guarantees the establishment of global peace and social welfare-oriented nations. He declared that Jihadi groups have misinterpreted the concept of jihad. Shaykh-ul-Islam clarified that “the literal meaning of jihad is exertion, struggling, striving, and putting extreme efforts according to extreme abilities, to counter evil, to achieve good for sake of Allah.”
He added that “The defensive struggle against your enemy, defensive struggle against your lower-self, hatred, arrogance, corruption is one dimension of jihad. And this is for the Safety for mankind not for killing of mankind.”
Furthermore Shaykh-ul-Islam spoke about the ideology of terrorists which is the continuity of Khawarij (Kharajites) and they are not Muslims. It was the first group that attacked the fourth Caliph Hazrat Ali (RA), and founded the tradition of killing and violence under the excuse of establishing the Qur’anic rule. He elaborated various signs provided in various Hadith reports about the outlook of Khawarij.
The radicals have misguided the younger generation by declaring the Western and some Muslim nations as dar al-harb. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri rejected that view and introduced an alternative.
The category is the Muslim-majority countries with Muslim rulers and these are considered part of dar al-Islam (Abode of Peace), which is based on providing peace and security and freedom of religion to the people. He emphasized that majority of countries are dar al-Ahd (Abode of permanent peace treaty) which includes all the countries which are part of the UNO which introduced the international treaty of peace.
The category of dar al-harb (Abode of war) only applies to states with no peace treaties and which are currently in direct war with Muslim-majority states and/or where Muslims are unsafe in that country. However, in Islam even in warfare there are strict rules of conduct to follow. The Muslim army during warfare cannot even target or harm non-combatants, children, old men or women. In the light of manifest Islamic injunctions, terrorism has absolutely no place what so ever.
Shaykh-ul-Islam’s speech left no doubt on any point he made. He entertained various questions in the Q&A session which clarified many concepts. In the end Prof John Esposito thanked Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri for speaking in Washington and was very pleased with the lecture.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri arrived in Sydney, Australia on 9th July 2011 at Sydney International Airport where he was received and welcomed by Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-din Qadri, President Federal Council of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, executive members of Minhaj-ul-Quran Australia and other members and dignitaries of various religious and community groups.
Shaykh-ul-Islam delivering lecture at NSW Parliament on Monday 11th July 2011
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri visited New South Wales (NSW) Parliament House on Monday 11th July 2011 and delivered a special lecture and had a discussion with several members of the parliament on the issues of terrorism and integration. He was invited by the member of the NSW Legislative Council, the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC. The audience at the lecture comprised members of the NSW Legislative Council, ministers, politicians, policy makers, senior scholars and religious leaders, etc. Shaykh-ul-Islam, who is on an important visit of peace mission to Australia, was accompanied by Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri.
Shaykh-ul-Islam answering the questions asked by the audience
Speaking on the subject of Islamic concept of Jihad, drastically misunderstood in the Western societies, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri unflinchingly declared that the Islamic concept of Jihad offers guarantee for the establishment of global peace and a welfare-oriented commonwealth of nations. It is unfortunate, he denounced, that the so-called Jihadi groups misinterpret this concept and use it for their nefarious agenda. He said that these groups misinterpret the verses that particularly deal with the concept of Jihad in the Holy Quran in order to suit their evil objectives. Consequently, the concept of Jihad gets confined to killing–a total distortion of what the Quran says what Jihad really is.
Shaykh-ul-Islam categorically and unequivocally stated that the message of Islam is peace, love, tranquillity and unity. He said that if one concentrates on the meanings of the word ‘Islam’, it appears that this word takes its origin from saluma (safety) or silm (peace). Etymologically and literally the word ‘Islam’ means ‘peace, tranquillity and harmony’. He also described the word ‘Imaan‘ that means ‘faith’. Every religion is based on faith. Faith is known as Imaan in Islamic terminology. He told that Imaan has its own root-word and that is amn. Amn again means ‘peace, tranquillity and harmony’.
Referring to the holy life of the Prophet of Islam (S.A.W), Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the founder of Islam fought against different forces for thirteen years, only defending himself and his people against the wars imposed upon them. He did not attack the enemy forces on his own even in a single battle. He always fought back the aggression initiated against them by the enemy.
In the same context, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri emphasized that no individual or a group is allowed to declare Jihad on his own. He said that the Muslims fought more than 60 battles during the period of Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and there was not even a single battle out of 60 wherein they pre-empted the enemy attack. They were always forced to react in defence when wars were imposed upon them, leaving them with no option but to strike back. He said that the words such as “Jihad for the sake of Allah” are also misinterpreted.
|Shaykh-ul-Islam presenting a copy of his book on Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings to Rev Dr. Patrick J Melnerney from Columban Mission Institute, Australia||Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC presenting a Certificate of Appreciation to Shaykh-ul-Islam|
At the end of the speech by Shaykh-ul-Islam, the audience asked various questions which he answered befittingly and in detail. Answering to a question about the role of Muslims living in a Western society, he said that Islam does not ask Muslims to impose their culture, values or religious practices on others. He emphasised that, according to Islamic and Quranic teachings, Muslims living in Western societies like Australia must obey the laws of the land, and be loyal to the state in return to the freedom provided by the state to practice their own Islamic and cultural practices.
Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane, MLC, thanked Shaykh-ul-Islam for accepting his invitation and delivering the lecture at the NSW Parliament and presented to him a certificate of appreciation. Shaykh-ul-Islam also presented a copy of his recently launched popular 600-page decree ‘Fatwa on Terrorism & Suicide Bombings’ to several members of the parliament and the Legislative Council.
Shaykh-ul-Islam is on a month-long visit of Australia where he will deliver several public lectures including one in Sydney on 16th July, Melbourne on 23rd July, and Brisbane on 30th July, on the topics of peace, integration, harmony, interfaith relations, and counter-terrorism. More information about his visit and schedule of his lectures can be found at www.minhaj.org.au.
|Shaykh-ul-Islam with NSW Deputy Opposition Leader Hon. Lynda Voltz, Member of the Legislative Council||
Shaykh-ul-Islam at NSW Parliament with
Sohail Ahmad Raza, Director of Interfaith Relations of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, met the Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican City and presented him the Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. Pope Benedict appreciated the services of Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri for the promotion of peace, harmony and interfaith dialogue.
Sohail Ahmad Raza briefed the Pope about contributions of Minhaj-ul-Quran International and Shaykh-ul-Islam in multiple fields such as peace, human welfare, education and interfaith dialogue at global level. He said that there was a need to emphasise commonalities and shared values espoused by both Islam and Christianity. He further stated that it was incumbent upon followers of both religions to build bridges and eliminate hatred and suspicion. He said that MQI would continue to work for interfaith dialogue and peace in the world.
On the First Minister’s recent visit to Glasgow, Mr Alex Salmond, who has close connections with Mr Abdul Majid (Chairman of Scots for Independence & brother of Haji Abdul Wahid), was presented with the recent Fatwa issued by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. Other members of MQI International who were present on the occasion were Haji Abdul Wahid (Head of MQI Glasgow), Haji Abdul Majid, Adil Lateef Butt and Muhammad Waseem Tabassum Herrera.
The 600-page Fatwa was introduced to the First Minister by Rehan Ahmed Raza, a member of the Muslim Youth League. He gave a brief introduction and insight into the purpose and meaning of the fatwa and shed light on the great positive reception it has received from all over the globe. He was informed about the immense coverage it was given in electronic media along with the print media. It was then gifted to Mr Salmond.
Mr Salmond highly appreciated the efforts of Shaykh-ul-Islam in building the bridges between the East and the West and striving firmly in removing the misconceptions about Islam.
An invitation to the Global Peace conference was also given – “Muhammad (Peace be upon him) the Merciful” which will take place in September 24th 2011, in which his eminence Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri will be the main speaker. Mr Salmond much appreciated this invitation and will hopefully join us in order to portray the true teachings of Islam, the Quran and the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) within both, Holyrood and the Westminster parliament. A formal invitation will also be given to the First Minister nearer the time.
Source: – http://www.minhaj.org/english/tid/13874