terrorism media news maslak fitna elections islamic milad tehreek firqaparasti politics ijma sufi dawah fatwa barelvi inqilab alahazrat pakistani revolution Tahir-ul-Qadri books love Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) Al-Hidayah Scholar hadith pakistan tasawwuf sunni aqeedah sufism minhaj-ul-quran Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamat unity sawad-e-azam peace work reformer mujaddid revival mujadid reviver shaykh-ul-islam dr.tahir-ul-qadri
The world community is celebrating the International Day of Peace on September 21, 2011 today. The Day marks the humanity’s relentless struggle for the establishment of a peaceful, harmonious and just world order. The observance of this Day with traditional fervour across the continents, cultures and geographical boundaries reflects the shared stakes, opportunities and threats faced by the humanity without any discrimination of caste, creed, colour, race and religion. Hence the pursuit of peace becomes a shared goal warranting collective response and dedication. By holding seminars, workshops and other educative programs, the communities, on this day, highlight the importance of peace for socio-economic development and, by doing so, they also pay tribute to the individuals and organizations, which are working hard, day in and day out, to reduce differences and build bridges.
It was in 1981 that the UN General Assembly decided to celebrate the World Peace Day in a resolution sponsored by the United Kingdom devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace. The theme of 2011 namely “Peace and Democracy: Make your voice heard” also calls for concerted actions and employment of partnership approach to strengthen the ideals of peace and harmony in a world torn apart by wars, conflicts, wave of terrorism and extremism, bloodshed, civil strife, instability and chaos.
The right way to commemorate this auspicious day is to reflect on the challenges the world peace is faced with and come up with innovative and creative solutions to make this world a better place for our succeeding generations. The most immediate threats to global peace emanate from religious extremism, radicalism as well as from the menaces of poverty, denial of democratic and political rights and yawning gap between haves and have-nots. Developing a true understanding of nature and interplay of these threats constitutes the first necessary step towards eradicating them.
The goal of peace can be advanced through collaborative approach, which is inclusive and participatory in nature. The fight against extremism and radicalism is basically a battle between ideas, hearts and minds. The tendency to single out people on the basis of their religion, ethnicity, colour and race must end. The adoption of dialogue, accommodation and respect for dissent lays the necessary foundation to empower communities and people to join their forces for the shared wellbeing of humanity. It also means that investments need to be made in areas of fighting poverty, hunger, unemployment, building human resources, enhancing people’s access to education and justice, reducing gender disparities and population growth, ending violence, and putting in place sustainable structures to spearhead dialogue among followers of different cultures and religions. The use of hard power offers little prospect for enduring peace.
Minhaj-ul-Quran International has been engaged in a struggle for establishment of peace in the world since last three decades across the globe. It has initiated practical struggle to expose those extremist and bigoted elements who invoke the fair name of Islam to justify their heinous actions. The hundreds of educational centres, colleges, schools and university are busy imparting education of moderation, tolerance, love and accommodation. It has also put in place a sustainable mechanism to launch interfaith dialogue not only in Pakistan but also across the world with a view to building bridges and bringing people closer. The youths and women happen to be centre of special attention of MQI in this regard.
While celebrating the World Peace Day, we must make a vow to leave no stone unturned to make this world a place worth living. It calls for redoubling of our efforts. Failure in this context is not an option any more.
Minhaj Reconciliation Council (Norway) arranged a prestigious seminar in Oslo on the subject of “How to contain extremism?” on September 3, 2011. Shaykh Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, chairman of WAAG Pakistan Branch, was the guest of honour on the occasion. This unique program in the Norwegian history was organized with the cooperation of Police and Justice Departments. The seminar was meant to unveil the authentic Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings issued by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, describe the basic stance of the Holy Qur’an and Sunna on this issue and promote awareness against terrorism and extremism among the general public.
Chief guest of seminar, Shaykh Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, who is also the chairman of WAAG Pakistan Branch and President of Supreme Council of MQI, presented a comprehensive, scholarly and research-based paper on the subject under discussion. Describing the kinds of extremism, he particularly threw light on religious and political extremism in his speech. He said that religious extremism flourishes due to literature of religious bigots. The youths are brainwashed to fulfil the international political agenda by invoking the name of religion. The political extremism, he said, take root because of poverty, unemployment, injustice and denial of fundamental rights. He said that terrorists had nothing to do with Islam. They were the enemies of Islam and humanity. He said that the literal meaning of Islam is peace and security. The Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) while describing the definition of a Muslim, said: ‘The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hands other Muslims remain safe.’ Shaykh Hassan said that following the migration of Medina, the society upon which the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) conferred rights for the first time was a multicultural society, which comprised of the Jews, Christians, Muslims and polytheists.
Shaykh Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri further said that Islam is a peaceful religion and no Muslim can commit terrorism nor can any Muslim be a suicide bomber. He said that Islam talks of human dignity and honour. Those who wrongly interpret the Islamic terms and slogans such as “Dar al-Salam’, ‘Dar al-Kufr’, and ‘Islamic Caliphate’ are those extremists who are bent upon destroying the world peace for the sake of their nefarious designs. He said that Minhaj-ul-Quran International is engaged in a struggle to eliminate the scourges of terrorism and extremism through peaceful and intellectual means without any discrimination of a Muslim and non-Muslim.
He said that the world-renowned Al-Azhar University has been propagating the values of moderation and tolerance for many centuries. MQI (UK) has also been organizing anti-terror camps such as ‘Al-Hayidah’ for last many years in which the hundreds of participating youths are imparted the lesson of peace, love, brotherhood, integration, harmony and tolerance. He said that MQI is holding Peace for Humanity Conference on the subject of ‘Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him): The Mercy of the World’, which will also be attended by Shaykh-ul-Azhar Dr Ahmad Muhammad al-Tayyab, Dr Muhammad Abd al-Fudayl al-Qawsi and other renowned scholars. This Conference, he added, would be a milestone in synergizing the efforts of Minhaj-ul-Quran International and Al-Azhar University against terrorism and extremism.
Expressing his views after the keynote speech of Shaykh Hassan, Mr Audun Lysbakken, Norwegian Child and Family Minister, appreciated this moot of Minhaj Reconciliation Council. Waving the historic Fatwa of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, he said that this Fatwa was a great scholarly treasure and served to allay many misunderstandings and confusions. Referring to scholarly talk of Shaykh Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, he said that he was sure that many misunderstandings about Islam and the Muslims would have been removed after the intellectual presentation of the Shaykh. He said that the facility with which the speaker threw light on the genesis of and possible solution to extremism was quite convincing and we must benefit from him. He also highlighted the need of working together without any discrimination of religion and culture in the larger interest of peace and harmony in the world.
Mr Barry White, the US Ambassador to Norway, attended the seminar along with wife and political secretary. He paid a tribute to the global services of Shaykh Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri.
Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has been awarded “Peace Award 2006″. National Council for Inter Religious Dialogue and Ecumenism (NCIDE) arranged a Great Conference for this purpose on 13 th December 2006. Prominent National and International Figures including Principal Officer American Centre, Bishop Dr Andrew Francis, Dr. Cecil Chaudhary and others graced the occasion.
Bishop Dr. Andrew Francis paid warm tributes to the services of Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Chairman Pakistan Awami Tehreek, and Tehreek Minhaj-ul-Quran for promoting peace, harmony, tolerance, sympathy and love at national as well as international level.
The Bishop greatly appreciated Dr. Qadri`s valuable contributions to education, welfare, inter-faith tolerance and said they are unique.
He then announced an award for Dr Qadri in recognition of his commendable efforts that laid the foundation of a Muslim-Christian Dialogue Forum.
The Principal Secretary to Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, Mr G M Malik received the award on behalf of Dr Qadri whi is currently abroad.
On this occasion Mr G M Malik, along with Sajjad-ul-Aziz, Dr. Ali Akbar, Dr. Tahir Hamid & Ghulam Rabbani presented a cake to the Bishop in connection with Christmas and the New Year, on behalf of Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.
He said that Dr Qadri has always advocated and spread the message of Islam that is peace. He has been most vocal to denounce and condemn terrorism and extremism at all levels and has been one of the most dynamic leaders to promote the cause of peace round the globe. He said that Dr Qadri`s endeavors have brought about inter-faith and inter-civilization harmony. Dr Qadri is known as ambassador of peace and his anti-terrorism struggle has been recognized in the past on several international forums. He has indeed generated through his leadership new awakening to advancing peace and forbearance and promoting tolerance, moderation, harmony and non-sectarianism for a safe and secure future of mankind.
A meeting of the Forum was held under the chairmanship of Chairman PAT Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri at Central Secretariat PAT. The meeting continued for four hours. It was extensively attended by the Christian counterparts including Bishop Samuel Izraia, Bishop Andrew Francis special advisor to Pope Jan Pal II for Asia, Father James Chanan OP, accompanied by 125 Bishops, leaders, fathers and priests. This was heartening to see that the delegation comprised both the Catholic as well as Protestant members.
The matters that came under discussion included the minority rights under the constitution of Pakistan and Islam. The meeting decided to work for interfaith harmony, tolerance and elimination of extremist trends from the society. It was specially observed that both the communities will jointly work to eliminate hatred culture and terrorist tendencies from the society.
The meeting also discussed appropriate measures to spread the message of the Forum in four provinces of Pakistan, the Federal Capital Islamabad and in the foreign world. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri emphasized that they intended to create interfaith harmony on the bases of humanitarian and patriotic values so that people from all sections of the society work jointly and coherently for the development and progress of the country.
It was decided that the central executive of MCDF would comprise 30 members 15 Muslim and 15 Christian. A working group was also formulated within the central executive to design programmes, formulate the Executive’s agenda and implementation of decisions.
A women interfaith group was also formulated to achieve the objectives of the forum among the womanfolk as well.
Later Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri told the newsmen that the first ever Muslim Christian Walk will be conducted on the Mall Lahore lead by politico religious leaders in addition to social workers belonging to both the communities. Ladies and children will also join the walk.
Moreover the X-miss celebrations well also be held jointly before which a roundtable conference will be organized to address the mutual issues.
Setting off from London Islamic Cultural Centre we were about to embark on our spiritual journey of Al Hidaya camp 2005, on our quest for thirst of knowledge. And in search of classical and authentic teachings of our beloved Rasul (saw).
On reaching the venue set in the beautiful surroundings of Shropshire hundreds of young Muslims from around the World (brothers & sisters) gathered eager to taste the blessed fruits of sacred knowledge and thirsty to drink from the fountain of Tarbiyya (teachings) from the great Mujadid (reviver of Islam) `Sheykh -ul- Islam.
Waiting for registration our queuing resembled a long line of `sick` patients waiting for an appointment with a top surgeon. Surly, we had come with our many diseases of the heart, mind and soul; worldly desires, huge ego`s, selfishness, arrogance, greed, lethargy, jealously, hatred, envy, impatiens, vengefulness etc, the list is endless.
We were here to receive the only cure for these diseases `open heart, mind, soul surgery`, to be preformed by the great Sheykh-ul- Islam, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul- Qadri.
Our first blessed glance of the noor of light on the beautiful face of Sheykh-ul-Islam was during our first discourse. This was a very lengthy discourse on the spiritual inner unseen aspects of Islam known as `Tasawuf` (the science of self purification). Sheykh-ul- Islam had already made his first diagnosis and delivered the necessary spiritual intervention. Through the use of beautiful quotations from the word of Allah (swt) and blessed incites from the holy seerah of Rasul (saw) and rightly guided others (too many to mention). We were injected with words of pearls of wisdom. Sheykh-ul-Islam beautifully enlightened our hearts, minds and soul with words of Al Hidaya (guidance) giving us the tools to use towards understanding and reaching Al- Hidaya.
Our second discourse and necessary treatment focussed on defining our `Aqida` (science of belief). This was achieved through classical evidence`s from Qur`aan and Sunnah. Sheykh-ul- Islam blessed by his wisdom and depth of Quranic knowledge orated far back as the incident relating to the first human creation of Sayidina Adam(as) and the Ibliss. The Ibliss who was considered a highly knowledgeable Jinn who taught others, was thrown out of the nearness of Allah (swt). Not because of popular belief of not prostrating to Adam (as) but because of his lack of adab (respect) of Prophet Adam(as). This was orated as a completely new perspective on this incident. Sheykh -ul-Islam beautifully, smoothly and comprehensively concluded and connected this incident with the love (ishq) and extreme reverence (adab) of Rasul (saw) forming the true basis of belief (Iman). .
The ideology and philosophy of Minhaj-ul-Qur`aan was presented as our third discourse. It became apparent that the ideology and philosophy of Minhaj-ul-Qur`aan has developed using the classical and traditional teachings of our most beloved Rasul (saw). Minhaj-ul Qur`aan implements a holistic and comprehensible system, facilitating the needs of the modern day Muslim Ummah. This is carried out within the realms and boundaries of Islamic Jurisprudence.
The forth and final discourse was related to the above (third discourse) dealing with Da`wa (Communication of the correct interpretation of Islam). For those needing clarification in relation to Da`wa on both a macro and micro level especially in the current climate of the society. Then this discourse was for you. This discourse did not only comprise of a modern day analysis of the problems faced by a modern day Muslim but it offered its cures strategies. A step by step practical guide on self purification was given- purifying and eradicating different problems both zahir and batin (inside and outside) of a Muslim. Thus enabling a Muslim to be a perfect role model in society, which is the best form of Da`wa.
Our final course of treatment ended with a most heart felt spiritually awakening Du`a. How fortunate are we to have been in the company of such a wuli (beloved) of Allah(swt) beseeching help and forgiveness for us. Sheykh-ul Islam came to the Al-Hidaya to show us Al- Hidaya he made his diagnoses followed by a 3 day course of intervention. Sheykh-ul- Islam can only pray for our prognoses. If we do not follow the advice and guidance given to us by our Surgeon then our prognosis does not seem to be in our favour. We may not be around to receive the next course of intervention.
Like our beloved great Sheykh -ul- Islam said,” I can not give you the taste of fruits you have never tasted before, I can describe them to you, I can explain the taste, but you will have to taste them for yourself to see what they are really like”
My dear brothers and sisters lets pray for the long life and good health of our Beloved Sheykh-ul- Islam and may we all put into practice his beautifully articulated words of wisdom. Through his wasila may we be shown mercy and guidance and be accepted as Mureed of the Sultan Sayidina of all Sheykhs Abd ur Qadir al Jillani(ra) on the day of Qiyama. And give us Shif`a of Rasul(saw) allowing us by the Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah(swt) to head into Paradise as a true sincere workers of Minhaj-ul-Qur`an -Ameen.
Sister Khadijah Atkinson
Al -Hidaya Participant. 2005
An Imam Azam Conference on, Imam Azam Imam-ul-Aimma fil Hadith, was held at the head quarters of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, Lahore, in which Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri gave an historic lecture stemming from several months of research in which he proved that Imam Azam Abu Hanifa is the Imam of Hadith of all imams of Hadith including Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Tirmizi, Imam Abu Dawood, Imam Nasai etc.
Guest Scholars and Mashaikh
Hundreds of renowned scholars and Mashaikh from the length and breadth of the country came to the conference in order to witness the historic display by Shaykh-ul-Islam of his latest research which has never been done before in the whole history of Islam.
Some of the most renowned Scholars who attended are Peer Ameen-ul-Hasnaat son of Pir Justice Karam Shah al-Azhari, Allama Muhibbullah Nuri son of Faqih-e-Azam Allama Nur-ullah Naeemi, Shaykh Ahmad Zubaidi from Syria, Iranian Consulate General Aqai Raza Amini, Pir Sayyad Bilal Hussain Shah of Ajmaihr Shareef, Pir Khawaja Mueen ud-Deen Kuraijah, Sayyed Azmat Ali Shah Hamdani, Allama Niyaz Hussain Najafi, Professor Dr Jameel-ur-Rahman Chisti, Agha Murtaza Poya, Allama Ali Gazanfer Kararwi, Professor Abd-ur-Rahman Bukhari.
Talks by Guest Scholars and Mashaikh
Brief talks were delivered by some of the main guests as they appreciated the great historic effort of Shaykh-ul-Islam on cutting the roots of all baseless accusations levelled against Imam Azam Abu Hanifa for centuries. They stated that existence of such accusations and the inability of comprehensively rebutting them for centuries held a sense of shame among the lovers of Imam Azam across the globe, especially the Hanafis. They said that Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, by conducting his deep and unprecedented research to prove that Imam Azam is the Imam-ul-Aimma fil Hadith, shows that Shaykh-ul-Islam is not only a great scholar, Interpreter of the Quran, a revolutionary leader and a thinker but has proved with out any shadow of a doubt that he is one of the biggest Muhadiths. Being the Mujadid of the present century it was only fitting for him to raise the heads of all Hanfis with pride as now they could prove to critics on how Imam Abu Hanifa truly is Imam Azam in Hadith as well as Fiqh. They concluded by hoping that Shaykh-ul-Islam would continue to revive Islam through his great mission of Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI) with their full backing and support behind him.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri delivered a lecture lasting just under four hours which was heavily condensed due to shortage of time. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri announced that the whole of his research on this topic will be included in his book which will be published soon consisting of two volumes. He said he will only cover some of the main points of his research in the lecture.
Shaykh-ul-Islam totally demolished the slur that Imam Abu Hanifa only had knowledge of 17 hadiths or a limited number of hadith by an avalanche of arguments proving that Imam Abu Hanifa is actually the Shaykh in Hadith of all the main Imams of Hadith.
Main points of the lecture are given below which prove that Imam Azam Abu Hanifa is the Imam-ul-Aimma fil Hadith:
- The hadith of Bukhari and Muslim, “a man from the children of Faaris will acquire knowledge even if it is in the stars” actually refers to Imam Abu Hanifa and not Sulaiman Farsi or any other Imam.
- Imam Azam Abu Hanifa was a tabiee and had taken traditions from many sahabah. He was the only imam of Hadith who had taken all of his traditions from the “khair-ul-Qurun” from whom there is no possibility of fabricating traditions; this is why Imam Abu Hanifa received traditions which were not received by later Imams of Hadith Like Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim etc. as they had set strict conditions in accepting any tradition which severely limited the number of traditions which they accepted as Sahih.
- The whole of the Sihah Sittah consists of 10,000 traditions but the musnads of Imam Abu Hanifah have a minimum of 10,000 traditions according to various narrations.
- Imam Azam’s students were the Shaykhs of Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim and others as they had taken hadiths from them. This makes Imam Azam Abu Hanifa the grand shaykh of Imam Bukhari , Imam Muslim and others.
- Sahih Bukhari is renowned for its salasiyaat: traditions which only have 3 links between Imam Bukhari and The Prophet SAW which number seventeen. Imam Azam Abu Hanifah has narrated traditions which only have one link between him and the Prophet SAW. This was a great revelation by Shaykh-ul-Islam as this was not pointed out by anyone in the past. Shaykh-ul-Islam devised the term Uhadiyaat for such traditions. Imam Abu Hanifah is the only Imam of hadith to have these traditions. Then Shaykh-ul-Islam revealed that there are also a great number of traditions narrated b Imam Azam Abu Hanifa which only have two links between him and the Prophet SAW which he termed as thanaiyaat. Again no other Imam of hadith has these traditions. The number of sulasiyaat narrated by Imam Abu Hanifa are so many that they have not been counted.
- The salasiyaat of Bukhari, which are seen as the cream of Sahih Bukhari, 15 of the 17 were taken by Imam Bukhari from the students of Imam Azam Abu Hanifa.
- The fact that Imam Bukhari did not take traditions directly from Imam Azam was not because he doubted the great status of Imam Azam in hadith. It was because Imam Bukhari has mentioned in his books that he only took traditions from people who considered iman to consist of declaration by the tongue, acceptance by the heart and practice upon Islam. Imam Abu Hanifah did not agree with that definition of Iman and only believed Iman to consist of the declaration of the tongue and acceptance by the heart.
- Imam Muslim who was the student of Imam Bukhari did not take any tradition directly from Imam Bukhari in his Sahih Muslim; the same is the case with other Imams of Hadith who did not take traditions from their teachers. Imam Bukhari was a Shafai but did not take any traditions from Imam Shafai in his Sahih al-Bukhari. So not taking traditions from any Imam of hadith did not mean that the Imam who did not take them was in doubt of the hadithic ability of the Imam he was not taking the traditions from.
- Shaykh-ul-Islam gave quotations from great Imams who regarded Imam Abu Hanifah as Imam Azam and the greatest authority in Hadith and knowledge.
Note: Full details, facts and figures were given in the lecture which can be viewed on this site, this was only an overview of the speech.
The historic lecture left all participants in shock, in the amount of new information which they had received from Shaykh-ul-Islam which they had never imagined to their wildest imaginations had even existed.
Lunch was served to all the participants which was arranged by Shaykh-ul-Islam himself. Shaykh-ul-Islam had lunch with the main guests.
Report by Jawed Iqbal Tahiri
Luke Baker, Reuters
COVENTRY, England — Like any rousing Islamic preacher, Muhammed Tahir ul-Qadri’s voice rises to a shout and his index finger jabs as he hammers home a point.
But rather than angry calls for jihad or a vitriolic denunciation of the West and its aggressions against Islam, Mr. Qadri’s message, equally forcefully delivered, is about moderation, peace, inclusion and understanding.
Addressing a packed auditorium from a raised platform, his words beamed on to large screen behind him, more than 1,000 young followers hang on his every word, even as his lecture moves into its fourth uninterrupted hour.
“Islam is not a religion of seclusion, it is not a religion of detachment,” he thunders from the dais, occasionally pausing to wipe the sweat from his brow or adjust his spectacles.
“Any killer of a non-Muslim citizen, he will go to hell. Those who are committing terroristic acts from Pakistan and Afghanistan and claiming it is jihad – they do not know what jihad is. It is forbidden. There will not be janna [paradise] for them,” he hollers, to shouts of approval.
Mr. Qadri, 58, who was born in Pakistan but now lives in Canada, is a renowned scholar of Sufism, a long tradition within Islam that focuses on spirituality, emphasizing peace and moderation.
The author of more than 400 books on Islamic scholarship and law, he travels the world delivering sermons to Sufis, while his organization, called Minhaj ul-Quran, has spread to 80 countries, from Greece to Fiji, since its founding in 1981.
In Britain, he is the main draw at a three-day retreat for young Muslims called Al Hidayah (Guidance), which over the past five years has grown into the biggest spiritual camp of its kind, with more than 1,200 attendees from a dozen countries.
Mr. Qadri believes camps such as his, which attract teenagers – girls and boys wearing traditional dress who sit separately in the auditorium – as well as their parents and children as young as six, can play a part in combating extremism within Islam.
For Britain, that has been particularly important since 2003, when the country joined the invasion of Iraq, and 2005, when four young British Muslims carried out suicide bombings on the London transport network, killing 52 people.
“I feel it is my duty to save the younger generation from radicalization,” Mr. Qadri said quietly over lunch on Sunday, shortly after finishing the second of several lectures and question-and-answer sessions, which concluded yesterday.
“We need to prepare them mentally and academically, intellectually and spiritually, against extremist tendencies and radical and terrorist attitudes. We need to provide them with an awakening of the true picture of Islam.”
Around the world, and particularly in the United States, there has been a steady increase in adherence to Sufism in the past decade. Governments keen to tackle the spread of more radical branches of Islam in their countries have worked with Sufi scholars and tried to emphasize their teachings.
In Britain, home to about 1.7 million Muslims, mostly from Pakistan, the government at first worked to promote Sufism, supporting the creation in 2006 of the Sufi Muslim Council, a group that took a strong stand against Islamist extremism.
But since then, it has moved away from explicit support, saying that working via the Sufi community – whose exact number in Britain is not known – is just one element of a wider approach to countering Islamic radicalism.
“It’s part of a broader engagement. We don’t want to isolate any one group over another,” a government spokeswoman said.
Supporters of Mr. Qadri, though, are adamant about the benefits of his teachings, with students coming from as far as Denmark and Canada to hear him speak during the three-day retreat.
Women in particular like his emphasis on female equality within Islam, an element not always touched on by other Islamic scholars.
“What he says is mind-opening, it makes you feel good as a woman,” said Sofia Saeed, 27, a legal assistant who travelled from Manchester to attend the retreat with a friend.
“There’s no discrimination here. It makes you feel like a stronger believer, a stronger person,” she said, comfortably wearing both designer sunglasses and her full hijab head covering.
Mr. Qadri, a former minister in Pakistan and close associate of Benazir Bhutto, the assassinated former prime minister, does not believe his teachings can change radical minds overnight, but he is a believer that intellect can ultimately defeat extremism.
“If the terrorists are 10 people and the peaceful are 1,000, then they are more powerful than us with their arms, even if we are 5,000,” he said.
“But the point is that we have to make the 5,000 more powerful not with arms, but by the communication of the right message of Islam.”
www.onislam.net (Posted on Sunday, 18 Sep 2011)
CAIRO – A prominent Britain-based Muslim scholar announced his plans to issue a historic global peace declaration next week in London, protesting against terrorism and educating the whole world against anti-Muslim racism and xenophobia.
“We want to give the message to the whole of the Muslim world … that this is Islam and what it stands for: peace, harmony, tolerance, moderation and love and compassion for humanity,” Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri told The Independent on Sunday, September 18.
“This message will go out all over the world, from coast to coast.”
The peace declaration would be announced during the ‘Peace for Humanity Conference 2011’ at Wembley Arena next Saturday.
It will call for an end to terrorism and for the protection of human rights in new Arab regimes.
It is expected to be signed by major religious and political leaders, including David Cameron and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The announcement celebration would also be attended by Tariq Jahan, whose son was killed in the Birmingham riots.
Qadri said the “historic document” was needed a decade after 9/11 to ensure that the Arab Spring became an opportunity for democracy and upholding of human rights.
In addition to terrorism condemnation and upholding human rights, the declaration calls for supporting interfaith relations between the Muslim world and the West.
“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,” Qadri said.
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”.
The influential Pakistani scholar, who lives in Canada, has issued a fatwa last May condemning suicide bombings as a brazen violation of peaceful Islamic tenets.
Known for his unequivocal condemnation of terrorism, Sheikh Qadri has issued several fatwas against suicide bombings and violence against innocent people.
He is famous for his emphasis on promoting integration and interfaith dialogue to tackle Islamophobia in the West.
Among the events planned for the day, the influential scholar would hold the first collective cross-religious peace prayer instigated by a Muslim.
“Mankind is burning now in a fire of hatred and fanaticism and aggression and terrorism,” said Sheikh Qadri.
“The peace prayer is another way to show that all religions can come together to pray for global peace.”
The last collective peace prayer was called by the late Pope John Paul in Assisi a decade ago.
These events would help in stretching new bridges between Muslim world and the West.
“We want to emphasize 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.”
These connections can only be sustained through condemning xenophobia which mars the West relation with its Muslim population.
“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,” Sheikh Qadria added.
Muslims in Europe and America have been suffering from bigotry and Islamophobia over the past decade.
For example, British Muslims, estimated at nearly two million, have been in the eye of storm since the 7/7 attacks.
A Financial Times opinion poll showed that Britain is the most suspicious nation about Muslims.
A poll of the Evening Standard found that a sizable section of London residents harbor negative opinions about Muslims.
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.