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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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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.
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
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.
(Identity, Citizenship, Challenges & Opportunities)
01 & 02 July 2006 Istanbul – Turkey
(Organized by: Foreign & Commonwealth Office (U.K)
The past few years have been very challenging for the Muslims in the western world. Unfortunately the true picture of Islam has not been shown to the world although many efforts have been made by Islamic Organizations as well as Muslim individuals in many parts of Europe.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth office organized a 2 day conference on the 1st & 2nd of July 2006 in Istanbul the capital of Turkey. The Muslims of Europe Conference was organized to discuss the Identity, Citizenship, and Challenges & Opportunities with regards to the Muslims in Europe. Prominent Muslim Scholars, intellectuals, academics and government officials participated from more than 20 countries of the world.
Professor Mehmet Aydin the Religious Minister of Turkey did the opening speech followed by main speakers of the opening session, Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu the secretary general of the OIC, Shaykh Ali Jumma the Mufti of Egypt and Rais ul Ulama Dr Mustafa Ceric the Grand Mufti of Bosnia.
In the second session each of the three topics of the conference were discussed which further led to group discussions on each topics for the next session. Each of the group discussions were lead by prominent Muslim intellectuals and scholars from all over the world.
There were five main speakers of the conference who spoke on the topics. Respectable Shaykh Yousaf Al-Qaradawi from Qatar spoke in Arabic followed by respectable Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah from Mauritania spoke on the first day after Lunch. Amr Khaled and Dr Anwar Ibrahim from Malaysia delivered their speeches in English after dinner on the first day of the conference.
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Dr Tariq Ramadan, Shaykh Hakim Murad, Shaykh Nuh Keller, Dr Mohamed Mestiri, Dilwar Hussain along with many more prominent scholars were the main participants who contributed in the conference.
The final and last speech among the main speakers was delivered by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri on the 2nd day of the conference before the final session. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri spoke on the true concept of identity and citizenship that Islam has given to the Humanity.
Islam has introduced the disciplines of plural society and has laid the foundations for an ideal plural society keeping the rights of every individual living in the society no matter what faith the individual belongs from.
Shaykh ul Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri further said that TERORISM HAS NO RELIGION. It is a social act and it is linked to society due to several reasons. Terrorism is an act that is a reaction due to specific reasons. Terrorism can be from any society but it has no link to any religion in the world. Terrorism can be American, it can be Indian, it can be Christian, Jewish, Chinese or it can be based on any society or country but cannot be taken to be a part of any religion.
Shaykh ul Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri concluded his speech by emphasising that Europe has always been in favour of Muslims within Europe and in the foreign world. But Europe needs to promote the true picture of Islam by placing modern learned Islamic Scholars and intellectuals as the participants of this conference on the media. Unfortunately media has not been playing its role in promoting the true picture of Islam due to which many problems have arisen for the Muslims as well as the European societies.
Finally, Sami Yusuf sang the beautiful supplication on the beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them) before the declaration of the conference was read out by Dr Mustafa Ceric, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia.