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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.
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.
Christian leaders term Shaykh-ul-Islam as a bridge between Islam & Christianity, eulogize his services for peace
A ceremony marking the 60th birthday of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri and interfaith prayer was held on March 19, 2011 in the oldest city of Christianity i.e. Vatican City under the banner of Directorate of Interfaith Relations, Minhaj-ul-Quran International. Interfaith representatives belonging to 18 countries participated in the ceremony. Sohail Ahmad Raza, Director of Interfaith Relations, was the host of the event who is currently on tour of Italy in connection with interfaith harmony. The ceremony was organized in a beautiful hall of Vatican City.
Mr. Fr. Baawobr Richard, who is General Supper of Mission Africa, was the guest of honour in the program. A large number of Muslims in addition to Christian representatives from Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Canada, Denmark, Ghana, Germany, UK, Poland, Somalia, Iran, Belgium and Sweden attended the ceremony. The distinguished participants included Fr. Vezzoli Michele (Italy), Fr. Aurelio (Spain), Fr. Poirier Jacques (Canada), Mr Sohail Ahmad Raza (Pakistan), Fr. Richard Francois (France), Fr. Baawobr Richard, Superior General (Ghana), Fr. Otmar Strzoda (Germany), Fr. Jean Chaptal (Switzerland), Br Patrick O. Leary (Great Britain), Fr. Gonzalo (Portugal), Fr. Pello Robert (Poland), Fr. Juan Jose (Spain), Fr. Carbonneau Michel (Canada), Fr. Peter (England), Fr. Sawadogo Emile (Burkina Faso Diocesan), Fr. Kapya Arsene (Congo), Fr. Ambusa Prosper (RD Congo), Fr. Robert Augustus Oduro (Ghana), Mr. Meftah Ahmad Reza (Iran), Fr. Giuseppe (Poland), Fr. Fons (Belgium), Fr. Mathew Biju Koothottil (India), Fr. Pulavelil Joseph (Sri Lanka), Fr. Martin Gonzalo (Spain), Fr. Tebri Robert (Kenya), Fr. Marc Nsanzurwimo (Burundi), Fr. Aayire Nicholas (Ghana), and Fr. Groiselle Michel (France).
The proceedings of the ceremony began with the recitation from Bible followed by recitation of the Holy Quran along with English translation. A silence of one minute was observed for those killed in Tsunami which hit Japan at the outset of the program. Welcoming the guests, Sohail Ahmad Raza gave a detailed introduction of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, chairman of Muslim-Christian Dialogue Forum and threw light on his services for promotion of peace, interfaith dialogue and harmony in the world. He specifically referred to historic Fatwa authored by Shaykh-ul-Islam. Afterwards, the participants cut the cake of Shaykh-ul-Islam’s 60th birthday. They paid tribute to him for his services by holding peace candles in their hands.
Different leaders expressed their views on the occasion and stressed the need of promoting interfaith harmony to offset the challenges facing humanity in a proactive manner. They also appreciated the services of Minhaj-ul-Quran International under the leadership of Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri with special reference to his Fatwa against terrorism. They said that Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri is leading from the front in the efforts for restoration of peace and promotion of harmony and peaceful coexistence in the world. They added that his efforts would help bridge the gulf amongst all religions especially between Islam and Christianity and allay the misconceptions. The dinner was served at the conclusion of ceremony.
Kitab at-Tawhid (a detailed treatise on the concept of the unity of Allah)
Belief in Monotheism and Messengership are part of those basic beliefs of Islam upon which is erected the entire edifice of this great religion. Both of these two are in fact sides of the same coin. Disorder emerged when difference was created between Monotheism and Messengership and this difference resulted into downgrading of the status of the Messengership. The idea of polytheism and innovation was so much blown out of proportions that every second person was branded as polytheist. When the energies of champions of Islam were focused on these negative aspects, it caused two losses. One is that the scope of promotion of Islamic teachings got limited and secondly the Muslims became enemies of one another with their daggers drawn as result of discrepancy and hatred.
The second point which needs to be understood is that Monotheism is not merely a semantic and theoretic subject, rather it represents a particular mindset and a state in addition to being a belief, which springs from inside of man. This is that spiritual taste, which makes the person indifferent to fears and greed of all the worlds and teaches him the principles and rules of subservience to God. Due to their strong faith in Monotheism, the saints or Friends of Allah are settled on the high pedestal of nearness to Him. No power of the world can attract them or allure them away from God. In the age of decline when Monotheism became a semantic subject, it created hardness, arrogance and conceit in the dispositions of its followers whose reflections could be seen in the world. These trends and attitudes are portraying negative impression of Islam in the entire world instead of our religion’s message of peace, harmony, brotherhood, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. Noise about innovation and polytheism and reactions to it have become the symbol of internal divisiveness and lack of unity within the Muslim world. It is a different matter that the forces of falsehood and enemies of Islam have arrayed against it by rising above all divisions of caste, creed, religion, race and geography.
In these compelling circumstances it was necessary that light would have been thrown on such topics of beliefs in a purely scholarly manner with moderate pattern of thinking to cope up with the challenge so that people could have come to understand the situation the situation more clearly. To respond these critical challenges, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri raised his scholarly and argumentative voice, a voice that put a stop to the marching forces of dissention and mischief. He played crucial role in not only containing the ‘storm’ of innovation and polytheism but also in eliminating the worst ever mischief of cancellation of Prophethood. If seen in this background, this book turns out to be such a great reconstructive contribution of Shaykh-ul-Islam which would continue to influence positively for centuries to come.
Kitab-ud-Touheed is a collection of speeches of Shaykh-ul-Islam which he delivered to the student of Minhaj University on the subject of lectures on the Holy Quran. Firstly these were included in “Aqeeda Touheed and Haqeeqat-e-Shirq”, which was published in 1999 for the first time with new revised edition getting published each year. Later on, lectures in English language delivered to the students of ICIS, a department of Minhaj University, were the cause behind the expansion of the subject. So when these lectures were reordered, it resulted in increasing the size of the book. It was then decided to publish it in two volumes.
The chief quality of the book is that facts have been explained with arguments and the effort has been made to help reader understand the subject. Simplicity and effective communication have been kept in view in the wake of novelty and lucidity of style and presentation, divisions of subjects and standard of arguments. The followers of Islam have been urged to inculcate such values as discretion, tolerance, balance instead of extremism etc. By grace of Allah Almighty, the study of this book would result in lessening the tensions and opposition in the realm of belief in both the Arab and non-Arab world and would help in understanding the true and actual concept of Monotheism. Important advancement would be made in bridging and eliminating the gaps between two groups in the sub-continent.
Click here to Read & Download http://www.minhajbooks.com/english/bookid/49