Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri

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Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
محمد طاہر القادری
Founder Minhaj-ul-Quran International
Assumed office
October 1981
Personal details
Born Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadrii
(1951-02-19) 19 February 1951 (age 63)
Jhang, Pakistan
Nationality  Pakistan
Alma mater University of the Punjab
Occupation Scholar, politician
Religion Islam

Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (Urdu: محمد طاہر القادری‎) (born 19 February 1951) is a Pakistani politician and Islamic scholar of Sufism.[3][4] He was also a professor of international constitutional law at the University of the Punjab.[5] Qadri is also the founding chairman of Minhaj-ul-Quran International. He has written many books on Islam, hadith and spiritualism.[6]

Early years[edit]

Qadri studied law at the University of the Punjab in Lahore, where he graduated with an LLB in 1974, gaining a Gold Medal for his academic performances.[7] Following a period of legal practice as an advocate, he taught law at the University of the Punjab from 1978 to 1983 and then gained his PhD[8]

Political career[edit]

On 25 May 1989, Qadri founded a political party, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT). This party aims to introduce the culture of democracy, promote economic stability, and improve the state of human rights, justice, and women's roles in Pakistan. The PAT also aims to remove corruption from Pakistani politics. Its official website contains its formal manifesto.[9] In 1990, Qadri participated in the national election. In 1991, PAT and TNFJ (Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafria A shia political group), now known as Tehreek-e-Jafria,[10]

He was also elected as a Member of the National Assembly for his constituency. On 29 November 2004, Qadri announced his resignation as a Member of the National Assembly.[11] Qadri views an Islamic state as a Muslim-majority country which respects freedom, the rule of law, global human rights (including religious freedom), social welfare, women's rights and the rights of minorities.[12] He also claims that the Constitution of Medina "declared the state of Madinah as a political unit". He also mentions that the Constitution declared the "indivisible composition of the Muslim nation (Ummah)".[13] He believes that "a constitution is a man-made law and by no means it can be declared superior to a Allah-made law."[13]

Long March 2012[edit]

Main article: Long March (Pakistan)

In December 2012, after living for seven years in Toronto, Canada, Qadri returned to Pakistan and initiated a political campaign. Qadri called for a "million-men" march in Islamabad to protest against the government's corruption.[14] On 14 January 2013, a crowd marched down the city's main avenue. Thousands of people pledged to sit-in until their demands were met.[15] When he started the long march from Lahore about 25,000 people were with him.[16] He told the rally in front of parliament: "There is no Parliament; there is a group of looters, thieves and dacoits [bandits] ... Our lawmakers are the lawbreakers.".[17] After four days of sit-in, the Government and Qadri signed an agreement called the Islamabad Long March Declaration, which promised electoral reforms and increased political transparency.[18] Although Qadri called for a "million-men" march, the estimated total present for the sit-in in Islamabad was 50,000 according to the government.[16]

Critics have charged that the protests were a ploy by the Pakistan Armed Forces to delay elections and weaken the influence of the civilian government, citing Qadri's close ties to the military, dual nationality and suspect foreign and Pakistani sources of funding.[19][20] Lawyers for the Supreme Court of Pakistan claimed that Qadri's demands are unfeasible because they conflict with the Constitution of Pakistan.[21] The Tribune reported on 17 February 2013, that Qadri seemed to have capitulated on most of his demands in the Islamabad Long March Declaration.[22]

Long March 2014[edit]

Main article: Inqilab March

In mid-August 2014, Islamic Scholar Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri led thousands of people in hundreds of cars, buses and trucks towards the federal capital, Islamabad, from the provincial capital, Lahore.[citation needed]

On 17 June 2014, a violent clash occurred between the Punjab Police and PAT activists resulting in the deaths of several protesters from police gunfire.[23][24] After almost 11 hours of the standoff, the anti-encroachment squad of the police force launched an operation to remove the barriers from the road leading to the offices of Minhaj-ul-Quran and the residence of Tahir-ul-Qadri in Model Town, Lahore.[citation needed]

As of the end of September 2014, the Inqilab March is conducting sit-in protests with allied partner Imran Khan, Chairman and founder of Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and organizer of 2014 Azadi March, in the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, ongoing since 14 August 2014 (Pakistani Independence Day).[25] After the announcement of the Azadi March, it was expected that Tahir-ul-Qadri (heretofore refusing to ally his own march with the Azadi March) allied the PTI's Azadi March with his own Inqilab March.[26] This alliance between the two parties resulted in two parallel marches by Qadri and Imran Khan (with the goal of mutual protection in any civil crackdown).

Imran Khan and Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri did not fully join their protest marches nor decline to support each other.[27] On 10 August 2014, Qadri formally announced that his party's political march, the Inqilab March, would proceed parallel with PTI's Azadi march. Both marches were organized to take different routes, albeit closely mirroring each other. It is apparent that the two parties have similar objectives yet different aims and strategies. The announcement of two parallel marches by parties in opposition gave rise to speculation that a coalition between PTI and PAT was possible. The chiefs of the two parties never clearly stipulated a formal coalition; but an informal agreement to support each other was achieved[28][29] On 11 August 2014, Qadri and Khan both announced that there would be two parallel marches, informally allied together for the dismissal of the government.

  • According to news report appearing 21 August 2014, PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri said that the government has not been allowing his workers to supply food items and potable water for the participants of the sit-in.[30]
  • News reported in the Daily Dawn (31 August 2014), said hundreds of people were injured in the federal capital as police battled throngs of protesters led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek [31]
  • Per news telecast in the different tv channels and published in the news papers, it was reported that Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri led the Eid prayer at Islamabad’s D-Chowk. The congregation was attended by Chief of PTI Imran Khan and other political leaders, including Raja Nasir Abbas Jafary of MWM. Animal sacrifies were also offered in the name of Allah following the Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim and his son Prophet Ismail. Celebration of Eid at D-Chowk is itself unique in history but has also be censured by the rivalry.[32][33][34][35]
  • Dr. Tahir Ul Qadri decided to end the manifest (21 october 2014) in D-Chowk due to the Muharram Month but the manifest over all the city in Pakistan will be continued

The novel "The Scriptwriter" is based on the events of Azadi and Inquilab Marches.[36] Novel's plot revolves around the tussle between the army and the elected prime minister, and the opposition accusing the government of electoral fraud. So far it is the only book written on the two marches.

Founding of Minhaj-ul-Quran[edit]

Qadri at the Peace for Humanity Conference, 24 September 2011

Qadri founded an organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran International, in October 1981 and has subsequently expanded it nationally and internationally.[37] In 1987, the headquarters of Minhaj-ul-Quran, based in Lahore, Pakistan, was inaugurated by the Sufi saint Tahir Allauddin, who is regarded as the organisation's spiritual founder;[38]

The organisation claims to promote religious moderation, effective and sound education, inter-faith dialogue and harmony, and a moderate interpretation of Islam supposedly employing methods of Sufism.[39] During its March 2011 session, the United Nations Economic and Social Council granted special consultative status to Minhaj-ul-Quran International,[40][41] Qadri also founded the Minhaj University in Lahore, of which he heads the Board of Governors, as well as an international relief charity, Minhaj Welfare Foundation.[42]


In 2006, Qadri attended the Muslims of Europe Conference in Istanbul, Turkey to discuss identity, citizenship, challenges and opportunities for European Muslims[43] Also in 2006, he attended several gatherings around the world in which he delivered his lectures on the topic of "Islam on Peace, Integration and Human Rights".[44]

Efforts Against Terrorism[edit]

Historic Fatwa[edit]

On 2 March 2010, Qadri issued a 600-page Fatwa on Terrorism, in which he said that "Terrorism is terrorism, violence is violence and it has no place in Islamic teaching and no justification can be provided for it".[45]

Qadri at a news conference in London explaining the Fatwa on Terrorism.

The fatwa gained widespread media attention and he appeared on various international media outlets. On Frost Over The World he told David Frost that the "he wanted to take Islam back from the terrorists".[46] The US State Department declared the fatwa to be a significant publication which takes back Islam from terrorists.[47] Qadri told the American Foreign Policy magazine: "I am trying to bring [the terrorists] back towards humanism. This is a jihad against brutality, to bring them back towards normality. This is an intellectual jihad.".[48]

Anti-Terrorism Camp[edit]

In August 2010 Qadri held an anti-terrorism camp for Muslim youth at the University of Warwick with the aim of tackling extremism in the UK.[49] He organised the camp under the auspices of Minhaj-ul-Quran UK.[50][51]

Other Notable Events[edit]

He has been invited to deliver his lectures by several organisations.[52][53][54] For example, Qadri spoke at the World Economic Forum in January 2011 alongside Imran Khan.[55]

In July 2011, he gave a lecture on the issues of terrorism and integration at the Parliament of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia where he was invited by the member of the NSW Legislative Council, Shaoquett Moselmane MLC.[56][57] Qadri also made appearances on Australian media, where he discussed Islam, terrorism and possible troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.[58][59] On 24 September 2011, Minhaj-ul-Quran convened the "Peace for Humanity Conference" at Wembley Arena in London where Tahir-ul-Qadri and the assembled speakers issued a declaration of peace on behalf of religious representatives of several faiths, scholars, politicians, and 12,000 participants present from various countries. This conference was endorsed by, or received supportive messages from, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, Ban Ki-Moon (Secretary General of the United Nations), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu (Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), David Cameron (British Prime Minister), Nick Clegg (British Deputy Prime Minister), Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury) and others.[60][61] On 30 November 2011, Qadri delivered a lecture at the "Peaceful Future of Afghanistan" conference in Istanbul, Turkey which was organised by the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution of George Mason University together with Marmara University and was attended by more than 120 Afghan leaders.[62][63]

On 22 February 2012, Qadri visited Delhi for a four-week tour of India.[64][65][66] Qadri delivered a message of peace and said: "Terrorism has no place in Islam", while addressing the fatwa book launch in Delhi.[67] People gathered to listen to Qadri along with government officials in Gujarat.[66][68][69] Qadri also urged the Pakistani and Indian governments to reduce their defence expenditures and instead spend money on the welfare of poor people.[70] He also visited Ajmer, where he was given a large reception, at which he gave a lecture on Sufism.[71][72]

See also[edit]


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