Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri

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Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
محمد طاہر القادری
Dsc08066-official-photo.jpg
Founder Minhaj-ul-Quran International
Incumbent
Assumed office
October 1981
Personal details
Born Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadrii
(1951-02-19) 19 February 1951 (age 63)
Jhang, Pakistan
Nationality  Pakistan
 Canada[1][2]
Alma mater University of the Punjab
Occupation Scholar, politician
Religion Islam
Website www.tahir-ul-qadri.com

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[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]

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.[23] 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;[24]

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.[25] During its March 2011 session, the United Nations Economic and Social Council granted special consultative status to Minhaj-ul-Quran International,[26][27] 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.[28]

Events[edit]

In 2006, Qadri attended the Muslims of Europe Conference in Istanbul, Turkey to discuss identity, citizenship, challenges and opportunities for European Muslims[29] 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".[30]

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".[31]

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".[32] The US State Department declared the fatwa to be a significant publication which takes back Islam from terrorists.[33] 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.".[34]

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.[35] He organised the camp under the auspices of Minhaj-ul-Quran UK.[36][37]

He has been invited to deliver his lectures by several organisations.[38][39][40] For example, Qadri spoke at the World Economic Forum in January 2011 alongside Imran Khan.[41]

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.[42][43] Qadri also made appearances on Australian media, where he discussed Islam, terrorism and possible troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.[44][45] 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.[46][47] 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.[48][49]

On 22 February 2012, Qadri visited Delhi for a four-week tour of India.[50][51][52] Qadri delivered a message of peace and said: "Terrorism has no place in Islam", while addressing the fatwa book launch in Delhi.[53] People gathered to listen to Qadri along with government officials in Gujarat.[52][54][55] Qadri also urged the Pakistani and Indian governments to reduce their defence expenditures and instead spend money on the welfare of poor people.[56] He also visited Ajmer, where he was given a large reception, at which he gave a lecture on Sufism.[57][58]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Canadian authorities summon Qadri for violating oath". The Express Tribune. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  2. ^ Shibu Thomas (15 March 2012). "Preacher’s visit to city: High court seeks security details". The Times of India. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  3. ^ "Tahir Qadri lecture for international Sufi conference". Tahirulqadri.net. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  4. ^ Kralev, Nicholas (2010-03-03). "Tahir-ul-Qadri is a Sufi Muslim". Washingtontimes.com. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  5. ^ "PUNISHMENTS IN ISLAM THEIR CLASSIFICATION & PHILOSOPHY - Pakistan Research Repository". Eprints.hec.gov.pk. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  6. ^ Minhaj-ul-Quran International. "Minhaj-ul-Quran International - Minhaj-ul-Quran International". Minhaj.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
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  11. ^ Qadri sends 41-page resignation to speaker[dead link]
  12. ^ "Islam and Politics". Mediamonitors.net. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  13. ^ a b Minhaj Internet Bureau. "The Constitution of Madina". Minhajbooks.com. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  14. ^ "Pakistani city prepares for cleric's march". 3 News NZ. 14 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "Long march: Walking in the name of ‘revolution’". 15 January 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Pakistanis protest ‘corrupt’ government". 3 News NZ. 15 January 2013. 
  17. ^ Declan Walsh (15 January 2013). "Internal Forces Besiege Pakistan Ahead of Voting". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  18. ^ Anita Joshua. "Qadri’s picketing ends with ‘Long March Declaration’". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  19. ^ Arab News, "Pak crisis deepends: PM arrest ordered as rally shakes capital," front page, Vol. XXXVIII, #45. Wednesday, 16 January 2013
  20. ^ Rodriguez, Alex (14 January 2013). "Pakistan 'Long March' protest draws tens of thousands to capital". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  21. ^ "‘Long march’ show not in millions, but not a flop". The News International. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  22. ^ Abdul Manan. "Two steps back: Qadri capitulates on earlier demands". Express Tribue. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  23. ^ Minhaj-ul-Quran International (2009-08-10). "Minhaj-ul-Quran - a Sufi-based organisation". Minhaj.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  24. ^ Minhaj-ul-Quran International (2009-11-12). "Qadiriyya sufi saint Tahir Allauddin - spiritual founder of Minhaj-ul-Quran". Minhaj.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  25. ^ "Mihaj-ul-Quran - a Sufi-based organisation". Media.minhajuk.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  26. ^ "Report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2011 regular session" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  27. ^ "Minhaj-ul-Quran - a Sufi organisation". Media.minhajuk.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  28. ^ "Minhaj Welfare Foundation". Mwfuk.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  29. ^ "About Shaykh-ul-Islam". Ammanmessage.com. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  30. ^ Minhaj-ul-Quran International (2008-08-31). "Islam on Peace Integration & Human Rights". Minhaj.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  31. ^ Top Islamic scholar issues 'absolute' fatwa against terror[dead link]
  32. ^ Abdul Sattar Minhajian (2010-03-02). "Al Jazeera English, Interview with David Frost - Minhaj-ul-Quran International". Minhaj.org. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  33. ^ Kralev, Nicholas (2010-03-03). "Muslim leader's edict decries terrorism: U.S. hails 'taking back Islam'". Washingtontimes.com. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  34. ^ Rothkopf, David. "Sheikh to Terrorists: Go to Hell". Foreignpolicy.com. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  35. ^ Casciani, Dominic (2010-08-08). "Muslim summer camp preaches 'anti-terror' message". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  36. ^ Casciani, Dominic (2010-08-07). "Muslim group Minhaj ul-Quran runs 'anti-terrorism' camp". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  37. ^ "Irfan-ul-Quran:". irfan-ul-quran.com. Retrieved 2014-09-04. 
  38. ^ "Tahir-ul-Qadri to deliver speech at 2010 Global Peace and Unity event". Presstv.ir. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  39. ^ "Associated Press Of Pakistan ( Pakistan's Premier NEWS Agency ) - Muslims urged to stand up against terrorism". App.com.pk. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  40. ^ "Tahir-ul-Qadri’s Struggle Against Radicalism in Islam". Usip.org. 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  41. ^ Minhaj-ul-Quran International (2011-01-27). "Qadri at 2011 World Economic Forum". Minhaj.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  42. ^ "Full Day Hansard Transcript (Legislative Council, 5 August 2011, Corrected Copy)". Parliament.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  43. ^ Minhaj-ul-Quran International (2011-07-11). "Tahir-ul-Qadri at NSW Parliament House in Sydney, Australia". Minhaj.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  44. ^ Minhaj-ul-Quran International (2011-07-19). "Interview With Jim Middleton News Line Australia". Minhaj.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  45. ^ Minhaj-ul-Quran International (2011-07-25). "SBS TV Interview with Tahir-ul-Qadri". Minhaj.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  46. ^ "Sign The Declaration". London Declaration. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  47. ^ "The London Declaration for Global Peace & Resistance against Extremism". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-09-04. 
  48. ^ More than 120 Muslim leaders Commit to the Future of Afghanistan during International Conference in Turkey[dead link]
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  50. ^ Coming: Pak Islamic scholar who pulls no punches against terror[dead link]
  51. ^ "Qadri given honour in India". Nation.com.pk. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  52. ^ a b The author has posted comments on this article (2012-02-26). "Pakistani scholar thanks Modi for security". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  53. ^ "Terrorism has no place in Islam: Sufi scholar". Indianexpress.com. 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  54. ^ "Islam a Religion of Human Rights: Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri". Newageislam.com. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  55. ^ Pak scholar debunks Islamic stereotypes[dead link]
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  57. ^ The author has posted comments on this article (2012-03-13). "Pak scholar to speak on Sufism in dargah". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  58. ^ Minhaj-ul-Quran International (2012-03-16). "Adequate security in place for Pak prof’s programme: State". Minhaj.org. Retrieved 2014-08-10.