His Eminence Shaikh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is a theologian, theosophist, scientist and spiritualist of modern times. A preacher, reformer and philosopher, he is also a political thinker of world renown. He is the animating heartbeat of hundreds of thousands of Muslims around the globe. It has layers of meanings whatever he writes and speaks about, addressing simultaneously the whole mankind in general, the whole Muslim Umma in particular as the immediate focus of his magical rhetoric and fascinating pen. He talks about and proves the relevance of Islam to the modern age. Diagnosing the maladies that have afflicted mankind he prescribes Islam as the sole remedy to the entire syndrome. He has authored some 450 published works in Arabic, English and Urdu and delivered over 5,500 lectures in various languages all over the world. His capabilities, God-gifted qualities, achievements and high ideals beggar description.
His teachings are deep, definite and sublime leading one’s soul to the divine chambers. Galvanizing and inspiring, his oratory leaves us spell-bound, enlightening vividly as to what we are doing on earth and what, in fact, we are supposed to do; what troubles we are suffering from and how in a scientific fashion can we cure and convalesce. Speaking in terms of modern logic, he pricks one’s inner core and clears one’s vision on the compatibility of Islam with the scientific realities of the universe which have so far been discovered and which the scientists may explore in the times to come. He is really an embodiment of all knowledge and wisdom that is required to lead the Umma out of its current ordeal.
Falling prey to stray ideologies and burdened by the stresses and strains of modern life, the modern man has become thoroughly materialistic, consigning all moral, spiritual and human values to oblivion. It seems as if the Hereafter, the Last Day and the Final Accountability during life after death have no more been his concerns. This has added enormous miseries to his daily chores leaving little chances of his survival from the quagmire of material pursuits and base nature. In this context, Shaikh-ul-Islam Dr Qadri has emerged as a saviour to salvage and rescue the human society from the evils of the earthly existence and lead them to man’s real status Allah Almighty has blessed him with. This restoration of real spiritual as well as worldly status of man in this world is, in nutshell, all what Dr Qadri is up to.
To achieve his objectives Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri launched his struggle in 1977 with the establishment of “Mahaz-e-Hurriyyat”, an intellectual forum for the ideological training of the youth. He advanced dynamically in the right direction and established Minhaj-ul-Quran International in 1981. His voice received warm welcome; people would sit around their TV sets and wait for his Fahm-ul-Qur’an programme impatiently. The MQI soon became the heartbeat of the masses. Shaikh-ul-Islam then planned to take his message to the entire globe. It was in 1982 that he visited Iran, met the Iranian leadership and put forth his message which was given a hearty welcome. He then visited Europe in 1984 to extend the range of his missionary services and to introduce the Europeans to the true essence of Islam. The tour was a great success. The Muslims of Denmark were highly impressed and invited Dr Qadri to establish an institute in Denmark under his supervision. Consequently, an Islamic Centre was established in Copenhagen, Denmark on 25 January 1986. Dr Qadri himself performed its inauguration.
He toured Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharja and other Gulf States in 1984 and 1985 where people accorded him rousing receptions. As a result of his energizing tours, a huge branch of the Institute of Minhaj-ul-Quran was established in the United Emirates.
Dr Qadri visited England to further widen the scope of his missionary campaign: He visited the country first in May 1985 and then in January 1986. During his tour of England he addressed huge gatherings in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Boston etc. He visited United States in April, 1986 in order to extend and promote his mission. He delivered lectures in many seminars and symposia on various Islamic topics specifically pertaining to Islamic revival in the West, at New York, Washington, Chicago and others states. This visit laid the foundation of the MQI in the United States. The late 80s and the early 90s then saw a wave spreading through entire Europe, the US, Canada and the Middle East, and in only a decade’s time the MQI Centres were established in more than 80 countries of the world. That is how the magic of true Islam works. Shaikh-ul-Islam Dr Qadri worked sleeplessly to spread his mission and it is now a globally welcome mission to spread Islam as the most moderate, tolerant, realistic, scientific and practicable way of life and religion for the entire mankind.
The modern scientific thought has undergone metamorphic changes over ages. Its spirit, however, has constantly remained to justify the existing fact on rational grounds. Eventually, the twentieth century has witnessed an unimaginable scientific advancement that has assigned a vital role to man on the globe in conquest of universe. In the quest for knowledge, the modern man has also discovered that the centuries old concepts about religion are contrary to the scientific thought and, therefore, need to be either discarded or made compatible with the scientific method. This is the challenge that the religious scholars and theologians have failed to face. Instead of analyzing the problem on scientific basis, they have adhered to their timeworn ideologies with a practical surrender to the materialistic values in vogue. Even the torchbearers, the so-called intellectuals and modern scholars of Islam who pretend to be abreast with the modern scientific thought have given in to the onslaught of modern sciences and in secret depths of their hearts feel nervous how to defend their position. They are doing more harms than good by defending their post with archaic weapons.
However, at the dawn of new millennium, Shaikh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has risen like a guiding star on the intellectual horizon and has showered rays of his effulgent wisdom on the modern mind. Equipped adequately with the scientific and religious knowledge, he has given the call to modern man that Islam is the religion that, ever since its revelation, has the scientific bases which the modern scientific thought is now claiming to discover and further needs to explore in its totality.
The contributions made by Shaikh-ul-Islam to the modern Islamic thought and its reconstruction are colossal rather incredible. Nor can we measure his achievements in clearing and purifying Islamic ideology from muddling of various ‘isms’ wrought over centuries. A huge reservoir of literature, for instance, exists on Mysticism, Islamic Mysticism, Pantheism and Transcendentalism, nature of Mystic Experience, its variety, allied philosophies and schools of thought. The antagonists too have generated colossal works proving it contrary to the ‘true Islam’ and labeling it as an impious innovation in the approved Islamic code of life. This controversy has inflicted serious damage to the modern Muslim mind leading the young educated Muslims all over the world to desperation and abhorrence from Islam. They are confused and blatantly question the intellectual validity and logical well-being of Islamic thought. The Muslim scholars engaged in this unfortunate controversy, however, ill afford any attempt to recover from the ‘spin’. They drastically lack in advanced knowledge and are unaware of the ‘phenomena’ of modern scientific mind. Being the odd ones, they now stay out of this war of wits, which has spread over East and West. How to satisfy the modern scientific mind on the question of Islamic Spiritualism, its nature and significance? Shaikh-ul-Islam Dr Qadri has performed this uphill task with absolute facility, authority and command.
Simultaneously, endowed with a vividly historic insight, he educates the modern Muslim mind how, centuries ago, the Muslim scholars defeated their rival thinkers employing the then contemporary logic against them. He emphatically exhorts all educated Muslims of the world to acquire perfect knowledge of modern logic and defeat the antagonists of Islam who have joined hands against the Umma with an intention to shake the solid spiritual realities which are the bases of Islamic thought and ideology. Shaikh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has a sagacious eye on the rise and fall of the Muslim and non-Muslim empires. He possesses a vision that penetrates into future and clearly discerns the impending dangers and their remedies. He bases his arguments on the Holy Qur’an, attracts and convinces the modern reader and deletes his disbelief in permanent human values revealed by the Qur’an
The primary mission of his life is to drag the Muslims out of the mire and to elevate them to heights of unprecedented glory. His creative interpretation of Islam has pulled it out of its strait-jacket in which its strait-laced critics have robed it. He has broadened the area of its meaning and application to make it conform to the rapidly changing imperatives of the contemporary world and assert its universality, which has been muffled by centuries of narrow and conservative attitudes. Shaikh-ul-Islam Dr Qadri is the most auspicious star on the murky and cloud-capped galaxy of the Islamic world whom God has blessed with knowledge, guidance and eloquence to steer the rocking world of Islam through the tempestuous billows of strife and dissension and to put it back on the rollers to make it self-reliant and self-sustaining.
He has dedicated all his energies and sources to promote and spread the message of peace, moderation, and tolerance not only in South Asia but also round the globe. Universally, he has earned reputation as ambassador of peace. His dynamic and galvanizing endeavours for ecumenism and inter-faith harmony in particular, have produced inspiring and concrete results.
As such Shaikh-ul-Islam emerges as a person of destiny with his learned instruction and creative interpretation of Islam providing refreshing perspectives of the role of Islam in the contemporary World. Unfortunately, in the past several decades, the universality of Islam has been obscured by stereotyped conservatism and Shaikh-ul-Islam with his progressive ideas and better contemporary world vision is performing an important role in the renaissance of Islam.
We find a vivid manifestation of his depth of learning, all-embracing insight and far-reaching vision in his intellectual works of historic import. This short introduction simply cannot encompass his works. Some of the most significant of them include Irfan al-Qur’an, a scientific, exegetic, modern, lucid and comprehensive translation of the Holy Qur’an; Jami‘ as-Sunna, a compendium (in 25 volumes) of 30,000 fair, fine and sound traditions of the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that validate the mainstream Islamic doctrine; al-Minhaj as-Sawi, a collection of 1100 fair, fine and sound traditions; Sirat ar-Rasul, (in 12 volumes) a detailed account of all the phases of the Holy Prophet’s life which the Qur’an has called Uswa Hasana — the best pattern; Kitab at-Tawhid, Kitab al-Bid‘ah and dozens of books on the true Islamic doctrines which dispel the existing disagreement among Muslims on various doctrinal issues and present to the non-Muslim world Islam in its right, true and scientific form and spirit, precisely delineating what Islam is and what it is not. His books particularly on the subject of beliefs are numerous and voluminous. A list of these books has been produced in the end of this treatise for the benefit of our readers. His works have received global appreciation from the leading authorities, traditionists, jurists and scholars of the Muslim world. Shaikh al-Islam has already been awarded numerous international titles in this regard.
Amanat Ali Chaudhry
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