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Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri (born February 19, 1951) is a Pakistani Sufi scholar and former professor of international constitutional law at the University of the Punjab. Qadri was recently described by the CNN-IBN as the 'International Peace Ambassador'. Qadri was unsuccessfully nominated by his followers as one of the 231 nominees (along with two other Pakistanis) for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize The European Union won the Prize instead.

Qadri is the founder of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, a broad-based global Sufi organization working in the fields of welfare, human rights and education. Its objectives are the promotion of a moderate and non-extremist vision of Islam, the establishment of good relations and understanding between communities and religions, and the education of youth through "employing the methods of Sufism". He also founded The Minhaj University of which he is the head of the Board of Governors, as well as an international relief charity, Minhaj Welfare Foundation.

Qadri was also the founding chairman of the political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), although he is no longer involved in politics. Qadri spoke at the World Economic Forum in January 2011.


Qadri is the son of Farid-ud-Din Qadri and his ancestors belong to the Punjabi Sial family of Jhang near Sargodha. Qadri started his education at the Christian 'Sacred Heart School' in Jhang, where he learnt English and was exposed to Christianity at an early age. He learnt under Mawlana Diya' al-Din al-Madani (d. 1981, aged 107) and studied Hadith from Muhaddith al-Hijaz al-Sayyid ‘Alawi ibn ‘Abbas al-Maliki al-Makki (d. 1971). Al-Shaykh al-Sayyid ‘Alawis son, the late muhaddith of al-Hijaz, al-Sayyid Muhammad ibn ‘Alawi al-Maliki al-Makki (d. 2004) who was the foremost Sunni authority of the Middle East gave all of his fathers ijazas and isnads to Qadri in written form which he had previously received verbally, as well as his own chains. Qadri continued his quest for knowledge early in his life, making sama‘ of Hadith from the then Muhaddith al-A‘zam of Pakistan, Sardar Ahmad al-Qadri (d. 1962).

Qadri has also learnt from a number of other classical authorities in Islamic sciences, including:

Abu al-Barakat Ahmad al-Qadri al-Alwari, Mohammed Burhanuddin, Abd al-Rashid al-Ridwi, Tahir Allauddin al-Qadri al-Gilani, Ahmad al-Zubaydi, Abd al-Ma‘bud al-Jilani, Farid al-Din Qadri, Ahmad Saeed Kazmi, Husayn ibn Ahmad ‘Usayran, Muhammad Fatih al-Kattani, Burhan Ahmad al-Faruqi

Qadri studied law at the University of the Punjab, Lahore where he graduated with an LLB in 1974, gaining a Gold Medal for his academic performances. 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 in Islamic Law (Punishments in Islam, their Classification and Philosophy) from the same university in 1986 where his supervisors were Bashir Ahmad Siddiqui (‘Ulum al-Islamiyya) and Justice Javaid Iqbal. He was appointed as a professor of Law at the University of Punjab, where he taught British, US and Islamic constitutional law.

He was appointed as a Jurist Consultant (legal adviser) on Islamic law for the Supreme Court and the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan[citation needed] and also worked as a specialist adviser on Islamic curricula for the Federal Ministry of Education (Pakistan).[citation needed] At various times between 1983 and 1987, he received and declined offers for various high-level posts.

He has delivered more than 6,000 lectures[citation needed] on economy and political studies, religious philosophy, law, Sufism, medical sciences, material sciences and astronomy. Numerous lectures are available in Urdu, English and Arabic at Islamic bookshops around the world.[citation needed]

Qadri has himself given ijaza to a number of leading Muslim scholars, making them his students, linking them through himself back to Muhammad.

Founding of Minhaj-ul-Quran

Qadri founded a Sufism-based organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran International in October 1981 and spent the next decade expanding it nationally and internationally. In 1987, the headquarters of Minhaj-ul-Quran, based in Lahore, Pakistan was inaugurated by Sufi saint Tahir Allauddin who is now regarded as the organisation's spiritual founder. The goal of the organisation is fairly broad, namely to promote religious moderation, effective and sound education, inter-faith dialogue and harmony, and a moderate interpretation of Islam employing methods of Sufism. Over the past 30 years, the organisation has reportedly expanded to over 90 countries. During the March 2011 session the United Nations Economic and Social Council granted special consultative status to Qadri's organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran International.

Political career

On May 25, 1989, Qadri founded a political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek or PAT. The main aims of this political party are to introduce the culture of true democracy, economic stability, improve the state of human rights, justice and the women's role in Pakistan. The PAT also aims to remove corruption from Pakistani politics. Its official website contains its formal manifesto.

In 1990, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) participated in the national elections just one year after it was founded. In 1991, PAT and TNFJ (Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafria A shia political group ) now known as Tehreek-e-Jafria[92] signed a 'Communique of Unity' in order to promotes social and religious harmony. In another creative move, PAT for the first time in the political history of Pakistan, introduced an idea of "working relationship" between the three national political forces, PAT, TNFJ and Tehreek-e-Istaqlal.

From 1989 to 1993, Qadri continuously worked as an opposition leader tying to indicate the government's mistakes and to suggest ways for improving the situation in the political, educational, and economical fields. In 1992 he presented a complete working plan for interest-free banking in Pakistan covering all kinds of national and international transaction which was recognized and appreciated by all sections of the society including industrial and banking professionals. PAT offices were also opened in major foreign countries.

Qadri continued his research alongside his political career and, in 1996, he presented a thesis on the utilization of an observatory for moon sighting based on the more recent scientific findings.

He was elected as an MNA (Member of the National Assembly) of his Lahore constituent on the Pakistani National Parliament. On 29 November 2004, Qadri announced his resignation as a Member of the National Assembly. Explaining his resignation he cited the President's broken promises, political corruption and blackmailing, the undemocratic system, institutional inabilities, failures of accountability, the sabotage of National Assembly, global issues including Pakistan-US relations, international terrorism and US global domination, Israeli aggression, the Iraq war, Islamabad-Delhi relations including the Kashmir dispute and Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. His 41-page resignation statement is available online to read.

In a January 2011 address to a meeting of MQI’s Majlis-e-Shura in Lahore, Qadri stated that the current political system of Pakistan protects a 3% ruling elite, while the 97%, who are mainly poor people, have effectively become slaves of this corrupt political system.

Qadri is still influential in Pakistani politics[citation needed], on October 6, 2011, Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered action on Karachi violence after the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took a suo motu notice on the appeal of Dr Tahir ul Qadri.

On 19 November 2011, speaking via video to a student rally at Punjab University, Lahore, Qadri requested the people to rise against the current political system like an Egyptian-style revolt. He urged the youth to rebel against the corrupt system and play their role in a Pakistani mass movement. During a press conference via video conference on 24 November, Qadri stated that even 100 elections under the current corrupt political system will not bring any change in Pakistan and announced that his political party will start countrywide peaceful rallies.

Long March

In December 2012, after living for seven years in Toronto, Canada, Qadri returned to Pakistan and initiated a political campaign which called for a "democratic revolution" through electoral reforms. Qadri called for a "million-men" march in Islamabad to protest against the government's corruption[14]. On 14 January 2013, a sizable crowd marched down the city's main avenue. Thousands of people pledged to sit-in until their demands were met. When he started the long march from Lahore about 25,000 people were with him. 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.". 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. Although Qadri called for a "million-men" march, the estimated total present for the sit-in in Islamabad was 25,000 according to the government.

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. Lawyers for the Supreme Court of Pakistan claimed that Qadri's demands are unfeasible because they conflict with the Constitution of Pakistan. The Tribune reported on 17 February 2013, that Qadri seemed to have capitulated on most of his demands in the Islamabad Long March Declaration.


Extremism and terrorism
Qadri argues that terrorists have left the true, classical teachings of Islam and that their rebellious spirit of violence and religious extremism is a continuity of the Khawarij. Qadri was one of the religious leaders in Pakistan to condemn the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. He has denounced and severely condemned Osama bin Ladin.

Qadri describes terrorism as an "ideological infection" and believes that, through his anti-terrorism summer camps, "we are fighting on the ideological, philosophical, theological and academic fronts. We are trying to educate young people."

Reuters featured Qadri in August 2009 as a leading Sufi scholar who is working to bring the western youth away from extremism towards moderate Islam and to combat extreme tendencies.

After the December 2009 Rawalpindi attack he was quoted as saying: "Suicide attacks are not allowed in Islam, these actions are un-Islamic, The slaughter of human beings in any religion or country, and terrorism in all its manifestations, are totally in contradiction with the teachings of Islam." The same view is also held by the majority of mainstream (non-Sufi) Muslims based on the teachings of the Qur'an.

Division of the world
Qadri refutes the division of the world into two categories Dar al-Islam (the abode of Islam) and Dar al-harb (the abode of war) and that the west is the latter; Qadri instead divides the world into five categories. Qadri argues that the word "Dar al-Islam" actually implies "the abode of Peace" rather than the abode of Islam and that all countries under the United Nations (UN), whether Muslim or non-Muslim actually come under Dar al-Ahad (house of treaty) which Qadri says is the same as Dar al-Islam.

In his 2010 anti-terrorism summer camp in Britain, Qadri further commented on the issue saying,

All these Western countries - Britain, Europe, North America, wherever you are living - since you are enjoying all rights, all freedoms according to the constitution as other non-Muslim communities are enjoying, there is no difference. And I would have no hesitation in saying you are enjoying the rights and freedoms much better than in many other Muslim and Arab countries.

Cartoon controversy
He expressed concern when cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad were published in newspapers around Europe and sent out a memorandum called 'A call to prevent a clash of civilizations'.

Fatwa on Terrorism
On 2 March 2010, Qadri issued a 600-page Fatwa on Terrorism, which is an "absolute" scholarly refutation of all terrorism without "any excuses or pretexts." 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, or any kind of excuses or ifs or buts." Qadri said his fatwa, which declares terrorists and suicide bombers to be unbelievers, goes further than any previous denunciation.

The US Congress funded think-tank United States Institute of Peace hosted Qadri in November 2010 to speak about his struggle against radicalism in Islam in light of his Fatwa on Terrorism.

The Fatwa on Terrorism has been officially endorsed by Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.

Qadri states in his Fatwa on Terrorism:

The importance Islam lays on the sanctity and dignity of human life can be gauged from the fact that Islam does not allow indiscriminate killing even when Muslim armies are engaged in war against enemy troops. The killing of children, women, the old, infirm, religious leaders and traders is strictly prohibited. Nor can those who surrender their arms, confine themselves to their homes and seek shelter of anyone be killed. The public cannot be massacred. Likewise, places of worship, buildings, crops and even trees cannot be destroyed. On the one hand, there is a clear set of Islamic laws based on extreme discretion, and on the other, there are people who invoke the name of Islam to justify the indiscriminate killing of people, children, and women everywhere, without any distinction of religion or identity. It is a pity that such barbaric people still refer to their activities as Jihad. There can be no bigger discrepancy than this to be seen on earth. It can in no way be permissible to keep foreign delegates under unlawful custody and murder them and other peaceful non-Muslim citizens in retaliation for the interference, unjust activities and aggressive advances of their countries. The one who does has no relation to Islam and the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him)

Burning of Qur'an
On 9 September 2010, Qadri wrote a letter to the U.S. President Barack Obama in response to the controversial 'Burn a Quran Day' urging him to stop this incident from happening. Qadri wrote in an article published on the CNN website: "If this event had gone ahead it would not be less than 9/11 in the sense of far-reaching consequences and after-effects." he added: A handful of individuals, it does not matter whether they are related to mosque or church, cannot be given the right to flippantly play about with peaceful co-existence, and their so-called sentiments cannot be preferred over global peace.A handful of individuals, it does not matter whether they are related to mosque or church, cannot be given the right to flippantly play about with peaceful co-existence, and their so-called sentiments cannot be preferred over global peace.

Islamic state
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.

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)".

With respect to the Constitution of Medina, Qadri says: "This was the constitution, which provided the guarantee of fundamental human rights in our history." He believes that "a constitution is a man-made law and by no means it can be declared superior to a God-made law."

He believes in the Sovereignty of God’s law, that the Qur'an and Sunnah equates to State law, and that Islam encourages political activity. Qadri sees Islam as a faith which allows political participation. He believes in democracy and human rights, and argues that rights are defined in Islam by the Qur'an and Sunnah.

Published works
He has authored some 400 published works in Arabic, English and Urdu. Amongst his recent works are:

  • “Tafsir Sura al-Fatiha” (7 volume commentary on Sura al-Fatiha, largest available publication on this subject).
  • “Tafsir Minhaj al-Quran” (al-Futuhat al-Madaniyya - 14 volumes)
  • “Jami‘ al-Sunna fi ma Yahtaju ilayhi Akhir al-Umma” (A comprehensive compilation of 25,000 hadith totalling 20 volumes).
  • “Minhaj al-Sawi min al-hadith al-nabawi’” ((A hadith collection of 2,200 hadith compiled on the pattern and style of Imam Nawawi’s Riyad al-salihin and al-Khatib al-Tabrizi’s Mishkat al-Masabih relevant to the modern age). al-Minhaj al-Sawi was published with compliments and tributes of Shaykh al-Azhar al-Sayyid Dr Muhammad ?antawi, a renowned Muhaddith of Egypt, al-Shaykh Dr Ahmad ‘Umar Hashim (Ex-Vice Chancellor of Jami‘a al-Azhar, Cairo), and Grand Mufti of Egypt al-Shaykh Dr ‘Ali Jumu‘a and others.).
  • “Al-‘Ata fi Ma‘rifa al-Mustafa’” (4 volumes — collection of 5,000 hadith on the subjects of the excellence, habits, morals, specialties and miracles of Muhammad on the pattern and style of al-Shifa’ of Qadi ‘Iyad).
  • “Hidaya al-Umma ‘ala Minhaj al-Quran wa al-sunna” (2 volumes - another collection of 2,200 hadith).
  • “Al-Najaba fi Manaqib al-Sahaba wa al-Qaraba” (virtues of the Companions and the Family of Muhammad).
  • “Rawda al-Salikin fi Manaqib al-Awliya’ wa al-salihin” (Virtues of the Awliya’ - Friends of Allah and the Pious)
  • “Ahsan al-sana’a fi Ithbat al-Shafa’a” (Intercession)
  • “Raha al-Qulub fi Madhi al-Nabi al-Mahbub” (Hymn of Muhammad)
  • “Al-Kanz al-Thamin fi Fadila al-Dhikr wa al-Dhakirin” (Pearls of Remembrance)
  • “al-Badr al-Tamam ‘ala Sahib al-Dunu wa al-Maqam” (virtues of Greetings and Salutations on Muhammad)
  • “Ahsan al-Subul fi Manaqib al-Anbiya’ wa al-Rusul” (virtues of the Prophets and Messengers)
  • “al-Qawl al-Qawi fi Sama‘ al-Hasan ‘an ‘Ali” (a book on the science of hadith in Arabic language. It establishes the fact that al-Hasan al-Basri met ‘Ali and heard him narrate traditions)
  • “al-Khutba al-Sadida fi Usul al-Hadith wa Furu‘ al-‘Aqida” (a brief textbook on the science of Hadith in the Arabic language)
  • “al-‘Abdiyya fi al-Hadrat al-samadiyya” (Rights of Allah on His Slaves)
  • “al-Lubab fi al-Huquq wa al-Adab” (Rights and Manners)
  • “Imam Abu Hanifa: Imam al-A’imma fi al-Hadith” (4 volumes work demonstrating that Imam al-A‘zam Abu Hanifa was indeed the imam of hadith imams)
  • “Majmu‘at al-‘Aqa’id” (25 volumes compendium on Islamic Faith and Theology).
  • “Kitab al-Tawhid” (a detailed treatise on the concept of the unity of Allah running into 2 volumes).
  • “Kitab al-Risala” (2 volumes — a detailed treatise on the excellence of Prophethood and highly esteemed station of Muhammad).
  • “Kitab al-Sunna” (2 volumes — a comprehensive treatise on the authority, science and compilation of hadith and sunna)
  • “Kitab al-Bid‘a” (a comprehensive work on the concept of “innovations” in Islam)
  • “al-Mawlid al-Nabawi” (Celebration of Mawlid. The largest ever written work on this subject, consisting of approximately 850 pages)
  • “Sirat al-Rasul” (collection of 14 volumes, the largest written in the Urdu language)
  • “Muqaddima al-Sira” (2 volumes — an unprecedented work in Islamic history on the pattern of Muqaddima Ibn Khaldun).
  • “Khasa’is al-Mustafa’” (Muhammad's Exclusive Virtues)
  • “Shama’il al-Mustafa’” (Muhammad's Personal Characteristics and Habits)
  • “Asma’ al-Mustafa’” (Meanings and Interpretation of Muhammad’s Names)
  • “Dala’il al-Barakat fi Tahiyya wa al-Salat” (10,000 styles of greetings and salutations - Durood and Salam - in praise of Muhammad, written in the style of Dala’il al-Khayrat of Imam Jazuli, which was written nearly 1,000 years ago)
  • “Al-Hukm al-Shar‘i” (a book on Usul al-Fiqh - Islamic jurisprudence)
  • “Qawa‘id al-Iqtisad fi al-Islam” (Arabic work on the Principles of Islamic Economics)
  • “Nizam al-Mustafa’” (a Message and Struggle for Change)
  • “Kitab al-Ihsan”
  • “The Awliya’ (Muslim Saints): Companies and Narrations”
  • “al-Fuyudat al-Muhammadiyya”
  • “Islam me Insani Huquq” (Human Rights in Islam)
  • “Islam me Aqaliyyato ke Huquq” (Rights of Minorities in Islam)
  • “Islam me Khawatin ke Huquq” (Women's Rights in Islam)
  • “Islam me `Umar Sida awr Ma`zur Afrad ke Huquq” (Rights of the Elderly and Disabled in Islam)
The income from Qadri’s published books and DVDs and CDs of his lectures goes to his organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran International.

English works include:
  • Righteous Character & Social Interactions: Minhaj us Sawi (2012)
  • Prophetic Virtues and Miracles: Minhaj us Sawi (2012)
  • The Glorious Qur'an English Translation (2011)
  • Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings (2010)
  • Irfan ul Quran (Modern and Scientific English translation of the Quran) renamed to The Glorious Qur'an
  • Beseeching for Help
  • Peace, Integration and Human Rights
  • Ijtihad (meanings, application and scope)
  • Creation of Man
  • Islamic Concept of Human Nature
  • Islam and Criminality
  • Pearls of Remembrance
  • Islam on Prevention of Heart Diseases
  • Islamic Concept of IntermediationThe Constitution of Madina (First ever written constitution)
  • Islamic Concept of Knowledge (Al Ilm)
  • Spiritualism and Magnetism
  • Creation and Evolution of the Universe
  • Islam and Freedom of Human Will
  • Islamic Concept of Law
  • Greetings and Salutations on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)
  • Islam and Politics
  • The Islamic State (True Concept and Eradicating Misconceptions (Khilafah))
  • The Ghadir Declaration
  • Virtues of Sayyedah Fatimah
  • Imam Bukhari & the Love of the Prophet[pbuh] (Al-Hidayah Series)
  • Hanafi

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