Minhaj-ul-Quran International, a Pakistan-based international organization working to promote peace, tolerance, interfaith harmony and education, tackle extremism and terrorism, engage with young Muslims for religious moderation, promote women’s rights, development and empowerment, and provide social welfare and promotion of human rights.
In order to promote and propagate true Islamic teachings and philosophy, revive Islamic sciences, and for the moral and spiritual uplift of Muslim Umma, dissatisfied with the existing religious institutions and organizations and their narrow-minded approach, Dr Qadri founded Minhaj-ul-Quran in 1980. Headquarters of MQI are situated in Lahore. Vigorously pursuing its well-defined objectives and spreading its comprehensive and all-encompassing sphere of activity, including welfare, education, promotion of love culture and spiritual uplift all over the world, it is probably one of the largest non-political, non-sectarian non-governmental organizations in the world. Since its establishment on 17th October 1980, it has rapidly grown and, within less than 30 years, its organizational network has expanded to more than 90 countries worldwide. Minhaj-ul-Quran is unmatchable for its rapid growth and no contemporary religious or political organization or movement has spread worldwide in such a short span of time.
Elaborating the aims and objectives of MQI, the founding leader Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri stated:
“The primary aim of the Minhaj-ul-Quran International is to bring about a comprehensive and multidimensional change in the society which at the same time ends the academic and ideological deadlock and revive, once again, the exterminated moral and spiritual values (of Islam), and also exalt the Muslim Umma to an admirable and respectful status among the comity of nations by a continuous struggle based on glorious foundation laid down by the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) on the universal principals of Love, Peace and Knowledge.”
Minhaj-ul-Quran is not a movement based on just imaginary and impracticable ideology and philosophy but, on the contrary, is based on a comprehensive and practicable ideology. Its leadership has not only introduced the ideology but also provided a detailed strategy to be practically put into practice. Moreover, it aims at reviving the true values and principles of Islam, eliminating the social, cultural, ideological, moral, spiritual, economical, legal and political decline of Muslim Umma in particular and the whole mankind in general. Love, peace, harmony, universal brotherhood, justice, equity and prosperity lie only in the revival of these values. With this well-defined goal fixed, the MQI has laid down four major objectives to achieve.
- Daʻwa and Propagation of True Islamic Teachings
- Reformation of the Moral and Spiritual Affairs of Umma
- Revival of Islamic Sciences
- Promotion and Renaissance of Islam
The Distinctive Characteristics
The MQI holds strong discrimination from its contemporary religious organizations and parties in several different ways. It is unique and different from every other organization by virtue of its constitution, program, establishment, span of work, field, work style, and over and above all, its objectives. It can be distinguished from other organizations on the following five basic discriminatory grounds:
- All-embracing and all-encompassing struggle
- Sincerity of faith and devotion, and spiritualism
- Changing the society for good
Stages of the Minhaj-ul-Quran Movement
The struggle of Minhaj-ul-Quran International has been classified into stages inevitable for its expansion and development:
1. First stage of MQI struggle is ‘Propagation’ in which the ideology of MQI is introduced to the people through Daʻwa. The whole world is breathing heavily under the threats of terrorism and bloodshed. The idiosyncrasies of extremism, fanaticism and radicalism generate terrorism. Unfortunately, Islam is being presented as responsible for all terrorism around the world. MQI is taking practical measures to present to the world the true Islam through preaching inter-faith dialogue and harmony, striving for promoting culture of tolerance and moderation and promoting the cause of human rights, justice and equity at global level. MQI’s Daʻwa program encompasses all these aspects and gives a call for global peace, security, love and harmony among the communities inhabiting the earth. Following are the different modes of its Daʻwa work.
a. Call for affiliation with Allah Almighty. This target is achieved through the following:
- Remembrance of Allah Most High
- Ardent love for Allah Almighty
- Obedience to Allah Most High
- Worship and Devotion
b. Call for linking up with the Holy Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him). This target is achieved through the following:
- Ardent love for the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him).
- Obedience to and follower-ship of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him).
- Observance of polite manners and submissiveness for and veneration of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him).
- The gnosis of the exalted station of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him).
- Supporting the (din of) the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him).
c. Call for turning towards the Holy Qur’an. This target is achieved through the following:
- Developing a link with the Holy Qur’an based on love.
- Abundant recitation of the Holy Qur’an.
- Meditating and contemplating the Holy Qur’an.
- Following the commands and injunctions of the Holy Qur’an.
- Preaching the commands and injunctions of the Holy Qur’an.
d. Call for seeking knowledge. This target is achieved through the following:
- Promotion and publication of knowledge.
- Honouring and practicing knowledge.
- Attaining modern disciplines.
- Setting up learning associations.
- Awakening awareness and cognizance.
e. Call for brotherhood and fraternity. This target is achieved through the following:
- Love and Forbearance.
- Moral Beauty
- Protecting and safeguarding human rights.
- Mutual help and cooperation.
- Eschewing sectarianism
f. Call for collective struggle and interests. This target is achieved through the following:
- Consultations and obedience to the leader.
- Calling for righteousness.
- Discipline and organizing.
- Altruism and Sacrifice
g. Call for consolidation. This target is achieved through the following:
- Da‘wa, preaching and publicity.
- Reasoning for true application of Qur'an and Sunna to modern life
- Reviving and promoting din.
- Attaining to peace and security.
- Restoration of Islam’s identity.
2. In the second stage, ‘Organization’, all those who join the MQI and get ready to work for the MQI objectives are put into organizational structure. They become regular members and are tasked to discharge their Daʻwa responsibility according to the instructions laid down by the central leadership. The work at this stage is successfully carried out by setting up branches and centres on national, provincial, district, city and town levels in and outside the country.
3. Third stage concentrates on ‘Education and Training’. All the members and workers known as Rufaqa’ attend training sessions and camps where love for peace and justice, human dignity and equity is spiritually injected into their souls to bring them inner peace. That in turn brings about outer peace in society at large, through their pious and superbly moral behaviour towards their fellow human beings, irrespective of colour, race or creed. These training programmes are centrally controlled under direct guidance from Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. The MQI leadership believes that it is hard training that guarantees achieving the calculated results. The training programmes emphasize inculcating spiritual values and higher morality equipping the workers with personalities that spread love and peace through their natural behavior and style. The education and training sessions are held according to the following schedule:
- Daily sessions of remembrance of Allah at unit level.
- Weekly sessions of Salutation on the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him).
- Weekly educational assemblies at sector level.
- Monthly training camps at tehsil level.
- Quarterly training camps at district level.
- Bi-annual three-day retreat (itikaf) at divisional level.
- Annual ten-day retreat (itikaf) at central level
- Monthly Irfan-ul-Qur’an session
- Ten-forty-and-sixty day learning courses
4. Forth stage ‘Implementation’ signifies the struggle for the practical realization of social, welfare, cultural, legal, educational, religious economic and political vision and ideology of MQI. In this stage, using all the training obtained, the members of MQI lead by example by taking an active part in the society to carry out social and moral reform. This struggle comprises two phases: formative phase and completion phase.
- The formative phase comprises all those activities and practical steps and measures that are essential to mobilize the masses towards achieving the goal.
- The completion phase consists of measures to attain the results and put the plan into action.
5. Fifth stage ‘Reformation’ refers to consolidation of results achieved by MQI and transforming them into actual and permanent change thus achieving reformation and renewal of the systems. This reformation focuses its advancement in the following directions:
- Ideological Reformation
- Religious Reformation.
- Educational Reformation.
- Moral and Spiritual Reformation
- Social and Cultural Reformation.
- Societal and Institutional Reformation.