Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI) is a broad based Islamic organisation representing a moderate vision of Islam and Sufism, working for peace and integration. It promotes education of classical Islam and modern Islam. MQI was founded by His Eminence Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri in October 1981 with a long term strategic vision to promote religious moderation, peace, love, harmony and modern Islamic sciences. Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a professor of international law and a prominent authority on Islam has authored more than 1000 published works on Islamic scholarship, law and Sufism. Dr Qadri developed his organisational network in more than 90 countries in the span of just 30 years. In the UK, Minhaj-ul-Quran has its presence since 1984 with its first official office opening in 1994 in East London. Since then Minhaj-ul-Quran UK has opened 8 community centres serving all parts of the country from Glasgow to London and has tens of thousands of affiliates more than 5000 regular members.
Minhaj-ul-Quran International organisation has been built on the concepts of a peaceful, loving, tolerant and moderate interpretation of Islam employing the methods of Sufism. Aims and objectives Since its establishment, Minhaj-ul-Quran UK has five main aims and objectives:
- To promote peace, tolerance and interfaith harmony
The promotion of peace and interfaith harmony, religious moderation and integration are key aspects of Minhaj-ul-Quran. Peace and tolerance is MQI’s major objective and the organisation has vigorously pursued this from its very inception. The founder, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri understands Islam to be a religion of peace, love, co-existence, tolerance, human dignity, veneration of human life and a charter of justice and equality for mankind. Dr Qadri decided to pursue and establish the path of peace through nurturing and education run by Minhaj-ul-Quran. From the very beginning MQI promoted the concepts of inter-faith harmony and inter-community integration and coherence for the greater happiness of mankind. The message of tolerance and universal brotherhood and love is being propagated by Minhaj-ul-Qur’an centres throughout the country, with interfaith partnerships and friendships being extended to all major faiths, and exchange visits organised involving places of worship, whether belonging to Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Sikh or Hindu denominations
- To promote education, integration and working for community cohesion
Dr Qadri realised that the awakening of such awareness within society at large demands the promotion of knowledge and education and the eradication of ignorance. Hence the second objective of Minhaj-ul-Quran is education and working for community cohesion and working towards a multicultural society. MQI follows the Sufi tradition which promotes the aspect of Islam that emphasises spiritual and personal development, and moral excellence. Minhaj-ul-Quran adheres to the concept that before a person can benefit his community, he must attempt to purify himself from all selfish desires and destructive elements (especially in today’s youth), and only then can he become an effective and exemplary member of his society who can benefit others around him through his love of his fellow creatures and constructive effort. To achieve this objective, therefore, ten educational institutions had to be established and regular seminars are held in various institutions of MQI. MQI aims to work with the Muslim youth to tackle extremism and to create a secure community.
- To engage with young Muslims for religious moderation
From the very beginning the founder of Minhaj-ul-Quran, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri has consistently presented a model of Islam espousing the universal values of the unity of mankind, inclusion, tolerance and love of humanity and condemning all forms of extremism, radicalism and terrorism. The very reason why organisation of Minhaj-ul-Quran was founded was in order to counteract religious extremism, the breeding ground for terrorism. It is not possible to overestimate his contribution to moderating religious belief and practice all over the Islamic world. Dr Qadri has achieved this through travelling throughout the world, delivering lectures in mosques, community centres and universities promoting moderate Islam and teachings against religious conservatism. It is the objective of Minhaj-ul-Quran to fight extremism and conservative interpretation of Islam especially amongst the western Muslim youth. In the UK, MQI through its Youth wing (Muslim Youth League), has been engaged with the youth at various levels at colleges and universities to change the extreme views of the younger generation and to provide them with an alternative moderate view. It is of particular note that most major Islamic religious organisations modified their position in respect of extremism, killing of innocent civilians and suicide bombings only following the ‘9/11’ Twin Tower attacks, prior to which their stance on such atrocities was often vague or muted or in some cases even supportive, if tacitly so. In contrast, the position of Dr Qadri and Minhaj-ul-Qur’an has been clear from the beginning.
- To promote women’s rights, development and empowerment
MQI’s philosophy is one of inclusiveness and providing support to society’s oppressed class. Dr Qadri recognises that there is not a more oppressed segment of society, particularly of Asian backgrounds, than women. Minhaj-ul-Quran is probably the first Islamic organisation to formally permit the involvement of women and positively encourage their involvement in all its activities. MQI has a separate forum for women and the women coordinate this wing independently and with full freedom. This allows them to feel empowered and organise their activities with full confidence, and provides them with the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities in order to take a full and active part in their wider society. Muslim youth league is another forum especially for young women to promote and discuss issues like forced marriages. The women hold cultural, spiritual and educational events and festivals, to which they invite various intellectuals, politicians and prominent guests from society. The aim of these events is to build bridges between different communities, to create peace and harmony between them, to educate women of their rights and to inculcate in them self-respect and pride in the significant role they play in creating a peaceful and progressive society. They promote and highlight their equal rights and engage other Muslim women towards achieving our objectives.
- To provide social welfare and promotion of human rights
MQI also aims to alleviate poverty, provide aid to victims of disaster and improve the lives of millions of people living in deprivation. This is achieved through its charity Minhaj Welfare Foundation (MWF), which is a registered charity. MWF has grown to be a major provider of aid and relief and has responded to emergencies in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Kashmir, Iran, India, Kosovo Palestine, among many other countries, providing much needed relief aid in the form of food, water, medicines, clothing, and shelter. MWF has begun a project to provide an orphan care home that will eventually cater for 500 residents and will include provision of carers and educational facilities. There are currently 50 orphans being catered for in the current facility for which further funds have been allocated to develop it further. MQI promotes and highlights human rights issues and aims to help the victims through its charity organisation. MQI aims to create awareness on human rights and developing equal rights, especially in the third world countries.