Different Faces of Prof. Tahir ul Qadri: You be the Judge!

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD

Epigraph: “Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth glorifies Allah; and He is the Mighty, the Wise.  O ye who believe! why do you say what you do not do? Most hateful is it in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do.” (Al Quran 61:2-4)


Tahir ul Qadri held a big political rally in Lahore, Pakistan in December and planning more

Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri (Urdu: محمد طاہر القادری‎) (born 19 February 1951) is a Pakistani Sufi scholar[2][3][4] and former professor of international constitutional law at the University of the Punjab.[5] Qadri was recently described by the CNN-IBN as the ‘International Peace Ambassador.’[6]

You would need to know Urdu to appreciate this post.

At the start of his religious and political career, Tahir ul Qadri narrated one of his dreams in late 1970’s or early 1980s, about the Holy Prophet Muhammad,  may peace be on him, which is a strange mixture of allegory and material reality.

According to the dream the Prophet came to Pakistan on an invitation of other Ulema (religious scholars), but was disappointed by the state of affairs in Pakistan and would stay further in Pakistan only if Tahir ul Qadri becomes his host and pays for his air travel, within Pakistan and at the end, for his flight back to Medina, in Saudi Arabia.

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The video is in Urdu:

The Wikipedia has the following to say about Tahir Qadri’s organization:

Minhaj-ul-Quran International (منہاج القرآن انٹرنیشنل) (or MQI) is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) founded by Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri in 1981 in Lahore, Pakistan.[1] It has a long-term strategic vision to promote religious moderation, effective and sound education, inter-faith dialogue and harmony.[2] It has expanded to 100 countries around the globe.[3] Its emphasis is improving the social, cultural and religious condition, enlightening the masses with the knowledge of their rights and duties and presenting a realistic, rational and scientific picture of Islam.

The headquarters of Minhaj-ul-Quran International was inaugurated in 1987 by Tahir Allauddin Al-Qadri Al-Gillani who is regarded as the organization’s spiritual founder.[4] The objective of Minhaj-ul-Quran in Europe and the West in general is to create harmony in societies between different cultural, ethnic and religious communities through social interaction, interfaith dialogue and spreading the messages of toleration, respect for others and the benefits of integration. It is the first organisation of its kind that has initiated interfaith dialogues with religious minorities.[5] Qadri is the Chairman of the Muslim Christian Dialogue Forum, where Christian bishops and Muslim clerics and scholars work side by side.[6]

Wikipedia or perhaps one of the fans of Tahir ul Qadri claims here, “It is the first organization of its kind that has initiated interfaith dialogues with religious minorities.”  Additionally, Tahir ul Qadri is now Chairman for Muslim Christian Dialogue Forum, but hold your judgment until you watch the last video in this post.

The Wikipedia says about his academic achievements and early career:

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.[12] 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 [13] 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.[14][15] He was appointed as a professor of law at the University of Punjab, where he taught British, US and Islamic constitutional law.[16]

Tahir ul Qadri in his recent tour to Europe, categorically denies any connections with General Zia ul Haq and Blasphemy Laws.  He was for Blasphemy Laws, for 20 years, until he is against them now:

Now a video about his dramatic contributions to Blasphemy Laws from his own tongue.  If you would like to see only part of half an hour video, about his historic contributions, in his own assessment, start at 4 minute mark, as he confesses to 18 hour presentation, in favor of Blasphemy Laws, in front of a Federal Court in 1985, in Lahore:

The gross contradictions between Qadri’s videos are self-apparent and need no further elaboration from me.

On a positive note for Prof. Qadri, the last video does give us some additional insights into the schools of Jurisprudence formulated in early centuries.  Tahir ul Qadri is certainly a scholar of jurisprudence, whatever his nefarious potential may be, I find no reason, why he should misrepresent the four schools of early Islamic jurisprudence in this video and that opens an all together a new chapter for us, to judge these medieval schools, at least as far as blasphemy and apostasy are concerned.

Madhhab (Arabic: مذهب‎ maḏhab, IPA: [ˈmæðhæb], “doctrine”; pl. مذاهب maḏāhib, [mæˈðæːhɪb]; Turkish: mezhep; Urdu: مذہب mezheb) is a Muslim school of law or fiqh (religious jurisprudence). In the first 150 years of Islam, there were many such “schools”. In fact, several of the Sahābah, or contemporary “companions” of Muhammad, are credited with founding their own. The prominent Islamic jurisprudence schools of Damascus in Syria (often named Awza’iyya), Kufa and Basra in Iraq, and Medina in Arabia survived as the Maliki madhhab, while the other Iraqi schools were consolidated into the Hanafi madhhab. The Shafi’i, Hanbali, Zahiri and Jariri schools were established later, though the latter school eventually died out.

It is claimed that the schools of thought were developed in the 9th and 10th centuries as a means of excluding dogmatic theologians, government officials and non-Sunni sects from religious discourse.[1] Historians have differed regarding the time at which each of the various schools had emerged. It is said that Sunni Islam was initially split into six schools (Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi’i, Hanbali, Zahiri, Jariri) before various ruling dynasties later narrowed the number down to four, with the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt eventually creating four independent judicial positions, thus solidifying the Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi’i and Hanbali schools.[1] Conversely, some view that Sunni jurisprudence falls into two groups: Ahl al-Ra’i, or people of opinions, due to their emphasis on scholarly judgment and reason; and Ahl al-Hadith, or people of traditions, due to their emphasis on restricting juristic thought to only what is found in scripture.[2]

The four mainstream schools of Sunni jurisprudence today, named after their founders (sometimes called the A’immah Arba‘a or four Imaams of Fiqh[5]), are not generally seen as distinct sects, as there has been harmony for the most part among their various scholars throughout Islamic history.

Generally, Sunni Muslims prefer one madhhab out of the four (normally a regional preference) but also believe that ijtihad must be exercised by the contemporary scholars capable of doing so. Most rely on taqlid, or acceptance of religious rulings and epistemology from a higher religious authority in deferring meanings of analysis and derivation of legal practices instead of relying on subjective readings.[6][7]

Experts and scholars of fiqh follow the usul (principles) of their own native madhhab, but they also study the usul, evidences, and opinions of other madhhabs.

Insightful listeners would have noted in the above video that all these Imams of jurisprudence were for physical punishment of blasphemy and apostasy.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, on the other hand, argues, based on the Holy Quran and early Islam that there is no punishment for these in Islam, even though political crimes like treachery and mutiny are punishable.  Here I link two booklets on the issue of apostasy from the Ahmadiyya perspective:

The Truth About The Alleged Punishment for Apostasy in Islam

Punishment of Apostasy in Islam

It seems to me that however well intentioned, these founders of Sunni jurisprudence may have been, they were humans and were caught up in the political and religious realities of their time, when the world was divided into the Islamic Empire and the Christendom, a world of constant Crusades, a world of constant political struggle and intrigue, murder and mayhem.  Their opinions were shaped by the realities of their lives, they certainly could not anticipate the realities of the modern global village, where in followers of different religions can live with mutual harmony and peace.

Watching these three videos, one comes to the epiphany, ‘apple does not fall far from the tree!’

32 replies

  1. I heard another possible reason given by the fourth Ahmadiyya Khalifa, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (r.h.)why well meaning older scholars of Islam thought that irtidad (‘leaving Islam’) (and perhaps blasphemy) were punishable by death. Huzur (r.h.) stated that in those days people did not have all the facts on hand. So their decisions were based on the limited accounts available to them. Now, it is easy to compare all available accounts and come to the right conclusion.

    It is strange and sad that people like Tahir ul Qadri need to quote this Muslim scholar or that to support these erroneous conclusions when the Holy Quran and the blessed life of the Holy Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h) is there before us to show that there is no corporal punishment for those who commit blasphemy or leave Islam. Those punishments are in God’s hands.

    Is it not an act of blasphemy in itself to knowingly conjure punishments against the sunnah (‘practice’) of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h)?

    Also, if the extreme views of Tahir ul Qadri were applied in the days of early Islam, there would hardly be any Muslims. Most of Makkah in those days was guilty of blasphemy of the highest degree…not just that, they were after the life of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h)…and it wasn’t the fear of punishment that changed them and converted them into devout followers of the Prophet (p.b.u.h)…it was the kind treatment and forgiveness of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) at every step of the way.

    This is how Islam spread initially, and this is how it is destined to spread finally.

  2. God creating such circumstances from their own to accept the Responsibilities of the of this painful condition of Pakistan.
    And they forget what they say before.
    Qadri sahib ! be ready to face the result of your lie and you can not
    Made the people foolish so more . No doubt coming time will differ
    between right and wrong and you will not be escape.
    iNsha Allah

  3. This is a real informative discussion about Blasphemy. Why not share it on Minhaj-ul- Quran’s website and other social media like Facebook. There Is a great need of proper knowledge about issues such as this and the western world would benefit too.

  4. This is the best argument against implementation of Sharia. This also exposes the falliability of the Imams of older times. This tells us that solutions of todays problems facing Islam do not lie in the past. We have the Quran and God has given us wisdom. It is upto us to use these precious resources. If we keep referring to the Imams of yesterday, then we are destined to fall into same pitfalls all over again. Remember the definition of insanity. Keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

  5. May Allah show him the difference between right and wrong and guide him along the right path before his end comes… but if he’s not one among the righteous: LANATULLAH ALAL KAZIBEEN [JHOOTON PAR KHUDA KI LAANAT]

  6. Has anyone notice the wilderness of Mr Quadri while conversing. He looks uncertain of what he speaks. His eyes keep moving in search of affirmation or applause for what he is saying, from the people around him. He looks and sounds so fake.
    Nevertheless the paper boat cannot sail for long.

  7. “I shall cause thy message to reach the corners of the earth”

    Dr. Prof Tahir ul Qadri established, developed and organised his Minhaj ul Quran internationly by copying, patterns and styles of some other succesfull organisations now He is telling the world proudly about their efforts they are spreaded in 100 countries.
    one thing we know the history never tells lie what happend to those ancient so called Islamic favouring organisations, after the death of their founder or manufacturers or leadres all organisations vanished or sisappeard, their followers bacme notorious and worldly lovers bcause these were only wordly, metrialistic efforts there was no sprit or sprituality and or No God loving signs.
    Only one jamat is flourishing, spreading globaly
    that is Jamat Ahmadiyya because it was planted by Allah Himself. It will grow up and spread until it covers all over the world.

  8. Minhaj-ul-quran is an organization wholely and solely deoted to sere Islam and spread the love of The Prophet in the whole world and in the hearts of Muslims..so, it will never disappear or vanish Insha-Allah..and Dr. prof Mohammad Thir-ul-Qadri shaikh-ul-Islam is a reformer of this century and has stood against every propaganda that is meant to represent a false image of Islam or Islamic rues.. the organization and Dr.M.Tahir has spread the Peaceful message of Islam to more than 1oo countries nd served Islam..the reward is indeed in the Hands of Almighty Allah..He will be with Haq and will disclose to people like you,the dignity of such a great person and you all shall be ashame on your words and shameful thoughts about him insha-Allah.

  9. My Dear what ever you say can not satisfy anyone. He never claims that Allah has appointed him in this age for the guidance of this world. Perhaps Gullen of Turkey is more popular than Tahirul Qadri sahib in the world. He is doing more service for the good of mankind.

    mirza ahmad

  10. Dear Believer of Truth, please note, after watching the videos that tahir ul Qadri sahib claims that he was mastermind behind the blasphemy law in Pakistan. That he, in the love of the prophet Muhammad, worked hard to prove that the person guilty of blasphemy, whether he is man or woman, Muslim or non-Muslim, must be put to death. He, tahirul qadri sahib helped to make the law in Pakistan. In the video, he claimed that he alone was responsible for making the blasphemy law and all other scholars had failed. He is clearly seen as taking the credit for the blasphemy law.

    But in Denmark, he tried to avoid that subject. When asked about it he went on another angle, about the blood money matter for males and females. That was not the question being asked. The question was whether he was the co-producer of the blasphemy law in Pakistan.

    In Denmark (?), He completely avoided the question or rather denied the matter there. Did he not tell a lie there? How can a liar be a leader?? There are many more fallacies in his work of the past and the present. Please explain these things properly. We have no grudge against Tahir sahib.

  11. I love to watch and hear Mr. Qadri speech on every topic of Islam he tells. It reaches direct to our heart. God bless hom with good health Aameen.

  12. I love minhaj & dr sahib & also his speeches but an ahli hadees give me a link that qadri sahab cut a cake in christmad party with a chritan & more about him

  13. There is no harm in loving some one who is a good proper God fearing (Muttaquee) person. tahir Qadri sahib has a large gathering. He will attract many more. But the proper way is to follow an Imam and the best Imam in these days is the Imam al Mahdi a.s.

    Tahir Qadri sahib has given statement that imam Mahdi was to appear in 2008 (? exact year I do not remember ). But Imam Mahdi did not arrive in that year. So he will now come after a very long time, Tahir Qadri sahib gave some year nearly 2037 A.D.

    HE SEEMS TO HAVE mch knowledge about Imam Mahdi a.s. and seems to be controlling the movement of Imam Mahdi a.s. according to his own wishes.

  14. The video of Tahir Qadari about his dream about hosting the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, seems to have been taken off the air.

    May I suggest to his followers that if it was a true dream, it is one of the highest awards Qadari has, so they should immediately put it back on line and give us the link in the comment section.



  16. Shakeel is right. It is well known that Tahir ul Qadri was seen eating and drinking with Shia leaders who blaspheme the senior companions of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s. A video was shown on internet, Qadri sahib enjoying the company and praising the Shia leaders. The Sunnis were very much annoyed about that.

    Like Maudoodi sahib, Tahir Qadri also started his mission as a religious organisation, in 1982. Now he is indulging in politics and challenging the government. He has criticized the writings of the promised Messiah a.s. and even challenged the Khalifah tu Al Masih IV to a spiritual duel at MInar e Pakistan, Lahore, in years 1900 decade.

    I did not know much about the inner implications of the tahir Qadri sahib’s organisation, built in the name of Quran (Minhaj ul Quran). It is the duty of the government to check fraud in the name of Quran.

    Today I watched a video of the AAJ TV program, presented by Nusrat Javed sahib and Mushtaq Minhas. It is an eye opener for every one. I give the link below. I do not know the date of that program, may be an old or latest program.
    The program is in Urdu and very useful.

    if the people of Pakistan will not return to the true teachings of Islam (Ahmadiyat), they will always be bitten by political scoundrels.


  17. He has no idea how much damage he is doing to Pakistan. He may be an Islamic Scholar but by no means he has any idea of ruling a country, economy, trade and foreign policy. The worst part is that he speaks contrary / conflicting remarks. May Allah SWT save Pakistan from this Shaitan

  18. Dr. Tahir ul Qadri is a Unique and Great Leader of Muslim Ummah. All the opponents are attacking on his personality “Are you trying to prove him an Angel?” He is a human and human are to make mistakes (Quraan) Look at the Brighter side of his life and you will find him standing UNIQUE, SUCCESSFUL and HERO of Muslim Ummah.
    May ALLAH (SWT) Bless all of us with Hidayah .. Aameen

  19. Dear Saeed Mirza thank you for your comment. But, please also try to resolve the conflict, why Tahir ul Qadri was for the Blasphemy Laws and now is against them?

  20. I wonder if anyone has a link, which shows molvi Qadri wearing white robes along with many others similarly dressed and all dancing like they are under the influence of drink or drugs, in some street or bazar. No normal religious person in their right mind would do that.

  21. Tahir Qadri may be wrong and a bad man. But he is in tune with Imran Khan and others who are working to oppose and topple the Nawaz government. The Noon League may be doing good work for the strength and prosperity of the country (which is much needed) but they are ignorant about the real need of the moment i.e. law making.
    It is not the duty of the prime minister to personally go after making dams and road links. The most important duty is law making and ridding the country of the bad laws.

  22. If some one has Basharat of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H)he is very lucky person and can not wish any thing else.Why he is delivering conflicting orders to his followers to disrupt Pakistan Society. If he wants to change Pakistani citizens,he should have presented himself to be real follower of Islam and train Pakistanies morally to differentiate between bad and good.Hazrat Mujaddid did so in the rule of Akbar and Jahangir. He did not asked for some position in Government rather he and his followers peacefully forced Mughals to change their Kufria Belives. Dr Qadri should follow Hazrat Mujaddid and not create tension and differentiation in Pakistanies. India is seeking any chance to hit and destroy Pakistan.Pak army is engaged in Zarb-e-Azab operation in NW against militants and terrorists backed and trained by Indians and Afghans.

    Kindly care for Pakistan as it is our homeland otherwise just see fate of Palestinians facing carpet bombing from Israeli brutals.

    Long live Pakistan and Pakistan army

  23. Ask TQ if he is a Sunni and a Hanafi. He will reply positive (YES).
    Then see why is TQ trying to opposed an established government!
    It is most important order or Fatwa of Imam Abu Hanifah rz.a. He said “Never oppose or rise against any established government, even if it be a corrupt government.”
    Specialists in Fiqah Hanafi can check this matter easily and call TQ to answer serious charges.
    Any one who rises against a government is a from “Khawarij” i.e. an outsider, outside from the pail of Islam.

  24. dear ghulam serwar

    what would you say about prophet challenging tyrants of the time would you apply Imama Abu Hanifa’s fatwa on prophet Moses rising against ferroh and prophet Muhammad PBUH rising against corrupt system represented by abujahal? please answer this. also please advise what is your position in this corrupts system you are clearly a beneficiary of corruption that is why you used a fatwa to protect it.

  25. Dear mubashir sohail, I am not any beneficiary. I mentioned some information without having any reference. But I am sure I read it some where. It is true that the great Imam, Imam Abu Hanifah, the Imam A’zam rz.a. had advised his followers never to rise against any established government. Now Qadri being a Hanafi should respect his leader Imam Abu Hanifah Rh.a. Is Mr. Qadri ignorant about the Hanafi Law? What use is his doctorate??
    Please find out first if that advice of Imam Abu Hanifah rh.a. is right or wrong. Then come to blame me.
    Now about your misconceived ideas about the time of king Pharaoh and the time of the prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s. I may ask you a few questions.
    1. Did Hazrat Musa a.s. rise against Pharaoh? Please prove it. Leaving the country is no Kharooj against the government. It is a Kharooj from the country. It cannot be called rising against the government. He had every right to leave the country to Pharaoh.
    Then compare the violent fiery speeches of mr. Qadri to peaceful gentle approach of Hazrat Musa a.s. You will certainly learn some lesson of what really is a good (right) behavior.
    2. Next let me know if there was any government of Abu Jehl in Madinah. He had a government or some influence in Makkah. Did the prophet s.a.w.s. rise against Abu jehl in Makkah? Never.
    When Abu Jehl came out of his territory to attack Madinah, then the prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s. got up and defended himself and the people. That is not uprising against any government.
    I am sure Imam Abu Hanifah cannot be wrong in what he said about revolutions and uprisings (Khurooj).
    3. Next take the case of Imam Hussain a.s. He never did against Yazeed what Mr. Qadri is doing against Nawaz Sharif. He planned to leave the country to Yazeed and migrate from that place, according to the Sunnah of all prophets. What Mr. Qadri is doing is against the Sunnah of Hussain a.s. That is why I said, Qadri is acting like a Kharijee, like the enemies of Hazrat Ali a.s.
    Under cover he is meeting with the Shias as if he is the greatest Hussaini.
    4. Next I come to the time and teachings of the promised Messiah a.s. of later times, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (a.s.) of Qadian. What is his teaching? It is the same as taught by Imam Abu Hanifah rz.a. centuries ago. That is not to take part in any kind of rebellion against the government. He never allowed any such thing and disallowed his followers to take part in any gathering, processions against the government. He even forbade all kinds of boycott too.
    I had to write all this long post to find out if I was right or you had shown the right way. Any one can decide now.
    I am not in favor or against Mr. Qadri. I find him a pretender, false person. Every one of us and our children are bound to be misled by his actions. I am non-political, am not a friend of Nawaz Sharif. I do not care who rules but I have to look for the good of the country too. That is more important. If there is no country then all are doomed. What do you say please?
    I repeat, I am not any beneficiary of Nwaaz Sharif government or beneficiary of the present system. The system may be corrupt but that is what we have now and Mr. Qadri is not doing the right thing. He is not the right person to correct the bad system.

  26. Dear Zia Bhai,
    Will it be possible for you to send video clips containing Dr. Taher’s claim about Holy Prophets “Arrival at Pakistan”

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