Minhaj-ul-Quran (منہاج القرآن) International is a non-political, non-sectarian, non-governmental organization (NGO) founded by Shaykh al-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri on 17 October 1980 in Lahore, Pakistan. It has grown rapidly and is now working in over 100 countries around the globe. Its aim is to revive the message of the Quran and sunnah in light of the modern and moderate interpretation. Its emphasis is on the social, cultural and religious betterment of the masses, 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 Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, who is regarded as the organizations spiritual founder and leader. The objective of Minhaj-ul-Quran is to create harmony between different societies through social interaction, interfaith dialogue and spreading the message of peace. It also promotes human and womens rights around the globe.
Minhaj-ul-Quran has worked closely with the Christian community, as well as other ethnic minority communities in Pakistan, for the purpose of highlighting and promoting their citizen rights. It is the first organisation of its kind that has initiated interfaith dialogues with religious minorities. Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is the Chairman of the "Muslim Christian Dialogue Forum", where Christian bishops and Muslim clerics and scholars work side by side.
Some organisations put all their efforts into research, others into spirituality, others into education, some into political aspects and vast majority of these organisations are usually limited to local areas. Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri says he felt the need to establish Minhaj-ul-Quran because, after analysing the work and efforts of all the contemporary Muslim organisations, he concluded that they all were working on very limited level, none of them had a comprehensive global vision and programme and they lacked co-ordination and co-operation.
However, the message of the Prophet Muhammad was comprehensive and global and therefore the various outstanding characteristics of Minhaj-ul-Quran International are believed to lead to a revival of message of the Prophet Muhammad. These characteristics include:
Minhaj-ul-Quran International has expanded to over 90 countries in only 25 years. It has its educational and community centres in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, Australia and Africa. Its main offices are in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Barcelona, Oslo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Dublin, New York, Toronto, Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo. It established the Directorate of Foreign Affairs at its HQ to co-ordinate and to expand its network abroad.
The educational network of Minhaj-ul-Quran is well-known in Pakistan. It runs around one thousand educational institutes, including libraries in Pakistan and a university based in Lahore which was chartered in 2005.
It also runs a successful charity, the Minhaj Welfare Foundation (MWF), that has a global network and aims to provide emergency aid, health care, welfare support and education to the poor and those affected by natural disasters. It is a UK registered charity under the Charity Commission.
Minhaj-ul-Quran has continuously aimed to promote the peaceful and balanced message of Islam through the modern and scientific interpretation of Islam, and has published over 300,000 books of Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri in the last 25 years. It also has produced and distributed millions of video cassettes, CDs and DVDs with lectures of its founder on almost every concept of Islam worldwide.
Minhaj-ul-Quran holds one of the largest annual Itikaf gatherings during the month of Ramadan, after the Holy cities Makkah and Madina, with a record of 37,000 people sitting congregational Itikaf in 2007. It holds the largest Laylat ul Qadr night event on the 27th Ramadan with millions of attendees.
Minhaj-ul-Quran also has revived the concept of celebrating the birth day of the Prophet Muhammad in the Ummah. The largest annual International Mawlid an-Nabi (Milad un Nabi) event takes place in the grounds of Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore, on the 12th of Rabi' al-awwal and attracts millions of people from all over Pakistan and aboard. The highlight of the event is the special speech by Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri followed by recitation of salutations upon the Prophet Muhammad. In 2008, due to the limitation of the space at Minar-e-Pakistan, it plans to decentralise the event and will hold events in 5 different cities and broadcast the speech live to all the cities. It also holds the largest Mawlid-un-Nabi celebration feast (Ziafat-e-Milad), which hundreds of thousands people attend throughout the month of Rabi-ul-Awal, in which Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri himself serves the dinner.
On 3 December 2005 Minhaj-ul-Quran established a full time institution called Gosha-e-Durood where any individual can apply to sit for reciting salutations on the Prophet Muhammad. In the last two years trillions of salutations have been recited. A purpose built building with Mawlana Rumi style minarets is under construction.
It also airs the main lectures of its founder live on the private international TV channel QTV (ARY), which enables millions of people abroad to listen.
In the past decade Minhaj-ul-Quran International successfully established various Islamic resources to promote the peaceful and balanced message of Islam using the internet. It also runs successful 3 Islamic magazines which are distributed to its members.
Minhaj-ul-Quran International is the first organisation of its kind that has initiated interfaith dialogues with religious minorities in Pakistan. Its founder is the Chairman of the 'Muslim Christian Dialogue Forum' to highlight and promote their citizen rights.