The 28th International Mawlid-un-Nabi Conference (S.A.W.), the biggest Milad Conference in the Islamic world, was held on the intervening nights of the 11th and 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal at Minar-e-Pakistan Lahore under the banner of Minhaj-ul-Quran International. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri delivered his keynote address through video conferencing. The proceedings of the Conference were broadcast live around the world by QTV and Minhaj.tv.
The hundreds of thousands of people including women and children braved the severe cold and rainy weather and remained in rapturous attendance. The Conference made history as the devotees demonstrated their love of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in such inclement weather and reminded the world that love of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) is the most precious asset for the Muslims.
The chief guest of International Mawlid-un-Nabi Conference (S.A.W.) was the Vice Chancellor of world-renowned Al-Azhar University Dr Usama Muhammad Al-Abd. Other distinguished guests included Senior Vice Chairman of Pakistan Awami Tehreek Agha Murtaza Poya, Pir Khalil-ur-Rehman Chishti, Sayyid Musharraf Ali Shah, Ali Ghazanfer Kararvi, Pir Nafees-ul-Hassan Shah, and other renowned religious scholars. The representatives of the Hindu, Christian and Sikh faiths also participated in the Conference as an expression of solidarity with the Muslims on such a festive occasion.
The leaders of MQI from other countries who attended the Conference on special invitation included Muhammad Zahid, Imtiaz Ahmad, Akbar Ali, Mr. and Mrs. Haji Altaf Cheema, Dr Aamir, Muhammad Ajmal Khan, Amjad Qadri, Rafaqat Hussain, Muhammad Naveed Qadri, Mrs. Naveed, Muhammad Umar, Muhammad Shoaib, Ateeq Butt, Naveed Ahmad, Sayyid Usman Shah Bokhari, Inam-ul-Haq, Abdul Jabbar Butt, Haji Gulzar Ahmad, Sohail Butt, Haji Ashraf, Faisal Qadri, Muhammad Asim Noor, Usman Tufail, Muhammad Mosa, Rafaqat Ali, Abdur Rehman, Javed Iqbal Awan, Allama Shahbaz Siddiqui, Haji Altaf Cheema, Muneer Dar, Sayyid Atif Shah, Muhammad Usman Akram, Muhammad Anees, Nasir Mughal, Mahmood Raza Tahiri, Muhammad Bisharat Khan, Muhammad Riaz, Aslam Ranjha, Arshad Azam, Raja Akram, Javed Awan, Dr Sa'd Baloch and others.
The central leaders of Minhaj-ul-Quran International who were also present on the occasion included Amir-e-Tehreek Sahibzada Faiz-ur-Rehman Durrani, Secretary General Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, senior naib Nazim-e-Ala Sheikh Zahid Fayyaz, Brig (R) Obaidullah Ranjha, G.M. Malik, Rana Muhammad Idrees Qadri, Ahmad Nawaz Anjum, Dr Ali Akbar Al-Azhari, Sayyid Farhat Hussain Shah, Allama Imdadullah Khan, Jawad Hamid, Muhammad Aaqil Malik, Sajid Mahmood Bhatti, Allama Muhammad Usman Sialvi, Allama Mir Asif Akbar, Allama Muhammad Hussain Azad, and other leaders as well as staff members of the central secretariat.
The formal proceedings of the International Mawlid-un-Nabi Conference (S.A.W.) got underway with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Qari Sayyid Sadaqat Ali followed by Naat Khawani in which many renowned Naat Khawans took part. Among the famous Naat Khawans who presented Naat included Hamdani Brothers Mahboob Ahmad Hamdani, Marghoob Ahmad Hamdani, Akhtar Hussain Qureshi, Abid Raoof Qadri of QTV, Qasim Madani, Shakeel Ahmad Tahir, Muhammad Hamza Noshahi, Haideri Brothers, Shahzad Brothers, Qari Anser Ali Qadri, and Muhammad Faisal Naqshbandi. The audience remained mesmerized while these Naat Khawan presented Naats in their melodious voices. The participants expressed their emotions by waving flags and posters bearing name ‘Muhammad’ inscribed in them in red colours.
The first session of International Mawlid-un-Nabi Conference (S.A.W.) came to an end at 12:15 a.m. MQI’s Secretary General Dr Raheeq Abbasi and Sheikh Zahid Fayyaz conveyed the message of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri on this occasion. They told that Shaykh-ul-Islam was watching the proceedings of the Conference through video conferencing in Canada. In his message, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri asked the hundreds of thousands of the participants to stand their ground in the face of heavy rain and severe cold and chant the slogans to celebrate the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.).
The proceedings of the Conference were jointly conducted by Hamid Saeedi of QTV, Allama Zaheer Ahmad and Muhammad Waqas Qadri of MQI’s Directorate of Training.
Speech of Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi
In his speech on the occasion, Secretary General of Minhaj-ul-Quran International Dr Raheeq Abbasi said that the way people remained in attendance calmly and with full devotion despite cold and heavy downpour demonstrated the fact that Pakistan is a place of lovers of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). He said that International Mawlid-un-Nabi Conference (peace be upon) held under the banner of MQI conveyed a message of love and peace in a suffocating environment marked by sectarianism, lawlessness and terrorism. He said that MQI was playing a key role in the promotion of love of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the entire life of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri was dedicated to this cause.
Speech of Dr Usama Muhammad Al-Abd, Vice Chancellor of Al-Azhar University
Speaking on the occasion, the Vice Chancellor of Al-Azhar University Dr Usama Muhammad Al-Abd said that he never saw such a big and organized gathering anywhere in the world fully charged with the love of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). He extended his special felicitations to the people of Pakistan and the participants of the Conference on their attendance despite severe cold and torrential rains. He further said that the people of Pakistan must be grateful, for a personality like Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri was present among them whose MQI holds such a big Milad gathering every year. He said that MQI had attained to a status of significant reference for the promotion of love of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and spreading the culture of Prophetic love in the world. He concluded by saying that the love of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most precious asset of every Muslim and follower.
Keynote Address of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
Addressing the hundreds of thousands of participants of International Mawlid-un-Nabi Conference (S.A.W.), Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the devoted participation of people in the Conference under heavy downpour and inclement weather was the proof of the fact that the candles of the Prophetic love (S.A.W.) were kindled in the hearts of the people of Pakistan. He said that Allah Almighty turned the sight of the Milad Conference marked by heavy rain and severe cold into a message for those who opposed the celebrations of the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). He said that in such a cold night when people did not dare come out of the comforts of their homes, the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children had gathered to attend the Conference in an undisturbed, peaceful and rapturous manner.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that it was the miracle of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) that people were celebrating the birth anniversary of their beloved Prophet calmly despite hostile weather conditions. He said that no other nation of the world was as much committed and demonstrative of its emotions towards their prophets as the Muslims were.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the celebration of Mawlid-un-Nabi (S.A.W.) was established from the Holy Quran and the Prophetic Traditions but some people tried to misconstrue it. He said that the understanding of holders of such misguided opinion was that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was just like other Prophets, limited to a particular time period and locality. This concept, he said, was erroneous and reflective of the limited understanding of people. He said that Allah Almighty endowed the status of the Master of Universe on the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). He said that Allah Almighty never took oath of allegiance from other prophets for any of his prophet. However, all Prophets and Messengers took the oath of allegiance for the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.).
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that divine books of other religions contained passages, which clearly and amply mentioned the name of Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) well before his birth. He said that the Prophethood of no other Prophet was declared as a blessing for his followers. This is solely the share of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) that Allah Almighty declared his raising as Prophet a great blessing for the Muslim community.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that according to Hadith, Allah Almighty would set up chair of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) along with His own Chair on the Day of Reckoning and ask to the Prophet (S.A.W.) to give his consent to His Decisions. The final verdict will be the one which the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) would speak about. He said that in the opinion of Imam Jurari, he who did not believe in the sitting of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) in the chair on haven was a liar and ill-fated person. The chair of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) would be set up along with the Chair of Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgment. Imam Ibne Tamya has also supported this.
Referring to the agreed upon Hadith of Bokhari and Muslim, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that Allah Almighty invested the spiritual power of miracles in all of His Prophets. The Prophets had their total control on oceans, winds and mountains. The Prophets were given as many miracles as the people who believed in them. For example, a Prophet, in whose Prophethood a hundred people believed, had one hundred miracles. But Allah Almighty equipped the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) with countless miracles, more than any other Prophet had. According to one Hadith, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was given as many miracles as five times more than other Prophets. According to another tradition, out of people lined up in 100 rows, 80 would comprise the followers of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) while the remaining 20 will consist of the followers of other Prophets.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that according to Hadiths, every Messenger or a Prophet stayed among his Umma or community for as long as the latter believed in them. When their nation would refuse to accept their Prophethood, the Prophets would leave them for Mecca. Hazrat Noah (RA), Hazrat Saleh (RA), Hazrat Hood (RA) and Hazrat Shoaib (RA) all were settled in Mecca and their graves are present in the courtyard of the holy Ka'ba. Why were these Prophets buried in Mecca? Not merely because of the fact that they all were waiting for the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) or perhaps he (S.A.W.) would come in their lifetime. According to a tradition, there are graves of 99 Prophets in the courtyard of Mecca and Ka'ba. When the pilgrims come for Hajj, they also make it a point to visit the graves and pay their respects to these Prophets. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that every Prophet was a lover of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) before his arrival. The people by loving the beloved Prophet were actually acting upon the Sunna of the Prophets.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal reports in Masnand that when the Christian King Negus heard about the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) in in his full court, he said: By God, he is the same Muhammad (S.A.W.) who has been mentioned in our Book. He said that had he not had the constraint of being a king of a kingdom, he would have remained in the service of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) day in and day out. This was the creed of the Christian Najashi. Shaykh-ul-Islam said that those who were the followers of Imam Ibn Tamiyya, Hafiz Ibn Kathir, and Allama Qayyam, needed to ponder over this point. He said that Mawlid-un-Nabi Conference (S.A.W.) proved that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) is the Master of the Universe. He said that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) is not only the Prophet of human beings but also of all creations present in the universe.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri drew the attention of those who thought that MQI exaggerated the greatness of the Holy Prophet should know that neither is the greatness of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) limited, nor can it be limited. One thousand palaces made up of light and pearls would be dedicated to the slaves of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) on the Day of Judgment and according to interpretation of Imam Wahidi, one million houses would be built up in Paradise for the slaves of the Prophet (S.A.W.).
Dilating upon the message of International Mawlid-un-Nabi Conference (S.A.W.), Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that MQI was a movement dedicated to the promotion of the love of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). He said that the hundreds of thousands of people had not come for Tahir-ul-Qadri, but it was a raging ocean of slaves of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). He said that MQI stood against terrorism, extremism and militancy and was espousing the values of moderation, tolerance, love, and peace in every nook and corner of the world. He asked the people to imbibe the values of piety in their lives and convey the real message of Islam to the people.
The program concluded on the offering of Durood and greetings on the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri led a special Dua on the occasion. Fireworks were put on display, which lighted up the entire area from Data Darbar to famous Badshahi Mosque.