Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran, 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 IMQ 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 IMQ, the founding leader Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri stated:
"The primary aim of the Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran 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 IMQ has laid down four major objectives to achieve.
The IMQ 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:
The struggle of Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran has been classified into stages inevitable for its expansion and development:
1. First stage of IMQ struggle is 'Propagation' in which the ideology of IMQ is introduced to the people through Dawa. 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. IMQ 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. IMQ's Dawa 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 Dawa 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 Quran. This target is achieved through the following:
- Developing a link with the Holy Quran based on love.
- Abundant recitation of the Holy Quran.
- Meditating and contemplating the Holy Quran.
- Following the commands and injunctions of the Holy Quran.
- Preaching the commands and injunctions of the Holy Quran.
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 IMQ and get ready to work for the IMQ objectives are put into organizational structure. They become regular members and are tasked to discharge their Dawa 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 IMQ 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:
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 IMQ. In this stage, using all the training obtained, the members of IMQ 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.
5. Fifth stage 'Reformation' refers to consolidation of results achieved by IMQ 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:
Under the umbrella of his nascent organisation, Minhaj-ul-Quran, Shaykh-ul-Islam established the Jamia Islamia Minhaj-ul-Quran in Lahore on 18th September 1986, now known as College of Sharia and Islamic Sciences (COSIS), an institute of Islamic Studies which would provide scientific, modern and progressive subjects alongside traditional, classical Islamic sciences, a blueprint for the mass educational system that was to follow. Thousands of students have graduated from this institution by now, hundreds of which are scholars engaged all over the world in spreading Shaykh-ul-Islam's message of peace and modern scientific vision of Islam under his advice and continuous guidance. Various other wings of Minhaj-ul-Quran were established, including Minhaj-ul-Quran Youth League (MYL) on 30th November, 1988, Mustafawi Students Movement (MSM) on 6th October, 1994 , Pakistan Awami Lawyers Movement (PALM) on 20th February 1997, and crucially, the Minhaj-ul-Quran Women League(MWL), the first of its kind associated with any religious organisation in Pakistan on 5th January 1988, promoting the rights and interests of women in a strongly male-dominated society with full participation of the womenfolk. The Minhaj-ul-Quran Ulama Council is another most dynamic forum of IMQ that liaise with the religious scholars and authorities for coordination and organizing various programmes in order to work for greater harmony and unity among different religious sects of the society. This forum has proved instrumental in bringing about inter-sect harmony and cohesion and diluting and removing tensions if any.
In a country with a literacy rate of under 50%, Dr Qadri considered education to be a priority and established the Minhaj University Lahore (MUL) chartered by the Government, to provide higher education that would be accessible to the poor also. A remarkable large-scale education project, the Minhaj Education Society (MES) then followed in the early 1990s, which established hundreds of educational centres throughout Pakistan, accessible to both low income families and females. In the field of social welfare and disaster and poverty relief, Shaykh-ul-Islam formed a new sister organisation in 1989, later to be known as the Minhaj Welfare Foundation (MWF), which has benefited victims of natural disasters such as the Tsunami affecting Indonesia; the Bam earthquake, Iran; the South Asian earthquake in Pakistan, as well as various developments and educational projects in Pakistan and other underprivileged countries.
When the Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran started its operations across Pakistan for the revival of Islam, the Muslims living in the foreign countries in general and Pakistani expatriate community in particular got attracted due to its efforts for the establishment of peace and inter-faith harmony. The Da'wa work of Minhaj-ul-Quran International was started long before its organizational and administrative network was established. In order to communicate its message effectively across the five continents of the world, the Directorate of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was established in 1985 for better coordination. It is the result of untiring efforts of this Directorate that this network has spread across 90 countries of the world. This Directorate is ever busy strengthening and consolidating this network in foreign lands.
Farid-e-Millat Research Institute (FMRi), housing a huge reference library, a Research Hall, composing section and record room is a unique set-up that provides research assistance to Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri in his multiple projects in progress simultaneously. This institute was established on 7th December, 1987. A team of twenty highly qualified and skilled research scholars work tirelessly on various projects under the most enlightening guidance of Shaykh-ul-Islam.
The Minhaj-ul-Quran Press and Publications Department is tasked with the publication of books of Shaykh-ul-Islam and works in close collaboration with FMRi. It has so far published about 360 voluminous books of Shaykh-ul-Islam and sold hundreds of thousands number of copies of each book through its sale system in country and abroad. Its responsibilities also include timely printing of calendars, diaries, posters, portraits and other material of any kind related to printing. All the books of Minhaj Education Society are also produced by IMQ Printing Press. It is a self-sufficient set-up equipped with modern printing machines, folding and stitching machines and plate-making facility along with binding machines ensuring high quality products. The department also has its art and graphics section manned with most skilled designers. They produce designs of titles of the books, posters of Minhaj-ul-Quran for various programmes, titles of journals, advertisements, calendars, diaries, broachers and invitation cards.
Production Department: The main responsibilities of this department include recording of all the lectures delivered by Shaykh-ul-Islam, their editing and production on DVDs, VCDs, ACDs, video and audio cassettes, protection of master copy and their ordering in addition to fulfilling all demands of the IMQ sale centres. The master copies of all his addresses have been saved in a specific order. The activities of the department include audio/video recording, editing, preparation of documentaries and liaison with cable TV and other TV channels. Special CDs and DVDs are prepared for and delivered to TV Channels and cable networks. The Art and Film branch of the department is dedicated to design advertisements and make documentaries of different departments of IMQ besides making documentaries on Shaykh-ul-Islam.
Shaykh-ul-Islam has dedicated the entire income from the sale of his books and recorded lectures to Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran forever and does not charge even a penny in the form of royalty.
Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran is busy on strong footing in the spread of Islamic teachings and safeguarding the faith of youth. A vast network of computer systems has been put in place to interlink various offices and departments of the Central Secretariat of Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran. With a view to linking up various dispersed Islamic nationalities into one coherent whole and showing the true face of Islam, Minhaj Internet Bureau (MIB) has been established. The www.minhaj.org is the very first central website of Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran containing complete introduction of IMQ, its organizational structure, branches and departments. News and information regarding various activities being performed at the Central Secretariat or inside or outside of Pakistan are regularly posted on this site.
The Central Secretariat of IMQ came up at 365-M Model Town Lahore in mid 1980s. Spread over more than 8264 square metersm this is a state-of-the-art headquarter of IMQ, a nucleus of all the organizational features and management functions of planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling activities. It has offices for central leadership of IMQ and for its various other directorates and forums like Planning, Construction, Administration, Research, Communication, Production, Event Management, Media, Membership, Public Relations, Human Resources, Press and Publications, Da'wa, Training, Education, Magazines and Periodicals, Audit and Accounts, Finance, Minhaj-ul-Quran Women League, Minhaj Youth League, Minhaj Ulama Council, Mustafwi Students Movement, Minhaj Welfare Foundation, Minhaj Education Society, Gosha-e-Durood, and the Directorate of Foreign Affairs through which the Secretariat is linked up with all the overseas IMQ Organizations and Formations. Apart from these Directorates the Secretariat also provides administrative and financial support to its chartered Minhaj University Lahore (MUL), College of Sharia and Islamic Sciences (COSIS), the Minhaj College for Women and the Tehfeez-ul-Quran Institute. This grand administrative and organizational set-up runs the IMQ affairs all over the world through a grand body of leadership and supervision rooted deeply into a foolproof decision making system that enables it to function smoothly and ensure productivity at all levels.
The IMQ Supreme Council is the elite body governing the affairs of Minhaj-ul-Quran International all over the world. The ultimate authority is vested in the President Supreme Council. The Secretary Supreme Council coordinates functioning of the Supreme Council and enjoys the administrative authority of the Secretary General or the Nazim-e-Aala IMQ assisted by five Deputy Secretaries General or the Naib Nazim Aala. Central Amir-e-Tehreek is the custodian of IMQ Constitution and supervises monitoring and evaluation, audit, complaints and accountability departments along with Ulama and Mashaikh. He is assisted by Naib Amir-e-Tehreek in supervising these activities.
The IMQ's decision making phenomena are interlaced in a most refined hierarchy of the decision making bodies representing all levels of the IMQ organizations existing around the world. The Supreme Council is the Final Authority of IMQ headed by the responsible to the Patron-in-Chief IMQ Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. The General Council IMQ comprises all the Nazims or heads of the directorates and forums and the senior appointment holders of the organizations at Tehsil level. It is headed by the Patron-in-Chief IMQ or President Supreme Council in his absence. The decisions of the General Council are carried by two-third majority vote. The 63 member upper house of consultation (Markzi Majlis Shura Khas) is the policy making body of IMQ led by the Patron-in-Chief. Nazim-e-Aala IMQ conducts its affairs as Secretary. It takes the decision by simple majority vote. The members of lower house of consultation (Markzi Majlis Shura Aam) include all the provincial, divisional, tehsil level umara, nazims and heads of forums. It is also headed by the Patron-in-Chief. All policies pertaining to field organizations and its workers are put up in Majlis Shura (Aam) for its sanction and approval. It has the accountability power to scrutinize and take disciplinary action against irregularities at all levels including Central Executive Council (CEC) and Central Working Council (CWC).
The Central Executive Council (CEC) is headed by Nazim-e-Aala and all Naib Nazims Aala, all Central Nazims, Umara and Nazims Provinces and Azad Kashmir, Heads and Secretaries of forums in the country are its members. It prepares proposals for Majlis Shura, Supreme Council and General Council and may recommend amendment in the IMQ constitution. It has also the powers to approve annual budget of all forums and their projects. All Directorates of the Central Secretariat and field organizations in the country are responsible to CEC for their smooth functioning and productivity. The CEC meets quarterly. The Central Working Committee (CWC) comprises heads or nazims of all directorates in the centre besides editors of the Magazines and periodicals and presidents and secretaries of all in-country forums. It is headed by Nazim-e-Aala. It works on behalf of CEC and uses its powers and authority. Majlis-e-Muntazima is another decision making body that works as the representative of CWC in disposing off the day-to-day matters of the central secretariat. Still higher to Majlis-e-Muntazima is the Review Council enjoying the power to review and decide matters put up as appeal against decisions taken by Majlis-e-Muntazima.
This huge organizational set-up generate colossal amount of work in the form of periodical meetings of General Council, Majlis-e-Shura, CEC, and other bodies. These meetings and well stipulated programmes under various directorates require conference halls. To cater for this significant requirement, the Central Secretariat has an air-conditioned Conference Hall that can accommodate about 200 participants. The lighter programmes including morning assemblies are generally conducted in this hall. For larger programmes, however, where number of participants exceeds 200, a newly constructed commodious Suffa Hall is used for the purpose. The Library Hall of the FMRi is another facility that is used for such programmes.
In less than three decades, the Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran has made tremendous achievements in various fields of work. Taking its work span, time span and geographical work span, the results achieved so far are dazzlingly astonishing. Detailed information in this regard requires volumes of written work. We can have only the synopsis of the IMQ performance in terms of solid results it has produced under the most dynamic and galvanizing leadership of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.