SUPREME Islamic authority Shaykh al-Islam wal Muslimeen Dr Muhammad Tahir al-Qadri joined co-workers at an `Eid al-Fitr dinner in London, United Kingdom on Sunday 5th October 2008. The dinner was held to mark the end of the sacred Islamic month of fasting and to celebrate the feast of al-Fitr. The event also attended by: Mufti al-Asr al-Shaykh Mujahid al-Chawdary of Bangladesh, Imam Muhammad Sadiq al-Qurayshi of Minhaj al-Quran centre in Newham, al-Haj Sufi Muhammad Aslam of Upton Park, Ishtiaq Ahmad president of Minhaj al-Quran centre in Newham and al-Shaykh Abu Adam al-Shirraz al-Elahi of Leicester.
Dr Muhammad Tahir al-Qadri arrived on an unofficial visit to the United Kingdom whilst on route to Canada. Dr Tahir al-Qadri is expected to depart from the UK on Monday after arriving from a ten day spiritual retreat in the city of Lahore in Pakistan. The spiritual retreat held in the last ten days of the sacred Islamic month of Ramadan is said to have attracted some 50,000 people. On record it is said to be the largest annual spiritual retreat after the sacred sanctuaries of Makkah al-Mukkarrama and Medina al-Munawwara.
Founder and Patron in Chief of Minhaj al-Quran International organisation Shaykh al-Islam Dr Tahir al-Qadri said: “Ramadan is a time for us through both obligatory and supererogatory worship to improve our spiritual being and to use our will power to control our vain desires and to suppress our lower ego.” He also said: “I would like to thank the Mutakafeen that took part in the religious retreat and to everyone who extended their generous help and support from across the world.”
Forty individuals of various backgrounds: Pakistani, Egyptian, Bangladeshi and Mauritanian observed the ten day religious retreat at the Minhaj al-Quran International centre on Romford Road in Forest Gate. Some of whom are said to have observed blessed visions of the sacred Prophet (peace be upon him). Chairman of the organisation’s National Executive Council Shaykh Shirraz al-Elahi told listeners: “This year’s annual retreats at our centres throughout the country exceeded normal or average figures then previous years.” He also said: “All attendances were broken during the holy month of Ramadan and on the night of Laylat al-Qadr – Night of Power. All records of donations were broken in history since the organisation’s establishment in the United Kingdom”
Chief organiser of Al-Hidayah – The Guidance Educational and Residential Retreat, Dr Zahid Iqbal said: “It would be fair for me to say; to describe the spiritual retreat in Lahore is something difficult to put in words. Words alone are difficult to describe what I would like say.” He added: “However what I would like to say, I am honoured, someone sinful like me has had the unique opportunity to observe the ten days retreat and expiate for my sins.” Dr Zahid Iqbal a medical consultant by profession observed the ten day religious retreat in Pakistan and had the spiritual association of Shaykh al-Islam Tahir al-Qadri. Dr Zahid Iqbal returned to the UK on Friday, Dr Iqbal said: “The lectures of Shaykh al-Islam were truly wonderful lectures that covered all topics” He added: “They were breath taking lectures. It is truly a wonderful experience. I would like to thank the organisers of this `Eid party”. His Excellency Dr Muhammad Tahir al-Qadri is said to have delivered vast lectures on: women’s rights, men’s rights, the rights of parents and blood relatives.
Mufti wal Faqih al-`Asr ash-Shaykh Mujahid al-Chawdary of Bangladesh, told listeners: “I asked myself where should I go and pray during this holy month of Ramadan and Allah Almighty brought me here at door of the holy presence of Shaykh al-Islam Tahir al-Qadri. I beseeched Allah to make for me a al-Wasila – a means of approach and verily Allah the Most Gracious has provided me with this means of approach unto Him.” Mufti Mujahid al-Chawdary is the author of numerous books on contemporary Islamic topics in the Bangladeshi language. His most famous book: “Milad-e-Benazir” written on commemorating the Mawlid al-Nabi had the forward to the book written by Shaykh al-Islam Tahir al-Qadri whilst his holiness was in al-Hijaz performing al-Umra – the minor pilgrimage. Mufti Chawdary presented a bouquet of flowers and a copy of his book: “Milad-e-Benazir” to Dr Tahir al-Qadri upon his arrival at the event. Dr Qadri warm heartedly embraced Mufti Chawdary and received the gifts, Dr Qadri said: “Marhaba – Welcome! Marhaba – Welcome! Mashallah – God’s Wish!”
Coordinator of the Muslim Youth Forum in London, Muhammad Muzzamil told the audience the youth had raised a substantial amount of money for the youth organisation collated through the sales of DVD lectures and literatures of Dr Muhammmad Tahir al-Qadri. Several or more stalls were set up to cover the entire span of East London on the sacred Laylat al-Qadr Night of Power. One individual professed life membership of Minhaj al-Quran International organisation after watching a DVD lecture of the organisation’s founder and leader.
Report written by: Asif Shakoor, Minhaj al-Quran, London, United Kingdom