Biography of Shaykh ul Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri
By: Mariam Khalid, Sheffield, UK
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri was born on the 19th of February in 1951 in the Jhang district of Pakistan. His father Dr Farid-ud-Din Qadri was a very skilled doctor in the medical field, an excellent religious scholar, an exceptionally articulate poet and speaker and last but not least a very great spiritual leader and saint of his time. He was greatly respected amongst family members as well as members of the community. His father’s income meant that they had enough money to lead a comfortable life but not a life of luxury as his father also financially supported many poor people. Dr. Farid-ud-Din was an exceptionally eloquent speaker and he specially inclined towards mysticism and spirituality. He received his spiritual orientation from Naqib-ul-Ashraf Ibrahim Sayf-ud-Din Jilani of Baghdad. He imbibed knowledge from Faqih-i-Azam Mawlana Muhammad Yusuf Siyalkoti, Muhaddith al-Azam Mawlana Sadar Ahmad al-Muhaddith Lylpuri and Mawlana Sayyid Ahmad Qadri. In addition to these venerated figures, he acquired further knowledge from Baghdad and Damascus. He was especially indoctrinated by al-`Arif al-Kabir Shaykh Muhammad Makki ibn Ja`far al-Kittani of Damascus about the teachings of Shaykh al-Akbar Ibn `Arabi. His understanding of Hadith was immensely added to through association with Mawlana `Abd-ush-Shakur al-Muhajir al-Madani at Madina Munawwara.
From a very young age, Shaykh-ul-Islam, without pressure, was in the habit of reading the tahajjud prayer. During the winter months his father would come to his room every night with milk, halwa and warm water. As he heard his father’s footsteps he would instantly stand up out of respect and on leaving his father would say, ‘Son I have warmed up some water for your wudu and I have also brought you some milk and halwa.’ Such was the training that Shaykh-ul-Islam received from a very young age through the gentle efforts of his parents in order to spark and enhance his interest in the direction that has today showered its pearls of wisdom and knowledge to people like you and I.
In 1955 Shaykh-ul-Islam started his academic education and alongside this he started his Islamic education in 1962. Interest in spiritualism was sparked in his early years as witnessed everyday at home through his father who he heard crying and weeping whilst in the state of prayer. He started reading books related to spiritualism and stories of great Awliya Allah (friends of Allah). Through this Shaykh-ul-Islam learnt how to read Urdu. Such was his childhood that the days were spent busy engaged in schoolwork whereas the evenings and nights were spent in gaining religious knowledge and gaining closeness to Allah Almighty [swt] through nafl prayers and dhikr.
As Shaykh-ul-Islam grew older his desire to be alone and worship Allah [swt] increased. Travelling 3 or 4 miles everyday on a bicycle to a deserted river called Chenab in order to be by the riverside losing himself in spiritual worship such as nafl prayers and dhikr of Allah Almighty became a self-imposed practice. He found peace and tranquillity away from other people and worldly distractions thus returning home late after Isha prayer. Finding no peace in rest or sleep, pleasure was sought through immense difficulty and restlessness. He dedicated his entire strength of youth in order to travel along the path of attaining knowledge.
Successfully enrolling at Faisalabad Government College where he spent two years studying he still travelled 160 miles everyday to get to the college, choosing not to reside on campus as he wised to return home to continue his studies with his father in order to develop his spiritual training. At this point in Shaykh-ul-Islam’s life the day began at 3am. After reading tahajjud prayer he would make the long bus journey to college. Such was his determination he requested from his teacher whether he could take leave from the last lecture, Urdu, to return home on time to study with his father. Even the fatigue of studying all day or the travelling on a bus would not extinguish the attachment to learning embedded in Shaykh-ul-Islam’s character. Such precious sacrifices were mirrored by his father who travelled 100 miles from work in order to get home to teach his son for at least 5 or 6 hours every evening.
Every Saturday Shaykh-ul-Islam would go to Data Darbar in Lahore. Walking barefoot all the way to the shrine and he would spend his nights in constant dhikr, nafl prayers and tahajjud prayers then travel to Faisalabad College in order to start his classes the next morning and by midday would travel home to his father. He never felt the need to rest or sleep. He would spend all his time either studying or worshipping and would go without sleep or rest for a whole two days, never feeling the need to stop and rest as he was happy with his lifestyle of being dedicated solely to his studies and the worship of Allah Almighty. Holidays were another great opportunity to gain knowledge spending this in the company of his teacher in a village. Shaykh-ul-Islam mentions the day began at 3 am by reading the tahajjud and fajr prayer. Then the whole day was dedicated only to the attainment of knowledge. Missing breakfast and lunch they would have a short break after Asr prayer and then study till 11 o’ clock at night. Overall they would spend all their time, effort and energy in great devotion of drowning in the ocean of vital and countless knowledge as Shaykh-ul-Islam also continued with his worship at night after his studies with his teacher. Village life only offered the bare necessities so much so that teacher and student would sit on a charpaee (wooden bed) with a pillow placed in the middle for placing books. Such were the conditions of attaining religious knowledge throughout the days of youth, not caring about worldly desires or pleasures.
During this period there came a point in Shaykh-ul-Islam’s life when he desired to distance himself from this world so much so that he wanted to get lost in the deepest of jungles, away from all worldly associations to allow death to overtake him whilst in the jungle as he wanted to focus all his energies solely in unveiling the realities of love towards Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him). He requested his teacher Mawlana Abdul Rashid to speak to his father telling him to forgive his son, to consider that this son was never born and to give Shaykh-ul-Islam permission. His father refused so Shaykh-ul-Islam went to his parents. Falling on his knees, he began crying profusely and shivering. Seeing the pain and anguish of their son, his mother and father asked, ‘Son what is the matter?’ Shaykh-ul-Islam replied, ‘I will tell you but first promise me that you will agree with me.’ But his parents told him that they couldn’t promise him anything without knowing the cause of his distress. He told his parents that his heart had gone from this world and that whatever he had learnt and studied was enough for him; he had seen enough of the world and would like them to forgive him and for them to consider that they never had Shaykh-ul-Islam as a son. He said that his two younger brothers would help and look after them and pleaded to his parents to just let him go and forget about him. In reply to Shaykh-ul-Islam’s tearful pleas his father said to him, ‘Son what are you saying? I went to the Kabah and whilst clutching the cloth of the Kabah I prayed and asked Allah Almighty for you and now you are telling me to forget you! I asked for you for a purpose.’
Shaykh-ul-Islam continued to tell his father about his unease concerning this world and said that he would die because of his bad condition. His father then asked him whether he remembered in 1963 when all the family went to perform umrah because the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted Shaykh-ul-Islam to visit him and whilst they were there Shaykh-ul-Islam had a dream in which the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) gave him a bowl of milk and told him to distribute it amongst the people of the world. His father stressed that if he leaves the Ummah then how will he be able to distribute the milk amongst the Ummah; as the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted him to do. What would become of the vision in the dream? His father made Shaykh-ul-Islam understand that running away from the world is not the right thing to do. The right thing is to stay in the world, take part in business and worldly matters but at the same time attain closeness to Allah Almighty. The hand works for the world but at the same time the heart works in the remembrance of Allah Almighty – both aspects exist in union with each other.
He continued to say that you have to fight against and challenge the forces of the nafs, Iblis, wealth and the whole world. Live amongst these forces but challenge them and win the nearness to Allah Almighty. Leaving the world does not mean to literally leave but it means to live in the world but have no love of the world in your heart and his father said to him that he already has no worldly love in his heart so he has no need to run away. Then his father said that they both should pray to Allah to make Shaykh-ul-Islam’s heart go towards the direction that is right for him. Over the period of the next 6 months Shaykh-ul-Islam’s condition slowly changed and he began to understand his father’s reasoning and was happy with his father’s decision.
Due to his father’s prayers both his heart and mind realised that in order to win the fight to attain the closeness to Allah Almighty you have to fight it while living in the world and his heart became very strong regarding this new understanding.
After this difficult and testing time had passed, Shaykh-ul-Islam wished to study law or Arts, although his father wished for him to become a doctor. He believed that the medical field would require him to spend a great deal of time working in hospitals but he wished to assist the Muslim Ummah in other ways. However on his father’s request he took the exam in order to get into medical school. The results showed that only Shaykh-ul-Islam and another student had received the highest results so the medical school decided to accept the eldest one out of the two. Shaykh-ul-Islam prayed that he would not get in and sure enough the other student enrolled into the medical school due to being 3 months older than Shaykh-ul-Islam.
Then later Shaykh-ul-Islam received a merit scholarship to the Punjab University, where he was in 1st position for Islamic studies and for Urdu he was in 2nd position despite the fact that during college he did not officially study Urdu. Shaykh-ul-Islam’s main interest was to read books and he wanted to buy many different books on various subjects but his two younger brothers were also studying and he did not want to become a burden on his father. In order to save money for books, Shaykh-ul-Islam would have one meal some days, avoid using public transport and instead travelled 14 miles on a bicycle.
In 1974 Shaykh-ul-Islam’s father fell ill. During caring for his father he was awarded scholarship from Harvard University because he had achieved a gold medal breaking the record at Punjab University. When he asked his father he would remain quiet and did not give him the permission to go. His father told him the reason for this not because he did not want his son to study a PHD but because if he were to go to America in February then he would not be able to attend his father’s funeral. He died on the 2nd of November in the same year from a heart attack.>/p>
Shaykh-ul-Islam explains the circumstances leading up to the death of his father. Shaykh-ul-Islam’s father had spent his wealth in the way of Allah Almighty, he was a very pious, god loving, kind hearted and charitable person and so he did not like to save money in the bank account. At the time of illness his bank balance was 1800 rupees. Shaykh-ul-Islam was instructed by his father to withdraw that money and use it for his treatment but to refrain from taking any loans, as debt would be a great burden for him in his life.
His father told him up till now he had a life full of love and care but the next stage in his life would be full of difficulties and he had already been told 30 years previously that his death would be caused by a heart attack. This conversation between father and son took place in October 1974.
His father regained stable health for a short while thus he was able to attend a huge Islamic gathering in which Shaykh-ul-Islam was to deliver his very first speech in front of such an audience. His speech was so sensational and remarkable that after the speech was complete people thought it marked the end, the grand finale so they began to disperse although one speaker was still left to speak. People began coming up to Shaykh-ul-Islam’s father and congratulated him and kissed Shaykh-ul-Islam because of his spectacular performance. Shaykh-ul-Islam saw that there were tears in his father’s eyes, with hands raised he was uttering, ‘Oh Allah the responsibility that you had given me I have now completed it. I have seen the strong influence of Tahir today and now having fulfilled my duty of making Your Tahir for You I do not want to stay away from You any longer, please take me because now I have no use in this world.’ He kept repeating these words and tears kept streaming down his father’s face. Emotions were very strong and all the surrounding friends were also moved to tears. They asked Shaykh-ul-Islam’s father why he felt like that because he had yet to see his son’s future achievements as this was only the beginning, but his father told them that his duty had been done and now he wanted Allah Almighty to call him.
When Shaykh-ul-Islam’s father passed away he only had 50 coins and he started this next stage in his life with only 50 coins. He had to send his letter of resignation to the college where he worked as it was at a distance to his house and they refused a transfer. So at this point in his life Shaykh-ul-Islam was left unemployed and had also lost both of his parents, as his mother had passed away 6 years previously and the responsibility of providing for three sisters and two brothers all of who were younger than him fell on his shoulders. Shaykh-ul-Islam gave the 50 coins that he had to his brother Javaid and sent him to Multan in order to get an education. Shaykh-ul-Islam had to resort to taking loans from one of his friends to provide food, clothing, pay bills etc as well as paying for Javaid’s education. Once he found his young sister in the kitchen crying, assuming that she was upset because of the passing away of their father, he went to her and comforted her and asked her the reason for her crying and in between her tears she replied, ‘Javaid has returned home during the night and his foot is really badly injured, it is bandaged and his toes are injured, he is in pain. Shaykh-ul-Islam was very shocked and went to his brother to enquire what had happened. His brother reluctantly said, ‘I knew that the money you gave me for my studies was all that you had and that you took out a loan to cover the expenses at home and I also knew that you will be paying my college fees through loan money. By chance I had 3 days holiday from college so I thought that I would help you.’ His brother had started to work at a building site for those 3 days in order to financially help Shaykh-ul-Islam but whilst working he had an accident which had left him with a badly injured foot. Shaykh-ul-Islam was very upset after hearing this and he told his brother that it was his duty to provide for the family, in whatever way he got the money and that he did not need to go out and work while Shaykh-ul-Islam was alive.
In 1976 Shaykh-ul-Islam got married and also established ‘Mahaz-e-Hurriatt’ a forum for the youth in order to motivate and educate them in the way of good. Shaykh-ul-Islam spent day and night working hard for this forum in order to create motivational awareness amongst the youth by delivering speeches etc and he also used to spend time doing his voluntary based law training. By this time Shaykh-ul-Islam’s vision of bringing about a change in society and helping people at large became very clear. His brother Javaid was part of ‘Mahaz-e-Hurriatt’ and it was during these circumstances that Javaid had completed his chemical engineering course. Shaykh-ul-Islam was the only one providing money not only for his family but also for many of his cousins and so he was hopeful that once Javaid had completed his education he would become a strong helping hand in providing for the family but soon after he took his exam death unexpectedly came upon him.
After his brother’s death Shaykh-ul-Islam had lost a very dear, loving brother who was also a very dedicated and committed partner in his mission and his life. Shaykh-ul-Islam himself washed the body of his brother but he did not have any money for his brother’s grave or shrouds thus had to borrow money from a friend who gave him1000 rupees. For the next six months Shaykh-ul-Islam hardly slept, ate or took part in any worldly matters and spent all his time in the state of constant worship. He had taken an oath and asked Allah that any good deed that he had done in his whole life or if anything in his life had pleased Allah then he wanted the reward go to his brother who had lost his life so young. These were the truly heart felt feelings of Shaykh-ul-Islam. He prayed for Allah to show him a sign regarding the happiness and status of his brother so that his heart may become content with acknowledging that on the Day of Judgment with the grace and blessings of Allah and the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) his brother would be granted a high status. Then one night came when Shaykh-ul-Islam says that he saw something so beautiful that even if he had thousands of brothers who died it would be worth it.
At this point Shaykh-ul-Islam had a part time job due to completing his law training but there would be instances when despite borrowing money the family would still struggle financially, so many times without telling anyone Shaykh-ul-Islam would take a dish, furniture or something else of value and pass them on to friends so they could take them to the market to sell in order to get money to survive on a daily basis. During the days he would struggle to make ends meet at home and during the evenings he would travel to different corners of Jhang in the mission of spreading the message of Islam. Although the financial difficulties faced by Shaykh-ul-Islam were immense he never let his sisters, sons or daughters feel any pain or loss.
During this time Shaykh-ul-Islam’s health weakened and his first heart problem occurred in 1978 and because of the lack of money he relied on local doctors to give him medicine. While the doctor would come and visit him, he would leave prescriptions but the medicines were not affordable and for days the prescriptions would remain under his pillow. No medicine was ever bought due to the difficult financial circumstances. This shows the level of selflessness that Shaykh-ul-Islam undoubtedly possesses – he would take out loans in order to make sure that his family was happy but he would not take even a rupee to spend on himself while he was ill. Due to not getting any treatment his condition worsened to such an extent that Shaykh-ul-Islam’s vision was often blurred. This period of illness lasted for 6 months and the doctors, Shaykh-ul-Islam’s family and friends all became very worried about him but then by the blessings of Allah Almighty and His Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) these 6 months passed.
Also in 1978 Shaykh-ul-Islam published his first book called ‘Nizam-e-Mustafa’ and a conference was held in Jhang for the release of this book. By this time Shaykh-ul-Islam’s vision, message and objectives regarding his mission to uplift and help the Muslim Ummah were well known to everybody in Jhang. Despite the fact that this conference symbolised the strong missionary vision of Shaykh-ul-Islam and that many scholars attended the conference, it still did not receive any media coverage, as Jhang was a relatively quiet and remote place. After having seen the lack of media coverage, many people including Shaykh-ul-Islam’s colleagues informed him that Jhang was not the right place for the spread of such a great mission. During this period Shaykh-ul-Islam was offered a job in the High Court but he was told that he would not be able to have any other commitments i.e. he would not be able to work for his mission. Upon hearing this Shaykh-ul-Islam rejected the job as his mission came first. He did not want a job that would not allow him to carry out his mission. Then he got a job as a lecturer at the Punjab University Law College in Lahore. Shaykh-ul-Islam himself came to the conclusion that Jhang was not suitable for the mission and the message of the revival of Islam and that it should be moved to Lahore. Before the family moved to Lahore Shaykh-ul-Islam gathered his whole family and in their presence all their furniture was distributed amongst the poor and needy. Despite the fact that the family had no money instead of selling the furniture it was distributed. The only items that they kept were the furniture that Shaykh-ul-Islam’s wife received from her parents because that was her own property. This was then loaded on to the back of a lorry and with Allah Almighty’s name they set off from Jhang. People used to say to them where are you going? nobody goes and leaves their home but Shaykh-ul-Islam and his family were part of a great and exceptional mission that many people even today cannot comprehend and this is the reason that in 1978 the whole family moved to Lahore.
This was the beginning of a new stage in Shaykh-ul-Islam’s life. His salary from his job as a lecturer was 900 rupees and they lived in the Law College hostel flat and later on he became the joint manager of the hostel. By this time they also had two children, Fatima and Hassan. The expenses in Lahore were great and there were four of them in the family. As soon as they arrived in Lahore Shaykh-ul-Islam started the work of the mission. He got in contact with local people and organisations. As the awareness of the mission grew more people tended to visit their home and consequently the expenses also increased due to providing food for the guests. So in order to give the mission the best possible start, behind closed doors Shaykh-ul-Islam’s family had to go through difficulties at home. After about 10 or 15 days the money would run out and because both Fatima and Hassan were very young they required milk to drink but times would come when there wouldn’t be any sugar available for the milk and sometimes there would be no milk. The family would go days without having any food at all. Shaykh-ul-Islam felt shame to ask for loans as it was a new place and on some nights both Fatima and Hassan would cry all night because of not having any milk. Shaykh-ul-Islam says about his wife that may Allah Almighty grant her a high status because she had to go through many difficulties during this period of change and she dealt with it in the best possible way. On the other hand during the midst of these hard times Shaykh-ul-Islam had started to tour around Pakistan in order to spread the message of his mission and this process was well under way by this time and so consequently all the travelling also required money and so in this way the expenses kept on increasing. At home Shaykh-ul-Islam would go without food and in the outside world cars of students and associates would come to pick him up and escort him to different places because of the establishment of Minhaj-ul-Quran. No one would know very different and extremely opposite circumstances existed in Shaykh-ul-Islam’s home life and his life outside with Minhaj-ul-Quran.
There used to be 800 students staying at the hostel and as Shaykh-ul-Islam was the joint manager the workers at the hostel slowly became aware of the hard circumstances of Shaykh-ul-Islam and his family. Everyday food was prepared for those 800 students in Shaykh-ul-Islam’s hostel and one day one of the workers suggested to Shaykh-ul-Islam’s wife that on the days that they have flour but no fire in order to make chapattis then they could give the flour to the worker and get the chapattis made in the hostel kitchen. Shaykh-ul-Islam’s wife put this suggestion forward to her husband and Shaykh-ul-Islam replied that the flour may be theirs but the fire that it will be cooked on was not theirs and if he provided food for his family from the fire that belonged to someone else then how would he save them from the hell fire? Shaykh-ul-Islam’s wife understood this wisdom of her husband. Shaykh-ul-Islam remained the manager of the hostel for a whole two years but during this time he never even tasted the curry that was being cooked in the hostel. So the endless days and nights of going without food continued for years to come and all the while Minhaj-ul-Quran was on the rise and was fast gaining recognition. At times he had no money for the bus but with putting his trust in Allah Almighty he used to step out of the building and by the grace and mercy of Allah Almighty some student or another would be outside waiting to give him a lift to the campus. In this way Allah Almighty helped Shaykh-ul-Islam and did not let the world see the real circumstances. Truly Allah provides for those He loves.
Another incident again shows us the truly remarkable character of Shaykh-ul-Islam. Three months before the birth of his son Hussain, Shaykh-ul-Islam thought that they should start saving whatever money that they could in order to avoid any problems for when the time of birth arrives. So they started saving up and they had saved about 2000 or 3000 rupees. Now a while after this incident Shaykh-ul-Islam was due to deliver a Friday sermon and the topic was to avoid keeping money that is not needed. So he came and told his wife that he is going to deliver this speech and tell people that they should spend the money that they do not need but at the same time they had money saved at home and he was certain that whilst they still had this money saved, he would not be able to stand in front of the people and deliver the speech so he said that they should spend it. His wife agreed and they distributed all the money amongst the poor and then he delivered the speech the following week. The time of birth had arrived and one of Shaykh-ul-Islam’s friends arrived with a car to take the family to the hospital. The very next day Shaykh-ul-Islam was scheduled to go Karachi to deliver a speech. Shaykh-ul-Islam’s wife was admitted in the hospital and the hospital staff asked for an advanced payment but Shaykh-ul-Islam told them that he would pay the total bill after having returned from Karachi and just before the release of his wife. The hospital agreed and the bill kept increasing with each moment. Shaykh-ul-Islam informed his wife about his departure to Karachi and he left his wife in the hands of Allah Almighty and set off for Karachi. After having delivered his speech the next day he rang the hospital and received the good news of having a baby son. After the birth all the relatives and family members arrived at the hospital and started giving money on this joyous occasion and the sum amounted to 900 rupees and with this money the hospital bill was covered.
When Shaykh-ul-Islam developed heart problems he went to America for treatment. Before leaving he told his wife that he did not know whether he would return alive. Thus telling her of investments and matters of concern alongside telling his wife to marry again if he was to die, to which she refused and prayed that Allah Almighty keeps him safe. Doctors in America told him he had three to six months to live. When alone the first wish that entered his heart was to visit the tomb of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and so he rang his friend and told him to arrange the visa and flight in order to perform umrah. The Saudi Arabian embassy refused because it was against their law to grant a visa to a person who was visiting only for the purpose of getting medical treatment. He came back and informed Shaykh-ul-Islam about this but Shaykh-ul-Islam told him to go and try again, but once again they refused to grant a visa. Then on the following night Shaykh-ul-Islam saw his presence in the company of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was granted and so the next morning he rang his friend and asked him to go to the embassy ad ask for the third time. His friend was very reluctant to go but this time his passport was stamped and they granted Shaykh-ul-Islam the visa.
Upon the return from umrah the condition of Shaykh-ul-Islam’s heart began to improve and gradually within six to eight months the heart became normal. The doctors used to check Shaykh-ul-Islam regularly every week and as the heart started to improve the doctors became confused as to what was happening – they couldn’t understand how this could be possible. How could the heart go from being so weak and near to not working altogether to gradually picking up strength? The doctors were left bewildered.
After receiving this news about the acceptance of his wishes that he expressed while on umrah, Shaykh-ul-Islam realised that most of his precious time from morning till two or three in the afternoon was spent in college lecturing and when he returned frequently was very tired. But evenings were spent in the way of Minhaj-ul-Quran and on organisational work so he decided to spend all his time in the way of the mission as he had promised to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and so he resigned from his post as a college lecturer. Afterwards he was then offered the job as part time and he continued it for about six or seven years but his main priority was given to the propagation and revival of Minhaj-ul-Quran. During this time a Minhaj-ul-Quran office was opened in Shadmaan. There were 40 other people with Shaykh-ul-Islam and the membership process had begun. In the evenings he would go and open the office himself, clean the table and chair, read his post and reply to it, do the register and continue with the missionary work from there. He would also deliver regular lectures in the office and there were times when Shaykh-ul-Islam used to write books, proofread them, paste them, take them to the printers and associate with different printers concerning the price rates and he would also hire a wagon in order to go and collect the books. This was the process with which the establishment of Minhaj-ul-Quran began.
Once the organisation was well on its way someone informed Shaykh-ul-Islam about a piece of land that was up for sale in Shadmaan. Shaykh-ul-Islam called four of his friends and discussed it with them, they all agreed to buy the plot. After having paid the deposit on the land they arranged a meeting with the executives the next day and put forward the proposal of buying the land. They refused to help in this organisational project due to the financial cost involved. Shaykh-ul-Islam reassured them and told them to contribute as much as they could and he would deal with the deficit because he believed with that this is the mission of the Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and Allah Almighty. He further said whenever the efforts of the people are not enough then Allah Almighty will send angels in that place to help the mission but one way or another this mission will be completed. After hearing this the executives fell silent because after hearing such a great response they were not left in a position to say anything. The land was registered and belonged to Minhaj-ul-Quran within six months.
Once Shaykh-ul-Islam had gone to Jhang on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha when he got a phone call from colleagues telling him that there was land for sale in Lahore that would be ideal for the mission except the deadline for its bidding was the following day. Shaykh-ul-Islam immediately went to the plot and saw the land but as they had already purchased the smaller land there was no chance of having money ready for the next day. So Shaykh-ul-Islam got his prayer mat out and whilst prostrating he prayed to Allah and said ‘Oh Allah I have chosen the land that I want to use for your mission and to spread Islam and now you arrange the means of buying it.’ After having prayed he stood up and congratulated all the others saying that the land was now theirs and belonged to Minhaj-ul-Quran. They were confused as to how this could happen but Shaykh-ul-Islam told one of the colleagues to go to the seller and convince him to keep his offer open for them when he returned Shaykh-ul-Islam had the money ready to give to him and so the land became theirs and this is the same land that today holds the main headquarters of Minhaj-ul-Quran in Lahore.
It is a great miracle and blessing of Allah Almighty as he himself provides for the mission. Afterwards the plot in Shadmaan was sold and with this money the rest of the price was paid. Another land sale came to the attention of Shaykh-ul-Islam, belonging to the Housing and Physical planning department of the government, which was bought where the Minhaj University was established.
While buying the plot of land for the headquarters Shaykh-ul-Islam sold his house in Samarabad and built a house near to the centre. When the house was being built, before it reached the top level, the construction work stopped because of the shortage of money. Shaykh-ul-Islam sold his shop, which he had invested in years previously that was run by his business partner. Friends heard about this and one come offering money to Shaykh-ul-Islam but he refused to take the money and when the friend asked Shaykh-ul-Islam how he would survive he replied that Allah Almighty would make a way him and his family. This conviction opened a way for Shaykh-ul-Islam and his family. Some years before Shaykh-ul-Islam had gone to the UAE and recorded TV lectures for Abu Dhabi TV who called him telling him that he was due his payment for the work he did with them. Shaykh-ul-Islam was reluctant to do so, as he had done this in the way of Allah however Abu Dhabi T.V assured him this was a common practice, which was paid to all scholars.
The amazing aspect of Shaykh-ul-Islam’s life is that on an organisational level he was involved in the handling of millions of rupees whereas at home he didn’t have any food to eat and the family would spend countless nights without food. Many times they would go without the simple necessities such as milk or sugar. Whilst at home Shaykh-ul-Islam never had food but when he was outside delivering speeches in great public gatherings he would use all his strength and energy in delivering an effective speech. This makes one question how did Shaykh-ul-Islam and his family manage to stay strong and remain patient? Shaykh-ul-Islam tells us that during those nights when they had no food they would spend the whole night in the remembrance of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) they would remember the many nights when the Prophet himself would go without having any food and these thoughts filled Shaykh-ul-Islam and his family with strength; they were like a current of courage, patience and energy that reached and penetrated straight to their hearts. Along with the up rise of Minhaj-ul-Quran the mission of the revival of Islam, this also gave them the ability to cope in hard times.
Since the beginning of Minhaj-ul-Quran Shaykh-ul-Islam or his family have never taken from the money belonging to Minhaj-ul-Quran. All the money that is raised from the missionary work is spent on the mission alone. Even though Shaykh-ul-Islam has never taken any money from anyone him and his family are more than happy because they have the best possible treasure – which is the approval and pleasure of pleasing the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and Allah Almighty, what more can anybody want? Even though there are many enemies, rivals and difficulties in the way of the mission. Minhaj-ul-Quran has always stayed strong and will Insha’Allah continue to stay strong until the end of time.
This concise biography portrays a valuable picture of the journey of learning and spiritual training. The difficulties and hard times that Shaykh-ul-Islam has had to triumph over truly show us the essence of how great a character and entity he is, although Shaykh-ul-Islam himself has never considered events in his life to be difficult as we undoubtedly would. These events that Shaykh-ul-Islam has mentioned are only a small fraction of his life and they serve as a gift of motivation and courage for us if only we seek to realise the wisdom and beauty that lay behind them. Such is the aspiration of this great man despite having a very simple, basic home life, he has never felt difficulties to be difficult or painful events to be full of pain because he has always left everything in the hands of Allah Almighty and His Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him).