We praise Allah, The Aliyy, The Azeem and all glorifications are for Him, Who has created the heavens, the Earth, and all that is in between, and continues to create! We send salawat and salamat upon the Holy Last Messenger, Sayyidina Muhammad Rasul-e-Akram, his family, blessed companions, his Ahli-Bayt, and his followers.The Holy Last Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim.” It has been noted that in the history of Al-Islam, most Muslims studied the science of Holy Quran, the science of Hadith and jurisprudence solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and to spread Islam across the globe. They traveled great distances and sacrificed all worldly desires and gains to achieve their objective. Their diligence and persistence in the Islamic sciences only increased their iman (devout faith) and practice of Islam. The knowledge they obtained made them well known all over the ummah as those who were honorable, pious, dignified, humble and truthful.
On the contrary, these days there are those more interested in financial and political gain, so they attend Islamic universities, read a few books, give themselves an honorary title and associate with notable and respected figures in the Muslim world in hopes of gaining popularity and credibility in the eyes of the layperson. Their agendas are maintaining their fame and fortune. To realize this agenda, many tactics are put into motion overtly and covertly, such as funding and support from governments or groups whose mission and aim has nothing to do with Islam, or self-decoration—as mentioned earlier—with various titles and stations that are held dear to the hearts and minds of the Muslims at large.
Of the titles bestowed upon an educated man in the Muslim world, “Sheikh al Islam” is the most respected. This title is neither given frequently nor without merit. In his book, Al-Jawāhir ad-Durar fī Tarjima Sheikh al-Islām Ibn Hajar, Sheikh Shams al-din al-Sakhawi commences with a section defining the terms Sheikh al-Islam, Al-Hafiz, and Al-Muhaddith for the intelligent reader, stating that “Sheikh al Islam, as inferred from its use as a term among the authorities, is a title attributed to that follower of the book of Allah Most High and the example of His Messenger, who possesses the knowledge of the principles of the Science (of Religion), has plunged deep into the different views of the scholars, has become able to extract the legal evidences from the texts, and has understood the rational and the transmitted proofs at a satisfactory level.”
Sheikh Al-Sakhawi also reports (in his Al-Jawahir ad-Durar) that Imam Al-Dhahabi reported in al-Kashif on the authority of Ibn al-Mubarak: “The only one to carry the title Sheikh al-Islam is Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, radyallahu anhu, who preserved the zakat and fought against the apostates. Know him very well!” Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who is one of the four great mujtahid imams and a collector of hadith and Imam Burhan al-Din Ali ibn Abu Bakr al-Farghani, who wrote Al-Hidayah, both earned the title Sheikh al Islam. They were the epitome of such an esteemed title.
Al-Sakhawi added that, “At times, this title is given to those who have attained the level of friendship with Allah (Al-Wilāya), and from whom people derive blessings both when they are alive and when they are dead. Similarly, whoever has tread the true path of the People of Islam and has come out unscathed from the folly and ignorance of youth; and whoever has become a living apparatus for others in solving difficulties or winning a struggle, and a refuge in every difficulty: these are the meanings of the word as used by the general public.”
In the past, very few honorable men were given the distinguished title of Sheikh al Islam. With such stringent criterion, how is it possible that any man who sells his iman for worldly gain be allowed to travel the world claiming to be Sheikh al Islam?
We, the Ulema (Islamic scholars) at Al Azhar University, have conducted research on this matter due to the rise of false Imams and Sheikhs. They manipulate and prey on the weak and uneducated Muslims and therefore, we must warn you to keep away from them.
One such individual is Muhammad Tahir, a self-proclaimed Sheikh-ul-Islam and a self-proclaimed member of the Qādiri sufi order, operating under the name “Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri,” and now under the self-nominated title of “Sheikh-ul-Islam Tahir-ul-Qadri”. He is notorious for giving himself titles, and is well known in his country of Pakistan as a fraud. The Pakistani High Court of Lahore has declared him “a liar,” “dishonest,” “hungry and greedy,” and “a person responsible for making dramas”. A High Court verdict still stands against him for which he failed to plea in any court.
Added to his list of offenses, is the dishonor he has brought to the Qadiri Sufi order. He claims to be a member of this distinguished tariqa that enjoins right, forbids wrong and abstains from base and worldly desires. Yet, he violates Islamic Law by misguiding people, and selling his iman for fame and fortune. During Milad-un-Nabi (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him) celebrations in Pakistan, his picture was hanging in every corner of the capital, Islamabad. It has been noticed that he is currently planning a day-long Milad-un-Nabi event on June 3rd, at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York. If indeed, he is truly Sheikh al Islam and a Qadiri Sufi, then he should know using portraits of animate objects and living people as decoration is haram in Al-Islam. Any and every Sheikh (as well as student) of the Qadiri order knows very well that fame and prominence are a poison, the latter being a sign of an impure heart, as mentioned by the Chief of all Sheikhs, Sheikh Abdul-Qadir Al-Gilani (abundant blessings of Allah Ta’ala upon him).
In the article, A Charismatic Leader Transcending Borders of Nations and Religions: Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri by Mr. M. R. Malik and Mr. Raj Srinivasan, “Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri was given the title of Sheikh-ul-Islam by several major Islamic institutions and Islamic authorities of this time, because of his great contributions to Islam and the Muslim world.” With all the praise that has been written about him on his websites and in his literature, why have very important facts remained a mystery? Who made him Sheikh al Islam? What qualifications does he possess that warranted these unnamed institutions and authorities to confer upon him the title? Such praiseworthy credentials are worthy of being highlighted and elaborated for the general public to know, just as the case of a board certified surgeon who details his work- and academic-related background & credentials in order to substantiate his validity.
In his web-based biographical resources, we have seen that he has successfully penned nearly 1,000 literary works; however, his name has been assigned to books written by scholars that have spent their entire lifetimes to complete, with a so-called Sharh (explanation, commentary) given by him. Some of the scholars of Hadith, for example, include that of Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani, who compiled the Fath Al-Bari fi Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari, an extensive commentary of the Sahih Al-Bukhari Sharif that took 25 years to complete; that of Imam Abu Zakariya An-Nawawi, who compiled Al-Minhaj bi-Sharh Sahih Muslim, a likewise commentary of the Sahih Muslim; or that of Imam Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal, also referred to as Sheikh-ul-Islam Ahmed ibn Hanbal, who compiled and greatly expounded upon his Musnad Ahmed ibn Hanbal. Each one of these blessed men spent a great portion of their life compiling, researching, contemplating, and perfecting these sanctified works, so know that we find it immensely offensive that one would simply assign his name to their hard work and effort, attributing a baseless “commentary” to it. What works has he written exclusively, without plagiarism?
If speaking out against terrorism, suicide bombers and calling for world peace makes one worthy of being called Sheikh al Islam, then millions of Muslims all over the world should hold such a rank. Furthermore, summer camps for Muslim youth and interfaith dialogues have been occurring for decades in other Muslim organizations. Millions of books have been penned by countless scholars, yet, these noble people do not hold the title of Sheikh al Islam, although they are indeed more deserving.
One must ponder a few things. With the heavy presence of anti-Islamic propaganda in the media, why has he remained unscathed and unmentioned? While the vast majority of imams, Sheikhs and charitable organizations are being targeted and labeled “terrorists” by the media, Tahir ul-Qadri is heralded as the advocate for world peace. Media agencies such as BBC News, CNN and CBC News have praised him for his fatwa against terrorism, while ignoring or discrediting the same—if not more detailed ones—from other, more qualified Sheikhs. It is a known fact that these news agencies are run by the Zionists, leading us to our next question: From whom does Tahir ul-Qadri get his funding?
As with all politicians, corrupt leaders and other such exploiters of the human race, one finds multiple flows of financing as a result of self-started organizations, political ties, and memberships. Tahir ul-Qadri is the founder of “Minhaj-ul-Quran,” a global movement—extending both hemispheres—with a large membership base and following. Centers can be found as far east as the Indo-Pakistan region and as far West as America and UK.
Muhammad Tahir is credited with being the founder and chairman of the Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT), founded in 1989. In 1991, PAT and the Tehreek-e-Nifas Fiqh-e-Jafria, a Shiite political group, now known as “Tehrik-e-Jafria” signed a “Communique of Unity” in order to promote social and religious harmony. While this appears to be in the right direction for parties to work together, the political agenda became more and more apparent over time. In the course of his political career, his established ties with Shi’a political groups in Pakistan became more for the sake of political fame and advancement.
To appear politically liberal, he made deals with the Shi’a masses and started giving lectures in their mosques, Islamic centers, and schools; giving speeches on the Ahlul-Bayt (radiyallahu anhum), declaring that Shi’a and Sunni are the same, with flowery speeches, etc. Yet in this period, he never gave a single speech in Shi’a gatherings—predominately Rawafid—refuting or addressing their objections and blasphemies against the Sahaba Ikram and the Ummahat-ul-Mu’mineen (radiyallahu anhum). During that era, he earned good financial support from the Shi’a community in Pakistan and enjoyed heavy funding from Iran, who directly supports the Shi’a political groups in Pakistan.
We wish to know what agreement, whether open or private, Tahir ul-Qadri, a Pakistani born in Jhang, has made with Iran, who is an enemy of Pakistan that has focused a lot of energy and funds in the spread of Shi’a doctrine to the Southeast Asian region? With the current sectarian violence that is exchanging in Pakistan, this will increase only to ultimately result in a disastrous civil war. As political fiascos are unfolding in relation to the country of Iran, we find it alarming that he is reaping benefit from world events.
Muslims are to take heed of this warning given concerning this individual, and should also demand substantiation for his claims to titles and positions amongst the Shuyukh of the Qadiri order—a very high-level spiritual order known not only for its staunch adherence to Islamic principles, but also as defenders and preservers of Al-Islam. From his organizations’ websites, we find his alignment made with that of the current Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Al-Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad Al-Tayyab, yet neither Jami’a Al-Azhar, nor the Shuyukh within here, have conferred upon him the prestigious title of Sheikh al-Islam. In addition, he has neither earned by way of scholastic accomplishment, nor been otherwise authorized to don the Azhari Emama (white turban upon the red tarbush) that signifies successful completion of the academic rigors of our illustrious university.
Since being exposed by the Pakistani High Courts for the fraud he is, Tahir ul-Qadri is attempting to transfer his operations across the Atlantic to North America where he hopes to prey upon unsuspecting Muslims who know very little or nothing at all about him. Since America is not an Islamic state, it has been riddled in the past with deviants who have launched efforts at the exploitation of Muslim masses, which could not have been successful in those countries where Muslims are the majority and some form of Islamic laws were in place. Furthermore, such deviant individuals have abused the freedoms granted by The United States of America to establish a platform for their perversions and other such self-centered agendas, knowing that no Islamic recourse for their corruption and criminal behavior can take place on American soil.
American-born Azhari scholars, Amir Mujahid and Hassan Ali Qadri, have stated, “We are determined to banish him from our beloved country and we also warn Muslims—and all other God-fearing Americans—not to be fooled by his rhetoric, highly-funded egotism, fraudulent credentials, and non-existent associations.” The descendants of Ghaus al-A’zam and shuyukh of the Qadiri order have disowned Tahir ul-Qadri and said, “American Muslims must stay away from him.”
We have found that he has aligned himself with that of the illustrious Shuyukh of the Qadiri Silsilah, implying being capable of accepting Bay’ah - an eternal allegiance; yet, the head of the Qadiri order and the Gilani family, Al-Sheikh Sayyid Mubarik Ali Al-Gilani, has rejected him as incapable of being a competent guide, and thus branded him as “a fake Sheikh,” whom Al-Sheikh Sultan Bahu (Allah bless him) deems, “a death to a Talib (student).” It is also demanded to know why Tahir-ul-Qadri is spending so much money and effort to project himself, especially via pictures of himself and other forms of image-building, all of which are heavily frowned upon by the Qadiri order, and all of the competent Shuyukh and students that connect themselves with Al-Sheikh Abdul-Qadir Al-Gilani (rahmatullahi alaih).
If his claim is valid, then we, the Ulema at Al Azhar, demand that his proof be produced to us and we will present it to our Sheikh at Jami’ah Al Azhar Sharif. Furthermore, we state directly to Mr. Tahir-ul-Qadri: “If your sincere intention is to educate the Muslims, extend charity to those in need, and uplift the condition of the humanity, you should more appropriately return to your homeland of Pakistan, for Islam has died there, and there are millions of people in need. We will neither allow you to come to North America and create a bad name for Al-Islam and Muslims, undermining their past efforts and sacrifices, nor bring your political strife that you have caused in Pakistan to our shores.”