Interfaith Dialogue — A Peace Mechanism

The Promotion of Peace and Interfaith Harmony

While all of the world’s major religions preach the message of peace, unfortunately it is a reality that tensions do exist between the proponents of these religions. These will often manifest as religious controversy or inter-faith and intra-faith conflict. Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri,The founder of Minhaj ul Quran International however, has been at the forefront of efforts to enhance understanding between the Christian and Muslim communities and build bridges between their respective followers. Through his personal statements, numerous lectures, speeches and publications, he has created an environment where the rights and sentiments of the Christian minority are respected by the wider community. And his message of tolerance, universal brotherhood and love is being propagated by Minhaj-ul-Qur’an Centers throughout the world by the offer of friendship and by visits to Christian, Jewish, Sikh,Bahai ,zouristrians or Hindu places of worship.

In order to promote practical steps for the promotion of interfaith relations and socio-economic harmony, Sheikh-ul-Islam, Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri established the Centre of Interfaith Relations at the Minhaj-ul-Qur’an Pakistan International Headquarters on 20th of March 2008 and appointed senior graduate of Minhaj University Lahore,Mr. Sohail Ahmad Raza (Minhajians) as its Director.

The basic responsibility of the centre is to develop better socio-economic relations between the followers of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Baha’i and Zoroastrian faiths. Moreover, the centre will take practical steps to protect the rights of those who follow these religions and to promote religious harmony by participating in their religious festivals.

The centre for interfaith relations at Minhaj-ul-Qur’an Pakistan International is committed to strengthening its relations with various religious representatives and religious organizations in Pakistan. It also recognizes the importance of relations with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Vatican City, and the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury.

In order to develop better understanding among world religions, in 2016, Sheikh-ul-Islam, Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri also established the School of Religions and Philosophy at Minhaj University Lahore. Dr. Herman Roborgh from Australia was appointed as the first Head of the Department.

In line with the message of peace and tolerance taught by Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Directorate of Interfaith Relations Minhaj-ul-Qur’an International, in Pakistan organizes regular gatherings and joint programs in order to highlight the mutually shared values of the Christian and Muslim faiths and promote inter-religious cooperation and harmony. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri took the unprecedented step of allowing Christians to worship inside the Minhaj-ul-Qur’an Mosque, a bold and symbolic gesture in recognition of the right of freedom of worship of Christians and their friendship with Muslims.

“Today, in the history of Pakistan and the Subcontinent, is the first time that a Muslim scholar has welcomed members of the Christian community, of which it is not possible to find a similar example. Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri has opened the doors of Minhaj-ul-Qur’an Mosque for us in which to pray. Dr Qadri has begun a new chapter in inter-religious relations.” (Bishop Andrew Francis, Chairman of Christian Coordination Council,Catholic Church of Pakistan Multan Diosics on 15 March 2002).

Christmas is of course a special time for Christians, and in recognition of this fact, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri sends out Christmas cards to prominent Christian organizations and personalities, a unique practice among prominent Islamic scholars. Christmas programmers’ are held all over the world at Minhaj-ul-Qur’an centres attended by Christian bishops, priests and other dignitaries, a measure of the esteem Muslims have for Christian faith and practice and a reflection of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s own message of religious tolerance and universal love and respect for humanity. First time in the history of Pakistan he also established the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Forum on 9th November, 1998. Director of Interfaith relations Minhaj ul Quran International (Pakistan) with other senior office bearers attend religious festiviles, seminars,conferences and cultural or musical events organized by the religious organizations to promote religious harmony and interfaith dialogue.

Directorate of Interfaith Relations Minhaj ul Quran International was recently the recipient of Interfaith Harmony and Peace award from Christian organization and Archbishop of Pakistan, which recognized their contribution to the promotion of peaceful relations and dialogue between the Christian and Muslim faiths.

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