Muhbeen Hussain, the founder of British Muslim Youth and a follower of controversial Pakistani cleric Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, responds to a statement by more than 90 scholars which labelled him “misguided.”
A few days ago I was sent an article on 5Pillars listing a number of scholars signing a letter calling Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri misguided.
I wondered what new accusations they had to lay this time. To my surprise, the signatories had presented nothing new, but the same old reheated, decontextualised and intellectually imprudent arguments. The question then arose, why were these scholars circling this time? Why now?
And then it hit me. In just a matter of weeks, on 3rd August 2019 in the UK, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri is about to release the English version of his 8 volume Quranic Encyclopaedia (first published in Arabic). An Encyclopaedia which is a guide to the Quran, covering over approximately 5,000 different topics, with a 400-page contents section.
This scholarly work being released is not just an academic achievement for the modern day, but something that has been missing for centuries.
The Encyclopaedia will connect not just scholars, students of knowledge or even those of the Arabic language with the Quran. It will be a guide for us all. If you have an interest in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Neurology, Astronomy, Embryology, Psychology, Politics, Economics, the Quran’s commandments on a legal state, the Quranic commandments about family life, about your neighbours, about your fellow Muslims and non-Muslims, about Islamic sciences, and much more, are all contained within this one Encyclopaedia.
Of course, no Individual can claim to cover all the topics within the Quran and there is no such claim with this scholarly work, but it is an exemplary piece that will connect the individual needs of every Muslim directly to the Quran.
It is mentioned in the Glorious Quran: “And We have revealed to you that Glorious Book which is a clear exposition of everything and is guidance, mercy and glad tidings for the believers.” [Al-Nahl 16:89]
The Quran has and always will be a means to guide mankind but unless we can connect with it, more than through the basic rituals of recitation, we will remain lost. Any unbiased mind will be able to appreciate the magnitude of such work and the benefit Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri has done for this Ummah by producing this work to connect the Ummah with the Glorious Quran.
If this was one’s lifetime’s work, it in itself would be a stupendous achievement. However, for Shaykh-ul-Islam, this is but one of a thousand authored books, of which 550 have already been published.
His timely academic efforts have always provided a shield for the Ummah in the modern day. When Islam was attacked as a violent, bloodthirsty and extreme religion it was his 500-page fatwa that destroyed such myths and was the most comprehensive rebuttal on the subject.
In the field of Hadith alone, his scholarly efforts are such that there may be a fair claim that there is not another alive on this earth who has researched this field in more depth than Shaykh-ul-Islam. His contribution in the field of Hadith consists of a study of 500,000 Hadith, in both their chain of transmission and text. Consequently, he has compiled hundreds of books of Hadith.
Alongside all of the above, Shaykh-ul-Islam is a world-renowned Islamic authority, orator and a founding member of Minhaj-ul-Quran, that consists of millions of supporters across 92 countries in the world.
When the Almighty has granted so much to one individual, of course, it is human nature that some may become envious.
However, it is revealing that for all the fatwas and the harsh language used by these scholars towards Shaykh-ul-Islam, that between them they have been unable to produce a single piece of academic work as a rebuttal, nor have they published a single piece of work comparable to anything Shaykh-ul-Islam has produced.
In layman terms or how we say it on the streets: there are levels. There are some whose ability allows them to preach from the minbar at Jumuah prayer, and then there are those whose “Khidmats” will live on for centuries after they have passed. It is commonly said, you only learn the value of something once it has gone.
Fatwas against the leading luminaries of their times are nothing new. The great Imams of Hadith, the grand Imams of Fiqh, the giant philosophers like Imam Ghazali, the mystics like Mevlana Rumi, and many more were subject to the same.
Their physical presence may no longer be with us, but the dry ink on parchments lives on through the Ummah. We may not be around to witness it, but I have no doubt the Quranic Encyclopaedia and all the other works of Shaykh-ul-Islam will continue to illuminate the hearts of the believers until the end of times.
You can follow Muhbeen Hussain on Twitter here. The views in this article, as with all opinion pieces on 5Pillars, are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect those of 5Pillars.