The 24th annual International Milad Conference was organized under the banner of Minhaj-ul-Quran International to celebrate the occasion of birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet (saw) on March 20, 2008 at the historic Minar-e-Pakistan. Held on the night of 11th of Rabi-ul-Awal, this year’s International Milad Conference was attributed to safeguarding the dignity and status of the Holy Prophet (saw). Hundreds of thousands of people participated in this greatest gathering of the Islamic world with women being half of them. The President of the Supreme Council of MQI Sahibzada Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri and member Supreme Council Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri co-chaired the conference, whereas central Amir-e-Tehreek Sahibzada Miskin Faiz-ur-Rehman Durrani, Nazim-e-Ala Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, Naib Nazim-e-Ala Sheikh Zahid Fayyaz and Director Foreign Affairs G.M. Malik were the guests of honour. Those from among the prominent guests included Pir Khalil-ur-Rehman Chishti, Sajjadah Nasheen Kamonki, Malik Muhammad Afzal Khokar MNA, former provincial minister Syed Raza Ali Gallani, Maher Muhammad Ishtiaq MPA, prominent religious scholar Dr Sarfraz Ahmad Naeemi, Secretary General PAT Anwar Akhtar Advocate, Secretary General Tehreek Ulama-e-Pakistan Syed Ali Ghazanfer Kararvi, Sajjadah Nasheen Naqibabad Pir Syed Naqeebullah Shah, Shaykh-ul-Hadith Allama Muhammad Miraj-ul-Islam, Mufti Abdul Qayyum Khan Hazarvi, Haji Imdadullah Khan, former test cricketer Ata-ur-Rehman, Sajid Mahmood Bhatti, Shahid Latif Qadri, Sohail Ahmad Raza, Dr Tanvir Azam Sindhu, Mir Muhammad Asif Akbar, Mian Zahid Islam Anjum and others belonging to all walks of life. These guests were seated at the stage, whereas a large number of other guests like religious and political leaders, technocrats, lawyers, Showbiz and sports stars were also present in the VIP Enclosure.
The regular proceedings of the inaugural session started at 9 p.m. with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Qari Khalid Mahmod Farooqi of COSIS. Waqas Ali Qadri of COSIS conducted the proceedings during the first session. Afterwards, Minhaj Naat Council, Shahzad brothers, Shahzad Hanif Madni, Muhammad Sarwar Saddique, Muhammad Raza Faridi and other Naat Khawans recited Naats. The audience expressed their feelings by waving the small flags being the name ‘Muhammad (saw)’. Allama Ghulam Murtaza Alvi, senior Naib Training, presented brief introduction of the books of Shaykh-ul-Islam.
A separate venue was set up for the women who were half of the audience where the security teams of Minhaj-ul-Quran Women League had made fool-proof security arrangements. Muhammad Shakil Sani of Directorate of Training and Director of Minhaj-ul-Quran International Dubai Muhammad Mohsin Khokar conducted the programme during the first session. The second session of the International Milad Conference got under way at 12 at night. Allama Ghulam Murtaza Alvi took over the proceedings as anchor. Due to attendance of lakhs of people, no place was left for new arrival of audience. The second session was telecast live on ARY and QTV. Three big digital screens were also installed in different parts of the venue for the audience. This session started with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Qari Allah Baksh Naqishbandi followed by presentation of Naat by Hafiz Anser Ali Qadri of COSIS.
Presenting the welcome address, Nazim-e-Ala Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi said that protection and safeguarding of the honour and status of the Holy Prophet (saw) is part and parcel of every believer’s faith. An insidious conspiracy has been hatched against the Muslim Umma in the form of committal of blasphemy. The publication of caricatures of the Holy Prophet (saw) in the western and Danish newspapers has provoked the Muslims across the globe. It is an attack on the emotions and values of more than 1.5 billion Muslims. The presence of more than a million people in the International Milad Conference under MQI is a proof of the fact that they are ready to protect the cause of the Prophet’s honour. He said the conduct of the International Milad Conference at a time when the wave of terrorism is sweeping across the country is not less than a miracle. The lovers of the Holy Prophet (saw) have demonstrated their love and commitment for him by participating in this programme. He also extended his felicitation to the central leaders of Minhaj-ul-Quran International for excellent arrangements of International Milad Conference. He said last year’s conference beat all previous records of 23 years but this conference even broke the record of the last one as well. He said this great gathering for the protection of sanctity and honour of prophethood was a caravan of the lovers of the Prophet of Islam (saw) who were committed to the cause. No power of the world can stop this caravan. It is destined to reach its destination and this destination lies in the holy city of Madina. No power of the world can deprive our hearts of the love of the Prophet (saw).
Speaking at the occasion, prominent religious scholar and central leader of Ahl-e-Sunna, Dr Sarfraz Naeemi said we were present at that historic gathering of Milad Conference, which was a clear message to the evil forces that the Muslims would not bear any insult to the person of their beloved Prophet (saw). We have demonstrated our heartfelt association for the protection of sanctity of the Prophethood through our participation in the International Milad Conference. This huge congregation conveyed a clear-cut message to the outside world that no person belonging to any culture or religion can allow blasphemous acts to be committed. He said the republication of nefarious caricatures for last two, three years was an international conspiracy against the Muslim Ummah. We would have to design a befitting response to these attacks on our religion and culture. He said that he was asking the International Community through the platform of Minhaj-ul-Quran that legislation be carried out against such reprehensible acts. A limit to freedom of expression should be fixed and no such act be repeated in the future. He demanded if anyone dared do it, he should be prosecuted in the International Court of Justice.
The member of Supreme Council of Minhaj-ul-Quran, Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, started his speech at 12:45 p.m. The topic of his speech was “Survival of association with the Holy Prophet and protection of sanctity of the Prophethood (saw)”. He said all of us were gathered in the Milad Conference for a cause and a very sacred purpose. Today people were blaspheming against the Holy Prophet (saw) but this unfathomable ocean of people at the Minara-e-Pakistan was a glaring testimony to the fact that Allah Almighty Himself elevated the status of the Prophet (saw) and his status would stand intact in spite of the condemnable efforts of some people to defame it.
He said when Allah Almighty created man, he put life into him. This human life owes its functioning to billions of cells, which Allah Almighty created. Then there is a nucleus in every cell and every nucleus has 30, 000 to 80, 000 genes. This collection of genes is called guenon. Allah Almighty created these genes in the form of 23 pairs of chromosomes. The background of this scientific research was similar to that of the faith of human life. One such cell in the person of a man is Islam, which has a nucleus called Iman. 80, 000 genes in this cell are source of belief and faith and that source of faith is the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (saw). Gene is such a thing which once created by Allah has the concentration of all characteristics and attributes of a person such as how would one walk, how would one perform physical functions etc. Thus the whole personality of man is reflected through genes. Now a question arises here as to why Allah Almighty divided the chromosomes into 23 pairs in human beings?
Science is constrained to answer this question. On the other hand, the answer provided by the faith is that this digit corresponds to the 23 years of Prophetic life when the Holy Prophet (saw) trained and guided his people. What was the reason why Allah Almighty did it? Through this specification of chromosomes in 23 pairs, Allah Almighty established the fact that the creation of any person belonging to the Umma of the Prophet (saw) should not be beyond 23 years of Prophetic teachings and preaching. Thus when a follower is brought up under a specific order, he can not even think of not loving the Prophet (saw). The life and the faith of such a person revolve around the pivot of the holy Prophet (saw). His days and nights are centred on 23 years of his life.
The purpose of this preface was that if people wanted the security of their faith, they should strengthen their relationship with the Holy Prophet (saw). If they want the survival of the Prophethood, they would have to ready themselves to fight for its protection and be ready to lay down their life for its sake. Allah Almighty elevated the status of the holy Prophet (saw) and Himself took up the responsibility of protection of the Prophetic dignity and sanctity. Whenever Allah Almighty addressed His Prophets, He addressed them by name. But He did not address the Holy Prophet by name; rather He used such words as ‘O Prophet and O wearer of mantle’ etc. The purpose was to train the Umma that it should be very watchful while addressing the Prophet (saw) lest it should commit any blasphemous act.
He said every Umma taunted its Prophet who was ordained to respond to the taunt. On the other hand, when people offered taunt to the Holy Prophet (saw), Allah advised him to be quiet for He would respond to it Himself. Then Allah replied back in such a way as the Holy Quran says, “Do not raise you voice above the voice of the Prophet (saw)”. Do not ask the Prophet (saw) ‘listen to us’ but request him to ‘look upon us’. Whatever the Holy Prophet says, says it from God. Allah Almighty responded to every taunt and allegation raised against the Prophet of Islam (saw) coupled with this fact that He elevated his status and promised to protect its sanctity.
Allah Almighty raised the status of the Holy Prophet (saw) so high that He wrote down his name on every door, leaf of tree and pillar of paradise. So when someone recites Kalima, he cannot embrace Islam without reciting the name of the Holy Prophet (saw). Azan (call for prayers) is not complete without the mention of the Holy Prophet’s name (saw). The same is the case with prayers. Mean and accursed people who blaspheme against the Holy Prophet (saw) are not aware of the fact that the space they breathe in and the food they eat are the blessing of the Holy Prophet (saw).
At the conclusion of his speech, Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri appealed to the international community, world powers, human rights organizations and the government of Pakistan to formulate legislation against such acts. If legislation can be carried out with regard to Holocaust of the Jews, why cannot such a process be undertaken for the sake of 1.5 billion Muslims? The best way to respond to such insulting and defaming acts was to popularize the message of the Prophetic love in every nook and corner of the world. This is the message of today’s conference and Minhaj-ul-Quran International.
The President of the Supreme Council of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, Sahibzada Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri said in his speech that ranks of this caravan of the lovers of the Holy Prophet (saw) would keep getting swelled in spite of all the efforts of those who commit blasphemous acts. The presence of hundreds of thousands of people was a glaring proof that no power of the world can demean the status of the Holy Prophet (saw).
He said when Allah Almighty created this universe, he erected it on the foundation of the Prophetic light. This Prophetic light is the essence of this universe. It is with the light of the Holy Prophet (saw) that this universe came into being and it is with the same light of Prophet (saw) that this universe would come to an end. Quoting a Hadith narrated by Imam Qustalani he said the Holy Prophet (saw) is the first soul of this universe and Allah Almighty created him over and above every one else. Referring to the interpretation of the same tradition put forward by Imam Yousaf, he said the holy soul of the Holy Prophet (saw) is the origin of all other human souls. He said Allah Almighty created the Holy Prophet (saw) as light and this light caused the emergence of universe. Then Allah divided this light into three parts namely high sphere, middle sphere and low sphere and named it as human sphere. Then Allah divided these three spheres in the universe held together by a pivot in the middle of these spheres that He called it ‘Reality of the Holy Prophet (saw).
According to a Hadith narrated by Abu Jaber Bin Abdullah, he presented himself in the company of the Holy Prophet (saw) and asked him that may his parents be sacrificed upon him! Then he requested the Holy Prophet (saw) to inform him of the first thing which Allah Almighty did first of all. The Holy Prophet (saw) replied in response to it that Allah created my light first of all. Then Allah kept dividing this universe with this light. When Allah created human beings with Prophetic light, he divided it into four parts i.e. Lawh (Tablet), Pen, Universe and divided the fourth one into further four parts, which were distributed in the universe.
He said that is a rule that everything goes back to its origin from where it came. In modern scientific terminology it is called law of gravity. If we ponder over it, it would be known that Allah Almighty firstly created the origin and then spelled out its identification. The characteristic of this law is that when someone would throw a strong stone into the air, it would come back. By this we mean the magnetic attraction of the Holy Prophet (saw), which has been invested in every object of the universe. Whatever the Holy Prophet (saw) would look at, it would get back to him. Allah has invested everything in the universe with the law of gravity. The love for the Holy Prophet (saw) is present in every organic and non-organic object of the universe. That is why the moon would be split into two and would be one again at the signal from the finger of the Holy Prophet (saw). The animals would stand respectfully in his company. Today this is the accursed man who is raising his finger against the Holy Prophet (saw).
He said it is same gravitation of the Prophetic love to which Minhaj-ul-Quran International is persuading people. People are getting away from this gravitational force due to a number of factors. Minhaj-ul-Quran International is bringing them back from the brink of destruction to the place of mercy, peace and harmony. People have told the world today through their immense participation in the International Milad Conference that the status and sanctity of the Prophet (saw) would not be affected by blasphemous acts. This caravan of love would continue to march on in spite of all the problems in its way.
After the speech of Sahibzada Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, Nazim-e-Ala Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi presented the resolution for the protection of sanctity and honour of the Holy Prophet (saw). The resolution said that the Holy Prophet (saw) is the messenger of peace and his honour is dearer than the lives of all people in the world. The more the condemnation of the defamatory caricatures, the less it is. The resolution condemned the conduct of the Western media and demanded of the International Court of Justice, OIC, world powers and the government of Pakistan to take up the matter with the United Nations. The declarations of all such newspapers in which blasphemous caricatures were printed should be cancelled. No property and assets should be damaged at this critical time nor should such a step be taken, which further harms the image of Muslims and Islam in the Western world. This peaceful protest would continue as long as legislation on this issue is not undertaken at the global level.
The lacs of participants and guests at the stage endorsed the resolution by holding one another's hands and waving small flags. After Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din presented the resolution in English language and the participants endorsed it as well. Before the start of the address of Shaykh-ul-Islam the Bilali brothers presented Naat at 2:15 p.m.
The telephonic address of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri started at 2:18 p.m. Addressing the hundreds of thousands of people present at the International Milad Conference, he extended his gratitude to Allah Almighty Who blessed the humanity with the Holy Prophet (saw) and enabled us to establish our relationship of love, obedience, and respect with him and celebrate the occasion of birth of the Holy Prophet (saw) during this night of 12 Rabi-ul-Awal as his followers and slaves.
He said it was dire need of the hour that we revived the association with the holy Prophet (saw) and whatever age and world we may live in, our souls should belong to the age of 1400 years ago. We should be able to relive those times marked by peculiar set of values and traditions, which were established during the Prophetic period and the periods of Huzrat Abu Baker (RA), Huzrat Umer Farooq (RA), Huzrat Usman (RA) and Huzrat Ali (RA). He said there is no harm in enjoying oneself of the modern facilities like new cars, new technology, new house and modern knowledge provided every thing is acquired through rightful means. But one should never adopt new belief and faith. Rather one should strengthen ones relationship with the old faith, for the older the faith is, the brighter its light would be. Every new belief is a mischief and paves the way for more darkness and degradation. It alienates us further from the Holy Prophet (saw).
He said one should accept or reject new thought, technology, ideas and material goods from the standpoint of rationality but one should never use ones intellect to define ones relationship with the Holy Prophet (saw) because this solely is the domain of heart and insight. The lovers never measure the talk of their beloved on the touchstone of rationality. Where there is dominance of intellect, criticism creeps in there and with the onslaught of criticism, faith is gone. The first lesson Allah Almighty imparted is to believe without seeing. Now it is characteristic of the heart not of intellect. One should never use ones intellect in matters related to the Holy Prophet (saw). It is the love or Ishq as described in mystic parlance, which should be the basis of all human actions with regard to the Holy Prophet (saw). One should extend ones heartfelt respect to anything and everything related with the person of the Holy Prophet (saw) for it is part of faith.
He said love for the people of the Household is part of the faith because the Holy Prophet (saw) held up Hassan (RA) and Hussain (RA) on his shoulders and made them play. The Holy Prophet (saw) said whosoever would love them would love me. The importance or otherwise of everything is measured on the touchstone of its relation with the Holy Prophet (saw). We love the holy places because they were the Prophetic places. Allah is the Master of all cities, then why did the Holy Prophet (saw) said that when I would rise up on the Day of Judgment, people belonging to Madina would be rise up with me followed by people of Makkah and the other people at large?
The Holy Prophet (saw) prayed to Allah Almighty to increase love for Madina more than that of Makkah. This tradition has been reported in Sahih Muslim and Bokhari. He (saw) said our love for the city of Madina is similar to that of Makkah but then added hurriedly it should be more intense than love for Makkah. Why more love for the city of Madina? The answer is simple: it is the place where the Holy Prophet (saw) lived. No doubt Makkah is the House of Allah but the pivot of Allah's love lies in Madina. I am not saying this. It is established from the tradition of Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bokhari.
They said the Holy Prophet (saw) prayed to Allah Almighty to increase the blessings of Madina and increase it so much that it becomes double than that of Makkah. What is reason behind this difference? They said Hajj is performed in Makkah but why more blessings associated with Madina? Except this there is no other reason that Madina is the home of the Holy Prophet (saw). It is where he lived and now lies buried. That is why the Holy Prophet (saw) said the whole faith of the entire world would be concentrated in Madina like a snake that gets back to its hole for shelter. A time would come in the world when the falsehood and infidelity would prevail and faith or Islam would be limited to Madina.
He said love for Makkah would acquire its meaning with reference to how much love one has for Madina. It was for the people of Madina that the Holy Prophet (saw) said whosoever intended to inflict harm and ill on the city of Madina, he would be melted in the fire of hell in such a way as salt gets dissolved in the water. This is what he said for people of Madina. The Holy Prophet (saw) was teaching his followers that the direction of actions and intentions should be in the direction of the footprints of the Prophet of Islam (saw). If one is able to acquire this much perfection of love, then this love would be instrumental in achieving other associations and attachments of love. Let us revive this relationship and then pass these traditions onto our succeeding generations. There is a need to pass on this legacy. We tend to ignore their childhood and try to impart them these lesson when they come of age and are not able to learn new things. Then we grieve but it is no use crying over spilt milk then. If we transfer our traditions and value system to our future generations, only then will we be able to present ourselves in the company of the Holy Prophet (saw) on the Day of Reckoning.
He prayed to Allah Almighty to endow His blessings on that congregation and bless all those who took part in the Conference in any manner. Durood-o-Salam was offered at the time of dawn of 12 Rabi-ul-Awal followed by fire work as a mark of celebrations. Minhaj-ul-Quran Women League expressed their happiness by freeing pigeons in the air. The Conference ended on the prayers led by Allama Hassan Mir Qadri.
Highlights of International Milaad Conference
- Four gates were specified for entry into the venue. Gate no 1 and 2 were reserved for VIP guests and women, while gate no 3 & 4 were for general public
- Fool-proof security arrangements were made for the Conference. Scanners were installed with every gate. One window entrance system was adopted for entry of general public. Physical search was conducted at five different places in addition to placement of scanners
- The system of checking for VIPs was in place at five different locations at the gate no 1.
- Minhaj-ul-Quran International deputed 5000 security personnel on its own in addition to heavy police force and intelligence operatives.
- The youth of Minhaj-ul-Quran Youth League performed their security duty with codename of Mustafvi.
- Wireless system was used by the security workers of MQI.
- At 9 p.m. S.H.O of local police station reached the venue at the head of huge police force for security duty.
- A stall of Pakistan Awami Tehreek leaders was installed in front of gate no 1 for the purpose of welcoming the VIP guests.
- Roads leading to Minar-e-Pakistan saw traffic jams till 5 km due to rush of participants after 8 p.m.
- At 10 p.m. people were lined up till Azadi Chowk at gate no 3. The same was the magnitude of rush at the other gates.
- Two dozens counters of the Sale Centre were installed on the left side of the venue and people kept visiting them in flocks. Separate centre was arranged for women.
- A separate stall was fixed for sale of poster bearing the name ‘Muhammad (saw)’.
- Stalls of Directorate of Membership, Minhaj Youth League and other departments of Tehreek were installed on the left side of gate no 4.
- Temporary kitchen was put in place in the premises of stalls, where Milaad feast was being arranged under the supervision of Amir-e-Punjab Ahmad Nawaz Anjum.
- Milaad feast was offered at the end of Conference this year and one thousand goats were slaughtered for this purpose.
- All approaches leading to the main venue were decorated with welcome banners, flags of PAT and beautiful lighting.
- A heavy police force in uniform and plain clothes kept supervising security situation inside the venue.
- People started coming to Minar-e-Pakistan since 5 p.m.
- The participants were holding small flags in their hands bearing the name ‘Muhammad (saw)’.
- Venue was divided into three parts and iron fences were placed for barricades.
- Provision of cold water was made available at different place in the venue.
- The venue was jam-packed at 11 p.m., while people were still coming in their hundreds and thousands.
- Security personnel of Women Police were present in the venue of women.
- At 10:15 p.m. the participants of Gousha-e-Durood entered the venue through gate no 1 and they were seated at the front.
- Nazim-e-Ala Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi came at 10:15 p.m. along with Sheikh Zahid Fayyaz, whereas Pir Khalil-ur-Rehman Chishti and Amir-e-Tehreek Faiz-ur-Rehman Durrani came to the programme at 10:30 p.m.
- Sahibzada Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri and Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri were given red-carpet welcome on their arrival in the programme at 11:30 p.m.
- The presence of hundreds of thousands of women of MWL was the biggest ever gathering of women.
- VIP Enclosure was also made in front of the venue of Women League.
- Nazim-e-Ala thanked DIG and other Police Officials in addition to leaders of Tehreek in his welcome address.
- The second session of the programme was telecast live on ARY and QTV from 12:20 a.m. onwards.
- Sahibzada Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri started his speech in Arabic language.
- Allama Ghulam Murtaza Alvi presented the report of Gousha-e-Durood. According to this report, Durood has been offered for more than 4 billion times in a period of 2 years. The number of Durood offered during the months of February and March stands at 1 billion, 17 corers, 83 lacs, 80 thousand and 947.
- Rose petals were showered on Nazim-e-Ala and other guests at the stage during recitation of Naats.
- At 4 a.m. Minhaj-ul-Quran Women League freed pigeons in the air as a mark of happiness.
- The central stage comprising 50 seats was made on the raised ground of Minar-e-Pakistan.
- Press gallery was established on the left side of the stage. VIP Enclosure was allied to it.
- 25 and 22 sound speakers were installed on the right and left sides of the stage.
- The distance between stage and main venue was 25 meters.
- A large-sized backdrop of light green colour was erected at the back of the stage on which International Milaad Conference was prominently written. The name ‘Muhammad (saw)’ was written in red colour on the image of heart on one of its sides.
- The guests had occupied their seats till 11 p.m.
- A dispensary was also provided on the left side of stage where an ambulance was also available.
- The unit of Minhaj Internet Bureau and Minhaj Productions was also established on the left side a few meters away from the main stage.
- Dr Sarfraz Naeemi was sitting on the right side of Sahibzada Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri and Pir Khalil-ur-Rehman Chishti was sitting on left side of Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri.
- Five plasma TV screens were installed for the respected guests at the stage.