First Milad ceremony in the Baptist Church in the sub-continental history
The Muslim Umma celebrates the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) in a way that befits the occasion and the holy month of the Rabi-ul-Awwal is the source of immense happiness for the Muslims around the globe. Likewise, the celebrations on the occasion of Christmas also demonstrate the love and devotion of the Christian community for Hazrat Isa (A.S). Directorate of Interfaith Relations of Minhaj-ul-Quran International and Mother Teresa Welfare Society jointly organized Mehfil-e-Milad in the Baptist Church in Shahdrah for the first time in the history of the Sub-Continent, which was presided over by Revered Chaman Sardar, whereas Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri; president of MQI's Supreme Council, was the guest of honour. Besides prominent and distinguished personalities belonging to different walks of life, leaders of Sikh, Christian and Hindu leaders participated in the programme. The proceedings of the programme got underway with recitation from the Holy Quran. Pastor Noor Masih recited the verse from the Bible, whereas the Choir of Baptist Church sung the peace song. Sahibzada Iftikhar-ul-Hassan Qureshi, Bilali Brothers, Shahzad Ashiq recited Naat.
Presenting the welcome address, Revered Chaman Sardar said that the celebration of Milad of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) is an historic occasion and it would further be extended to other parts of the country in order to foster peace, tolerance, mutual harmony and interfaith dialogue. He said that Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri sowed the seed of interfaith dialogue about 12 years ago, which has now ripened into a grown-up tree. The Milad programme in a Church speaks volumes about the MQI's commitment to advance dialogue among civilizations and religions for establishment of peace and harmony in a world threatened by terrorism and extremism. As a mark of interfaith communal harmony, Revered Chaman Sardar garlanded the leaders and Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri lighted the peace candle.
In his speech, Sahibzada Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri said that the historic Milad ceremony held in a Church would play its positive role in fostering peace, interfaith dialogue and tolerance not only in Pakistan but also send strong message to the rest of the world. He felicitated Revered Chaman Sardar for taking the initiative and hosting the event in a Baptist Church. He said that Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri set up Muslim-Christian Dialogue Forum 12 years ago in compliance with the Sunna of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) wherein he had hosted the Christian delegation from Najran and allowed them stay and pray in the Prophet's Mosque 1400 years ago. He said that MQI has been celebrating the Christmas for last 12 years in the same spirit of tolerance and mutual respect. He said that when the future historian would write in the history book that during the times of Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, the Muslims celebrated Christmas and the Christian community also celebrated the Milad of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), the event would be remembered as glorious chapter in the human history. Hindu leader Dr Manhur Chand and Sikh leader Sardar Bashan Singh felicitated the Muslim Umma on the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) and declared the celebrate the event in the coming year. Sheikh Zahid Fayyaz, Muhammad Irshad Tahir and MNA Malik Riaz also spoke on the occasion. Sohail Ahmad Raza thanked all guests for their participation in the programme.