Day Three: Urdu declamation contest

On the third day of week-long celebrations currently underway at COSIS (Minhaj University, Lahore) in connection with the 59th birthday of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Urdu declamation contest was organized on February 10, 2010. The topic of speech competition was "Islam as a religion of peace." COSIS vice Principal Dr Zahoor Ullah al-Azhari presided over the programme, whereas Rashid Mahmood; a renowned TV actor, Khawaja Muhammad Junaid, former Olympian and chief coach of Pakistan Junior Hockey Team, and Sohail Tanvir, star all rounder of Pakistan Cricket Team, were the guests of honour on the occasion. Pir Sayyid Jamil-ur-Rehman Chishti and Muhammad Hayat Saif (PRO of Pakistan Television) were also present among the distinguished guests.

Sheikh Zahid Fayyaz, Senior Deputy Secretary General, Col. (r ) Muhammad Ahmad, Mufti Abdul Qayyum Khan Hazarvi, Prof Muhammad Nawaz Zafar, Muhammad Mustafa (G. M. Malik), Sohail Ahmad Raza, Sayyid Farhat Hussain Shah, Qazi Faiz-ul-Islam, Dr Zahoor Ullah al-Azhari, Dr Muhammad Asghar Javed, Muhammad Ilyas Azami, Prof Abdul Quddus Durrani, Mumtaz-ul-Hassan Barvi, Ateeq Ahmad Haider, Mian Muhammad Abbas Naqshbandi, Shabbir Ahmad Jami, Sayyid Iftikhar Hussain Shah, Rana Muhammad Akram Qadri, Ghulam Mujtaba Qadri, Sabir Hussain Naqashbandi, Murad Ali Danish and Muhammad Kashif Bhatti were also present on the occasion.

The formal proceedings of the programme got underway with the recitation from the Holy Quran followed by Naat. More than fifty students, both male and female, from different colleges and universities participated in the Urdu speech competition. The jury for Urdu speech contest consisted of Prof Muhammad Ashraf, Muhammad Afzal Qadri and Prof Abdul Ghani.

According to the results, Khaliq-ur-Rehman (Raza Islamia College Islamabad), Tanvir Hussain (Government College Raiwind) and Fatima Bibi (Government College Samanabad) got first, second and third positions respectively.

In his speech on the occasion, actor Rashid Mahmood said that there is no denying the fact that Islam is a religion of peace and mercy and there is no coercion in it. Citing a quote of Hazrat Ali (R.A), he said that "one should not see who was saying but what he was saying." He said that Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is busy spreading the message of Islam, peace and knowledge in the entire world. He said that he was very pleased to see phenomenal contributions of Shaykh-ul-Islam in different walks of life. Minhaj-ul-Quran International is above discrimination and sectarianism. He said that it was unfortunate that Islam was being associated with terrorism, whereas it is a religion of peace and those perpetrating terrorism in the name of Islam could not be Muslims. The perpetrators of terrorism are neither Muslim nor Pakistanis.

Sohail Tanvir, star all rounder of Pakistan's Cricket Team, said that it was his first visit to Minhaj University and what he saw here exceeded his expectations. He said that the name and personality of Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri were known throughout the world and it was time that his teachings were spread to every nook and corner of the world. He said that the love and respect he got from the students of Minhaj University was unforgettable.

Khawaja Muhammad Junaid, former Olympian and chief coach of junior Hockey Team of Pakistan, said that MQI was growing into a strong tree and we needed to water it for the promotion of Islamic message of peace, dialogue and harmony in the world. He said that Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is the ambassador of Islam in the world and that is why MQI under his leadership is projecting the true image of Islam.

Pir Sayyid Jamil-ur-Rehman Chishti said that Islam is a religion of peace not only for the Muslims but also for the people of the entire world. The student community needs to put this message across through their knowledge and action. He said that the establishment of justice and equality was the dire need of the hour in the world.

Muhammad Hayat Saif, PRO of Pakistan Television, Dr Muhammad Asghar Javed and Sohail Ahmad Raza also spoke on the occasion. Hafiz Shakeel Akram; president of Bazm-e-Minhaj, thanked all the guests for their participation in the programme. Hafiz Nasir-ud-Din Chishti and Furrukh Sawaar conducted the proceedings of the programme.