Al-Hidayah 2007 : Residential Spiritual and Educational Retreat

Report by: Jawed Iqbal Tahiri

By the grace of Allah SWT the third annual Al-Hidayah Residential Spiritual and Educational Retreat has taken place at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, UK.

Hundreds of participants from all over the UK and Europe came to benefit from the one in a lifetime opportunity of spending four days in the company of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.

The previous two retreats were life changing for the young participants who were blessed with the opportunity of elevating their spirituality and to purify their inner-selves from lusts of the material world to be replaced by a longing for the Creator.

Alongside being a mufassir, muhadith and Faqih among a long list of responsibilities that Shaykh-ul-Islam has taken upon himself in order to carryout his work for the Ummah, he is also one of the greatest Sufi leaders of the time. He is the ultimate all-in-one entity perfectly qualified to meet all the needs of those who want to escape from the clutches of materialism. Knowledge alone is not sufficient for this, thus a mere scholar is unable to bring about these changes in his followers. It is only when oceans of knowledge merge with galaxies of spiritualism, does a person qualify to carryout such a task.

In a nutshell, Shaykh-ul-Islam is the perfect embodiment of the famous saying of Imam Malik bin Anas that classified the use of either Tafaqquh or Tasawwuf in isolation as transgression and deviation and only the perfect unison of the two as the true path. Possessors of only one or the other are bogus claimants of possessing the ability to spiritually purify themselves and their followers. Thus this retreat was aptly named the Spiritual and Educational retreat.

Due to the enormous recent commitments of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, in particular work on Tafsir Minhaj-ul-Quran - his interpretation of the Holy Quran – and his vast hadith work, taking the bulk of his time over the past couple of years, Al-Hidayah 2007 was a rare chance to spend some time in the suhbah of this great gift of God.

The suhbah and love of awliyah is vital in order to preserve ones Iman, this being another distinctive feature of Al-Hidayah 2007.

Spiritual atmosphere

The venue selected by the Al-Hidayah organisers was the perfect environment for both gaining knowledge and also experiencing spiritual uplift. The peaceful and green surroundings together with the spiritual teachings and suhbah of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri made the venue a practical fountain of Tazkiyyah, Ihsan and Tasawwuf. The venue also catered for all the needs of the participants including accommodating the needs of families with children, separate facilities for brothers and sisters such as gym, swimming pool, sports activities, excellent dining facilities and accommodation and much more.

Special guests

Shaykh Dr As’ad Muhammad Saeed as-Sagharji, Damascus Syria, was the chief guest. Shaykh Abdurahman al-Hammami and Sayyid Muadh were also special guests from Syria. Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad (Cambridge University) a renowned British scholar was a guest speaker.

Day One

Participants registered and got settled in throughout the day. Jummah Prayers took place. Shaykh-ul-Islam blessed the venue with his arrival early in the evening.

Lecture One: Mathnavi Maulai Rum – Part 1

Duration: 3 hours

The first lecture of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri was an Introduction to Mathnavi Maulai Rum. Some of the topics discussed in the lecture are mentioned below:

1. The human body is a country/state comprising of inhabitants, a government, a capital city, political opposition, prime minister, opposition leader

2. Physical organ of heart and the spiritual heart

3. Ruh is the King; King lives in palace. Palace has 5 windows- the five senses.

4. Nafs is the opposition leader

5. Battlefield between Ruh and the Nafs is the heart.

6. 5 stages in the process of an action carried out by nafs:

7. al-Khatra

8. himma

9. niyyah

10. iradah

11. amal

§ Nafs receives foreign aid from the Shaytan

§ Stages of nafs

Stages of heart:

14. Qalb Munir

15. Qalb Saleem

16. Qalb Shaheed

Stages of Ruh:

17. Ruh-ul-Ain

18. Ruh-ul-Malaki

19. Ruh-ulQudus

20. Ruh-ul-Arwah

Stages of Sirr:

21. sirr-ul-Mujarrid

22. sirr-ul-Ilm

23. sirr-ul-Haal

24. sirr-ul-Haqiqah

25. sirr-us-Sirr

26. ru’yatu sirr-us-Sirr

27. Ma’rifah sirr-us-Sirr

Stages of Khafi:

28. Khafi

29. Akhfa

30. Ghayb

31. Ghayb-ul-Ghayb

Day Two

Daily Quranic Tajweed class by Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Hammami

Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Hammami held a daily Quranic Tajweed class. The Shaykh gave each student an opportunity to recite throughout his lessons so that they could practically adopt the specific rules of Quranic recitation

Question & Answer session by Shaykh Dr As’ad Muhammad Saeed as-Sagharji

A detailed Question and Answer session was held by Shaykh Dr As’ad Muhammad Saeed as-Sagharji. Shaykh Muhammad Sohail Ahmad Siddiqui and Shaykh Muhammad Ramzan Qadri (both at Farghana Institute, Manchester) were serving as interpreters between Shaykh Dr As’ad Muhammad Saeed as-Sagharji and the audience. Questions asked by the participants ranged from issues facing daily life in the West and marriage to Tasawwuf and the status of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.

Lecture Two: Mathnawi - Part two

Duration: 4 hours

Shaykh-ul-Islam described the methodology adopted by Maulai Rum in the Mathnavi, also going through many verses of Mathnavi and explaining their implied meanings. Shaykh-ul-Islam, in this lecture touched the hearts and souls of the participants, repeatedly leaving participants in tears. Participants were unable to control their emotions with the lecture theatre echoing with sounds of deeply painful weeping and sobbing. Shaykh-ul-Islam had passed on the message of Maulai Rum and by doing so struck a nerve. Souls imprisoned in the clutches of materialism, waiting to be liberated, were at last shown the light.

Lecture Three: Usul-ul-Hadith – Part 1

Duration: 150 mins

Some of the topics discussed:

§ Sanad and Matan

§ Importance of understanding classifications of hadiths

§ Islamic significance of narrators

§ Clarification of the status and compilation of Sahih Bukhari

§ Compilers of usul-ul-hadith

§ Categories of Sahih hadith

§ Number of traditions in Bukhari and Muslim

CEO Islam Channel Mr Muhammad Ali visits Al-Hidayah 2007

The CEO of Islam Channel, Mr Muhammad Ali was also a guest at Al-Hidayah 2007. Islam Channel - which is viewed all over the world - is broadcasting the English lectures of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri on a weekly basis.

Evening of Nasheed

Evenings of Nasheed were held every night for participants to ponder over, reflect and contemplate on what they had gained during the day. A nasheed group from Minhaj-ul-Quran France came especially to perform at Al-Hidayah 2007.

Shaykh Abdurahman al-Hammami and Sayyid Muadh performed numerous popular nasheeds in the Arabic language. Other famous nasheed artists from the UK such as Milad Raza Qadri, Kabeer Hussain and Zain Shabbir also performed throughout the four-day event.

Day 3

Lecture Four: Usul-ul-Hadith - Part 2

Duration: 5 hours

Some of the topic discussed:

39. Dhaeef hadith : There are normally 15 kinds of dhaeef hadith, only 2 kinds of daheef hadith are not acceptable; 13 are accepted with specific conditions.2 that are not accepted are: a) If any of the narrators in the chain is known as a liar Or b) there is known to be a sound allegation of that person lying

40. Sahih hadith has to fulfil conditions:

ittisal us sanad – the chain of transmitters should not be broken –sound continuity

Adala-tur-Rawat – all narrators should be able to be a witness according to the shariah

Dhabt -very sound memory – this could also refer to written records, in any case memory should be very good

Adm shuzuz – a higher level of narrator has reported the same hadith differently

Adm illah – no severe ailment

41. Imam Bukhari learnt 100,000 sahih and 200,000 ghair sahih traditions

42. Most of the ahkam/rulings of shariah are taken from hasan hadiths

43. Imam Bukhari took many hadiths from khawarij and Shias (Rafzis). Says they can be taken if ravi is not a liar.

44. 100 hadiths in bukhari are from ahl-ul-Bid’ah ravis

Lecture of Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad gave a detailed and intriguing lecture on the Islamic concept of modesty and its needs and benefits.

Lecture Five: Dars of Sahih Bukhari – Part 1

Duration: 2 Hours

Some of the topics discussed:

45. Kitab ul Ilm: Ilm according to Imam Bukhari

46. Imam Bukhari makes it clear that ‘ilm’ is ‘fiqh’

47. Ilm = fiqh + hikmah

48. Imam Bukhari finalised Sahih Bukhari while he was ‘sitting next to the Holy Grave of the Prophet SAW’

49. Sayyedena Umar RA: “gain knowledge as much as possible before you become old”

50. 1st channel of receiving knowledge is the heart of the Prophet SAW. Passing knowledge from heart to heart; the other channel is from book to book


The guests from Syria, Shaykh Dr As’ad Muhammad Saeed as-Sagharji and Shaykh Abdurahman al-Hammami lead the Hadrah - a form of dhikr performed in a standing position, practiced all over the Arab world – which the participants found very enlightening and spiritual.

Day 4

Lecture Six: Dars of Sahih Bukhari – Part 2

Duration: 2 hours

Shaykh-ul-Islam concluded the Dars on Sahih Bukhari and also gave a final emotional message to the participants.

Further details of Al-Hidayah 2007, Photo album, Video clips and much more available at: