Sayyid Tassaduq Hussain Qadri

A Biography on Syed Tasadduq Husain Qadiri

by Iqbal Ahmad

The Islamic Review (UK), June 1961 Issue (Vol. 49, No. 6, pp. 34–35)

Syed Tasadduq Husain Qadiri

Some men choose to live in the blaze of publicity; there are others who undertake just as much important work, but prefer to remain quiet and unacknowledged. One such person amongst Muslims today is Sayyid Tassaduq Hussain Qadri.

He was born in India, but emigrated to Iraq about two decades ago, where in one of the main thoroughfares of Baghdad, Shari Rashid, he set up a small shop, selling electrical goods. As years went by, it became evident that Mr. Qadri’s main interest was not in the shop but in a cause which was noble and vital to the Muslim world.

The turn of the century made many thoughtful Muslims realize that there was an urgent need to dedicate themselves to the spreading of correct information about Islam. In many instances it was also imperative to take counter measures against the subversive and nefarious activities of some non-Muslim organizations. Mr. Qadri dedicated himself wholeheartedly in this direction.

Mr. Qadri is not a man with robust health. Like most Indians he is small and delicate in structure, but he undoubtedly commands a radiant and enlivening personality. His zeal and enthusiasm for Islam is inexhaustible. His devotion to his faith is admirable, and his efforts to spread the teachings of his faith are acknowledged by many people all over the world. This physically rather small man, in a small shop, is in fact a greatly admired savant and servant of Islam in the Middle East. He is a gifted missionary, a charming conversationalist, a sincere friend, an inspiring teacher, a devout Muslim and a person who is loved by people from all walks of life. A wealthy lady from Iraq told me that once Mr. Qadri, apparently not satisfied by her contributions for the propagation of Islam, said to her,

“On Thursdays you should reduce your expenses by not buying meat, which is an expensive item of food, and whatever you save in that way, you should give it for the cause of Islam.”

The lady was impressed by Mr. Qadri’s devotion to Islam and gladly conceded to his request.

In the little shop of Mr. Qadri one did not find so many customers, but leading writers, scholars, poets, politicians and social workers. In 1949 a new arrival in Baghdad who went to visit Mr. Qadri for the first time was surprised to find him surrounded by a group of leading Iraqi journalists, one of whom was Mr. Aziz Saami, Director-General of Fanun-i-Jamila (College of Fine Arts), and who has written considerably on Pakistan in Arabic.

Mr. Qadri keeps an inexhaustible supply of literature on Islam. He is also generous in the distribution of this literature and takes a keen and patient interest in all enquiries on religion. Through correspondence he is constantly in touch with many seekers after truth in many parts of the world.

Mr. Qadri has not only devoted himself to the distribution of literature on Islam, he has also been responsible for a number of publications on Islam. When the late Maulana Muhammad Ali. translator of the Quran into English, died, he got the life of the Maulana rendered into Arabic by Ustad Ali Muhammad Sartavi, a renowned Arabic writer. The book in Arabic is called Dhikr Muhammad Ali. He has also been responsible for the publication of the reports of the Eid Festivals at Woking. England, in various Arabic dailies and journals. Dr. S. A. Khulusi of the Baghdad University, has always willingly helped him in translating these reports into Arabic.

Once he was fascinated by an article in Urdu from the pen of the late Maulana Muhammad Ali entitled Naya Nizam-i-Alam, which appeared in the Paigham-i-Sulh, Lahore. He immediately wrote to the late Maulana asking him to elaborate the article into the form of a book in English. The proposal was greatly appreciated and resulted in an extensive circulation of the book which in English is known as The New World Order.

Mr. Qadri has never hesitated to do any work which would help Islam even in a remote way. After the creation of Pakistan, Mr. Qadri well realized that this new Islamic country needed introduction and publicity, particularly in the Middle East. The extent of his zest to make Pakistan known among the people of the Middle East is well illustrated by an incident related by an admirer of his. In the early years of its establishment, the Pakistan Consulate did not have a Press or Information Department for a long time. During this period Mr. Qadri undertook to do this work voluntarily. He did his utmost to spread widely all available information about Pakistan to almost every part of Iraq. It so happened that once the then Minister of Education for the Government of Pakistan, Dr. I. H. Qureshi, while travelling abroad, stopped at Baghdad. In the course of introducing the prominent people who had gathered at the airport to meet him, the then Charge d’Affaires [Deputy Ambassador], Dr. Muhammad Siddique, when introducing Mr. Qadri, said,

“We send him all available pamphlets and literature on Pakistan and after stamping them with his name and address, he distributes them for us.”

Mr. Qadri is so well-known as the best source for literature on Islam that it is related that not so very long ago the Press Secretary of the Russian Embassy in Baghdad personally visited the shop of Mr. Qadri and obtained a copy of the Quran and some other publications on Islam.

Since 1954 this noble worker in the cause of Islam has been suffering from asthma and heart trouble and has been bed-ridden for some time now. Age and ailments are gradually enfeebling him. but defiantly he carries on his struggle, blazing a torch of dedication, selfless service, tireless effort, boundless zeal and constant prayer and fortitude for the ultimate glory of Islam.