He studied law at the University of the Punjab in Lahore, where he graduated with an LLB in 1974, gaining a Gold Medal for his academic performances. Following a period of legal practice as an advocate, he taught law at the University of the Punjab from 1978 to 1983 and then gained his PhD in Islamic Law (Punishments in Islam, their Classification and Philosophy) in 1986 from the same university. His supervisors were Bashir Ahmad Siddiqui. He was appointed as a professor of law at the University of Punjab, where he taught British, US and Islamic constitutional law.
He founded an organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran International, in October 1981 and has subsequently expanded it nationally and internationally. In 1987, the headquarters of Minhaj-ul-Quran, based in Lahore, Pakistan, was inaugurated by the Sufi saint Tahir Allauddin, who is regarded as the organisation's spiritual founder; whilst critics claim that the said Sufi was in fact brought to Pakistan from Iraq under a ploy by Tahir-ul-Qadri and exploited for his own ambitions.
The organisation claims to promote religious moderation, effective and sound education, inter-faith dialogue and harmony, and a moderate interpretation of Islam supposedly employing methods of Sufism. Over the past thirty years, the organisation has reportedly expanded to over ninety countries. During its March 2011 session, the United Nations Economic and Social Council granted special consultative status to Minhaj-ul-Quran International, he also founded the Minhaj University in Lahore, of which he heads the Board of Governors, as well as an international relief charity, Minhaj Welfare Foundation.