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Contradicting Community – Nouman Ali Khan


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Nouman Ali Khan is the director of the Bayyinah Institute. He is well known for his contributions in the fields of Arabic and Quranic studies - most recently starting a full time on-campus institute for this purpose in Dallas, TX.



  1. Abu Yunus

    September 11, 2009 at 7:43 AM

    * Khutbahs are for targheeb wa’t-tarheeb (encouragement and intimidation) without a doubt – not intellectual discussions.
    * About so and so taking you to the path of hell, what did the Prophet (Sallaahu alayhi wa sallam) say? – “Callers at the gate of hell – whosoever responds to their call, they will throw them into the Fire” Warning is essential, otherwise we wouldn’t have Saheeh al-Bukhari and other books of ahaadeeth today with us. It is one thing to preoccupy yourself with just refuting everyone, even if they be upon tawheed and for the most part upon the correct manhaj, and its quite another to just keep your mouth shut “for the sake of unity”. The latter stance is in fact more dangerous because you will be held accountable for not sharing the knowledge that you have concerning a clearly deviant sect – some of these sects were even mentioned by the Prophet himself. Clearly warning against evil is the other side of the coin of encourage toward the good. Of course there is a proper etiquettes to everything (which is essential part of beng upon the sound manhaj) but let’s not throw away the baby with the bath water.

  2. Farhan

    September 11, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    I work at a company and happen to have several Muslim co-workers- all of us within the ages of 21-25. Even my boss is a Muslim, alhumdu lillah. We all pray every day for Dhuhr and sometimes for ‘Asr. Occassionally, we’ll have a [very] short quote from a hadith book or whatever. Its pretty cool.

    There’s one guy who works with us. He used to pray for the first week he worked with us. Then he stopped…entirely. Not even for Jummah. I noticed that he drinks, he smokes, he has a girlfriend and commits zinnah and isn’t shy about talking about it, and uses very dirty language. The only thing that’s Muslim about him is his name.

    How do I get him to at least pray with us without creating an awkward situation at work?

    • Someone

      September 11, 2009 at 6:48 PM

      Invite him and others like “Let’s go for prayer.. it’s time” IGNORING the fact that he stopped praying, till when will he keep refusing you or anyone else’s invitation ?

    • ironie101

      September 11, 2009 at 7:04 PM

      Have conversations about Islam when he is within earshot. Conspire with some of your co-workers and let them in on your plan. Maybe you could start off by talking about how uplifting prayer is – spiritually and how it’s completely changed the quality of your life. Talk about it in terms of this dunya too – how you seem to have found favour with people, how your needs seem to be met easier. This might spark off some interest (because, clearly, he’s madly in love with this dunya).

      If you talk about hellfire or the punishment for one who leaves prayer, it may not affect him. Usually, death is far far away from the minds of people like this.

      Talk about salah, Islam, the Prophet (saw) in a very inspiring way. Talk about how lucky we are to be Muslims and how Allah swt has preferred us over everyone else – just because we believe.

      Talk about it in a way that would make him feel like he too would like to be a part of this ‘cool’ gang (ie the practicing Muslims).

      Don’t do this once and give up. Do it often. But, don’t make him suspicious that you’re actually giving him naseeha. Just be fun and cool and inspirational. Be funny too. That helps. He shouldn’t think that practicing Muslims are boring and live harsh lives of celibacy.

      If you just keep calling him to pray with you, he may (just may) just decide to pray in front of you, to shut you up, appease his boss, et al. You want to teach him how to fish; not give him the fish just so that he doesn’t appear hungry in front of you.

      May Allah swt guide him and all of us to the straight path – and into the beautiful, eternal gardens of delight!

    • ironie101

      September 11, 2009 at 7:40 PM

      I just typed out a long reply and after I hit ‘post’, for some reason, it just disappeared. Patience!

      Okay, here we go again!

      I think you need to start talking about Islam when he is within earshot. You need to let your pious co-workers in on this and help them conspire with you. Have conversations with them in front of him.

      Talk about salah, how uplifting it is – spiritually and in terms of tangible benefits. Talk about how it’s helped you so much, how happy and at peace you are, how everything seems to be within reach for you after you started praying, how people seem to favour you more. You need to focus on the dunya aspect (because this guy is obviously so much in love with the dunya).

      You can’t really talk about hellfire or the punishment in store for those who abandon prayer. Because, normally, death is the absolutely last thing on their minds; they believe it’s far, far away for them.

      Talk about how Allah swt favours us over all of humanity – just because we believe.

      Talk about Islam in a very inspiring way – not just about salah; about Islam, in general; about the Prophet (saw); about the early Islamic legacy. Talk about all of the things that makes one feel proud to be associated with Islam ( the rush of pride happens even when they don’t practice; I think Allah swt put it in our fitrah).

      Try not to be negative. Be funny, be cool. And be extra-ordinarily nice to him (without making him suspicious, of course). Don’t make him feel like you are judging him. But, make him feel like he wants to be like you guys – because of your character and because you seem to be so much at ease in your skin. I mean, the guy may be engaged in sin constantly, but there should be some ounce of guilt somewhere in him. He may shroud it under layers of attitude, but he couldn’t possibly be entirely at ease with himself.

      Make him feel like he wants to be a part of this ‘cool’ gang. Make him feel like it’s amazing to practice Islam. Don’t give him the sense that practicing Muslims are a boring, celibate lot. And that everything fun comes with a haram-tag attached to it. Make more excuses to go out as a group and include him – show him how many halal avenues for fun there are. But, never ever point it out directly to him. He might feel like you’re judging him, or he may not actually transform himself, because he’d be embarrassed to admit he’d been wrong in the first place.

      If you keep calling him to prayer, directly or indirectly, he may actually come and pray – to shut you guys up, or to appease his boss. It wouldn’t be sustainable change. You want to teach him how to fish; you don’t want to just give him the fish so that he doesn’t appear to be starving in front of you.

      Be funny. That helps – a LOT! And never ever make him feel little in front of you; don’t ever be condescending. And make sure you never give him direct naseeha, unless he asks you for it himself (after you’ve done the indirect naseeha for sometime).

      Basically, just inspire him – through your actions, your akhlaq, your humility, and through your words in front of him. I think this way is the hardest. But, bi idhnillah, I think it will reap the maximum rewards.

      It’s easier to issue fatawas of kufr on him. And, you will be tempted to, I’m sure :)

      But, be patient and persevere and Allah swt will bless you for it. May Allah swt put barakah in your words, and may He guide your friend and all of us to the straight path into Jannah!

      • ironie101

        September 12, 2009 at 12:31 PM

        great! i thought my post disappeared. and it magically shows up today. now i’m the idiot who replied twice to the same post :)

        • Noor

          December 11, 2017 at 8:37 AM

          Thank you for taking the time to reply.I’ve benefitted from both.

  3. Amatullah

    September 11, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    Someone had to say this, and I’m happy it was br Nouman. Baarak Allahu lah wa jazahAllahu khayran.

  4. Hasan

    September 11, 2009 at 1:19 PM


    I sincerely and honestly believe this talk was overdue. Especially in Ramadan we see these cliques forming and losing out on an opportunity to help guide our fellow Muslims.

    Also in the calling out of splitting based on groups, that was an essential part of the talk as welI. I really loved this quote:

    I’m not saying you become one of them, but you know what? Those are the members of this Ummah and when they said “La Ilaha Illa Allah” at any point in their life, they become more beloved to me than the connection that is formed with blood. This is thicker than blood. We are concerned about them. We love them for the sake of Allah.

    I’m currently transcribing this speech, and should be done come Sunday inshAllah.

    • ibnabeeomar

      September 11, 2009 at 11:24 PM

      send it to us and we’ll post it inshallah!

  5. MuslimahCA

    September 11, 2009 at 2:24 PM

    This was one of the best wildcard sessions at Ilm Summit! Every bit of this topic hit home.

    May Allah add barakah to everything you do and say Br. Nouman, you have a very special skill in communicating with people!

  6. ironie101

    September 11, 2009 at 3:45 PM

    Succinct and, as always, Br.Nouman hits the nail hard on its head! The most successful orators are the ones who make you feel like they are talking directly to you, about you – even when there is an ocean of people around you.

    I’m not even from the US; never lived there. But, the issues are as relevant to us as they would be to the people he was addressing.

    When he talked about being singled-out for mockery or condescension, just for trying to be a ‘fundamentalist’; the way our families write us off; the way people zero in on the slightest slip you make and attribute it back to islam; the way our families poke and prod and test our tolerance levels in jest.

    And, yeah.. society, at large, has this idea that people who contemplate the deen, think about Allah swt, try to function under the shade of Islam, do the work of dawah – all of this should be done when you reach a certain age, when you’re ‘old enough’ (in other words, too old and feeble to do anything else).

    As funny as it is, people are actually scared that by getting too deep into islam, they’d lose interest, tire, and move onto the next thing that catches your fancy. So, by being sparingly / not-at-all interested in the deen, they are apparently sustaining their interest. What burns brightest, burns out quickly. ahem!

    The excuses people think of. Seriously! If they spent a fraction of this energy on contemplating / following the deen, we would be a MUCH better Ummah for it!

    Br. Nouman, May Allah swt bless you immensely, preserve you, increase your knowledge, enter you into Jannah and add manifold to the count of ‘red camels’ you must be amassing! :)

    • Abu Abdillah

      September 16, 2009 at 1:37 AM

      It’s nothing special bro – it’s called NLP – look it up – go study under Shaikh Tony Robbins and you too can be an al Maghrib da’ee!

      How about a khutbah on how a certain clique of “du’aat” i.e. little students is using NLP to build up their own followings and take people away from the ulamaa? It will come one day – usually too late as ever – we never learn!

      Stop hero-worshipping and celebrity-following people!

      • ironie101

        September 16, 2009 at 4:04 AM

        Whatever it is that you’re trying to say, I’m sure it is of profound value. I’m afraid that you’ll have to dumb it down for me. In spite of my best intentions, I’m really unable to comprehend your point.

        Are you saying that by everyday people getting involved in dawah, people are turned away from the ulema?

        Or are you accusing me of hero-worshipping, Br.Nouman? Or, better yet, are you claiming that by taking a few shallow courses in Neuro-Linguistic-Programming, anyone can be an al-Maghrib da’ee?

        Like I said, dumb it down for me.

  7. Agajuice

    September 11, 2009 at 3:47 PM

    Beautiful…Br Nouman Ali Khan really gets my adrenaline flowing.. …but the important thing is not to get simply pumped up by listening to a speech. the most important thing is acting upon it and doing something about it. listening to it is the easy part…now we all need to do something about what he said.

  8. Nahyan

    September 11, 2009 at 4:25 PM

    That was a fantastic speech, very well put.
    I especially loved the points about appropriate khutbah topics.


  9. iMuslim

    September 11, 2009 at 7:51 PM

    I love the advice about how to deal with parental ‘psychology’. Been there, done that, got the mental scars! Wish I was more patient at the time, astagfirullah. :(

  10. Marya

    September 12, 2009 at 6:10 AM

    br. Nouman Ali Khan addressed an extremely important topic here, and one thing I think we should keep in mind when working with the youth is that we need to make Islam a living, breathing deen for them. Something that is relevant in their lives, that uplifts them, that gives them peace and pride (not arrogance) – if we lay down a bunch of rules, without the spirit of Islam already within their hearts, and their strong connection to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala and a desire to please Him, we will just be pushing them away.

    Allahu ta`ala alam.

    The challenge of the youth…subhanAllah.

  11. Hassan

    September 12, 2009 at 8:10 AM

    Ok Nouman’s picture in home page reminds me of how Abraham Lincoln would look like

  12. Yasir Sultan

    September 12, 2009 at 8:21 AM

    May Allah reward you, Br. Nouman. Very good reminder, Love for the sake of Allah.

  13. Adam

    September 12, 2009 at 11:00 PM

    Excellent talk mashaAllah!

    I love the Birmingham shout out :)

  14. anny

    September 13, 2009 at 4:08 AM


    I love Brother Nouman, he says things which no one else dares to say.

    I guess right now I am in the middle group of youth but I used to be party animal. I changed because someone who was religious became my friend. He slowly invited me towards right path and without pushing or scaring me away. He first connected with me and he was able to relate with me.

    Funny thing is I used to be a lot more religious during my childhood and teen years, but it was religious folks who scared me away. I always had an inquiring mind and asked a lot questions. For some reason, Desi imams don’t like that and I got yelled at and even punished for asking questions.

    • Noor

      December 11, 2017 at 8:46 AM

      Thanks for sharing.I can relate

  15. xeno

    September 15, 2009 at 6:18 AM

    Jazakallah khair for sharing this clip.

  16. Shirtman

    September 22, 2009 at 11:21 PM

    Boss post, great talk.


  17. Abu Muawiyah

    December 1, 2009 at 12:20 AM

    Masha Allah!

    We needed to hear this, I myself fell into the trap of self-righteousness when I first started discovering true Islam and it led to many problems in my family. Later I realized my approach was just causing more problems and less good, so I re-evaluated the situation, changed my attitude and now I find that being the good boy is a much more beneficial form of Dawah than just talking about Islam while being arrogance.

    The prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Never does mercy enter a thing except that it beautifies it and never does harshness enter anything except that it makes it ugly,”

  18. Saifullah

    July 6, 2010 at 12:22 AM

    WOW SubhanAllah!

    This was MUCH needed. MashAllah, great lecture.

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