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Farhat Hashmi & AlHuda Institute Phenomenon

Published

NPR: Religious Schools Court Wealthy Women in Pakistan

It’s not just Pakistan but a worldwide phenomenon with over 200 branches and a second main campus in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, which is revolutionizing access to Islamic knowledge for women. Audio version available on through the link at the top including the rare few words from Dr. Farhat Hashmi in English.

Transcript:

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Far from the headlines about its war on extremists, Pakistan is undergoing a more subtle debate over religion. It’s been sparked by a popular female evangelist. She’s created a massive network of Islamic schools that cater to elite, educated women. The classes preach tolerance and mercy, though some Pakistanis fear they’re breeding intolerance. NPR’s Asma Khalid reports.

ASMA KHALID: Huria Yawar(ph) glances at the Cartier watch on her wrist. Then she climbs the stairs to this Islamic school in Central Lahore.

Unidentified Group: (Foreign language spoken)

KHALID: Yawar has five kids and a master’s in psychology. But she says she had no direction in life until she came here.

Ms. HURIA YAWAR (Student, Al Huda): When we come here, each and every letter of that holy book is really seeping in our heart and which we didn’t know before. And we regret that at the age of 45, 48, so it’s a shame for us.

(Soundbite of laughter and crowd chatter)

KHALID: Here at the Islamic school, Yawar is joined by other upper-crust housewives, some with Blackberries in hand, others with luxury cars parked outside. For years, most wealthy women in Pakistan scoffed at overt piety. But now, many women who once sported sleeveless shirts are covering their faces. It’s a trend across the Muslim world. These women in Pakistan found their faith with Farhat Hashmi.

Ms. FARHAT HASHMI (Scholar; Founder, Al Huda): (Foreign language spoken)

KHALID: She’s a household name in Pakistan. Radio stations in nearly every major city broadcast her sermons. Her public lectures draw crowds in the thousands. But more important than all of that is the school system she’s created. It’s called Al Huda. The first branch opened in the mid-1990s. And since then, it’s grown exponentially.

Ms. FAIZA MUSHTAQ (Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University): To simplify it a little bit, it’s run like a franchise.

KHALID: That’s Faiza Mushtaq. She’s at Northwestern University, writing her Ph.D. on the Al Huda phenomenon.

Ms. MUSHTAQ: These women come to Al Huda, spend a year or two years getting a diploma. And then these women go back to their hometowns or to their own neighborhoods, use the same sort of education materials, the course plans, Farhat Hashmi’s lecture tapes, and start offering a diploma course of their own.

KHALID: Today, Al Huda has more than 200 branches.

Unidentified Woman #1: (Chanting in foreign language)

KHALID: One is the school where Huria Yawar studies. Here, like all of the Al Huda branches, the focus is the Quran. Students learn line-by-line translations and analysis. They learn about the importance of mercy and forgiveness -nothing political and nothing violent. It’s a stark contrast from the extremist rhetoric taught in some schools.

Today’s sermon deals with the vices of materialism.

Unidentified Woman #2: No, it is just (unintelligible). Don’t get impressed by these things. They’re superficial.

KHALID: The teacher is one of Farhat Hashmi’s direct disciples. She speaks Urdu with a flare and has a soft, inviting tone.

(Soundbite of crowd chatter)

KHALID: A conversation soon erupts about family life.

(Soundbite of crowd chatter)

KHALID: One student complains that it’s impossible for her to suggest her husband pray. They just end up in a fight. Another woman laments that she can’t cover her head because her kids make fun of her. Lumara Suehail(ph) says her husband mocks her religious studies.

Ms. LUMARA SUEHAIL (Student, Al Huda): When I come here, my husband says you’ve become a Taliban. And I’ve been…

KHALID: Suehail slips into class more than two hours late this morning.

Ms. SUEHAIL: The reason that I come late is also because he doesn’t like it if he’s home and I leave for my class. He doesn’t. So I wait for him ‘ til he goes to the office, whether it’s 9, whether it’s 10, whether it’s 11. I cannot leave the house without unless he goes because he doesn’t like that.

KHALID: Suehail regularly goes to coed parties and she doesn’t wear a headscarf, but she’s committed to Al Huda. She says it’s changed her life.

Ms. SUEHAIL: After coming here, I realize that God is so soft. It attracts you to – in a loving manner. I think it’s a very peaceful religion. We have to understand it, and we are not understanding – I mean, most of the people don’t actually understand the religion, and they’re just going away from it. They’re being shunned away, basically, because, you know, the way it’s been portrayed, you don’t want to come near it. You don’t want to find out what’s happening.

KHALID: In the past, Islamic education in Pakistan was limited to poor, uneducated men. Al Huda is changing that. It’s bringing religious literacy to an influential demographic.

Saj Tahashmi(ph) was a student in 1997. She’s since opened up her own branch in a military housing section of Lahore. She says Al Huda made Islam easy.

Ms. SAJ TAHASMI: (Through translator) Al Huda dealt with people very leniently. Some women wore a headscarf, and some didn’t. But they were all allowed to attend classes. Before Al Huda, there was no concept in our Islamic educational system that someone could go and sit in a Quran class not wearing a headscarf.

KHALID: Faiza Mushtaq, the Ph.D. candidate from Northwestern University, says Al Huda is no longer just a network of religious schools. It’s become a social movement.

Ms. MUSHTAQ: What these women are being taught is that here, understand the Quran, now change yourself, and then go out and change other people one by one. So in your family, in your community, in your schools, in your workplaces, in your offices – rather than coming out onto the street or marching or holding placards or targeting the state. No. The targets and the goals of the movement are different, but it is still very much a movement in the sense that it goes beyond individual transformation, ultimately has a vision of what it wants a Pakistani society to look like.

KHALID: That scares some people in Pakistan, like Nadeem Paracha. He’s a columnist for the popular English-language newspaper Dawn. He says Farhat Hashmi may use gentle words but deep down, she’s an extremist. Her orthodoxy echoes the Taliban’s vision for Pakistan.

Mr. NADEEM PARACHA (Columnist, Dawn Newspaper): I don’t care about if they call themselves soft Muslims or whatever. They are playing an equally destructive role. If the Taliban are playing a destructive role in a political manner, then these preachers are playing a very destructive role in a culturally and social manner.

Ms. HASHMI: You cannot make people happy, and this is not my goal.

KHALID: That’s Farhat Hashmi herself. She rarely gives interviews but after repeated attempts, she agreed to a short conversation on her cell phone.

Ms. HASHMI: They don’t really know what we are doing. Sometimes, it is misconception. Sometimes it is a different point of view.

KHALID: She insists that she preaches tolerance, not tyranny. But not everyone believes her. Hashmi’s classes exist in a climate of religious anxiety here in Pakistan. It’s a place where suicide bombers are ripping through markets in the name of Islam. And it’s a place where born-again, bourgeois Muslims are muddling the very idea of what it means to be a modern woman.

Asma Khalid, NPR News.

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Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Ify Okoye is a Muslim woman, a convert, born and raised in the U.S. She is from New York and her parents are from Nigeria. Despite the petty hassles of work and school, Ify finds time to travel usually for AlMaghrib Institute seminars and to visit beautiful places. Pronunciation primer for her name, say it like this: E-fee O-coy-yeah!

60 Comments

60 Comments

  1. PD

    April 7, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    I’ve gone through her Taleem Al Quran course which is for two years and i have to say not once did she preach ‘intolerance’. In fact it always has been quite the opposite. She gives daleel from all four madhabs and the Qurán and the Sunnah.

    I’m glad I’ve done the course, my Urdu used to be crap and that was what was preventing me initially but there is an English option too to memorise and take notes and listen to the tafseer in Urdu only. I’m at the end and alhamdulilah – I am so glad I’ve done it. [Not to mention – vastly improved my Urdu too lol]

    Shes connected Women from all walks of life to the Quran – its amazing when you go from not understanding the Qurán to completely understanding without even needing a translation. I was born & brought up in the MiddleEast so know Arabic to an extent – but Qurán Arabic/Fus7a is absolutely different. And the feeling of is beautiful when you’re in the Masjid during Ramadan and the Imam is reciting.

    There were old Pakistani Women in our class who at the beginning of the course couldnt speak words of Arabic properly, couldn’t recite the Qura’n without stopping at every Word and had a hard time reading/writing. We’re on our 30th Juzz and some of these Women now get excellent grades and are able to apply tajweed rules.

    However Id like to say that its not just the elite Women of Pakistan that are targetted or affected. A lot of the Women/Girls who go to study in the hostels/campuses in Pakistan & other Countries are from rural/urban areas.

    It’s amazing the work she has done mashaAllah. Just wondering about all the ajar she’ll get on the day of Judgment of all the people she has connected with the Qurán. May Allah SWT accept from her and all of us. Ameen.

    • shahgul

      April 17, 2010 at 2:19 AM

      In order to become a truly international program, Al-Huda will have to seriously consider English as a medium of education. No one should be left out of the Islamic experience, just because they don’t know Urdu.

      • Ify Okoye

        April 17, 2010 at 10:27 AM

        There are online and on-site classes taught in English in North America.

    • Solange

      September 25, 2015 at 1:38 PM

      Amin! On juz’ 16 myself. First 3 days changed my life after being Muslim 22 years, and studying for 7 of them, al-hamdulillah

  2. amad

    April 7, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    This provides me a great opportunity to say something I have been wanting to for a long time… the pieces of Nadeem Paracha, the DAWN writer makes me cringe. This guy literally hates religion and religious people and masks it in liberalism. He has a huge chip on his shoulder and he would prefer nothing but to have a Pakistan without Islam.

    DAWN in general is part of the apparatus for promoting secularism and anti-religion in Pakistan and Paracha rides it well. I am sure he will be noticed by the neocon right-wing audience and become a media darling, like Manji and other “Muslims” who love to hate on religion.

    P.S. He also hates Imran Khan and seems to have no problems with Altaf Hussein… so there may be a bit of MQM type crap mixed in this too.

    • PakistaniMD

      April 7, 2010 at 7:15 PM

      ^ Are you sure about your claim on DAWN?

      DAWN was founded by Ali Jinnah (the founder of Pakistan) and is considered liberal (but not secularist, as the constitution mandates that all laws much respect Islamic trandition). It is still a more realiable newspaper than the more “conservative” newspapers (ex. The Nation, with its odd op-ed pieces on foreign policies).

      However, I do agree with you on Paracha; he has well-defined hatred of all things spirtual. Now his politics is a different, as anyone is fair game in that realm (though he does go on personal attacks, esp. on Imran Khan).

      • mystrugglewithin

        April 10, 2010 at 8:24 PM

        @NFP He loves to make fun of everything and he thinks that he’s funny. The fun part is that he’s miserable.

        On a side note, I’ve been observing .. the easiest criteria to judge our leaders back home is by their ability to talk truth about MQM .. Imran Khan does .. infact he loves it, lol.

  3. NJMuslimah

    April 7, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    AsSalaamu Aalaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu,

    I just started taking AlHuda’s Taleem ul Quran course a few months ago and I regret not taking it earlier. I have learned SO much over these past few months alhamdulilah and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. It’s not only for household moms who have nothing better to do with their time but its for high school and college students as well.

    My love for the Qur’an grew so much after starting this course and my understanding of it is on a totally different level now alhamdulilah.

    May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reward Dr. Farhat for starting this institute and may He grant her and all it’s teachers success in this dunya and Jannatul Firdous in the akhirah, ameen.

    JazakumAllahu khairan

  4. suhail

    April 7, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Dawn is filled with secular liberals who would join hands with the Rand Corporation if they have too.

    • PakistaniMD

      April 7, 2010 at 7:16 PM

      ^ Where is your evidence? No texual support or citiations?

      Yes, DAWN is liberal, but it is still better than the more “right-wing” newspaper (The Nation).

      See my comment above in response to amad.

      • suhail

        April 8, 2010 at 4:13 PM

        I have read many pieces from dawn. The textual evidence is there for anybody with open eyes to see. Why do you have the need to defend anything that is mentioned about Pakistan.

        There were editorials with how Pakistan should have relation with Israel. Not just that i emailed the writer of that editorial piece how Palestine is an islamic issue and he replied that we don’t care. I am sorry but most of the columnists on that newspaper site are either total secularist or mordernists.

        • Zuhayr

          April 8, 2010 at 4:24 PM

          does that one person speak for whole of dawn?

      • farrukh

        April 8, 2010 at 10:51 PM

        Dr Farhat studied Islam from many scholars before going to the Glasgow University for her PhD. Her first teacher, her own father, (late) Abdur Rehman Hashmi was a prominent religious scholar. He was a student of the great madrasah of Mawlana Anwar Shah Kashmiri in Dabhail, India, and a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora of Jama’at-e-Islami for many years. He had a great influence on his daughter’s early years since childhood. Along with her basic school education, she continued to receive invaluable guidance from her father.
        Shortly after attaining a Master’s Degree in Arabic from the Punjab University, Lahore, Dr. Farhat was married to Dr. Idrees Zubair who belonged to a family of Ulama and had completed his Dars-e-Nizami from his father Shaykh al-Hadith Shams al-Haq Multani. Among his Shuyukh (teachers) there were both Ahl al-Hadith and Hanafi scholars. His grandfather Abu Muhammad Abd al-Haq Muhaddith Multani was a well known student of Sayyid Nazir Husain Muhaddith Dihlawi.
        Dr. Farhat has also gained in-depth knowledge of Hadith and had the opportunity to study Modern Arabic from Dr. Zahoor Ahmad. She also studied tafseer with Dr. Noor-ul-Hassan and has received many Ijazah Certificates from renowned scholars, like: Mawlana ‘Abd al-Ghaffaar Hassan (r.a), an ex-Professor of Madinah University who was selected by Shaykh Ibn Baz r.a.; and from Shaykh al-Hadith Shams al-Haq r.a. (Dr. Idris’s Father).
        Contrary to widespread misconception, Dr Farhat and Dr Idrees never studied Islam from any non-Muslim teacher. They received guidance at every step from Dr Mahmood Ghazi, then Director General of Dawah Academy, Islamabad who had encouraged them to do their PhD from Glasgow. As you must be already knowing, one does not study in a classroom atmosphere from any teacher for a PhD. Rather, students do their own research, write their thesis and their supervisor in the university simply checks whether the research criteria for the PhD has been met. The supervisor has nothing to do with the actual content of the thesis. Consequently, Dr Farhat and Dr Idrees never opened any book in front of their supervisor, nor did he ever give them any lessons. On the contrary, he used to ask them concerning many Islamic issues.
        This practice of acquiring a degree in Islamic education from a foreign institution is hardly a new one. (Late) Dr Khalid Alvi, author of “Insan e Kamil” and Director of Dawah Academy Islamabad; Dr Anees Ahmed, also Director of Dawah Academy both acquired their certifications in Islamic education from foreign universities and there are many other respected people teaching in different universities in Pakistan who have done the same. However this issue is never raised for anyone else to challenge their credibility as a scholar. This experience in a Western University, helped DrFarhat gain an in depth knowledge of the methods of research that the West have adopted with, and which have slowly become rare in the Muslim world.
        In Glasgow, Dr Farhat along with her husband, studied extensively with a highly respected Syrian scholar, Shaykh Muhammad Saeed al-Badhinjiki who has given Dr Farhat an Ijazah certficate. During their years at Glasgow University, they traveled extensively to various Muslim countries, to acquire knowledge from other renowned scholars. Dr Farhat had met the great contemporary muhaddith Shaykh Albani r.a. who guided her how to write her PhD thesis regarding History of Ijazah Certificates from the first century to the end of the sixth century of hijrah. Shaykh Albani praised and advised her and also guided her how to teach the Qur’an and Sunnah. She also learnt from Shaykh Shu’aib al-Arnauoot of Jordon, Shaykh Hammad al-Ansari of Madinah University, Shaykh Abdullah Siraj al-Din of Halab. She also had numerous sittings with Maulana Abdul Ghaffar Hassan Nagpuri former Vice Chancellor of the Madina University. She has held discussions with numerous scholars and holds an impressive repertoire of certificates commending her educational standing. Inspite of all this she does not publicize her credentials and prefers not to be called an ‘Alimah because she believes that gaining knowledge is a never-ending, lifelong process that should continue until death and such titles may not be desirable in Allah’s eyes.
        May Allah accept all of her efforts. Ameen.

        • Yus from the Nati

          April 16, 2010 at 10:52 AM

          Wow. Definitely did not know her credentials. تبارك الله

          Ameen.

        • an.

          May 17, 2010 at 11:08 PM

          can you please provide a reference from where you received all this information about her. jazakallah khair.

          • muslimah

            July 12, 2010 at 4:28 PM

            second that.

        • Kiran

          September 29, 2010 at 11:42 AM

          Allahu Akbar.
          Masha Allah. Feels so good to belong to a teacher who has such a rich intellectual heritage. Ustazah Farhat Hashmi is indeed a very blessed human being.
          And I feel humble and yet proud to have learned from her.
          Alhamdulillah. Thumma Alhamdulillah.
          Allahumma Ehfazha. Amin

  5. akhan

    April 7, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    I remember my mom would take these classes when I was a child. She got to a point where she could piece together the meaning of an ayah from the vocabulary she learned. She then taught what she learned to my brothers and I. Alhamdulillah, that’s part of the reason why I have any Islam in my heart at all.

  6. hamayoun

    April 7, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    Salam

    Sister Farhat is a true hero for today and a great example for anyone associated with Islamic work. Just imagine the thwab she is getting from the huge networks she has created, we should all be jealous of her! And always remember what she is preaching, nothing more than the pure Quranic teachings.

  7. Sadaf Farooqi

    April 8, 2010 at 1:02 AM

    I have been a part of Al-Huda for ten years now, masha’Allah! I enrolled as a student in Karachi back in 2000. From then on, its been an enlightening and rewarding journey of knowledge-seeking, teaching, and sharing irreplaceable bonds with countless righteous sisters, which has shown me what exactly it is to love and to be loved, for the sake of Allah.

    As for our respected teacher Dr Farhat Hashmi, no words can do justice to the feelings and prayers we have for her! May Allah grant her His special closeness (qurb) in the Akhirah, and be pleased with her when she leaves this world. Ameen.

    I personally know her family and they are really humble, sincere people who just want the light of the Quran to reach every home, every heart. She is a down-to-earth and sweet person – may Allah protect and preserve her.

    You’d think by looking at the propaganda that surrounds Al-Huda, that some sort of hidden agenda was being promoted there!

    Actually, the outsiders looking in cannot decipher why women would just change after attending Al-Huda’s classes. It is actually the power of the Quran that transforms them, not Farhat Hashmi or anyone else! When our Prophet Muhammad [صلى الله عليه Ùˆ سلم] started preaching the Quran, people who heard it started to change drastically in their actions too, so he was conveniently given names such as Saahir [sorceror], Kadhdhaab [liar], Kaahin [soothsayer], Mujnoon [possessed], etc. This was because those whose hearts have not been touched by the words of Allah can only attribute the changes that they see in other people who attend Quran classes to other ridiculous, hackneyed sources.

    The reason why Al-Huda faces so much skepticism and conjecture in the media is because it is gaining influence across the world, and that too among women belonging to the upper crust of society. There is the reason of hasad or envy – sometimes powerful people do not like it when religious people (especially women) gain influence and respect in society, particularly its well-off and educated sector. None of Al-Huda’s opponents would demean Farhat Hashmi or Al-Huda unless they felt threatened by its presence and growth. The same propaganda is now being faced by some Western scholars’ educational institutes in North America that are gaining an increasing following. Envious antagonists look for little specks of trivial side-issues and random statements to creat a furore that could distract potential students/followers from the true good these people/organizations are doing. :)

    May Allah grant continuing rewards to our teachers at Al-Huda, particularly Dr Farhat, who have helped us connect to Allah through His Glorious Book, the magnificent Quran, which now guides our actions and our lives. Ameen!

    • amad

      April 8, 2010 at 2:30 AM

      May Allah grant continuing rewards to our teachers at Al-Huda, particularly Dr Farhat, who have helped us connect to Allah through His Glorious Book, the magnificent Quran, which now guides our actions and our lives. Ameen!

      Ameen… she’s truly an asset.

  8. M. Asghar Mughal

    April 8, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    After reading all these I will just simply express that ” I am proud to be and to serve Al-Huda “, Islamabad

  9. ummahmed

    April 8, 2010 at 6:11 AM

    Assalamualykum warahemutullahee wabarakatahu,

    Bismillah.I also recently joined this course.Alhamdulillah .I really wish each and everyone should study Quraan and understand the deeper meaning.May Allah bless our ustadah with more and more ilm.She really gives out examples from day to day life.I learned so much from her.She taught us how to deal with the kids?How to make them come closer to Allah? and many more.I never knew that there is so much depth in each and every ayah.In one sentence you will never say rabbuka but you will say rabbana..

    Last but not least it`s affordable..Every one can afford the fee..it`s like 10 or 15 dollars monthly.If you can`t afford that financial aid is also available.May Allah bless her and all the teachers who make Quraan easy to understand.

    salaam

  10. sahmed

    April 8, 2010 at 7:13 AM

    I was just mentioning to someone the other day… I don’t think there is anyone who is listened to 24 hours a day, except Dr. Farhat Hashmi.

    Even though she is speaking live at one part of the world at one time, her lectures are being heard all over the world at almost every hour of the day and night. Through Paltalk, online classes, live classes, etc

    This is a sign that Allah SWT has accepted her efforts insha’Allah

  11. Samina Ghousia

    April 8, 2010 at 10:14 AM

    Salamalaikum I have learned how to live life and to control anger by her,Dr.Farhat Hashmi is the best role model for women’s world. she is the best teacher of Allaha swt book Quran she teaches not less or more meaning to the verse than it is mention by allah Tala.She is the best teacher in the form of mother what can a mother teaches her children other than what is best for their life in this world and to go along with them in the life of hereafter.My dua for her is to live healthy and wise so we all can earn knowledge for akerath, from her don’t blame her for your own actions. When women’s are equal is everyone’s sight than why not in learning the true meaning of quran whats wrong with these mens. And We don’t blame other religions for what they are teaching even though thy are not right then why muslim, we should take stand in the best manner that Allahtala showed us. May Allahtala help us all, ameen

  12. Amatullah

    April 8, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    Alhamdulillah.

    I was a student of the 2007-2009 first English course that was aired from Toronto, and it’s hard for me to put the experience into words. Your life becomes the Book of Allah….It’s so hard to experience this nowadays and to be taught it as well.
    I went up to the Toronto campus when we were finishing the Qur’an and it was an amazing experience. I got to meet Dr Farhat and her family, and stayed with her while I was there. I had a personal chat with her before I left and it was some of the best advice I’ve ever received. may Allah bless them all.

    I do not like praising people, but she is honestly one of the few people I have met that I really feel a sense of haybah around. I don’t know how to translate haybah, but it is a mixture of awe, respect and humility. May Allah bless her with good in this life and the next, accept her deeds and make her from the sincere ones.

    Taking the Al-Huda course was the best thing Allah guided me to do, alhamdulillahi Rabbil alameen.

    • FearAllah

      April 8, 2010 at 4:51 PM

      + 100 :)

      • bintarshad

        April 10, 2010 at 11:15 AM

        +1

  13. Zuhayr

    April 8, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    hypocrites speak against Al-Huda. people who don’t practice islam and don’t want others to practice.

    • shahgul

      April 17, 2010 at 2:21 AM

      People have also called her an Israeli agent. Who cares about people.

  14. Umm Khadija

    April 8, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    Bismillah

    I was introduced to AL Huda through my mom and her Quran teacher in Abu Dhabi about 10/12 yrs ago. I went there as a young teen to attend their summer course. And i can honestly say that my life was never the same again.

    At that age it wasnt the content of the classes which mesmerised me but the discipline and equall standing of all these girls (some from US/UK, others from villages -literally) – all there to do one thing, learn, understand, implement and pass on the message of their Lord. The seed was sown back then and i knew i needed to study the Quran. Subhanallah it was not till many years later did Allah (swt) allow for me to take the Taleem al Quran class online in English in 2008/09. Words are not sufficient to describe the wonder of the Quran! I honestly feel every person on the planet needs to attend this class. It was like a whole new dimension. I had read the Quran many times before then, with translation, some tafseer here and there but this was different. Words were seeping into my heart, my life was changing, my view of the world was changing and i better understood what Allah wanted from me. That Ramadhan was one of my most memorable ones as i understood about 70-80% of the recitation of Quran during taraweeh prayers after only having attending classes for a few months. I actually understood Arabic!!! (and im not arab) not just that but i understood the deeper meaning, context etc.

    I really do not understand the accusation made against Al Huda and Dr. Farhat Hashmi. Any one who has spent time listening to the material being taught will honestly tell u that what they are doing is fantastic. They just allow u to understand the Quran.

    Bottom line: Al Huda ROCKS in the best possible way! Alhamdulilah.

    • Sophia Awan

      April 8, 2010 at 10:08 PM

      “Bottom line: Al Huda ROCKS in the best possible way!” –> That it does! :) ma sha Allah!

      Are you an online student?

      • Umm Khadija

        April 8, 2010 at 11:18 PM

        Yes i did some online classes with them, am currently taking an awesome class with Dr. Idrees Zubair, (Dr. Farhat’s husband)on Hadith. I do manage to go to the institute in Canada every once in a while too , which is always fun. :)
        May Allah preserve Al Huda and all those who sincerely devote themselves to Allah’s path.

  15. beena

    April 8, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    being with a scholar is a blessing.Definitely her students know Dr.hashmi in a best way as they spend at least on year or so at least.with her, they see her interact with her as well as observer her closely. if thousands witness her that dr.hashmi is totally opposite what secular fellows say abt her. nothing to worry.
    it cud be a good thing for her students and well wishers that issues like this can expedite them and hold them to work till their last breath :).
    dear students of Dr.hashmi take it as “THEY DO NOT KNOW” and in Qur’an Allah said the people who have not gone through Qur’an are IGNORANT . so set your goals and go ahead. Allah is there to take care of you and your teacher. in sha Allah.

  16. tayyeb

    April 8, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    Dr.Farhat Hashmi best Evangelist i have ever listened. may Allah bless her.
    let me pay thanx to her for her efforts and giving Quran to masses. and specially shaking the youth like me :-)
    thanx dr.hashmi

  17. fariha mela

    April 8, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    assalam o alaikum … i’ve been linked with alhuda lahore since 1997 and i have seen it changing lives for the better as is mentioned by many others . but i feel that a very important aspect of alhuda is being missed out …i.e . it’s ability to mingle with and address all socio economic groups .alhuda does not only target the elite but there are wives of gardeners sitting right besides an M.N.A’S wife hence trying to eliminate disparity . another aspect of alhuda is it’s social work department .be it earthquake or flood or digging up of wells in interior sindh or planting trees or distributing rations you’ll see alhuda there. wassalam.

  18. tayyeb raza

    April 8, 2010 at 11:54 PM

    THUMBS UP for the way she( dr.hashmi) simplified Qur’an Majeed to me atleast .
    jazakillah madam hashmi

  19. Ify Okoye

    April 9, 2010 at 4:41 AM

    One of the beautiful things about AlHuda is its accessibility with their online programs, almost every sister you meet is either taking an AlHuda online course or is interested in doing so or knows someone who is and that is pretty phenomenal, masha Allah, tabark Allah.

    I remember when I was first introduced to AlHuda’s Fahm al-Quran series of lectures given by Amina Elahi. Truly, a revelation, I had never heard such in-depth tafsir of the Quran and hearing it from a woman had the added dimension of relevancy.

  20. Raana kanwal

    April 9, 2010 at 5:02 AM

    I have met many religious people but she is really one who does what she says. Very humble, down to earth . With the blessing of Allah, She has changed the lives of many women. we should be proud of her. I have never heard a single time from her against any muslim or scholar or any person. People should appreciate those elite class who are on path of Allah. Al huda is doing a remarkable work. If people don’t have time to know about Allah ,their creator , at least they should support one who is doing so much for religion.

    i

  21. sadia naveed

    April 9, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    I read some where that after every 100 years, a person is born through whom Allah revives ISLAM.
    It seems that Allah suhanowataala has chosen Dr. Farhat Hashmi for this purpose for this century. MashaAllah her work in the field of deen is commendable.
    Her only focus and concern is to propagate true Islam, based upon the Quran and authentic sunnah of the prophet.(saw)
    Her vision is what is said in the verse; إن هو إلا ذكر للعلمين Surah Saad:87 : “It (this Qur’ân) is only a Reminder for all the ‘Alamîn (mankind and jinn). Thus her striving is to pass the word of Allah/the Quran to each person on the face of earth.

    Plz note following info:

    Tafseer of Surah Al Nur
    By
    Dr. Farhat Hashmi
    Starting: Tuesday, 13th of April, 2010 insha’ Allah!
    Each daily session will include Translation, Tajweed and Tafseer
    Timings: 11:15 am – 2:00 pm (PST)

    Listen Live: http://www.farhathashmi.com/alhudalive
    ____________________________________________________________
    For More Info: http://www.alhudainstitute.ca, http://www.alhudapk.com, http://www.farhathashmi.com

    plz visit the mentioned websites they have ocean of knowledge :)

  22. Juli

    April 9, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    Subhanallah…..

    Sadaf F, I find that your comment best explains this phenomenon of people attacking AL huda. Subhanallah. It is truly the Quran that changes people, not individuals.

    Subhanallah….

  23. abu Abdullah

    April 9, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    Bismillah.

    in the sunnah of Siddiq akbar, may Allaah be pleased with him, i ask this dua for Dr Farhat.

    Allaahumma laa tu’aakhizuha bimaa yaquloon, wa ja’alaha khayra mimma yazunnoon, waghfiruhaa mala ya’maloon. Allaahumma ameen.

  24. Student of Al Huda

    April 9, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakathu ~

    I am a student of Al Huda, Alhamdulillah. I started the program in October 2007 online and listened to Dr. Farhat Hashmi live. I truly don’t have the words to explain how it (and Al Maghrib Institute) has transformed my live. Alhamdulillah I was blessed to start with Al Maghrib classes in our city and a year or two later Al Huda entered my life. I don’t know why I was blessed but the similarities and the consistencies in both institute strengthened my faith and I started to believe… I went from being born Muslim to wanting to be Muslim. Alhamdulillah. As one of the earlier posts said well, its not Dr. Farhat Hashmi or any instructor or institute – it’s the light of knowledge the simple yet powerful understanding of Qur’an and Sunnah that transforms the heart and mind and eventually our actions.

    May Allah preserve and bring Dr. Farhat Hashmi back to Canada, currently she is not leading live classes (although everything is available online at the packed website, http://www.farhathashmi.com. May Allah preserve our dear ustazah and all my dear shayookhs of Al Maghrib and their families and bless them with the best in this life and the highest levels of Jannah in the akhirah.

    We visited ustazah in Toronto in May of 2008. I went there with my two children and my mom. I was overwhelmed with how much love her and her staff welcomed us with. While speaking to the ustazah I could not grasp just how soft spoken and humble and simple she was. What I will never forget is when my 4 year old kept asking me for water and I neglected her to listen to her advice – she stopped and asked another sister in the office to attend to her, a 4 year old, first and foremost. She doesn’t only teach the Qur’an masha Allah she modeled it so much in our very short meeting. May Allah preserve her and her family and give barakha in her efforts and I pray Quran is in every hand and every heart. Subhan Allah, Alhumdulillah, Wa La illa Ha il lal lah! Ameen.

  25. Sara

    April 10, 2010 at 7:11 AM

    Asalamualikum,
    i would like to take this opportunity to give credit to all that Alhuda has done for me, how it has helped me become a better Muslim. My duas are with Dr.Farhat and her family, may Allah (swt) keep her healthy and give her even more success in the work that she is trying to do

    as far as Alhuda being an institute that caters to only wealthy women…i would disagree. The first person that i met who was associated with Alhuda was a Pakistani taxi driver. Two of his daughters had done the course and one of them was even teaching at Alhuda, Islamabad. I’ve also seen that the number of females that belong to rural areas and do the course is greater than the number that belong to urban areas (or are wealthy) but its just that when such things happen in the lower socio-economic strata, they don’t get noticed but when change occurs in the upper classes, even if its not that big, it gets noticed

  26. ayesha adeel

    April 10, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    Dr Hashmi is giving and teaching the true Islam which is total Peace ,opposite of todays extremism and wrong picture of Islam.
    She guide toward path of peace and tolerance . she is the ray of true light of peace in todays darkness of hatered and war.

  27. Tehseen Fatima

    April 11, 2010 at 2:26 AM

    I lerned from Dr. Farhat Hashmi that the life is too precious to be wasted for minor things that have no value. Muslims should learn to value the time – it will make a big difference on personal and international levels.

  28. bintarshad

    April 11, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    If you’ve ever found yourself saying, I wish I could ‘truly’ understand the Quran, Al-Huda is the answer and has been the answer….for many women and now men too. Al-Huda has to ability to take students with no prior Arabic/Quranic background and teach Arabic through just the Quran. Once a student completes the first Juz, they already know more than 60% of the words in the Quran. Rather than spending 5-10 year trying to learn Arabic before even touching the Quran (plus keep in mind the Quran is written is in classical arabic), Al-Huda teaches both simultaneously which allows a student to immediately start grasping each verse’s meaning and hukm. May Allah continue to bless and protect them.

  29. Umm_Ismael

    April 14, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Asslam u alaikum wr wb
    I would only be redundant if i mentioned what has already been expressed by so many sisters and brothers above. I was 12 when i first heard Dr Farhat Hashmi in islamabad and now after eighteen years, it seems that ALLAH has only helped her grow in her knowledge and wisdom alhamdulillah. She is a true teacher not just with respect to deen but with respect to helping each of her students come out in the best possible manner. And all through her endeavours she never focusses on herself but her aim is to link each person to the Quran and Sunnah. I second Sadaf’s comment and pray for all who dedicate their life to deen. An amazing scholar Dr Israr passed away today reminding us of the scarcity of such people in the ummah. May ALLAH Preserve and Advance those who remain steadfast on his path – ameen

  30. Umm-e-Fahd

    April 16, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    A True scholar should be–
    1.One who can develope true love of Allah and Quran in his students .
    2.One who is a role modle by having unity in his words and amal.
    3.One who keeps enhancing his knowledge and his quest for improvement never ends.
    4.One who never criticizes other scholars ,but instead is more focused on spreading the word of Allah.
    5.One who is humble and least interested in fame.
    6.One who has wisdom enough to be a universal personality,and not limited to boundaries,because islam is a universal Deen
    7.One who is openminded enough to use Allah’s blessings like internet ,and other mass communication means in spreading our Deen.
    8.One who has the vision to know that the present day Madrassas donot fulfill the need of the educated muslims.
    9.One who wants nothing else but ‘Quran for all in every hand and every heart ‘.
    10.One who knows that to reach the muslim youth it is the muslim mother who needs to be a better muslim first.

    Such are the traits found in Our Ustazah Dr.Farhat Hashmi
    –Yes all this is what makes Dr.Farhat Hashmi what she is today.——A true scholar.

    MAY ALLAH ACCEPT ALL HER EFFORTS,AND REWARD HER MANIFOLD FOR– ACTUALLY OPENING UP ALLAH”S MESSAGE FOR US.
    AND MAY HER STUDENTS BE THE MOST APROPRIATE SADAQA_E_JARIAH FOR HER.AMEEN.

  31. beena

    April 18, 2010 at 1:30 AM

    Truth always wins :)

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakaatuhu

    The on going classes of Surah NUR preach tolerance and mercy(love this part)…..this is what we want to hear when some one speaks of ISLAM and if others see us spreading it then by Allah’s mercy my beloved teacher has succeeded in her sacred mission ALHAMDULLILAH….may Allah keep us on this path of spreading Nur …ameen

  32. Yusra Ali

    April 20, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    Assalam-u-Alikum,
    I have joined Al-Huda in 2008 December its has only been one year and four months since i started taking the classes i have observed a dramatic positive change in myself. I thanks Allah that he has blessed me with the right knowledge.
    All those criticize Dr. Farhat Hashmi that she is not spreading the right knowledg then why don’t they start spreading right knowledge because it requires nothing in pinpointing the faults but requires a lot of effort when we start doing something.

  33. UmmeAmmaarah

    May 6, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    My dad listens to her lectures driving to and from work! :) I was so surprised, and so proud of my dad. Both my parents are big fans, and I through them. My mom couldn’t attend the online course which is her ardent desire, so she took it upon her to rigidly fix 2hrs/day to learn on her own via the free Tafseer material on the alhuda.pk website. I personally know so many people whom I’ve seen change so much in just a couple of years all thanks to Al-Huda. It truly is a phenomenon. May Allah Ta’Ala multiply their number, their reward and their Barakah.

  34. An Al Hudanian

    May 8, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    Why is Al Huda Institute the way it is?

    because here at Al Huda, we’re just that awesome.

    Alhamdulillah.

    B)

  35. izzah

    May 16, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    Assalmoalaikum,
    This what you see is just a start, this is the point where the spirit of moving forward is tested, If Allah wills, this institute will bring light to every soul breathing on the face of the earth, May Allah keep our spirits high, and keep us and our future generations muslims forever. amin

  36. Khurran Ahmed

    May 20, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Assalam-o-alaikum
    Dr Farhat may well be doing a great job however we need people like Paracha to keep a balance otherwise it would be a really stale and stagnant society. I do not agree with everything he says but some of his stuff is more interesting than many comments here.

    I also agree with when he states that we all talk about living in the US to convert christians and jews to Islam. What will our reaction be if there is a Hindu or Christian living in Pakistan who claims to convert muslims to christianity.

    Some hypocrisy…….. It is a bit ironic that Prophet Muhammad PBUH was such a wise, intelligent and a charismatic leader however his religion got into the hands of people who are pround to denounce common sense and tolerance. It would be good for you to reflect upon yourselves and start to question your stereotypes.

    • Gohar

      July 13, 2010 at 10:56 AM

      There’s no shame in not accepting the spread of taghut, while saying we WILL spread tawhid. That’s not hypocrisy, its common sense. Its not a game where the rules have to be balanced…its a matter of right and wrong. And if anything, Its a proof of the authenticity of the religion that it does not tolerate falseness.

  37. Asif Nadaf

    January 23, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    Allah May Help To spread Islamic scholar world wide, Very Interested & great bayan, talim. Farhat Hasmi ji ko mera salam. Asif nadaf. INDIA

  38. Shazia

    January 23, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    بسم اللہ الرحمٰن الرحیم

    السلام علیکم و رحمۃ اللہ و برکۃ

    May Allah swt strengthen His Taqwa in our hearts. Ameen.

    Life as one knows, is full of new challenges and everyday when we reach a certain level of goodness, shaitan intervenes to create doubts and decrease our degree of Iman. For instance, our level of imaan suffered a lot in the recent controversy of financial audit of ISNA where our dear Ustazah, Dr. Farhat Hashmi has also been mentioned, stating she was sponsored by ISNA to immigrate to Canada.

    It is true that ISNA sponsored her, but it was not for immigration purposes. ISNA invited her to hold lectures and conduct various programmes in Canada for the Muslim community especially the women and youth with authentic knowledge.We are immensely thankful to ISNA for having given us this opportunity.

    As we are all aware, it is a known practice that leading and well established Muslim Organizations offer support to other scholars and teachers whose presence they feel will bring a positive change in the lives of many. They initiate, encourage and sponsor them. All masajid and organizations who are conveying the knowledge of Islam have same goals and objectives so it does not matter from which platform one is working.

    Comments like these from the media for such dedicated mother organizations like ISNA are very discouraging for those who are sincerely striving to serve the Muslim community in the West. I feel their efforts should be appreciated and encouraged by the community. If Dr. Farhat did not accept the ISNA invitation to Canada in the 2000’s do you think that positive change in the lives of many women through learning Quran from her in these few years would have otherwise been possible?

    I personally feel it is a test from Allah swt for us because when one doesn’t value the blessings bestowed, then Allah swt takes away the light of knowledge. Dr. Farhat Hashmi is one such source of light with which she enlightens so many around her. If we are today deprived of scholars like her, then we are truly the deprived ones.

    والسلام

  39. Noreen Fahad Hussain

    June 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    umm.e. abdullatife
    assalam alaikum wa rhama wher is alhuda in abu dhabi plz give me adrese

  40. Noreen Fahad Hussain

    June 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    i love alott my lovely aunty farhat hashmi aap ALLAH ka khas inaam hen hum womens k liyai ALLAH aap ko shet tandrusti k sath zindagi de bhot sari khushiyan dee bhoooooooot sari qamyabi dee ameen love u aunyt

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