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About Fame, a Personal Life, and Responsibility

Fame has also allowed me the opportunity to serve as a link between people who are doing complementary work and are unaware of each other. Thus, great collaborations and synergy in this field are happening. This would not have happened through me, if not for my public profile.

Assalamu Alaikum.  My name is Nouman. I am 36 years old, a father of six and very grateful for having a career that allows me to spend my time doing what I love.

Earlier in my life I developed a passion for the study of the Qur’an and, as a result, of the Arabic language. Now I am running an institute whose sole objective is to spread awareness and appreciation of the Qur’an.  This passion has kept me busy in one way or another for the last fourteen years.  Somewhere along this road, without my conscious realization, I became famous in some circles, notorious in others. I’ve been teaching and giving lectures a long time, but now, suddenly, there are people jumping over each other after a lecture to shake my hand, take a picture or tell me how I’ve changed their life. It’s almost an out-of-body experience and, quite honestly, most of the time I feel like they’re talking about someone else. This enhanced and continually growing public profile has forced me to think about the origins of my work and where it stands now. Actually, I should say it has made me think A LOT about the position in which I find myself. The thoughts I’m about to share with you are personal reflections and are only a commentary from me about me. They are purposely not applicable to any other public speaker, scholar, activist or leader.

Fame is Not a Curse

Nothing in life is; it’s all a test.  I happen to think fame in my circumstance is also a part of my sustenance from Allah. I may not deserve this position, but I am in it, and should thus figure out the best way to leverage it to serve a good cause. That is what any of us must do with whatever gifts, circumstances and challenges Allah bestows upon us.

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Fame has been a true blessing in some ways. For starters, it has allowed me access to incredible scholars and researchers the world over. Additionally, there are people doing remarkable work in the field of Qur’anic and Arabic studies but are virtually unknown, and they simply approach me with their research contributions.  Some of this work is so unique and so incredibly valuable that I can’t think of what I would do without it, yet there is no way I would have even known of its existence had these researchers and scholars not approached me. It is my fame that motivated them to use me as a vehicle to bring their work to light, and I am deeply indebted to them for their consideration.  Fame has also allowed me the opportunity to serve as a link between people who are doing complementary work and are unaware of each other. Thus, great collaborations and synergy in this field are happening. This would not have happened through me, if not for my public profile.

Fame Can Be an Exercise in Humility, Especially Selfies

It’s really a matter of perspective.  I consider myself socially dyslexic.  Whether I’m talking to fifteen people or fifty thousand, it doesn’t really matter to me.  But since this explosion in popularity (relative to my own little world), I’ve had to learn the hard way that I can’t just be conscious of my own perspective, but need to understand that of others as well.

When I first came across people who wanted an autograph or asked to take a picture I was (a) shocked and (b) disgusted. What rock star nonsense was this? Here I am trying to share a message that is the most serious endeavor of my entire life, and trying to help you appreciate its seriousness, and you’re treating me like a performer?  This is not the way of the students of knowledge.  The great teachers and students of our noble past did not take selfies.

That was my perspective and it was wrong, self-righteous and insensitive. It had to change. It took me some time to internalize that I’m actually not reaching out to ‘students of knowledge’.  I’m reaching out to the public, a huge chunk of which is slowly finding its way back to the faith. They, for some reason only Allah truly knows, find it easy to relate to me and appreciate that they can connect with the Qur’an in a personal way through some of my talks.  They haven’t been brought up in a traditional environment where they’ve sat at the feet of a shaikh in a masjid. These are average people, much like me as a matter of fact. Before my own rediscovery of Islam, I, too, would have lined up to take a picture or grab an autograph of someone famous.

If I don’t respect where people are coming from, I can come across as highly condescending and judgmental.  Somebody who asks for a picture may be someone who will appreciate the gesture and, as a result, might share some of my work with family and friends. Maybe this selfie business can actually lead to a good word spreading. You never know.  People may have listened to me for hundreds of hours and feel an emotional bond with me. They may even feel like Allah brought a transformation in their life through my talks. If that is the case, and they come up to me and ask for a picture, this small request might mean a huge deal to them. It may be a gesture of love and appreciation. Turning them down will do nothing to me, but could be extremely hurtful and disappointing to them. I’ve had to learn to think of this problem from the other side. Regardless, there will always be people who feel this entire endeavor is an exercise in narcissism. To them I say, “Whatever dude.”

 

Fame in the Muslim Community Comes With Unrealistic Expectations

At least it does in my experience.  I am the same person I was 14 years ago, when no one knew me. Sure, I have more experience now and understand some things better, but I’m not some elevated spiritual being just because I have half a million followers on Facebook. My work, my contribution, my area of expertise and my continued interest is overwhelmingly in one space.  And even within this space, I’m more a liaison between real scholarship and the larger public, rather than a scholar myself. That is just the fact of the matter, but I’ve learned that for a huge segment of our ummah, attitudes towards public figures manifest in a number of extremes. Here are some of those extremes as they apply to me personally.

On the extreme positives, I get:

a. “Ustadh Nouman! You are the only speaker I listen to! I don’t need anyone else!”

What? Dude!  I ain’t gonna teach ya how to pray, how to do hajj, the history of Islam, manners, fiqh, aqeedah, hadith and a WHOLE bunch of other stuff that you NEED to know. I appreciate the love but you’ve got to broaden your perspective homey!

b.  “Ustadh Nouman! How do I fix my marriage/ family life/ depression/drug addiction/suicidal tendencies/some other really serious issues?”

My beloved brother and sister, I am a teacher and a Qur’an student. Your personal problems are very serious and you need someone truly qualified in matters of counseling to help you with the situation. You might be convinced I will do you good, but I might end up doing more damage without either of us realizing it.

However, I do want to know about some of the troubles, problems and challenges you face because I want to address these issues to bring about awareness of the problems, and at least give some general counsel to benefit you and others. That has actually been my stance on this issue for some time now.  I read your emails and take note of issues that would be pertinent to a larger audience, and try to highlight them in my talks through the Qur’an. I get over a thousand emails a day. If I started answering each email, even if allotting a minute per email….you do the math. I wouldn’t be doing anything else in my life.

c.  “Ustadh, only you can help me. No one else can answer this question.”

Again, my dear brother and sister, help comes from Allah, not from me. I can assure you I want to help, but I may not be able to. Recently I’ve done my best to pass specific types of concerns to other qualified individuals I consider good resources.

On the extreme negatives, I get:

a. “Why don’t you talk about Iraq or Palestine you sellout?”

b. “Why don’t you talk about Hadith you Hadith rejector?”

c. “Why don’t you talk about Aqeedah you deviant?”

d. “Why don’t you talk about Riba and Halal meet, you liberal?”

e. “Why don’t you talk about women’s rights you male chauvinist?”

f. “Why don’t you talk about husbands’ rights you feminist?”

g. “Since you didn’t answer my email or acknowledge my speaking request, it is absolutely evident, without a shadow of doubt, you are a person of dunya who doesn’t care about the ummah and its problems.”

h. “Why don’t you visit our community? Because we are small? You only like big crowds right? I wish you cared about all Muslims, but I guess you don’t.”

There aren’t enough letters of the alphabet for the negatives, but I think you get the picture. I have come to learn that most Muslims either absolutely love their public figures or absolutely hate them. There is no in between.

Once you hear something in one of my talks that disappoints you, I may be written off for life. This, by the way, is a very unrealistic policy towards any relationship.  Imagine if you were written off by friends or family because of one thing you said.  We can disagree.  It’s okay.  I still like you.  I can be wrong. That is okay too. It doesn’t make me Shaitaan.  Chill OUT.  Perfection in human beings ended with Rasulullah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

On another note, no one person can deal with all the issues pertinent to the ummah and to Islam. That is unrealistic, unreasonable and even unhealthy.  Allah’s messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) carried every burden of this ummah single-handedly.  What he ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) carried alone is now distributed amongst an entire ummah.  There will always be something important I didn’t talk about. There will always be a community I didn’t get a chance to visit.

I was never asked to elaborate my position on every issue when I was teaching a small class of fifteen in a masjid in Queens, New York, because the people sitting in front of me didn’t expect guidance from me as a mufti, political activist or theologian. I was just an Arabic and Qur’an teacher to them. With this new fame, the expectations seem to have changed. I realize that and feel compelled to at least try to explain why I don’t speak on certain issues.

The truth is, the world used to be a lot more black and white when I was younger. I’ve learned, through the years, that a lot of my thoughts, opinions and conclusions about various Islamic sciences and international politics were over-simplistic and immature. I’ve learned to take a step back, be honest with myself and comfortably say I just don’t know enough.  It would be irresponsible of me to casually express my opinions, using this platform, especially on issues I don’t fully comprehend.

It often feels like the public expects me to be vocal about all things related to Islam and this ummah, and that I don’t have the right to remain silent on what I don’t fully understand. I am here to let you know that will not happen. Sorry to disappoint you, but I cannot use this position of great influence to speak on issues I truly don’t know enough about.  I will donate to a cause in my personal life without telling you, be convinced of a position in fiqh without telling you and have a particular political inclination without telling you.  I don’t want to tell you because I don’t want any of you to ever think my stances on these issues have anything to do with my study of the Qur’an.  They may not. Religious leaders can have political opinions. That doesn’t mean their opinion is a religious position.  This is why I feel responsible, and either choose to remain silent on these issues or relegate them to someone I consider a scholarly and sincere authority on the subject.  My opinions on certain matters were personal and not worth any Islamic weight 14 years ago, and half a million Facebook followers later, I’m glad to say, that hasn’t changed.

 

Fame is not an Indication of Worth

I feel very blessed to be surrounded by friends and family who know me well, and knew me much before my days of fame.  These people are my rizq as they do not see me as a Youtube personality, or even a religious figure for that matter. I’m just Nouman to them. There are no formalities and no massively exaggerated impressions of what I am. Thank Allah for them.

Being around them constantly is really all the reality check I need.  They know all too well I am no miracle worker, that my talking to someone’s fifteen-year-old isn’t going to solve his issues or their family problems. I give them advice when asked, but mostly I am on the receiving end of their counsel. The awesome thing is they will put me in my place and advise me for the better whether I ask for it or not, and whether I like hearing it or not! Thank Allah for them.

I’ve come to learn the truest impression of who I am will not come from conferences, speeches or Youtube comments, but from that inner circle of genuine friends and loved ones who just tell it like it is. Thank Allah for them.

Fame is Directly Proportional to Exaggeration, but I Don’t Care

Allow me to explain a bit. There are people who love me so much they attribute levels of Iman and Ihsan to me in ways that are just out right ridiculous. Then there are people who deem my intentions so sinister I am likened to the Dajjal.  Both of these have in common the flawed assumption that any human being has the ability to look inside the heart of another and tell where they stand in terms of sincerity.

In this beautiful faith, we give benefit of the doubt and assume the best about people without turning them into saints.  We don’t entertain assumptions about corrupt intentions as our judgments of people are relegated entirely to the realm of actions. In other words, you and I can criticize each other’s words or actions, but intentions are off limits. This, to me, is a principle that applies, regardless of public status, to all Muslims.  It is for this reason both of these exaggerations have no significance to me.

I don’t google myself trying to find out what new allegations are being made about me, and I don’t find validation in compliments and overly flowery words of praise.  I just have to do my best, strive to constantly improve and keep it real with the REAL people in my life (see above).  Let the trollosphere say what it will. I’ve got better things to do than pay mind to it.  Our dignity is protected by Allah and He grants us dignity so long as we dignify His deen.  If I am sincere in my work, my Lord will be enough to defend my integrity, so I don’t have to worry about what isn’t mine to protect.

Fame or No Fame, I am Honored to Serve

The fact that I get to spend my life studying and teaching whatever I can of Allah’s book is a tremendous honor. The fact that so many have benefited from whatever little I have done isn’t my own doing, but Allah’s gift. I am not superior to the people I try to benefit. Rather, I see myself as their servant. I feel a sense of love and loyalty to our youth all over the world that is hard to put in words. You are my people, my family.

Even those who find me a deplorable existence are, at the end of the day, Muslims, and I pray Allah softens our hearts towards each other here and in the hereafter. You disagreeing with me makes you no less of a Muslim in my eyes, and I am no one to judge your worth before our Master. I just pray Allah overlooks my many flaws while trying to serve His flawless deen, and that He does the same for you.

What Will I Use My Fame For, Insha’Allah?

I believe Allah guides people in unique and beautiful ways with His Qur’an. Much like the same rain sprouts every color of flower and every flavor of fruit on this earth, the same revelation inspires every manner of good across different individuals. I will use whatever public profile I have to help spread an appreciation of this beautiful revelation, and expect Allah to reward me for the unique ways in which He will make you bloom.  What you will do with this message is up to you, but I can tell you, even though I don’t know who you are, I am excited at the beautiful things Allah will bring into existence through you, as you become inspired and driven by His powerful words.

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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.

109 Comments

109 Comments

  1. Avatar

    iffat sharif

    July 31, 2014 at 6:33 AM

    SubhanAllah :) it is true that people like me connect to the Quran through your lectures !! That is how Allah guided me to the deen!! The best thing about u is ũř humility and sense of understanding …may Allah bless u Always !!

    • Avatar

      uddin

      July 31, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      MashAllah, hats off to you brother Noman!II’ve no word to comment reading your beautiful feelings and true statement. May Allah place you in a better position.

      • Avatar

        Ruzly

        August 2, 2014 at 3:13 AM

        May the almighty Allah reward you for your great work . . . .i have learned a lot from your lectures & was fortunate enough to meet u & shake your hand . . . unfortunately was not able to take a Selfie with you as it was very crowded.

        For me you revolutionized Islamic teaching & not the traditional speaker type you connect very well with all ages of people.

  2. Avatar

    Hasan

    July 31, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    May Allah bless you here and here after my dear Sheikh. I would like to take a selfie with you in jannathul Firdhouse. May Allah(swt) grant that wish.

  3. Avatar

    Shariff Muhammad Taki

    July 31, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Soubhanallah. Ive read what you said and truely believe in each word you said. May Allah keep blessing you in your task n make things easy. By the way I emailed you for lecture in Mauritius and did not get a confirmed reply yet from your concerned office Mr Nida Kazi
    I also asked if your institute have a sort of boarding school so that I may send my Children to learn from your esteemed institute but I never get any reply. That was little discouraging but I keep hoping to receive a reply soon. Keep it up brother we are proud of you in Allah’s name
    Wassalaam
    Shariff Muhammad Taki
    Mauritius

    • Avatar

      Bayyinah Admissions

      July 31, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      As Salaam alaikum Br. Shariff,

      Jazaakum Allahu Khayran for your comment. We replied to your email on July 13th with information about the Dream Program. Please check your spam folder or if your email has multiple tabs, please check there as well. International students are welcome to apply for the Dream program, however Bayyinah does not offer housing. Students are responsible for securing their own housing for the program. Additional information about the Dream Program, including the application process, admissions criteria, and information for international students can be found at http://bayyinah.com/dream

      Please email Bayyinah Admissions or Sister Nida directly with additional questions or concerns, as we do not regularly monitor comments left on other websites.

      Barak Allah feekum

      • Avatar

        Sadia Kanwal

        November 14, 2015 at 2:01 AM

        Assalam O Alaikum, brother, I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I have a question that in case of divorce matter ….

        *The remainder of the comment was removed by the MM Comments Team*

        • Aly Balagamwala

          Aly Balagamwala

          November 14, 2015 at 4:18 AM

          WaAlaikum Assalam Sister Sadia

          Our page is not equipped to provide religious rulings. We would advise you to submit your question to our “What’s the Matter” section at http://muslimmatters.org/ask/, seek the counsel of your local imam, or to consult a specialized fatwa website, or contact one of the Mashaikh through their Facebook Pages.

          We hope you will continue to read and benefit from the content on our site.

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          Comments Team Lead

  4. Avatar

    patricia

    July 31, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    as salam alejkum ,im muslim convert and your lecture helps me so much. i think you doing a great job for muslims. thanks to Allah, that we have people like you :)

  5. Avatar

    Htike Htike San

    July 31, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    well…its a very good reminder for me…me too was so desperate to see u as u r my hero…but now i realize its nothing to do with ur famines…we hv to ponder on ua words…n learn from ua teaching…thanks for this article…

  6. Avatar

    Hibaysh

    July 31, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Assalamu’alikum brother Nouman.
    I am Hiba, 21 years old, from India.

    I have always been curious about your perspective on these very topics.

    You have absolutely reached the right conclusion when you say that the people, the public who listen to you, develop an emotional bond with you through your talks. I was one of them.
    I still remember during the first year of my college, first time away from my family, in an alien world, in my hostel, how Allah made your talks, my companion. :)

    Seriously, it is amazing how Allah puts His barakah in your words, brother.

    I don’t know if you will respond to these comments, but in sha Allah, I would like to hear your opinions on the following issues

    Do you think it’s fine to desire ‘fame’ or simply a platform so that one can use it for good works, as you are currently doing? You didn’t consciously make an effort for it, as you have stated, but do you think, it’s fine to make an effort to publicize your work? Have you ever hesitated in doing something out of fear or Riyaa?

    I have heard you interpret and clarify some controversial issues such as domestic violence, and some Ayat of the Qur’an regarding menstruation. It would be really awesome (There’s no other word for it) if you could start some sort of segment dedicated to misinterpreted or mistranslated ayat regarding women. I am not sure if you have studied and worked on other ‘controversial’ ayat regarding women, but it really is an area where the tafseer needs to be made available to the public NAK style. :D

    Basically, like you have yourself observed, people can relate to you very well. Please don’t lose your cool-dude style!
    Jazak Allahu Khair and Assalamu’alikum.

    • Avatar

      alynch4047

      July 31, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      What a sensible approach! You’re dealing with the issues you mentioned in a great way, baarakallaahu fiika.

  7. Avatar

    Aisha Hussain

    July 31, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    I enjoyed reading this very much. Please write more of these in the future :)

  8. Avatar

    Nawaz

    July 31, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    SubhanAllah, Ustad Nouman is trying to be humble, but you and I both know what he’s done for us. Specifically it’s the motivation to understand Quran by the language that he uses to communicate with his audience. Many of us owe him more than we can afford in this life. We pray Allah grants him the balance that we cannot give him in sincere thanks and love.

    JazakAllah Khair bro, you made a generation of muslims that much more connected to the Deen, and for that you will always be our first love.

  9. Avatar

    Aaminah

    July 31, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Walaikum as salaam, ustadh Nouman! I truly appreciate you for sharing this! I will post this to share with my family and friends, inshallah. Jazakallahu khairan :-)

  10. Avatar

    Hope2Go

    July 31, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Well I am also one of your students. I hope Allah helps you in being steadfast and more firm upon the deen e Islam. Jazak Allah hu khayr!

  11. Avatar

    Mansur

    July 31, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    JazakAllah fiddarain khair, for all that you do.

  12. Avatar

    J

    July 31, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    JazakAllah khair for the piece.

    One thing I realised after coming across brother Nouman is that, we as the ummah need to help each other out instead of relying on the select few people to shoulder all the responsibility. We need to actively learn from these people or learn from any available source, and spread the knowledge. Imagine an ummah, where everyone knew the language of the Qur’an just like the brother?! Would we then have select few well-known personalities, or an ummah that was self-sufficient in its knowledge that didn’t have to run to others for second opinions on simplest of matters. We need to learn from people like him. Today, we see a brother who is very knowledgeable and has much better grasp of Qur’anic arabic compared to the most. I’m pretty sure a lot of hard work and dedication went after it. Lot more than we will ever see or hear about.

    May Allah (SWT) give us the strength to invest in the deen and in attaining its knowledge. May Allah (SWT) grant us more teachers and students of this deen so that its knowledge may flourish. Ameen.

  13. Avatar

    Sanaa

    July 31, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Jazak Allah khayran Ustadh Nouman for posting this article and for everything you are doing in Allah’s cause. It was very important to read something like that from you and I will pass it on as well. Your critics need to read your thoughts about what they say and the people who appreciate you need to realize your stance on the position you are in today. May Allah reward for the millions of lives you have touched.

  14. Avatar

    Helana Rawwad

    July 31, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Everything you have said is so true..May Allaah give you a long blessed life to help us even more..Ameen

  15. Avatar

    Abdullah

    July 31, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Salaam.

    Are we even allowed to make money out of/by spreading Islam/Qur’an? As a ‘career’? Your thoughts please Ustadh Nouman.

    • Avatar

      Sara

      August 5, 2014 at 2:10 AM

      Of course you are. If you have kids and send them to
      islamic school or bring them a Quran teacher at home,
      dont you pay them?

      How else are they supposed to buy things that only money
      can buy such as food, clothing, further education, housing?

      Why do you see money as being bad or dirty?

      Money is good…its a tool that allows us to build more schools, build more hospitals, help our families and pay charity

      What is bad is greed and “attachment and love” of money

      As a wise man said….Love the people and use money, and not the other way around

  16. Avatar

    Abu Shaummo

    July 31, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    I feel blessed to subscribe Bayyinah TV and listen to your many lectures. This is a great service to Muslims and humanity.
    I think you rightly chose this topic of fame, and shed light on such an important element in your life. I pray that Allah keeps you in his guidance, because no one is safe until one reaches the Almighty. I pray that no matter how much your fame increases, you remain appropriately humbled.

  17. Avatar

    Khadija

    July 31, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Assalamu Alaykum I am Arab Muslim . I like to be like you . I like your way of Dawah

  18. Avatar

    Khadijah

    July 31, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    I Ask Allah swt to reward you for the amazing work you brought forth and the beautiful gift and honor he has given you ! Masha’allah ! Jazakullahu Khairain For Sharing your thoughts with the public Sheikh Nouman ! Totally Awesome

  19. Avatar

    Nazish

    July 31, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    I feel really connected to the story you elaborated about yourself however I find fame as a test. As I feel I am not only responsible of myself but also so many others who are following me in my little community and school I run. At the same time I feel if one is feel natural he/she can react naturally not in the character people want to see them in.

  20. Avatar

    Muneeb

    July 31, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    May Allah SWTA accept your sincerity and watch out Ustad.

  21. Avatar

    Noor Saadeh

    July 31, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    Nice and thank you. Fame is tough to deal with. So important to stay connected to Allah and humble. Who are doing it for anyway? Nice to hear you express yourself in this way.

  22. Avatar

    Hassan Mushtaq

    July 31, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    Why don’t you answer my phone calls?? :)

    My parents are here, but now leaving tomorrow, I wish my mother could meet your mother after long time. May be next time insha’Allah

    • Avatar

      Sara

      August 5, 2014 at 2:17 AM

      dont be needy

      Stop acting like people owe you their time….dont act entitles to anything

  23. Avatar

    Kirana

    July 31, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    I’m an ‘in between’. Again, probably you have no time to read this but: You are mostly a teacher and a bridge, as you said, and I relate to that. You have a good blend of generality and relevance.

  24. Avatar

    waseema

    July 31, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Asalam u alykum brother Nauman,, loved 2 read this just like i love 2 listen 2 u,,,Alhamdulilah 4 ppl lyk u,,,n kp up the gud work.

  25. Avatar

    Ola

    July 31, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    mashaAllah!!! and also SobhnaAllah
    I truly and truly needed this article.
    Alhomdulliah for people like Br. Nouman. May Allah accept from all of us and truly make sincere, Ameen.

  26. Avatar

    Astri

    July 31, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Barakallah n jazakallah khoiron katsiro for what you have done..may Alloh blessing you always…keep istiqomah..keep humble..

  27. Avatar

    Madiha Ahmed

    July 31, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    Assalamualaikum.Ustadh Nouman.

    Allah guided me to the Deen and loving it and I want to serve it to the best of my ability with His Help,in sha Allah …and all this happened through your lectures and notes. May Allah bless you and your family. May Allah Help you to continue to inspire many more people and change lives.Ameen

  28. Avatar

    Bilal Abdullah

    July 31, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    Assalaamualaykum Ustadh Nouman and all the REAL people around him,

    SubhanAllah!! Your timely arrival onto the Global Islamic Scene has certainly raised awareness amongst the rather disillusioned and dis-engaged Ummah.

    Allah azza wa jal has empowered you and many other scholars with the knowledge and its dissemination, truly path-breaking. The responsibility lies on all of us, its recipients, to take it, apply it and transform ourselves.

    Personally, I feel blessed to be part of your virtual classrooms – learning, spreading and gaining a little bit of fame as a Nouman disciple :)

    You are certainly the fulcrum of Islamic Rennaissance – I have absolutely no doubt about that.

    May Allah SWT bless you and your family and all those behind the scene @ Bayyinah, with more strength and ability to serve HIS glorious Deen and to be the guiding light for all of us when there is no light except that of the Holy Quran. Aameen.

  29. Avatar

    Dr mohamed zarougui

    July 31, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    May Allah showrs you with more baraka for the time you striving to use

  30. Avatar

    Na'ima B. Robert

    July 31, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    I can relate to this on so many levels, subhanAllah! Wonderful to read and learn from, barakAllahu feek.

  31. Avatar

    Arif Abdullah

    July 31, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    Subhan’Allah, I cannot describe the sense of contentment that I felt while reading this article by Ustadh Nouman. Off late, I’ve been advised to stay away from “NAK” lectures and I was being told that he has no formal background, he is not from the salaf and so on. I was so disturbed by this because my own friends were being influenced by such derogatory articles online. This article has addressed all the issues including myself.Yes,I’m that person who has an emotional bond with Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan and I’m overjoyed to know the fact that he is concerned about the youth. I was even more overjoyed when I got a gift subscription to Bayyinah TV. Being a revert, I cannot describe my emotions when I started learning the tafseer series in Bayyinah TV.I can never forget the way Ustadh Nouman taught me the ayah of ‘Nuran Ala Nur’. I dont think I would have been able to ponder over it by reading the translation. There is one ayah that I recently came across in ‘Qur’an for Young Adults’ that puts everything into perspective. -“Our Lord, indeed we have heard a caller calling to faith, [saying], ‘Believe in your Lord,’ and we have believed. Our Lord, so forgive us our sins and remove from us our misdeeds and cause us to die with the righteous.(3:193)
    Yes,Ustadh Nouman is just a caller to faith and I’m sure there are many more people whose lives have been influenced by this Da’ae. All this would not have been possible without the Barakah of Allah Subhanawatala. I pray that Allah continues to shower his Barakah on Ustahd Nouman, his family,his Bayyinah team and on all those people who have and who will continue to benefit from this Barakah.

    • Avatar

      Sara

      November 3, 2016 at 4:41 PM

      Subhanallah, this comment really touched me. I feel exactly the same and that’s what I’m actually brought me to this page. A “salaf” friend tried advising me to stay away although this person’s knowledge literally changed my life and made me a muslim. In atempt for stronger defense, I searched for his comments on these criticisms although in my heart I was already convinced. It’s so sad how Muslims are the first to try to bring down other Muslims in such an immature and narrow way of thinking. I feel blessed to see the beauty and wisdom in all that he teaches, because clearly not everybody gets to experience it. Alhamdulillah…

      • Avatar

        Noor

        October 18, 2017 at 12:44 PM

        Same here sister Sara!Same here!May Allah keep us steadfast and protect out teacher!

  32. Avatar

    farhan

    July 31, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Walaikum assalam ustad Nouman:) Till yesterday i was amazed by your talks. Now i am even amazed by your writings. Masha Allah.

    May Allah(swt) grant all of us (you, your students & umma at large) Jannat ul firdose – Ameen.

  33. Avatar

    islam

    July 31, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    American scholars like Hamza Yusuf and Noman Ali Khan seem to be completely silent at the atrocities that are taking place in gaza.

    They have purified themselves so much that their hearts have become hard as stones. .whereas you will find non-muslim journalists/public are raising their voice in protest and weeping at the massacre that is taking place.

    • Avatar

      Sara

      August 5, 2014 at 2:16 AM

      And what have you done for islam or gaza and other atrocities?

      Do you just complain about the problems and blame “Arab Leaders” and “muslim governments”

      You have probably done nothing of value for anyone….because you are a small and little person.

      how do I know this, because people of value would not have time to spend commenting negatively about others

    • Avatar

      mohd

      September 19, 2015 at 3:46 PM

      This time s the problem.. .when our people do something good.. .The first one to critisize is from our ummah only.. ..appreciate what he is doing and if you are having any issue with them.. Reach out and discuss with them. They aldo know what is happening and there would be reasons for them to behave like this. We ourselves are not doing anything but are here. On net critisizing the man through whom Allah(swt) has guided many.

  34. Avatar

    Khadijah A.

    July 31, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu

    Jazaakumullahu khairan katheeran wa katheera.

  35. Avatar

    Norlian Daud

    July 31, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    Assalamu’alaikum…I am most grateful thar through you Ustadh Nouman n Mufti Menk..I have started to appreciate the Quran much more n have realised how important it is to understand what Allah SWT Has Revealed to us via His Prophet, our Beloved Rasulullah SAW…I m certainly not your targetted youth group but have nevertheless benefitted so much from your teaches.May Allah SWT Bless you and your family n your coworkers always…Aamiin
    Jazakallahu khairan kathira…

  36. Avatar

    Norlian Daud

    July 31, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    Typo errors:1) grateful that
    2)your teachings…

  37. Avatar

    Uthman Badar

    August 1, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    Assalamu alaykum akhi Nouman,

    Allah reward your good work.

    Some excellent and beneficial points you raise, and some others that require, I think, some further thought.

    Some points for your consideration:

    1. Most Muslims do not operate at the extremes of love or hate. It’s probably more that those who do are more likely to make a point of it, and these points are more likely to register with the recipient than the more benign or nuanced feedback since the former have an emotional element to them with both the sender and receipent. I’m sure there are many Muslims who are not in agreement with your politics or some other element of your work but would continue to benefit from your tafsir and general talks. It’s a minority that throws out the baby with the bathwater.

    2. Remaining silent/relegating on something you lack expertise in is a good thing. However, this does not justify your silence on many issues of the Ummah. Some political issues need expertise, others do not, but you are silent across the board. For instance, one does not need a political science degree from Harvard to know that what Israel is currently doing in Gaza is wrong, or that Sisi is a tyrant or that the rulers in the Muslim world more generally are under foreign influence and do not implement Islam, etc. Yes, to know, for instance, what exactly is going on in Syria or Egypt in terms of players, agendas, objectives, etc. requires analysis and expertise. This is where one relegates (still not an excuse for silence, since one is meant to consult and find out from those who do know). But knowing that Assad/Sisi is a tyrant who is against Islam is rather plain.

    This is where you have a responsibility to use your influence to contribute in leading the Ummah’s struggle for Islam and its implementation. To speak against tyranny, oppression and kufr, to enjoin the good and forbid evil, etc. None of this requires deep expertise. It requires understanding, will and courage.

    An understanding all students of the Qur’an must have – else something is wrong with their study – because so much of the Qur’an is about the struggles of the prophets and Allah manifesting his perfect attributes through these – struggles for political change as much as spiritual change. How anyone can study the examples of Musa (as), Nuh (as), Ibrahim (as) and most of all the Messenger of Allah (saw) and still restrict themselves to an apolitical activism is difficult to understand and indeed very disappointing.

    3. You say, “I’ve learned to take a step back, be honest with myself and comfortably say I just don’t know enough. It would be irresponsible of me to casually express my opinions, using this platform, especially on issues I don’t fully comprehend.”

    This would be the next-best ideal (after actually learning where one lacks and getting engaged). However, you have in recent times done exactly this: casually express over-simplistic views. On the issue of khilafah for instance. you don’t positively address the matter of your own accord (by choice I imagine), but when asked questions you have displayed a tendency more than once to offer flippant remarks. It would be better if you did not do this.

    Allah forgive your shortcomings and ours and guide us all to what is most pleasing to Him.

    • Avatar

      h

      August 2, 2014 at 8:13 AM

      BaarakAlah feek – well written – constructive feedback.
      May Allah forgive all of us..

    • Avatar

      Sara

      August 5, 2014 at 2:20 AM

      that would distract him from his current goal…of bringing the understanding of the Quran to the masses

      • Avatar

        O H

        August 10, 2014 at 2:49 AM

        As if such issues are separate from the message of the Qur’an and the deen?! Infact knowledge and analysis of such issues is well rooted in the Qur’an and this is pretty clear to whoever has studied the history of the Prophet’s and their struggle against transgressors. This would boost the understanding of the Qur’an to the masses as it’s very relevant to our times and we could relate the current affairs of the Ummah with the ayaat of the Qur’an. Avoiding such discussions is a distraction from a comprehensive & contemporary understanding and application of the Qur’an.

        I am a big fan of NAK myself but this is an area in which many of the speakers can improve. It doesn’t change the fact that he is a source of much goodness for the Ummah.

        Alhamdulillaah we all have been blessed with many shuyookh/speakers so each of us should take the various aspects of the deen from different speakers depending on their strengths and areas of expertise as NAK himself has urged his audience. I personally benefit immensely from his tafseer work but when it comes to political matters, oppression of the Ummah, activism, etc I would prefer other speakers. This is the same when it comes to issues of fiqh, etc.

        May Allaah Subhana wa ta ‘ala enable him to benefit the Ummah even more and reward him greatly for his efforts, Ameen.

  38. Avatar

    Omar Ibrahim

    August 1, 2014 at 2:02 AM

    Assalamu ‘Alaykum Akhi,

    It is refreshing to hear from you in this way. Though your lectures are wide spread and they are certainly one of the first things that had brought me closer to the quran they certainly will make someone like myself feel far away. Written word has a different impact I suppose.

    I want to say that I do not think you give yourself enough credit because the word of Allah is the greatest thing we have to guide to Islam and to build a strong ummah, along with the sunnah of our messenger peace be upon him of course. What I mean is that few speak about the quran the way that you do, and to be honest, few can. I think this is one thing that is prevalent in our day and age, a lack of acknowledgement of who of us Allah has bestowed with what.

    Of course the internet creates a false sense of community so I pray Allah protects all of us from its fitnah.

    I had longed to reach out to you and to join you at Bayyinnah but it seems Allah had other plans for me. I still believe insha’allah that we will be able to meet and work together someday, however. I have continued to pursue my studies of language and the quran as I see no other course as being more honorable.

    The prophet peace be upon him encouraged us to tell those we love that we love them. It was you who introduced me to Sheikh al-Sha’rawy and his genius (being Egyptian, I’m somewhat embarrassed at myself), and I continually study him to this day. I have also discovered a gem of knowledge by the name of Sheikh Sa’d al-Kamaly from Morocco , and I must say that him, you and sheikh Sha’rawy are among those I love most in the path of Allah, at least from our most modern scholars and students of knowledge, though I have yet to meet any of you! Well I actually met you once in New York, but it was a fleeting encounter.

    In any case I wish you and yours the very best, and I hope to read more from you insha’allah.

    Salam

  39. Avatar

    Tiya from Indonesia

    August 1, 2014 at 3:48 AM

    I hope that one day I can study Quran in Bayyinah institute :) aamiin

  40. Avatar

    Irshad

    August 1, 2014 at 6:22 AM

    Jazakallah Ustadh Nouman. Your written words had a larger impact on me than the spoken ones :-) Because the subject is relevant to my life as well, in its own little capacity. For me, these were the two highlights:

    1. “….it was wrong, self-righteous and insensitive……I’m actually not reaching out to ‘students of knowledge’. I’m reaching out to the public….who haven’t been brought up in a traditional (learning) environment.
    2. “….Fame is part of my sustenance (and test) from Allah. I may not deserve this position, but I am in it, and should thus figure out the best way to leverage it to serve a good cause”

    Jazakallahu Khairan for delivering this clarification to me in your own way…connected and personalized. As one brother said, Insha Allah we wil take a family selfie in Jannah!

  41. Avatar

    Meraj Shaikh

    August 1, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    JazakAllahu Khayr Usthad Nouman Ali Khan,

    I hope the Muslims didn’t say the negatives

  42. Avatar

    somayyamasood

    August 1, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    wa ‘alaikum ssalm w rahmatullah

    Alhumdulillah, You have said ‘everything’ that i wanted to hear/read by a famous public speaker and a well-known ‘public figure’ regarding their fame.

    BarakAllahu feek, may Allah accept every effort you put in learning, teaching and preaching His deen, and may He (the one void of all evil) purify our intentions. Ameen

  43. Avatar

    umbudimary

    August 1, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Jzk. My brother was part of your first bayyinah student batch and I heard many beautiful things.
    I pray for Allah to keep you sincere to Him alone. Truly He has guided you to this and may He bless you and your family.

    I think its also so important to be reminded that no speaker has perfect. And that’s simply an unrealistic expectation we are prone to developing.

  44. Avatar

    Noor-e-Hira

    August 1, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Walaikum assalam! Very nice article and a reminder for all of us.

    Thanks so much and may Allah increase you in His way. Ameen!

  45. Avatar

    Nabila

    August 1, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh brother Nouman,

    It was very enlightening to read your article. May Allah (swt) reward you for all the work that you do with Allah’s help. Just prior to Eid, an elderly person was trying to warn me about you and I was obliged to at least listen. Her main point of concern was that why don’t you speak about ‘Aqeedah’ in each and every lecture of yours. I personally that of it as a ridiculous request, because every lecture has a different topic. But she kept on insisting that all speakers all around the world must only talk about ‘Aqeedah’ due to it’s immense importance. But Alhamdulillah, now I know why not everyone talks about ‘Aqeedah’ in detail. This article is perfectly timed and may Allah (swt) preserve and increase your honor in this dunya and akhira both, Ameen. May Allah (swt) put immense barakah in your work, Ameen.

  46. Avatar

    Mahmoud

    August 1, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    A.aleikum brother,

    I always admired your work and I wish I will benefit from it insha alah. Just to comments on what you said regarding being silent on political views, for examples what Israel doing to Gaza to condemn and aware muslims ragarding this issue I don’t think one have to be experts. When Allah make a person leader of the ummah or scholar they have more responsibility to wards the ummah if you see some one opressing some one else even if they are non believe you have to stop it by action or by addressing about it, just like Arab leaders if you are silent about muslim being oppressed then you will be the same as them.

    May Allah accept our good deeds and forgive our short coming.

  47. Avatar

    Mahmoud

    August 1, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    One more thing I would like to say even If I don’t agree on certain point with you this will not make me to hate you or not to benefits from your great work. I always love you for the sake of Allah.
    Jazakumulah khair

  48. Avatar

    Ameen

    August 1, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    May Allah give numan Ali Khan steadfastness on the truth, may He purify his intentions always, may He accept from him.

  49. Avatar

    Ahmad Abdallah Toure

    August 1, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    Mash’Allah! like everyone else i will just make du’a for you, that Allah grants guidance and happiness in your live and your loved ones. I listen to many scholars all around the world but the special thing that made me more curious about your lectures was your sense of humor and how it directly hits us(young adults). Once again May The Almighty keeps you safe and your loved ones. Amiiin

  50. Avatar

    sahul hameed

    August 1, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    Enjoyed reading your thoughts – frank and humble. God bless.

  51. Avatar

    Mohammad Faisal

    August 2, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    Its a very long artical to read. Could you please have a audio or video lecture of this?

    • Avatar

      Sara

      August 5, 2014 at 2:23 AM

      do you think the world revolves around you?

      Dont make selfish requests

      Everything in life must be win/win….not just what ever is convenient for you

      • Avatar

        Mohammad Faisal

        August 6, 2014 at 7:27 AM

        I’ve heard many lectures of Brother Nouman and many of them are on youtube. So I’ve just made a request if it could be possible for him to have a video or audio lecture on same could help. In support to my request I would like to make a point that things can be easily remembered if they are seen or heard. I’m not being selfish, it could help others.

  52. Avatar

    Nasy

    August 2, 2014 at 3:59 AM

    Jazaka Allah khayraa, please write more of these in the future :)

  53. Avatar

    Melanie

    August 2, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    Your honesty was refreshing..I have never been one of those cult of personality type people !!
    People are all flawed.
    Actually, I have had you as a teacher in both Bayyinah and Quran Intensive and your style was completely different each time..both times beneficial..Alhamdulilah
    Thank you for writing this article..

    • Avatar

      Melanie

      August 2, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      ps. i like that your picture is a normal picture, not posed.. nice.

  54. Avatar

    The Shardul of Allah

    August 2, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Here is my observation about Usthadh Nouman Ali Khan:

    I have been following the lectures of NAK for years and I have greatly benefited from them. And I sincerely ask Allah to bless bother NAK for all the good he has done.

    Initially, when NAK was not so famous, he used to come and give lectures/seminars without any pressure. Whenever he would talk, it would be straight and it would directly affect my heart. However, recently, when NAK become famous, NAK changed his dress and also his bread. He trimmed his beard and and now he always appears in suit and pant (I may be hated for this but I am one of those Muslims who is greatly concerned about the length of beard and length of pant; after all our prophet and righteous predecessors were concerned about them). With the change of appearance, I also feel that NAK now unnecessarily tries to make his audience laugh. Also probably because of fame and because of speaking on response to public demand, NAK lost the natural aura and the direct way he used to have while giving talks before. NAK’s talks are still beneficial, but I miss his old appearance and the talks of his fame-less days, which were much effective on the hearts.

    • Avatar

      Sara

      August 5, 2014 at 2:26 AM

      do you have any other requests? would you like some coffee with that maybe?

      What else should we change to suit your needs, your excellency?

    • Avatar

      O H

      August 10, 2014 at 12:54 AM

      Assalamu alaykum.

      The Beard and pant length is not insignificant but nor is the negative assumption you have made. Infact the latter could be far worse! The correlation you have made between his fame and beard/pant length is quite absurd. Plus how do you know that he tries to make the audience laugh just to get more fame? It could be that he is forced to do that to prevent boredom and hence motivate the audience time to time. A speaker who fails to understand his audience is bound to be ineffective & so as long as he fine tunes his approach in a manner which isn’t unislamic, it’s a praiseworthy trait.

      Btw wearing a suit is better than turning up in a t-shirt, hoodie like some other speakers do so long as Isbal is avoided.

      The only worry I have of NAK and many other speakers is that the US is not a place conducive for speaking the haqq for obvious reasons.

  55. Avatar

    abahe

    August 3, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    jazakallah khairan katsiran :)

  56. Avatar

    Jannatun Naayeem

    August 3, 2014 at 6:48 AM

    As salamu alikum brother Nouman.I want 2 listen all of your lectures in a day.it is so addictive;seems like i want 2 know all d things at a moment..your knowledgeable talk is like that..no one can reject this in whose heart has fear of Allah.
    Can you do something for India Pakistan & Bangladesh about d Arabic language.
    May Allah blessed you.

  57. Avatar

    Sayeeda

    August 3, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Assalam Alaikum wa rahmataullahi wa barkatuhu.
    Brother Nouman , just wanted you to know. We have a small woman’s madrasah in Bangalore, India catering mainly to poor women who have no access to the Internet and who don’t understand English either. It’s a run by a group of women who are not formally trained alimas but have a passion to teach .Saturday is “dars day” and open to the general public. I cannot count the number of times we simply translated one of your lectures to Urdu ( word for word) and delivered the dars. And alhamdulillah , each one of those was a roaring success. May this be a thawab jaariyah for you and may Allah swt bless you and your family and give you the strength to continue this amazing work ! Ameen !

    • Avatar

      Sister

      August 4, 2014 at 3:41 AM

      Assalamualaikum

      Have you heard of Dr. Farhat Hashmi? Her lectures from her institute AlHuda are available Urdu and very effective as she speaks to the hearts of south asian women. Even if you just proadcast her lectures in your dars in Bangalore it could be really effective. Just an idea. May Allah bless you and your work with the womens madrasah.

      • Avatar

        Sayeeda

        August 5, 2014 at 4:00 AM

        Wa alaikum sala wa rahmatullahi .
        Yes indeed , we know of Dr Farhat Hashmi and we are all her virtual students.She is an amazing Ustadha , may Allah preserve her. Ameen. Her lectures formed the basis of our Urdu Quran classes . And yes , we have relied on her too for the Saturday dars. Jazakallha khair for your duas , Ameen. May Allah swt give us all the strength to do whatever we can for His deen. Ameen.

    • Avatar

      Sara

      August 5, 2014 at 2:28 AM

      thats amazing…May Allah bless you

    • Avatar

      O H

      August 10, 2014 at 12:20 AM

      Heard Dr Israr Ahmed is also quite good. I believe Br Nouman Ali Khan is his student.

  58. Pingback: About Fame, A Personal Life, and Responsibility by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan | Al Muqarraboon

  59. Avatar

    Sara

    August 5, 2014 at 2:31 AM

    I think the reason people love Ustad Nouman Ali Khan and other sheikhs such as Yasir Qadhi and Bilal Philips, is because they explain things. So many people are just told to pray and to fast without being given any “wisdom” with the advice.

    The youth want to know why they have to do something

    And I wont lie, my mp3 player is filled with lectures from NAK and Yasir Qadhi……I like to listen to thinkers who make me think

  60. Avatar

    Malak

    August 17, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    So much I had on my mind reading this, but after the last very very beautifully written lines.. I can ONLY say … THANK YOU!

  61. Avatar

    za

    August 18, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    This made me cry…..we human beings are too foolish.and ignorant…may allah reward nauman ali khan for his work.

  62. Avatar

    Faiza

    August 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Ustaad Nouman! I love you for Allah’s sake….

  63. Avatar

    zara mariah

    March 24, 2015 at 7:09 AM

    Mashallah ….!!! having such a great fame hiz just down to earth ….!!! i wish to b hiz student ….!!!! :)

  64. Avatar

    V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

    April 9, 2015 at 11:40 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum. I enjoyed reading your inspiring expressions. In the present world one has to be careful in every aspect of life. Taking people together for peace and making this world a beautiful place to live in us the biggest noble task.

  65. Avatar

    Madeeha

    May 29, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    Pray to Allah & keep going !…..Best of luck !

    Allah is with us all…InshaAllah

  66. Avatar

    taimoor

    June 10, 2015 at 8:02 AM

    i just want to thank you (nouman ali khan) for your youtube lectures.
    You have such a great understanding of human psychology….i have never been influenced by any religious leader or scholar so much that i got by your lectures…..

  67. Avatar

    Noman Ali

    November 7, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    Sir, Noman Ali Khan l wondered to see and read you with such spirits in America, so plz pray for me…. And l have no more words to express my feelings for you….

  68. Avatar

    Nasreen Abdulla

    December 20, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    Asalaamu Alaikum.
    Brother Nouman, May Allah bless you for all your efforts in spreading your knowledge of the wisdoms of the Quraan.
    It makes me sit back and ponder over my life and strive to do better.

  69. Avatar

    Edris

    December 27, 2015 at 1:46 AM

    Asalaamoalikum Nouman ali khan, I seen you couple times at the reviving islamic spirit convention. Just wanted to say your different than the other lecturers you always walk through the bazaar so humbly. Nobody realizes it’s you because they would never expect you to walk among everyone else. Mashallah keep it up you.

  70. Avatar

    E. M

    February 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM

    Thanks for everything Mr. Nouman Ali Khan! I hope I see you in Jannah with my family, and talk about all your YouTube lectures and so forth. #keepdoingwhatyou’redoing

    E

  71. Avatar

    Syed

    March 2, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    AoA
    Please send me the letter

  72. Avatar

    Parveen

    June 2, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    I am proud of you son

  73. Avatar

    Sue Hashim

    June 22, 2016 at 5:05 AM

    You have done a very good job. Keep it up ustadh!

  74. Avatar

    Sohail Arif

    June 23, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    Ma sha Allah.. What a wonderful read. Ustadh Nouman Ali khan clarifies things beautifully. I listen to his talks. This was the first time that I ‘read’ him, so to say.

    Good work Muslim Matters :)

  75. Avatar

    Zahid

    June 30, 2016 at 3:34 AM

    Masha Allah
    DOING GREAT WORK FOR THE SERVICE OF ISLAM.

  76. Pingback: Nouman Ali Khan: Tentang Ketenaran, Kehidupan Pribadi Dan Tanggung Jawab | nakindonesia

  77. Avatar

    R47

    July 21, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    Islam scholars and qari are totally milking the poor Muslims. They love this capitalist system that totally enables them to flourish in the dunya and reap rewards for a gift Allah has given them, that really should be used as a ticket for the Aakirah. I may not be the most perfect or knowledgeable Muslim. But I will never charge a dollar to give you dawah. I refuse to spoil what little I have, for a trivial worldly gain. The Quran al Karim does embellish on these points, and the evil selling the deen is also covered in a hadith.
    If you are a true alim you would stand up and say death to Bayt Al Saud. And you would prefer to liberate the holy lands from the racist tyrant friends of the athiest occult capitalist oppressors.

  78. Avatar

    sage

    October 27, 2016 at 5:22 AM

    May Allah bless you and your family Jannah
    Dont stop spread goodness and your knowledge about qur’an
    The world needs more people like you
    especially for a mualaf like me.

    Thank you for all of the knowledge about qur’an
    I’m still learning about all of it, and pray to Allah..may Allah give me a lot of knowledge about the quran before my time is end in this dunya.

    Barakallah my teacher…

  79. Avatar

    Sara

    November 3, 2016 at 4:23 PM

    To be honest, anyone who listens to his lectures can easily pick up on his positions regarding what he discussed above. Its sad that you try to do something good and get so much judgement from others. It’s sad that he has to explain this, although I understand why. But I feel like this should be obvious to the average human. HE never labeled himself a sheikh or mufti or some kind of scholar. Ustadth means teacher. Just because he got a mouse doesn’t mean now he has to change himself to be arole model or something. He is who he is, another Muslim trying his best and doing something great for islam. His intentions are between him and Allah. To expect everything and perfection from someone is just ridiculous, so I’m sorry he had to explain that but some people really need to stop judging. May Allah swt bless him in his cause.

    • Avatar

      Sara

      November 3, 2016 at 4:24 PM

      Just because he got famous*

  80. Avatar

    Sameegah

    August 30, 2017 at 6:42 AM

    … Our Creator calls on all the time in so many ways… sometimes through difficulty, sometimes ease, sometimes it’s just a sudden feeling of clarity you can’t explain, sometimes through beautiful words of another… they all all messages and calls unto Him. Masha Allah I listen to your lectures often as well as many others… don’t underestimate those nuggets of wisdom that can be acquired through our parents too! May Allah keep out hearts open to receive the messages Ameen

  81. Avatar

    Mohammad Shahroz Jali

    September 29, 2017 at 1:09 AM

    All I can say is by listening to your talks on youtube and bayinnah TV, Allah has made us (my family) realize more how beautiful our religion is and I am really thankful for that.

    • Avatar

      Mahamoud Haji

      October 5, 2017 at 9:07 AM

      Assalaamu aleykum, I asume one can revisit the post in the light of recent happenings. They say internet never forgets. I am thus endeared that the post is as relevant and true now as it was in 2014. May Allah preserve you

    • Avatar

      Molvi Hukka

      October 5, 2017 at 11:55 AM

      Same here brother, make Dua’ May protect this brother from any Fitna’s in this world and here-after, Ameen. He is done so much for our and next generation.

  82. Avatar

    N.R.

    October 17, 2017 at 6:45 AM

    You are are always in my prayers! You don’t have to explain anything to your audience.It is generous of you that you share your knowledge with us.It was not your obligation,still you did.We can never thank you enough for that.May Allah continue to give barakah in your work. Jazak Allah Khair!

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#Islam

30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 20: Come to Success

Now that we have learnt about how Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) Mercy encompasses all things, let’s now talk about coming to success.

Whenever we hear the adhan (call to prayer), there is a part where the mu’adhin (person calling the athan) calls out: “حي على الصلاة” hay ‘ala as-salaah (come to prayer). Then he says: “حي على الفلاح”- hay ‘ala al-falaah.” 

Question: Does anyone know what hay ‘ala al-falaah means?

It means ‘come to prayer, come to success.’ Is that how we usually think of success?

Question: What is your definition of success?

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Yes, sometimes we think that having a good job, a nice house, and a loving family are the measurements of our success. There may be some truth to that  for this world, but how does Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) measure our success?

Do you know that there is a surah in the Qur’an called “The Believers” (Al- Mu’minun), and that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) promises that the believers will be successful? He says:

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ 

“Indeed, the believers have attained success” [23; 1]

Let’s dig a little deeper into the Arabic word for success: فلاح (falaah). Do you know that a derivative of that word فَلَّاح (fallaah) means a farmer? 

Question: What are some of the things that a farmer needs to do everyday?

Farmers need to fertilize their soil, plant seeds, pull out weeds, protect their plants from predators, and water their crops. Do you think that’s a lot of work? Do you think it’s easy to be a farmer? I want you to imagine a time when farmers couldn’t turn on a hose to water their plants. They completely relied on rain to irrigate their crops. So, they could do all of this hard work, but if there was a drought, their crops wouldn’t be able to survive. To be a farmer requires a deep sense of تَوَكُّل, tawakkul (reliance on Allah)

So, part of success is hard work, and a big part is also knowing that nothing happens without the will of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). That’s why when the muadhin tells us to come to salaah (prayer) and to come to success, we respond by saying: 

لَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِٱللَّٰهِ‎

“There is no power nor strength except by Allah.”

We can only come to prayer and we can only achieve success if Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) wills it. The only thing in our control is the amount of effort we exert in the process. 

So, let’s be farmers; let us try our best to plant good seeds, water them, nourish them, and pray that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), places baraka (blessings) in all of our efforts! 

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#Islam

The Slave Of Ar-Rahman : A Story Of Illness And Faith

Life is Life.

It is a battle against the sensory and base impulses that are within us all, manifesting at moments of trial, seeking to strip us of the innate serenity of Trust between us and The Almighty.  You hear the call to arms and rebellion in the invocation of our blessed Nabi ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him):

“I beg of You, My Lord, contentment – Ridaa – after fate strikes.”

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On occasion:

“O Allah, My Lord, I ask of You to grant me a tranquil soul that is faithful to the inevitability of meeting You, content with my destiny, and accepting of all that You have provided.”

To know Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is to accept.

To accept that all is from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

To accept that all is for Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

To accept that all is to return to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

A life-changing diagnosis

March 2018: I had relocated from NY to California’s Bay Area and was working as the Executive Chef at Google in Silicon Valley. My life had been truly blessed. I was a Muslim woman who had achieved an unparalleled level of success in a male-dominated industry. Worldly success was in the palm of my hand. I thought this was it; this is what life is about. But I was about to learn that I was a misguided soul, and that a meaningful purpose was amiss.

December 3 2018:

My 38th birthday. Another typical day at work, when my phone rang.

It was the doctor. She asked if I ever had ever had an abnormal Pap before. She said: “Ms. Agha, we got the results of your Pap smear, and it shows some atypical cells. I would not worry too much, but we need to do a colposcopy.”

I honestly did not know what she meant by ‘atypical cells’ or a ‘colposcopy.’ I did some research, which gave me numerous possible outcomes; one more scarier than the other. I tried to convince myself not to be a Google doctor and not to worry unless I had to.

January 22, 2019,

I had  the colposcopy. A week following the procedure, the doctor called. She was not too pleased with the result and wanted to schedule me for a more extensive biopsy called a cone biopsy.

February 14, 2019:

I had my my cone biopsy; an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. All went well, minus some discomfort and pain, which is typical of a procedure like that. The procedure was on a Thursday, which meant I would not have any results until Monday the 18th at the earliest.

I tried not to be very concerned and tried to stay positive. I had read that this happens in many cases, but it turns out to be nothing. Besides, I had just turned 38. You do not expect something terrible may happen to you. I had youth on my side, and I was healthy and fit.

Back at work on a Monday -which is the most demanding and busiest day in my profession- and despite being preoccupied, I was very conscious of my phone. I remember looking at it several times to see if I had missed a call from the doctor. The day went by in complete silence, and that night was restless. The next ninety-six hours were uneasy because fear and anticipation had clouded my head. This urge to know, but all I could do was wait patiently.

February 22, 2019, 9:34 AM:

The phone rings. I was in the kitchen, and immediately I dropped everything and ran to my office to take the call.

Hello?

I could hear the distress in my doctor’s voice.  She said, “Ms. Agha, I am so sorry to tell you, but you have cervical cancer. We do not know what stage it is, but I am going to set you up with an oncologist.”

I got off the phone and slumped into my office chair. I heard what the doctor said clearly, but my brain was unable to process the information. The words were replaying in my head over and over and over again. You could say I was in a state of disbelief or even shock. I did not cry. I did not tell anyone. I took a deep breath, and because I was at work, continued to work.

The forty-eight hours after the call I spent in a daze. I went about my life like a robot, without being able to process anything. I had to work; I was the boss. The doctors had gone into what I like to call “beast mode.” They bombarded me with phone calls, consent forms, appointments for MRIs, CT scans, and insurance issues. Everything sounded like it was in a foreign language. In hindsight, I could have taken time off, but that was something I did not do. I would have to be on my death bed to call time off. I put a brave front and functioned, while the voice in my head kept saying. “I have cancer.” “I have cancer.” “I have cancer.”

By Friday, I had told two very close friends, one of whom is a doctor. Their reaction naturally was one of concern, coupled with a lot of hand-holding, and reassurances that I was courageous and was going to fight it. They understood the magnitude of my diagnosis, but I still did not quite comprehend it. You could say that there was some level of denial there. It felt like an out of body experience.

I had never really been a very emotional person. I had always been tough; the years of being strong had given me this resilience, which was my armor. I could not afford to be weak; I needed to adopt a more practical and logical approach if I was to fight this. Besides, at this point, I had not even told my mother. Who would support her if I was falling apart? Just the thought of her gave me more anxiety than the tumor growing inside me.

I was born and raised in a Muslim family. Unfortunately, like many families, the focus on Islam was limited. I was, however, fortunate that around 2013, I had slowly started to take an interest and was curious to learn about my true faith. At the time of my diagnosis, I was practicing; I prayed five times a day, fasted, had been for Umrah, took part in the necessary obligations that were expected of me—living an honest life striving to do the best. Thus far, this was my understanding of faith. I knew nothing different. What I was about to realize was that this was mere action. I had not been calling out to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) sincerely because I felt this distance from Him; there was this gap that needed to be bridged.

The Saturday after my diagnosis I was drinking my morning coffee when out of nowhere, my mind started to run a mile a minute. Thoughts of my diagnosis, realities of life, the purpose of life just started pouring in. I became incredibly aware of myself; conscious of this reality that was not on my radar before this moment.

You see, I walked this earth under the illusion that I have control of life, destiny. Until this moment, I had plans laid out, plans for promotions, a house, a car, and travel—an upward trajectory. Then I received that phone call, and in a blink of an eye, I had lost complete control of everything. The power of my youth, health, wealth, was all gone. I was insignificant, just so minuscule when it came to His decree. I came to realize that every moment we are alive, we are gasping for breath on life support machines. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) can pull that plug any second. I became conscious of the reality that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was The One providing for me every moment. I did not earn any of this on my own, and none of this was something that I deserved. Humbled -the first crack in my armor-, I cried, ashamed, and remorseful to my Lord for my delusion. I cried, begging Him and praying to Him as I have never prayed before, feeling closer to Him like I have never felt before, pleading with Him to carry me through this battle and the unknown I was about to face.

Cancer was the catalyst, that was the beginning of an arduous journey, one filled with a whirlwind of complications and diagnosis one after the other. Every moment from this point was going be a lesson in life. Every moment was going to be humbling. Every moment was going to be one of gratitude. Every moment was going to enable me to earn the greatest treasure I could even earn, and that is humility and a closeness to my Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Relinquishing Control

March 3, 2019:

The first appointment with the oncologist. I was anxious, eager to know what stage of cancer I had, desperate to know of a treatment plan. I felt like a blind person stumbling in the dark, looking for an answer, but it was not Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) Will that I find one that day. Unfortunately, my CT scan was inconclusive, and the sample of my cone biopsy was “too mushy” for the doctor to give me a staging. He said to come back, as he needed to speak to the tech. There was nothing I could do. I had to relinquish control and submit to Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) Will.

March 22, 2019:

I had my second appointment with the oncologist. By this point, my mother had been told and had flown into California. Having her there, seeing the fear on her face, the pain I felt in my heart to see her was more wearisome than cancer. I will never be blessed enough to know what a mother feels. That was not part of Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) plan for me. I would be wrong in saying that I can understand her pain. I can, however, say this: if I could have taken her pain away, I would have done anything to do that. We went to the doctor hoping for some answers, but again Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) had different plans. The doctor wanted to schedule me for another cone biopsy; the previous sample was inconclusive. To add to that, I could not have the second cone biopsy for another three weeks because I was still healing from the previous one.

It had been thirty days since my diagnosis, and I had to wait an additional three weeks for further testing. I did not know what stage it was, nor what my treatment plan was. All I knew was that I had cancer. These chain of events and the lack of control was a new reality. It was challenging, but Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was also teaching me a valuable lesson. He was teaching me tawakkul by putting me in a position where I had no choice. The circumstances were forcing me into submission. I was facing my mortality, not knowing if I am going to live or die, having to give up my complete autonomy. You see,  Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) only wanted what is best for me. My cancer was a mercy to me. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) willed that through this; that I return to Him. That I seek the path that leads to His door. That I understand, and accept the divine decree, and focus my reliance on Him and only Him. All Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) wanted me to do was knock on His door and trust Him.

March 25, 2019:

I had an appointment with a surgeon in NY. My doctor in NY became privy of my diagnosis, and she urged me to get a second opinion. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is one of the top cancer institutes on the east coast. NY was my home as I had just recently moved to California. I put my trust in the All-Merciful. He is the only one I could call upon for support, and I gathered all my reports and flew into NY on that Sunday. The next morning was my appointment, and I was catching the evening flight back to California. Twenty-four hours was what I had. I met the doctor, and finally, alhamdulillah, there was light at the end of the tunnel. The doctor examined me, diagnosed me, gave me the staging of 1B2, and presented me with a treatment plan, all in a matter of a few hours.

Surgery and complications

My cancer required a three-pronged treatment plan, surgery, followed by some chemotherapy and radiation as a preventive measure. The doctor in NY had emphasized a sense of urgency.

Here I was back in California, packing up a house again, that I had just finished unpacking, not knowing if I will ever return. My belongings in storage, I was forced to go back to NY to fight this battle. No home of my own, no job, and worried about my finances, it was all overwhelming and lonely. It was terrifying how much of all of this was outside of my control. We do not pay attention to just how one little event can drastically and wholly change our entire life.

April 29, 2019:

Pre- Surgical testing

April 30, 2019:

PET Scan and MRI

May 6, 2019:

Follow up visit with the surgeon, followed by a lab visit, and ECG

Hospital visits were my new life; a life full of uncertainty, and moments where it felt like everything was falling apart. I did not recognize this life. To add to this, I wanted to keep a brave face because I was terrified for my mother. I was living in her home. I could not even cry or grieve. If I cracked who would console her?

May 7, 2019: I was scheduled for a radical hysterectomy (removal of the cervix and uterus). The goal was to try and save my ovaries and tubes because I was still young. It was a 4-hour procedure; another step into the unknown, presented with paperwork, DNR’s, and health care proxies. I was 38, but I needed a health care proxy! I picked my younger brother. My heart broke for him. He put on a brave face, but I could see the sadness in his big brown eyes. They took me in, and there I lay on that cold table, bright lights shining down on me, my lips moist with the Ayatul Kursi. Count back from ten, and I was asleep. As I came too, I remember looking up at the clock. I knew something was wrong. Even in my semi-conscious state, I knew that I had only been in surgery for two hours. The doctor came into the recovery room. He said that they had discovered that I had severe endometriosis, which had caused my organs to fuse into each other. There were no clean margins. If he had tried to cut it out, cancer could have spread to my entire body.

The irony is that the surgeon ended up doing a bi-lateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries and tubes), deciding it was the best option to try and contain cancer from spreading. That night I lay in that hospital bed, nothing but the lights of the monitors connected to me. The voice in my head said: “They could not take it out. Not even a tiny bit of it. It is still inside me.” I began to think about my mother again and what this news meant to her. A sense of hopelessness overwhelmed me. It felt as though everything was spiraling out of control, and I was free-falling with no one to catch me. However, my inner voice called out to The One who put me in this difficulty, and I realized this difficulty as exhausting as it is, was to remind me fundamentally of who I am and who He is and what this world is. A reminder that I need to carry myself in an absolute state of trust and that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)  will see me through. That these events are in my best interest as the purpose is for me to gain a further closeness to Him.

Two types of radiation

May 16, 2019:

I was introduced to my radiation oncologist. The new plan involved eight weeks of chemotherapy and two types of radiation. Forty sessions of external, in which I was to lie on a table, and a machine would direct X-ray beams at the affected part of my body. Two sessions of high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy, internal, in which radioactive materials would be inserted into my body. I was overcome with emotion, not wanting to cause my mother any more grief and cry in front of her; I excused myself and walked away, to try and gather myself. The description of the treatment just broke me. I stood in that hallway outside the room, helpless. I thought Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) was sending me hardship after hardship, and that nothing has gone right. I feared this was punishment for my transgressions. I turned back to Him penitent, drawing closer to Him than I had ever been, having moments of vulnerability, alone just Him and me, experiencing some of the sweetest moments of my entire life.

May 19, 2019:

The wound of my surgery had developed some drainage. The drainage started as a trickle in the morning. I put a paper towel there to collect the fluid. As the day progressed, the liquid increased. Paper towels were changed more frequently. I was trying to be secretive about it, and I did not want to stress out my mother. She was not dealing well with all of this. The liquid continued to increase, and eventually, I ended up calling the emergency at Memorial Sloan Kettering. It was a Sunday, which meant the clinics were closed. I had an appointment the next morning with my surgeon, so the doctor on call gave me the option to either come in or wait till the next morning. I opted to wait. The night was uncomfortable, and I could not lie for more than 15 – 20 minutes before I would have to change the paper towels out because they would get wet. I lay there at night contemplating; I was walking on this path of turmoil, surrounded by hardship, uncertainty, enduring difficulties, forced to be patient. I had plenty of people and support around me, but I was alone. No one understood me anymore. How could they? My cancer was my experience, not theirs.

May 20, 2019:

I had two appointments. The first one was with my surgeon, followed by a new doctor, my chemotherapist. By this point, I had an excessive amount of fluid draining from the site of my incision.  My surgeon examined it; he did not say much, but I could tell by his face that he was bothered. Right there, not even a moment to think, his nurses brought in sterile packaged instruments. The gave me some local anesthetic, and with a scalpel, while I was awake, he reopened my entire incision. It is burnt in my memory like it was yesterday, one of my nurses was holding my hand. I could not see what they were doing; I was not in pain, but I was completely conscious. It was a state of sheer terror, not because they were untrained or unprofessional, but the idea of what was happening to me was unnerving. I could feel my heart rate increase; my body, hands, and feet were perspiring profusely. The nurse was trying to converse with me to keep my preoccupied, but the only words on my lips and tongue were the remembrance of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ

Hasbunallah wani’mal wakeel

A fair amount of fluid drained, and the diagnosis: I had a seroma (an accumulation of fluid that can occur after surgery). There is no treatment for a seroma other than patience. Here I was two weeks after surgery. I was supposed to get my stitches removed today, go home and take a nice shower today, but again that was not in Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) plan. It is astonishing how we take these little blessings for granted. There was an open incision across my stomach 8 inches wide and 4 inches deep. I had to have the wound cleaned with saline and packed with gauze at least twice a day. This wound was debilitating. No more stitches; we were going let nature takes its course to ensure the wound heals from the inside out. I was already helpless, I did not think I could be any more disabled, and now I faced this complication.

I had a level of comfort with my doctors and nurses at the hospital, but now I faced a new challenge. I had to have a home nurse come in twice a day to dress my wound. I tried it for the first week, and it was terrible. I did not want to be at the mercy of a stranger, sitting saturated with fluid through the night, waiting for the nurse to arrive in the morning before I could get any relief. I was having a different nurse come in each time. It might seem trivial, but when you are that broken, tired, and so sick, and your body is falling apart, these little things matter. You do not want some stranger touching you, dressing a wound that causes immense pain. Some of them just want to be in and out, lacking compassion for the patient. However, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) already knew that this is something that I would have difficulty with, so He made a way out for me—blessed me with the help of a true friend. The following week my doctors and nurses trained her in the process. No longer was I at the mercy of a stranger coming over twice a day to change my dressing. Here was ease, relief, mercy in my time of need sent in the form of someone I was comfortable with, someone I trust to care for me, to clean me, to dress my wounds, diligently day in and day out, with love, patience, and compassion. A force by my side day and night through every chemo, every radiation, every hospital visit and stay. Urging me on and dragging me to my appointments when I was just too tired to fight.

There was a two-week delay in starting radiation therapy. Once radiation and chemo begin, it slows down the body’s healing process. The doctors wanted my wound to start to heal before any of the treatments.

June 3, 2019:

The external radiation started; they would last ten minutes each. I requested they schedule me first thing in the morning. I was in and out in fifteen minutes every day. Monday through Friday, this was my routine. The process was physically painless, but emotionally it took a toll on me. I would lie there every day on my chest, this hard table, naked, with a big open wound. Nobody in there but me and Him, my eyes closed in constant remembrance.

June 6, 2019: Right after the radiation was my first chemotherapy, and it would be administered every Thursday following. The nurses had trouble finding a suitable vein. I was not surprised; I have had small veins since I was a young child. Finally, they managed to get an IV in, and I got my infusion, but my chemotherapist set me with an appointment for a PICC line to help with future treatments. It had been a long day. My body was exhausted, but my mind was awake because of the steroids they gave me before chemo. It felt like torture. All I wanted to do was sleep, but the steroids had me so stimulated I could not bring myself to sleep.

June 8, 2019:

As the anti-nausea began to wear off, the effects of the chemotherapy started to kick in. I felt ill, dry heaving and vomiting, loss of appetite, exhaustion, mouth sores, slowly my body was disintegrating. I experienced the same side effects every week, becoming more and more aggressive and tiresome as the weeks progressed. It was like clockwork.

One of the many side effects of this chemotherapy is a loss of hearing. I had to have a regular hearing test; my ears would ring at odd hours. As the weeks progressed, my health started to decline. I could no longer sit in salat, let alone stand in salat. I would start retching in between, hoping I could just push through two rakat without having to start again. Sometimes I could not even make it to the bathroom. I used hospital vomit bags in bed. The radiation was starting to do its damage as well, and it was affecting my bowels, a constant upset stomach. I was unable to eat anything; my mouth would bleed from the sores. I was always fatigued, lost control of my bladder. My body was slowly disintegrating from all the poisonous chemicals. I was ailing, had no strength, queasy all the time,—a large open wound across my stomach, a PICC line in my right arm. I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep, but I could not lie comfortably. Very slowly withering away. All that was left were my tears, my supplication, and repentance, acknowledging Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) magnificence as I remembered Him.

June 26, 2019, and July 3, 2019:

Two of the most debilitating days of my treatment were the days I had the brachytherapy. The procedure done under general anesthesia involved the radiation oncologist placing a cervical stent attached to an applicator (two metal rods), used to deliver internal radiation. Following the procedure, they took me to my room. Here I had to lie still on my back; I could not move my legs; I could not sit or stand. I was only allowed to raise my head of the bed a little bit, about 20 degrees. I had to patiently endure this until they removed the applicator the following day. For the treatments, my bed was moved from my room to the Brachytherapy Suite, Radiation Oncology department. Here the applicator was connected to a machine. This machine then delivered tiny radioactive pellets into my body. We did this twice. I do not think I could have done it a third time. I did not even want to go the second time.

These two sessions were physically exhausting, but the effect that it had on my self-esteem, my sense of security. Each time was dehumanizing, heart-wrenching, and painful. There is no dignity in illness. Health is the greatest blessing from our Creator, and we take it for granted.

I was exhausted physically and mentally—my body ravaged by illness and chemotherapy. I did not have a home of my own; I had no job. There are no words that can do justice to how broken I was. I was not afraid to die anymore; I was afraid that I would die without earning complete forgiveness, which made me supplicate more. I held on to the dua of Ayub 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him):

 أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

Annee massaniya alddurru waanta arhamu alrrahimeen

October 10, 2019:

My Pet scan showed I was cancer-free.

January 2019:

My wound from my surgery had finally closed.

February 6, 2020:

My MRI showed I was cancer-free.

This battle has not left me weak, defeated, or helpless. I learned to trust Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), never to concede or be defeated. I learned how to call upon Him, knowing that He loves me and loves to hear from me. I learned to put the highest level of trust in my relationship with Him while engaging in patience. I learned to be strong in my faith, in my body, my spirit, resilience to all that is around me. I learned piety, to be God-conscious, to walk a new path where I abandon all that is displeasing to Him, striving to earn His love.

I pray Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) enables me to never compromise my love for Him.

To make me beloved to Him in my repentance and allow me to reach better states of His love.

To make my weakness a reason for strength, being strong in every way possible, and to use this strength and this second chance at life he has given me, justly in the cause and the benefit of others.

Ameen

This article was checked and guided by Sh Yahya Ibrahim

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#Islam

Principles of Success from Surah Al-Mu’minoon

Success; something which everyone desires. There has not been a person who has walked the face of this Earth, or who will come to this dunya except that they spent their life striving for success. What is success, however? We all have our very own perception of success. If you ask people “what is success to you?”, you will receive varied responses. For some, success is doing well in education, whilst for others, it is about excelling in one’s career. For some, success is driving a nice car, having a beautiful spouse, lovely children, a spacious dwelling etc. People have various perceptions of success. As Muslims, we must know and acknowledge that our religion has provided clarification for everything that we need to know. There is no issue that we will come across within our life, from the time we came out of the wombs of our mothers till we reach that grave, except that the shari’ah has provided some sort of guidelines for it. So, do you think that the religion of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will leave out this imperative issue that is at the forefront of every mind?

Without a doubt, the greatest form of success is earning the pleasure of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)  as Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in Surah Ali ‘Imran:

فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ ۗ

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“…so the one who is saved from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has truly succeeded…” [185]

Having relief from the anger of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), and achieving His mercy will be the only form of success in the akhirah. But that having been said, our religion is one which is comprehensive, and for that reason, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows that we will still crave success and have various perceptions of it within this dunya. There is nothing wrong with aiming for a top position that will accelerate your career, or working hard to earn a six-figure income; rather we are encouraged to excel and seek success within this dunya, but on the condition that we do not sacrifice the akhirah. From the mercy of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is that he Has never left us abandoned. He has revealed the shari’ah in order for us to know how to achieve success in the akhirah, but is that it? If that is the perception you have of the Qur’an and Sunnah; that it is only a source of guidance for our religious affairs, then know that Islam is more than that. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has not only given us the guidelines for achieving success in the akhirah, but he has also provided us with principles of success pertaining to the dunya. The Book of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is filled with gems and treasurers; it only requires us to analyse His verses carefully in order to extract those principles. The Qur’an will not give you details of a specific issue, but rather the Qur’an will give guidelines and principles, thus making it miraculously pertinent to every single time and era. The Sunnah of our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) will then go into detail and provide commentary on those guidelines and principles.

Within this article, I aim to highlight a number of principles contained within Surah Al-Mu’minun (Chapter 23 of the Qur’an) that can aid a person in their striving for success. These golden principles are generic (as mentioned before regarding the principles and guidelines contained within the Qur’an); what I deem success to be will probably be different to what you portray success as, and so from the beauty of these principles is that they can be applied to whatever worldly pursuit you have.

Principle 1: The desire for success

For a person to achieve success, they need to passionately desire it. If you force your child to study something they do not like, they may not do well in it because there is no motivation there. However, when a person puts their mind to something and has that passion, the desire for success kicks in. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) gives us a beautiful portrayal by describing paradise; but not just any level of paradise, but Al-Firdous: the highest level of paradise that will be inherited by a selected few. This mention of Al-Firdous is given here for us to have that desire to achieve the greatest form success within whatever mission we are open to,  making sure it is a halal path. Yes, even though everyone will not enter Al-Firdous, we should still aim for it, as having it as a goal builds our level of optimism, and our aspirations become robust. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“Paradise has one hundred grades, each of which is as big as the distance between heaven and earth. The highest of them is Al-Firdous and the best of them is Al-Firdous. The Throne is above Al-Firdous, and from it springs forth the rivers of paradise. If you ask of Allah, ask Him for Al-Firdous” [Sunan Ibn Majah No. 4331]

Principle 2: Realize how much time you have

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mentions the creation and the demise of the human being within a few verses to show how short this worldly life is:

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن سُلَالَةٍ مِّن طِينٍ

And certainly did We create man from an extract of clay.”

ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاهُ نُطْفَةً فِي قَرَارٍ مَّكِينٍ

“Then We placed him as a sperm-drop in a firm lodging.”

ثُمَّ خَلَقْنَا النُّطْفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْعَلَقَةَ مُضْغَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْمُضْغَةَ عِظَامًا فَكَسَوْنَا الْعِظَامَ لَحْمًا ثُمَّ أَنشَأْنَاهُ خَلْقًا آخَرَ ۚ فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّـهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ

“Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, and We made the clot into a lump [of flesh], and We made [from] the lump, bones, and We covered the bones with flesh; then We developed him into another creation. So blessed is Allah, the best of creators.”

ثُمَّ إِنَّكُم بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ لَمَيِّتُونَ

“Then indeed, after that you are to die.”

ثُمَّ إِنَّكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ تُبْعَثُونَ

“Then indeed you, on the Day of Resurrection, will be resurrected.”

[Surah Al-Mu’minun; 12-16]

The objective here is to encourage us to be productive, efficient, and not lazy. By procrastinating, your motivation weakens, and as a result, your objective for success begins to die out. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mentions procrastination and laziness only twice in the Qur’an, and both references are pertaining to the hypocrites! The believer is the one who is always weary of their time and strives to make the most of it.

Principle 3: Remember Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) through the magnificence of his creation

In the next passage of this Surah, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) makes mention of some of His greatest creations and signs. When treading the path of success, ensure that you remember Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and take those practical means that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has created and provided for you in your conquest for success. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا

“It is He who created for you all of that which is on the Earth.” [Surah Al-Baqarah; 29]

Principle 4: People will try to put you down

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) within the next passage narrates for us the stories of four of the previous Prophets who came before our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him); Nuh, Hud, Musa and Isa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). Even though their stories are mentioned in other places within the Qur’an, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) links these four stories by mentioning that when all of these four prophets came to their people and gave them da’wah, they mocked them and said “you are only men”.

Regarding prophet Nuh 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

فَقَالَ الْمَلَأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن قَوْمِهِ مَا هَـٰذَا إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتَفَضَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّـهُ لَأَنزَلَ مَلَائِكَةً مَّا سَمِعْنَا بِهَـٰذَا فِي آبَائِنَا الْأَوَّلِينَ

“But the eminent among those who disbelieved from his people said, ‘This is not but a man like yourselves who wishes to take precedence over you; and if Allah had willed [to send a messenger], He would have sent down angels. We have not heard of this among our forefathers.”

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا رَجُلٌ بِهِ جِنَّةٌ فَتَرَبَّصُوا بِهِ حَتَّىٰ حِينٍ

He is not but a man possessed with madness, so wait concerning him for a time.’” [24-25]

Then regarding prophet Hud 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

وَقَالَ الْمَلَأُ مِن قَوْمِهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَكَذَّبُوا بِلِقَاءِ الْآخِرَةِ وَأَتْرَفْنَاهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مَا هَـٰذَا إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يَأْكُلُ مِمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ مِنْهُ وَيَشْرَبُ مِمَّا تَشْرَبُونَ

“And the eminent among his people who disbelieved and denied the meeting of the Hereafter while We had given them luxury in the worldly life said, This is not but a man like yourselves. He eats of that from which you eat and drinks of what you drink.”

وَلَئِنْ أَطَعْتُم بَشَرًا مِّثْلَكُمْ إِنَّكُمْ إِذًا لَّخَاسِرُونَ

“And if you should obey a man like yourselves, indeed, you would then be losers.” [33-34]

Thereafter, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)says about Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Harun 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him):

ثُمَّ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَىٰ وَأَخَاهُ هَارُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا وَسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ

“Then We sent Moses and his brother Aaron with Our signs and a clear authority”

إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِ فَاسْتَكْبَرُوا وَكَانُوا قَوْمًا عَالِينَ

“To Pharaoh and his establishment, but they were arrogant and were a haughty people.”

فَقَالُوا أَنُؤْمِنُ لِبَشَرَيْنِ مِثْلِنَا وَقَوْمُهُمَا لَنَا عَابِدُونَ

“They said, ‘Should we believe two men like ourselves while their people are for us in servitude?’” [45-47]

There will be people who will work hard to put you down. Know, that even though those who love you will only want the best for you, there will be people who will try to put you down because of the jealousy and hatred they have within themselves. There will be people on your path who will not want you to succeed and thus, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) highlights this here in the Surah. However, through mentioning these stories of these previous prophets, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) also wants us to know that even if everyone is against us, if he wants success to come us, it will surely be delivered!

Principle 5: Seek protection from Shaytan

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) warns us time and time again within the Qur’an, of the tricks and traps of Shaytan. Our human bodies have been designed to detect danger; there is a part of the brain known as the amygdala that is programmed by the grace of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to detect danger. For instance, when you smell gas in your home, or when your young child lets go of your hand whilst walking down a busy street, you will automatically detect danger. But as for the Shaytan, the amygdala cannot detect this danger and so Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) warns us time and time again within His speech, because the traps of Shaytan come in steps and are subtle. You may have your noble goal of success, however, Shaytan will come and try to distract you, cause you to procrastinate, or lead you astray. But from the mercy of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is that not only has He warned us from Shaytan and his allies, He has also mentioned a supplication from within Surah Al-Mu’minun that we can use for ourselves and children to supplicate to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for protection:

وَقُل رَّبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ

“And say, ‘My Lord, I seek refuge in You from the incitements of the devils,”

وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَن يَحْضُرُونِ

“And I seek refuge in You, my Lord, lest they be present with me.’” [97-98]

If Allah, Al-Muhaymin (The Protector) wishes to protect you with his divine protection, who is there that can harm you?

Principle 6: Stay on the Path of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)

The final principle highlighted in Surah Al-Mu’minun is knowing the path of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). That is why in this last passage of this beautiful Surah, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) distinguishes the believers from the disbelievers and ultimately what their final fate will be:

فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

“And those whose scales are heavy [with good deeds] – it is they who are the successful.”

وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ فِي جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدُونَ

“But those whose scales are light – those are the ones who have lost their souls, [being] in Hell, abiding eternally.”

تَلْفَحُ وُجُوهَهُمُ النَّارُ وَهُمْ فِيهَا كَالِحُونَ

“The Fire will sear their faces, and they therein will have taut smiles.”

أَلَمْ تَكُنْ آيَاتِي تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ فَكُنتُم بِهَا تُكَذِّبُونَ

“[It will be said], ‘Were not My verses recited to you and you used to deny them?’”

قَالُوا رَبَّنَا غَلَبَتْ عَلَيْنَا شِقْوَتُنَا وَكُنَّا قَوْمًا ضَالِّينَ

They will say, ‘Our Lord, our wretchedness overcame us, and we were a people astray.”

رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْهَا فَإِنْ عُدْنَا فَإِنَّا ظَالِمُونَ

“Our Lord, remove us from it, and if we were to return [to evil], we would indeed be wrongdoers.’”

قَالَ اخْسَئُوا فِيهَا وَلَا تُكَلِّمُونِ

“He will say, ‘Remain despised therein and do not speak to Me.”

إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَرِيقٌ مِّنْ عِبَادِي يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

“Indeed, there was a party of My servants who said, ‘Our Lord, we have believed, so forgive us and have mercy upon us, and You are the best of the merciful.’”

فَاتَّخَذْتُمُوهُمْ سِخْرِيًّا حَتَّىٰ أَنسَوْكُمْ ذِكْرِي وَكُنتُم مِّنْهُمْ تَضْحَكُونَ

“But you took them in mockery to the point that they made you forget My remembrance, and you used to laugh at them.”

إِنِّي جَزَيْتُهُمُ الْيَوْمَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا أَنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ

“Indeed, I have rewarded them this Day for their patient endurance – that they are the attainers [of success].” [102-111]

What is the point of succeeding in this temporary worldly life and then being from amongst those whom Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) does not even talk to the on the Day of Judgement? This final principle culminates our whole life and existence: regardless of your worldly pursuit of success, do not forget the greatest goal or objective of this worldly life; to earn the pleasure of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and attain his salvation.

 

I ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) with His mighty names and lofty attributes that He fulfils all of our aspirations, goals and objectives. May He allow us to truly understand the Qur’an and grant us success in the hereafter by giving us salvation from the fire of hell.

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