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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.

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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.

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.

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*

        • Avatar

          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.

          Best Regards
          -Aly
          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

What Does Sharia Really Say About Abortion in Islam

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice, Islam recognizes the nuance.

Reem Shaikh

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The following article on abortion is based on a research paper titled ‘The Rights of the Fetus in Islam’, at the Department of Sharia at Qatar University. My team and I presented it to multiple members of the faculty. It was approved by the Dean of the Islamic Studies College, an experienced and reputed Islamic authority.

In one swoop, liberal comedian Deven Green posing as her satirical character, Mrs. Betty Brown, “America’s best Christian”, demonized both Sharia law as well as how Islamic law treats abortion. Even in a debate about a law that has no Muslim protagonist in the middle of it, Islam is vilified because apparently, no problem in the world can occur without Islam being dragged into it.

It is important to clarify what Sharia is before discussing abortion. Sharia law is the set of rules and guidelines that Allah establishes as a way of life for Muslims. It is derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, which is interpreted and compiled by scholars based on their understandings (fiqh). Sharia takes into account what is in the best interest for individuals and society as a whole, and creates a system of life for Muslims, covering every aspect, such as worship, beliefs, ethics, transactions, etc.

Muslim life is governed by Sharia – a very personal imperative. For a Muslim living in secular lands, that is what Sharia is limited to – prayers, fasting, charity and private transactions such as not dealing with interest, marriage and divorce issues, etc. Criminal statutes are one small part of the larger Sharia but are subject to interpretation, and strictly in the realm of a Muslim country that governs by it.

With respect to abortion, the first question asked is:

“Do women have rights over their bodies or does the government have rights over women’s bodies?”

The answer to this question comes from a different perspective for Muslims. Part of Islamic faith is the belief that our bodies are an amanah from God. The Arabic word amanah literally means fulfilling or upholding trusts. When you add “al” as a prefix, or al-amanah, trust becomes “The Trust”, which has a broader Islamic meaning. It is the moral responsibility of fulfilling one’s obligations due to Allah and fulfilling one’s obligations due to other humans.

The body is one such amanah. Part of that amanah includes the rights that our bodies have over us, such as taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally – these are part of a Muslim’s duty that is incumbent upon each individual.

While the Georgia and Alabama laws in the United States that make abortion illegal after the 6-week mark of pregnancy are being mockingly referred to as “Sharia Law” abortion, the fact is that the real Sharia allows much more leniency in the matter than these laws do.

First of all, it is important to be unambiguous about one general ruling: It is unanimously agreed by the scholars of Islam that abortion without a valid excuse after the soul has entered the fetus is prohibited entirely. The question then becomes, when exactly does the soul enter the fetus? Is it when there is a heartbeat? Is it related to simple timing? Most scholars rely on the timing factor because connecting a soul to a heartbeat itself is a question of opinion.

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The timing then is also a matter of ikhtilaf, or scholarly difference of opinion:

One Hundred and Twenty Days:

The majority of the traditional scholars, including the four madhahib, are united upon the view that the soul certainly is within the fetus after 120 days of pregnancy, or after the first trimester.

This view is shaped by  the following hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن أحدكم يجمع خلقه في بطن أمه أربعين يوما ثم يكون في ذلك علقة مثل ذلك ثم يكون في ذلك مضغة مثل ذلك ثم يرسل الملك فينفخ فيه الروح..

“For every one of you, the components of his creation are gathered together in the mother’s womb for a period of forty days. Then he will remain for two more periods of the same length, after which the angel is sent and insufflates the spirit into him.”

Forty Days:

The exception to the above is that some scholars believe that the soul enters the fetus earlier, that is after the formation phase, which is around the 40 days mark of pregnancy.

This view is based on another hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Masood raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him):

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إذا مر بالنطفة إثنتان وأربعون ليلة بعث الله إليها ملكاً، فصوره، وخلق سمعها وبصرها وجلدها ولحمها وعظمها…

“If a drop of semen spent in the womb forty-two nights, Allah sends an angel to it who depicts it and creates its ears, eyes, skin, flesh and bones.”

Between the two views, the more widespread and popular opinion is the former, which is that the soul enters the fetus at the 120 days (or 4 months) mark, as the second hadith implies the end of the formation period of the fetus rather than the soul entering it.

Even if one accepts that the soul enters the fetus at a certain timing mark, it does not mean that the soul-less fetus can be aborted at any time or for any reason. Here again, like most matters of Islamic jurisprudence, there is ikhtilaf of scholarly difference of opinion.

No Excuse Required:

The Hanafi madhhab is the most lenient, allowing abortion during the first trimester, even without an excuse.

Some of the later scholars from the Hanafi school consider it makruh or disliked if done without a valid reason, but the majority ruled it as allowed.

Only Under Extreme Risks:

The Malikis are the most strict in this matter; they do not allow abortion even if it is done in the first month of pregnancy unless there is an extreme risk to the mother’s health.

Other Views:

As for the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of thought, there are multiple opinions within the schools themselves, some allowing abortion, some only allowing it in the presence of a valid excuse.

Valid excuses differ from scholar to scholar, but with a strong and clear reason, permissibility becomes more lenient. Such cases include forced pregnancy (caused by rape), reasons of health and other pressing reasons.

For example, consider a rape victim who becomes pregnant. There is hardly a more compelling reason (other than the health of the mother) where abortion should be permitted. A child born as a result in such circumstances will certainly be a reminder of pain and discomfort to the mother. Every time the woman sees this child, she will be reminded of the trauma of rape that she underwent, a trauma that is generally unmatched for a woman. Leaving aside the mother, the child himself or herself will lead a life of suffering and potentially neglect. He or she may be blamed for being born– certainly unjust but possible with his or her mother’s mindset. The woman may transfer her pain to the child, psychologically or physically because he or she is a reminder of her trauma. One of the principles of Sharia is to ward off the greater of two evils. One can certainly argue that in such a case where both mother and child are at risk of trauma and more injustice, then abortion may indeed be the lesser of the two.

The only case even more pressing than rape would be when a woman’s physical health is at risk due to the pregnancy. Where the risk is clear and sufficiently severe (that is can lead to some permanent serious health damage or even death) if the fetus remained in her uterus, then it is unanimously agreed that abortion is allowed no matter what the stage of pregnancy. This is because of the Islamic principle that necessities allow prohibitions. In this case, the necessity to save the life of the mother allows abortion, which may be otherwise prohibited.

This is the mercy of Sharia, as opposed to the popular culture image about it.

Furthermore, the principle of preventing the greater of two harms applies in this case, as the mother’s life is definite and secure, while the fetus’ is not.

Absolutely Unacceptable Reason for Abortion:

Another area of unanimous agreement is that abortion cannot be undertaken due to fear of poverty. The reason for this is that this mindset collides with having faith and trust in Allah. Allah reminds us in the Quran:

((وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا))

“And do not kill your children for fear of poverty, We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.” (Al-Israa, 31)

Ignorance is not an excuse, but it is an acceptable excuse when it comes to mocking Islam in today’s world. Islam is a balanced religion and aims to draw ease for its adherents. Most rulings concerning fiqh are not completely cut out black and white. Rather, Islamic rulings are reasonable and consider all possible factors and circumstances, and in many cases vary from person to person.

Abortion is not a simple option of being pro-life or pro-choice. These terms have become political tools rather than sensitive choices for women who ultimately suffer the consequences either way.

Life means a lot more than just having a heartbeat. Islam completely recognizes this. Thus, Islamic rulings pertaing to abortion are detailed and varied.

As a proud Muslim, I want my fellow Muslims to be confident of their religion particularly over sensitive issues such as abortion and women’s rights to choose for themselves keeping the Creator of Life in focus at all times.

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#Life

Why I Turned to Tech to Catch Laylatul Qadr

Make sure you maximize your sadaqah

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By Ismael Abdela

My life, just like yours, is sooo busy. So naturally, as the tech nerd I am, I turn to tech to help me manage my regular routine including project management apps to manage my daily tasks. I even have a sleeping app that wakes me up at the optimum time (whatever that means!). But even though tech has changed everything in all sectors and helped make efficiencies in my daily life, it had had little impact on my religious activities.

A few years ago, whilst I was preparing for the last 10 nights of Ramadan, it hit me – why doesn’t something exist that automates my donations during these blessed nights to catch Laylatul Qadr. Rather than putting a reminder on my phone to bring out my bank card every night and inputting it into a website – why doesn’t something exist that does it for me, solving the problem of me forgetting to donate. After all we are human and it’s interesting that the Arabic word for human being is ‘insan’ which is derived from the word ‘nasiya’ which means ‘to forget.’ It is human nature to forget.

So the techie in me came out and I built the first scrappy version of MyTenNights, a platform to automate donations in the last 10 nights of Ramadan (took two weeks) because I wanted to use it myself! I thought it would be cool and my friends and family could use it too. That same year, nearly 2000 other people used it – servers crashed, tech broke and I had to get all my friends and Oreo (my cat) to respond to email complaints about our temperamental site!

I quickly realised I wasn’t alone in my need  – everyone wanted a way to never miss Laylatul Qadr! Two years down the line we’ve called it MyTenNights, and our team has grown to 10, including Oreo, senior developers, QA specialists, brand strategists, creative directors and more. It fast became a fierce operation – an operation to help people all over the world catch Laylatul Qadr!

Last year alone we raised almost $2 million in just 10 days – and that was just in the UK. We’ve now opened MyTenNights to our American, Canadian. South African and Australian brothers and sisters and we’re so excited to see how they use it! We’ve made it available through all the biggest house name charities – Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, Helping Hand, Penny Appeal, you name it! All donations go directly to the charity donors choose – all 100% of it.

Looking back at the last couple of years – it feels surreal: The biggest charities in the world and tens of thousands of users who share my need to be certain they’ve caught Laylatul Qadr. Although I hear many impressed with the sheer amount MyTenNights has raised for charity (and that excites me too!), it’s not what motives me to go on. What excites me most is the growing number of people who catch Laylatul Qadr because we made it easier.

I often tell my team that the number of people that use MyTenNights is the only metric we care about, and the only metric we celebrate. It makes no difference to us whether you donate $1 or a million – we just want you to catch Laylatul Qadr and for you to transform your Akhirah, because (after Allah) we helped you do it.

To catch Laylatul Qadr with MyTenNights, visit their website MyTenNights.com

Ismael Abdela is a Law & Anthropology graduate from the London School of Economics. He spent some years studying Islamic Sciences in Qaseem, Saudi Arabia. He is now a keen social entrepreneur. Ismael likes to write about spiritual reflections, social commentary, and tafsīr. He is particularly interested in putting religion in conversation with the social sciences.

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How Do Muslims Plan for Disability

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Families with children with disability have an extraordinary set of challenges and blessings.  Disability (or special needs) is a broad term.

Many disabilities will prevent what we often think of as “normal.”  It may hinder or prevent educational opportunities, and employment. Many people with “special needs” can get educated, get married and live long and productive lives.  The problem for many parents of younger children with special needs is that they typically have no certainty about their children’s future needs. Even if the situation looks dire, it may not stay that way.  

How do parents plan for a world where they may not be around to see how things will end up for their special needs children?  What can they do to help their children in a way that does not violate Islamic Inheritance rules?

Certain types of disability, especially the loss of executive decision-making ability, could also happen well into adulthood.  This can be a threat to a family’s wealth and be the cause of internal conflicts. This is the kind of thing every adult needs to think about before it happens.  

The Problem

The issues are not just that parents believe their special needs child will need more inheritance than other children. Muslim parents usually don’t think that. Some parents don’t want their special needs child to get any inheritance at all.  Not because of any ill-will against their special needs child; just the opposite, but because they are afraid inheritance will result in sabotaging their child’s needs-based government benefits.    

Many, perhaps most special needs children do not have any use for needs-based benefits (benefits for the poor).  But many do, or many parents might figure that it is a distinct possibility. This article is a brief explanation of some of the options available for parents of special needs children.  It won’t go over every option, but rather those that are usually incorporated as part of any Islamic Estate Planning.

Please Stand By

Example:  Salma has three daughters and two sons.  One of her children, Khalida, 3, has Down Syndrome.  At this point, Salma knows that raising Khalida is going to be an immense challenge for herself, her husband Rashid and all the older siblings.  What she does not know, however, is what specific care Khalida is going to need through her life or how her disability will continue to be relevant. She does not know a lot about Khalida’s future marriage prospects, ability to be employed and be independent, though obviously like any parent she has nothing but positive hopes for her child’s life.   

In the event of her death, Salma wants to make sure her daughter gets her Islamic right to inheritance.  However, if Khalida needs public benefits, Salma does not want her daughter disqualified because she has her own money.

Her solution is something called a “stand-by special needs trust.” This type of trust is done in conjunction with an Islamic Inheritance Plan and is typically part of a living trust, though it could also be a trust drafted into the last will.  I will describe more about what a special needs trust is below. For Salma, she is the Trustee of her trust. After she dies, she names her husband (or someone else) the successor Trustee. The trust is drafted to prevent it from becoming an “available resource” used to determine eligibility for public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and other benefits that go with that.

If it turns out that Salma passes away when Khalida is 5, and her assets are held in trust for her until she is 18 and her Trustee determines she does not need a special needs trust, she will get her inheritance precisely like everyone else based on their Islamic right.  If she does need benefits, the Trustee will only make distributions to Khalida that would not harm her eligibility.

This way, there is no need to deny Khalida her inheritance because of her disability, and she is also making sure giving her daughter inheritance would not harm her daughter’s healthcare or other necessary support.  

Munir Vohra is a special needs advocate and an athlete

The Shape of Special Needs Trusts

A stand-alone Special needs trusts, which is sometimes called a “supplemental needs trust” the kind without the “stand-by” variation I described above, are a standard device for families that have children with special needs. A trust is a property ownership device. A Grantor gives the property to a Trustee, who manages the property for the benefit of a beneficiary. In a revocable living trust, the Grantor, Trustee, and Beneficiary are typically the same person.  

When the trust is irrevocable, the Grantor, Trustee, and Beneficiary may all be different people. In a special needs trust, the person with a disability is the beneficiary. Sometimes, the person with a disability is also the Grantor, the person who created the trust.  This might happen if there is a settlement from a lawsuit for example and the person with special needs wants it to be paid to the trust.  

In many if not most cases, the goal may not be to protect the beneficiary’s ability to get public benefits at all. Many people with a disability don’t get special government benefits.  But they do want to protect the beneficiaries from having to manage the assets. Some people are just more susceptible to abuse.

The structure of the arrangement typically reflects the complexity of the family, the desire of siblings and extended family to continue to be involved in the care and attending to the needs of the person with a disability, even if they are not the person directly writing checks.   

Example: Care for Zayna

Example: Zayna is a 24-year-old woman with limited ability to communicate, take care of her needs and requires 24-hour care.  Zayna has three healthy siblings, many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Her father, Elias, earns about $70,000 per year and is divorced. Zayna’s mother Sameena cannot contribute, as she is on social security disability. However, Zayna’s adult brother and sisters, brother in laws, sister in law and several aunts, uncles want to help Zayna meet her needs E.lyas creates a third party special needs trust that would ensure Zayna has what she needs in the years to come.

Zayna receives need-based public benefits that are vital to her in living with her various disabilities and her struggle to gain increasing independence, knowledge and dignity.  So the trust needs to be set up and professionally administered to make sure that when Zayna gets any benefit from her trust, it does not end up disqualifying her ability to get any needs-based benefit.  

Contributions to the special needs trust will not go against Islamic Inheritance rules unless made after the death of the donor.

If Zayna dies, her assets from the special needs trust will be distributed based on the Islamic rules of inheritance as it applies to her.

When disability planning is not about Public Benefits

Perhaps most families with special needs children do not use any needs-based public assistance.  They are still concerned about special needs and planning for it.

Example:  Khadija, 16, is on the autism spectrum. For those familiar with the autism spectrum, that could mean a lot of things.  For her parents, Sarah and Yacoob, other than certain habits that are harmless and easy to get used to, it means Khadija is very trusting of people. Otherwise, she does well in school, and her parents don’t think she needs way more help than her siblings and she has just as good a chance of leading a healthy and productive life as any 16-year-old girl.  

The downside of being too trusting is that the outside world can exploit her.  If she ends up getting inheritance or gifts, she may lose it. The parents decide that when she gets her inheritance, it will be in a trust that would continue through her life.  There will be a trustee who will make sure she has what she needs from her trust, but that nobody can exploit her.

In some ways, what Khadija’s parents Sarah and Yacoob are doing is not so different from what parents might do if they have a child with a substance abuse problem.  They want to give their child her rights, but they don’t want to allow for exploitation and abuse.

Considering your own needs

There are many people who are easy marks for scammers, yet you would be unlikely to know this unless you are either a close friend or family member, or a scammer yourself.  While this often happens to the elderly, it can happen at just about any age. Everyone should consider developing an “incapacity plan” to preserve their wealth even if they lose their executive decision-making ability.   

There is this process in state courts known as “conservatorship.” Indeed, entire courtrooms dedicate themselves to conservatorships and other mental health-related issues.  It is a legal process that causes an individual to lose their financial or personal freedom because a court has essentially declared them not competent to handle their affairs. Conservatorships are a public process.  They can cause a lot of pain embarrassment and internal family strife.

One of the benefits of a well-drafted living trust is to protect privacy and dignity during difficult times.

Example: Haris Investing in Cambodian Rice Farms

Haris, 63, was eating lunch at a diner.  In the waiting area, he became fast friends with Mellissa; a thirty-something woman who was interested in talking about Haris’s grandchildren.  The conversation then turned Melissa and her desire to start a business selling long distance calling cards. Haris was fascinated by this and thought it made good business sense. Haris gave Mellissa $20,000.00. The two exchanged numbers. The next day, Mellissa’s number was disconnected.

Haris’s wife, Julie became alarmed by this.  It was out of character for her husband to just fork over $20,000 to anyone on the spur of the moment.  What was worse is that the business failed immediately.  

Three months later,  Haris meets Mellissa at the diner again.  She then convinces Haris to invest $50,000 in a Cambodian rice farm, which he does right away.   His wife Julie was pretty upset.

How living trusts helps

As it happened though, Haris, a few years before, created a living trust.  It has a provision that includes incapacity planning. There are two essential parts to this:  The first is a system to decide if someone has lost their executive decision-making ability. The second is to have a successor Trustee to look over the estate when the individual has lost this capacity.  This question is about Haris’s fundamental freedom: his ability to spend his own money.

If you asked Haris, he would say nothing is wrong with him.  He looks and sounds excellent. Tells the best dad jokes. He goes to the gym five times a week and can probably beat you at arm wrestling. Haris made some financial mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes.

Julie, and his adult children Haroon, Kulsum, Abdullah, and Rasheeda are not so sure it’s just a mistake.  The living trust created a “disability panel.” This panel gets to vote, privately, in if Haris should continue to act as Trustee of his own money.  If they vote that he should not manage his own money, his wife does it for him.

The family has a way to decide an important and sensitive issue while maintaining Haris’ dignity, privacy and wealth.   Haris’s friends don’t know anything about long distance calling cards or a Cambodian rice farm; they don’t know he lost his ability to act as Trustee of his trust.  Indeed the rest of the world is oblivious to all of this.

Planning for everyone

Islamic inheritance is fard and every Muslim should endeavor to incorporate it into their lives.  As it happens it is an obligation Muslims, at least those in the United States, routinely ignore or deal with inadequately.  However, there is more to planning than just what shares go to whom after death. Every family needs to create a system. There may or may not be problems with children or even with yourself (other than death, which will happen), but you should do whatever you can to protect your family’s wealth and dignity while also fulfilling your obligations to both yourself and your family.

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