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Navigating The Nouman Ali Khan Scandal

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American Professor Randy Pausch famously said, “When there’s an elephant in the room, introduce it.” So let’s talk about Nouman Ali Khan.

If you don’t know who he is, don’t worry. Two million followers on Facebook do, as do hundreds of thousands of students who benefitted from Bayyinah Institute, one of the most well-respected Arabic Studies institutions in the United States. Nouman Ali Khan is its founder and CEO.

This September 21st,  he was outed on Facebook by Omer Mozaffar, Muslim Chaplain at Loyola University of Chicago and Adjunct Professor of Theology. In a post that elicited over 2500 comments in less than 24 hours since its posting, Omer wrote:

“I have been working on a case regarding my friend of twenty years, Nouman Ali Khan. He confessed inappropriate interactions with various women, violating agreed-upon bounds of Islamic law. He also told lies to cover up those relationships, and filed threats of litigation against multiple parties to further hide his misconduct. I am calling on him to focus on repentance and reform. He is jeopardizing his soul and reputation; he is tampering with the Iman of so many of the students of his courses and lectures….

In a meeting with the above scholars and myself, Nouman agreed to stop public speeches until further notice, to get professional and religious counseling, and to cease all contact with those women. I had the responsibility to determine when he would be ready to speak again. I gave him an exception, allowing him to post previously recorded lectures, so long as they were not about marriage or gender matters…

This brings us to where we are today. Nouman has now broken his agreement with us and has been sending threats against each of us through his attorney.” full post here

Within 24 hours of Omer’s posting, Nouman Ali Khan posted a response as well. In it, he asserts his innocence and claims that enemies to himself and his family are conspiring to destroy him, and sums the situation up as follows:

“I have been divorced for nearly two years. The circumstances of my divorce are one of the most difficult and painful experiences of my life. Many rumors surrounded that event and I chose to remain silent to protect my children more than anyone else. After the passage of some time I did in fact pursue remarriage with the help of my family. Along that process I communicated with a few prospects with my family’s knowledge and consent and that has been used, distorted and manipulated way out of proportion and turned into something it isn’t. All such communications took place between consenting adults and there was nothing malicious or predatory about them. I fail to see how such interaction can render anyone a victim. These communications took place for a dignified purpose. Yet these are the communications that are being alleged as predatory.” full post here

In a relatively short time, the Muslim world online has been split into two camps, one that believes the accusations and one that doesn’t.  Both parties are shocked.

The overwhelming majority of responses to Mozaffar on Facebook – and remember, this is a story unfolding on Facebook itself – are incredulous, unconvinced, and offended on Nouman Ali Khan’s behalf. Commenters on Omer Mozaffar’s original post curse him, call him an apostate, and have gone so far as to suggest the accusations against Nouman are part of a Zionist conspiracy.

Angry commenters to Omer’s post also suggest that he is either a fake profile, a fake person, or a fake in general – taking a stab at Nouman Ali Khan’s reputation in a misguided show of Muslim jealousy.  This isn’t the first time that Omer Muzaffar has made news in the Muslim community. Muzaffar was called to act as a mediator in February of 2015 when a prominent Chicago Imam -Mohammad Abdullah Saleem – was accused of sexual assault of a student as well as an employee at the Institute of Islamic Education. Saleem was its founder. He plead guilty on both charges.

Other shuyukh have spoken up in defense of Omer Muzaffar as well.

“A lot of you will be hearing about the Nouman Ali Khan case and will be in utter disbelief. It is very important to put things into perspective:

The accusations against him have been verified by multiple people, and some of them have even been confessed by him…” full post here

This is excerpted from a post by Navaid Aziz, Director of Religious Education and Social Services at the Islamic Information Society of Calgary.

To make matters grossly messier, screenshots of contact between Nouman Ali Khan and various women have been released (not by the collective of Muslim community keaders mediating this situation, ie. Omer Mozaffer), which include private conversations, shirtless selfies, and money transfer receipts.

Update: Since the publishing of this piece, community leaders have issued a collective statement as well, stating,

“As a group we have taken our time to speak, all together or in smaller designated groups, with Brother Nouman, with a number of the women involved, and with numerous respected scholars and imams who have at various times tried to counsel Br. Nouman. It is with heavy hearts that we confirm that Br. Nouman has committed significant violations of trust, spiritual abuse and unethical behavior.”

On one hand, Nouman Ali Khan is a respected teacher whose founding and teaching at Bayyinah have been an undeniable benefit for the Muslim community world-wide. On the other hand, those accusing him are also respected and trusted in the Muslim community. If there’s a third hand- given the painful complexity of the situation, what is the common Muslim supposed to do?

In a word: Nothing.

If you believe he is innocent…

If you believe Nouman Ali Khan is innocent; that the screenshots “proving” his guilt are fake, that his shirtless selfie is photoshopped, and the entire affair is a conspiracy meant to divide the ummah and undermine Muslim scholarship; then make dua for him and carry on benefitting from the good that Bayyinah provides in your life.

That is all.

Do not call people names. Do not slander other Muslim preachers for slandering your favorite Muslim preacher, because in doing so, you are committing the same sin that you’re calling out. Do not invoke the wrath of Allah or curse those who you believe to be falsely accusing Nouman Ali Khan.

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

Verily, when a servant curses something, the curse rises to the heaven and the gates of heaven close upon it. It turns right and left and if it does not find somewhere to go, it will return to that which was cursed only if it deserved to be curse, otherwise the curse will return to the one who made it.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 4905, Grade: Hasan

You may feel very strongly that Nouman Ali Khan is being falsely accused, but only Allah knows if any person is truly deserving of His curse. In cursing Omer Muzaffar and those who agree with him, you are taking a serious risk. Remember- if the person you are cursing is not truly deserving of it – it will return to you instead. Be patient and fear Allah. Trust that in the end, as Allah says in Surah Isra ayah 81, that falsehood is bound to perish – whether you leave angry comments or not.


Seek refuge in Allah from Shaytaan and do not act – or update your status – in anger. Do not assume you have the right to any sort of righteous indignation on Nouman Ali Khan’s behalf. You are not his ex wife or his children. You are not his colleagues at Bayyinah. You are not his friends or his family members.

In all statistical likelihood, you are at best an outsider to the affair, and your fury against those who disagree with you has zero effect on justice in Nouman Ali Khan’s situation. You are neither the defense nor the prosecution. You have zero first-hand knowledge of the situation at all.

If you choose to decide that he is innocent because you love him and no amount of evidence will convince you otherwise, then take a step back and examine the religious devotion you are feeling. Remember that no one except Allah is perfect.

Do not be shocked at the suggestion that a religious personality could be accused of irreligious behavior. That sort of incredulity and disbelief is what shames real victims and discourages them from seeking justice. After all, Shaytaan goes out of his way to take down the righteous. The closer you get to Allah, the more likely Shaytaan will try to drag you down.

Do not conflate an “attack” on Nouman Ali Khan with an attack on Islam itself. Islam is with Allah, and Islam is not the sole domain of any one Muslim. Islam is not hurt by the sins of a scholar any more than it is hurt by the sins of an apostate. Don’t be offended on Islam’s behalf.

Do not conflate your “relationship” with Nouman Ali Khan to your relationship to Allah. Many commenters on the issue have said things like, “I could never believe this about Nouman, he guided me to Islam!” Nouman could not guide you to Islam any more than the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) himself could guide his beloved uncle Abu Talib, who died a polytheist. Guidance is with Allah, not with any Da’ee or teacher.

If you wish to draw parallels to the Ifk- the incident when hypocrites in the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) community made up adulterous rumors about his wife Aisha RA, then remember this: we have his example of silent patience. Those with adab and knowledge stayed silent on the matter, and Allah caused the truth to be revealed.

Do not curse, not even those you believe to be wronging Nouman Ali Khan. Not even the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would do that to the people wronging him.  The Messenger of Allah was asked, “Messenger of Allah, invoke a curse for us against the idolators.” He ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) replied, “I was not sent as a curser. I was sent as a mercy.” [Sahih Al-Albani, Al Adab Al Mufrad 321]

Pray instead for their guidance and for the emergence of truth. Remember that because you have no first-hand knowledge of what has happened, you have no right to comment on his innocence. Or, for that matter, his guilt.

If you do believe he is guilty though…

If you do believe he is guilty of what he has been accused of, then take a moment to ask yourself this: do my own sins infuriate me as much as Nouman Ali Khan’s do? If you committed zina, or cheated on your spouse, or had an inappropriate conversation with someone in privacy, did you benefit in any way from a public skewering? Or did Allah hide your sins and allow you to repent from them?

If you are convinced of his guilt and find yourself seeking out more details, answer this: are you responsible for his justice? Do you need to read every message and study every picture? Do you have any reason at all that you could give standing before Allah, to justify trawling through the public details of another Muslim’s private sins to satisfy your morbid curiosity or moral outrage?

You don’t.

You and the millions of Muslims – literally, millions – following this story are equally irrelevant regardless of whether you presume his guilt or not. While this story has entered the public sphere, at its heart this is still a private matter. There are faces and broken hearts behind the names. There are families who will have to pick up pieces and rebuild their lives long after your curiosity has been satiated. The purpose of Nouman’s misdeeds being announced publicly – if you believe he is guilty – is to protect and prevent victims. Not to create hatred or entertainment within the Muslim community. That it is currently doing both is a poor indicator of our restraint as a community.

If you believe Nouman Ali Khan is guilty, and you cannot stand the sight of him, then don’t watch his lectures. Do not, however, stop or discourage others from doing so. Allah commanded us to encourage good and forbid evil, and while you may not want to use Bayyinah books or watch Bayyinah lectures that is your choice.

The grammar books and educational lectures provided by other teachers at Bayyinah have nothing to do with Nouman Ali Khan’s sins, and to discourage other people from seeking knowledge is of no benefit to the victims.

The people who work at Bayyinah are not complicit in his sins simply because they are his employees. The students at Bayyinah are not complicit in his sins because they are his students. The only parties complicit in Nouman Ali Khan’s sins are those directly complicit in Nouman Ali Khan’s sins.

You could argue that Bayyinah is Nouman Ali Khan’s company, and you disapprove of his actions and don’t want to support the business of a sinful teacher. Considering that all teachers and scholars too are human, and that all humans are sinful, you would be dead before you found that perfect person to learn from. Nouman Ali Khan’s sins do not have any bearing on whether the contents of his previous lectures were correct or beneficial to you or not. If you found them inspiring before, one would hope it was due to your faith in Allah and independent of any faith in Nouman Ali Khan.

Do not lose faith in Islam. Islam is the religion of Allah, sent down by angels, transmitted by messengers and then bumbled-through by Muslims who sin night and day. Allah tells us so, literally-

 O My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you. full source here

Every scholar, every teacher, every person you have ever respected has sinned, is sinning, and will sin until they die. What makes a person “good” isn’t lack of sin, it is the presence of repentance. 

Still though, if you believe Nouman Ali Khan is guilty, you could choose not to watch his lectures anymore.  Or you could watch them anyway knowing full well that every daee (caller) is a sinner, every last one of them, because it is equally as ridiculous to see all scholars as perfect as it is to see all scholars as angels.

A balanced view is that all scholars are all fallible. It is fitting and bittersweet then, to recognize that perhaps the only real difference between preachers you love and preachers you hate is whether their sins are private or not.

But do not use Nouman Ali Khan as an excuse to disparage all preachers. Or to disparage all male scholars. Or to disparage all men. You are as personally culpable for Nouman Ali Khan’s sins as they are- which is none at all.

No one is responsible for Nouman Ali Khan’s actions except Nouman Ali Khan. Allah will not question you – the uninvolved – about anyone’s deeds except your own. Nouman Ali Khan – like all humans – will stand accountable on the Day of Judgment for those that he has wronged.  Imagine the irony if you stood accountable on the Day of Judgment for wronging Nouman Ali Khan instead.

Whoever does an atom’s weight of good in this life will see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it. Consider the weight of an atom, and consider whether or not you want to stand accountable before Allah for insulting Nouman Ali Khan or those who stand by him – even if you believe him to be guilty.

Do not insult Nouman Ali Khan. You have no right to insult anyone, regardless of their righteousness. You do not know whether he will repent to Allah. You do not know whether Allah will accept it. Imagine if Nouman Ali Khan had repented – imagine if the beauty, depth, and magnitude of his repentance so outweighed his sins that he became those beloved to Allah. Imagine if Allah forgave Nouman Ali Khan for his mountain of sins and wrote a mountain of blessings instead and yet you were still trashing him.

You have no way of knowing if and when Allah forgives Nouman Ali Khan, and while that is an important reminder, it’s actually irrelevant to whether you are allowed to talk badly about him or not. You can argue that what your saying is true – if you believe he is guilty- but the definition of slander is to speak lies about your brother. The definition of backbiting includes any thing that your brother would not like you saying about him, even if it’s true.

Don’t say that Nouman Ali Khan is not your brother.

As long as he is a Muslim, he is your brother. Even if he is guilty, he is your brother. Those directly connected to him are responsible for giving him naseeha, and the very definition of naseeha is that your recommendations are for the betterment of the one you are advising. You are not his judge, jury, or executioner. You may be shocked, offended, or upset at his sins, but unless he has directly transgressed against you, you have no right to call for his humiliation or destruction.

No matter what you believe….

If the communal conversation about Nouman Ali Khan focuses no further than guilt or innocence, then we’re wasting our time. Justice must be served, but we the uninvolved social media spectators, are not in the place to serve it. It is the role of the mediators, the community leaders, and those in positions of authority and actual evidence to do so.

So what should we be doing instead?

Seeing as how ignoring problems is zero percent effective in making them go away, now is the time to have important discussions about many, many things.

What are we doing to prevent emotional and sexual abuse in our communities?

How does our community respond to the victims of cases like these, what support structures do we have in place?

How should the Muslim community hold its leadership accountable for abuses of position or power?

What, if anything, can we learn from this experience as a community?

And most importantly of all – how can we rebuild from this experience in a way that leaves us better prepared and less likely to freak out on a global level. In the things that sadden, shock, or throw the ummah for a loop, any situation that brings us closer to Allah through our response is good, and any situation that takes us farther from Allah – even when it makes us happy- is a failure.

May Allah have mercy on all of us, I seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan and from trolls, who are normal Muslim people that shaytaan tricks into letter their anger lead them. May Allah protect us all, and strengthen us as a community and unite us in our desire to please Allah and work for justice no matter the cost or consequence.

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

Zeba Khan is the Director of Development for and the producer of the newly launched Muslimmatters Podcast, as well as a writer, speaker, and disability awareness advocate. In addition to having a child with autism, she herself lives with Ehlers-Danlos Sydrome, Dysautonomia, Mast-Cell Activation Disorder, and a random assortment of acronyms that collectively translate to chronic illness and progressive disability.



  1. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 8:17 PM

    Wonderfully put. I couldn’t agree more.

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      October 17, 2017 at 4:04 PM

      He is innocent

    • Avatar

      Sabeen Idris

      October 22, 2017 at 12:43 AM

      I am so happy I stumbled accross this article in this quicksand internet sensation.
      You say we must do “Nothing.”
      But that is the hardest thing to do!
      Yet it is the right thing to do.
      It’s all none of our business, really.
      Right on! Write on!

      Allah’s blessings on the writer of this article, Nouman Ali Khan, his family, and his ex-wife.

  2. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 8:41 PM

    I don’t think this could be better said!!! I agree 100%, may Allah guide us all, forgive us all and shower us with Mercy.

  3. Avatar

    Sulayman F

    September 24, 2017 at 8:47 PM

    Jazakh Allah khair, that was inspiring. You explained the issue calmly and logically and gave credence to people’s gripes. I hope more people read this.

  4. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 8:55 PM

    Can we please, for the love of God, stop referring to these people as scholars? An undergraduate degree doesn’t make you a scholar in any field! Most post-docs and professors who put out research aren’t scholars and would consider it hilarious to be considered as such.

    How come when it comes to Islam, we suddenly call undergrads in Sharia scholars? Can you imagine presenting an undergraduate in Islam as a scholar to a non-Muslim? The non-Muslim is going to think that the supposed best and brightest of the Muslims, i.e. scholars, are not very well educated nor insightful. It puts Islam in a negative light and shooting ourselves in the foot.

    Scholars (in any field – physics, psychology, Islam, etc.) put out significant research and are globally looked to as leaders in their field. Some of you reading this probably have undergraduate degrees yourself. Imagine presenting yourself as scholar in your field of study with that educational background. Laughable, isn’t it? So stop doing it within an Islamic context. Call them speakers/daees/callers to Islam and be done with it.

  5. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 9:23 PM

    JazakAllah for laying out the issue so beautifully. A man came to the Prophet (PBUH) and asked him, “when will be the day of judgement?”, the Prophet (PBUH) replied, “What have you prepared for it?”

    Therein lies a beautiful lesson for us not to ask needless questions that are not beneficial. There is no point of investigating this issue and passing our judgement on who is right and who is wrong. Allah will not ask you of anyone’s sins except your own. Take the good from people and leave that which is bad.

    Having said this, I am very saddened at this situation. Haven’t been able to stop thinking about this situation. May Allah give all those affected sabr and emaan.

  6. Avatar

    Abu Boldak

    September 24, 2017 at 9:51 PM

    *that which does NOT concern us

  7. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 10:00 PM

    May Allah bless you and the words you share that would bring the ummah a moment of calm and peace. I pray this brings some amount of clarity to all its readers and that you and your family be rewarded greatly for the good of this article. Beautiful piece, Zeba. BaarakAllahu feeki.

  8. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 10:05 PM

    First of all, this is a fantastic reminder, and a great advice – stay silent.

    You should also add: someone is innocent until proven guilty. What really hurt me are a number of prominent women (usually Muslim feminists) immediately, gleefully posting comments about NAK and trashing him with the most vile insults, sharing the screenshots and so on. This person NAK has done so much for the ummah. He alone has been blessed by Allah to make His book accessible for a whole new generation. If (IF) he has sinned, that’s his private affair and I hope Allah forgives him and I hope he finds a way back from this.

  9. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 10:18 PM

    So, when can we go back to making the internet great again by posting cat videos?

  10. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 10:20 PM

    When I first heard about this incident couple of days ago Navaid Aziz’s status, I neither believed it nor disbelieved it. My position is still the same on this matter. I didn’t curse anyone but was extremely annoyed at the way this was being posted by some of the respected scholars. This write-up seems more matured and logical. I still have some questions though-
    1. Was it necessary to mention here about the selfie and other leaked images ( havn’t seen any of those)?
    2. Talk about the consequences of cursing a scholar but who is a scholar really. Someone who cannot spare one opportunity to malign a fellow brother and spread rumour(yes it’s still a rumour since nothing is proven yet) against him? This incident has produced probably one of the most vicious display of cannibalism by people who are respected by thousands in this part of the world.
    3. If ‘Shaykh’ Omar was a in charge of mediation, how could the pictures and other stuffs get leaked without his knowledge. If he is behind the leak, how can he ve a respected mediator?
    4. NAK never claimed himself as a scholar as per my knowledge unlike some other ‘Shaykhs’ , if he is guilty of a sin of desire, I consider self-righteousness arrogance attitude shown by some ‘star’ ulamas a worse kind of sin – a sin that brought Iblis down.
    5. There’s no victims here as this kind of incident cannot happen without the consent of both sides ( I can safely presume that victims we are talking about are all grown up adults).

    • Avatar


      September 25, 2017 at 12:01 AM

      You got something mixed up. The mediator was Omer Mozaffar, not Shaykh Omar Suleiman. Just so you know…

    • Avatar


      October 9, 2017 at 6:47 AM

      Salam alykum

      You echoed my questions, let me add to these questions,

      Why did the mediator publicly announce the so called “negative” behaviors of NAK? Isn’t this against Islamic teaching? Isn’t this a breach of privacy?!

      2- if the nature of the actions are not sexual nor they come under harassment … Why were they even exposed?!! “Sitr” is part of the Islamic basic interactions agreement, isn’t it?!

      3- When it is laughably said “victims” seeking justice, a question pops into my head, justice from what?! Victims in what?!! If there is no sexual abuse involved in the situation, on what basis the effected parties are called as victims?!
      If NAK did not expose any privet issue concerning the involved parties, then they are not even victims! This is totally weird for me.

  11. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 10:38 PM

    But I dont understand. Why hasn’t the police investigate this and give comment? If there is allegation of sexual harrashment, police should be involved, asked or not. They must have heard this by now. They should have come to the possible victims and interviewed them. No?

    Think everyone involved live in the same civilized country of 21st century?
    Or have i watched too much Law and Order SVU?

    • Avatar

      Mais Kassas

      September 28, 2017 at 11:57 AM

      We don’t have to curse anyone; people who spread rumors are already cursed. May God protect NAK, forgive his sins and reward him for his 20 years of excellent job.

  12. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 10:51 PM

    WOW! excellent advice, very well written! JazakAllahu Khairun

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    September 24, 2017 at 11:00 PM

    Well said. I know nothing of NAK but khayr. My main worry is I hope this doesn’t hurt people’s iman.

    Some compassion and reflection are needed. If the allegations are true, perhaps NAK is going through a mid-life crisis or he may be imploding spiritually and he needs care. We as a community raised him up and now we are making him zaleel. He is young. He is a product of the American Muslim community, bitter or sweet, so you created him. Now he is your Imtihaan. The Muslim community, not just NAK, will face the consequences of this. The worst consequence is people will be deterred from teaching or learning the Qur’an, whether these allegations are true or untrue, due to the ugliness of how this will all play out. Thats what I feel this is really all about and thats what shaytan wants.


  14. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 11:04 PM

    Why, when you heard it, did not the believing men and believing women think good of one another and say, “This is an obvious falsehood”? (Surah An Noor aayah 12)
    I have no knowledge of the matter, I am not a witness but I have read the words of a person who has been working day and night for Allah’s Deen. This should be enough for me to think good of him.

  15. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 11:17 PM

    Alhamdulillah. Good advice. I hope we all can refrain ourselves from saying things we have no first-hand knowledge of. Regardless if he is innocent or guilty.

    But on a more serious note, for those who suffer emotional manipulations, please reach out for help and take legal action if necessary. And for the ones manipulating, you have to admit that there is a serious problem with you. Please seek professional help. Do not justify or cover up what is wrong.

    Please take a moment of self introspection. We will all have to return and answer Allah on the day of judgement. Alone. May Allah forgive us all. Ameen.

  16. Avatar


    September 24, 2017 at 11:24 PM

    Beautifully put. Thank you so much for writing this.

  17. Avatar

    Khadija S

    September 24, 2017 at 11:39 PM

    He hasn’t committed a crime. No need for police. Sexual harrassment is a civil matter not a criminal matter. He did not sexually assault anyone. “Let he who is without sin cast the firs stone” Nobody, no matter what they’ve done deserves to be publicly fligged on social media . Allah will hold everyone involved responsible. He does’nt need our help.

  18. Avatar


    September 25, 2017 at 12:07 AM

    Whilst this article appears to be balanced, the biased undertones are deafening.

    Let’s be clear that so called mediators themselves have said their concerns are nothing to do with sexual abuse yet your article continues to allude to this subject in its closing statements.

    And finally, I’m so sick of many Muslim men and women portraying Muslim women as being uneducated fragile robots. Seems to me the story is about a regular guy who happens to have a talent in public speaking, looking for a wife by talking to multiple women be it at the same time or not. Glad to know he is human. And so are these women, consenting adults who may have been deceived but nothing more.

    This should all have been sorted out begins closed doors. Are the mediators going to post messages about the inappropriateness of the leaks? I bet not.

    Vested interests that’s All.

    • Avatar


      September 25, 2017 at 1:11 AM

      Let’s start with the “elephant in the room”:

      WHY on Earth is not a single Muslim religious authority figure – nor you, Zeba Khan – condemning Omer Mozaffar and Navaid Aziz for publicizing these allegations PRIOR to their proving their case against him. If they have evidence and a solid case, let them make it in front of a neutral party or a US court and advertise their verdict.

      WHY on Earth is not a single Muslim religious authority, – nor you – Zeba Khan – calling out and condemning those who publicized his private correspondences with whoever he was corresponding with. This is one of the most disgusting tactics used to mentally torture the man and NOT A SINGLE religious authority figure has condemned it.

      You showed us some of the nastiest comments posted by his most extreme fans without even trying to cover up the fact that you’re tainting them all as blind followers & brainless loyalists. Why not share equally nasty comments from the other side? Or are you claiming you couldn’t find any?

      On what grounds did you deduce who the “obvious majority” is in this divide?

      So a man posts a single comment about someone on social media. This confirms that he’s his “friend” of “20 years.” You don’t suppose that maybe, just maybe, he was being…nice? Spreading the love among his fellow Muslim brethren? That would be awkward I suppose so let’s just conclude they were the best buddies for the longest.

      I can go on and on. God protect us and have mercy on us.

      • Avatar


        September 25, 2017 at 1:55 AM

        “If you wish to draw parallels to the Ifk- the incident when hypocrites in the Prophet’s ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) community made up adulterous rumors about his wife Aisha RA, then remember this: we have his example of silent patience. Those with adab and knowledge stayed silent on the matter, and Allah caused the truth to be revealed.”

        We also have God’s direct verdict & commandment pertaining to this incident: “Why, when you all heard it, did not the believing men and believing women think good of one another and say, “This is an obvious falsehood?” – Quran 24:12

        He didn’t say “why didn’t you stay silent” nor did He say “why didn’t you all evaluate the evidence properly.” He said “think good of one another.” He continues in the next verse to say: “Why did they [who slandered] not produce for it four witnesses? And when they do not produce the witnesses, then it is they, in the sight of Allah, who are the liars.” Quran 24:13.

        If the accusers here can’t prove their case without a shadow of a doubt, than they are the liars in God’s sight.

  19. Avatar


    September 25, 2017 at 12:28 AM

    About time…I was thinking you will definitely post something in shaa Allah…you have shown us our places….jazakillahu khairan

  20. Avatar


    September 25, 2017 at 12:30 AM

    so when the larger Muslim community is not supposed to do anything and go by whatever we feel is true then what was the point of carrying out this “xpose” in the first place. The point is not whether Ustadh is innocent or those accusing him have the right intentions(both maybe correct, I mean accusers could really believe that ustadh has done it and ustadh might really still be innocent, a misunderstanding basically).
    But one thing I can’t wrap my head around is the wisdom behind making all this public when we common followers have no means to conclusively take any sides, you have just done a huge disservice to the community.

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    Umm B

    September 25, 2017 at 12:38 AM

    I mostly agree with your article except who the victims are.
    The only victims are his children. I feel so bad for them that their parent’s dirty laundry is being aired like this. The whole situation is embarrassing and women who posted these private conversations should be ashamed and seek Tawbah.

    Parents get control of your daughters! The fitna from all these single women is getting outrageous.

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    September 25, 2017 at 12:56 AM

    If this does not concern us directly, then it is not our business. NAK is not an angel.If he gets stronger and gets closer to Allah then all this fuss would have benefitted him.
    No matter what happens I will continue to listen to his teachings, it’s of great benefit to me/us.
    The only sin that Allah does not forgive is Shirk.
    Allah knows best.

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    September 25, 2017 at 12:56 AM

    JZK for writing this. I have not been able to sleep the last few days because of all this turmoil. My biggest fear was that finally we had a person that made the youth learn and love the quran like we never were able to in at least a century and now it’s all ruined. But this article has put everything in its perspective. May Allah swt reward you for this excellent piece of advice. I hope and pray that our global community will see this as a learning opportunity and continue to grow, mature and see beyond the drama. Indeed Allah Swt is al ghaffaar for those that seek forgiveness.

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    September 25, 2017 at 1:01 AM

    I watched some of his lecture in the past and I was convinced most of his analysis.

    He has spent two decades into this. I don’t know if propaganda is true or not. Infact, anyone can make mistakes other than prophets. If he did a mistake I’ll leave that to Allah and him.

    But I’ll keep following his videos for Quranic insights because for me the good lesson matters not the person. If he did something wrong hopefully he will repent and Allah will forgive.

    Allah forgives, People don’t.

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    September 25, 2017 at 1:10 AM

    ❝ we have his example of silent patience. Those with adab and knowledge stayed silent on the matter… ❞

    Do you understand why the general masses would find such statements ironic? They would expect silence and patience from the likes of those who made the scandal public. Until a time when full evidence is weighed and deliberated, and not made public (especially via fb in drib and drabs), giving both camps a reason to be upset and letting emotions and imaginations run wild.

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    September 25, 2017 at 1:58 AM

    Excellent advice. Have trust in our fellow mulims.
    If he did wrong forgive him.

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    Noor Saadeh

    September 25, 2017 at 2:06 AM

    Barak Allahu fikum. We have been awaiting such an excellent response and advice.

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    Zuaib Hasan

    September 25, 2017 at 2:22 AM

    JazakAllah khair , I agree completely with the wisdom you have presented.

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    Hassan Mehmood

    September 25, 2017 at 2:27 AM

    This is the best article i have read yet, i mean it gives a good summary. No scholar or a person in this world is saint, everyone do sin in life. So we should not spread this scandal and regardless of the outcome of this we shouldn’t stop watching the articles and lectures.

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    September 25, 2017 at 3:09 AM

    Jazakallah sister for this article. This clears a lot of things in my mind.

    As you have said,

    Seeing as how ignoring problems is zero percent effective in making them go away, now is the time to have important discussions about many, many things.

    Thus, I would like to discuss about something that had been bothering me, that I believe is important when it comes to sexuality and gender relations. We live in a liberal, capitalist world where, the fulfilment of sexual desire is classist and is seen as an extension of capital that one possesses. There is free sex, yet sex is not free of cost. It is a terrible system and Islam has a lot better solution to all the challenges that a liberal world poses.

    I am of the belief that consented sex is a human right and Islam doesn't deny that. However, islam makes certain disciplines mandatory in the life of Muslims for the beauty Islam would impart in their lives. I would like to recall the idea I grasped from one of the lectures of Prof. Tariq Ramadan, in which he talks about the beauty of freedom that is disciplined. Islam asks everyone to marry. The 32nd aayah of Surah Nur says,


    {{{ Get the singles among you married as well as those who are fit for marriage among your male slaves and female slaves. If they are poor, Allah will make them free from want out of His grace: for Allah has boundless resources and is All-Knowing. }}}

    I am a single male with a Masters in Engineering, jobless though, going on my 30 and I know my challenges living in a world were Haram is cheaper than Halal. Now, I wouldn't wanna argue that marriage is all about sex. It is not. But one of the most important purposes of marriage is to keep us chaste and thus maintain our eaman. I am not talking about other aspects of marriage as it would be irrelevant for the discussion.

    Now let's take into consideration, how Muslim communities look at marriage. Do we have the kind of Tawakkul that the above aayah demands? The above aayah promises that "Yughnihmullahu min fazlihi", which is not just the freedom from wants but also richness (ghina). Now, that is Allah's promise. How many of us do really believe in it truly? How many from the scholarship has made this part of the aspect of marriage in Islam very clear? That in Islam, marriage is not seen as an extension of capital, but rather an important ibadah towards completing one's deen. I don't find many.

    As what is currently happening in the communities, we could easily draw parallels between the liberal world and the Muslim world. It is almost impossible for a jobless struggling Muslim male to seek marriage, as his capital potential is zero, amongst Muslims. In the liberal world, a jobless, zero-capital male/female would be less preferred to partner with for a night or for life. This is much disturbing a practice among Muslims no matter where in the world they are from. I would like to ask if Muslims are really liberated from hold of these capitalistic ghosts?

    Thus I find some uneasiness in considering NAK or anyone from the scholarship/preacher community committing a mistake equal to another brother/sister in islam (not a preacher) committing the same mistake. This is because, preachers and scholars have a privileged position in letting Muslims know of the pitfalls of this life of Dunya and thus the culture of wrong gender relations and thereby encouraging easy marriages, the kind that islam speaks about. But they don't seem to do it, or do it well.

    Most of them are also in the privileged positions to marry once, twice, thrice or quadruple times and then warn the youth finding it hard to marry after passing every hurdles the dunyavi-Muslims(who could have been advised to lower their dunyavi-expectations, by these preachers) pose, about the wrong gender relations.

    It could be a bit more personal if I say that I am someone who makes the dua that was made by Zakariya (AS), fearing I would be single forever. But there are people in the Ummah that are going through the predicament I am in and I find no one speaking for us. And I am writing this comment desperately wishing someone from the scholars do speak for us.

    Thus, no, I can't just stay calm and believe that NAK just erred like I could have erred. It carves a deeper wound.

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    Mariam Tariq Usmani

    September 25, 2017 at 4:01 AM

    Jazak Allah! we need more people like you who put things into perspective. Thank you for clearing not one but many doubts and Subhan Allah for the guidance. May Allah bless the ummah wiith wisdom,aameen.

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    September 25, 2017 at 4:18 AM

    Not a Muslim but I find Nouman Ali Khan’s video’s an inspiration. Whatever the result of the investigation he has helped me. I have nothing but respect for him and believe judgement isn’t mine to take. We are all humans, we all have faults which we balance up against the good we have done. We learn from mistake’s and we become better people. We don’t listen to rumors and condemn a good man.

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    September 25, 2017 at 5:10 AM

    It takes two to tango am sick and tired of putting all the blame on him just because he’s man and he teaches the book of Allah last time I checked he’s human and we all do things.. I don’t see how he took advantage these women..They plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners. ( Quran 8:30 )
    It’s apparent there are many parties and imams involved in bringing down NAK by running a smear campaign. Many of these are Dallas Imams who are running a mafia type inquisition to defame anyone who goes against them and their ideals.HasbunaAllah.

    He explained in his post. As he said he is divorced since 2 years, and after that with the knowledge of his family he contacted some women with their consent as a marriage proposal. So it is completely allowed and should not be dramatized. I believed the way they blame him for this is to ruin his credibility and his status. Jealousy is there in every field.May Allah restore NAK’s honor❤

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    September 25, 2017 at 6:20 AM

    Asalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatahu,
    Whatever part of the article i read it was absolutely well put. Jazakillahu khayr.

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    Maggy Hamada

    September 25, 2017 at 7:37 AM

    SubanAllah ! Was it really necessary to write this article?

    We’re trying to kill the issue here so that gossip and speculations are no further disseminated, but all I’m noticing is that people keep reviving NAK’s case.

    I understand the author’s intention to help the reader get through and learn from this experience, but the write-up should have been more generic and not specifically targeting a person.

    Br. Nouman’s personal affairs should be kept private and confined to those parties who are directly concerned. At this point, all accusations are unfounded and even if they are substantiated, what makes it okay to advertise his mistakes to the public?

    What makes it okay to even divulge the existence of his private conversations and photos? Humans are curious by nature, so merely making mention of this has already sparked thirsty critters to search on the net and find these intimate details about him.

    Our brother is most likely going through hell right now so we need to avoid rubbing salt into his wound. We need to love for others what we love for ourselves and I’m pretty sure if any one of us ever made a grave mistake in our life, we wouldn’t want people to share it to the world, let alone write up a whole article about it and share it on social media.

    Last but not least, many of us may not realize this but our actions have actually caused a disservice to Islam. By publicizing this issue, the news has not only reached the Muslim community, but the non-Muslims as well, and so we have given leverage to Islamophobes to use this case against us and against Islam.

    All this has already happened and we don’t even know yet whether the allegations are true or not.

    Allah has informed us that all sons of Adam are sinners and that the best of us are those who repent. We need not ever forget this.

    Assalam alikom !

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    September 25, 2017 at 8:27 AM

    Here is what I don’t understand. How can you ask for our silence and at the same time expect muslims to be a “community”? If you care about the community, shouldn’t your main priority is to protect said community rather than “protect the Imams”? These Imams are grown men and are even more knowledgeable about Islam than most of us! Maybe they should abstain themselves rather than make it our JOB to protect them from their own nafs! You ask us to be silent and look the other way. This is why predators like NAK can exist in the first place. They know most people will either support him and won’t believe the victims OR be silent. Other predator men will look at NAK’s case and think “okay since he can get away with promiscuity and exploiting his own followers, why can’t I?”. The reason why cases like this tend to explode is so we can prevent this to happen again with other Muslim leaders. That they will be held accountable. Here’s a suggestion: hold our preachers to a higher standard. They could lecture us about any topic in Islam under the sun but we can’t even expect them to walk the talk? Sure, nobody is without sin, nobody is perfect, but the difference is that NAK abused his position and LIED to several people, even going as far as suing other people. If you care about the ummah, you put the safety and well-being of your community first than one single individual! I am disappointed with this article. The conversation about NAK issue shows how ill-prepared and naive the ummah is at handling issues like these.

  37. Avatar


    September 25, 2017 at 8:32 AM


  38. Avatar

    Saleema Burney

    September 25, 2017 at 8:42 AM

    A very balanced and well-written article, much needed. Thank you Zeba Khan.

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    Muhammad Saad

    September 25, 2017 at 9:07 AM

    JazakAllah, that’s exactly the answer to all the issues. Just focus on your deeds as death and end of time is near. Just ask ALLAH for forgiveness and blessings as these will protect us in this Dunya and in Akhirah. May ALLAH protect us from hell fire and guide us all. Ameen

  40. Avatar


    September 25, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    Excellent article. I wish Muslims are this even-keeled even when the matter concerns a non-Muslim.

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    September 25, 2017 at 9:45 AM

    “….. And most importantly of all – how can we rebuild from this experience in a way that leaves us better prepared and less likely to freak out on a global level. In the things that sadden, shock, or throw the ummah for a loop, any situation that brings us closer to Allah through our response is good, and any situation that takes us farther from Allah – even when it makes us happy- is a failure.”

    JazakAllah Khairan Kaseerah! I find your article very much helpful and guiding. Thank you.

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    September 25, 2017 at 9:49 AM

    Thank you for the article. It has some great points that will help our community become better. There are a couple points I wanted to mention.
    – I don’t know if the NAK news is true. The “evidence” that is on the internet could have possibly been created by someone who hates Islam and put in a lot of effort to destroy him such as hacking his albums, using photoshop, etc.
    – If what he did is true, I hope NAK feels horrible for his actions, there is justice, he becomes a better person, and continues his Islamic work. I feel NAK has done so much good for this community. He has made our society and world so much better.
    – I believe we need to stop taking justice into our own hands ie by slandering him, and allow justice be served through the right channels. Human beings have a habit of punishing others more than what is just.
    – I also agree with the article that during this time, we should also see how we treat victims. I find usually when someone is famous, or has a reputable career such as doctor, etc we can’t accept they are capable of doing sins just because they have a high status in society. So when a victim comes forward and says someone reputable has harmed them, most times people dismiss the accusation just because the person that harmed them could of course not have done the terrible actions just because they are so highly regarded in society. We need to change this thinking. Likewise, just because someone comes forward and says they have been harmed by someone, before we look for justice we should examine carefully if what the “victim” is saying is true. Yes there are also “victims” who are capable of lying.
    – It is a tragedy what is happening to our community because of this news. I pray the right things will happen, we all continue to strengthen our faith, and become better people because of this situation.

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    September 25, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    I’ll bet if we Muslims accepted our fitrah that Allah created us upon – a fitrah whereupon a man seeks to marry more than one woman – this crap wouldn’t happen.

    We’ve been forced to accept non Islamic definitions of equality and feminism and this is the result.

    I wish he’d just start giving talks again.

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    September 25, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    These Muslim American feminist don’t want that male preacher become so popular and famous that women start following him more than the so called Fleminist leaders

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    Ahmed A

    September 25, 2017 at 11:06 AM

    I think this article attempts to deal with the situation in a rational manner, but falls short of doing so.
    The recommended responses are all at a personal level… yet the crux of the issue is that personal matters have now been made public. So for me to react to it at a personal level doesn’t not really address the root of the issue. I’m not saying the recommendations are wrong, but rather that they are insufficient.
    The greater issue here is how is the community to respond when personal issues are made public. The rationale given was that it was done so to protect the public from potential evil; whereas in retrospect, I’m not sure it actually worked out that way. Regardless, if the intent was to spread public awareness of the issue, then I’m not sure how putting out heads in the sand is supposed to accomplish that.
    To me, I think there needs to be a community-level lessons learned here as well because chances are that this wont be the last time something like this occurs.

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    September 25, 2017 at 11:32 AM

    Somebody did an investigation of the screenshots. It’s fake.

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    September 25, 2017 at 1:33 PM

    As I type, the suffering of our ROHINGYA brothers and sisters has not stopped. It is so sad that muslims are wasting time on gossip when much more important things are happening in the world. May Allah protect the Muslims and ease their suffering wherever they may be.

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      September 26, 2017 at 6:22 PM

      So well said Saffia. The ‘Islamic media’ has started to behave like the Western media – any old gossip to sell papers.

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    September 25, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    For all the people that keep saying its non of our business, we don’t need to know, I have a question for you?

    If your children’s secular teacher in a government school have a ” mutually consensual relationship” with a class mate …

    1. Do you say that whatever the teachers shotcomings are non of your business so your children’s Primary, middle or high schools should not notify other parent, the authority, or the news media.

    2. Do you say that because the minor student agreed to the relationship with the teach, then it should not be made public?

    When answering, please put into consideration that the teacher may be committing adultery outside of the school but the school doesn’t care about this outside of the school adultery because its non of their business but they care when its the student.

    • Avatar


      September 29, 2017 at 3:20 AM

      Except the party involved here is not a child,she is a consenting adult woman.Big Difference.

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    September 25, 2017 at 3:29 PM

    As a non-Muslim I have remained neutral and feel that innocence remains until proven guilty. I just pray for all involved that a mutual understanding is found without a deep divide continuing to grow.

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    September 25, 2017 at 4:51 PM

    When it comes to the matter of men, all men are guilty until proven innocent.
    Time and time again men have shown that they are not in control of their desires, that they are prone to violence, war and hatred. God forbid they are put in positions of power, majority of them will fall to temptation and transgress.
    Muslims tout that Islam respects women, but Muslim men practice little of it.
    Airing dirty laundry of men is not allowed but women are raped and burned with acid, killed, subjected to male violence every day – whether she is pious or not. When a woman transgress, her dirty laundry is not only aired but she will be shunned by society (if not killed). So done with this “community” of hypocrites. My faith in God is mine alone and I will never believe the words of “men of God”.

    • Avatar


      September 29, 2017 at 4:01 AM

      Khalilah!What you said is true,but irrelevant.Women are ‘raped and burned with acid, killed, subjected to male violence’ without their consent.But here the involved party is CONSENTING ADULT woman.Making only the man accountable and under public scrutiny is unfair.

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    September 25, 2017 at 6:53 PM

    This article might have some good intention but it might have not served its purpose.
    In its undertone it assumes, NAK is guilty and hence we should forgive him and not accuse the scholars who have point out his fault.

    The main thing that needs to be kept in mind, in Islam “a person is innocent, unless proven guilty beyond a shadow of doubt”. But some how indirectly the article fails to convey that message.

    May Allah(swt) guide us and forgive all our sins as he has concealed it from others.

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    September 25, 2017 at 7:24 PM

    Before asking us to be calm, let’s step back for one moment and ask ourselves whether it was wise to create such a storm in the first place?

    Was it worth risking the life’s work of NAK? Have not millions of people benefited from his work?

    We are all sinners, why are we then chastising NAK for something he may have done privately with consenting adult? Why try prevent him from doing lectures?

    It’s incredibly sad that this matter couldn’t be resolved privately. What’s the gain here? We are upset at the people who thought it would be a good idea to publish these in public and then advice everyone to ignore it!!

    Incredibly foolish to say the least. You’ve caused irreversible damage to NAK and his family.

    May Allah help him through this difficult time and guide us all to the straight path.

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    Jamal Khawaja

    September 25, 2017 at 8:23 PM

    I don’t know NAK and I don’t really care about this issue. However, I will state that failing to condemn sexual misconduct by a religious leader is exactly what got the catholic church in trouble. Get off the high horse, find out the truth, and either condemn the man or condemn his detractors. Waffling is a bad move

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    September 26, 2017 at 3:01 AM

    Beneficial article but wrong timing in my opinion. Why bring up this discussion in detail when the best thing to do is stay quiet and let everybody move on in life. You’ve just made it more public…
    ‘Let the truth come out’ Why should we be even bothered about the truth? As you mentioned everybody makes mistakes. Unless you’re an alleged victim or part of the mediation, we don’t need to know anything about it!

  55. Avatar


    September 26, 2017 at 8:12 AM

    Excellent appraisal on current matters on this sad issue. We should not indulge in backbiting. How revolting is this public behaviour .
    Take a moment to consider the great work he has done,may Allah support him and his work @ Bayyinah.
    Inshallah his honour will be restored ,may he and his family find sukinah from Allah .
    Allah surely knows best.

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    September 26, 2017 at 4:29 PM

    Bismillah, this article is full of wisdom and great reflection. Looking at the past and present, I only see the good brother Noman has done so far for Allah’s deen and His Book. All else seems like allegations and false accusation. Still, let Allah be the judge and not us. May Allah keep the Ummah united and not be divided by such an infamous false scandal, ameen.

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    Ghiath Mahmaljy

    September 26, 2017 at 5:36 PM

    This is way too long and so redundant, and does not lead us anywhere. I don’t like how the issue was presented as a dispute between those who like and trust NAK on one side and those who like and trust the two other brothers on the other side. This not an issue of personal liking, but rather a matter of Islamic principles.
    The two accusers are using very ambiguous words and phrases not explicitly accusing NAK but implying and insinsuating that he committed assault/rape or consensual Zina. If it is the first they should be talking to law enforcement not to people on Facebook. If it is the second they need to bring four witnesses who saw him in the act or their punishment according to the Shariaa is to be flogged 80 times and be branded untrustworthy individuals whose testimony will never be accepted. Even if they have witnesses, where did these so called Scholars learn that Zina and indecent behavior should be publicized and shared with millions on social media??!!
    If their vague accusations simply refer to inappropriate behavior inconsistent with Islamic etiquette such as flirting with women or using improper or sexually suggestive language, then they should offer him advice privately and not expose him in front of millions of Muslims to show self righteousness as if they are pure and free of any sins or failings. I don’t know- and I don’t want to know- what brother Nouman did or did not do. I can only pray to Allah to guide him, forgive his sins and our sins and reward him for all the good work he has done, which benefited countless Muslims and left a positive impact on their lives.

    • Avatar


      September 26, 2017 at 7:01 PM

      You are the only one here who made sense !

      JazakAllahkhair for voicing a balance opinion.

      May Allah protect all our scholars and preserve their work & dignity.

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    Humaira chaudhry

    September 26, 2017 at 7:25 PM

    Very well said , jazak Allah khair . We should leave this matter between Allah swt and him , Allah swt might have already forgiven his sin if he had any . We love his teaching and his work . He is amazing teacher and doing great job for muslims . We love you NAK and we love you for sake of Allah swt and the benefit we got from your lectures . May Allah swt makes things easy for you and guide all of us Ameen

  59. Avatar


    September 26, 2017 at 9:23 PM

    I wish Muslim Matters did not publish this. I have lost respect for Muslim Matters for publishing this.
    May Allah guide us all.

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    September 27, 2017 at 6:40 AM

    Brother Nouman’s youtubes on the Qur’an are brilliant. I ask all to continue to watch it again and again and again regardless of what transpires. Please watch them through out your life and memorize them.

    However, all people connected to him must persuade him that he needs to make a public apology and he should admit that he has been a bad and unislamic example when it comes to gender relations. If he does not make admit this, then he will lead many Muslims, especially the youth, to think lightly on matters of inappropriate gender relations. And such matters are not light…they are very sinful…they can be serious.

    Again, his youtubes on the subtle beauty of the Qur’an can lead many to be good students of the Qur’an but brother Nouman is not understanding it…he is not getting it… when he indicated that tauba is between a person and Allah.
    Yes, Nouman, you are true about that. But you are a public figure. You know that a vast number of people, especially the youth look UP to you…please don’t deny that… And that carries it’s own responsibilities…you can’t just enjoy the benefits of that…you have to be brave enough, honest enough, and caring enough to not deny that responsibility and duty he has to fulfill or else he will continuing to sin a serious way before Allah, subhana wa ta ‘ala. If someone is not famous like brother Nouman but just a teacher at a small Islamic school did something wrong and their students who are in their youth found out it, then it is one’s responsibility and duty to tell their students (that you were a bad example and that you repent and that they must not see you as an example in that area of life.

    So, what Nouman had done (Allah knows but it seems he has done some bad things because he did not deny these texts, selfies), then he must tell the millions of people (whether old or young) and especially the youth of the present and those in the future (who will inshallah see his brilliant youtubes), that he has repented and he must say that he has been a bad and unIslamic example in the area of gender relations.

    If he does not say he repented from those specific actions but minimizes it and acts inaccurately as if no one looks up to him, then he will be misleading many youth.

  61. Avatar


    September 27, 2017 at 3:18 PM

    What is the hadd punishment for consensual conversation?

    The NAK case has brought up so many issues of relevance to the Muslim Community in America that it will be studied and discussed for a long time. For those who are unaware, a very much admired male Muslim teacher of the Quran was accused by two prominent Muslim leaders of “inappropriate interactions” with females. The accusations were posted on social media. In response, this teacher denied the allegations. The following day, a website was created with images of chat screens purportedly showing conversations between this teacher and some females as evidence of his wrongdoing.

    The reaction of the Muslim community was diverse with some happy that a “predator” had been exposed, seeing it as a victory for the “victims.” Others saw it quite differently and held that the teacher had apparently sinned and his sin was being publicized in contravention of the teachings of the blessed Prophet (saw) and the Quran which emphasize hiding the sins of our brothers and sisters. In general, from my perusal of Facebook posts, the number of those who lamented the posting of these accusations and private conversations by far exceeded those who saw it as a good thing. Also, there were probably tens of thousands of people who stated that they had benefited from this teacher’s lectures and that he was the reason why they returned to their faith.

    One of the fundamental differences between the reactions was in people’s perception of “harm.” Were the women whom the teacher had pursued “victims?” Was a man who had consensual conversation or consensual sexual relationships “harming” women or merely committing a sin, minor in the case of conversation and major in the case of adultery?
    Those who argued that there was indeed “harm” caused and “predatory” behavior aimed at “victims” brought up the idea of a “power dynamic” between a famous religious teacher, a “religious authority,” and gullible women. In fact, their argument could be summarized as (power dynamic -> harm -> victims -> protection -> shame the predator).

    In fact, this argument can barely hold air let alone water. Let’s do a thought experiment. Let us suppose that conversing with women – or let us call it womanizing – constituted harm, warranting a criminal punishment and/or public shaming for the protection of victimized women. If that were the case, who would be the guilty party if the conversation were consensual? According to the power dynamic theory, it would be the man’s fault. In this theory, the women are in the position of a coerced party and so they are not morally obligated nor emotionally capable of saying no to the man’s overtures. Very well, going along with our suppositions, we would shame the man to protect the victims.

    Now suppose that the man was only a little more famous than the women. Would he be the only guilty party or would the women also be a little bit guilty? If we begin to admit that the women are somewhat morally responsible beings, that they are capable of moral actions, then both the man and woman would be guilty. But due to the power dynamic theory, the man is still more guilty than the woman. Question: would we still want to publically expose the crime in this case in order to protect somewhat guilty women from becoming victimized?

    If the man and woman are equally both famous, or equally not famous at all, then
    they would both be equally guilty of consensual conversation. I doubt anyone would argue for public shaming in this case.

    The whole argument that legitimizes exposing the sins of our brothers and sisters in clear contravention of established Islamic moral principles rests on the idea of a power dynamic which presupposes that women are emotionally and morally weaker than men!

    But there was one other piece of evidence that was revealed in this case, and it was a receipt which was purportedly showing money paid to one of the women to keep them quiet. This was said to be proof of coercion and harassment or “predatory” behavior. However, if the teacher paid the money to keep a women quiet, is that not proof that the woman was blackmailing the teacher? How could it be said that the teacher was in a stronger position in a “power dynamic” whilst he is being blackmailed?

    There is one other point to be made concerning power dynamic. What if a woman seduces a man by promising sexual favors or simply shows a little skin or uses one of the many other arts of seduction well-known by the fairer sex? Can it be said that she has a “power” over the man that equals or surpasses his “power” over her gained from his position as a religious “authority.” Perhaps, even some die hard feminists would feel some sympathy for such a man. After all, if a women is not morally accountable in the face of power dynamic from the man’s side, shouldn’t the man also not be morally accountable in the face of power dynamic from the woman’s side?

    Finally, who would decide who wins the power dynamic and therefore is morally accountable so that we can publically shame him or her and protect the victims? My guess is that it will be the one with the pictures.

    The above analysis and the questions we have put forth aim to show the ridiculousness of the position of those who have justified exposing this teacher’s private conversations and possible sinful “inappropriate interactions.” Not only that, but it presupposes that women are not capable of moral action in difficult situations while men are always morally accountable.

    We would hope that those who initiated this accusation and posted the private conversations issue a public apology to the teacher. We would also suggest that the rising tide of feminist ideology which originated in the West among the whites be thoroughly opposed in the Islamic community as it seems to be making inroads. It seems to be prevalent among religiously minded hijabi Muslims as it is amongst secular or atheistic cultural Muslims which makes its presence all the more pernicious.

  62. Avatar


    September 27, 2017 at 8:33 PM

    I love Islam… I sin every single day multiple times a day.. I’m not perfect.. but I will never give up on my faith in Allah … NAK is such and inspirational figure and I will continue to listen to him … I am if the opinion that he is not guilty and support him

  63. Avatar

    Weng (New to Islam)

    September 27, 2017 at 11:47 PM

    It’s such a tragic news. MaybAllah guide us all. Ameen. I have one question for Omer M, though. Why did he expose NAK who he claimed to be his friend for 30 years. I thought as Muslims we are supposed to veil each other’s faults?

    • Avatar


      September 28, 2017 at 5:01 PM

      Not when there is harm to others.

  64. Avatar


    September 28, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    I would like to ask a serious question to MuslimMatters. Here you have a good article telling us to stay silent and not start slandering. It’s genuine advice. Yet there’s people on the internet connected very well to MuslimMatters (one of them is even amongst the founders of MM) slandering NAK, saying anything defending him is “tribalism”, urging people not to donate to NAK’s institute as money would be taken to defending NAK, saying Sh Omar Suleiman’s article was preparation, etc. How compatible are those values with what this article is trying to say?

  65. Avatar

    C. Rex

    September 28, 2017 at 8:17 PM

    Sr. Zeba: Sorry, but you are adding to the mud-slinging here.. you write as if you know he is guilty. There is no proof. We all know things can be doctored. We all know there is such a thing as politics and slander. Only Allah kniws the truth here. I am extremely disappointed that MM would publish this.

  66. Avatar

    Sister in Isam

    September 28, 2017 at 11:22 PM

    Who is controlling the comments here.

    The one in favor of the articles are kept and against are mostly deleted.
    I have lost all respect for Muslimmatters.
    This is hypocrisy at the highest level.At least practice what you preach!

    I urge all Muslims to comment in favor of our respected scholar and Ustadh so these people have no choice but to delete this baseless article .

    Even if you delete all the comments in favor of NHK, You still can’t win as Allah protects who He wills!

    • Avatar

      Aysha Kalanad

      October 2, 2017 at 5:12 AM

      Assalamu alaikum.. I am also disappointed that my comment got deleted. I live in India and was completely unaware of all the controversy raging in the US. Thanks to Muslim Matters for ‘enlightening’ me and a whole lot of others unnecessarily and causing a lot of distress in the Ummah. There are many of us who gain a lot from Bayyinah TV, but totally uninterested in the personal life of the teacher. I hope you will avoid such articles in the future, insha Allah

  67. Avatar


    September 29, 2017 at 1:58 AM

    so true Sister in Islam!They are deleting comments that are in favor of NAK.

  68. Avatar


    September 29, 2017 at 2:04 AM

    Fear Allah Zeba Khan.Fear Allah Muslim Matters!

  69. Avatar


    September 29, 2017 at 3:32 AM

    There are plenty of logically made fb comments that supported NAK.But the writer chose to give a screenshot of a comment that will serve her agenda.

  70. Avatar


    September 29, 2017 at 3:38 AM

    Making tauba and apolozising to NAK is not enough.You need to apologize to us for making us witness this dirty politics.

  71. Avatar


    September 29, 2017 at 5:08 AM

    Using a 3 years old tweet to establish that Navaid is ‘close’ to NAK,really?!!Whoever listens to NAK’s lectures and knows his speaking style can understand that this was simply his way of giving a shout out to a fellow muslim brother.

  72. Avatar


    September 29, 2017 at 10:00 AM

    What baffles me is how dare one muslim stop another from sharing Allah’s words!Every person on this earth is a sinner.Does that mean everyone should stop sharing the knowledge!No matter what Allah said,having the approval of some ‘scholar’ has become more mandatory now?

  73. Avatar

    Abu Jumanah

    September 29, 2017 at 10:49 AM

    1.we should not get involved in this fitnah to fuel the fire. This will become chinese whisper. Theres an element of truth(he may have admitted to some of the allegations, victims and witnesses may have come forward) but it will be mixed with a vast amount of lies and falsehood from others.
    2.Apart from Prophets and Messengers, all humans fall into sins and error even the Scholars and Students.
    3.we must not slander, backbite, carry tales…nor become happy at the mistakes of someone else.
    4.our religion does not revolve around a person, but it is based upon the truth from the Quran and the Sunnah upon the understanding and manhaj of our Salaf as-Salih. Do not tie your knecks around a personality, Mahdhab, Imam, Shaykh, Talib, organisation, institute. Truth is not known by the people. Know the truth and you will know who the people of truth are. Know the evidence from the Book and the Sunnah and you will know who is upholding it. If anyone falls, dont fall with them. Dont let your emaan drop because of another persons death, turning in to Ahlul Bidah, or even a Kuffar. Be strong as an individual and stick to the truth until death.
    5.If you want to follow blindly a man of truth, then follow the man of truth from the Salaf and the Ulamah who died upon the truth.
    6.those who were buddies to NAK, sharing platform, working on their dawah together are now enemies all of a sudden due to sins of a man and his personal issues (though if it is open sinning and proven, then community needs to know). Yet concerning the religion, they were silent. Silent when it comes to mocking the Aqeedah, Shirk, Bidah, saying these issues are not important for the Ummah??
    Not speaking out about NAK not focussing on Aqeedah, not focussing on explaining the Quran as the Mufassiroon do. Explaining the Quran with the words, the language. Which is contradictory and alian in the field of Tafseer.
    Quran to be explained by Quran. Quran by the Ahadeeth, Quran by the words of the Sahabah. So these local speakers are silent in relation to the errors within the deen but outraged at a mans sins.
    7.celebrity culture in the west, be aware of it. Especially when a speaker teached in a hall with brothers on one side and sisters on the other side, and they can see each other. The speaker looks at the females directly, cracks a joke, flirts while brothers and sisters laugh loudly, so this is a fitnah that has to stop, least sisters should be right at the back of the hall away from the speakers eyes and the brothers or a partition is put up or they are in a separate hall.

    Indeed this is a fitnah for Br. NAK and it is a purification for him and raising of rank. Providing he knows and makes tawbah and returns, if he is innocent than Allah will make him free from these claims. As for not rectifying then more humiliation will decend. May Allah protect us all. Make us all be sincere seekers of ilm and act by it.

  74. Avatar

    Abu Jumanah

    September 29, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    Just adding, we have a serious problem in the west. When many have left the Movie, Music, etc. They come and find an alternative like Nasheed with music and Celerbrity speakers. They take them as role models and no doubt most have ihlas in wishing to marry one of these personalities; even to be a 2ns, 3rd, 4th wife. The speaker may also take this on board if he meets the condition. But if he doesnt and marries and devorces within weeks or months and then remarries another this is happening in our society. These gullible sisters should be more mature and marry any knowledgeble, good character brother and not just dream about marrying a ‘Shaykh’ or a ‘Dae’

  75. Avatar


    September 29, 2017 at 11:26 AM

    May Allah Subhana Wa taALLAH have mercy on us Muslims and cover up our mistakes and forgive us.
    I’m just disappointed about this phase of a Muslim life being broadcaster and a subject of debate for that matter.

  76. Avatar

    Mirsab Jafri

    September 29, 2017 at 2:08 PM

    To the writer.
    I really loved the way you put the whole article together.
    And I want to learn to do write articles in a similar manner, so could you tell me where I can learn to do so?

  77. Avatar


    September 29, 2017 at 2:44 PM

    Whether Br. NAK is guilty or not, no one should be backing or slandering him. If it needs to be known by the community if his antics as it is open and to protect others. Then no person or criminal even if they be Imam should be let off. Secondly, Its a sin of a person, why are his colleages jumping up and down and exposing him? whereas explaining the Quran without following its guidelines from the Mufasiroon, its okay. Belittling Aqeedah is okay? Where are the protectors of the deen?

  78. Avatar

    Anila Jahangiri

    September 29, 2017 at 10:40 PM

    For me the there are the two important questions:

    A) Were these women underaged?
    B) Were these women coerced in a boss/subordinate relationship?

    If it’s no to both questions then Nouman would have committed a moral crime that is between him and his Lord and no Muslim, including the women who participated in chats with Nouman, have the right to mudsling at another Muslim. If Nouman had done intercourse with 4 witnesses to this act, then this could go to a Sharia court. If it was coercing fellow subordinates then there should be a criminal sexual harassment suit. But if it’s none of this, it’s just another fitna that our Muslim community regularly participates in.

  79. Avatar


    October 1, 2017 at 7:31 AM

    Dear Admin
    Why did you delete my comment? Does the truth hurt? or have I contradicted the deen?
    Whether Br NAK is guilty or not, has to be proven. People who are accusing him and exposing him and his sin, so to speak, why don’t they expose his incorrect method of Tafseer of the Quran, his belittling of Aqeedah, Bidah etc.
    Thirdly Celebrity culture is the problem. Ignorant young people have come to the deen seeking an alternative from their music, film stars with a flavour of islam.
    Fourthly, genuine marriage proposals as long as the man can fullfill the two condition of taken on a 2nd,3rd or 4th wife.
    fifthly, Western speakers must have strictly segregated halls when delivering talk. Sisters on one side and brothers on the other, causes these fitna to occur, shaytan is with us all the time. Brothers sisters laughing loud, looking at each other, speaker looking at sisters cracking joked, flirting etc, any wonder why these fitnah occurs.

    • Avatar


      October 2, 2017 at 6:53 AM

      Abujumaanah!NAK did not belittle aqeedah. Learning Quran is a life long journey.By the grace of Allah,NAK has made it easy for us who don’t know Arabic.This journey has started with him,but definitely won’t end with him.He himself is humble enough to make it clear that he focuses only on the linguistic aspect of Quran. As a student of Arabic,he has expertise in that field.He always advises and encourages to learn tafseer etc. from others who are knowledgeable.Frankly speaking,I did not have the basic level of knowledge to understand the Mufassiroon. He is a blessing from Allah for people like me.Another point,this deen doesn’t need anyone’s protection.Allah is enough for protecting it.May Allah guide us to protect our own imaan before worrying about anyone else.
      Muslim Matters,don’t delete this comment.Don’t be a hypocrite.

    • Avatar


      October 2, 2017 at 10:58 PM

      Brother Abujumaanah, don’t form an opinion based on hearsay. NAK on aqeedah and hadith in his own words:
      About me,I didn’t even know there is a word ‘mufassiroon’. NAK was the one from whom I heard it for the 1st time!Alhamdulillah Allah did not write off an ignorant muslim like me and has brought me close to His Book through His slave NAK. His efforts can be imperfect as he is a mere human.But he is doing his best.

  80. Avatar


    October 1, 2017 at 7:56 AM

    My thoughts are also along these lines. I think more people should read and ruminate on this.

  81. Avatar

    shafqat ahmed

    October 1, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    Its interesting a how a personal sin ( which may seem small in my eyes { Allah knows it, we dont } at the time of great internal struggle {divorce}) has entered a public sphere has become a public matter.

    I was never interested in the personal life of NAK, rather his lectures on Qur’an has been an inspiration for me to discover the Qu’ran in an earlier part of my life.

    It was presented as he was sexual predator or a rapist, or forced something on his female students or employees. As if these women were victims, I find this disgusting! He was pursuing marriage at that time, which is halal and he does not need permission of his first wife { as per sharia }. I would love to think that people who tried to stop his public appearances did it out of love for the ummah. But it is hard to do that in the language they did that. Also now all they have done by releasing these images on social media, which only reflects to a human beings personal weakness, is to have generations of kids stay away from his lectures. NAK seems to have talked the language of young generation, now they have been able to tarnish some of that. Good job serving the ummah! Utterly disgusting!

  82. Avatar


    October 2, 2017 at 7:04 AM

    Since when is it Islamic to confess our sins to the masses!Narrated by Abu Huraira (radhiAllahu ‘anha),”I heard Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) saying. “All the sins of my followers will be forgiven except those of the Mujahirin (those who commit a sin openly or disclose their sins to the people). An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin at night and though Allah screens it from the public, then he comes in the morning, and says, ‘O so-and-so, I did such-and-such (evil) deed yesterday,’ though he spent his night screened by his Lord (none knowing about his sin) and in the morning he removes Allah’s screen from himself.”
    Sahih al-Bukhari (#6069)
    How many of our sins has Allah hidden from the public. Can we not show the same courtesy to others!
    On top of that,using one’s hidden sins to bully and blackmail him so that he can’t share Allah’s words anymore!That’s very Islamic I guess!Allah taught us in surah Asr to keep giving each other reminders. One doesn’t need any scholar’s approval to do what Allah has said to do.

    • Avatar

      Mohammed kanoumed

      October 3, 2017 at 10:38 AM

      Salamo Alaykom,

      I just read what it written in this page and I can say only Jazakom Allaho Khayrane for it. Well said and well explained.

      The best telling is what God (Allah recall us in Al-Imran) :

      102. O you who believe! Revere God with due reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.

      103. And hold fast to the rope of God, altogether, and do not become divided. And remember God’s blessings upon you; how you were enemies, and He reconciled your hearts, and by His grace you became brethren. And you were on the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you from it. God thus clarifies His revelations for you, so that you may be guided.

      104. And let there be among you a community calling to virtue, and advocating righteousness, and deterring from evil. These are the successful.

      105. And do not be like those who separated and disputed after the clear proofs came to them; for them is a great punishment.

  83. Avatar


    October 2, 2017 at 11:18 PM

    My love for NAK comes from the gratitude for the benefit I’ve received from his imperfect,but sincere work. I’ve never heard someone say before ‘The fact that I’m standing on the podium giving speech and you are listening doesn’t make me better muslim or superior to you’.I love him for this humility too.No one has right to belittle my love and respect for him by dismissing me as his ‘fanboy’.Those who continue to state that we have made this Brother into a ‘celebrity’ should ask themselves how THEY can be the voices that this Ummah is in need of (especially our youth), rather than typing behind a screen.
    May Allah Guide us ALL and save us from the evils of ourselves. Ameen.

  84. Avatar

    Mohammed kanoumed

    October 3, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Salamo Alaykom,

    I am a father of 3 daughters loving Numan speech and talk and I am here to say to Numan Ali Khan, Jazaka Allaho Khayrane for what you did all this years to this Ummah and for the youth people. The first time I discover you a couple of years I was wondering, how this guy is not stopped and not tested yet. I was sure you will a lot of enemies they are waiting for the moment to crash you. This moment has come but you are stronger enough insh Allah.
    I am not looking for any proof. Whether you sin or not, I do not care, this is between you and Allah. I am advising all muslims community to back your brother in this “MIHANAH” trial and support him instead of helping enemies and shaytane over him. Brother Numan, be strong and follow your path no matt what. You have enough knowledge how our beloved prophet suffered and never give up. I have no lesson to give but “Dakker” recall you Allah power and His supporting for the believers. May Allah help us all and open the eyes of all muslims to not fall in the propaganda against their brothers. Personal life should not be divulged. Wa salam.

  85. Avatar


    October 3, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Muslim Matters and Zeba Khan, this article was done in a manner that is unbecoming for a Muslim publication. There was no balance at all.

    And for a story from which we can all take a lesson,

  86. Avatar


    October 4, 2017 at 2:58 AM

    Well written arguments, jazakumullah khayran katsir. I would like to remind all of us, that our beloved Prophet Muhammad once said, there will be time when my ummah a lot in number but they are like foam in the sea. Let’s pray that through this hardship Allah will strengthen our ukhuwah, Muslims all over the world.

  87. Avatar

    Jenny Sutton-Amr

    October 4, 2017 at 9:06 AM

    This entire article is ridiculous in my humble opinion. It invites the public to partake in sordid accusations, take a stand and pass judgment, or not, based on here-say and evidence of which we have no direct knowledge. This may have been written with no intention of malice but it is a tabloid story, none-the-less. How UnIslamic is that!

  88. Avatar

    Mohammed kanoumed

    October 7, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    I am urging Muslim Community to read Surat Nour and stop involving themselves in cases like this, Allah said:
    And if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy… and because Allah is Accepting of repentance and Wise.
    Indeed, those who came with falsehood are a group among you. Do not think it bad for you; rather it is good for you. For every person among them is what [punishment] he has earned from the sin, and he who took upon himself the greater portion thereof – for him is a great punishment.
    Why, when you heard it, did not the believing men and believing women think good of one another and say, “This is an obvious falsehood”?
    When you received it [Information or accusation] with your tongues and said with your mouths that of which you had no knowledge and thought it was insignificant while it was, in the sight of Allah, tremendous.
    And why, when you heard it, did you not say, “It is not for us to speak of this. Exalted are You, [O Allah ]; this is a great slander”?
    Allah warns you against returning to the likes of this [conduct], ever, if you should be believers.

  89. Avatar


    October 9, 2017 at 3:12 PM

    My 2cents. Omar Muzaffar and Navaid don’t recall his last name are not very good friends or good people. A Muslim does Not publicize another’s Muslim’s errors or faults. All this if true which I don’t believe should have been taken care of quietly if they truly wished to do good. I believe Omar Muzaffar and Mr. Navaid should not be allowed to speak in public as Islamic daees or whatever their claim to fame is. Allah Guide them to clear their hearts and truly examine their motives. Envy is a horrible thing.

  90. Avatar

    hussein jamal

    November 8, 2017 at 2:26 AM

    WAS MY post removed?

  91. Avatar


    November 14, 2017 at 10:02 PM

    Why would he delete or hide his page if he was telling the truth?
    Simple fact check? if you bring in serious allegation against someone than hold them and stay your ground!

  92. Avatar

    Umar Tahir

    November 18, 2017 at 2:09 PM

    Thank you, you have made me realize the importance of Imam. Jazakallah khair and may Allah grant you Jannatul Firdaus

  93. Avatar


    November 26, 2017 at 1:14 AM

  94. Avatar

    Teuta Shatrolli

    December 5, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    One thing we must not do when we find out about someone else’s sins is discuss them and gossip about them. Why? Because doing so will considered backbiting, which has been compared to eating the flesh (meat) of our own dead brother. Allah Subhanahu wa T’ala has said:

    O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful. (Quran, 49:12)

    Those who love (to see) scandal published (and) broadcast among the Believers will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows and ye know not. (Quran, 19-24)

  95. Avatar


    January 4, 2018 at 10:28 AM

    Surah Nur {surah #24, verses 4, 12-19, 23 } “And those who accuse chaste women/men and produce not 4 witnesses, flog them with 80 stripes, and reject their testimony forever. They are indeed teh Fasiqun (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allah swt)…Why then, did not the believers…when you heard it (the slander) think good of their own people and say: “This charge is an obvious lie”? Why did they not produce 4 witnesses? Since they (the slanderers) have not produced witnesses then with Allah they are the liars. Had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy unto you in this world and in the Hereafter, a great torment would have touched you for that whereof you had spoken. When you were propagating it with your tongues and uttering with your mouths that whereof you had no knowledge, you counted it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great. And why did you not, when you heard it, say: “It is not right for us to speak of this. Glory be to You (O Allah)! This is a great lie. Allah forbids you from it and warns you not to repeat the like of it forever, if you are believers…Verily those who like that the crime of illegal sexual intercourse should be propagated among those who believe, they will have a painful torment in this world and in the hereafter…Verily those who accuse chaste women/men, who never even think of anything touching their chastity and are good believers – are cursed in this life and in the hereafter, and for them will be a great torment.”

    Slandering chaste women/men is a Major Sin – Those who falsely accuse chaste believing women/men of adultery/fornication/lewdness are cursed in this world and in the hereafter and they will have a tremendous punishment. Those who cast blame upon chaste women/men but then do not bring 4 witnesses, flog them with 80 lashes and never accept their testimony after that. Those are indeed the wicked. Anyone who falsely accuses a man of adultery/fornication without bringing clear evidence (4 witnesses) merits the punishment of 80 lashes. If the false accuser is not punished in this world, he will be punished on the Day of Resurrection and will falter on the Bridge and will fall into the fire.

    You shall be held accountable for what you say, so watch yourself. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should either speak good things or keep silent. Not a word do you utter without there being a ready observer beside you.

    Surah Mursalat {surah # 77 verse 19}: “The worst destruction shall fall upon the mu’kaz-zi’been (ie those who lie against the people who speak the truth, they accuse them of wrong and try to nullify/invalidate their character so that people will not listen to the message of Islam that they are trying to convey to people) on that Day.”

  96. Avatar


    January 22, 2018 at 5:20 AM

    Such a well written artitle. Personally I found it absurd that, in this day and time, that a renowned Islamic figure would do such knowing that evidence could be easily shared. Screenshots, dirty messages?? How easy is it to share all of this today. How easy it is to photoshop images?! Anyway Allah swt truly knows best. There is no taking sides in this article. And so true that whatever has happened is between Allah and NAK. That’s his problem and we have no right to accuse him and become sinners ourselves.

  97. Avatar


    February 13, 2018 at 7:31 AM

    May Allah Bless Nouman Khan with Jannat. This is a trial for him and the ppl accusing him are actually cleansing him of his sins. For the record, I dont believe a word of what is said about him and it was very wrong of that man to write anything negative about Nouman khan even if the allegations are true – which they are not.

  98. Avatar


    February 20, 2018 at 10:59 AM

    The Zionist have taken control of these people. This whole article smells like zionist propoganda.

    That “scholar” you mentioned (Omer)thats attacking Nouman Ali Khan is a zionist that “supports muslim GAY rights”, including that women Rabia.

    There is not a speck of evidence against Nouman, but here you are defending the Zionist and making Nouman the guilty one. Why do you always write about Nouman’s SINS and repentance? As if he is guilty already! No trial, no evidence but to you hes already guilty while defending Omer the gay zionist supporter.

    BTW the images of the chat convos have been proven to be FAKE and photoshopped.

    Shame on you, hopefully Allah will deal with garbage people like you!

  99. Avatar


    January 10, 2019 at 2:06 AM

    Allah razı olsun. Tebrikler. Bu meseleye en selametli ve doğru yaklaşım bu yazıdaki gibi olmalıdır.

  100. Avatar


    January 15, 2019 at 5:32 AM

    I cannot believe how hypocritical this article is. Yes, everyone is a sinner, but not every sinner preaches about modesty and claims to be an Ustadh, then comes out and says but I am just a student. If this was a scholar who wasn’t American or spoke English, people would have gone insane in finding more flaws. Basically, this is saying continue to listen to this speaker’s works because in the end it’s the message the matters, not the messenger…what? Let’s say the same for all those who hold leadership positions.

  101. Avatar

    Self Proclaimed Sheikh

    April 8, 2019 at 1:01 AM

    To all those posting replies coming to his defense, one question: Would your response be the same if he was sending extremely inappropriate, “dirty”, half-naked messages to your daughter? If 10 women came out publicly, it’s safe to say there’s 90 additional women who remained silent. Just because Nouman is in a position of “power/authority”, doesn’t mean he gets a free pass for this, in fact it’s quite the contrary. His actions translate to what a “munafiq” has done, pure hypocrisy.

    It’s quite obvious that he’s self-serving and at least some of the good he’s done in this world including the school he runs, is for the sake of lining his own pockets. An individual in an authoritative person who gets caught in a scam of this magnitude has to be demoted, make no doubt about that. Their true character is revealed when faced with adversity and Nouman has shown us what he’s like when he’s not on stage “enlightening us”. There is no need to refer to him as “Sheikh” etc. Let’s not behave like naive fools here for god’s sake, while allowing “blind faith” to completely denigrate common-sense and logic. Let’s use our heads as much as our hearts, or else our ummah will continue to spiral downward.

    “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”

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I just had my nikkah done with my husband and we are having our rukhsati done soon (in the next few months). The reason for [the] delay is just mainly to prepare for the wedding and  [to] accommodate family members’ schedule [for] the wedding. After the nikkah is it permissible to do all the acts that are permissible between a husband and wife even if the rukhsati hasn’t been done?

Getting married in my 20s

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“It’s much worse than the flu.” An Epidemiologist’s Perspective on COVID-19

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In light of the suspension of Jummah prayers and the mosque closings across the nation, I want to share my expertise as an epidemiologist.

Some people are in denial of the enormity of the crisis and do not agree with the rulings on Jummah prayers being canceled. Others think that this crisis is hyped up. They are asking, isn’t this like the flu or just a little worse than the flu?

It is not.

It is much worse than the flu.

Before I explain why, I would like to iterate that we must not panic. We cannot think clearly if we panic. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) reminds us in the Quran:

“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards East or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.”

Surah Al-Baqara, verse 177

While we should not panic, we should also not be skeptical about the unanimous consensus of all medical experts. Medical experts are authorities on medical issues.

“O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.”

Surah An-Nisa, Verse 59

This is a true crisis

We need everyone to do their part to prevent infections. The following is concise Epidemiology 101 for the non-epidemiologist regarding why there is so much concern by health authorities on the seriousness of Covid-19.

This is a crisis because of two simple mathematical reasons: the case fatality rate and the reproductive rate.

Case Fatality Rate

First, the case fatality rate – or the death rate – is the number of people who die if they have the disease, which in this context is the infection. In other words, out of the people who have the infection, this number represents how many will die.

For the flu, the case fatality rate is 0.1.For Covid-19, the case fatality rate based on the 133,000 so far infected as of March 13 and the 4,945 who have died is 3.7. This is not the true case fatality rate as some people with the mild infection are not being counted.

Some experts believe the case fatality rate is 2.0, which is 20 times higher than the flu. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who for over three decades has been the Director of the National Health Institute (allergy and infectious diseases) gave an estimate of 1.0 when he testified to Congress several days ago, and 1.0 is 10 times more than 0.1

If everything else that is important (such as the reproductive rate) was the same between the flu and Covid-19, then the number of people dying would be 30,000 times 10, which is 300,000.

Reproductive Rate (Basic Reproductive Number)

The other important number is the reproductive rate. The word “reproductive” in this name is not focused on the reproductions of the virus in one body, but the reproduction of cases. Technically this is called the basic reproductive number, but for ease of communicating, I will call it the reproductive rate.

The reproductive rate is related to how infectious the organism is from one person to another and what steps society is taking to limit the infections from spreading.

The exact definition of the reproductive rate (basic reproductive number) is the expected number of cases directly generated by one infected case in a population where all individuals are susceptible to infection.

Case Fatality plus Reproductive Rate Equals:

For the flu, the reproductive rate is 1.3. For Covid-19, the reproductive rate is between 2 and 3. The reproductive rate for Covid-19 is twice as high as the flu virus. Therefore we have to multiply the estimated number of deaths of 300,000 by 2, which is 600,000.

The case fatality rate could be lower than 1.0, it could be closer to 0.8 In fact, in South Korea, it is 0.9 so far. In Italy however, it is almost 5% because there are so many elderly people in Italy. In both of these cases, the case fatality rate of COVID-19 is still many, many times higher than that of the flu, which is 0.1.

To put it simply, at even a 1.0 case fatality, we can expect 600,000 people to die from COVID-19 in the US alone if we don’t follow the CDC guidelines. That’s not counting the huge number of people with other diseases who are at risk of dying from the effect of the healthcare system being overloaded beyond its capacity.

This is bad news. However, this disaster scenario is based on us treating it “just like the flu.” If we decide to take things seriously instead, and treat this as an emergency as it truly is, then InshaAllah 600,000 people don’t necessarily have to die. Following CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of the disease as well as the impact to the healthcare system can save hundreds of thousands of people.

We can lower the case-fatality rate and the reproductive rate, and the number of lives saved will be much, much greater than the number of lives who will die.

This is good news. We can, and will Insha’Allah, save lives by acting to lower the spread of COVID-19.

Malaysia reported an additional 190 confirmed infections on Sunday, an increase of 80% of cases over a day and bringing its total to 428. Most of the cases stemmed from a Muslim religious gathering held from Feb. 27 to March 1, which authorities said was attended by 14,500 Malaysians and about 1,500 foreigners. Malaysia is the worst-infected nation in the Southeast Asia.

We need to be on the same page

I mean this literally. We need to be on the same page, and that is the webpage of the CDC website:

The CDC, of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the agency responsible for preventing and limiting epidemics. You can keep yourselves, families, and the public at large safer by following their guidelines. Familiarize yourself with the following, and please ensure that all your family and friends have too:

1. How COVID-19 spreads

2. Symptoms

3. Steps to Prevent Illness

4. Older People and People with Chronic Diseases at Higher Risk

5. What to Do if You are Sick

6. Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

The first five sections are the responsibility of every person to learn, since every person can spread the infection and thus contribute to the reproductive number of COVID-19.

“The Muslim is the one from whose hand and tongue people are safe. ” – Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (An-Nasai)

For the many health professionals in the Muslim community, I encourage all health professionals to see the following resources on preparing your  practice to deal with Covid 19.

Do not go to Mosques until further notice

This is not an issue of a certain school of thought, but is the judgment of scholars from all schools of thought. Medical and religious experts are in agreement with regards to the suspension of Jummah for the protection of the community.

Please read the following joint statement by the Fiqh Council of North America, Islamic Society of North America, Islamic Medical Association of North America, and American Muslim Health Professionals. See also this declaration from the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America regarding the suspension of Friday congregation. 

Mosques are higher risk than churches

In Iran, the first cases started in Qom, a city that often sees more attendance to mosques and more gatherings than other cities. Most cases were in Qom and then spread to other cities. The number of grave plots dug for the dead and dying is large enough to be visible by satellite imagery.

How is this relevant to the disease, and why are mosques more vulnerable than churches or other places of worship?

  • Many attendees do wudu at the mosque. CDC guidelines are to not to touch the eyes, nose, or mouth, as these are mucous membranes. During wudu, the nasal mucous membranes are touched up to 3 times, the eyes mucous membranes are touched up to 3 times during the face rinse, and the mouth mucous membranes are touched up to 3 times.
  • Wudu does not require soap, so coronavirus particles (from an infected person) remain even after completing Wudu.
  • The vast majority of mosques do not have automatic sensors in their water taps, and attendees open and close them by hand shortly after touching their eyes, nose, mouth.
  • Almost all people close the taps with their bare hands versus holding a paper towel.
  •  Even if paper towels are used, there can be cross transference to the paper towel roll. There may be ways to limit transference but the risk cannot be eliminated.
  • People often relieve themselves before doing wudu, and clean their private areas with their left hand. We don’t have data on coronavirus in mucous membranes in the private areas, but we do know that the virus can often be in the GI tract in addition to the respiratory tract and eyes and nose, etc.
  • CDC guidelines say to use Social Distancing, staying 6 to 10 feet apart from others. But in the congregational prayer, we are standing shoulder to shoulder and some are also foot to foot.
  • Some attendees touch their faces after making dua, which is the first step in the virus’s transmission.
  • There are often handshakes and sometimes even hugs among some attendees, further spread person-to-person transmission.
  • A higher percentage of Masjid attendees are elderly, and thus, further susceptible to infection.

Allah tells the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that he has been sent as a mercy to all the worlds, and in following his sunnah, we strive for the same. By attending the mosques in the time of a pandemic, whether for the regular salah, Jumah prayers or ‘Eid prayers, we will not be a mercy to mankind. We will be a danger to it, spreading the coronavirus and increasing the number of people who suffer from it.

The bottom line, according to the epidemiology of this disease, is this:

It is guaranteed that some – likely a large number- will get infected if people go to mosques. And some of those people will die. And it is guaranteed that the infection rate will increase in the wider (non-Muslim) community because of this as well.

What to do if you think you have COVID-19

In general, call your doctor or ER if you think you are sick with Coronavirus. Do not automatically go to the ER or the doctor, first call ahead. Before even calling, familiarize yourself with what the symptoms of COVID-19 are.

Separate yourself from other family members and people at home, and call your doctor to get instructions to see if you need to be tested and to receive other very important instructions regarding supportive care to address your infection and to prevent the spread of it to other household members.

The doctor will instruct you as to whether you need to come to his/her office or go to the ER and when you need to go. Also by calling first, if you do need to go to the doctor’s office or the ER, they will make preparations to prevent the spread of infection from you to others as you come.

Social distancing in action: Death rates for the 1918 flu pandemic were heavily reduced by social distancing measures taken by the city of St. Louis, but not Philadelphia.

Do not delay calling your doctor since some people might deteriorate quickly, but try to read the CDC guidelines before calling so you can know whether you even need to call.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately (call 911 to get immediate help).  Emergency warning signs include*:
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face
*This list is not conclusive.  Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

In summary

  • We must not panic, but we must be prepared.
  • We must recognize that this is a crisis due to the case fatality rate and reproductive rate of COVID-19
  • Read the sections on COVID-19 at
  • Do not attend congregational prayers, Jumah prayer, weekend schools, etc. until further notice
  • Believe, with the help of Allah, that we can change the bad news to good news if we follow all the CDC guidelines in every section

Let us be calm but also serious. Let us also be grateful that we live in a time when governments are much more proactive than the past. Let us be grateful to our medical community. Let us not overwhelm ourselves with unverified articles or forwards on Whatsapp. Let us read and circulate medical information from only authorized sources such as the CDC.

And let us remember that we are so vulnerable and fragile and that we must often remember and supplicate to Allah for forgiveness, protection, and guidance. Thank you and may Allah keep us, our families, and all safe. Ameen.

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Like Tinder, But Safer: Troubleshooting Arranged Muslim Marriage

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Like many people in my mid-20s, I approached my parents about getting married and initially chose to use a more traditional route. That is to say, creating a resume – or biodata – and sending it to matchmaker aunties. I wanted this approach because I wanted to be able to balance my American, Desi, and Muslim identities. I wanted things to be done in a halal way with my parent’s knowledge. However, over the past 2 years, my experience with the process has left me jaded.

Before I continue, I want to preface with two things. The first is that my parents are wonderful. We’ve butted heads, but I recognize that they are doing what they think is best, via a method that they’re used to. Providing critical feedback of the method should not be taken as critical to my parents.

The second is that while I have critical feedback, I am not intending to discredit the entire process. Meeting people through family is hardly a bad thing, and maybe what some people need. It is very possible that I will still end up using this process. That said, there are changes that need to be made, especially in the modern world. I want to make sure that my younger brothers and sisters can get an idea of what the process is, and what they’re in store for.


The biodatas that we send and receive are inherently superficial. They are, in total, the person’s education/career, info on their parents and extended family, and pictures. There’s nothing written about the person’s personality barring, perhaps, a few sentences about their interests. This doesn’t provide any real depth of information about the other person at all.

Then there is the emphasis that is placed on the pictures. It is important to acknowledge that physical attraction plays a role in all of this. I think one of my early mistakes was that I was trying to pretend it didn’t matter at all, and that’s not reasonable for a marriage. The problem, however, is that given the lack of personal detail in the written part of the bio-data, we are left with the photo being the most personal piece of information presented. Unless you really care about where a person’s grandfather went to University in the 1940’s, that photo ends up being the most important thing you’re making your choice on.

Like “Tinder, but safer,” a friend said to me, as I explained how these situations played out. That’s not far off from how the experience played out for me. We’re not given much time to make a decision on the bio-data, so the result is the superficial, un-Islamic swipe based on attractiveness alone.

How many times have I heard, “Oh, she’s too fat,” or “Oh, she’s too short,” or “Too tall,” or “She’s pretty dark isn’t she?” Bengali speakers will recognize the word “moyla,” [dirty] used to describe women who are slightly darker, which is terribly problematic.

It’s not just that women are being chosen based on their looks alone, but on top of that, they’re being held to Eurocentric notions of what is deemed attractive. We’re all being held hostage to a standard designed by and for an entirely different race of people, and I have been told that it would be weird for me to be attracted to a darker-skinned woman because in the minds of many, dark skin is undesirable.

The superficiality is worse for women, but even as a guy I felt it. I’m fine with how I look, but you can only hear, “Oh, your face looks weird in that picture,” or, “He’s not tall enough,” so many times before it starts to mess with you. Men face another superficial judgment as well: the problem with men being reduced to their ability as moneymakers. I’m a graduate student and there are people in my class who have a spouse and children and are making it by just fine on the stipend we receive. But, inevitably, it will come up that I’m not making tons of money, so how can I support a family? While recognizing that men do have an Islamic responsibility to financially support their families, it troubles me that the process boils men down to one thing and one thing only – money, and not just having enough of it, but lots of it.


I’m relatively young, 27 in May, and so when I started this process two years ago, I told my parents that I was willing to go +/- 3 years, just because I thought that would be a good range to encompass people I’d have some similarities with. However my prospect of an older wife – even a day older – was rejected with quite some vigor. I’ve been disqualified from matching with some women because they were born just a couple of months before I was.

The majority of the biodatas sent to me are of women still in college, between the ages of 19 and 22. It doesn’t matter when I say that’s too young, or how that I feel like I’d be taking advantage of someone who hasn’t fully grown up yet. I get told that I’m wrong.

Do you know how many random aunties and uncles have told me that a 7-8 year age gap is necessary to make a marriage work because otherwise, the women “will demand too much?” It’s shocking that I’m being told specifically that I need a wife young enough to be manipulated and shaped to my desires. When I push back on this, I’m, again, told that I’m weird.

I’m being constantly told to reconsider my age preferences as if wanting to marry a woman in her mid-20’s is a weird thing to do when I myself am in my mid-20’s. The sheer number of times I face this makes me think it’s an inherent flaw in how our cultures think, and not something unique to my situation. This is to say nothing of the fact that people will, to our face, tell me (26) that I’m too young for marriage, but my sister (25) is rapidly passing her expiration date.


As a Bengali man, I have no problem marrying a woman of Bengali descent, but it’s annoying that even in 2020, it’s seen as a taboo to marry outside of your race in Desi culture. I personally have had it conceded to me, that if I choose an Indian or Pakistani woman on my own, that might be ok, but nothing else. Not an Arab. Certainly not someone with (black) African descent. And a white/Hispanic/black convert would cause a genuine scandal.

And even this concession is not universal, as there are many Bengali parents I know who will not let their child marry anyone outside of their own culture. Even when people have pushed through it and married outside of their ethnic backgrounds, there is still gossip and concern as to how the parents could “let this happen.”

Going into this I thought, “Well, all I have to do is show a few videos from Imams talking about how inter-racial marriages shouldn’t be taboo for Muslims,” but it doesn’t matter how many of these clips I show, it falls on deaf ears.

I understand the concern of losing culture and heritage to life in the West, I get it. But if I want to teach my kids about their Bengali roots I can do that with a wife of any background, and if I don’t want to teach them, having a Bengali wife isn’t going to make me any more likely to do so.

Ultimately, the feeling I get is that the older generation wants in-laws who they can go and have chai and gossip with, to do traditional things they saw their parents do with their in-laws. And again, while I empathize with the desire to do something familiar, this seems like an unhealthy reason to dictate why your children can’t marry someone from another race or culture.


I understand that families need to mesh and that it makes things easier if there are similarities that exist. However, in what world am I reading a biodata and seeing what a woman’s uncle does for a living, and then deciding that she’s marriage material?

It doesn’t work for me that way, but it works on the minds of the older generation, and there are even ways of working the class distinction to your advantage. Uncles in the community have actually told me that marrying into a “lower class” may be good if you want someone to be subservient to you because they’re thankful you brought them to your status. But they’ve also told me that marrying a “higher-class” woman isn’t bad either, because a rich father-in-law could have its perks. Caveat- beware of them being snobby with you, since you may be expected to be thankful, subservient one instead.

I can’t even wrap my head around what people are talking about here, but it’s yet another factor that I end up having to deal with during this process.


I want a wife who cares about the deen and prays 5 times a day, and I want this not to be a controversial take.

I have been told that’s unrealistic. Literally a couple of weeks ago, an auntie told my sister that ‘modern women’ do not pray regularly and so I should not expect that in a future wife. She said this, of course, to my sister who is both a modern woman and someone who prays five times a day without fail.

It’s crazy to be told that I’m being too picky because I want a wife who already has her religious-ness established. I have been told, by both aunties and uncles, that it’s better for me to marry a wife who isn’t too religious yet so that I can shape her deen. This isn’t about mutual growth in faith as you may hope for in a marriage. This is about controlling women with religion by only teaching her what I want to teach her. When older women tell you this, it raises so many concerns about what they’ve been through and what they want future generations of women to go through.

When I tell people I want a religious wife, they seem to translate that as subservient to me, not Allah. And that scares me. I don’t mean to fetishize anybody, but I want a wife whose religion drives to be bold, to stand up for what’s right, to be outspoken. I want to partner with someone whose religiosity pushes me to be a better version of myself, not to do what she’s told.

Marry Back Home

I don’t think it’s unreasonable for me, as someone who has lived their entire life in the US, to think that I’ll mesh much better with someone with a similar background. This isn’t universal, some people will genuinely get along better with people from “back home,” and that’s fine, but this needs to be a personal choice.

Yet, I keep getting told that it would be better for me to marry from “back home.” I have been told, straight up, if you bring a wife over here, she’ll be more “indebted,” to me because I brought her to America. Setting aside that I don’t want to marry someone who just wants to marry me for a Green Card, why would I want to marry someone who feels like they owe me?

I fail to see how marrying from “back home” is an issue of compatibility in this case, it feels way more like an issue of subservience.

You can see here that the concern isn’t about finding a spouse who matches with my personality, it’s about finding someone who’ll come and cook and clean and bear children for me without speaking up about it because they feel like they owe me. Which segues to…

Gender Roles

I want to preface this section by saying that this is one topic where my parents haven’t, at all, been the source of my concerns, but rather, this something that comes up when talking to certain members of the community.

For men, there is an emphasis on making money to provide for a family, and for women, raising children and taking care of the home. There’s no problem with this model, but it is not the only model. It’s a valid option, but I am being told it’s my only choice.

In the eyes of many, the preference is to pick a homemaker. This seems at odds with the desire to select a woman with a good education, making it seem that I’m then not expected to let her utilize that education professionally. After all, it could be embarrassing for me if my wife makes more than me, and I have been told to be careful, because a wife who makes too much money could be “too independent.”

I must also be careful to stay in my exclusive role as a moneymaker too, and not try to go beyond that. I had pictures with my nephews in biodata because they mean the world to me. I was told to take them out because somehow a man taking care of children is deemed…bad?. I also like cooking. I once said this to an auntie and I remember her saying, “Why do you like doing girl’s stuff?”

Quite bluntly, I don’t want a wife who will only cook and clean and raise children for me. I want someone I can share those duties with because they’re my equal partner, an idea that, to me, keeps getting glossed over in this process. Every couple deserves the opportunity to figure their marriage out for themselves.

Quick Marriages

There are limits to what we can(‘t) do as Muslims. I understand that we shouldn’t have 3 year-long courtships or live together before getting married, and I am not advocating that. But we should be allowed some time to make such an important decision. I’ve been shown bio-datas and have been expected to come back with an answer in two days – just two days – about whether the information on this piece of paper is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Please, can we have a few months? Can we talk, and try to make sure that this is the decision we want to make (chaperoned)? When reviewing potential spouses, try to make sure everyone is one the same page about how much time you give to each other in order to avoid heartbreak and confusion.

Nature Of Relationship With Parents

My parents and I have a pretty good relationship. It’s relatively open and comfortable, but it’s still a Desi parent-child dynamic. Expressing a dissenting opinion is disrespectful, which means it can be harder to speak up without fear of disappointing them.

Plus, my parents and I never openly spoke about sex or physical attraction, at least not in-depth. To go from that to suddenly having to talk to your parents about the physical aspects that you’re looking for in a wife is awkward, and it can lead to miscommunication.

It’s a culture clash on top of a generational one. I have a hard time articulating what I want to my parents, and it’s not easy to figure out. If you know this before starting the process, you can make an effort to speak as openly about things as you can. You can even recruit an older cousin or friend, or an Imam you trust to help you. Don’t do what I did and go by yourself, have people to support you to make sure you and your parents are communicating well.

In Conclusion

It’s not reasonable to expect that you’ll get everything you want in a spouse. There will be compromises that are made, whether they be with yourself or with what your parents want. But don’t sacrifice on the points most important to you. Determine those, know what your must-haves are, and negotiate on other things. Make sure your potential spouse is on board. It can be awkward, especially with how many of us were raised, but talk to your potential spouse about these important things.

While this was a reflection of my own experience, I place emphasis on the aspects I feel are more universal. Speaking to other Desi Muslims in my age bracket, it certainly does seem that my concerns are relatively common. Obviously, there are individual factors that are at play, but these were things that came up regularly when speaking to elders in the community.

I also, again, want to stress that this isn’t an attack on my parents. While I have a level of frustration with how this situation has played out, I recognize that this is what they’re used to. And to their credit, they have made some concessions. Furthermore, it’s not just parents who are playing a role in this. The (often unwarranted) voices of certain elders are given undue emphasis, and that, I think has complicated the situation even further.

Ultimately, I’m not telling people that they shouldn’t consider arrangements or biodata, but if you do, then you must openly discuss this with your parents. Make sure they know what you want, and stand firm if it’s something important, even if it complicates things. It may put a strain on your relationship with your parents, but it’s better to open about things now than to have anger and resentment towards them for years later.

I’ll end with a specific piece of advice to the brothers: You have a duty to learn about why these issues are red flags and to push back on them yourselves. Women can be labelled as too rebellious if they push back themselves, and we need to be aware of this. Speak up for your (biological) sisters, family members, and friends when you notice their discomfort. Make sure you establish with your potential spouse that she is actually on board with the process, not just going along with it because she feels that she needs to. It might be awkward, but it’s important to establish a clear line of communication with someone even before you get married.

May Allah bless us all with happy, healthy, and fruitful marriages. Ameen

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