Navigating The Nouman Ali Khan Scandal

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

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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. While Nouman Ali Khan distanced himself from Omer in his rebuttal post, Navaid Aziz is someone Nouman Ali Khan knows and loves, if Nouman Ali Khan’s own words are anything to go by:

I love sheikh Navaid Aziz. People like him are an inspiration. Make dua for him and his family!

— nouman (@noumanbayyinah) May 2, 2014

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.

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 can we help protect our prominent Imams from situations that could lead to sins like these?

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.

105 / View Comments

105 responses to “Navigating The Nouman Ali Khan Scandal”

  1. Yousuf says:

    Wonderfully put. I couldn’t agree more.

  2. TD says:

    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. Sulayman F says:

    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. Jay says:

    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. Farhan says:

    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. Smith says:

    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.

  7. Mezba says:

    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.

  8. Qanit says:

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

  9. Yahia says:

    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).

    • Aya says:

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

    • Noora says:

      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.

  10. Barna says:

    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?

    • Mais Kassas says:

      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.

  11. Amber says:

    WOW! excellent advice, very well written! JazakAllahu Khairun

  12. DI says:

    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.

    di.

  13. Syed says:

    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.

  14. Skylight says:

    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.

  15. Anam says:

    Beautifully put. Thank you so much for writing this.

  16. Khadija S says:

    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.

  17. Mahmood says:

    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.

    • Jonaid says:

      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.

      • Jonaid says:

        “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.

  18. Taban says:

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

  19. Muzammil says:

    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.

  20. Umm B says:

    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.

  21. Afzal says:

    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.

  22. Neemhakeem says:

    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.

  23. Waqas says:

    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.

  24. Zaki says:

    ❝ 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.

  25. Naz says:

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

  26. Noor Saadeh says:

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

  27. Zuaib Hasan says:

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

  28. Hassan Mehmood says:

    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.

  29. IL says:

    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,

    Bismillah,

    {{{ 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.

  30. Mariam Tariq Usmani says:

    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.

  31. Elisha says:

    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.

  32. Diyah says:

    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❤

  33. Baria says:

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

  34. Maggy Hamada says:

    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 !

  35. Ain says:

    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.

  36. SEDIQQ says:

    Wallah this makes me cry. I still Love Him LOVE HIM FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH. I HAVE SINNED SO MUCH. MAY ALLAH GUIDE ME AND THE WHOLE UMAH, NO ONE IS PERFECT.

  37. Saleema Burney says:

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

  38. Muhammad Saad says:

    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

  39. Non-muslim says:

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

  40. SZH says:

    “….. 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.

  41. Anika says:

    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.

  42. Meh says:

    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.

  43. Truth says:

    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

  44. Ahmed A says:

    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.

  45. Azimah says:

    Somebody did an investigation of the screenshots. It’s fake. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1744787078866115&id=100000045208832

  46. Saffia says:

    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.

    • Ummpeter says:

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

  47. Muslimah says:

    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.

  48. Tuxi says:

    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.

  49. Khalilah says:

    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”.

    • Roneca says:

      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.

  50. Sajed says:

    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.

  51. Asif says:

    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.

  52. Jamal Khawaja says:

    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

  53. Muhammed says:

    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!

  54. Afzal says:

    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.

  55. shah says:

    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.

  56. Ghiath Mahmaljy says:

    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.

    • Fareeha says:

      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.

  57. Humaira chaudhry says:

    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

  58. Masood says:

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

  59. Abid says:

    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.

  60. Raji' says:

    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.

  61. Walid says:

    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

  62. Weng (New to Islam) says:

    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?

  63. Mezba says:

    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?

  64. C. Rex says:

    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.

  65. Sister in Isam says:

    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!

    • Aysha Kalanad says:

      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

  66. Noor says:

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

  67. Noor says:

    Fear Allah Zeba Khan.Fear Allah Muslim Matters!

  68. Roneca says:

    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.

  69. Roneca says:

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

  70. Deena says:

    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.

  71. Ahmed says:

    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?

  72. Abu Jumanah says:

    Bismillah.
    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.

  73. Abu Jumanah says:

    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’

  74. Najib says:

    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.

  75. Mirsab Jafri says:

    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?
    Thanks.

  76. Abujumaanah says:

    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?

  77. Anila Jahangiri says:

    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.

  78. Abujumaanah says:

    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.

    • Noor says:

      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.

    • S.K. says:

      Brother Abujumaanah, don’t form an opinion based on hearsay. NAK on aqeedah and hadith in his own words: https://www.facebook.com/noumanbayyinah/posts/671094313023314
      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.

  79. Fay says:

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

  80. shafqat ahmed says:

    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!

  81. Noor says:

    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.

    • Mohammed kanoumed says:

      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.

  82. S.K. says:

    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.

  83. Mohammed kanoumed says:

    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.

  84. Q says:

    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.

    https://intherealmofheroes.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/regarding-nouman-ali-khan-a-tale-of-caution-and-lesson-for-us/

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

    https://intherealmofheroes.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/the-unique-story-of-abu-abdullah-al-andalusi-ra/

  85. Anung says:

    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.

  86. Jenny Sutton-Amr says:

    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!

  87. Mohammed kanoumed says:

    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.

  88. Nahid says:

    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.

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