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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.

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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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

  13. Avatar


    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 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.

  86. 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!

  87. 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.

  88. 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.

  89. Avatar

    hussein jamal

    November 8, 2017 at 2:26 AM

    WAS MY post removed?

  90. 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!

  91. 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

  92. 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)

  93. 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.”

  94. 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.

  95. 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.

  96. Avatar


    January 10, 2019 at 2:06 AM

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

  97. 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.

  98. 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.”

  99. Avatar

    Billie Ali

    May 3, 2020 at 4:03 PM

    Thanks for this well meted, level headed and fair article, it really brought by righteous indignation into account and helped me see the light. Jazakallah

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Alternative Eid Celebrations In The Midst Of A Pandemic

“Eid-al-Quarantine” is what my sister has so fondly dubbed our upcoming Eid al Fitr this year. I find myself asking, “How are we going to make Eid a fun and special celebration this year in the midst of a dangerous pandemic?” With a little bit of creativity and resourcefulness, this Eid can be fun–no matter the current circumstances. This post will provide you with some inspiration to get your alternative Eid preparations underway! 

Special note: Shelter-in-place restrictions are lessening in many places in the United States, but this does not give us the green light to go back to life as normal and celebrate Eid in the ways we usually would have in the past. I am no health expert, but my sincerest wish for all Muslims throughout the world is that we all err on the side of caution and maintain rigorous precautions.

In-person gatherings are going to be much riskier in light of public health safety concerns. I do not recommend that people get together this Eid. Keep in mind, as well, that this is a big weekend for all Americans, as it is Memorial Day Weekend and crowds may be expected in places like parks and beaches. 

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Eid Day Must’s

Just because you are staying in, doesn’t mean that all of the Eid traditions have to go. Some may be exactly the same, some may be slightly adjusted this year. 

  • Get dressed up, even if it’s just for an hour or two. This might be a good chance to do hair and make up for sisters who normally don’t on Eid because of hijab or other modesty concerns. 
  • Take your family pictures, as usual. 
  • Decorate your house, even if it’s just with some fresh flowers in a vase or hanging up some string lights. (This time, I think sharing pictures of your setup may  have some more wiggle room.)
  • Find a way to pray Eid salah at home, if your local imam mentions a way to adapt for the current situation or check out this MM article
  • Eat some good food, and make sure to feast. 
  • Take that infamous Eid nap. 
  • Greet loved ones (phone calls, video calls, text messages, voice/video messages, make and send Eid cards).
  • Give and receive gifts. (Electronic ways to transfer money/checks in the mail, dropping off gifts to homes/sending gifts in the mail/having an online order pick-up in-store. You may also choose to do a gift exchange, if not this weekend, next). 

Virtual Parties

Virtual celebrations are a great, safe, option. The best thing about virtual hangouts is that people from all over the world can “come together” to celebrate Eid. This can be as simple as talking and catching up, or can be as orchestrated as a full-out party including games. Keep in mind, the games and virtual parties aren’t only for the kids–everyone should have fun this Eid! We recently threw a virtual birthday party for our one-year-old and it was quite the experience. 

  • Split guests into different calls (kids’ call, adults’ call; men’s call, women’s call)
  • Party agenda for a rigorously planned party so everyone knows what to expect
  • Party games, either with certain items that everyone has (or can easily and quickly purchase) or games that do not require much else besides an internet connection 
    • Games requiring physical items (think of items that everyone is likely to have and think of carnival-type games):
      • Soccer ball juggling or basketball shooting competition
      • Water balloon toss
      • Timed races (three-legged, holding an egg in a spoon, etc.)
    • Games with little to no special equipment
      • Online Pictionary
      • Online Scrabble
      • Video games
      • Charades
      • Taboo (we do this for our cousin game nights with pictures of cards that one person sends to people from the opposite team)
      • Scattergories
      • Bingo
      • Mad libs
      • Speaking games that take turns going around a circle (going through the alphabet saying names of animals or colors or foods, rhyming words [we played the last two lines of “Down by the Bay” for our son’s birthday party])
      • Movement game (Simon says, dancing if you’re into that [“Cha Cha Slide,” dance-off, passing along dance moves as was a TikTok trend I heard of, simply dancing…])
      • Games like in Whose Line is it Anyway? or like the “Olympics” (specifically the “middle games”) that I wrote about way back
  • Performances
    • Skits prepared by one family or even across households
    • Reciting a poem or surah or singing
    • Other showcases of talent, by individuals or not
  • Gift Exchanges (I’ve been doing this virtually since 2013 with friends/distant family members.)

Alternative Virtual/Group Celebrations

Being “together” isn’t always gathering for a party, and that’s what I think most people miss during the forced isolation caused by the pandemic. There are many things you can do to get ready for or celebrate Eid with loved ones even if you’re not together. 

  • Share special recipes with each other or plan to serve the same meals.
  • Coordinate Eid outfits or attempt to do matching henna designs.
  • Send Eid pictures to family and friends.
  • Prepare and cook meals or clean or decorate while on a video call (you don’t have to be talking the entire time).
  • Watch the same movie or show (whether that’s something everyone does as separate households or you do concurrently/even with a video or phone call running. This might be a good time to watch Hasan Minhaj’s “Homecoming King” and do the 10 things it invites us to do.)
  • Go through family pictures or old videos together. Maybe even create a short slideshow/video of your favorites. 
  • Story time full of family legends and epic moments (the best Eid, a difficult time of sickness, immigration or moving story, new baby in the family, etc.). Someone build the fire and get the s’mores going.

Alternative “Outings”

In the same breath, it’s so refreshing to go out and do something fun, not just stay cooped up in your house, right? Seriously. 

  • Check out a virtual museum tour
  • Go on a nice drive to some place you love or miss going to, like drive by the masjid or school or a beautiful area (but stay in your car if there are other people around)
  • Watch an Eid Khutbah (or a regular one) on Eid day (make it special by listening outside in your yard or as a family where you pray).
  • Create a movie theater experience inside the home (that might just mean some popcorn and homemade slushies).
  • Get carry out from a favorite restaurant (if it’s open), and finally have the motivation to take a longer drive if needed
  • Make fruit or gift baskets for friends and family and drop them off at their homes
  • A “paint night,” or some other craft, that everyone in the family participates in
  • Decorate your car and drive around to show it off to friends (I’ve heard there’s an actual Eid car parade at various masaajid in Chicago

Interesting Alternative Community Celebrations I’ve Heard About

Some communities are getting super creative. As I mentioned above, a handful of masaajid in Chicago (Orland Park Prayer Center, Mosque Foundation, and Islamic Center of Wheaton as well as Dar Al Taqwa in Maryland) are putting together Eid drive-thru car parades. I’ve heard of different communities, whether officially sponsored by the masjid or just put together by groups of individuals, having a drive-in Eid salah, in which families pray in their cars in a rented drive-in theater or parking lot (Champaign, Illinois and a community in Maryland). I’m  definitely impressed with that last option, and I’m waiting to hear about more creative ways to get together and worship and celebrate.

So, what am I doing for Eid (weekend) this year? All the must’s, inshaAllah, including getting extra dolled up and making donuts from biscuit dough. A “game night” (virtual party) with alumni from my MSA. A gift exchange party with my cousins as well as another gift exchange party with classmates from my Arabic program (we’ll send unboxing videos out instead of meeting at the same time.) Check out a local college campus we’ve been dying to drive around. Binge a few episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender newly released on Netflix and do some online Memorial Day sale shopping. Le’s put a tentative on all of those, haha.

At the end of the day, Eid al Fitr is about acknowledging the month of worship we engaged in during Ramadan and spending quality time with loved ones. It doesn’t really matter what that quality time looks like–as long as it is intentional, this Eid will be special no matter what, inshaAllah. Who knows, this might be one of the best, most memorable holidays ever!

Eid Mubarak!

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#Current Affairs

A Response To Habib Ali Al-Jifri’s Comments On Uyghurs

Toqa Badran and Aydin Anwar respond to the statements made by Shaykh Habib Ali Al-Jifri


Protests preceding the Ghulja Massacre, 1997


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By Toqa Badran, Aydin Anwar 

We acknowledge that those individuals who have devoted their lives to the spiritual empowerment of others are to be admired and respected. The Ulema often serve as beacons of guidance and sources of emulation for the Ummah with their scholarly and moral leadership. Their critical role means that they are also expected to speak and act according to a higher standard of truthfulness and ethics. Bearing this in mind makes it especially dismaying and hurtful to witness inaccurate comments from a famous preacher and scholar who should be a part of this heritage of high intellectual rigour and superior moral conduct. It is even more problematic that these erroneous statements pertain to a group of fellow Muslims presently experiencing almost unprecedented duress to criminalize and eradicate their religion and cultural identity. 

It is unfortunate that Habib Ali al-Jifri, a popular scholar in the Arab world, in a recent lecture has misused his platform by propagating information that is all at once incorrect, biased, and otherwise detrimental to the lives of an entire Muslim nation colonized and oppressed by China. Although he tepidly acknowledges that China has done wrong to Uyghurs and is not fully innocent, a number of his claims remain inaccurate and deserve to be corrected. This article attempts to walk through some of these inaccuracies, and correct such claims that ultimately work to delegitimize and downplay the deplorable reality of Uyghurs and other Turkic-Muslim peoples, such as Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, of East Turkistan (renamed and referred to as Xinjiang, meaning new territory in Mandarin, by the Chinese occupation). 

#1: Shaykh Ali al-Jifri claims that only around half of Uyghurs are Muslim

The first glaring error made by the shaykh is his statement that only around half of the Uyghur population is Muslim. His error may have been a result of confusing the presently reported demographic makeup of East Turkistan with the religious composition of the Uyghur people. While the Uyghur and indigenous inhabitants of the region are overwhelmingly Muslim, the Han Chinese population has climbed drastically from only 6% in 1949 to an estimated 40% – due largely to incentivized migration and other – settler colonial programs embarked upon by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This statistic itself may be unreliable as many undocumented Uyghurs are unaccounted for and, in recent years, scores of Uyghur prisoners and forced laborers have been forcibly transferred to mainland China. 

If, however, al-Jifri meant to propogate the notion that only half of Uyghurs are Muslim, this is another matter altogether. To deny the self-professed Islamic faith of the utter majority of Uyghur people is to commit one of atrocities perpetrated by the CCP itself — the denial and erasure of this long persecuted population’s faith. As for the rootedness of Islam among this people, it has been the predominant religion among Uyghurs in East Turkistan– long before Egypt, or even the Levant, became majority Muslim societies during the Mamluk era. Much of the Islamicization of Central Asia and the Turkic world has been credited to the Karakhanids – a group of Turkic tribes who lived in the Uyghur homeland and converted to Islam in the 10th century (4th century Hijri), after their ruler Sultan Abdulkerim Bughra Khan entered the faith (Svat Soucek. A History of Inner Asia. Cambridge University Press. 2002, pp 84).

Uyghurs were also historically part of the Chagatay Turkic Khanate, whence the rulers of the Mughal Dynasty — who ruled much of India for over two centuries — hailed. Tasawwuf-inflected preaching was a key driver in conversions among these Turkic tribes in ways reminiscent of Islam’s spread at the hands of itinerant Hadhrami Sufi scholars and merchants — from whom Habib Ali hails  — across the Indian Ocean littoral and Nusantara (Malay world).

Map of East Turkistan in relation to the rest of Central Asia. East Turkistan is the same size as California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada combined. 

Source: International Crisis Group

Starting with the aforementioned Karakhanids in the 10th century, Islamic institutions were founded and devoted to the study of theology, natural science, arts, music, and more. These institutions allowed for the emergence of hundreds of prominent Turkic scholars, who helped shape and record Islamic, Turkic, and specifically Uyghur history through their works: The likes of Mahmud Kashgari’s Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk, the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages. Yusuf Khās Hājib’s Kutadgu Bilig, a mirror-for-princes in prose from the 11th century that shed light on Turkish-Islamic history and culture, and is perhaps one of the earliest surviving Turkic works in the genre of akhlāq (Islamic morality and ethics). The Turks of the region have also been greatly impacted by the Yasawī sufi order which helped make communal dhikr gatherings part and parcel of Uyghur culture. The influence of sufism is also evident in the prevalence of  Sufi shrines — most of which have since been systematically destroyed or left abandoned after being blocked off with barbed wire by the CCP.

The survival of old Quranic manuscripts from the area, as well as manuscripts from the 19th and 20th century, testify to the centrality of the Islamic intellectual tradition and its preservation within Uyghur culture. Thousands of beautiful mosques were constructed throughout the region, many of which have been demolished in recent years by the CCP regime. Had they not been places of great significance and visitation, it begs the question as to why the Chinese government would  bother razing them. Kashgar, the historic capital of the Karakhanid Empire and “jewel” of the Silk Road, became a prominent center of learning and hub showcasing the rich Uyghur past. Yarkend had also been a particular center of Islamic learning and culture for centuries, with dozens of madrasahs present in the last decades of the nineteenth century. It even holds Queen Amanisa Khan’s shrine, where the 12 Muqam (classical Sufi dance and song performance pieces that are a central Uyghur heritage form) were established. 

It is now clear that not only have the vast majority of Uyghurs been Muslim since the 11th century at least, but that the history of East Turkistan cannot be separated from that of the greater Muslim world. Like most Turkic Muslims, Uyghurs have traditionally belonged to Ahl as-Sunnah (the mainstream and overwhelming majority of Muslims), the legal school of Hanafism, and have immense love for the noble Ahl al-Bayt (family and descendants of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ). Uyghurs had even established a maqam (shrine) dedicated to the 8th century scholar and descendant of the Prophet ﷺ, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq – through whom Habib Ali traces his lineage back to the Prophet ﷺ – near the town of Khotan in East Turkistan, which was destroyed by the CCP. If segments of Uyghur society are not practicing Muslims today, it is mostly due to the Communist repression since WWII, just as Soviet anti-religious repression led to the radical decrease in religious literacy and practice in neighbouring Turkic republics. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy and heartening to see that some of the Central Asian republics are currently experiencing a gradual revival of Islamic observance thanks to the demise of oppressive policies, hinting at how the Uyghur religious life could flourish if and when repressive policies in East Turkistan cease.

Before and After of Imam Jafari al-Sadiq shrine. L-R Dec 10 2013, April 20, 2019. 

Photograph: Google Earth/Planet Labs 

The systematic aggression with which the Chinese government has sought to stamp out the works produced by Uyghur scholars and the many ancient Muslim cities scattered across East Turkistan is evidence of their historical importance. From banning the publication of texts in the Uyghur language, closing all religious spaces, and transforming historic sites into propaganda centers for the dissemination of a sanitized, non-religious, and state-sponsored Uyghur identity, it is clear that the CCP feels not only threatened by Uyghur culture, but is aware of its power in maintaining a social fabric worthy of any independent nation. 

And with all of the aforementioned said, we pose the question: Even if the majority of Uyghurs were not Muslim as the shaykh incorrectly claimed, does this excuse Muslims elsewhere of their duty to stand against oppression? Over the course of his commentary on the plight of the Uyghur people, the shaykh himself asked the audience why we [Muslims] are only angry when China oppresses Uyghurs and not the Buddhist Tibetans. Not only does this question contradict his initial premise that the Uyghur community cannot be referred to as overwhelmingly Muslim, but also deeply confuses the listener: “Are we to fight against oppression, regardless of the religion of the oppressed, or not?” We would argue that it is not only an obligation for Muslims, but for all people to resist their own oppression and the oppression of others — especially if this oppression manifests as the criminalization of the most fundamental practices of a people’s faith, Islam in this case. The East Turkistani independence movement itself has always allied itself with those of the Tibetan, Palestinian, and Kashmiri people. It has been incorrectly posited by the shaykh that Uyghurs have only been oppressed for the last 3-5 years. While this is demonstrably false, through the decades-long occupation Uyghurs have faced, what is worse is that he makes this claim in order to draw a false equivalence (between East Turkistan and the Tibetan people) in the hopes of delegitimizing the plight and cause of those in East Turkistan. Worse still, is that when the shaykh is confronted with the truth of the 70+ long years of Chinese colonization of Uyghur lands, he contests its factuality by responding that if China were really so bad then we would see the individual politicians responsible for the colonization personally affected by the Chinese Coronavirus. We question the legitimacy of this apparently necessary correlation and will do so again later in this paper. Furthermore, now that we know that the Uyghur identity is as much an Islamic one as his own Arab identity and that Chinese oppression has been occurring for almost a century, do the scholar’s recommendations change? 

#2: Shaykh Al-Jifri claims that the question of Uyghur oppression is a political, not religious, one 

We would like to preface this section by making it clear that Islam rejects the false dichotomy between the religious and the secular. What is “political” is not necessarily devoid of religious significance, and what is “religious” is not necessarily apolitical. While the Sharia’s precepts pertaining to siyasah (governance and ‘urfi/customary-public law) are mostly general, with few exact prescriptions established by the sources of Sharia (al-adillah al-sharʿiyyah), Muslims have always conceived of politics as a space bound by Islamic morality and ethics, akhlāq. As with any other dimension of human life, a person’s moral culpability before God extends into the domain of the “political” just as it extends into the domain of the economic, familial, ritual, etc. 

While it is true that colonization is often understood as a political phenomenon and not a religious one, religion has featured prominently both as a pretext and the locus of subjugation in China’s crimes against the Uyghur people. China brands its campaign against the Uyghurs as a fight  against “Islamic extremism” in an attempt to ride on the coattails of the global “War on Terror” thereby garnering  sympathy for its policies — including the imprisonment of millions of Turkic peoples into concentration camps and prisons — and insulate itself from backlash it would otherwise face as a result of its inhumanity in East Turkistan. Like Modi’s India and many Western nations, China exploits the world’s frenzied paranoia surrounding “Muslim terror” to justify its crackdown on innocent Muslims.

“Ubiquitous scene on the streets of  #Xinjiang these days. Men and women (inc. the elderly) trudging around with enormous clubs, part of the ‘People’s War’ on terrorism.” – David Brophy, Nov 15th 2017 

We acknowledge, however, that if this matter was purely religious, and not political, we would see Hui Muslims, who do not have a territorial claim at stake, rounded up into concentration camps and being subject to the same forms of oppression Uyghurs and other Turkic people are. However, this is not the case. Huis have historically been left largely undisturbed for the sake of maintaining the CCP’s facade of religious acceptance — or at most they are subject to the usual disruptions any religious group faces under the anti-religious CCP. Historically, the Hui have been staunch supporters of the Chinese state, and even played a critical role in the dismantling of the first East Turkistan Republic of 1933 and the second of 1944.. This did not spare them, however, from the current religious crackdown they and other faith groups like Christians face, once again highlighting the inextricably religious dimension of the CCP’s supposedly merely “political” project. As though rounding up innocents into concentration camps and subjecting an entire people to violations of fundamental human rights as part of a larger campaign of ethnic cleansing and cultural destruction would be anything less than heinous, even if religion played no role in the matter.

Much of Uyghur and, by extension, all Central Asian Turkic identity, has centered on religion; Uyghurs and other Turks are Muslim, just like Malays have been Muslim based on historical development in the past millennium. Historically, up until the 1930s, Uyghurs were not commonly referred to as “Uyghurs” — they and other Turkic Muslims of East Turkistan were simply referred to as “Musulman” (Muslim), “Turki” (Turk), or “yerlik” (local). This truth further explains why China has been so adamant in removing religion from the lives of East Turkistanis — Islam is so critical to the history and culture of the Turkic presence that the CCP knows that, without it, East Turkistanis will be left weak and purposeless– easily converted into malleable forced worshippers of the party, and indistinguishable from the rest of China’s largely atheist, but nominally Confucian, Buddhist or Taoist Han majority. Not to mention that they are then exploited in China’s massive hypocritically capitalistic labour scheme — which most of Chinese masses also suffer from. 

Claiming that the oppression is not a religious matter implies that Muslims need not care about the Uyghurs out of religious concern, while in reality our blood should be boiling knowing that the rights of God and His worshippers are being violated by the CCP. Muslims around the world rightly condemn and stand in solidarity against zionist oppression in Palestine, though, by the shaykh’s standards, this would be appear a purely political project undeserving of collective Muslim outrage. The Israeli state-apparatus oppresses Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike. The CCP has singled out Muslims, however, especially those in East Turkistan, as the targets of their brutal project. Again, we see that this is both a religious and political issue against which all Muslims and conscientious human beings should speak and fight. Just as we all wish for the freedom of Palestine sooner rather than later, we should pray, speak, and fight for the freedom of our brothers and sisters in East Turkistan.

Practicing Islam is categorically forbidden in East Turkistan, despite China’s constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion. Islamic texts and names are banned, practicing most of the five pillars of Islam is forbidden, and centuries old Islamic institutions have been destroyed and converted into communist propaganda centers. Religious scholars (ulema) have disappeared, sentenced to life in prison, or killed.

These tragedies are never publicized within China’s borders — and their occurrence is aggressively denied by the Chinese media apparatus. Instead, the media tokenizes and highlights a few religious acts, in reality no more than complex theatrics which the government has directed in order to showcase the power of “CCP Islam”. Journalists and political actors from other countries, especially Muslim ones, are invited to East Turkistan to witness a beautiful charade of “harmony” and happiness that, in reality, is no more than an open air prison for the Uyghurs. Albanian academic and journalist, Dr Olsi Jazexhi, was one of these visitors, who later reflected on his experiences and observations on such a CCP-sponsored trip. He and other journalists toured many mosques with the CCP’s aim being to show to the outside world that there are mosques, and indeed religious freedom, in East Turkistan. Jazexhi recalls venturing into one of the mosques near Urumqi’s Grand Bazaar and finding only a store. He also recalls his visit to a concentration camp or what China calls a “vocational training center”:

“The center was in the middle of the desert. It was a kind of Alcatraz, and by its appearance, we were expecting to find some criminals, terrorists, and killers, and people who were dangerous to society. When we went there, the criminals presented us with a concert. These poor boys and girls who were being held there since many years. They were told to dance to me; Uyghur dance, Chinese dance, and Western dance. The authorities wanted us to film them only dancing and smiling and singing. They were all speaking Chinese, even though they were Uyghurs [sic].” 

Jazexhi, a dual Albanian and Canadian citizen, was later fired from his university position in Albania — demonstrating the reach of Chinese economic blackmail diplomacy. The professor was blacklisted by China due to his truthful reports on East Turkistan, highlighting the CCP’s suppression of criticism abroad, even within the context of academia, with its diplomatic and economic pressure. 

Scene from a staged tour of a ‘vocational training center’. Uyghur detainees are playing music to show  ‘harmony’ and ‘happiness’ inside the camps. Source: BBC 

Of course, this harmony would not be complete without the millions of Han Chinese who have been settled, with the aid of the government, within the borders of East Turkistan. While Uyghurs are systematically transported outside of the borders of their homeland and into mainland China to work as forced laborers or to be imprisoned and “reeducated”, it is hard to ignore the demographic erasure of Uyghurs in East Turkistan. As more and more Han Chinese are brought into Uyghur land to replace the displaced natives, the CCP razes ancient mosques, homes, and sanctuaries to make room for the new settlers. 

Photo from Gilles Sabrie: “Sledgehammer: The Chinese say Kashgar must be destroyed because it is susceptible to earthquakes” (TIME

These settlers act both as continuous reminders of the disappearance of Uyghur autonomy as well as wardens over the remaining Uyghur population. There have been many accounts of Han Chinese living with Uyghur families in their homes as “big siblings”— feeding the government information on the family’s every move and assisting in Uyghur imprisonment for even the smallest of religious offences. Aside from simple demographic engineering and ethnic cleansing, the Chinese program of destroying Uyghur cities and patrimony is intended to deracinate East Turkistanis from their culture and make them self-internalize that they are a people with no heritage, and to imprison them in easy-to-surveil panopticons with Han colonialists wardens. Destroying ancient cities and heritage is an old authoritarian communist strategy, reflecting the idea brillianty summarized by Alexander Solzhenitsyn that “to destroy a people you must first sever their roots.” 

Muhammad Salih Hajim (82), widely known as the first scholar to translate the Quran to modern Uyghur, is amongst one of the martyred and was killed in detention in January 2018. Source: RFA

One former prisoner, Adil Abdulghufur, in an interview with our co-author, Aydin Anwar, recounted how he was beaten unconscious by Chinese prison authorities and forced to wear a 25 kg cement block for a month hung by a thin string around his neck after saying “Bismillah” (in the name of God) in his sleep. Countless Uyghur women and men, who have been sent to camps and prisons due to religious practice have been raped, forcibly sterilized, drugged, and their bodies used for organ harvesting. Uyghurs are punished with long prison sentences; one Uyghur woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison for promoting the wearing of headscarves, a Kazakh man was sentenced to 16 years in jail after Chinese authorities found audio recordings of the Quran on his computer, and several Uyghur refugees we have spoke with said that even saying the Muslim greeting Assalāmu Alaykum (Peace be upon you) can get them locked up for 10 years. Saying Insha’Allah (God-willing) is also prohibited. In one of the many documentaries published on the dystopian existence of the Uyghur people, VICE interviews a woman who states her charged crime was the learning of the Quran and the Arabic language. A man, later in the documentary, details how he was punished for refusing to eat pork even while imprisoned. By many accounts, the word God or Allah itself must be replaced with “Party” (Chinese Communist Party), or the name of the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.

Portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping shaking hands with Uyghur Imams placed in Kasghar’s historical Id Kah (Eidgah) mosque in East Turkistan. Note that the picture is facing the congregants in the direction of Muslim prayer – Qiblah. Source: David Brophy 

#3: Shaykh Al-Jifri claims the reason people are fighting for East Turkistan is because they do not want China to build the so-called ‘New Silk Road’ and become 2x as strong as America economically

This claim reduces the East Turkistani freedom movement to a China vs America binary– thereby completely erasing the decades of occupation East Turkistan has endured under China. In 1759, the Manchu Qing Empire invaded East Turkistan and made it its new colony. Uyghurs rebelled against Qing rule, and in 1863 were able to break free and establish Kashgaria under their leader Yaqub Khan, now known as East Turkistan. Two decades later, the Uyghurs were invaded by the Qing again, and, this time, the Uyghur homeland was formally incorporated under the Chinese empire as “Xinjiang”. Chinese nationalists overthrew the Manchu Qing Dynasty in 1911, putting East Turkistan under the rule of Nationalist China. The Uyghurs carried out numerous rebellions and were able to establish the East Turkistan Islamic Republic in 1933 and 1944, both of which briefly lasted before the Chinese government reoccupied the region through the military intervention and political interest of the Soviet Union. The most recent occupation started in 1949 when the Communist Party of China came to power, and since then, millions of East Turkistanis have been subject to various forms of brutal systematic genocide. 

The Declaration of Independence of the Islamic Republic of East Turkistan, November 12, 1933 Note: As is visible, the local ulema/scholars spearheaded the effort for independence.

It is deeply condescending to not only delegitimize the efforts of a Muslim people in standing against their oppressors, but to also deem them to be no more than American pawns. Indeed, Xi Jinping’s China seeks to continue solidifying Chinese hard power in East Turkistan while working towards the larger CCP strategic goal of establishing China as a global hegemonic power with a new Chinese-dominated global economic-political order, via the multi-trillion dollar One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative. This strategic-economic project — the largest the Eurasian Landmass ever seen — spanning over 70 countries via railroads, gas pipelines, and other infrastructure projects, is one of the greatest attempts of China to secure itself a superpower position in the 21st century. Without East Turkistan, deemed by the CCP the “Chinese gateway” to Eurasia and the West in general, the entire OBOR initiative’s immediate feasibility is truly brought into question. In addition to this strategic importance East Turkistan, the land of the Uyghurs is also extremely rich in oil, gas, and coal. According to a 2016 Congressional Research Service report, the region contains the second-highest natural gas reserves and highest oil reserves of any province-level jurisdiction of China, reportedly producing more than 30 BCM of natural gas in 2015. 

A statement that reduces the intention of the freedom movement to a simple modern economic enterprise further belittles the rich history of a people that once lived with centuries of independence, and its rightful effort to reclaim its full rights and freedom. The Uyghurs played a crucial role in establishing the Koktürk Khanate (552-744), the Uyghur Khanate (744-840), the Kara-Khanid Khanate (840-1212), Gansu Uyghur Kingdom (848-1036), and Idiqut State (856-1335). They lived co-independently in the Mongol Empire, even playing crucial roles in its administration through Gengiz Khan’s usage of the Uyghur yasa law system and the Uyghur script. After the Chagatai Khanate, East Turkistan was integrated into the Turkic-Muslim milieu of the larger Turkistan stretching from the Caspian to Mongolia including cities and polities like Bukhara, Samarkand, Kokand, etc. with scholars, traders and others moving east and west. Thus, it is truly ridiculous to understand the issue of Uyghur colonization solely through a lens of Sino-American politics. The colonization of East Turkistan began long before China was a real contender in the quest for international political-economic hegemony, and will continue –ceteris paribus– long after a change in the foreign policy of either the United States or China. The recent interest American politicians have taken in the plight of the Uyghurs has never even clearly crossed into the realm of East Turkistani independence– it is Uyghur, Turkic, Muslim, and anti-colonial activists who are at the forefront of the East Turkistani independence movement. Just as it was completely understandable that Afghans accepted American assistance in the fight against Soviet occupation, and that the Viet Cong accepted Chinese assistance to protect against American invasion on the other hand, the Uyghur crisis is so dire that the people are justly tempted to accept the assistance of any powerful nation against the century long Chinese oppression they have faced. Had China, under the yoke of CCP, not suffocated the Muslim peoples inhabiting East Turkistan, Uyghurs could maybe regard China differently…

The only way to secure Uyghurs and other East Turkistanis their essential rights — to practice their faith, operate economically, and take pride in their rich culture and history without fear of imprisonment, assault or death — is to secure the sovereignty of their occupied homeland. For many Uyghurs, the human rights/autonomy discourse is dead. The Chinese government has proven over the course of its long occupation that it can never guarantee Uyghurs the safety or the freedom they deserve. Although China claims Uyghurs to be one of its “proud 56 ethnic minorities”, it sees Uyghurs not only as foreigners, as made clear with their completely distinct language, history and culture, but also as existential threats to its despotic power. As internal but “foreign” threats, the Uyghur people have been imprisoned, enslaved, indoctrinated and murdered. There can be no going back after this horror. The only solution is for the Uyghur people, completely foreign to China, to formally exist outside of the jurisdiction of the Chinese government as their own nation.

#4: Al-Jifri asks how COVID-19 can be divine punishment if Communist Party authorities themselves remain untouched by the virus

While we agree with al-Jifri that we are in no position to state definitely whether any worldly occurrence is a direct act of Divine punishment, we question a few of the implications presented during the lecture. For example, the shaykh asks how the coronavirus pandemic can logically be considered Divine punishment if the individuals, who made the governmental decisions resulting directly in the oppression against Uyghurs, themselves remained unscathed by the virus. We respond: How can a virus which has debilitated the economy and social structure of a country, whose government is committing genocide against millions of colonized peoples, including millions of Muslims, not be? This article does not aim to delve into a metaphysical discussion on the nature of blame and culpability, but we can simply ask how the shaykh knows that none of those individuals he identifies did not fall ill. 

Additionally, we question why such a punishment could not target an entire corrupt regime — or even a complicit or apathetic populace — and not simply certain individuals, who he might deem actually culpable. 

The fact of the matter is this: We do not know how many of the Uyghurs who are trapped in concentration camps, prisons or forced labor factories, have been additionally subject to this seperate CCP oppression — a virus which only became as terrible of an international menace as it has due to the deception and inadequacy of the CCP. We hope their number is very low, but also understand that the illness of Uyghurs does not indicate that the CCP is any less problematic or morally horrific in its dealing with the virus and with the regime’s colonial holdings. The shaykh  also asks why other oppressors would not be more deserving of a plague such as this one. To this we repeat the shaykh’s  question to himself: Who are we to question God’s methods? The burning of the Amazon is not certainly a punishment for the South American nations whose borders it crosses, or it may be a punishment for humanity at large — we cannot know. 

It does not take an act of divine punishment for us to recognize the immorality of an action or event. We do not wait for lighting to strike us down before we realize we may have committed a misdeed. In the same way, we do not know if COVID -19 is divine punishment, but we do know that the oppression of Uyghurs is a moral outrage and requires immediate international action, especially from fellow Muslim brethren. 

 As previously noted, we do not seek to act as interpreters of God’s will. On the contrary, we only seek to act according to a well-established Islamic tradition of taking ʿibrah, a lesson derived from a moral experience, from what we observe in the world. Even while carefully performing this observation, we acknowledge that our derivations are zannī, or of uncertainty. This being said, we believe that our history and faith have so clearly called for justice and religious freedom that to ignore the direct suppression of Islam or Muslims, especially through means as violent and cruel as those practiced by the Chinese Communist Party, is to commit a definitive moral misdeed.

This kind of deduction by ulema and regular Muslims alike has been practiced for centuries. One pertinent example is of an individual named Mirza Ghulam of Qadiyan, who apostatized from Islam in the late 19th century as a claimant of prophethood, and experienced a rather gruesome death due to dysentery. His downfall has been commonly interpreted (taʾwīl) as punishment, for his attempting to act as a divinely ordained prophet of God. This kind of informed and qualified interpretation has been performed for centuries and is allowed for any individual so long as they ultimately believe in the finality of the Knowledge and the Will of God. W’Allāhu Aʿlam (God knows best).

Action Items & Closing Notes

We do not seek to find out the intention of Habib Ali al-Jifri’s speeches on the situation of our Uyghur brothers and sisters – he may have simply been misinformed. What we can do, however, is question the sources of his information and highlight the graveness of his actions and words. The fact of the matter is that millions of Muslims are detained by China for committing simple acts of faith that people elsewhere have the pleasure of doing each and every day– including saying “Bismillah” before they take a bite of food. As we observe Ramadan currently, it is devastating to think of the Uyghurs, who are forced to eat and drink, let alone drink alcohol and eat pork, during the holy month to prove their “innocence” from Islam to the Chinese government. While we sit with our families and break our fast, Uyghurs and other Turkic people suffer silently in thousands of prisons and labor camps far from their families. 

This scholar, or those who have misinformed him, have not only dismissed the CCP’s violations against our religion and the Ummah at large, but have also attempted to disincentivize hundreds of thousands of free Muslims from aiding the Uyghur people in their plight against the CCP.

We ask that you to pray that the oppression of the Uyghur people ceases as soon as possible; but also urge you to boycott Chinese or Chinese-made products likely to be reliant on Uyghur slave labor; to actively spread the word on the suffering of East Turkistan; and to build interest groups and networks to pressure governments to lower their dependency on China, while increasing economic and political collaboration between Muslim people. Change starts with and around each and every one of us; inquire about Uyghur-East Turkistani exiles in your area and country, and organize your communities to help stranded Uyghur orphans, students and other disadvantaged individuals survive as Muslim Uyghur people with their culture. Lobby for issuing Uyghurs passports and securing Uyghur emigres refugee-asylee status and protection. Stop “extradition-repatriation” of Uyghurs to China. Call for a united diplomatic effort of Muslim, Arab, and/or Turkic and others concerned for freedoms countries against China’s atrocities. They should act according to inter-state relations and not as slavish would-be vassal states, and hold a respectable diplomatic stand vis-à-vis China from our countries.

We ask that you get your universities involved by both raising awareness on campus as well as by assessing your university’s relationship with China. Check to see if your school has a Confucius or China Institute. These entities often serve as a public educational arm of the Chinese government abroad, and are controlled by the CCP — thereby enabling them to exercise soft power all over the world. Insist that these institutes make a statement and acknowledge the atrocities faced by those in East Turkistan, and call them out if they do not. Call for a double background check for Chinese researchers lest they actually be informants as often happens in the U.S. Countless events and panels discussing the horrors committed by the CCP have been canceled by universities around the world due directly to Chinese pressure. Call for university endowments to divest from China. Finally, call on your school to increase funding for Uyghur/Turkistani studies and to set up scholarships and grants to assist exiled Uyghur students and scholars — their lived experiences are essential to hear, accept, and make sure fewer people have to go through again. 

 It is important to ensure the political and economic independence of academia– without which generations of students will maintain worldviews colored by propaganda and complicit in the oppression of millions. Insist that your school cuts ties with Chinese bodies violating academic freedoms, similar to how Cornell cut ties with a Chinese university. Hold your universities accountable regardless if they are directly complicit in, or just silent on, the human rights abuses China commits. Demand that these important institutions divest from these China and the CCP. 

We have seen large-scale protests across the Muslim world, especially in countries, whose governments have remained silent against the oppression in East Turkistan for fear of Chinese retribution, and hope to see even more people push their governments to pressure the CCP. The shaykh encourages members of the audience to maintain an Islamic guiding moral principle and to act on it. We agree with this wholeheartedly — but we vigorously disagree with his calls to (in)action. Instead of focusing only on ourselves and our individual economic and academic developments, we also hope to fight for the Uyghur and other Turkic people’s ability to do the same — to practice their faith, live without fear of imprisonment, and in a homeland that is formally their own. This is not a hopeless cause– our voices can and must be heard, inshAllah. 

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ رضي الله عنه قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِنْ قَامَتْ عَلَى أَحَدِكُمْ الْقِيَامَةُ وَفِي يَدِهِ فَسْلَةٌ فَلْيَغْرِسْهَا

From Anas Ibn Malik, Allah be pleased with him: The Prophet Muhammad, the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, said: if the day of judgement is upon you, and in your hand is a seed, plant it. 

Action Items:

  1. Keep making Dua for the oppressed of East Turkistan and the world
  2. Boycott Chinese products– do not be complicit in slave-labour
  3. Raise awareness on the plight of Uyghurs and the East Turkistani cause, learn more at
  4. Work towards reducing your country’s economic dependence on China
  5. Build alliances with all people of conscience to demand a cessation of China’s oppression of all faith groups, be it Muslim Uyghur, Hui, Christian or Tibetan Buddhist
  6. Encourage and promote fairer trade and commerce with Muslims and others rather than China
  7. Inquire about Uyghur diaspora members in your area. Organize to help out orphans, widows, and students.
  8. Pressure governments to provide legal protection to Uyghur refugees-exiles by either citizenship or refugee-asylee status. Stop the “extradition-repatriation” of Uyghurs to China! 
  9. Get your universities-endowments to divest from China. Raise awareness about Chinese espionage and hired guns in academia. Demand academic and financial support for Uyghur scholars and students. Request more academic attention and funds for Central Asian, Uyghur, Turkistani studies.

Dislclaimer: The authors acknowledge Habib Ali’s willingness to retract his statements, and appreciate his dua for the oppressed Uyghur when faced with rightful criticism. However, the retraction came to our attention towards the very end (on May 12, article published May 14) of writing the piece (a month long process) and despite being a welcome move, does not remove the falsehood of most of his takes. He only corrects the first item from his otherwise totally-problematic takes. After an online correspondence with Uyghur activist Abdulghani Thabit, Habib Ali only corrected his statement number 1 from the longer talk. The three other misleading takes remain and were thus addressed in the piece. The authors tried their best to give all due respect to someone who dons the mantle of ‘scholar’. Our intention is not to attack Habib Ali or any other scholar, rather we seek to use his misleading commentary (corrected albeit in part by the Shaykh later) as a segue into educating the largely ignorant Muslim masses susceptible to Chinese propaganda on Uyghurs and the East Turkistani cause.

Here is a condensed Arabic version of this article translated by Imam Abdul Jabbar

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Podcast: Revisiting Women-Only Tarawih | Ustadha Umm Sara

I still remember the first time I heard of a women-only Tarawih congregation. I was about 10 years old and my father had told me that Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi (1914–1999), a prominent Indian Hanafi scholar of the past century, had written a book about his mother (d. 1968) who was a hafidha (memorizer of the Quran) and had mentioned she would lead women in Tarawih. Shaykh Nadwi had written:

“What a beautiful era it was when they (his mother and aunts) all would recite one juz each in Tarawih. They would follow the fatwa of some scholars and have their own congregation in which there would be a woman Imam and women followers. Their Tarawih congregation would go on from after Isha till almost Suhoor time. All of them would recite Qur’an very beautifully with impeccable pronunciation. If it’s not disrespectful I would say that they recited better and more accurately than many of today’s scholars. Their heartfelt passion and natural melody would add even more beauty to this. I recall one time I stood for a long time watching my mother recite as she was leading Tarawih. It felt as if rain was descending from the heavens. I still have not forgotten the beauty of that moment.” (Nadwi, 1974).

The full original piece that this podcast is based on may be read here.

Support MuslimMatters for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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

Podcast recorded and produced by Zeba Khan

Support Our Dawah for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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

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