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The Case For The North American Muslim Community To Divest From Darul Uloom Al Madania And Darul Uloom Canada

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Trigger Warning: physical abuse, spiritual abuse, sexual abuse

Introduction and Background

The latter half of the 20th century saw successive waves of immigration from Muslim lands into North America. The nascent immigrant Muslim community quickly realized that for Islam to continue in its offspring, it was imperative for it to establish its own schooling, whereby the tradition could be transmitted to future generations. An integral part of this effort was establishing institutions of learning that imparted the higher Islamic sciences with the aim of producing homegrown traditional Islamic scholars. To further this goal, the South Asian immigrant community began establishing schools modeled after the madrasas common in that part of the world. For over a century, these madrasas produced rich scholarship in South Asia which eventually grew into a global phenomenon. A key feature of these madrasas is that they are predominantly boarding schools. Initially, they tend to start off as male-only institutions and as the institutions grow and become established, many, especially in the West, commonly expand their operations to include women’s schooling as well.

The early 1990’s Muslim community in North America saw the establishment of the first full-fledged madrasa of this kind in Buffalo, New York called Darul-Uloom Al-Madania (“DUM”). This institution was founded by Dr. Ismail Memon and his sons, mainly, Maulana Mansoor Memon and Maulana Ibrahim Memon. Though Dr. Ismail Memon was a medical doctor by profession, he had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time in the company of one of the foremost Hadith scholars and sufi shaykhs of the latter half of the 20th century, Shaykh-ul-Hadith Zakariyya Kandhelwi (d. 1982). Through Shaykh Zakariyya’s mentorship, Dr. Ismail himself earned his ijaza in tasawwuf. His sons, Maulana Mansoor, Maulana Ibrahim, and Mufti Husain, all attained ijazaat in the advanced Islamic sciences from leading Islamic institutions. With this type of background, the family presented impressive credentials representing authenticity, authority, and erudition. From Darul-Uloom Al-Madania in Buffalo they expanded to Chatham, Canada and opened Darul-Uloom Canada around 2009. These two institutions represent North America’s oldest institutions offering the world-renowned dars-e-nizami curriculum that are still in operation.

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As a former student, someone who keeps in touch with Darul-Uloom alumni, and its happenings, I would like to inform the Muslim community unequivocally, unambiguously, and emphatically, that we as a community need to completely divest our support from any institutions connected to the Memon family. We need to stop supporting them financially, and most importantly, we need to stop sending our children to their institutions. Muslims are not immune from the type of corruption and abuse that commonly occurs in non-Muslim boarding schools. Sadly, these North American madrasas headed by the Memons are rife with corruption and abuse. This article’s aim is not to shut down the positive religious services these madrasas provide. Unfortunately, however, given the problematic nature of the Memon family’s administration, they, and their loyal acolytes, must be excised from the management and stewardship of the institutions they founded. Until this happens their institutions are not worthy of being supported by the North American Muslim community.

My Personal Experience as a Student

In the roughly three decades since the establishment of DUM, the Memons’ administration has cemented a track record of abuse and corruption. The Memons leverage their religious authority to take advantage of their students and their parents, employees, and even their benefactors for personal gain. The list of their violations includes brutal physical abuse of children as young as 6–7 years old, sexual abuse of both male and female students, sexual improprieties with female students, and misappropriation of donations[i].

Although much of the misconduct was done openly, students failed to recognize it because immediately after walking through their doors, a brain washing process occurred. Dr. Ismail Memon was presented as one of the great spiritual sages of our time, someone whose very presence was a boon for mankind, and who had been divinely gifted with an awareness of realities that were veiled from the rest of us. His son, Maulana Ibrahim, was presented as being among the foremost Hadith scholars and jurists of our era. Therefore, even if on the surface the actions of the said individuals, and even the other school administrators, seemed to oppose Prophetic teachings, there was a Khidhr/Musa dynamic at play[ii]. They were operating privy to hidden realities and with a higher wisdom that we could not fathom. This brainwashing allowed us to make sense of the obvious tension between the sublime Prophetic character on the one hand and the vile conduct displayed by the Memons: conduct that included teachers, mainly Maulana Ibrahim and Maulana Mansoor, meting out vicious daily beatings on students until they were bloodied and bruised, by using a wide array of items found at hardware stores from extension cords to various types of flexible and solid piping to 2x4s[iii].

When I left the school at the end of 1997, the Memons were going through a bit of an existential crisis. Their religious authority and integrity were in serious jeopardy. Parents of some students from New Jersey, including my own, discovered the extent of their devious conduct. Maulana Ibrahim had viciously attacked a student from my locality caught in possession of a cell phone. Around the same time, this very student, who was a child then, was being molested by a senior student over the age of 18[iv]. The senior student may have been lightly reprimanded, if at all[v].When the victim’s father confronted the school’s administration about the molestation incidents, Dr. Ismail tried to diminish the gravity of the perpetrator’s infraction by saying something to the effect of, “Forgive him, he succumbed to a heat that we all feel”[vi]. Maulana Ibrahim eventually found himself on the verge of serious legal trouble and the school was at threat of being shut down[vii]. Around this time, the same New Jersey parents discovered a dispute between the Memons and a senior teacher that had recently been recruited from overseas. The Memons were trying to take advantage of this teacher by attempting to coerce him, and even his wife, into performing duties beyond the scope of his teaching agreement. They were leveraging his immigration status that was soon to be in flux and threatening to throw him and his pregnant wife out onto the street with nowhere to go[viii]. When the New Jersey parents became aware of this situation, in an effort to save face, Maulana Ibrahim attempted to blackmail a student who was caught having engaged in homosexual activities into maligning the character of and lying about the teacher. Notwithstanding his own flaws and grave mistakes, the student did not allow himself to be blackmailed and spoke the truth when asked about the teacher’s character[ix].

In light of this tumultuous situation, all of the New Jersey students, including myself, left the school. In the following years, we moved on from this experience with the thought and hope that although these people demonstrated wayward character in the past, they are learned in the Prophetic tradition (even if only in an abstract sense) and they are connected to the righteous; maybe they would mend their ways.

Ibrahim Memon’s Inappropriate Relations with Female Students

Unfortunately, about 10 years later in 2007, allegations of sexual improprieties between Maulana Ibrahim and at least 2 female boarding school students came to light.[x] Their stories are similar. They were both enrolled in the boarding school from before they reached age of majority. During their tenure, they had direct private contact with Maulana Ibrahim, which one of them now describes as grooming. When they reached legal adulthood, Maulana Ibrahim married them in a secret nikah. Upon finding out about the secret marriages, the parents of these women were confused, angry, and hurt, and they intervened for their daughters. The women eventually ended up realizing that they were taken advantage of and that Maulana Ibrahim had no intention of treating them as real wives. They subsequently obtained Islamic divorces. This new set of troubles involved people from the Muslim community in Binghamton, NY. The elders of that community apparently resolved the matter with a written agreement, signed by Maulana Ibrahim, where he agreed to step down as DUM’s principal and stop teaching female students.[xi] The Binghamton community likely moved on with the same hope and thoughts that the parties involved in the incidents a decade earlier had. However, the women involved in these secret marriages and their families were left scarred by these traumatic experiences.

This article was prompted by new recent allegations against Maulana Ibrahim involving sexual improprieties and abuse of authority. Ibrahim Memon ended up circumventing the agreement with the Binghamton Muslim community, which required him to desist from teaching female students, by teaching female students online. He ended up taking a liking to one of his online female students, Asmaa Naviwala[xii]. who also happens to be related to him through marriage. Unlike the circumstances of his previous secret marriages, this time he married her with the consent of her parents. However, this consent was obtained by making false promises, which his second wife and her family soon came to realize he had no intention of fulfilling. When it became clear that he had no intention of fulfilling his promises nor would he maintain her equally with his first wife, as Islamic Law demands, the marriage ended in divorce[xiii]. After the dissolution of their marriage she gave birth to Ibrahim Memon’s daughter whom she is currently raising as a single mother.

Again, Ibrahim Memon was leveraging his teaching platform and his position of authority to court young female students into unviable marriage situations. From this it is reasonable to conclude that marriage is not the true intent of Ibrahim Memon when he enters into these relationships; rather, it is merely to satiate a carnal desire.

How the Muslim Community Should Respond to the Infractions of the Memons

The purpose of this article is not meant to exhaustively recount all, or even most, of the grievances former students have against the Memons. It is not even meant to recount the most atrocious of their indiscretions. I am merely conveying my own first-hand experience and that of other former students, who myself and some other colleagues are in direct contact with, that will adequately demonstrate that the Memons and their institutions are not worthy of being supported by the Muslim community.

Though the majority of the unbecoming conduct mentioned above pertains to Maulana Ibrahim, his father, Dr. Ismail, and brothers, Maulana Mansoor and Mufti Husain, cannot be completely absolved from any wrongdoing. Students are coming forward with separate allegations against Dr. Ismail[xiv]. With regards to Maulana Mansoor, he meted out his own vicious beatings on students in the early- to mid-90s. I am unaware if Maulana Mansoor’s beatings continued beyond that. Furthermore, even if these allegations against Dr. Ismail remain unconfirmed and Maulana Mansoor repented and sought forgiveness for his indiscretions, they are still guilty of enabling Maulana Ibrahim to engage in his egregious behavior, particularly related to female students. However, I can empathize with Maulana Mansoor. Notwithstanding some of the beatings Maulana Mansoor inflicted on students 25 years ago, it seemed like they were done with a twisted but sincere desire for the betterment of the students. Also, from what I have been told by loyal disciples of the Memons, behind closed doors Maulana Mansoor disapproved of his younger brother’s conduct. However, this type of ‘behind-the-door’ disapproval is woefully inadequate. On one hand, I can empathize with Maulana Mansoor’s efforts in trying to balance his loyalty to his family with his personal disapproval of his younger brother’s conduct. However, on the other hand, as representatives of the Prophetic tradition, Maulana Mansoor’s and Mufti Husain’s loyalty to Rasulullah ﷺ demanded that they publicly call out their brother or take some other action to prevent him from preying on the students.

The Memons and their institutions are currently in their fourth decade of operation. Throughout that time, they have produced numerous huffadh and graduates of the alim course. At the same time, they have victimized, traumatized, and scarred a far greater number of students and their families. What is even more disappointing is that after being in operation for so long with a great number of loyal students and disciples, similar types of allegations of abuse and sexual improprieties are emerging against DUM graduates and its offshoot institutions. These recent allegations, including Maulana Ibrahim’s latest secret marriage, were the tipping point for many former students who know the reality of the Memons and their institutions. This article is an effort to help protect the Muslim community from further harm.

We want the Muslim community of North America to know that it is a great travesty that people with such aberrant character are associated with the tradition of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. Our commitment to Allah and His Messenger ﷺ demands that we expose their unbecoming conduct so that they be divested of any religious authority and from being able to use this deen as a means for their own personal gain. Furthermore, the purpose of this is not to attain justice or revenge. With over thirty years of victims, attaining justice and avenging all their wrongdoings is an unrealistic goal. That is something that will be achieved in the court of the All-Mighty on the Day of Reckoning. For now, allegiance to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ demands that the Muslim community be warned about the dangers posed by the Memons and their institutions because the most beloved thing in this world to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ was his Ummah. Protecting its honor and dignity, in whatever capacity we are capable of, is a great deed. If your children are currently enrolled in their schools, pull them out. If you are thinking about sending your children to their institutions, do not do it. If you are a student in their online programs, unenroll and find another online program. The sublime nature of the Prophetic knowledge demands that it be taken from a righteous source. If you are a donor to any of the institutions connected to the Memons, terminate your donations and find another, more worthy institution. You owe it to yourself to entrust your hard-earned income given as sadaqa to trustworthy people of taqwa. If you value the honor, dignity, mental, spiritual, and physical health of yourselves and your children, you will heed this warning.

Guidance About Boarding School Madrasas In North America

To the parents who are interested in sending their tender-aged children to a boarding school madrasa, you should know that in our current time this is probably not a wise decision. We live in an era that is quickly moving towards the era of Dajjal. As such, we are surrounded by unprecedented levels of evil and corruption that are only going to get worse. Therefore, even when we are dealing with the “pious” and the “righteous” we cannot afford to let our guards down and assume that these people are divinely protected. This is not to say that truly pious and righteous people do not exist, but that the status of someone’s heart and their rank with Allah is veiled from us in this world. Therefore, prudence demands that we be cautious in protecting ourselves, our iman, and our families at all times — even when dealing with the pious and the righteous.

Undoubtedly, these types of boarding school madrasas have done a great deal of good; however, they are also susceptible to corruption by providing ample opportunities to take advantage of vulnerable populations. Boarding school administrators possess unique power positions and there can be considerable temptation to take advantage of this power even for those who have spent extensive time in self-purification and rectification. This is not to say that all madrasas have these types of problems, but before deciding to send your children to a boarding school madrasa, it is the parents’ responsibility to thoroughly investigate the madrasa. If parents start uncovering stories of abuse and other improprieties in their vetting process, even if they cannot be confirmed, it is better to err on the side of caution and forego enrolling your children.

A Message to the Loyal Students Defending the Memons

Before concluding, I would like to address some of the common defenses that are normally raised by supporters of the Memons. The first, is that as long as Ibrahim Memon’s subsequent marriages met the Shariah requirements for a nikah it was Islamically valid and therefore his relationship was beyond reproach. The second, is that we are obligated to hide the sins of our brothers, therefore this type of expose is contrary to Prophetic guidance. The third, is that these types of issues should be handled by aggrieved parties and the alleged perpetrators in private. Making a public display of this is a sign that this is motivated by a hidden agenda of revenge.

This first contention demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue. The issue is not whether a valid nikah took place or whether the alleged conduct was haram or halal. The issue is: was Maulana Ibrahim’s conduct consistent with the ethos of Prophetic teaching? Prophetic teachings promote the path of taqwa, i.e. what one ought to do to please Allah. It is possible for conduct to be in opposition to what one ought to do but also be situated in the grey area that immediately precedes the boundary between halal and haram. This is the realm of the undesirable act (makruhat). To simply ask whether or not there was a valid nikah when assessing the morality of these secret marriages is disingenuous. What about the entrustment of the parents who expected the school and its administrators to assume the role of a guardian for these young girls, only to have that trust violated when they were secretly married without their consent? What about the trust that these young girls placed in Maulana Ibrahim upon marrying him that, of course, this learned man who claims to be an inheritor of the Prophetic legacy, would at least try to fulfill their rights? After assessing the whole situation, it is abundantly clear that Maulana Ibrahim’s dubious conduct was opposed to the ethics of Prophetic teachings. Someone who habitually operates within this grey area, for his own personal gain at the expense of others, demonstrates questionable character that is inadequate to be perceived as a religious authority and scholar.

The second and third contentions fail to consider the fact that madrasas are public institutions entirely reliant on public support. Even if their finances are taken care of by private sources, their success is still largely dependent on the public to entrust them with their other most valuable resource — their children. This type of trust and support is built on the assumption that the religious scholars and leaders running these institutions are wholly committed to upholding the ethics of Islamic teachings. When they engage in actions that would directly impact the public’s willingness to support them that information is legitimate for public consumption. The public has a right to know who they are donating their money to, to whom they are assigning guardianship over their children to, and from whom they are taking their deen from.

The loyalty and support that the Memons receive from many former students and disciples is understandable when considering the high status that Allah and His Messenger ﷺ assigned to teachers. Knowledge, especially Prophetic knowledge, is so valued that when the teacher enlightens the student with this knowledge, the student becomes forever indebted to the teacher similar to how children are forever indebted to their parents. These loyal students and supporters are understandably conflicted by the fact that they have received this treasure of Prophetic knowledge and are connected to the Prophetic inheritance through them. On the other hand, these very teachers have been engaged in conduct so egregious that it could undermine the validity of their own religious credentials. These loyal students and supporters need to realize that nobody is demanding that they now take the Memons as their enemies and actively work against them. However, they also have to realize that allegiance to Allah and His Messenger ﷺ supersedes all other loyalties. This reality demands that the students of the Memons address their teachers’ indiscretions while maintaining their love and support for them, similar to how we would be expected to handle a situation where a dear parent is involved in egregious conduct. Blindly supporting them, covering up their misdeeds, and continuing to present them as religious authorities to the public is actually not a sign of love or respect, but rather it is helping solidify their ruin, if not in this world then definitely in the Hereafter.

Concluding Remarks

In the end, this is not about demanding perfection from our scholars and mashaikh. That would be an unrealistic and unjust expectation. We understand that Prophethood is the sole repository of human perfection, of which Rasulullah ﷺ is its crowning jewel. However, what we do expect from our religious scholars and mashaikh is a sincere and wholehearted commitment to uphold the Prophetic ethics, a commitment that is demonstrably absent when assessing the conduct of the Memons. For this violation of the public trust they need to be divested of any religious authority conferred to them by their own fraternity of religious leaders and the Muslim public. We must withdraw any support, financial or otherwise, to their institutions. Any Muslim community that is currently working with them to develop religious institutions needs to seriously reconsider their association. Islam is the deen of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. Allah is not in need of any institution, family, or individual to effectuate its spread and preservation.

If the Memons are sincere in their work for this deen, then they will take the steps necessary to preserve and maintain the valuable aspects of their operation. They will remove themselves from the leadership of their institutions; they will institute policies that will preemptively address the issues highlighted above; and they will hand the leadership and management of their institutions to others who are competent enough to take its reins. However, if after becoming aware of this article they launch a defense against its allegations, which we know to be true, then it is indicative of a lack of sincerity and that they are more motivated by self-preservation than the preservation of the deen of Allah. The onus is on them to take the corrective measures needed to continue with the valuable work that they so incompetently have been engaged in.

As of now, a number of lawsuits have recently been filed[xv]. Other victims have been talking to various media outlets about their stories. If you come across them, do not write them off as some sort of CVE or Islamophobic conspiracy to undermine Islam. Nor is this being pushed by those with a liberal progressive agenda. They are real stories of real people that many former students can attest to. Even if after becoming aware of all this information if you are still unsure about the truth of the matter, wisdom still demands that you err on the side of caution and refrain from supporting the aforementioned individuals and their institutions with your wealth and your children. If after publicizing this information, the support that these individuals and institutions receive from the Muslim public does not change, we will still be satisfied knowing that at least now the Muslim public has full disclosure about the individuals and institutions they are dealing with.

End notes:

[i] During my tenure at DUM from November 1993 — December 1997, items donated to the school by parents intended for distribution among the students routinely found their way to the school’s store to be sold back to the students. One instance that I can clearly recall is when parents of an alima student from NJ donated socks with the intention of having it distributed to the students. After taking possession of the socks the they were made available to the students for purchase.

[ii] This is in reference to the Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim wherein an incident from the life of Musa (alayhis) is recounted. Musa (alayhis) was to accompany Khidr (alayhis) while he performed his divinely ordained tasks. On the surface, these tasks contravened the shariah of Musa (alayhis). When Musa (as) could no longer tolerate the open contravention of God’s law they parted ways. Upon parting ways, Khidr (alayhis) revealed to Musa the purpose of each task. In reality, each task served the purpose of furthering the aims of God’s law. http://qaalarasulallah.com/hadithView.php?ID=3266

[iii] The number of eye-witnesses to these incidents are numerous to the point where it is mass transmitted by former students. I myself attest to the vicious nature of these beatings as well as their daily occurrence.

[iv] This student has filed a lawsuit under the NY Child Victim’s Act against DUM.

[v] This senior student eventually graduated and has remained close to the family and their institutions to this day.

[vi] This is an English translation of the approximate statement he uttered in the Urdu language. I was in the presence of the student’s father after he informed us of what Ismail Memon had said.

[vii] According to the student’s parents, they had initially pressed charges against Ibrahim Memon. The parents dropped the charges after Dr. Ismail and Maulana Ibrahim came to their house seeking forgiveness. This incident of the Memons seeking forgiveness was witnessed by my own parents.

[viii] This teacher had directly relayed his predicament to a few of the madrassah students including me.

[ix] The student who was being blackmailed had informed myself and a few others directly of what Maulana Ibrahim was attempting to do. The other student who was involved in these homosexual acts has just filed suit against DUM.

[x] A number of former students of DUM and I are currently in contact with one of these women. She has asked to remain anonymous. The other woman’s story was publicized by a local news outlet: Islamic principal ousted over sex allegations He may have taken student as second wife | Latest Headlines | buffalonews.com

[xi] We are currently in possession of a copy of this signed agreement.

[xii] We have obtained her permission to use her real name.

[xiii] Asmaa Naviwala has provided screenshots of her text messages with Maulana Ibrahim that corroborate her account.

[xiv] Two lawsuits have been filed by former students directly against Dr. Ismail under the NY Child Victim’s Act alleging sexual abuse.

[xv] Lawsuit of former students Nida Makhdoom and Jane Doe can be found here: ViewDocument (state.ny.us). Law suit of former student Muhammed Khan can be found here: Mohammed Khan Complaint FINAL.pdf (state.ny.us). Lawsuit of former student Usman Makhdoom can be found here: Usman Makhdoom Complaint FINAL (state.ny.us). Lawsuit of former student Abdullah Islamovic can be found here: Abdullah Islamovic Complaint FINAL v2 (state.ny.us). Three separate students, male and female, have anonymously filed lawsuits that can be found here: ViewDocument (state.ny.us)ViewDocument (state.ny.us)ViewDocument (state.ny.us). There may have been many more students with legitimate claims and adequate grounds to file suit but the extended deadline to file suit under the NY Child Victim’s Act expired on August 14, 2021. The lawsuits that are posted above are from the former students who were able to file suit in time. The actual number of students who suffered sexual abuse at the schools is likely much greater.

Endorsed by Mufti Abdullah Nana

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Father, Husband, Son, Brother. Born and raised in New Jersey. Completed the memorization of the Quran and law school. Darul Uloom al Madania Student (1993–1997)

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Abdullah

    November 10, 2021 at 10:57 AM

    Great article mA! These criminals and their supporters need to be exposed and knocked off their high and mighty pedestals.

  2. Muslim

    November 10, 2021 at 11:44 AM

    Darul-Uloom was the most abusive, toxic, and racist environment I have ever encountered. My Quran teacher would regularly slap and punch his students in the face when they experienced difficulty in memorizing their lessons correctly. He would also make his students slap and punch each other in the face at full force. Many of my classmates were left either bruised or bloodied after these beatings. This man is still employed at the school, teaching young children. If his mannerisms and behaviors are in any way similar to what they were in his previous years, these children are not safe. Another former teacher threw his cell phone at a student’s head and made it bleed. Blunt objects and wires were used as weapons on the students on a daily basis. Shame on every single staff member that allowed these atrocities to take place in the name of Allah and to those who still defend these actions.

    Public humiliation, bullying, and name calling were staple punishments from staff members. The n-word was thrown around like candy by teachers in casual conversation and was also used in a way that was intently directed at the Black students. Yet, we were led to believe that these were God’s chosen people for whom we were to dedicate our lives to serving as they would lead us to paradise. The consequences of disrespecting our teachers or the “ulama” were constantly drilled into our brains as a form of religious blackmail to deter any defiance. Yet, there was absolutely no respect or mercy shown to the young children who left behind everything they knew, often against their will, to spend their days reciting and memorizing the Quran.

    Thank you to the author for shedding light on this. I hope that we, as a community, can do a better job moving forward in preventing abusive environments from growing and festering.

  3. Spirituality

    November 12, 2021 at 10:21 AM

    As Salamu Alaikum,

    Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. It made me very sad. We need to be extremely careful where to send our children these days, even for something as noble as getting a thorough Islamic education (which is so badly needed amongst the Ummah these days!)

    Unfortunately, both the beatings and the racism may not have been seen by the perpetrators as anything remotely wrong, as both are extremely common occurrences in (at least some) South Asian communities. In the South Asian community I come from, my parents, relatives (including some of my generation) readily tell of how beatings were common place in their schools. Hitting students with rulers and other blunt objects, having books, erasers, etc thrown at them; these things happened daily. No one really seemed bothered by it; that’s just how things were.

    Racism if anything is even more common. To this day, the vast majority of my relatives from back home are openly racist. They really don’t know any person of African descent, but don’t mind throwing out all kinds of horrible statements about them. And some of these people are extremely religious and pious; for example, they get up every night and pray Tahujjud for hours, etc. Reminders of Prophetic hadith about racial equality seem to fall on deaf ears.

    (I really do mean that they are pious, as no one is perfect and this just happens to be a terrible blind spot of theirs. May Allah reward them for all the good they do and show them their errors and allow them to correct them).

    Sometimes, we get so steeped and enmeshed in our culture and our way of doing things and viewing the world. We really don’t know better. Moving to another cultural milieu, and really living in another culture for decades (while maintaining Islamic standards, of course) is probably the only way to address this situation. DUM has not really done this; it seems it has simply created a closed-off South Asian school, with all the cultural baggage, in the USA and Canada.

    On the other hand, there is absolutely no excuse for the sexual misconduct. I am at a loss for how thing could have happened and be excused. DUM and the culture it fostered espoused nearly complete gender segregation (to the extent that I do not recognize such level of segregation in the sunnah). I assume precisely because they wanted to prevent sexual misconduct. It just goes to show that if one really wants to break the rulings/and or the spirit of the Sharia, no barriers may be enough…

    May Allah bring justice to the perpetrators and give healing and solace to the victims.

  4. Farhana

    November 12, 2021 at 3:28 PM

    I have several family members who went there in the 90s and experienced the severity of the abuse at the hands of these so called scholars. At that time we didn’t know the extent of the violations against human rights, I was a helpless little girl seeing my family members tortured. As I’m reading the article I’m appalled at the sexual abuse that occurred at the boys and girls schools. Some people still think this is an agenda against the Memon’s, and what benefit would we get by pushing an agenda? Is it not humiliating enough what the children went through? How can we expect our kids to love the Quran and Islam if this is what they are subjected to? God is the most Just after all, that is enough for us.

  5. Abdallah Abdallah

    November 12, 2021 at 3:29 PM

    ” the reality demands that the students of the Memons address their teachers’ indiscretions while maintaining their love and support for them, similar to how we would be expected to handle a situation where a dear parent is involved in egregious conduct. Blindly supporting them, covering up their misdeeds, and continuing to present them as religious authorities to the public is actually not a sign of love or respect, but rather it is helping solidify their ruin, if not in this world, then definitely in the Hereafter.”

    Hena, what utter garbage is this ?

    There are TWO AFFIDAVITS DETAILING SEXUAL ABUSR BY ISMAIL MEMON HIMSELF. These victims molested by Ismail Memon himself. Have you read the affidavits of the others ? The horrific sexual abuse of the Jane Doe who DUM trash tried to doxx , who was molested so badly she was given an STD by the so called teacher ?

    Ismail Memon is a pedophile. The very head of that hellhole had molested two separate students as detailed in two separate affidavits . But we ought to love this savage ?

    How dare you speak of rape and abuse as ‘indescretions’ ? And support the ‘good’ and dviest from the ‘bad’? It doesn’t matter that most students were not harmed by these monsters. It matters that even one was sexually abused , raped and had their life ruinedbas a result.

    And Allah’s eternal la’nah be upon Daniel Haqiqtajou for calling the victims a cabal of liars. Allah’s wrath be upon Buffalo and its actual cabal of pedo nonces. And may Allah ruin all the allies of DUM trying to doxx victims and call them liars.

  6. vajeeha

    November 12, 2021 at 4:00 PM

    Although I do not have any experience with this particular institution, but I completely believe everything that is mentioned in this article and have no doubt that there is any exaggeration in it. WHY? Because I have 3 brothers (masha Allah) who are all Hafiz e Quran and, did so back in Pakistan. And everything mentioned in this article, happened in the madaaris that they attended in Karachi as well. Most of the maulanas were not fit to teach (I wanted to say savages but keeping it civil). My mother was a Very Strong and Courageous lady and she stood up to these maulanas and threatened them to not lay a finger on my brothers or all hell will break loose for them. So my brothers were not at least physically abused but all other kids still bared all that is mentioned above. I thought that was only the ‘culture’ in Pakistan but hearing about this happening HERE in U.S.A is shocking to me. May Allah guide us. Ameen
    Great Article!!!

  7. Spirituality

    November 12, 2021 at 7:12 PM

    As Salamu Alaikum, Vajeeha,

    I am interested to know if sexual abuse was prevalent as well in the Pakistani institution that you are referring to?

    Otherwise, I concur – the physical abuse, racism, etc are all part and parcel of what is readily occurs and is even accepted.

    DUM is a simply South Asian school transplanted school in America. I imagine studying at DUM versus studying overseas, one would not find much of a difference. I have been told that even the lessons are in Urdu, not English (those who don’t know Urdu, I am told, have to spend a year learning it before enrolling).

  8. Samir

    November 13, 2021 at 1:27 AM

    Is there a chain of transmission of predatory behavior, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment at DUM and Darul Uloom Canada?

    “What struck me as I read this is that Hassan Shibly likely learned his sexist behavior from his teacher. Shibly’s behavior shows he was a devoted student, ready to go out of his way to aggressively intimidate anyone who might expose his teacher. And Shibly’s own philandering reflects his belief that talented teachers are allowed to avail themselves of impressionable students. Any outsiders who dare to interfere face his wrath.

    It seems there is a chain of sexual abusive. Hassan learned a model of behavior from his teacher(Ibrāhīm Memon), who may have learned it from his own mentors(Dr.Ismail). However far this stretches back into the past, we need to stop it in the present. This is one tradition that must be stopped in its tracks. And that means making sure Hassan Shibly can’t victimize any more women and intimidate any more families.”

    https://mukashafat.com/sexual-harassment-a-chain-of-transmission/

  9. Slave of الله

    November 13, 2021 at 2:00 AM

    There is no valid interpretation of Islamic law, in any school of thought, that allows children to be abused in any way, sexually or otherwise. The Prophet  said, “He is not one of us who is not merciful to our young.”*

    *Muḥammad ibn ʻĪsá al-Tirmidhī, Sunan al-Tirmidhī (Bayrūt: Dār al-Ġarb al-Islāmī, 1998), 3:386 #1921

  10. Abdallah Abdallah

    November 13, 2021 at 10:11 AM

    I’m glad you brought up Hasan Shibly , Samir.

    Alongside being a predator and a creep who sliced off his wife’s hair while she slept , he , and Daniel Haqiqtajou , have been at the forefront of calling the victims a group of liars in cahoots with one another in a manufactured conspiracy to bring the old pedophile Ismail Memon and his predator son and den of sexual abuse and rape , Daryl Uloom Al Madania, down.

    He ruined CAIRs name and is a source of joy for Anti Muslim bigots like Robert Spencer and co who have been trashing CAIR for years.

    Allah bring them all to account .Ameen.

  11. Mirza Yawar Baig

    November 13, 2021 at 11:04 AM

    Reading the article was extremely painful and reading the comments made it even more so. What needs to be done is for evidence of wrongdoing to be presented to the authorities seeking legal action. The reality is that without evidence, it will only be seen as a series of accusations against the people and the institution. No legal action can be taken. Islamically speaking also, Allahﷻ ordered us to listen to both sides of the story (Sura Al Hujuraat) before drawing conclusions. This may seem to be painful for those who experienced abuse and know it happened and is real. However when such a matter comes into a court of law, then the rules will apply, no matter how painful that may be. In this case since divestment is being sought, and there may be grounds for action under American Criminal Law, I would say that the accusers should bring evidence before the competent legal authority so that action can be taken. Same suggestion for any call to the community to divest. Otherwise it will be seen as some disgruntled people who are unhappy for their own reasons, trying to besmirch the good name of the institution and its founders and teachers.

    I believe very strongly that such things, if they are happening, must not be tolerated and the perpetrators must be punished as severely as the law permits. But that can be done only if there is material evidence.

  12. Abdullah

    November 13, 2021 at 12:53 PM

    Brother Mirza, your argument that the case for divesting from these Darul Ulooms is contingent on listening to both sides of the story or presenting evidence is flawed. The objective of the article is not to prove that something occurred according to Islamic law, which would require evidence and listening to both sides. Rather, the objective is to warn others from giving their funds to such an institution which the author and victims know to harm people. There is a sound Islamic basis for them to write this article and warn people about the abuse they know of at this institute along with encouraging people from divesting from these two institutes. In summary, a person can give a warning to others from someone or from an institution once they have established that harm and abuse has occurred and there are many ahaadith to collaborate this. Rasulullah Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam said that Fatimah Bint Qayyum should avoid marrying Abū Jahm because he hits women. Is it established that he sat down with Abū Jahm and listened to both sides?

  13. Abdallah Abdallah

    November 13, 2021 at 2:00 PM

    Hafiz Ahmed and Mirza, you two are what happens when you do not actually read the article.

    Although this is also the fault of Mr Sheriff, who has written a dumpsterfire of a softball article that does not even MENTION the horrific rape and sex abuse detailed in the affidavits.

    Look in the footnotes for direct links. There very much is legal action being taken against the evil Memons and their Den of Sexual Abuse and Horror, the so-called darul Uloom al Madania.

  14. Hafiz Ahmed

    November 13, 2021 at 4:08 PM

    Dum has been under a different management since around 2010
    Any cases of abuse since then?

  15. Abdullah

    November 13, 2021 at 6:05 PM

    The management since 2010 has been still been followers of the memons and continue to allow such behavior.

    This was very recent
    “we have to end this madness , justice for all these children, inshallah charges will be pressed, this school fails to protect the students. The [management] laughed at me when i couldnot take it anymore and informed him his 6th year alim student has been raping me…. he did not belive me at all and kicked me out of daruloom.”#JusticeForTheRapedHuffaz

  16. Abdullah

    November 13, 2021 at 8:01 PM

    Not to mention a student at Darul Uloom Canada being beaten so badly that he was admitted to a hospital in the last few years. The abuse is definitely ongoing

  17. Mubarak

    November 13, 2021 at 10:03 PM

    ABDALLAH ABDALLAH – couldn’t agree more. Nonsense to ask supporters to continue to support and love these pedophiles who insult the sunnah beards and garb they so pretentiously wear. These sexual deviants need to be locked up and this school needs to be closed forever.

  18. Hafiz Ahmed

    November 14, 2021 at 9:18 PM

    Since 2010 we have one case of abuse reported by an ex-student that took place in DUM
    We have one case of alleged physical abuse in DUC’s history
    Both allegations yet to be reported anywhere

    But sure, let’s pretend there is ongoing abuse and that these institutions are bad

  19. utsc98

    November 15, 2021 at 1:14 AM

    Im sorry but wheres the evidence for all these claims?? My brother studied in DUC for years completing his hifz and he has never informed us of such things being done. Moreover, if these incidents are “true”,then why is it being brought to light right now?? Seems like someone is pushing an agenda and/or looking for a quick payday/

  20. Umer M. Sheriff

    November 15, 2021 at 9:35 AM

    @nonutsnana

    Enough ppl were witness to the physical abuse that it would be absurd for anyone to argue otherwise. As far as the inappropriate relations with female students is concerned, it was first reported in the local news in 2008 after the journalist interviewed Ibrahim Memon. If that article was false, they would have easily been able to sue and get it retracted. However, 13 years later and it’s still there. As far as the sexual abuse claims are concerned, a number of the claims are in court now. Let’s see how they play out.

    These things are only being brought to light now because, as i’m sure you know, our community has a tendency to ignore this type of behavior and sweep it under the rug. The first plaintiff who filed suit, in May of this year, inspired and gave courage to other victims who have had similar experiences to file suit.

    Even though there are multiple lawsuits filed, given the religious authority the Memons command, it seemed likely that our community would simply chalk them up to be conspiracies by those that hate islam. This article was prompted by the desire to assist in validated the Plaintiffs and their lawsuits to the general public and also to warn them that the Memons are not worthy of support.

  21. Ali zahir

    November 15, 2021 at 12:33 PM

    I have experienced recently from DarulUloom Canada , there is harassment from administrators, bullying and violence
    within students. Current DUC administration is incompetent. Administration is not willing to recognize these issues. The administration reprimand sharply against parents when they raise these issues. I agree that DUC is not safe place for kids.

  22. Meena Malik

    November 15, 2021 at 3:55 PM

    Jzk for the thorough footnotes with legitimate sources. I don’t need to look at them in detail to believe these allegations because I’ve heard accounts from people I know in those schools. May Allah bless the victims and protect them.

  23. Abu ahmed

    November 15, 2021 at 4:32 PM

    This is common practice in Darul Uloom Canada that the victim of abuse and violence are not being treated justly but also DUC expels the victims to save the culprits.

  24. Abdullah Z

    November 15, 2021 at 6:31 PM

    I studied at DUC very recently and never encountered such things. If these things are to be found true, these are things of the past and not present in DUC today. To villianize them is wrong.

  25. Ahmed

    November 15, 2021 at 7:35 PM

    To villianize what? Physical and sexual abuse of children?

  26. Mubarak

    November 16, 2021 at 10:59 AM

    Who are these “loyal students” referenced above that are defending this? Are these our future imams and ustads?

  27. Open-up improvise

    November 16, 2021 at 12:11 PM

    DUC administration incompetence and nepotism reduced it to founding family relatives and few students. These student lives in houses beside Darul Uloom. DUC not any more claim it is serving the community. This madarsah will not survive under the corrupt control of founding family.

  28. Open-up improvise

    November 16, 2021 at 12:35 PM

    I agree with the writer, and my request is that we should not support and donate family based organizations where they hide mismanagement and corruption due to family ties.

    We should donate community based organizations where the whole community can benefit, and people within speak out against wrong doings.

  29. Seeker

    November 16, 2021 at 10:03 PM

    You know it’s bad when Majlis Ulama of South Africa also share and endorse this article about Darul Uloom Madania and Darul Uloom Canada.

    http://themajlis.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2689:case-for-the-north-american-muslim-community&catid=34:majlis-articles&Itemid=27

  30. Wallahil- Ale - yul - Atheem .

    November 19, 2021 at 5:03 PM

    ASSALAMUALYKUM,CAN YOU PAKISTANI/BENGALI FUCKERS STOP DICK RIDING MOWLANA DR. IBRAHIM HE IS A PEDOPHILE RAPIST. JAAN SEH OPKAY BUCHAY DARULOOM MuTT BAYJO. INSHALLAH HIS NAJM Institute Also Gets Shut Down Ameen.
    DARLOOM ESTABLISHED 1990 BEEN TEACHING SINCE 91′ ITS BEEN 30+ FUCKIN YEARS AND KIDS STILL BEING ABUSED HERE, ITS BEEN FUCKING 3 DECADES OUR MUSLIM BROTHERS AND SISTERS BEING RAPED . WHEN IS THIS GUNNA STOP???? MY ALLAH REVEAL ALL HIS WRATH UPON MUFTI FAISAL, MOWLANA IRFAAN AND AZIM BHIE (the new principle, vice principle and manager who are up to date running this hell hole ) I went to these men and complained about the rape I was facing(regularly I told Rafik bhie and kamraan bhie about my sexual Assaults,cause they said to me im your mom and your dad,any complaints just come to me ), the same week I was kicked out. I left for 1 week reporting straight to the police department filing my case to them, as I returned to daruloom to get all my shit back (fridge , suitcases,Nintendo D’s and walkie talkie wich have been takin away from me ) I packed all my shit back in my trunk, as I went in and said my final good bye to my teacher whom I was almost Hafiz with, (mowlana Ilyaas ) (qari Ashfaaq)I’m hugging my friends, from a distance I see a man who’s talking to my dad , at first I was like who tf is this old hag all up on my dad like this, as I opened the door and made it to the car I see it’s the devil himself Mufti Faisal Ansari he was begging my father In these exact words in urdu “Please Op Fatir Ko mat Ghaar Lay jow, Please Saab Opka Behta Say Hain Humara Pass, Zuurrruuaat Nay Hain Wapis Ghaar Layneh Kayleeeyah, Please Opka Behta Yay Choro, Bahout Achaa Hain, Jo student neh isko Choo teh tah meh usko punishment deh doonga ” my dad basically said Fuck off in urdu and closed the trunk and shouted my name to get my ass in the car right now and we left.

  31. Nav

    November 20, 2021 at 7:57 PM

    Assalam Alaikum

    Social Media is not the place to dishonor and disrespect any one based on assumptions. The author should not have done that and should have consulted authorities. If you really thing this has happened in Buffalo maddarasa than go report it to Police and file lawsuit against the Management. They will take legal action and put the criminals in prison. Writing an article like this defeats the purpose even though there might be truth in it. Hope everyone will be careful next time

  32. Umer Sheriff

    November 20, 2021 at 8:41 PM

    @Nav

    Please read the whole article. This contention is addressed.

  33. Umer M. Sheriff

    November 20, 2021 at 8:42 PM

    @Nav

    Please read the whole article. This contention is addressed.

  34. Abu Ali

    November 20, 2021 at 9:21 PM

    As per their track records of full of sexual abuse and violence, please defund them, do not donate them. Nowadays They are raising funds for a new project near Windsor in harrow Ontario.

  35. Adam Kaan

    November 30, 2021 at 11:53 AM

    This is nothing new and was extremely common place in the 90’s and even much later. Sadly, anyone who brought it to light would be ostracized, shunned, religiously and emotionally blackmailed. Many of the victims suffer a serious case of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’

    I’m pleasantly surprised to see the comments here are not like that.

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