Nouman Ali Khan, the founder of a prestigious Islamic school in Texas, held status in the Muslim community for many years as a famous teacher and sheikh on YouTube, beloved by many, including women. However, he wasn’t the man he portrayed himself as.
A few years ago, he was exposed as having multiple affairs with various women. The Islamic Society of North America had to get involved, and advised him to cease all teaching and sermons.
He denied any wrongdoings, and as is per usual with rape culture, the victims were blamed more than he was, including by other women.
As for that, I want to wake up those women who wish to remain in ignorance and believe that shuyookh are saints. My God, women, WAKE UP! I want you to think about a time when a man in your life was a saint. These shuyookh are no different. You just decided to put them on a pedestal.
Here is something to think about. Let’s say one day you decide to go to a sheikh about an issue you are having. This sheikh is gentle, kind, and patient with you. You begin to trust him. He treats you better than other men in your life. Now the same sheikh starts asking personal things about you, things that have nothing to do with why you went to see him. He begins to compliment you, he texts you, calls you. You begin to feel the pressure. You start thinking well, he is a sheikh I can trust him, he wouldn’t hurt me. Right? Wrong! A man is a man is a man!
Sadly there have been so many incidents involving imams and shuyookh all over the country and the world. We hear about Catholic priests and the things they have done…don’t think our shuyookh are perfect, because they are not.
My fellow Muslims, Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan is only one of many who have abused their power. I used to be a fan of his, but the difference was I never put him on a pedestal and thought he was imperfect. I still saw him as a man.
The other scary part is that even though he committed forbidden acts and did inappropriate things and hurt many victims, he is being brought back into the fold as if he did nothing wrong. He was recently invited on a live podcast show this past weekend.
This is enabling his behavior, and aiding in the silencing of victims. What if your loved one is hurt by one of these men? Who will believe you? Why would anyone believe you? Allowing men like this man to continue to preach is wrong and dangerous.
The other scary part is that even though he committed forbidden acts and did inappropriate things and hurt many victims, he is being brought back into the fold as if he did nothing wrong.
How we can change a culture of toxic masculinity and patriarchy? How can we stop the enabling of these individuals who are a threat to our religion and our freedom? Our faith is against the abuse of women. So why are we allowing it? Should we give up because these people have a strong fan base? This is where we are supposed to make our voices heard loud and clear. Take a stand against the empowering of these abusers. God did not say put your faith in any man, only in God. Why do so many people continue putting their faith in man? It’s ridiculous.
Lastly, if you love your daughters, your sisters, any females in your life, then know this: if you accept the behaviors of men like Nouman Ali Khan, then you are part of the problem. Islam teaches us to stand against oppressors and protect victims, so why is the opposite happening? My heart goes out to the many victims that have been abused, tricked, and traumatized by the actions of men like this. May God grant you peace and comfort knowing that they will be held accountable on the day of judgment.