I think I can easily say that Nouman Ali Khan is one of those speakers.
No, not what you are thinking. Think again.
In a generation frought with filth and consumerism and lust and greed- it has become rare enough that a scholar, a teacher, a mentor of any sort is enough inspirtaion to bring another person out of the light.
But it can easily be agreed upon that Nouman Ali Khan has been a source of guiding light and inspiration to many people on this Earth- Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
His Bayyinah TV initiative, his school, his lectures, his methodology of understanding the basics of Arabic and personalizing with the Quran and the life of the Prophet (pbuh) is more than the average man can do.
And putting the backlash and talk of hypocrisy aside, how much can one say that they are close to the Quran, or understand it enough to feel confident to teach others? With passion?
It is through the hands of Allah that any person guides another. No one is charismatic, or good with words, or illustrious in speech by choice. It is a gift, a blessing from Allah- the ability to guide and inspire.
It has been in the darkest moments of my life, and in the lives of others, that turning to the talks of Nouman Ali Khan, turning to his words of wisdom, sharing it with others, and using his inspiration to teach others.
As I am a teacher, he is my teacher, and from him I have learned to be a better person, a better teacher each day.
Returning the the heart of the matter- how does one navigate such a scandal, with screenshots and eyewitness accounts to back up such claims?
I refuse to take sides, and yet I refuse to take a neutral stance.
This is not a matter lacking of importance. Our generation, our youth- must learn to understand what we do when such a thing happens.
For a time, I scoured articles with proof to see just how valid it is. Then, I perused as many analyses of the situation as possible, searching for fatwas and statements by scholars.
I was lost. I was confused. I was distraught.
And most of all, I was afraid.
Afraid, that if such a man could amount to this- then what are we? What are our deeds worth? Can it truly be a fraud? Can HE truly be a fraud? Can the source of our wisdom be falsehood? Is our inspiration and hope based on lies and hypocrisy?
Although the majority of scholars have refused to speak on this topic, it is with a wisdom that I have taken a step back and begun to slowly, take steps towards healing.
First and foremost, we must face every single obstacle and worrying event with the lenses of Allah and his Messenger (pbuh). Through the concepts that Allah has blessed the charisma and words of Nouman Ali Khan as well, I have learned that in every obstacle, there is a simple solution. A way to go back to the basics.
What does Allah say in the Quran? How did the Prophet (pbuh) deal with such matters?
Every person makes mistakes. No person on this earth is perfect. But it is the repentance of the believer that is most valuable to Allah- the truthfulness of the heart begging Allah, connected to Him for His sake.
More importantly, it does not, or to put it in better words, it should not matter to us whether it is the truth or falsehood. We should not concern ourselves with that which does not concern us.
In reality, we believe that as a Muslim, no matter what allegations are made against a person, it is our responsibility to stay silent, to make 70 excuses on behalf of our brother or sister in Islam. When we hear gossip or backbiting, we must leave it.
Why does Allah command us to stay away from backbiting? Because even the truth can cause fitnah.
It can make people lose hope and faith, and believe the very source of their recharged, rekindled Iman and faith and hope is all but a lie, a false hope.
It can make people think that if this is true, then the world is lost.
But hope is not lost, the world is not lost.
It is through Allah’s hands that this man was able to inspire and guide so many.
The confusion and despair is normal- but it is not the business of you or I or anyone else who is not a part of his personal life whether or not he has done what social media propaganda is begging us to believe.
The truth is the truth no doubt, and wrong is wrong- it is not right to stay silent and bully and harass women who possibly have rightful claims. We cannot silence them, or silence any attempt to speak for the rights of women, whom Allah Himself protects and defends in Surah Noor, against false claims and to honor their speech.
But in the matter of the choice of Allah- it is Allah alone who knows what is in the hearts. Our Duniya neither our Akhirah must depend on the sins of others. It is our sins that will matter. It is our deeds that will count, for our very own selves.
And if it is part of Allah’s plan to choose to guide us through the words of a man that everyone seems to be hell-bent on discrediting, then it is Allah’s guidance alone that grants us that inspiration.
There is no reason for such talks, no matter the truths, to undo our inspiration, or cause hope to die and evaporate from our chests and leave our hearts heavy.
We protect each other, we pray for each other. We mind our own deeds. We speak not of that which we do not know. We ask Allah for guidance.
We stay silent. And most of all, we keep hope in the Almighty’s forgiveness and mercy and love and guidance.
I can hope and pray for God to forgive me if I have spoken falsehood- and forgive us all of our sins and keep our character and reputation intact.