The sad saga of Nauman Ali Khan

Around 12 years ago, I went through a time when I was unsure of my emaan. I had questions in my mind which if articulated could be considered blasphemy. I felt guilt. I thought I’m a failure. And then I started to read the Quran and hadith books ony own trying to make sense of my being. With that came the process of listening and reading to various preachers from various sects. It seemed I was not satisfied with the interpretations of a lot of them (without intending to be disrespectful to any of them).

Then finally in 2012, I stumbled upon a lecture by Nauman Ali Khan and I just loved it. I kept listening to his lectures and soon realised that he is my favourite teacher/preacher. It’s easy to relate to him as well. He was brought up just like any of us without a religious background. His struggle that he went through in learning Arabic and Quran was inspirational. He knows what people living in non Muslim countries go through, how hard it is bring up kids in today’s era. He has this ability to make the wisdom in the text easy for us to understand. He is eloquent and speak the language that is easy for us to understand.

And thus, became my hero.

With that, I, like many other of his followers forgot that he is just a human too.

And to err is human.

So, over the weekend, I found out through a friend about the accusations that were hurled at him through someone called Omar Muzaffar who claimed to be Nauman Ali khan’s friend. Nauman Ali Khan disagrees here. Anyway, he accused khan for inappropriate behaviour with multiple women. I could not really understand what it exactly means coz that inappropriate behaviour can be anything from flirtation to rape. It also claimed that khan had confessed to several of these accusations. I read on with disbelief, my eyes were literally popping out.

On further reading, it became apparent that there was no sexual assault. That was a relief. But he was being accused of sending inappropriate pictures, messages, flirting and then bribing and threatening too! Some of them are not illegal but bribing and threatening definitely are.

Nauman Ali Khan himself has denied those allegations. He is saying that he only approached those ladies with the intent of marrying one of them with their and their family’s consent and his behaviour was never inappropriate. He only spoke with the intent of finding the right person for himself. Sounds harmless.

But now the problem is that I have read the leaked whatsapp chats. They could have easily been faked. But they might be true as well. Who knows?

One more thing that has come out of this whole scenario is that the victims have spoken up. It’s not easy to speak up about abuse. Be it by the husband, father, teacher or their boss.  Women are scared of speaking up because they are scared of being slut shamed.

I just think if nauman Ali Khan wants to prove his innocence and get back respect, he must prove in court that those pictures are photoshopped, those whatsapp messages are fake, he has never bribed anyone or threatened the team of imams on the case. He must file a case for defamation and prove it all in court. Defamation is a serious crime. But of course he will only do that if he is innocent. Otherwise we all know our society always blames women and forgives men for whatever they have done. I’m glad that he has asked for a ‘theatre free environment to investigate allegations against him.’ Let’s hope that he can clarify all the misconceptions and prove that he is innocent. I’m praying for that.

I’m very sad and disappointed but if it’s true it won’t be something new. Men in power have always abused it and women have always been the soft target. Interestingly, even if proven to be correct, most people will continue slut shaming the women rather than praising them for their bravery. It takes a lot to speak against crimes and injustice done against yourself and our society doesn’t make it any easier. Even now when we don’t even know who those women are, there are thousands of messages slut shaming them. I know it’s possible that they might not be victims and just be opportunists…..but what if it’s the other way round? They will not be given justice just because we thought that a celebrity might be victimised instead?

I have decided not to listen to his lectures for the time being… Till it all clears out. Not because I hate him or can’t stand his face anymore or don’t think he is not knowledgeable enough. I just feel I don’t respect him the way I did before. I’m not taking away all his contributions towards islam. His lectures have helped millions across the globe to come closer Islam, clear lots of their misconceptions. I’m not discouraging anyone else from listening to his lectures.

I’m neither in defence or prosecution. I don’t have any first hand knowledge but I want all this mess to be cleared up in an honourable way. Of course I don’t want to read all his messages or study his pictures if they are photoshopped or not. But I would want to know if nauman Ali Khan also abused his power or became a victim of mud slinging in a power struggle among preachers.

Advertisements

Singapore – From my eyes I

Those who know me personally, know quite well that I love and respect Singapore a lot. Although I am not a citizen myself, I find myself defending Singapore every where I go and with every one I speak to.

I first visited Singapore in 1995 as a tourist and while travelling back from Singapore I made a little innocent wish of being able to visit Singapore again. I never knew that I will get married to someone 4 years later who lives in here. I moved here in 2009 after I got married and 8 years later, its become home now. Yes, I love pakistan but I respect singapore deeply.

In this post I will only speak about cultural and religious freedom that I have here.

_20170425_122217

Singapore is a multi cultural country with people of all religions living with harmony. It’s main languages are English, Chinese, Malay Bhasa and Tamil and the citizens comprise mainly  of Chinese, Malay and Indian origin. The main religions here are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism and there people from all religions are allowed to practice their own religion in their own way as long as they do not interfere in any one else’s practices.

I have spent a chunk of my childhood in UAE and some time in UK for my studies. Although I have never really faced serious bullying in my life directed particularly towards me but I have been called ‘Bloody Paki’ and treated as an inferior muslim for being a pakistani Muslim rather than being an Arab. But a lot of people might be unaware but I’m protected by law in Singapore against such discriminations. No one can call me names due to the way I look (the color of my eyes, my hair or my height can’t be commented upon), I can roam around in shalwar kameez the whole day without being worried about someone being judgemental,  I can sue someone if their dog touches me (yes, this muslim sensitivity against dogs is highly regarded), halal food is readily available and I can even pray publicly in a park without being stared at. Also, the Muslim laws of marriage and inheritance are being looked upon by the Sharia courts of law.

And the best thing about living in Singapore is that we have lots of public holidays too: 2 each for each of the 4 main religions which also ensures that we do not have to worry about going to work on Eid day 🙂

* the beautiful picture of Sultan Masjid is not mine but taken off the Internet. Sultan Masjid might be the most famous masjid of Singapore as it’s a popular tourist destination but there are lots an lots of masjids and some of them very beautiful and majestic in terms of their architecture. The Islamic schools (medrasaa) are in abundance too masha Allah.

 

 

 

Naml….

I never realized that ants have been given so much importance in Islam. Not only there is a whole surah about ants in the quran, I just found out that Hazrat Ali (AS) also spoke about them in great detail.
Below is part of the Sermon 185 from the Nahjul Balagha that is about ants.

“Look at the ant with its small body and delicate form. It can hardly be seen in the corner of the eye, nor by the perception of the imagination – how it moves on the earth and leaps at its livelihood.  It carries the grain to its hole and deposits it in its place of stay.  It collects during the summer for its winter and during strength for the period of its weakness.  Its livelihood is guaranteed, and it is fed according to fitness.  Allah, the Kind, does not forget it and (Allah the Giver) does not deprive it, even though it may be in dry stone or fixed rocks.

If you have thought about its digestive tracts in it’s high and low parts, the carapace of its belly, and its eyes and its ears in its head you would be amazed at its creation and you would feel difficulty in describing it. Exalted is He who made it stand on its legs and erected it on its pillars (of limbs). No other originator took part with Him in its origination and no one having power assisted Him in its creation. If you tread on the paths of your imagination and reach its extremity it will not lead you anywhere except that the Originator of the ant is the same as He who is the Originator of the date-palm, because everything has (the same) delicacy and detail, and every living being has little difference.”

JJ. You will always be remembered.

“Beshak ankh ansoo bahati hai aur dil ghamgeen hai lekin hum zubaan sey wohi kahein gey, jis sey hamara rabb razi ho…” (Prophet Mohammed s.a.w.)

I hardly ever cry when a celebrity dies. Its been a tough year. Deaths of 3 iconic pakistanis and I have cried for all them.

Junaid Jamshed has been the most difficult to accept till now.  Its taken need so long to accept that he is no more.  That he will not be doing the 12 rabi ul awwal show tomorrow . That he will not be doing live shows during Ramadan . That we will only watch him now on old YouTube videos . That he will not be tweeting his pictures himself ever again.  And that there will never be a new nasheed from him.

I feel miserable and helpless right now but his death has reminded me once again how unpredictable life is . The person who was giving azan became merely a ‘laash ‘  an hour later. It gives me a reason to look at myself and thank Allah for the breaths that I’m taking and the chance he is giving me. . . To improve,  to forgive , to forget and become a better person .

Junaid Jamshed had always been a part of my life in one way or the other. Growing up,  I listened to his songs and did so through out my teen years.  I was still listening to humming to ‘o sanama’ When he decided to leave his lucrative music career and put away his guitar and grew his beard. I wasn’t too sure what he was trying to do and I bought his last album too,for which he made any music videos. Soon, he had released another album but this time he wasn’t singing for a mortal beloved,  his Beloved was now the immortal Allah. It didn’t take me long before I was listening to jalwa e jaana and falling in love with it.  He gave us some of most beautiful naaheeds, the words were simple but were the ones we could all relate to.

People hated him for choosing to be what he became.  I couldn’t understand why his decision was not being respected.  We don’t have to agree with someone to respect him. We can disagree and still respect each other.  However , that is not the case with us. We believe that people don’t change and hence the saying, “900 choohay kha ker billi hajj ko chali” .  So pretty much everyone had a problem with him and it seemed all his statements became controversial somehow.  He said lots of things that I don’t agree with too but of course I never ill wished him. Lots of people in Pakistan wanted to see him dead however .

And now he actually is dead.

Or is he a shaheed .

Since yesterday , my facebook news feed is filled with his old songs and I have been fighting my urge to listen to them.  No, not because I’m claiming to be very pious but because I believe it is up to us, people who claim to be his fans,  to respect his decision . He thought his singing career was a mistake and whether we agree with it or not, we must respect his decision . He didn’t want to be remembered as a singer. He wanted to be remembered as someone who chose to follow a path most people would never dare to. Lets remember him for that.  Lets remember him for the inspiration that he was and still is.

May his soul rest in peace .

 

Naml (review) 11-20

I’m glad that I didn’t start reading naml earlier as the suspense would have killed me.

Zumar and Faris get married and they feel rather awkward stuck together like this although it was an informed decision from both sides. Saadi confronted hashim and oblivious to the hidden pen camera, Hashim confesses to all his crimes. on top of that,  Hashim also informs Saadi how he helped haneen when she was ‘caught’ cheating. once back, Saadi speaks with haneen about the whole issue aggressively but zumar handles the situation intelligently. the whole family gathers on a dinner in honor of the newly weds and while waiting for dinner, they receive a phone call informing them that Saadi has been shot and has been taken to the hospital. shero had shot Saadi under the influence of drugs and Sara (waris’s widow) had witnessed it all but she was too afraid to admit anything. From the hospital, Hashim gets Saadi abducted and shifts him to a safe house in Sri Lanka. The safe house actually belongs to their family friend, Haroon obaid who thinks Saadi can help them as he is a young scientist. On the other hand, from the crime scene, Saadi’s young friend finds a Keychain that he hands over to zumar. the key chain has the pen camera too which haneen and zumar watch together and find out that hashim,and not Faris, is the culprit behind all. in the safe house, Mary takes care of Saadi but dreams of going back to her job at jawahirat’s place. Haroon obaid has a daughter roughly the same age as shero and Saadi who is a hypnotist and finds out that he father has Saadi as a captive. she has a crush on Faris and helps transferring a few things from Faris to Saadi. by the end of 20th episode, Saadi was a free man, zumar has started to like Faris as her husband, Faris has always been in love with zumar and haneen is trying to figure out her aim in life.

Overall, the story is quite captivating and with so much happening in every episode, the reader is hooked. I particularly like how nimra Ahmed has incorporated excerpts from famous writings (the one from Dante’s Inferno was my absolute favorite). also, the way Saadi speaks to Allah while reading the Quran is just awesome. it gives so many important lessons without being preachy. also, Haneen’s gradual transformation is being explained beautifully. however, some things felt completely over the top, like the telephone conversation between Saadi and hashim where hashim asks Saadi if there was a way for redemption. I loved hashim as the bad guy and I want him to be good at being the villain and it would be sad to see such a good character being wasted.

And yes, I hope nimra Ahmed let’s it being turned into a drama serial. hashim has to be Faisal qureshi. hashim has so many shades and Faisal qureshi would be perfect as hashim. as Faris finally had a role to play in the story  we found out a lot about him and that he isn’t sitting idle either. being the introvert, serious person he is, I think of him as someone who would look like hamza Ali Abbasi (with the same husky voice ;))

 

Mushaf (overview / review)

So I read one more novel by nimra Ahmed. and this one only because I was recommended this one after my last review.

My verdict: did not like it much. it was good in parts but those parts were not enough for me.

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT

The story: mehmil’s dad died when she was around 10 years old. she now lives with her mom in the house that her father had built but now other family members like her chacha and Taya have taken over their whole house and their factories. she and her mom are treated like servants and they are forced to stay in a room which was used for storage earlier. so she thinks of herself as Cinderella and tries to lure her taya’s son, fawad. it turns out that fawad is a bad guy and sells her off to one of her clients. the client turns out to be an under cover police officer who wanted proof against fawad. mehmil escapes from humayon’s place and ends up in a masjid/Institute for girls. here she meets farishtey. mehmil really likes farishtey and impressed by her Islamic knowledge decides to learn Arabic herself and read the Quran with tafseer herself.

On the other hand, fawad gets arrested for human trafficking and other crimes and mehmil’s family blames her for all this claiming that she was lying and instead she had an affair with humayon. humayon is farishtey’s cousin and as mehmil now studies in farishtey’s Institute, she ends up meeting humayon and starts liking him.

With turn of events, it is revealed that farishtey is mehmil’s half sister and she also helps her get married to humayon. mehmil continues studying the Quran and soon Quran becomes her best friend who helps her in the darkest most difficult times in her life.

I think the intention of the writer was really good but the story was not well woven. the characters were not etched out properly and a lot of things were not explained well. however, I loved how nimra Ahmed showed that Quran talks to you if you want to get guidance. it was also refreshing to read that all people who know or read the Quran are to be trusted as Quran only guides those who seek for it with a pure heart and not those who are doing it for showing off or for some other ulterior motive. I loved reading all those parts where mehmil’s ‘friendship’ with Quran is shown and I hope the writer could have given a few more pages of that.

Have you read this novel?

 

Jannat key Pattey (overview /review)

It wasn’t until 2012 that my mom gave me a copy of Peer e Kamil that I started taking urdu novels seriously. I have read peer e Kamil twice and both times I got emotionally charged. After that, I read several novels, many of them by umera Ahmed herself but nothing came even close. Peer e Kamil was just extra ordinary and incomparable to anything else that I was reading. I realized that most authors were using Islam to attract the readers and were unable to really incorporate it into the novel. Then someone recommended  nimra Ahmed to me. I read a lot of her work and I figured she was merely a teenager or just barely out of her teens when she wrote them so a lot of them were quite immaturity in terms of story line but I could see that she wrote with brilliance with lots of details.

Then I decided to read Jannat key Pattey. something that I wasn’t too keen on as it too had Islam at its core. I was pleasantly surprised.

MAJOR SPOLIER ALERT

Haya belongs to a rich business family. she is pretty and takes special care of how she looks. her make up and clothes are always on point and she gets lots of attention from everyone every where she goes. while boys can’t get their eyes off her, all the girls are jealous of her. she herself has never taken advantage of her looks in any way and is a ‘good’ girl.

She was betrothed to her cousin (phuppo ka beta), Jehan Sikander (yes another very handsome sikander but a little irritating unlike salar sikander) when she was 1 and he was only 8. Haya has always known about it and is very sincere to her husband but every one else thinks that as the Nikah was done when they were only children, it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. her parents have started looking for a rishta for her and they also have Waleed, haya’s dad’s business partner’s son, in their mind. however, Haya is not thrilled and tells him about his Nikah. Waleed tries to take ‘advantage’ of Haya and a Khwaja sira, Dolly saves her. Haya is petrified but still doesn’t want to befriend Dolly.

One of her videos, taken secretly by a mobile phone, gets leaked and she contacts cyber crime cell for help. Major Ahmed from cyber crime cell contacts her and helps her in removing the video.

Haya has recently received a scholarship from a Turkish University and she is very keen on going as she thinks it will be her only opportunity to meet Jehan, get to know him and also finally decide how their relationship should proceed. At the same time, she starts receiving bouquets of white roses from a secret admirer who seems to know pretty much everything about her.

She travels to Turkey with Khadija/Dj and the two become very good friends. she continues to receive bouquets from her secret admirer in Turkey too. however now he has told her his name, ARP or Abdul Rehman Pasha who is an underworld Don. Haya gets scared for her safety but doesn’t know who to confide in.

She meets Jehan too but is severely disappointed because she felt that Jehan hardly knows about her. she goes back to her dorm thinking that continuing the relationship with Jehan would be useless  however she runs into Jehan the next day on underground train and he helps her in such a way that she decides to give him another chance.

Over the course of time, she gets closer to Islam and starts understanding underlying meanings of various commandments. some horrible incidents bring her close to hijab and as it is her own decision rather than something imposed on her, she does everything she can to protect and honor it in the best possible manner.

Meanwhile, she visits Pakistan and receives a puzzle box from Dolly. on opening the box, she finds out how and why certain things happened in her life for the past few months. she also finds a lot about Dolly, major Ahmed, Abdul Rehman Pasha and also about Jehan through this puzzle box. the truth about Jehan makes her respect him a lot and ultimately they do fall in love too.

Overall, the way the novel has been written is quite good. as the story is mainly told from haya’s perspective, we find more about her personality than any other character and how she views things in general. the portion which tells jehan’s story is a little too verbose and I ended up skipping some portions and not losing anything. I would have liked Jehan to be a little more expressive than he was because that was something that I loved about salar sikander and found it lacking in Jehan Sikander but over all I liked him more than Haya. I quite liked that they both had a life of their own and shadi was not the ultimate aim of their lives. of course I loved how nimra Ahmed tried to explain some of the verses in the Quran and of course visiting Turkey has become one of the things in my bucket list.

So, have you read Jannat key Pattey?  if so, who was your favorite character?