To bring you up to speed, here is the short version of the current #nakscandal ravaging between social media celebrity “imams”:
Nouman Ali Khan (#nak) a world-wide recognised Islamic preacher, known for his unique ability to make the lessons in the Quran come alive for millions of western born, muslim youth and those seeking to make religion relevant in the 21st century, was recently called out in spectacular 21st century fashion on social media for the many abuses of power he had been subjecting people too, namely naive women; with threats of forcibly sacking, suing and silencing anyone who dares to expose his behaviours with women, lewd remarks made contrary to his sermons on religious piety.
Later it had emerged he was given counselling by other respectable people from the Muslim community before it got the attention of social media people’s court, (also known as Facebook). He was given advice to seek help and change his ways in earlier occasions of investigation into his behaviours, but again he threatened to sue anyone who “slanders” against him. Read here: Statement regarding Nouman Ali Khan
Now it has emerged he is suing one of the leading muslim preachers in the Dallas area of Texas, USA #omarsuleiman for leading a malicious campaign of reputational damages against #bayyinah institute, the brain child of #NAK and Nouman Ali Khan himself.
What is disappointing about the whole episode is the joke it has made out of Islam and especially practising Muslims. Not to mention the ridicule Islam faces on a daily basis from external entities the #nakscandal only serves to further disintegrate the flimsy trust that was held within the muslim community for its leaders.
Essentially, what the #nakscandal has produced is the classic example of airing your dirty laundry in public, what’s more apparently, it’s for the sake of Islam NAK is doing what he is. (Although it’s clear, personal vendettas and ulterior motives are underpinning this whole fiasco). This has emerged in an era of social media imams leaving the constraints of traditional norms of doing disagreements or uncovering truths regarding an issue; the idea to come out and have to defend “my work and credibility” by displaying disagreements to the arm-chair career trolls waging virtual wars is in the least an ill advised plan of action. In traditional circles, or era of the elite scholars like Imam Ghazali and Imam Ahmad for example, issues facing the existential threat to Islam itself were the only focus and none of the personal vendettas on display we find here.
It is stupefying when sermons are delivered and the virtues of selflessness and sacrifice are extolled on the pulpit only to learn all this was said and done for monetary gain, a job and as a business venture, completely demolishing the idea of religious teachings being anything but religious. Essentially this whole drama is literally a live reality show of celebrity imams fighting to preserve their name and fame within their groupies, fandom and loyal followers, nothing else. It brings to light the prophetic prediction as time draws near the end, people will have leaders that reflect the condition of people at that time; if petty issues and trivial concerns become the leading point of life among people, then leaders of that community will also fall into the same category and delve into such issues leaving aside true exemplary life lessons which should be followed that of the prophets and companions especially in times of disagreement.