The Muslim community is not immune to accusations of scandal.
No person is perfect, and at times, in private matters, some people may do things that other people do not like. And when that happens, believing Muslim brothers and sisters all ask themselves the same very important question:
How will this impact the image of Islam?
A situation such as this has arisen recently in our community, and since reputations are at stake, it is very important that we keep a balanced perspective, otherwise the matter can become a fitnah for the community. And fitnah is like, practically the worst thing that can happen to the ummah.
To minimize the potential of fitnah, the first and most important thing to remember is that as Muslims, we should not judge anyone for anything, because that is the role of Allah (swt). Muslims are prohibited from judging another Muslim unless they know all the facts and that is impossible unless you are highly trained in the science of fiqh, and even then it is very difficult. So when a person is accused of something then it is incumbent on us that MUST presume his innocence, or else we ourselves will be committing a great sin!
In the case of Br. Nouman Ali Khan, the situation is even more serious. Br. Nouman is a prominent member of the community who has spent his life bringing people to the path of Islam. In his case, it is even more important to INSIST on his innocence. The only condition in which it would be acceptable to not do this would be if there was so much proof of his guilt that to deny it would result in damage to the image of Islam as a whole greater than would result if we were to admit that it is conclusive.
In Islam, a person is always innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, anyone who accuses anyone of anything is making false accusations. This is a grave sin!
So since we are assuming that Br. Nouman Ali Khan is indeed innocent, then it stands to reason that anyone accusing him of something is making a slanderous accusation against an innocent person! This is a grave sin in Islam. To falsely accuse a person, according to the Sunnah, is as bad as if one had committed the sin they are accusing the other of. And it is even worse when this sin of slander is committed against someone as pious as Br. Nouman!
So how should we react as a community to these accusations of slander?
First we have to look at the accusers themselves. Who are these people who are making these accusations? Why don’t they reveal themselves if they are so sure of their “evidence”? And who are they, does anyone even know anything about who they are, or their backgrounds? Are they “liberal” Muslims? If so then we must discount their testimony. Are they women? If so we should remember that women tend to become very emotional and often become jealous especially when a good brother like Br. Nouman is involved. Moreover, in secular societies many women get influenced with the idea that they should be speaking of for certain “rights” that they are told they have that are not sanctioned in the Qur’an. It is important to keep these things in perspective when weighing their words against those of a respected and pious brother.
When a person accuses someone of something, look for their ulterior motives.
Second, we have to look at their potential motives. Could they be seeking fame or attention? Are they being paid? There is no way to be sure if they are not, and frequently, this is a motive for people who attack Islam. And keep in mind, if you doubt this, it is as if you are saying that all the Muslims who think this to be the case are liars, and then you are slandering them in the same way that Br. Nouman’s accusers are slandering him. And that would be a grave sin.
Third, we have to question any evidence that is brought forth. We must be very careful to make sure it was not falsified, doctored, or planted. And since we can never prove that it was not falsified, doctored, or planted, as Muslims, we must assume that it was. And if we are indeed operating on this assumption, then the crimes of the accusers becomes even greater.
Thus, by keeping perspective, it becomes clear to us what has happened here. Some people have decided to accused a good Brother working on behalf of the deen of misconduct, out of their own twisted desires for fame or other perverse motives. They have disregarded the impact of their accusations on the family of the accused and on the ummah. May Allah (swt) guide them to the right path or punish them for their misdeeds. And may He give all of us the strength to shame these wrongful accusers into silence.