Daughters of Al Huda

Published: August 21, 2010

The writer is a director at the South Asia Free Media Association, Lahore [email protected]

We are wrong to look for terrorist tracts in the madrassa. The suicide bomber is not made through syllabi but through isolation from society. When we wish to produce a normal citizen we begin by socialising the child. Anyone withdrawing from society by rejecting its norms is ripe for the plucking by the terrorists. The residential madrassa does that. In Islamabad, a number of female “dars” groups are busy doing that in varying degrees.

Sadaf Ahmad is an assistant professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Lahore. Her book Transforming Faith: The story of Al Huda and Islamic Revivalism among Urban Pakistani Women (Syracuse University Press 2009) studies a women’s “dars” group called Al Huda. Al Huda ladies wear hijab and abaya and are found in the big cities. They are usually well-heeled, using the group-isolating dars activity to reinvent personal identity through ‘discovery’ of Islam. Al Huda was founded in 1994 by Farhat Hashmi and husband Idrees Zubair, both PhDs from Scotland’s famous centre of Islamic learning, the University of Glasgow. Farhat, from Sargodha, where her parents were both members of Islami Jamiat Tulaba, is steeped in the “dars” of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Maulana Maududi’s thought (p 40).

I may sound prejudiced, but the book is not. It is completely without bias and is thoroughly researched. The Farhat-Idrees duo succeeded beyond expectations as their following among the middle and upper middle-class women swelled. Among the half a dozen “dars” groups busy alienating women in Islamabad, Al Huda towered as the most powerful – “symbolised by a large three-storey house on Nazimuddin Road in Islamabad” — spreading to other big cities too (p 41). The objective was to give “authentic knowledge of Quran and Sunna”, cutting off the “cultural accretions” that Maududi – and now the Taliban – reject.

Al Huda ladies began to alarm with their rejection of society. Some orthodox Muslims began to ask questions. The book says: “Farhat Hashmi moved to Canada in 2005, and apparently there are a number of Muslims there who want her to leave” (p 196). The reason for the fear that some Canadian Muslims feel could be Al Huda’s rejection as ‘bidaa’ — of photography, all festivals, birthday celebrations, including the birthday of the Prophet (pbuh), and of the widespread practice of ‘chehlum’ after death (p 107). The book says: “Farhat Hashmi’s denouncement of various cultural practices and disapproval of westerners and Indians helps women redefine their own identity as Muslims” (p 146). The burden of men’s piety is on women who must not reveal themselves lest men be helplessly sexually aroused. And the husband cannot rape because he must not be refused “or the angels will curse her till morning” (p 170). The author found Al Huda graduates to be “very intolerant and judgmental toward people who were different from them” (p 193).

The Canadians are probably worried because Farhat thinks Osama bin Laden is an Islamic warrior. The author opines: “They react strongly to her statements, such as her claim that the 80,000 Pakistanis who died in the 2005 earthquake did so because they were involved in immoral activities and had left the path of Islam, and fear that her brand of extremist Islam will further marginalise their Muslim communities within the country” (p 196).

In December 2009, army officers and their children were massacred by terrorists while praying at the Parade Lane mosque in Rawalpindi. The ISI finally caught up with the man who had organised the attack – “a student of the International Islamic University”, whose father was a grade 19 officer in Islamabad with religious party connections, “while the mother held Quranic dars for women in Islamabad” (Herald, June 2010).

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2010.

Reader Comments (99)

  • Sameea
    Aug 22, 2010 - 12:19AM

    I am a former student and strong critic of Al Huda. I have my beef with their approach to and philosophy of teaching, and understand that most people find their views extreme or too antiquated in for 21st century life, but to go as far as to suggest these women are militant in any way is wrong.

    I can personally attest to the fact that women at Al Huda are soft spoken, kind women who always seemed to be, despite my differences with them, very sincere to their cause of dedicating their lives to imparting religious education to women for their betterment. It should be noted that the bulk of this education focused on individual betterment; exercising self discipline, dealing with conflict [peacefully might I add was always the recommendation] and occasionally moved to teaching issues on a larger level like raising families and maintaining societal order, but the focus remained largely on one’s own self. It wouldn’t be an Islamic Institute if it didn’t ask its student to preach, and revel in happiness at a conversion, but more often than not ‘preaching’ meant teaching by action and a ‘don’t push it’ approach was always emphasized. That some women are a little pushier in nature than others is really not Al Huda’s fault; that the institution allows freedoms within bounds that many may view as very restrictive does NOT mean they encourage anti social behavior.

    Many of their views are disagreeable to those who think religion is not the be all end all to life, who believe men shouldn’t be the executive authority in the household, who disagree with their proclamation of commonplace things and activities as ‘bidaa’, who think blaming the occurrence of natural disasters on society’s misdeeds is illogical, and such people are perfectly within their rights to feel that way. What isn’t fair, however, is to throw responsibility on this place for an act of terrorism that, and I can personally vouch for this, Al Huda would condemn. Recommend

  • Hassan Siddique
    Aug 22, 2010 - 12:38AM

    If you believe on freedom of expression, then why criticizing the person who is being followed by thousands of women in Pakistan. Today journalists and scholars like Khalid Ahmed exhibit bias against Islam without fear of God.
    they would never like to use their pen for Dr Aafia Siddiqui, Palestinians westerners who celebrate burn the Quran day. Recommend

  • Rehan
    Aug 22, 2010 - 2:45AM

    You don’t sound prejudiced..you are.Under the garb of unveiling AlHuda(I don’t fancy it too much either),you are airing your own misconstrued concepts.Just as a sect likes celebrating Milads,festivals,accepts photography,Chehlum etc,another sect doesn’t.Be tolerant.Let both believe in what they want to.Why do you want to fan SECTARIANISM with a LIBERAL FAN?The Clergy has already made a very good mess of our religion..please don’t add HIGH GRADE fuel.Recommend

  • Benish
    Aug 22, 2010 - 6:23AM

    Khaled Sahab ! how wonderful it would have been ..if u would have read the Holy Quran before reading Sadaf Ahmad and before writing this piece !!…if u had…u would have understood that Allah orders His people through the Prophet SAW to have one group (grohh) amongst you who would be teaching the Quran and Sunnah…so that we dont become ZALIMEEN !!!…and Al-Huda is doing exactly that…

    How about i give you a fine suggestion…go to Al-huda’s website http://www.alhudapk.com or go to dr. hashmi’s website ( http://www.farhathashmi.com) and download all the lectures ( which are in hunderds)…listen to all of them and find me one piece or one line that invokes you on becoming a terrorist…or tells you how great the suicide bombers are !! Just one lecture Khaled Sahab…I insist !!

    The teachings at Al-huda are purely based on the teachings of Quran and Sunnah…and the reason ( u think) the women isolate themselves from the society is because they have the magnificent book of Allah in their hands…from which Alhamduillah you can never stop learning and never stop discovering….it is the love of Allah and His Prophet SAW that makes them read and listen to better things….Wouldnt we want our women to do that instead of talking on the phone for hours discussing trash….watching STAR plus dramas seeing trash…and spending all the important time in our lives in bazaars which is itself a trash ! and a place that Allah dislikes the most !!!

    Khaled Sahab ! If I call myself a muslim…i would follow what my Prophet SAW did …please open an authentic book of Ahadith, if you may, and find me if there is any Sunnah practise of photography, all festivals, birthday celebrations, including the birthday of the Prophet SAW….I would love to know that …because if a daleel exists…i would start spending more time and money on them ….!!!

    Perhaps this is just the right time for all of us to do Tauba…to astaghfaar often….I would pray to Allah to make you feel sorry for writing this article…..! May Allah bless you with hadayat and open your eyes and ears to see and think the way it should be !!! Ameen !!!Recommend

  • Saira Burney
    Aug 22, 2010 - 2:36PM

    I wish you people would do your homework properly before writing misleading pieces like these.I am a former student of Al-huda as are a number of my friends and let me assure you,we are far from isolated from society.Some of us are practising doctors,some engineers,lawyers and so on.And if it’s one thing that we all agree on is that our lives only took a turn for the better after receiving religious education from the above instituition.
    You seriously need to do your research properly if you’re going to go around accusing religious instituions of inciting terrorism when they are doing just the opposite,otherwise stop writing all together.Recommend

  • Eeman
    Aug 22, 2010 - 3:38PM

    My mother is a victim of al-Huda. She was a nice and very tolerant human before, unfortunately, I insisted her to join this organization. Recommend

  • dumbfounded by the ridiculousness
    Aug 22, 2010 - 4:05PM

    Classic example of using just the right phrases and words to completely destroy the point of the book.You have basically, for all intents and purposes, denounced Al Huda as a terrorist group or for ‘breeding’ terrorism.
    ““dars” groups busy alienating women” . Wow. one simple word. alienate; and you vilify even the notion of being religious.
    “The author found Al Huda graduates to be “very intolerant and judgmental toward people”- since you chose to quote this, I’m going to infer that you agree or want to propel this point of view. Seems mighty intolerant to me .Recommend

  • dumbfounded by the ridiculousness
    Aug 22, 2010 - 4:09PM

    With all thats happening in the world one would think that we, at least the ‘educated’ elite would make an attempt at learning from our mistakes. Fight extremism with intolerance is what you imply here (you and not the book)while classically ignoring that intolerance begets extremism.
    Sigh.Recommend

  • hafeez
    Aug 22, 2010 - 4:51PM

    you are absolutely right. this organization is very popular among urban middle class. and the consequences are bigotry and intolerance and leading our society to abyss. Recommend

  • Eeman
    Aug 22, 2010 - 4:53PM

    al-Huda’s teaching lies in giving religious dimension to every tinny-winny thing. Makes you a complete intellectually-handicapped individual. Recommend

  • Usman Qazi
    Aug 22, 2010 - 4:57PM

    I think that alienation through instilling hatred for what one does not agree with, is the first step towards creating a terrorist. To use an analogy from a comment above, the puritan groups such as Al Huda merely spread the high grade fuel around and it is only a matter of time before someone throws a live match stick to turn it into an inferno. The commentators above who claim to have read the Holy Quran, would not have missed the proclamations by Allah (SWT) that no soul would be punished for the sins of the others. Would Farhat Hashmi and her fans make an effort to justify the “sin leads to earthquake” theory, keeping in mind that 30,000+ of the casualties of 2005 earthquakes were children below the age of 10?Recommend

  • Yasan
    Aug 22, 2010 - 5:14PM

    Isolation leads to domestic fighting which speeds up and reaches the street and in turn leads to social prejudice. This is not what I am saying but many psychologist across the planet. Nowadays, anyone with a degree are trying to bend Islam to defend their point of view. If you study Hadith and Quran Properly than you will realize that the concept of Hijab was nothing but to show empathy toward one another, this was done by simply lowering your gazed and not look at each other as if seeing some freak of nature. And it was followed by men and women both. Yes BOTH. These hypocrites are simply reading the surface layer without understanding the true motif being it.Recommend

  • Muzammil Siddiqui
    Aug 22, 2010 - 6:10PM

    Al Huda is a business. Our Matric educated begums needed an outlet and got it. Had our so called elite studied a little more, they would not need such businesswomen to “guide” them. Islam isn’t about someone coming between you and Allah. But try telling that to a Al Huda activist. I am worried how much damage these organizations do in the west where their activities are not investigated. Recommend

  • Maaz A. Khan
    Aug 22, 2010 - 6:40PM

    Biased and senseless piece of journalism. Though I am not a big fan of Al-huda myself; but this article showed you are more intolerant than them.Recommend

  • Umar Abdullah
    Aug 22, 2010 - 6:46PM

    Organizations like Al Huda promote extremism. They are sympathetic to Al Qaeda types. They promote this intolerant brand of Islam – their activities, funding and teachings need to be investigated.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahmad Madani
    Aug 22, 2010 - 7:40PM

    This is SO FUNNY. Just because Khaled Ahmed, a well read and well respected Pakistani, questions Farhat Hashmi and her band of hijabis, suddenly his religion, character and even his intelligence is questioned. The Al Huda Brigade is on the offensive!Recommend

  • Zeb Azkar
    Aug 22, 2010 - 7:42PM

    Didn’t Farhat Hashmi LIE in her Canadian immigration application? So much for truth and righteousness. Her application had to be re-filed. Don’t believe me. Just check the immigration records.Recommend

  • Mustafa Ali
    Aug 22, 2010 - 7:44PM

    Apart from “educating” begums on how to read the Holy Quran, what social work has Al Huda done? No schools for poor, no hospitals, no relief work. Where to the millions go? Faysal Bank officials say that the Farhat Hashmi business receives millions every day from all parts of the world. No tax is paid. Where is the money going?Recommend

  • Aug 22, 2010 - 8:28PM

    People like Farhat are SOFT TALIBANs who want to penetrate in an ACCEPTABLE way in society yet they inject slow poison by marketing KSA ideology in the name of making people closer to GOD. Recommend

  • rehan
    Aug 22, 2010 - 9:45PM

    She charges $60 a month per student to serve Islam! So its not just about Deen, its also about Dunya, and $60 means a very comfortable Dunya.Recommend

  • Sangeen Khan
    Aug 22, 2010 - 10:20PM

    Khalid Sb is damn right in writing about and endorsing Dr Safdar views on Al-Huda. I’ve very keenly observed results of this ‘dars’ project in posh town of Hayatabad Peshawar. An interesting phenomenon we witness particularly in pakistan: not the illiteracy but literacy which feeds the growing extremism in pakistani society and reason is more than obvious.Using education as a means of indoctrination and propaganda for political ends. This only enables the squad to excel in prostituting everything, be it religion, history etc to push their agendas. Comparatively ignorance and illiteracy appear as blessing for despite its obvious disadvantages this never enables one to become a lethal tool for annihilation of all human values and a mad killer of human beings. And this is not automatic. This happens because pakistani state institutions and their collaborators have got a strong penchant for prostituting anything and everything.Recommend

  • Samreen
    Aug 22, 2010 - 11:26PM

    Khaled Ahamed’s article tells everything about Al-Huda in a very brief manner. now to all the former students of Al-Hude: I am also a former student of Al-Huda and have hosted Farhat Hashmi several times. She has the highest pride. Not humble at all. She gets offended if you walk towards the door with your back towards her. I don’t know which Islam she is following and preaching because last time I checked humbleness was described as one of the biggest traits of momineens. Also, my dear Al-huda fellows, please, I beg you, read Quran and Islamic history, and hadith literature yourself. Do research yourself. Read other scholars’ work. Al-Huda is preaching a very, very wrong interpretation of Quran and I can tell you that with confidence. as I’ve myself carried extensive research after spending 1-1/2 year at Al-Huda. Al-Huda teaches intolerance. Please, all muslims, God gave us the best religion and it’s high-time you start learning the real religion not extremists’ like AL-Huda’s interpretation of the religion. Wake up please. Institutions like AL-Huda have made us intolerant bigots. Read your Quran, understand its meaning, read tafseer of other scholars. Read Islamic history. Al- Huda and similar insitutions are teaching you the worst kind of religion by sweetening it up. Ask them about sucide attacks, ask Farhat Hashmi about Taliban and she will break down immediately. She and the likes of her have so many apologies to prove the righteousness of the likes of Taliban. So, please help urself and save urself from their ‘taleem’. May God bless us.Recommend

  • Saira
    Aug 22, 2010 - 11:54PM

    Like some of those who have already commented, I am NO fan of Dr. Farhat Hashmi. But this article is extremely prejudiced and seems to stem out of the author’s preconceived notions about Islam, Dawa’a and Allah knows what else, rather than objectivity.

    Even before mentioning Al-Huda, the ‘well respected and well read Pakistani’, Mr. Ahmed, stated:

    ‘Anyone withdrawing from society by rejecting its norms is ripe for the plucking by the terrorists. The residential madrassa does that. In Islamabad, a number of female “dars” groups are busy doing that in varying degrees.’

    I would just like to know this: On what basis has he made such a generalised statement?

    Why would anyone get isolated from the society if they read and understand the Holy Quran and Sunnah? I am seriously confused. We have the Holy Book as a guide to spend our lives. We need to study it – the whole of it. Any one who wants to do that is conveniently labeled as Taliban or pro Taliban or ‘soft Taliban’ for that matter!

    People are not forced into the dars (I mean all kinds – not just Al Huda). In fact, people actually socialise at these lessons!

    @ Muhammad Ahmed Madani: ‘Band of Hijabis’ – that’s real MATURE and SO-NOT offensive. Recommend

  • saher
    Aug 23, 2010 - 12:04AM

    the article was a review.. so we need to read the report first before commenting on it. when u write a review on a history book.. you dont go and read the whole history first.
    Secondly i do agree.. my contact with dars ppl havent been so good.. they usually are busy excluding ppl from islam… :SRecommend

  • Aug 23, 2010 - 12:35AM

    Institutions like Al-Huda should definitely be banned. I remember those pretentious women visiting my school – they think they know all about religion and need to guide [rob] misguided [wealthy] women. I’ve seen people become so intolerant and narrow-minded after taking their classes. Their focus seems to be on making their own life and that of others unbearable… as if religious obligations are not actually a good, private part of [spiritual] life but rather meant as punishments from God. Huda means “Right Guidance”! How ironic!Recommend

  • Muzammil Siddiqui
    Aug 23, 2010 - 1:29AM

    Great. If we question Al Huda, we are anti-Islam. How convenient. Recommend

  • JA
    Aug 23, 2010 - 1:53AM

    My observation of Al-Huda gatherings is that majority of the attendees are bored begums who attend these meetings as a pastime, orare looking for rishtas for their daughters. In the process they get brainwashed into this voodoo beliefs that Al-Huda preaches.Recommend

  • Ridiculous!
    Aug 23, 2010 - 1:59AM

    I’m not a fan of Al-huda but this article is VERY poorly written, I wonder how such articles are passed for publishing. I know many people from Al-huda who are very polite and don’t spread any hatred or any such rubbish accusations the author has made. But yes I personally know all these hashmi sisters and truely some of them are really very proud. But the author is absolutely WRONG in saying Al-huda promotes isolation from society, these hashmi sisters are famous isb socialites and even in their lectures they usually encourage social interactions and gatherings to create bonds of love and peace among us.
    But still thats another fact I never liked al-huda!Recommend

  • Uzma
    Aug 23, 2010 - 2:17AM

    I’m not a student of Alhuda. These comments about Alhuda are not new for me and I always had this curiosity to find out why do people say that Alhuda teaches intolerence and etc etc. So that motivated me to join the summer course some 8 years ago and since then i’ve downloaded and listened to 100′s of lecture by Dr. Farhat Hashmi and I yet have to find out a single lecture that teaches intolerance or terrorism. Rather I’ve found her views much similar to those of many famous scholars like Dr. Israr Ahmed, Dr. Ghazi, Dr. Zakir Naik etc. and this philosophy of “sins behind earthquake” is a total misinterpretation, rather ridiculous presentation of Dr. Hashmi’s view, because I have attended live lectures by Alhuda teachers after 2005′s earthquake. However, what surprises me THE MOST is that neither the author nor any of his admirers have given any concrete reference to any of Dr. Hashmi’s lectures, despite the fact that the entire course work, including 1 year diplomas, are available online and are just a click away!!… I wish they had…

    I guess all these opponents of Alhuda themselves need to do something, which they are suggesting to others, and that is “RESEARCH”. Research about why this viel-covered woman is becoming more and more popular among the educated elite of Pakistan. The reason being, firstly she always always talks with logic that appeals the intellect of today’s modern man, who can no longer be a blind follower and, secondly, she always gives authentic references from Quran-e-Pak and Ahadith.

    And who says Alhuda is not doing any social work and who says there are no school for poors!! do research my dear.. research!!!

    What I feel is, that the real problem behind some of the groups stongly opposing her is not that she teaches intolerance or terrorism or etc etc, rather its her uniqueness, in the sense, that her targetted audiance is not the traditional lower or middle class people rather its the elite of Pakistan, be it the educational elite, the economical elite or etc etc. And once the elite embrasses islam TO ITS TRUE SENSE, it will be way to easy to bring change in the entire society. So, the people who foolishly fear Islam, who are opponents of Hijab and etc, you’ll find them among the strongest opponents of Alhuda and dr. Hashmi and making these baseless allegations. These people are not much feared by our traditional mullahs because they know that mullahs influence a very limitted people, who are even deprived of their basic rights. It has also become a “Fashion” after 9/11, to associate every religious person with terrorism. But as they say people have their own plans, but then Allah SWT has His own plans. Just like after 9/11 islam was labelled as the religion of terrorist but it turned out to be the fastest growing religion, simillarly, i guess these articles will definitely motivate any un-biased person to appretiate Dr. Hashmi’s mission to spread islam more than ever before, i.e; “Quran for All, in Every hand, in Every Heart”. Wallaho Aalam.
    Last but not the least, I also disagree with alhuda people in some cases, but let me say this loud and clear that they are very soft spoken, very cooperative and they do not enforce things on others. They themselves will be fully covered, however teenager girls wearing jeans and putting on full make-up will be comfortably attending thier “dars”, how many other religious scholars in this country will tolerate “girls wearing jeans & T-shirts” in their dars???

    By the way, I’m also an Assistant Professor and a research scholar in a leading IT university of this country… in case that really matters.Recommend

  • Schazad
    Aug 23, 2010 - 6:03AM

    Targeting and trapping wealthy stupid women who has nothing else to do under an umbrella to teach them religion which is a very touchy subject for Pakistanis is a darn good business model. I solute this lady to come up with such idea. I know a very wealthy lady who has been trapped by her and they lady was just normal before and now she has turned into this thing who always think that she will be dead soon. The fear that she has is incredible. Her kids and her husband is against her this attitude as well. She has turned into very judgmental about every thing and very short tempered.Recommend

  • Noman
    Aug 23, 2010 - 7:01AM

    @ Benish and others.

    What you say, though with sincere intentions, is only your OPINION that THIS particular organization with THIS particular school of thought is THE right set of people to listen to. And I am amused to read of your “proof” that photography is unacceptable because there is no mention of it in Ahadis. What car do you drive, by the way ?Recommend

  • ahmed
    Aug 23, 2010 - 7:50AM

    Excellent Article!!!

    Al Huda is definitely a breeding ground for future terrorist. Their philosophy is steeped in bigotry.

    The way Al Huda tries to isolate its members and the complete brain washing and the hate that is instilled for anything foriegn is scary.

    Al Huda is basically trying to enslave women by using the most demented and culturally biased form of Islam. Like all religions (superstitions) Al Huda’s version of Islam puts the entire burden of guilt on women.

    @for the rest
    Khalid sahib is a secular writer and really has little belief in superstitious religious stuff so please stop teaching him about islam. There are 4200 religions on this world, some believe in 1 god, some believe in many gods, some believe that the cow is god, others believe in ancestor spirits, or nirvana. Pluralism is the need of the hour where we either accept these differences of religious thought and start opening our minds to other belief systems. Tolerence is the needs of the hour and we must stop giving importance to religious mumbo jumbo.Recommend

  • Salman
    Aug 23, 2010 - 9:42AM

    “We are wrong to look for terrorist tracts in the madrassa. The suicide bomber is not made through syllabi but through isolation from society.”

    The article sums up in first 3 lines and i fully endorse it Recommend

  • Ahmed Z. Khan
    Aug 23, 2010 - 11:35AM

    the author should be ashamed of himself and Tribune should be scrutinized for allowing this..Although I myself am a critic of Al-Huda but only on the basis of ideology!Recommend

  • Qasim Saeed
    Aug 23, 2010 - 11:50AM

    “The author found Al Huda graduates to be “very intolerant and judgmental toward people who were different from them” (p 193).”

    Mr. Khaled, please ask yourself the question how tolerant and judgemental you are towards the supporters and members of Al Huda.Recommend

  • Mansoor Khalid
    Aug 23, 2010 - 12:53PM

    This is the ways of indoctrination that have been used to rule the free will of the people of this country. We must avoid falling a prey in the hands of people who will manipulate us in the name of faith or God.Recommend

  • Bairam Hassan
    Aug 23, 2010 - 1:35PM

    Excellent article. Well writtenRecommend

  • Aamar
    Aug 23, 2010 - 1:49PM

    @Benish: Khalid Ahmed has read the Quran and knows what he is talking about.
    I agree with his point of view and feel that the Al-Huda movement is as dangerous to our society as the the Taliban movement. I know of quite a few people who have joined this movement, most if not all were disturbed individuals with serious issues in their personal lives. Many others have joined as it is “fashionable” to do so. I have taken time out to listen to her lectures available on audio cassettes; there is nothing new there, class 5 Islamiat.
    The lady is bad news and is part of the global movement to radicalize Islam.Recommend

  • Kanwal
    Aug 23, 2010 - 2:24PM

    Seeing is believing! I have closely seen Dr. Farhat Hashmi and her organization. I had been very sceptic about such religious organizations in past, but being in Al-Huda, my perception changed. I find whole system very enlightened and just what we need to survive in current circumstances as Muslims. Dr. Hashmi is a very dynamic lady, helping to improve society. Al-Huda is working on so many welfare projects that anyone who interacts with their welfare dept. will be amazed. Most of people who object to the system, are used to stereotyping all ‘Islamic’ setups, without seeing the ground reality. So, pl pl pl, let some healthy Islamic systems flourish! Anyone of you can visit http://www.farhathashmi.com and catch up on all updates….its all very transparent!Recommend

  • Taimu
    Aug 23, 2010 - 2:34PM

    Great article! As a Canadian I want farhat types deported from my country as they preach the wrong type of Islam. In doubt is freedom! Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Aug 23, 2010 - 2:40PM

    Just by way of giving an example and in no way to compare this Farhat lady to any prophet, but have you considered that all prophets and reformers have ‘alienated’ people from their cultural practices? Didn’t the Holy Prophet (pbuh) teach his followers not to participate in the futile cultural practices of Arab at the time – slavery, mistreatment of women, murdering daughters and you name it. This is quite a silly article in all honesty. I know nothing of Al Huda nor of this Dr. Farhat but I disagree with your general stance on the issue. and the whole alienation argument just takes the cake.

    There are cultural practices in Pakistan and many other Muslim societies that are by no way ‘Islamic’ – chelum being one of them. To urge society to give up its useless and futile customs and traditions which are done in the name of a certain ideology, be it religion or otherwise, is nothing dangerous and terrorist-like. The fine line lies in tolerance. Live and let live. Pakistan may claim to be an Islamic state but I have never witnessed such a Godless society. There’s a sad veneer of religious hoopla that remains but there is very little true ‘Islam’ left in the people of Pakistan. The recent Sialkot murders, the May attacks on Ahmadi mosques, and countless others are only a hallmark of our God fearing selves – we will go to all the chelums we want, but none of that will make us better Muslims until we begin to show some humanity and tolerance. Recommend

  • Aug 23, 2010 - 3:57PM

    I am not an extremist nor a woman beleiving in too much fanaticism….Only two things to quote….in 2001, a lady well-educated and very islamic came to meet Gen X as a visitor….(My dad was serving as coordintaing officer to gen X)…..She came and she put so many demands, before him…..”give a free house, make me a religious affairs minister, give free education to my kids in US….I ll be charging this much money..9demanded in lacs)…make me an advisor,,,, and many more…..Wont be taking the name….who she was….Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Aug 23, 2010 - 3:59PM

    I have seen ladies, from within family, join Al-Huda. They completely, in the most literal sense of the word, lose it. Old ladies specially, find an all new passion for their own brand of Islam, which is extreme, of-course. From my experience, they become arrogant and anti-social. All this in the name of God.Recommend

  • Gulkhaiz
    Aug 23, 2010 - 4:01PM

    The article by Khalid and subsequent discussion on AlHuda is quite interesting and revealing. We all know that it is basically a social group for upper/ middle class and rich ladies, who have lot of domestic help and not much to do at home. So instead of sitting at home they come together and listen to “AlHuda”.A good way to spend time.Belive me you hardly see a poor woman in this holy crowd. Well if AlHuda is really interested in reformation of society in the light of Islam Why dont these women educate the poor in slums of Lahore Islamabad etc?I am not much of a scholar but I know that if an individual cannot read how can he understand the message of Allah.Recommend

  • Nnabzzz
    Aug 23, 2010 - 4:01PM

    What a shame we sit and criticize so fearlessly the ones who are in fact a Blessing. Dr Hashmi is one of the most humble and soft spoken person i have ever come across. Her teachings only connect us to Allah. Please fear Allah before commenting negatively about not just Dr Farhat Hashmi but any Islamic Scholar for that matter. If only we understand sanctity of Scholars and on top its such a sacred month. May Allah save us from all such negative talk and we channelize our energies towards work of Khair and lets come up with more such organizations like Al-Huda who are working selflessly for society and for no other reason than to please Allah . Recommend

  • Eeman
    Aug 23, 2010 - 4:45PM

    The onus of Prophet’s teaching was to keep people away from practices that bred victims. Moreover, his teachings mainly focused in taking people out from the depth of ignorance.

    He nowhere told people to alienate themselves from lawful cultural practices and participation in peaceful functions based on their cultural norms having no breach of religious values whatsoever. Recommend

  • anam
    Aug 23, 2010 - 4:58PM

    its so funny that the very logical flaws in this articles are its main arguments. not to mention that its basic contention is nothing but presumptive bias. well, a self-critical attitude is but conspicuously absent from most “cultural commentators” in our media especially of the so-called liberal ilk. Recommend

  • Aug 23, 2010 - 7:31PM

    It sounds a bit irrelevant but linked with this place. one of my cousins…wanted that mom of a certain boy, wore Hijab and Abaya….her grandmother asked her to join Al huda, so that she asks for her proposal…..For 6 months, the girl joined Huda and kept wearing hijab and abaya,,,The mother of that boy didnt give any lift….the cousin left abaya and Hijab, now wears jeans and short sleeved shirts….LOLRecommend

  • Shireen Husain
    Aug 23, 2010 - 10:10PM

    I am a “daughter of Al-Huda” and it was for me, very disturbing to read Mr. Khaled Ahmed’s article. It is not only disturbing but also amazing to realize how little people (who are so worldly-wise as to hold lofty positions as Director of this and Director of that) know about what pleases or displeases their Creator. I have read many articles maligning Dr. Farhat Hashmi and although each one invokes in me a desire to retaliate in her defence, I always tell myself that the best response is the ever growing number of “daughters of Al-Huda.” However I must say here that Dr. Farhat has only one Agenda and that is to “give authentic knowledge of Quran and Sunna” to as many women as possible. In one comment above (made by Gulkhaiz)**We all know that it is basically a social group for upper/ middle class and rich ladies, who have lot of domestic help and not much to do at home. So instead of sitting at home they come together and listen to “AlHuda”.A good way to spend time.Belive me you hardly see a poor woman in this holy crowd** I think people should visit Al-Huda’s website to realize how much welfare work they are doing. Al-Huda has lifted and changed the lives of people in the remotest areas of Pakistan. Khaled says about Sadaf’s book **”I may sound** **prejudiced but the book is not.”** My father always thought Khaled was one of his prize students, therefore I would think he would know the meaning of prejudiced.Sadaf says about Dr. Farhat Hasmi “that her brand of extremist Islam” – Dr. Farhat does not teach “her version” of the Quran – Khaled Ahmad also says Sadaf Ahmad’s book is “thoroughly researched” – she seems to have done more research on the personality of Dr. Farhat Hashmi than on the Quran. If she had researched the Quran, she would realize that what Dr. Farhat is imparting is “authentic knowledge of Quran and Sunnah” Both Khaled and Sadaf appear to me to be “armchair experts”.

    As far as the claim that “They are usually well heeled, using the group isolating dars activity to reinvent personal identity through “discovery” of Islam” Yes Islam does divide people into two groups – one who realizes what is required of him/her by the Creator and lives a life according to that. The other group lead their lives according to their own wishes. How can they ever be the same. On the Day of Judgement too, Allah will place them in separate groups. A Muslim is not free to lead his/her life as he/she wishes. They are bound by the Laws of Allah, conveyed to us in the Quran. The Quran is not an ordinary Book – it contains the words of Allah Himself. I am proud to have “reinvented my personal identity” according to the wishes of my Creator.

    One of the people who wrote a comment was very right in saying that Islam does isolate people because it is Furqan – the Criteria for right and wrong. In the early days of Islam, father gave up son, son gave up father, wives and husbands separated on the basis of faith. And what emerged was a beautiful and unique society, bound by Allah’s Laws and always fearful of Allah’s displeasure.

    People who mislead other people through such writings against religious personalities and the Word of Allah, will be accountable not only for their own misconceptions, but also for all the people they misled.May Allah have mercy on them all and give them Hidayat.Recommend

  • Aug 23, 2010 - 10:20PM

    Ok now I may not like Al-Huda so much but that article was crap. I do all those things that you say allienate one from society. Yes, I agree with Al-Huda when they say such is bidaa because that is not only their view but the view of other scholars as well. And no way can someone take one look at me and say im a prime target for terrorists. If someone even so much as suggested revenge against the kaafirs I would punch him in the face for being an idiot as all terrorists are.
    And another thing! That page 170 thing you mentioned is a hadith and that hadith does not mean a woman cannot decline her husband if she has a valid reason. Recommend

  • M. Abid
    Aug 23, 2010 - 10:25PM

    Wife of the alleged killer of Daniel Pearl. Mr. Umar Saeed Sheikh is from the Farhat Hashmi’s circle, Al-Huda! Naturally, Khalid Ahmad’s article would offend the supporters of Farhat Hashmi, so no one is surprised if they are off-loading their filth on this thread! Interesting this is that why Farhat Hashmi has chosen to target the urban-based middle-class intelligentsia, already alienated from the reality, and why doesn’t she go in the lower income groups of the rural areas!Recommend

  • hakeem
    Aug 23, 2010 - 11:08PM

    Who says real war on terror is being fought in Afghan or even on border area of pakistan infact the real war is being fought in litrary circles of pakistan between extremist and moderen pakistanis. I side with moderates though.

    i have first hand knowledge that Jamat-i-Islami(& subsidiary jamiat tulba) is one of the prominent promoters of militancy and intolrance in pakistan. Alienation of Modudi school of thought, that was imported from egypt, is direly needed. Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Aug 24, 2010 - 1:11AM

    I am not a fan of Alhuda..but this article is way too biased even for my liking. I now people who have studied form Alhuda. they are not cut off from society nor are they militant/extremist in any way, in fact i almost rolled over my chair laughing when I read such comments. They follow a brand of islam that is preached by many conservative people. But surely that doesn’t mean they are militant etc.
    This article is written in such poor taste that I cannot believe that I who am such a critic of Al-Huda am actually writing in DEFENSE of the organization. It just goes to show you how personal biases can destroy an article.Recommend

  • Sarwat
    Aug 24, 2010 - 3:59AM

    This article presents views from only one side. It takes a very biased approach rather than based on research to make a point. I wish the author had digged a little deeper than just read one book. The fact finding approach would have been appreciated. As he points at Al-Huda to be on a mission of spreading hate, he isn’t much different.
    May Allah guide us all towards to the true path (whatever it is) ameen Recommend

  • Adeel Saya
    Aug 24, 2010 - 4:48AM

    Hahaha, loved the person who said that Farhad Hashmi discourages photography because there is no evidence of it in the Prophets time. Exactly the load of crap you learn at these ‘institutes’. The inability to think logically is appalling.

    Also, if she’s incharge of islamizing all the women of Pakistan, who is responsible for us men?

    Oh god no, please no!Recommend

  • Yusaf Khan
    Aug 24, 2010 - 5:19AM

    Farhat Hashmi…a weapon of mass destruction! Thank God she has been exported to Canada. Now lets try to export the IJT to Greenland.Recommend

  • Sarah Ricardo
    Aug 24, 2010 - 6:14AM

    @ Khaled Ahmed – How is the book thoroughly researched when it claims that University of Glasgow is the center of Islamic learning? I am sorry, when was the last time you saw the map? Glasgow is in the heart of the English-Speaking Christian world. Another fallacy in Sadaf Ahmad’s books is that she claims that Dr. Farhat and her husband are “steeped in Jamaat-e-Islami and Maulana Maududi’s thought”. How is that possible when their websites (www.farhathashmi.com and http://www.alhudapk.com) claim that the couple do not associate themselves to any “jamaat” or sect? Their only aspiration is to teach Qur’an, the Book of God and the Prophetic traditions of Muhammad (peace be upon him).
    And since when are religious differences a crime? Former President Bill Clinton is a Southern Baptist Christian and Bush is an Evangelical Christian while the majority of Americans are Protestant or Catholic Christians. Yet I cannot recall a single newspaper in which such differences ever made the headlines. Anyway, doesn’t the Qur’an say just follow God’s Words and you will be saved? “And when guidance comes to you form Me, whoever folliws My guidance – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” [2:38] You know I have seen that in some Muslims, they are so confident in their Creator that come what may, they are always patient and thankful. I like this. A person should be composed, neither too hyper or too depressed about every small and big thing in life. I think only faith can give one such strength and calmness. Recommend

  • Sarah Ricardo
    Aug 24, 2010 - 6:44AM

    @ Khaled Ahmed – Do you know what is really swelling in Islamabad? Drug addiction! 1 out of every 10 students in Islamabad are addicts, 400,000 addicts in the country altogether. During the last six months, the bodies of almost 168 unidentified drug addicts have been recovered from various parts of the city. In all these areas, every death has occurred because of drug abuse, mortuary officials claim.
    Read more: Many Drug Addicts in Islamabad’s Walled City http://www.medindia.net/news/Many-Drug-Addicts-in-Islamabads-Walled-City-71276-1.htm#ixzz0xTyK8cPt
    And – http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?148125

    I think at least three-storey Al Huda building in Islamabad will be a drug-free area. There will be no soliciting of harmful substances there. If anything, I think Al Huda women are against drugs and alcoholism – which is exactly what a peaceful society needs. The Qur’an says, “do not throw yourselves with your own hands into destruction. And do good; indeed Allah loves the doers of good.” [2:195] About a alcohol, the Qur’an says, “o you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, sacrificing on stone alters to other than Allah, and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist.” [5:90-91] I do not know of any religion that prohibits substance abuse in such words. I think it is wonderful that Islam protects the intellect and the society by eliminating drugs and alcohol. If the Al Huda women are teaching then props to them :) :) Recommend

  • maria
    Aug 24, 2010 - 10:48AM

    So I wonder what would Ms. F Hashmi say if heaven forbid some disaster was to befall one of her loved ones – would she be then being punished for her sins? Or even better, our Holy Prophet pbuh lost his parents, his uncle and basically every single person close to him one after the other in his childhood. Based on Ms hashmi’s theory then, was he, heaven forbid, being punished by God?
    One of the main problems with these women lie in an absolute lack of self respect, and some holier-than-thou saintly happiness they gain from adhering to every twisted interpretation of Islam some chauvinistic molvi has done such as “if a woman is raped its her fault”. Maybe Ms. Hashmi should write a book on 1947 rapes and murders and inform the world that all the Muslims women Pakistanis mourn about were actually taken forcibly away and raped because it was their own fault – they were young and beautiful and how could the men resist them! Tough Luck! Women like these make me ashamed.

    I am not sure if there is a malicious purpose behind their teachings, but they condone intolerance, inhumanity and are an epitome of not using their brains for anything. And any woman who follows them is answerable as well. Everyone was given an intact brain, and was supposed to use it too. If some idiot tells you something is haram, you dont close your eyes and believe it – you question it and confirm it! That’s the spirit of Islam. These groups should really be banned in all the countries – thank God they were not welcome in Canada. They bring shame to Islam.Recommend

  • Amna
    Aug 24, 2010 - 10:57AM

    I have only attended one lecture delivered by Ms. Farhat Hashmi. Upon asking her a very simple question, that was mainly aimed to serve the unjustice being openly done in our societies. Instead of giving a straight forward answer she gave a very vague answer as if the question asked was ridiculous. The question was “Is the norm of presenting girls before families seeking a ‘suitable’ girl for their son right?”. I believe anyone can give the answer and everyone knows it’s a very wrong, unhumane approach. The question was put forth so that an influencial person as Ms. Hashmi herself could say it out in front of masses so that it could be more effective as she has a great number of ignorant followers.

    Ever heard of mind-conditioning? It’s everywhere. Media is the primary source to condition your mind, meaning it moulds your mind in the sense that it makes you think like how it wants you to. How? They only show, tell or impart information that would lead you to make a certain decision. Books can have the same effect and so can verbal communication. I want to ask Ms. Hashmi and her followers, why do you need to go to dars? Why do you need an intrepretor for understanding the Quran and the Hadith? Let me guess, you believe you do not have brains enough to undestand it yourself as it is very complicated and you might comprehend the message incorrectly? Didn’t Ms. Hashmi ever read out the verse from the Holy Quran where it says that Allah has made The Book (Quran) easy for you to understand? Or does Ms. Farhat and her followers deny this fact? The amount of time the instituition asks you to dedicate it to DOES isolate you physically and mentally not only from the rest of the world but from your immediate family too.

    Women who are bored at home, who can’t work because their qualification does not suffice respected job requirements or are just simply shy to work due to lack of exposure of the outside world are most attracted to these instituitions. All those who are students of Al-Huda, before doubting this look around and see for yourself who the majority is. I am sure there are doctors, engineers and women from other professions too but who is the majority? What brought them to this institution? Inquisitness as for what Islam is? Or how to live a happy life? Why are you paying to attend lectures when you can get the answers you seek for free in the straight forward, easy-to-understand Quran?

    It’s an outlet for women to socialize and speak for personal satisfaction. Which is in fact a good practice, it really burns out the frustation level of such women. I speak out of personal experience, students of Al-Huda carry a certain pride and think of themselves deep inside as superior to other non-alHuda muslims because they believe they have more knowledge, whether they get the chance to practice it or not more than any other muslim is yet another topic. Thus, the line of discrimination drawn between muslims. If not all, I speak of the majority. So no offense to those who think they are still humble.

    The followers should read the Quran and Hadith themselves and understand it according to their brain capacity. The Quran is very simple. Try it! It is a complete code of life and for all nations. Comprehend it and use it in your daily life. You will feel more content. Listen to what Allah has to say and not to what people such as Ms. Farhat wants you to listen to. The next time you meet her ask her ‘why do we have to come to you when Allah says Himself that He has made the Quran easy for you to understand’? Lets see if she still challenges Allah :)Recommend

  • Akhtar
    Aug 24, 2010 - 11:05AM

    Unfortunately, divorce ratio is being increased because of Al-Huda’s (ALH)teaching, a female who is trained at ALH cannot bear her in laws,she a wife cannot live with her husband’s family,even has no tolerance. I personally know many ladies those have taken away their husbands from their parents.I think this type of Maddrassa must be discouraged in Pakistani society.They even do not accept the ladies those do not wear hijab or Burka,how extremists they are.
    Allha protect Pakistan, AmeenRecommend

  • Muzammil Siddiqui
    Aug 24, 2010 - 2:35PM

    Sarah Ricardo?? What next, Al Capone? Why cant the Al Huda people at least be truthful with their names? Also, note its an Al Huda person when they say …”I am not a fan of Al Huda, BUT”…this really is ridiculous. Recommend

  • Eeman
    Aug 24, 2010 - 2:37PM

    I can see people unable to refute their positions argumentatively are resorting to attack either the article or the author. Recommend

  • Sarah Ricardo
    Aug 24, 2010 - 2:39PM

    @ Khaled Ahmed – So in your opinion, anyone who cuts off form cultural accretions and questions the social norms is a terrorist? Whatever happened to genuine knowledge, pursuit of the truth and critical philosophy? Questioning and reasoning is a sign of progression. Whereas blind following to age-old customs and traditions and senselessly adhering practices which hold no meaning nor benefit is a sign of depression and degeneration. It was Socrates who said, “an unexamined life is not worth living.”
    We are unable to grow toward greater understanding of our true nature unless we take time to examine and reflect upon our life, upon the things around us and upon history. As another philosopher, Santayana, observed, “He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it.” Examining our life reveals patterns of behavior. Unless we become aware of these patterns, much of our life is unconscious repetition. So if Al Huda women are examining and reflecting upon life, if they are acquiring genuine knowledge and truth then we should stand and applaud them for their efforts. At least Al Huda women are thinking for themselves and not adhering to a mob mentality or living like cattle as you suggest people should do in order to be considered “normal”. Recommend

  • Sarah Ricardo
    Aug 24, 2010 - 3:13PM

    @ Khaled Ahmed – Forming groups, organizing and assembling together is a human right. How is it isolation when a few women sit together and converse? Your views are indeed extreme. You are taking away people’s, especially women’s right to associate with each other simply because they wear abaya and hijab and talk about their Creator? Is your issue with their dress or with their religion? Modesty is beautiful, it is empowering and invigorating. No women is respect or even taken seriously when she exposes herself. Scantily dressed women are objectified and toyed with. Look at any lawyer, doctor, business person, even a car machine. How do they dress? Aren’t they covered head to toe? Are you going to ban them too? As for Islam, I think its very misrepresented. Consider this passage from the Qur’an, “It is Allah who created the heavens and the earth and sent down rain from the sky and produced thereby some fruits as provision for you and subjected for you the ships to sail through the sea by His command and subjected for you the rivers. And He subjected for you the sun and the moon, continuous [in orbit], and subjected for you the night and the day. And He gave you for all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favour of Allah, you could not enumerate them.” [14:32-34] That’s pretty cool eh? The Creator, Whom the Muslims call Allah is so caring and compassionate, I doubt the people who actually have read the Qur’an and believe in it can be otherwise. Recommend

  • R.W
    Aug 24, 2010 - 5:02PM

    Islam and Pakistan…a hot topic indeedRecommend

  • Sarah Ricardo
    Aug 24, 2010 - 7:27PM

    Religion requires conviction and devotion. Religion is a vow to not only be faithful at heart but also in actions. The Qur’an and Hadith have very explicit guidelines for worship and piety, business and trade, diet and nutrition, family life and communal living, national and international relations, all in all, the religion of Islam is very complete and comprehensive. A person must accept all of it, and not just part and parcel of his liking in order to be considered a true Muslim believer. And I think this makes sense because Islam is a way of life, its a total submission to God’s will in every aspect of one’s life.

    So if Muslims let’s say do not take pictures or they do not celebrate birthdays – then I guess it is their belief. What is the point in taking pictures anyway? I think it is waste of time, posing for certain shots, giving pretentious smiles and hugs then saving all that paper in albums that clutter our tables, garages and basements. I think life should be lived in the moment, to live in such a way that one doesn’t have to look back and feel sad ore regretful. And what’s up with birthdays anyway? Each year we are coming closer to our death, every year we loose a year of our life. Why would anyone want to celebrate that with cake and candles? Did you know that when we blow the candles a lot of our saliva stains the cake. Imagine eating other people’s spit? Gross!! I don’t see how parents could make such a huge deal out of their child’s birthday and forget the Creator Who gave them this blessing and bundle of love. Even the child feels very proud on this birthday as though he has brought himself into existence. The development of a zygote to an embryo then fetus. The amalgamation of chromosome, the exchange of DNA, the formation of organs, the construction and assembly of bones clothed with skin. Its amazing!! If anything I think we should celebrate God Who bequeathed life, fashioned every person with balance and due proportion so beautifully. Every limb in our body, every hair and cell is a miracle and yet we forget to thank the Creator Who originated us and only go about praising and appreciating people. What a great injustice. Muhammad (peace be upon him) never celebrated his birthday so if Al Huda women do not want to take pictures, or celebrate birthdays instead express their gratitude to Allah, the God Most Perfect and Intelligent then I do not think you and I or anyone else should stand in their way. Recommend

  • Aug 24, 2010 - 8:40PM

    Amna I 100 pc agree with u…..just some fashionable getting bored aunties are attracted to these,,,,,i dont think that Quran and hadith are that difficult that one needs lectures of Farhat and great tea sessions for understanding them…Simple straight forward teachings and clear cut words…..I simply cant understand what this farhat and some women like this have contributed to the society…..youth is getting more frustrated, gals getting sick of marriages and “modelling”, young people losing faith, moral values are becoming more corrupt…..and the story to gain fame and publicity continues only……I wrote pieces on fake marriage bureaus and have been getting mails from some people like “after reading my post, they would never go to a marriage bureau…” what reformation has She brought? Recommend

  • Eeman
    Aug 24, 2010 - 11:20PM

    What is the point in taking pictures anyway? I think it is waste of time, posing for certain shots, giving pretentious smiles and hugs then saving all that paper in albums that clutter our tables, garages and basements.

    What’s the point of buying a house anyway? I think it’s a wastage of money as well.

    What’s the point of buying a car anyway? It too is a wastage of money. One should buy a camel and be on the side of companions of Prophet rather than becoming the one astray by buying a car. Recommend

  • Sarah Ricardo
    Aug 25, 2010 - 3:03AM

    @Khaled Ahmed – I don’t think a teacher of Qur’an be intolerate of other cultural practices when Qur’an says, “There shall be no compulsion in acceptance of the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong.” [2:256] It is fine if people or nations retain their uniqueness and maintain their own individuality and special identity. Variety is also nice, it adds flavour and colour to our life. If everything and everyone was absolutely the same – it would be so dull and boring. So differences are good so long as we channel these differences for the good. The Qur’an also says, “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” [5:2]
    Just view how in-depth and wide-ranging are the teachings of Islam. We have come to accept that all old people needed to be dumped in senior homes, that the orphans can be pushed and exploited in one foster house to another. We are so used to ignoring the needy and scuffing away the homeless, loosing our temper and breaking promises whenever convenient. But Qur’an teaches something refreshing and decent for a change, “True righteousness is in one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; those who fulfill their promise when they promise; and those who are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.” [2:177] Just look at these wonderful, universally beneficial qualities of Islam. If they were practiced, it will solve so many of the world’s injustices and bring the much needed peace and happiness. So I commend all the preachers of Islam. We should appreciate the people who are serving humanity not write articles against them and go on a bashing spree. Please Please, I request everyone to at least read the Qur’an before you write it off mercilesslyRecommend

  • Sarah Ricardo
    Aug 25, 2010 - 3:05AM

    @ Khaled Ahmed – Without question, protection of people, especially protection of women from rapists should be a priority of the law but treating innocent husbands fairly is also important. What has to given careful consideration in a marriage is that two people who are already sharing a bed and having a physical relationship, have given consent to each other for life! If the woman or the man wants to withdraw that consent, it has to be made very very clear, along with hopefully a reason why. In the Qur’an, [2:187] I read that husband and wife are like garments to each other, they adorn and warm, love and protect, beautify each other and confide in each other. In another passage the Qur’an says, “And of His signs is that He created for you form yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [30:21] Really, let’s think about it. if every couple lived with love and mercy – will there any chances of inducing hurt or injury? A husband who confides in his wife and is spiritually and psychologically close her, how can it be expected that he would rape her? Its unthinkable. Marriage is the name of mutual compassion and compromise, it is a give and take relationship. Recommend

  • Ameera
    Aug 25, 2010 - 3:22AM

    Khaled Sahab, I am a Canadian Citizen and alhamdulillah I have been a student of Ustazah, Dr. Farhat since she came here. It is mashaAllah such a blessing to have her. She has always advised us to be gentle and merciful towards all people. I cannot recall a single class in which she spoke about Osama bin Laden or approve of war or even violence. I found her always encouraging her students to forgive and to be lenient with people. She has an entire lecture series on good character in which she speaks about numerous like patience, mercy and love: http://www.alhudapk.com/audio-video/husn-e-akhlaq/textwithaudio/default.asp I think anyone who has doubts about her should at the most listen to her before they judge her. Recommend

  • Syed Hasan
    Aug 25, 2010 - 3:28AM

    The earthquake comment is getting really old now. I didn’t hear Ustazah say it, I doubt Sadaf did either. Mr. Ahmed, if you did then can you give any evidence for it? Which lecture, which date, which time? I would hate for you to be accused for willfully telling an untruth in your article. Recommend

  • Sarah
    Aug 25, 2010 - 6:36AM

    @ Khaled Ahmed – Without question, protection of people, especially protection of women from rapists should be a priority of the law but treating innocent husbands fairly is also important. What has to given careful consideration in a marriage is that two people who are already sharing a bed and having a physical relationship, have given consent to each other for life! If the woman or the man wants to withdraw that consent, it has to be made very very clear, along with hopefully a reason why. In the Qur’an, [2:187] I read that husband and wife are like garments to each other, they adorn and warm, love and protect, beautify each other and confide in each other. In another passage the Qur’an says, “And of His signs is that He created for you form yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [30:21] Really, let’s think about it. if every couple lived with love and mercy – will there any chances of inducing hurt or injury? A husband who confides in his wife and is spiritually and psychologically close her, how can it be expected that he would rape her? Its unthinkable. Marriage is the name of mutual compassion and compromise, it is a give and take relationship. Recommend

  • Sarah
    Aug 25, 2010 - 6:36AM

    @Khaled Ahmed – I don’t think a teacher of Qur’an can denounce other cultural practices when Qur’an says, “There shall be no compulsion in acceptance of the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong.” [2:256] It is fine if people or nations retain their uniqueness and maintain their own individuality and special identity. Variety is also nice, it adds flavour and colour to our life. If everything and everyone was absolutely the same – it would be so dull and boring. So differences are good so long as we channel these differences for the good. The Qur’an also says, “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” [5:2]
    Just view how in-depth and wide-ranging are the teachings of Islam. We have come to accept that all old people needed to be dumped in senior homes, that the orphans can be pushed and exploited in one foster house to another. We are so used to ignoring the needy and scuffing away the homeless, loosing our temper and breaking promises whenever convenient. But Qur’an teaches something refreshing and decent for a change, “True righteousness is in one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; those who fulfill their promise when they promise; and those who are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.” [2:177] Just look at these wonderful, universally beneficial qualities of Islam. If they were practiced, it will solve so many of the world’s injustices and bring the much needed peace and happiness. So I commend all the preachers of Islam. We should appreciate the people who are serving humanity not write articles against them and go on a bashing spree. Please Please, I request everyone to at least read the Qur’an before you write it off mercilessly. Recommend

  • Sarah
    Aug 25, 2010 - 6:37AM

    @ Khaled Ahmed – Every religion claims to guidance and sets apart certain elements as misguidance. I think same is the case with Islam. In Islam, the Qur’an and the Prophetic traditions of Muhammad (peace be upon him) have such paramount importance. Allah, the God All Knowing the All Wise says, “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah often.” [Qur'an, 33:21] For Muslims after Allah the Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a role model to follow. The Muslims do everything Muhammad (peace be upon him) did and refrain from inventing anything which he did not perform in the name of religion.
    I guess Chelum and celebrating his birthday is one of those things, in recent times some Muslims have conceived these practices and deemed them holy but the Prophet of Islam Muhammad (peace be upon him) never authorized them, i.e. he never celebrated his own birthda or the birthday of his children or grand children.
    Similarly, the funeral rites which he observed were also very simple, namely washing the deceased’s body, shrouding it in two white garments, offering prayer over the deceased and burial. There is no extra ceremony, no additional chants, charity or sacrifice. Some people are of the opinion that we can perform good deeds on the behalf of the deceased in hope that they will get the reward for it. How is this even logical (and mind you religion is suppose to be logical).
    Can we transform money to a dead man’s account in attempt to make him rich? Can we eat for a dead man in hope to send him some of the nutrients and energy? If a person did not make money in his own lifetime and if he did not maintain a healthy diet while he was alive then how can our wealth and our foods benefit him after his death? Same is the case with good deeds. Every man (and woman) must do their part to please the Creator, Allah the Most Just. It cannot be that Allah, the Free of Need, will reward us for the good deeds of other people. Does a teacher give your friend a good grade because you did your homework? Come on! The Master of the Day of Judgement, Allah the All Powerful says “The Day every soul will find what it has done of good present before it and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that evil was a great distance. And Allah warns you of Himself, and Allah is Kind to His servants.” [3:30]Recommend

  • Aug 25, 2010 - 8:56AM

    Sadaf

    You hit the nail at the spot.

    Inside information always helps.Recommend

  • Syed Hasan
    Aug 25, 2010 - 9:21AM

    The earthquake comment is getting really old now. I didn’t hear Ustazah say it, I doubt Sadaf did either. Mr. Ahmed, if you did then can you give any evidence for it? Which lecture, which date, which time? I would hate for you to be accused for willfully telling an untruth in your article.Recommend

  • NICHOLSON
    Aug 25, 2010 - 10:58AM

    I think women walking with their faces covered is a security risk and it should be bannedRecommend

  • Ameera
    Aug 25, 2010 - 10:32PM

    The very people who have accused Al Huda for being intolerant have proven to be irrationally suspicious and hateful. For example, Eeman, Hafeez and Usman Qazi – what lies or bigotry is Al Huda preaching? Can produce even one of their claims which is not directly established in the Qur’an and Hadith?
    What makes a good doctor or good engineer? Someone who has gone to med school? Someone who practices and strictly adheres to at least necessary and crucial components of their field? What would you think about a practitioner who was distributing bizarre, weird medicines, performing off-the-wall surgeries? Or how is the architect who goes about building a bridge or an apartment without the faintest clue of the rules of geometry or physics. When it comes to sciences and math, professional fields and jobs, we want nothing but the best, no one except the specialist. But in matters of religion, any lay person’s opinion goes? Any John-doe, Mary Alice can rant their opinion and all of a sudden its conventionally accepted?
    Not equal are the blind adn the seeing, nor are the darknesses and the light, nor are the shade and the heat. And not equal are the knowledgeable, certified and qualified scholars of Islam and the sit-at-home computer addicts who happen to have an opinion on Islam. Allah has especially honoured the people of knowledge [Qur'an, 58:11] The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) refers to the scholars as his inheritors since they distribute the guidance which he brought from Allah. We may not agree with all the scholars but for Allah’s sake must we bash them and insult the teachings of Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w)? Have you seen the Christians and Jews of different denominations behave this why? Why must Muslims always turn against each other? Recommend

  • shamim akhtar
    Aug 25, 2010 - 11:35PM

    PROPOGANDA AGAINST AL-HUDA

    Main theme in the article is that Al Huda is alienating women from society, thus producing terrorists and extremists. One line form the article reads, “Anyone withdrawing from society by rejecting its norms is ripe for the plucking by the terrorists.” This argument is wrong, why …….we’ll see in succeeding lines. For instance we accept the argument to be true, and by accepting it true following implies:-
    a. If the writer goes to Norway, France and UK etc (for education or work) and then happen to live there, will she start visiting the strip clubs because her colleagues will be doing the same. She will be alienated if she does not do that. Will she be living with her boyfriends as all other age fellows will be doing the same, otherwise she will be ripe for plucking by the terrorists. Will she be dancing in titty bars after energizing herself with pork and wine to remain part of the society?
    b. If you were in Europe then what would have been your course of action? Remaining in the main stream of the society with your wife and daughter (by doing above mentioned acts) or be alienated to become terrorists.
    We must not forget that when our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) announced his prophet hood he was made lonely in the society. He did not remain in the main stream, was cut off from the idol worshippers. But ultimately what happened, ………Faith in Allah, truth of his cause and his steadfastness gave him unprecedented success.
    One paragraph from the book reads , “The reason for the fear that some Canadian Muslims feel could be Al Huda’s rejection as ‘bidaa’ — of photography, all festivals, birthday celebrations, including the birthday of the Prophet (pbuh), and of the widespread practice of ‘chehlum’ after death (p 107).” What do you say about these practices…..are these in line with Islam. You must be aware that Hindus are very staunch observers of “qul” and “chehlum”. Similarly needless to explain other practices.
    Actually, to me the authors of the book and the article are not only discriminatory but also lack tolerance. They have clung to the notion of sweeping generalization. For example, because the mother of the man involved in Parade Lane incident held Dars so Dars is wrong. What a funny logic by an assistant professor……………..
    By the way I am not an assistant professor so overlook mistakes in my random thoughts.Recommend

  • Syed Hasan
    Aug 26, 2010 - 3:13PM

    You are very right Ameera, there are limitless scientific miracles in the Qur’an, from the big bang proof to the big crunch, the formation of clouds and mountains, even the water cycle and the stages of human grown in the womb are mentioned with so much accuracy and precision that they have astonished and bewildered the modern world. Please see http://www.islam-guide.com/ and realize that non-Muslims appreciate and acknowledge the miracle of Qur’an and are slowing coming towards Islam but born Muslims are the most ungrateful and churlish towards Qur’an and the people who teach it. Sadly, we don’t realize this but we are a people who are severing our own roots. Our identity is Islam – without it, who are we? What are we going to say to Allah what we did with the life He gave us? Nothing but transgression against Him and His commands and opposing the very scholars who called us to towards Him? Recommend

  • Syed Hasan
    Aug 26, 2010 - 3:25PM

    Thank you Ameera for your comment. Hundreds of thousands of people have died because of the floods, 20 million hungry and homeless and look at this article? Now I see why Pakistan is so backwards – they do not have the wisdom to realize which work to do at what time. When your country is in so much utter chaos and dissension already, should you bring up another controversial issue to argue against for hours on end? Shouldn’t you be helping those in urgent need? Surprisingly, Al Huda women are actually taking the lead in flood relief work in Pakistan. They are feeding thousand of people in Peshawar, Quetta etc, providing them with fresh water, clean clothes and medicines. The very people who were accused to terrorism and extremism are saving lives and serving humanity. http://www.alhudapk.com/Flood_Relief2010/services.html Recommend

  • Syed Hasan
    Aug 26, 2010 - 3:57PM

    Yes brother Hasan we should remember the Day of Judgement. The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) was not one who used abusive language, he even gave respect to Christian scholars (i.e. Adi bin Hatim, Abdullah bin Salam) and seeing his truthfulness and gentleness, they became Muslim. Can’t we do the same? Can’t we be patient with our scholars, at least hear them fully? When we bash scholars we are in essence bashing Islam. Why don’t they like Ustazah, Dr. Farhat – because she is teaching the Qur’an? Because she is quoting ahadith? She didn’t make the Qur’an and Sunnah – these were revealed by Allah! So disapproving and indicating faults in a teacher of Qur’an and Sunnah is actually disapproving and indicating faults in Allah! La howla wala quwatta illa billah! May Allah save all of us from this.
    Look at the people who are affected by the floods, their property, their animals, their live savings all drowned, everything tarnished. This is a huge reminder for us – we all will leave our house, our car and our wealth behind one day when we die and return to Allah with nothing but our imaan and deeds. So for the sake of of a little bit of money and a few hours of fame should we deny Allah and disobey Him?
    I think we should keep an open mind and see things without prejudice. What has Dr. Farhat done since she founded Al Huda? Just connected people with Allah. Honestly, She herself is very peace-loving and kind. I have seen her taking care of the environment and looking after people after her classes. She makes a point to remove anything from the way which may cause anyone to trip and she smiles always. She is very socially concerned and welfare orientated. Often she says, “be faidamand, assist and aid everyone.” Yet people backbite about her? SubhanAllah. Look how tirelessly her students are working to help the flood victims: http://www.download.farhathashmi.com/dn/Portals/0/Latest-Events/Flood-Relief-2010/index.html They are fasting themselves but feeding and loving the refugees who are coming from the flooded areas. Are we doing the same? Recommend

  • Ameera
    Aug 26, 2010 - 6:53PM

    If anything, at least in the month of Ramadan Muslims shouldn’t backbite. Backbiting is like eating the flesh of one’s own dead brother. Repulsive and sickening right? In the sight of Allah maliciously talking about someone who is not present is even more nauseating and detestable. And making up false statements, i.e. slandering someone is even more nasty and abominable in the sight of Allah. Recommend

  • Syed Hasan
    Aug 26, 2010 - 11:49PM

    Umar Abdullah – what do you know about Al Huda personally? On what basis are you saying they are extreme or that they sympathize with Al Qaeda? Bila waja jo mu mein aye keh rahe ho? Do you know this is in a sign of hypocrisy to say things without confirming them? “if the hypocrites, and they in whose hearts is disease, and they who, by spreading false rumours [alarmists, agitators] would cause disturbances in the City desist not [from their hostile doings]. We shall indeed give you mastery over them – and then they will not remain thy neighbours in this [city] for more than a little while” [33:60] Dekh lo…lies don’t have any feet, they can stand and spread for long. Allah will give victory to the truth. So it is best that you side with the truth and don’t say false things about this noble lady and her work. Al Huda is free from inciting people to violence. There is even a recorded lecture of Madam Hashmi on peace, justice and joining relations: http://www.alhudapk.com/audio-video/assorted/edl-ahsan/edl.asp Pehle iss ko sun lo, phir baat karo.Recommend

  • Sarah
    Aug 27, 2010 - 12:04AM

    @ Zeb Azkar – Are you an immigration officer? There is no way to obtain the information which you have alleged unless you an an immigration officer or you have hacked into their online records or you are bluffing. As an immigration officer, you can be fired for disclosing confidential information. You can be jailed for hacking a government website. Only a fool would advertise his crimes online. This leaves only one option, you are bluffing. Is this common? Do Muslims always lie like this? Recommend

  • Ameera
    Aug 27, 2010 - 5:22AM

    Mustafa Ali Sahab, alhamdulillah Al Huda has a massive social welfare department. I invite you to see our website please: http://www.alhudapk.com/social-welfare/ and http://www.farhathashmi.com/dn/AboutAlHuda/WelfareDawah.aspx From teaching street children and sponsoring the kid who cannot go to school, to visiting hospitals and helping poor patients, distributing foods, digging wells in drought stricken areas, looking after the SWAT IDPs and now supporting the flood relief victims. The life of Al Huda’s humanitarian services are endless and transparent. May Allah accept our work aameen Recommend

  • Ameera
    Aug 27, 2010 - 5:40AM

    Rehan Sahab – People happily pay large sums of money, even take loan on interest for university tuition but no one complains. If someone is spending a few dollars (considering that you are talking about Islamic studies in Canada were dollars are the standard currency) then all of a sudden it is extremely shocking and horrific? Do you even know what the tuition money goes towards? School property tax, electricity, hydro, cleaning and maintenance, furniture, stationary supplies etc. Why are you so negative? If someone had opened, may Allah forbid, a movie theater or shopping mall – I doubt you would have written anything against people spending their money there but because it is an Islamic learning center everyone has an objection? Why such extreme bias? We waste our money anyway if we spend it in the way of Allah then at least we will get some reward and spending money on learning the Deen – that is sadaqa-e-Jariyah. Recommend

  • Ameera
    Aug 27, 2010 - 6:03AM

    Samreen, are you sure you wen to Al Huda? I have been there double the time that you have 4 and half years, I used to be there practically all day alhamdulillah but I didn’t see any of these things. I have seen myself, Ustazah asking people not to walk behind her as this is not in Islam. She is so sweet mashaAllah, whenever she was offered food in a gathering, she always encouraged others to be served before her. She would even go around and ask people if they have eaten, if they were comfortable. She mingles with everyone so politely. If she was informed that someone was sick, she would make du’a for them in class and then go visit them in the hospital, she would even take some of her students with her so that we would learn to care for the sick. This one time my arm was hurting and she massaged it. SubhanAllah! I love her to the sake of Allah, I have never met anyone as self-sacrificing, humble and benevolent as her.

    How is Al Huda teaching a wrong interpretation of the Qur’an? Ustazah’s tafseer of the entire Qur’an is available online: http://www.farhathashmi.com/dn/Audio/Quran/ExplanationTafseer.aspx Can you draw attention to a single lecture in which her tafseer was against Qur’an and Sunnah? As you may know, that some parts of the Qur’an explain other parts of it. The meaning of Qur’an is very self-evident and crystal clear; different verses compliment and clarify each other. Similarly, tafseer of Qur’an is also done from Hadith and the statements of the sahaba (r.a). Tell me where you find a contradiction in Al Huda’s interpretation? Alhamdulillah after studying from Ustazah, I developed such passion to learn more knowledge that I visited many other scholars and directly benefited from them. I also had a chance to scores of Islamic books by diverse scholars. Alhamdulillah I cannot say anything I learned from Ustazah was wrong. In fact I am thankful to her sincerity and truthfulness that because of her now I am able to defend and promote Islam to non-Muslims who in return are very impressed with what I tell them. Really it is matter of the hearts. If the hearts are awakened and conscious of Allah, they will recognize and accept the truth like Najashi but if the hearts are corrupt, no miracle will change them, like Abu Jahal. May Allah keep our hearts firm on His Deen and obedience aameen. Recommend

  • Ameera
    Aug 27, 2010 - 6:26AM

    Schazad dost, if this auntie is going to be dead soon, are you or anyone of us going to live forever? Kabhi Qur’an parha hai? Do you know what the Qur’an says? “O mankind, fear your Lord. Indeed hte convulsion of the [final] Hour is a terrible thing…O people, if you should be in doubt about the Resurrection, then consider that indeed, We created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, then from a clinging clot, and then from a lump of flesh, formed and unformed – that We may show you. And We settle in the wombs whom We will for a specified term, then We bring you out as a child, and then We develop you that you may reach your time of maturity. And among you is he who is taken in early death, and among you is he who is returned to the most decrepit old age so that he knows, after once having knowledge, nothing. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down upon it rain, it quivers and swells and grows something of every beautiful kind. That is because Allah is the Truth and because He gives life to the dead and because He is over all things competent. And that they may know that he Hour is coming – no doubt about it – and that Allah will resurrect those in the graves. And of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening book [from Him].” [22:1-8]
    Kyun kiya samjhte? Every living soul shall taste death. Be an agnostic, atheist, hindu or Muslim, every person shall die. It is inescapable, inevitable reality. Just as Allah created us from nothing, Allah will reduce us to nothing then give us life again. But you see, people don’t realize this so they make up their own philosophies and argue over them generation after generation. Solution: read the Qur’an, there is knowledge, guidance and enlightenment in it.
    Don’t you think that when Allah has created us with so much perfection (if we were to draw even a rough sketch of a human being, we would have to erase many times and still it would not look real. At the end of the day, it would only be an paper image with no life, sight, hearing, breathing or thinking faculties. But Allah’s creation can walk, talk, eat, grow and feel). So the fact that Allah created us and blessed us, the sun, the sky, the mountains, trees, animals and grass are all benefiting us in one way or the other – won’t Allah ask us what we did with the health and time He gave us? With the food and and friends He bequeath us? Of course He will. And this is the purpose of life – to see which people remembered Allah in duniya and which forgot. Allah bhala kare Madam Hashmi ka that she teaches Qur’an and encourages people to think about these realities. Warma at least I would have been very lost. Bass university, job, shadi, bache, old age and death. Useless life, no meaning at all. But now I know, thanks to her the true value of my time alhamdulillah. May Allah give her long life and health aameen. Recommend

  • Aug 27, 2010 - 4:23PM

    What reformation has She brought in the society? I dont want long answers……what social thing has she fought against? any? There are women who strive to make a change and stand for it…without using religion as their objective….beena sarwar, Biqis edhi, razia bhatti, mehreen jabbar, saleima hashmi, asma jehangir, quratulain hyder, ismat ghughtai, late nazia hasan, yasmin lari, fouzia saeed, bina shah, nafis sadik, women who strive to bring a change and do something…………..What is it that Farhat has done? Recommend

  • Fatima
    Aug 27, 2010 - 10:20PM

    Most of these comments reflect the misinformation that people have about Al Huda. I took the course in Canada during 2007 and I have to say it changed my life. No, I am not an extremist – yes, you may all gasp if you wish! I have found a balance in my life because of the knowledge I learned about Islam (Al Huda was only a means). To say that Al Huda breeds intolerance is ironic; I’d say this article is already doing a pretty good job. Someone also commented whether Al Huda is doing any social work. Has anyone been to the institute? Read their website? Their most recent project is helping those affected by the Pakistani flood (they also have many other long term welfare projects on the side). And certainly all of the people I know who went to Al Huda have not alienated themselves from society. I and many of my friends are now in university studying in fields that we love, others are working, and some are teaching at Al Huda (Which indicates that, shockingly, we can actually walk outside without melting in the sunlight). Another issue I have is the severe focus on mostly/only middle-upper class women who go to Al Huda. Al Huda’s courses have such low fees that many women from poor families can afford to go and they do! And many of the women who learn go to their own villages/cities and spread the knowledge forward. Wouldn’t this be considered women empowerment? Gaining the confidence to change your life situation and of others through proper practice of faith. Education is the most powerful tool existing to free yourself. I’m really questioning the author’s journalistic credibility when there are many gaps and holes in this article. Whatever happened to fair and balanced news? Recommend

  • Hasan
    Aug 31, 2010 - 5:27AM

    Farhat Hashmi and I yet have to find out a single lecture that teaches intolerance or terrorism. Rather I’ve found her views much similar to those of many famous scholars like Dr. Israr Ahmed, Dr. Ghazi, Dr. Zakir Naik etc.

    @Uzama: You just prove the point of this article. If you believe people like Dr Israr and Zakir Naik, who issued death fatwas against apostates, Ahmadis etc. and Zakir Naik was banned from both UK and Canada recently for his extremist views, are moderates then the author of this article has shown rightful concern. If anyone had any doubts about Al-Huda they should be removed now.Recommend

  • Syed Sahab
    Sep 2, 2010 - 2:40PM

    you could atleast have the guts and honesty to publish my comments. Recommend

  • sadik
    Sep 4, 2010 - 4:54AM

    In the same vein can it be not said that the these ladies are part of society consisting of themselves where as you are out of it? Its easier to be called a secular when you don’t really know what secularism stands for.. Where you can have a new set of beliefs every few years, where you can change the law as and when required, if you take pride in your secularism, then one doesn’t even need to feel sorry for writers like you. Your bias and prejudice reeked through this article, and no i don’t follow Al-Huda but atleast given the pluralism that you are trying to advocate, i’m willing to let them be.Recommend

  • FARIHA MELA
    Sep 6, 2010 - 11:36PM

    I am incharge of one branch of alhuda lahore which i joined 13 years ago .i have met dr. farhat hashmi several times, she came to my village near sargodha on my invitation just to meet a few children there who were reading the book of Allah . Never even once in these 13 years have i detected pride or self projection in her . Most of the comments i have read are based on hearsay and if i may say so …so is sadaf ahmed’s book . Anyone who has so much as visited alhuda’s website will have a clearer picture of alhuda than sadaf ahmed or mr.khalid .Regarding social work for poor people , if we don’t boast about it doesn’t mean we don’t do it .What is it with you guys? you scared ? where is your philosophy of live and let live ? or is it just for your own selves ?you know ..i wish more and more sadaf ahmeds will write about alhuda which makes people more aware of us . This is exactly what happened when the kuffar used to tell people to beware of Muhammad (sws) and not listen to him , more and more people became curious as to what he had to say and when they listened to him they accepted islam . My very sincere advice to all of you is that listen to her , pick any one surah of the Holy Quran and listen to her tafseer (it’s all on the web) and then comment . Personal attacks , mud slinging don’t bother her . Neither will it do any good to you . wassalam fariha .Recommend

  • Sharmina Zaidi
    Sep 7, 2010 - 12:16AM

    Labeling the Al-Huda as terrorists is like what happening to us Muslims in the US. I think you need to go after the REAL culprits of extremism.Recommend

  • Heidi Khan
    Nov 2, 2010 - 2:22PM

    Sorry to say Ahmad you are no match to Hasmi’s logics. Recommend

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