Tag Archives: Celebrity

Du’at or Social Media Celebrity / Televangelists?


I am going to have to say it…

Most of the Islamic speakers I listened to and respected 10 years ago have one by one stopped talking about anything meaningful at all in public and instead morphed into some weird hybrid social media celebrity / Televangelist, constantly begging money for the latest project.

It’s embarrassing, as when you see them, in person at least, at the Masjid, or where they are just in the audience and chatting at the sidelines of events they are the same people on a personal level or seem to be at least, that we all knew and loved, back when they used to have some fire, calling to Allah, calling to Tawhid, calling to the deen as a whole way of life.

But their public persona now… when they get on the platform or worse on social media, pushes me away every time, their need to speak about every news topic without saying anything much at all, it’s so bland and grey.

Only… becoming animated… smiley… like they’re talking… in bullet points… when… getting cash… for their latest project.

As the genuine scholars say and some of these speakers used to repeat, “The men are known by the truth and the truth is not known by the men.”

I am not saying they are necessarily scamming people or raking it in, and I know we’ve all got bills to pay with times are difficult in the Islamic charity sector, but it is hard to respect anyone who behaves this way and the memory of who they were fades along with their reputation as each cringe-worthy video hits our screens.


kemal el mekkiUstadh Kemal El Mekki exposes some of the more disgusting practices of the celebratory Sheikh circuit, not only financial but also marital impropriety in the form of excessive payments and marriage banditry.

I am not at all trying to say all of our teachers and preachers are crooks, just that sisters and those who have waliya over our sisters need to not fall into the same trap of thinking just because someone is famous, or known to be knowledgeable or pious it doesn’t make it so!

Remember these are men, don’t fall for the public persona of the celebrity, they have real lives and real struggles same as  the rest of us and so do your background checks, ask all the right questions just like with anyone else.

28 December 2013

Assalamu Alaykum Everyone,

There have been things about the world of Islamic speaking that have bothered me for years, I am not going to write a book about them, but I sure as heaven am going to vent on my page if I blessed well please. If you don’t like it join Justin B’s page. If you inbox me trying to sensor me I’ll just ban you (it’s soooo fun)! If you’re a speaker and you don’t like it…CHANGE!

I have no problem with people getting paid to speak, and there is nothing wrong with it religiously. But…

Once this famous speaker came to our area for a fundraising dinner. He wanted to get 50% of the amount raised! He raised 320K in 40 minutes and delivered a 40 minute speech. He wrote the speech on a napkin while he was at the event. There were many people donating that day, people that needed the money for their own families. If they knew he wanted to take half, would they have donated even one dollar?

How do I know this? I was there and I was the MC!

The Good news:

1. In the end the organizers spoke to him and he agreed to take less than 50% (but they wouldn’t tell us how much).

2. Insha’Allah there is still some good (conscience) left in the man because before the event he pulled my friend aside and said, “Make dua for me, I’m so in love with money”.

With stories like this, many people try to find hints and clues as to when the event took place and who the speaker might be. That is not part of concealing faults so just let it go. May Allah forgive us and conceal all OUR faults. Ameen.

I have no problem with a young speaker marrying ONE of his students, and there is nothing wrong with it religiously. But…

There was a da’iyah in one area, and every single time I’d meet him he would be with a different wife. He got married at least 25 times and each marriage would last a few weeks. Another da’iyah kept one wife, and he would leave her for two to three weeks while he lived with the new wife, then he’d come home divorce the new one over the phone and find another online, go away for a few weeks…and repeat.

Both these du’at once travelled to a small town, and married so many of the women there within a short span of time, that some of the community leaders called the shiyookh in our area to complain.

One shaykh said that when he first came to America, they were praying behind this Imam and when the salah was over, the Imam took the microphone and announced, “Asalamu alaykum, I just wanted to a say that last week I finalized the divorced with my wife and I’m looking to get married. Jazakum Allahu Khair wasalamu alakum”.

This is what we’re talking about today. Being a speaker, Imam, or leader of the believers is a great position that Allah puts one in. Imagine Allah gives you a weighty position and you use it to get women! It’s greater than that! And it’s certainly not the reason why the believers made the following dua in surat al Furqan (74):

“and make us leaders/Imams for the pious”

Ibn Abbas said this means Imams to be followed in (the) good (we do and preach).

Why am I writing this? For the next generation of speakers and for up and coming speakers. If they enter a world of crookedness with no one speaking against it, they might accept how things are.

But some will speak against it, even if others find it distasteful.


Kemal El Mekki