Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh

The trend of Islamic programs and courses with little or no segregation between males and females is increasing in our communities.

It is mainly being promoted by organizations who are free minded and liberal in their approach, eg. Al-Kauthar, Deenclass and Ilm S.A. (besides the other serious discrepancies that they have in beliefs and other issues)

Generally women pay interest to these type of programs saying that the Shaikhs are approachable.
Read the attached article to see what is meant by approachable.

 The writer Ismail Kamdar (an instructor of Deenclass) explains real life encounters which has experienced of the devastating effects of this approach.
Also read the comments of those who are involved in these type of programs. One women writes: It takes a broken marriage to realize. This should be read by all women and lecturers.

Check the end to see how many are involved.


Shaykhy Crushes: Trials in the Lives of Men of Knowledge
Posted by Ismail Kamdar • June 6th, 2011 • Printer-friendly404 Comments
Note: This is not meant to be a generalization about Muslim women, if it applies to you then take benefit, if it does not then use it to assist others who it might apply to, but do not take offence as that is not my intention. I debated with myself for many months on whether to write about this topic or not. It is a controversial issue and many people might misunderstand the article. Nonetheless, recent developments in the lives of some Shuyookh that I know personally made me realize the importance of writing about this topic.
When I first began studying Islam and getting involved in Islamic work, one of the major motivators for me was that this field would keep me away from the fitnah of the opposite gender. For every young man and woman, one of the greatest trials we face is dealing with members of the opposite gender without falling into sin. Originally, and it was naive of me, I thought Islamic work would put me in a position in which I would not have to deal with these situations. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
There is a trend among contemporary, practicing Muslims which I find rather disturbing, this trend is what I call a “Shaykhy Crush”. I have noticed at many Islamic events, from classes to conferences, practicing Muslim women who follow the Deen in dress and Ibadah, developing crushes and falling in love with the speakers and teachers. This has led to many dangerous scenarios.
The following are a few real life examples I have encountered:
1) At an Islamic course, some sisters were discussing how handsome the Shaykh is. When an elderly sister told them not to talk about him like that as he is married, they responded, “So what? We can still marry him,” and continued their discussion.
2) At an Islamic conference, many sisters were not discussing the content of the lectures but how beautiful the Imam sounded with his gorgeous French accent, or how “handsome and sweet” the another Shaykh’s smile was. ”It melts my heart” were words I heard.
3) Recently, a Shaykh took a second wife, this triggered a discussion online between sisters who admitted they were “going gaga” over him and wished they were his second wife.
4) A sister recently told a Shaykh that she is no longer satisfied with her husband as she is only attracted to students of knowledge now. A married sister told her teacher that she is unsatisfied with her husband and had a dream that she was married to him.
5) A Shaykh deleted his Facebook account because married women on Facebook were claiming to have fallen in love with him.
These are just few of many such incidents that I have encountered in this field. As to what is the cause of this, Allah knows best. Perhaps some of our sisters can shed some light on this for us in the comments section. It could be that studying Islam has been glamorized and students of knowledge are treated like celebrities or it could be that some Shuyookh unintentionally do things that attract women. Many times these feelings may be natural as Muslim women may see an ideal man in a married teacher of knowledge but acting upon this feelings is unwise. Furthermore, social engineering promoted by sites like Facebook makes behavior, like comments, that would never be acceptable face to face, seem normal. We have to remember that there is still a human behind that ‘wall’, with a family. I do not know the exact causes but this is definitely a growing problem in Western countries.
The problems that arise from this situation are multiple; here are some of the major issues:
1) Corruption of a student of knowledge’s intentions. We, students, are human and love women just as much as the next man (I’m going to get in trouble for saying that), so when we are trying to teach Islam and keep ourselves and our thoughts chaste, the female fans don’t make it easy for us. I noticed many students of knowledge starting to dress smarter and act differently when they realize they have the attention of the single sisters and there is a major chance that this can affect their intention of teaching for the sake of Allah.
2) Too many single sisters want to marry a Shaykh, and some begin to consider polygamy. The problem here is that the Shaykh might not be interested in such a relationship, and in an extreme case or two, a Shaykh rejecting such a notion has led to jealousy and harassment of the Shaykh and his wife.
3) Married sisters begin to develop crushes on their teachers and start to compare their husbands to the teacher, which leads to dissatisfaction in their marriage and eventually marital conflicts.
4) Sometimes the Shaykh and his wife have a happy marital life until a sister (or two) ask him if he wants a second wife, without considering his current wife’s feelings. This can cause problems between the Shaykh and his wife, as well as jealousy and could lead to the breakdown of a once-happy marriage.
5) There is always the potential danger of Zina, even with students of knowledge especially if the attraction is mutual.
These are just some of the negative consequences of this trend. I would like to conclude with some advice for both the sisters and the Shaykhs.
Advice to sisters who are seeking knowledge:
1) Lower your gaze: Remember that he is your teacher, a man of Islamic knowledge and a married man too. So look at him with respect, not desire.
2) Purify your intentions: When attending a lecture, make a sincere intention to learn and benefit from the teacher for the sake of Allah, and do not attend just because Shaykh Yusuf is teaching and you love the sound of his voice. I do not want to discourage any sister from seeking knowledge, just gently reminding them of Shaytan’s plot.
3) Walk in her shoes: Think about his wife and her feelings and do not say or do anything that could cause a problem in their marriage.
4) Choose a husband realistically:. Not every woman can marry a Shaykh, so focus on finding a good Muslim man who will care for you and do not compare him to the Shuyookh. Find a good guy and thank Allah for allowing you to marry him and appreciate his efforts to please you.
5) Modesty is key: Remember that talking about how handsome the Shaykh is against haya and not befitting students of knowledge to discuss their teacher in such a manner with each other.
Advice to young Shuyookh in dealing with this Fitnah:
1) Lower Your Gaze: Do not look at the sisters in the audience too much. Focus your gaze on the men in your audience. If there is a sister who attracts you or you know is attracted to you, do not look at her at all (without being rude or disrespectful).
2) Purify Your Intention: Always remember that you are teaching for the sake of Allah and not to attract a female fan club so behave appropriately and modestly.
3) Avoid any unnecessary interaction with women. Do not keep single sisters on your instant messenger contact list, or talk to them for hours on the phone, and if they catch you in the hallway to ask a question, keep it brief, polite and to the point.
4) Think about your wife: Anytime you are attracted to a student of yours, think about your wife and everything she does for you. Think about her sacrifices and this will fill you with guilt for even feeling such attraction to another woman.
5) Dress up better for your wife than others: It should not be such that whenever you go out to teach a class, you are dressed in your best thowb with your best Itr,  while at home you do not bother looking (or smelling good) for your wife. Remember the example of Ibn Abbas and deal with your wife accordingly.
6) Get married: If you are serious about polygamy, do it the right way so that people do not gossip or spread rumors about you and you avoid breaking any sister’s heart.
I hope these tips help us all to remain firm on the straight path. Remember the devils spend more time trying to mislead those who are walking  the righteous path and so we need to be careful of these pitfalls of Shaytaan in which he tries to use our good deeds (teaching, studying) to lead us to commit sins.
Anything good I have said is from Allah, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of fitnah.
Comments on this article posted on the same website:
June 7, 2011 • 4:01 PM
I was a sister who didn’t know I was in love with a student of knowledge. After I married I was upset that i did not like my marriage, I just finished my divorce. I read this and over night I thought hard and come to feel that the reason is that i fell in love with a student of knowledge. The reality is the younger ones don’t help us women! They give us love and they sometimes give us the ‘eye’ first. I vow now never to look another lecturer in the eye. It takes a broken marriage to realize. This should be read by all women and lecturers.
June 8, 2011 • 8:56 AM
I totally agree with this comment. you can see how crazy the world is about celebritties and muslims are no different after all they are human beings as well.
This is why nasheed singers and shaiks are being glamorised as well.
Also, what I find now there is a constant competition of which sheikh you follow, how many courses you go to. Which then makes people obsess after a shaikh or two.
Where are the good old days when you could get cds and books. If you do go to courses then have it completed segregated so that women cannot see the sheikh.
It’s not just women who are fault but the every single muslim who promotes the glamour of these courses!!
June 6, 2011 • 1:40 AM
I totally agree and respect what the writer has written in this post. I, being a sister myself has found myself wishing something on the lines of “Oh I wish the person I get married to is someone like Brother XYZ” (based on knowledge and how much I would benefit from that knowledge). But even if I had this kind of thought process, it would be idiotic to go and actually ACT upon it.
Furthermore, if I go to a lecture with this thought process as my MAIN thought, then I have corrupted the intention very nicely. So now, it’s not about Allah’s Pleasure, but it’s about mine.
Glamorization of the events, the lectures, Facebook Likes, comments etc.
Abu Samaiyah
June 6, 2011 • 1:54 AM
Interesting, but I dont really think this is a big issue. Not many women get a chance to get close to the lecturer at a conference or event. However, the bigger problem lies with the volunteers at the events. I have been to a few Al-Maghrib courses. I have noticed that many people are always acting differenyl because they know there are single ladies right beside them. I saw a good brother masha Allah who was very active in these events speak with a female volunteer. I was standing with my children and wife looking in the direction that these two volunteers were talking. I cold see that she was interested in him. I remember thinking to myself, subhanallaah these eevnts dont do enough to segregate te men and women. I was goin towards the men section to take my wife to ladies section. When I droped off my wife with the kids, I noticed all the makeup on the ladies. I quickly walked away t some friends. Also, I have noticed that some people do dress differently when theyb notice the ladies are watching, but its the volunteers and attendees at the Al-Maghrib courses, not the lecturers. Granted not all are like this, but you if go to class next time and pay attention, its like everyine is gostling to get married.
June 7, 2011 • 8:02 PM
Yeah, i was at an AlMaghrib marriage class, and the speaker made one brother and one sister stand up and play a “game” with each other, i.e., one would say the word that immediately comes to mind in response to the other’s word.
IMO, these “Islamic” classes, lectures, events, etc., are just becoming a way to fulfill the desires of the nafs under an “Islamic” pretext.
Kashif Dilkusha
June 6, 2011 • 2:57 AM
Very sensitive topic but yes very true
June 7, 2011 • 8:06 PM
But the brother’s original statement, that the sahaaba would teach their wives what they learnt from rasool Allah (SAW), is true. Also, when the wives of the prophet (SAW), the sahaaba, the tabi’een, etc., used to teach/learn from the opposite gender, they did so from behind a curtain.
IMO that’s what we should really be talking about – why isn’t there a curtain?

Ali Al-Afghani
June 6, 2011 • 3:34 AM
May Allah reward and protect the brother who wrote this article. This was a long overdue article/advice and i think he did an excellent job publishing it.
I have taken several classes with different institutes and all with well-known students of knowledge. I believe the root cause of all of this fitnah is:
First the lack of proper separation between the brothers and sisters. Almost all of the classes and seminars are conducted in an open area where the brothers are in the front, sisters in the back and the sheikh giving the lecture.
Not only is this a cause of fitnah for the sheikh but also for the brothers (and for the sisters). Because of this poor setup, lowering of the gazes is nearly impossible and bumping into one another is a common scene.
Second, frankly speaking the shuyookh are not doing enough in taking the initiative in making clear to organizers that they want a complete separation between the Br./Sis. And the one who actually promotes this kind of a set up is either looked down upon as backwards, not being invited again by the organization and/or there is poor attendance and hence less support for him.
I strongly believe that the shuyookh should do their best in going back to the Sunnah of the Prophet and how he taught his companions, since afterall this is what they are all propogating (the Sunnah).
Allahu ‘Alim
June 6, 2011 • 5:25 AM
This is also a problem for the elder generation of shuyukh.
I have a running joke with and an elderly, grey-bearded shaikh whom I meet once a year at our conferences. At some point during the conference I’ll jokingly ask him how many proposals he got this year? One time he replied he received 5 on the first day!
JZK brother Ismail for this article – I wish you had published it earlier!
Abu Suhaib
June 6, 2011 • 10:36 AM
OMG! The Tablighis were right!!!
Seriously though, I know shuyookh whose families were destroyed due to this. This is serious business. I don’t agree with keeping the sisters in a room and watching a video relay of the class but there has to be a wall or some type of separation between the brothers and sisters. There also needs to be very limited conversation between the sister and the shaykh. Sisters shouldn’t go to these shuyookh to get marital advice or even counseling. They need to find others and preferably sisters they can trust and confide in.
Yasir Qadhi
June 6, 2011 • 11:27 AM
Salaam Alaikum
Jazak Allah khayr Ismail for a very frank and much-needed article.
Don’t even get me started on real stories….
May Allah protect us all!!
Dawud Israel
June 6, 2011 • 12:56 PM
A friend told me sisters could care less about him before he became a student of knowledge, but then when he started studying and became known, suddenly they get all crazy about him. Its all about fame I guess. Maybe this is why there are high divorce rates?
June 10, 2011 • 7:18 PM
My husband is considered by many to be a shaykh of knowledge. He was approached by a niqabi to consider her for a second wife without a wali by a personally written message.
June 12, 2011 • 4:16 PM
Well, for one thing, having a partition between the shaykh/shaykha and the opposite gender helps immensely with this.
Like, real talk: if you’re an attractive shaykh (you know you are), and a bunch of beautiful, unmarried, virgin girls are looking at you, admiring your speech – come on. Any man, shaykh or not, is going to be affected by that. Even a non-Muslim could see why that is. Because it’s not a question of Islamic knowledge – it’s a question of being human.
June 7, 2011 • 2:27 AM
. . . . I think the fact that 40% have had “shaykhy feelings” on our poll of a sample that consists of relatively more conservative Muslims than average says a LOT to me. Including the fact that more than one or two actually approached the shayookh (per the poll). I am actually quite surprised by the 40% number. I was expecting 10% or so.
June 7, 2011 • 1:20 PM
. . .  In my own experience (speaking with my wife), there do exist sisters, married sisters, who crush on their teachers, or talk about the hotness of some teacher openly with other sisters (my wife didn’t tell me who, obviously, only that she had encountered it with some frequency).
June 7, 2011 • 1:08 AM
…..I have seen sisters who wear hijab and hang out at the Muslim associations or classes who have no shame at staring directly into the eyes of males as they walk by. They speak loudly and laugh out loud a lot and giggle everywhere they go, do the best they can to look as cute as possible in their hijabs and add like 20 accessories to it and try to put their hijab on in any way that makes it seem as if it isn’t really a hijab. They wear thick coatings of make up, eye liner, paint their eye lids so much that you can tell they have yellow or green or purple color on their eyes from 20 feet away. Many of them don’t have anything else to talk about with each other except boys, boys and boys and who they will marry or who looks cute on campus from the “brothers”. And this usually lasts from freshman year until they graduate or get married or whatever comes first. A lot of them will carry on “online halal” relationships where they are just trying to see if they are compatible with a boy which usually requires 200 long e-mails and hundreds of chat sessions. They go out in groups of “sisters” and have “sisters” night out and chill at restaurants, hooka lounges and hang out on campus until late at night and drive around wherever they please. A lot of these sisters also get together and go on vacations over night at Islamic conferences or anywhere else their parents let them go. And most of them have more courage to speak to the opposite sex than the brothers have these days. Matter of fact, a lot of the times its the sisters who approach the guys or give them so much eye contact its impossible to not realize she is looking at you. But they are deceiving themselves into thinking they are modest or religious because they wear a hijab or attend a class or two or don’t get drunk and have sex like the “other” girls. . . . . ..  .
June 7, 2011 • 7:38 PM
I have seen this effect many single sisters, in varying degrees, to the extent that I have heard of several sisters tell Shuyookh, “I love you for the sake of Allah.” I also know of Shuyookh who take an interest in the personal lives of their female students, and one even giving them his phone number!
May Allah protect us from the tricks of Shaitan. Ameen.
Sisters, lower your gaze, lower your gaze, lower your gaze. And, if you can’t, protect your Imaan, stay at home and read a book.
I always sit at the back of the hall when I attend a lecture, so much so that sometimes I cannot even read the board or see the Shaykh. These are the “best” seats, far from the brothers, and far from the Shaykh.
Also, sisters who wear Niqab, why do you lift your Niqab when the class has started? Do you think that the Shaykh is not like all other men?
Brothers, lower your gaze, lower your gaze, lower your gaze. Soon after my first class, I decided to wear Niqaab to all mixed-classes, and the main reason was because of the Fitnah I felt by the Shaykh looking up at the sisters. In everyday life, how often do you see the same woman for 2-4 days staring back at you? The biggest Fitna in Islamic classes is not the chance meeting of men and women in the hallways (which is huge in and of itself), but the direct, deliberate interaction between the Shaykh and his female students.
I would also suggest to our brothers, please do not let sisters ask you questions etc. alone (out of earshot of others, not physically alone of course), ask them to bring another sister with them. Nothing is so private that they can ask you, but they cannot share it with a fellow sister.
June 8, 2011 • 11:32 AM
The scenario presented in the article is something that very much happens in the lectures and classes these days. I myself have seen some of this nonsense going on, but i didn’t realize the magnitude of these acts until i read this article. I think the root cause of all this is , as mentioned in many of the previous comments,is raising the status of the Shuyookh to that of celebrities. Also favouritism of some Shuyookh based purely on their way of talking or looks is another possible reason.
June 8, 2011 • 12:18 PM
i thought it was an interesting article & i’ve seen some of it happen around me. well personally i dont crush on shaykhs b/c thats just not why i go to lectures..
June 8, 2011 • 10:49 PM
I want to become a student of knowledge now more than before. i never knew this would be such a useful channel for a single brother like me.
June 8, 2011 • 11:46 PM
Assalaam alaikum. Great article; I often bring up this topic with sisters and it is generally not welcomed due I imagine to its pertinency. As said above, sheikhs have been utterly elevated and they should do everything within their capability to keep women away from them in a physical way (emphatic segregation); they should preemt situations and use preventative tactics, avoiding the physical company of all females at all times. Sounds severe, but I think this problem is severe. Women will turn their minds in the most amazing ways in order to see something between her and a sheikh that isn’t there. He should preempt that and never give any evidence to any woman that he has any interest in her whatsoever, albeit as a teacher of deen to all. All the sunnahs have to be strongly enforced, in a most emphatic way, to counteract this problem.
Married women tell me their love for the sheikh is just the normal love and respect anyone would have for any sheikh and is appropriate. But what I see from their behaviour is inappropriate: extreme obession with a sheikh, giggling in corridors, “can you believe HE IS HERE!” style behaviour and beaming uncontrollable smiles. Hovering around in inappropriate places in hope of catching a glance, any excuse to have any kind of communication. Constant converstation about him. So it goes on.
I say: what is the difference between your love of this sheikh and the love you have (or should have) for your husbands? Sisters, old and young, justify it, saying it is normal sheikhy love.
Now I want to ask all you good comment-ers: what is the difference between the love/ respect one should have for one’s husband; and the love/respect one should have for a sheikh? Where is the line drawn? Okay you can list me the sunnahs, but I am talking about emotions. How emotionally involved should a sister be with a sheikh? For me I go to a halaqah for the ilm, and if the sheikh is handsome (and because of the nur given to them from the deen and the attraction blessed them from Allah azawajal in order to attract listeners on a basic level [ie, he must be presentable and eloquent for the task of course], he often is), then I force myself not to look and I bash myself emotionally for even going in that direction. The trouble is with women it is not the physical, it is the emotional, they feel an emotional pull towards a handsome sheikh as they feel he will emphathise. This is where the emotional love comes up.
So I want to ask you: how “emotional” should a sister be in her dealings with any sheikh? Where is the line drawn? How different should that love be to the love she is supposed to have for her husband?
Due to all the comments I feel sure you can all enlighten me inshAllah!
Personally I feel honesty is called for: sisters are not honest with themselves and try to justify their feelings, when in fact a sheikh is just providing an emotional vacuum left by the husband whom has not provided her with the emotional support. If they are honest, they will see this; But sometimes such is their obsessions that I think I am wrong, and that in their “love” they have something that I do not have.
I would be grateful for your comments on this issue. Thank you.
A Sister's Thoughts
June 9, 2011 • 2:01 AM
Assalamu Aleykum!
Jazakallahu Khair for the great article!
As a sister myself, I know that this is indeed a BIG problem. Although I haven’t seen any of this with my own eyes but only heard from friends and family, I think at the end of the day, we need to remind ourselves that Allah is always watching.
June 9, 2011 • 10:55 PM
Well, at my local masjid I did see quite a number of outwardly practicing single sisters once, act all giggly and silly when a certain da’ee finished a lecture downstairs….I noticed them running downstairs one by one to take a peek at how this person ,who was sort of this”up-and-coming” figure,looked like before he went in his car.
I had no idea at first, but when I found out what was going on, I felt a little sick and embrarrassed. How does it happen, the guy is like your teacher, its weird and plus you’re supposed to be ”practicing sistas” not talking about how ‘handsome’ your man-teacher looks like in a masjid. I pretended like I didn’t notice anything, since this was supposed to be their little secret (plus they were older than me). That actually made me totally suspicious of the sisters afterwards with regards to their intentions and uncomfortable which made me less interested in going to further lectures there. I just prefer sticking it out in home-sweet-home instead of sitting uncomfortably amongst a few sisters who are obviously living in another world (marriage and all).

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