When Speakers become Superstars

Most of us would condemn the crazy glitzy lifestyle of young athletes who hit stardom at an early age. They have adoring fans and people waiting on them hand and foot. They have an air of luxury – that seems more of their image than their actual talents.

Unfortunately some of our speakers are also heading toward this path. There are speakers who only travel in “first class,” or who request that they arrive at a gathering just when the speech should start because they don’t care much for mingling with the “common folk.”

I wish I could be wrong about these people but I am not. These stories have been verified by trustworthy people and sadly I am also witness to some of these accounts.

I was told this about one speaker’s “first class requirement:” He said, it is because most of the time when he goes to speak at a community as soon as he gets off the plane they rush him off to one youth function after another. That is why he asks for first class, because if you think about the fact that right after a 10-hour flight I’m being taken to a 3-hour Q&A and expected to be ‘on,’ I’d want a comfortable flight too…”

When I was growing up, my parents always taught me that I should spend money on those things that I need, rather than waste money on things that I want. Sure it’s OK to buy extra things, but I should not confuse my wants with my needs.

At the local masjid I attended as a child, I remember lectures on israaf, or wasting money. I remember being told to finish every grain of rice because I would be held accountable.

Unfortunately now those speakers who carry this air of “luxury” are the most sought after. They have become name-brand zakireen. These are the ones who have to be sponsored by at least 4-5 people because each session costs at least $1,000. One was heard mentioning he wanted to meet the Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai when he traveled to India for a speaking engagement.

Are these people we really should be emulating? Have our speakers become more like celebrities and us the people waiting on them hand and foot?

It’s one thing to be offered a first-class flight, but to require it? What happened to humility? What happened to the stories of our Prophets and his family and followers?

Hazrat Ali during his time as caliph would dress like a commoner and eat simply so that even the most poorest man would not hesitate before approaching him.

I agree respect and honor should be given to those who educate us, but we should not condne those who act arrogantly.

I have been witness to speakers who during a speech told the audience to be quiet like this: “There needs to be silence. Do you people not understand English?”

There are speakers who during the month of Moharram request that no water be placed beside them because they say they are talking about Imam Hussain and how he was martyred thirsty. Meanwhile there are some speakers who demand water during a speech, or scold the sound person in front of everyone and threaten to stop the speech until the microphone is fixed.

If this is the way those who are supposed to educate us act, then how can we expect change from those adoring fans?

Humility is the sign of a true momin. One who, like a tree which bears many fruit, keeps his head down instead of in the clouds.


About The Author

Samira Zaidi

Samira B. Rizvi was born and raised in Houston, Texas and is a former copy editor and web producer for the Houston Chronicle. She has a degree in print journalism from the University of Houston, where she also worked as an opinion columnist. Rizvi was awarded a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund copy editing internship in 2003 and a Hearst Newspapers Fellowship in 2004. She has worked at four different newspapers around the country - the Houston Chronicle, the Midland Daily News in Midland, Michigan, the Albany Times-Union in Albany, N.Y., and the Beaumont Enterprise in Beaumont, Texas. Recently having been laid off, Rizvi is using this opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. She also has a passion for writing and currently blogs for MomHouston.com.

Other posts bySamira Zaidi

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12 2010

30 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. Dudewhere'smybrain #

    Sorry about the length of this comment. Thank you for raising this issue. I think it’s an important one. I am disappointed that so many people choose to discuss on the level of
    “Are you talking about MY masjid or MY sheikh?”
    But I see the issue as slightly different. Yes, first class flights or five star hotels are expensive but that is not really the source of the problem. It is the fact that Muslim groups are EXPECTING so very much of these shayukh or speakers etc. Grueling schedules, tiring fund-raising dinners etc.

    Educators today know that lectures are fine, but the best way to really internalize something is by hands-on practice and through small group Socratic-style interaction. So maybe our focus needs to be more discussion-based rather than the current conference culture.

    It is the fact that we have made these people into celebrities that is the problem. We are letting these people ( and they are in every state, every community, every country) think for us. I am all for getting advice from a teacher but does that mean suspending all critical thought? God gave us all brains- not just certain shayukh or charismatic speakers.

    On a side note- we have simply GOT to find some more creative fund-raising strategies that are more sustainable in the long term. Purchasing properties, having trusts/waqfs etc. Aren’t we are all getting a little tired of fund-raising dinners with the out of town speaker who flies in and is held hostage for hours until the monetary goals are met.( Or my personal favorite: the “Tarawih- O Thon” The post four rakahs fund-raising sessions when you are at your spiritual peak and must stop and find your check-book )
    Fine,these masjids and schools need to get built. But at what ‘cost’?

    Yes, humility and simplcitiy are necessary characteristics of a believer. But WE are the ones who are making them into Muslim rock stars and celebrities. Then how can we turn around and ask them to stay humble?


  2. 2

    this is kind of a petty article, and not really on par with the quality of issues and ideas usually explored on this blog. I personally don’t agree with idolizing speakers/scholars, but if you think about it, by placing such high standards of behavior on them, you are forcing them into a role above the normal person.

    As someone who has grown up with children of such speakers and seen firsthand how their families function, let me bring up this small point. For most religious speakers, this is their only income. Muharram is the time where they must earn all the money they will need for the rest of the year. Now think about this: if a speaker charges $1000 per majlis, even if he recites a majlis everyday for 40 days straight he will only have made $40,000 in the entire year. And that’s a high estimate, because face it, after the first 10 days majalis only occur Thurs – Sun, and $1,000 is the maximum amount charged by any speaker. The average amount earned is usually less than half of that.

    Second point, do you know how much speakers charge in the US for even 20 minutes of their time? There are college professors out there who charge $10,000. They aren’t “superstar celebrities” but ppl pay them that much because they value their knowledge and expertise. You might find it appalling, but profs don’t get paid much either in this country.

    A real intellectual doesn’t grumble and complain that someone they look up to doesn’t live up to their expectations. They try to examine why they have these expectations, and why the person doesn’t fulfill them. They examine the situation as it exists in reality and ponder the circumstances that would allow their ideal to develop. I’d like to see that article here instead.


  3. Nabeela #

    It is very normal for human beings to get “star-struck”: it’s just something that we DO. However, if you want to know what God thinks about this, I suggest a thorough read of Surah 80.


  4. admin #

    We thank you all for your comments. Please note- further comments about specific individuals or institutions will not be tolerated, as they are not constructive to the actual discussion the article articulates. However we welcome constructive criticism and feedback. You are free to contact us (or the author) at info@inkpapermosaic.com if desired. 


  5. Safeer #

    Firstly, thank you for posting the responses. I appreciate that you let everyone be heard.

    My opinion is that none of the issues you raise should be of concern to anyone. It should be about what the audience comes away with, which obviously is substantial considering the crowds they draw. Although knowledge and education are important, their talents in memorization and delivery are the keys to their success and set them apart from the non “superstars.” If you are exceptionally good at something and can make a career out of it, you are applauded if you make money doing it. Why is it that some people have a problem if these speakers do the same? Did they not earn it in addition to the sawab they receive for delivering the message? I see no issue in this and encourage parents, if their children have such attributes, to help them pursue a career in spreading the word. We will surely see a spike in numbers if youth can see that scholars can live a comfortable life rather than the life of a monk (as some seem to think they must lead).

    I think all centers should strive to bring such speakers for the benefit of their respected membership. This is the way they will move forward. The cost is an irrelevant factor as it is proven that management is able to raise the funds they need to support them…the community is able and willing to give, no matter if they are just great speakers or if they are Alims/Moulanas.

    They are brand names and if it was all bad, then you wouldn’t have other speakers using their names as search tags in YouTube videos. They use these names because they know it will draw more attention to their lectures which otherwise no one cares to see.

    It’s time to open our eyes and realize that a shift has occurred and is here to stay. If your attitude is that you are loyal to only 1 center, it’s your loss. Most people will go where such speakers are hosted and don’t care which center invites them…this post or any other like it is not going to change anything.


    Samira Rizvi Reply:

    Thank you for your comment. You raise valid concerns, however the main issue I raised was that of behavior. A speaker’s character and actions should count and matter, and I think we all can agree on that. I think if we are going to act as “employers,” then speakers/alims should get the same “background check” as we would do to an employee. Employers don’t just check out a resume and hire the candidate. They do an interview.

    Whatever we do should be for Allah alone – not for a center/masjid, or our own personal agenda. Let’s just make sure that we are not selling our religion away for this world.


  6. ShereKhuda #

    Wait – is this the same Qazwini who said Imam Hussain committed suicide, and after getting in hot water for that, he apologized??? Must be a bad habit..

    You know it may come as a surprise but we all dont live in houston so we dont care about your internal politics – but way to call out Qazwini! I personally would not have even known who the author was talking about until you all “his supporters” started mentioning his name and specific issues…

    If you had a problem with what the author said you should have just messaged her or contactd her privately – that would be the subtle, mature approach. ANd also you would have saved Qazwini’s reputation.


    Zain Reply:

    Mature approach? Have you re-read your own post? You don’t even have your facts straight so why bother responding? You are just spreading hate. Very glad you are not in Houston… We don’t need any more people like you in this city.


  7. Samira Zaidi #

    Salaams to all:

    Much thanks to all those who commented, and a sincere thanks to those who offered more than just a personal attack or an attack regarding a specific masjid/center.

    There is a growing problem among speakers today, and that is that more and more are exhibiting behavior unbecoming of a follower of the Holy Prophet (SAW), his family and companions.

    In Islam, a speaker who sits on the mimbar, is in essence, representing the Holy Prophet (SAW) himself. Just because someone teaches us “good things” does not mean we should follow him/her. We should look at someone’s character, and their akhlaq. How they converse with the public, if they are patient, courteous and kind, etc.

    Anyone can learn Islamic history and take public speaking lessons and sit on the pulpit. But it takes a true Muslim to practice what he/she preaches and be humble and pious.

    A clarification: Many are saying that I am backbiting. However, according to fiqh rulings, to report on what someone does in public, especially a public speaker, is not ghibat. For example, a woman who does not wear hijab in public. If someone tells another person about this woman, it is not ghibat – because this woman chooses to do something in public. Instances I mentioned happened in public, and were not behind closed doors, nor meant to be hidden.

    It was brought to my attention that one speaker apologized for some of his actions, and to be fair, I am mentioning that now.

    Also, many commenters think I have based my piece on one speaker who came during the first 12 days of Moharram at a Houston center, but I have not. In fact these instances are regarding many speakers, male and female, who live here in the U.S. and abroad. I chose not to name any of the speakers so that anyone who has not heard them could make their own decisions.

    Again, the main reason I wrote this is because I see it as a growing problem among many speakers today, and I think we as Muslims who attend public speeches, have a responsibility to see who we let sit on the mimbar of our Holy Prophet (SAW).

    May Allah forgive us all for our mistakes and guide us during this holy month.



    Samira Zaidi Reply:

    Also, I am not condemning any specific person, center, etc. I am talking about BEHAVIOR. We all should be held accountable to these standards, if we consider ourselves followers of the Holy Prophet (SAW).

    My point is this: If we saw anyone intentionally push an elderly person in public, I am sure we would not condone such actions. So then why are we letting some get away with behavior we normally would not approve of?


    Momin Reply:

    Wsalam Sister,

    I highly doubt that you would know anything about any problem, let alone a growing one of speakers when the masjid that you attend has a certain type of speakers that have to go through a screening process of where they were educated, and specifically in which country before they can even think about coming and reading at the masjid you go to. Some of the greatest speakers in both the Urdu and English Language are banned at the center you attend. Maybe you should write a blog about why that is the case.

    Secondly, you are wrong when you say you didnt do Gheebat. A Speaker asking for a First Class ticket and charging a $1,000 a night is very private information that is usually only reserved for the organizers of the center, and NOT public information, so by making it public you did do Gheebat. By the way, where in Gods name are your sources? You are a journalist aren’t you?

    And please stop being naive for this cry that has taken a digital form is a very old one that we have been hearing from the elders and the youth now of just one specific center. Every year they have some problem or the other with every other center around them. STOP IT. Seriously.


    Samira Rizvi Reply:


    I find it amusing that many of you know exactly who I listen to and have kindly assumed that I only listen to speakers in one masjid. I actually have lived out of Houston for a few years and attended various masajid on the East Coast. Not only that, there is something called the “Internet.” On that you are able to listen to speakers/alims from around the world.

    It’s quite fascinating.

    Also, once again, I did not do ghibat. The information about a speaker’s requirement to fly first-class is his actual requirement. It is public knowledge. That’s why I mentioned it. And the other speaker who charges $1,000 is public about her rates as well. She gives masajid a discount at $500 a speech.

    I am sorry Seyed Jawad Qazwini’s name got out on a public forum in such a way. It was not my intention to have it like this, but I could not control his so-called supporters from graciously publicizing specific instances on a public forum.

    This blog is read by many people – and everyone has a right to make their own decision about anyone, based on that person’s actions. Which is why, again, I did not include names.

    Regardless, I would appreciate if commenters would talk about the issue at hand and stop bringing centers into it. I am not affiliated with any center. A center is just a building. I am not on any center’s board nor even an official volunteer.

    So please kindly stop with the personal attacks – not one of you can claim to know everything about me, and that includes who I listen to, where I go, and what I know. By talking like this you all are actually doing ghibat because you are bringing up things about me personally on a public forum.

    May Allah forgive us for our faults and keep us on the Right Path.


  8. Divided We Fall #

    I agree that some comments by the blogger could upset some people which they apparently have, but we do live in America people, and everyone has the freedom of speech. We are already divided enough, let’s not take it to the next level. Also, let’s act like civilized adults and refrain from talking noise about each others masjids please. I believe the people representing the youth from each masjid should arrange for some type of meeting and get this issue resolved instead of insulting each others choice of location for giving praise to God. Many of us in the community have grown up together when we were younger, so why pull the roots out now right when the leaves are sprouting? Instead of wasting time insulting each others comments, try to come up with some innovative way to keep our community cohesive, in particular the youth since they are the future. Please, stop the negativity and think about how the future, and the people who gave their lives in the past so you can be where you are today.



  9. 9


    I really enjoyed reading this article as it got me to THINK about many things we are seeing happening in our communities. As all of the articles on this blog are – food for thought.

    I remember this question being brought up to another alim about issues as such: some moulana charging a lot of $$, traveling luxurious, but most importantly, being a “good” speaker. The moulana said that just being good at “speaking”, or a good “orator” doesn’t make the moulana one that should be listened to. He mentioned this that Yazid was also a good speaker, but it was his character that made him a bad person. He then asked the audience, if Yazid was giving a speech, just because he spoke well, would we go and listen to him?

    I am not saying these speakers who are classified in what this article is talking about, are God forbid, like Yazid, but what I got from the article is that our leaders and role models, should be humble, and of course ALL Muslims.

    It was very sad to see so many rude remarks and personal attacks about centers on this article …..The writer did not write any names, cities, etc…I am not sure why readers do not think critically? This is a blog website—just opinions …….they are not being forced down anybody’s throat.

    Anyways, I appreciate Sister Samira for writing such a thought-provoking blog on a topic that IS an issue in current times, most people like to ignore the fact that it is a problem that our educators characters and behaviors are not of those of our Prophet and Imams (pbut).


    Muslim X Reply:


    The reason so many people are getting a visceral reaction is that many people know this sister and they know that this is not innocuous social commentary but rather a targetted attack on this speaker. Granted this speaker is not the best but trust me he is no where near being Yazid. Yes Yazid is a good orator but he was openly a kafir. Secondly these moulanas even at their worsts are not kafirs or openly drunkards. This sister is attacking ppl knowing well that the attack will register with those who know what she is speakign about and this sister and her center have been pushing such tactics for years and thus causing problems in the ummah…


    Samira Zaidi Reply:

    My center? Muslim X, I really think you should refrain from such personal accusations. I own no center, and even if my own father was one of these speakers, I would be responsible for speaking out against him.

    Again, there is no “targeted attack” against anyone. Please speak at the topic at hand. I did not get personal in my piece, and I would appreciate the same.



    Reader Reply:

    Muslim X,

    This is my point exactly..the sister did NOT attack…she gave no names/cities/centers/etc…

    Its the other people who mentioned the names of speakers/centers. Right?

    Why are we blaming a sister who is writing an opinion blog about a problem that is real and SHOULD be discussed. It is just an opinion and an opportunity for discussion, it is readers who have taken the blog wrong, and as an attack.

    If those who feel she was attacking did not give names, it would not be a problem, because she never mentioned any names.

    Also, by you saying “this sister and her center” you are not helping the cause of unity, because those who do know her, will think she is writing on behalf of a center…which she never claimed of belonging to or representing ——– THIS is the problem. When we assume that just because a person we know goes to a certain center, we assume ANY action, breath, word taken, we label it with the center. Why is that? That is not logical at all.

    And believe me, there are wayyy bigger things causing problems in the ummah.


  10. Safeer #

    I’m surprised that there is only 1 comment thus far considering the number of people your post seems to irritate. Are you screening the responses or something? I’m sure there would be far more people who disagree with you and you should let them be heard.

    Also, everyone knows at least 1 of the speakers you are talking about. That makes your post gheebat. If your entire article is about 1 speaker only, then you don’t have your facts straight and have very unreliable sources.


  11. hadi jaffery #

    lol thanks for blocking me

    Predictable lame response. You mention things that are obviously about Qazwini.. He was here for 12 days. You could have approached him directly instead of your cowardly act of writing your stupid blog after he leaves. It is what it is though. You can sugar coat it and think that it’s not gheebat. 9 out of 10 people would say it is.

    There are people that I know that say that you’re their friend. These girls are disappointed in you and said that they would pray for you. See the difference here ? I’m not doing gheebat bc I didn’t cite specific examples that make it clear of which one of your friends said this to me. The water thing.. The mic thing.. Come on.. You’re in denial that this isn’t gheebat.. Sad that your good deeds don’t mean anything after doing what you did.

    Btw your sources sucks. He didn’t fly first class and charges less than a thousand. Lol at you bc I’m hearing your a journalism major. You wanted to “run a story”.. You might want to check with the people that actually organized the programs.

    Talking crap about someone that spreads the message about the ahlul bayt. Kudos. Hope that makes you sleep better at night. Look at yourself and ask yourself what you are doing to better the community. This def does not accomplish that. All I know is that there were 500-800 people there every night for Qazwini’s speeches. A lot of people that would normally go to IEC. This is where the real agenda is for you.

    And another resounding LOL at the fact that only one person has sent you a positive comment on your blog. Anyways im sure youre a good person. you seem knowledgeable and religious..please try to do things that help the community come together. thats all were trying to do..were sick of all the adults and the politics in houston. this is the main reason we started the youth group and its very sad that were doing the same thing right now.


    Divided We Fall Reply:

    “All I know is that there were 500-800 people there every night for Qazwini’s speeches. A lot of people that would normally go to IEC. This is where the real agenda is for you.”

    Who cares who’s masjid had more attendees? The principle of the matter is, even if only ONE person attended each speech at the two locations that would still be a blessing. This isn’t a party where you can brag that you had more turnout than the other place. Please stop this. Also, if you want to talk facts, there were about 150 people max at the speeches, and I’m being generous. There was not no 500-800 people, I think you might want to reassess your people-counting-guesstimation-formula. I personally enjoyed Qazwini’s speeches at Ghadeer, but I will attend a speech anywhere as long as the speaker is good. People who limit their knowledge base out of pure ignorance are indeed cheating themselves. Speaking of which, Rajab Ali will begin speaking in a couple days, let’s gain some wisdom.


  12. 12

    When Masjids Become Centers For Attacks…

    I was silent for a long time reading this post but I feel now that this cannot be tolerated. This post is not some innocuous social commentary but rather a targeted attack on one speaker. I am not a fan of the manners of this speaker but I feel that the attacks brought against him is deliberate and does not address the quality of his knowledge. In regards to speakers becoming superstars I would rather my child idolize a speaker than a basketball player. Although you may bring up the point that we have idols like Imam Hussain(as) that are far better role models for our children I agree but they may also need living role models as well, imperfect roles models but someone they can relate too is better than nothing.

    Speakers do not become superstars for any reason except for the quality of their knowledge and the eloquence of their oration, you make it seem as though we do not need great speakers who can relate to the problems of the youth. Also these speakers imperfect as they may be are not as bad as you make them seem. They are not like Justin Timberlake or any other poor role model out there that our children may look up too. Although I may not agree with flying first class, or asking for more money than the average speaker(I do not know what the average price is) but I think the reason they can and get away with asking for such things is because they are good quality speakers that are in high demand. Once we have more speakers who can relate better, or we have masjids that do not block speakers for POLITICAL reasons I am sure that the prices will go down and demands will be humbled.

    In regards to this one speaker that you are referring to, I will be the personal witness to this, because I know you cannot vouch since you have not gone to one of his speeches ever, progress has been made in his manners. Over the years I have seen steady improvement and any issues he may have had this year I would like to inform the readers that he did apologize for his actions when it was brought to his attention. I in no way approve of his manners but I can take away something from his speeches and I appreciate him for that. It is the saying of our Imams that if someone teaches your child anything religious you should give him all your wealth. Meaning if you child leaves with an iota of knowledge you are in debt to that speaker.

    You may have your political differences with this man but you can choose, and you have made that choice, not to attend his lectures. But this TMZ-esque article of maligning his name is truly not something our Imams and our Prophet(saw) would approve of ever. Imam Ali(as) even stopped his companions from cursing at Mawaiyah and he was a degenerate!

    That brings me to my point when masjids become attack centers against our own speakers and our own members they will stop becoming Houses of God and just be nicely designed buildings. When members of certain masjids send out text messages telling people not to attend certain lectures they show how low they are. And this has and is happening!

    This nonsense only hurts the youth, the stupid bickering between masjids has led many youth not to come to any programs anywhere. And personally I mean to stay neutral between all parties but now it has become harder and harder to be neutral when things like this become so blatant.

    During Muharram, of all the English speakers available this one was the best one to go to. When I went to other places I did not see the same amount of quality and just was disgusted by blatant attempts of POLITICAL agendas trying to be accomplished, that too on the day of Aushura!

    I do not see the merit in such articles at all, rather it is a targeted attack which has been done during the month of Muharram. Which is a crying shame to be honest. You cannot show that you are correct by just showing half the picture allow all the people to see the entire truth and then let them be the judge.


    Samira Zaidi Reply:


    Actually I have had the opportunity to listen to the “speaker” you are referring to, but I appreciate that you know so much about me that you made the choice to assume that I have never been to his speeches ever.

    My main concern in writing this piece was to draw light to a growing problem. I did not name anyone purposely, nor do I want to get into a tit-for-tat.



  13. Nuzhat #



  14. J #

    By the way, did IEC ever give a speech about gheebat?


  15. J #

    Shia wahabis still publishing this garbage? Typical IEC pond.


    J Reply:



  16. Sakina Jaffery #

    From what i have read it seems like you are talking about Maulan Jawad Qazwini who just came to Al Ghadeer the first 12 days. I honestly, dont recall you coming to these majlises..but im not to forsure..thats not the point though.
    First off, a maulana or speaker who comes all out of their way to teach us youth about Islam should have every right to be comfortable and fly the way they want. Youre acting like we people dont do that, and they are just like us. If we would want to fly that way, im pretty sure they would want to, too.
    Second, when someone is giving a speech, or talking they will get distracted if somone else is talking. Telling them to bequiet is not wrong at all. Its actually the parents who bring thier kids to the majlis to tell them to stop talking, or to teach them how to behave when coming to a majlis..they should teach the kids to have some respect when an adult is talking.
    Third, If someone is choking on the mimbar it is our job to help them out and give them water or somethign to stop them. At that point it was out fault that we didnt get up right away and get him water. And to make the majlis move on and not stop he had to hurry and tell the person to get water. he wasnt just going to sit their and choke on his cough.
    Fourth, The mic system messing up was the organizations fault..obviously if a maulana is going to get distracted from voice he is gonna get upset. He didnt even stop the majlis. So i dont even see what the issue is?
    Lastly, If you have personally witnessed all this, im sure you saw that he apologized for all his actions..but you seemed to leave that out? Yes, qazwini did say sorry for what he did. and he did not repeat any of it after. So, i think next time you should see the good in the maulana or speaker. and not the bad. As long as he is teaching us youth and mulsims about islam, is all we need. Not to point out the bad in them..even though there really wasnt any bad.


  17. Nabeela #

    Perhaps people who have true humility refuse to foster the ‘adoring fan’ mentality among those who would learn from them.

    Perhaps true teachers are the ones who wish for their students to move beyond their teachings and “grow their own wings”.


    No point bc you won't publish this Reply:

    Perhaps you should follow what you preach and refrain from doing blatant gheebat. You have a problem with Qazwini, which is more than obvious in your futile attempt to bring disunity in the community.

    Obviously you’re butt-hurt that IEC had ridiculously small crowds show up to their programs. Qazwini apologized for everything you mentioned in front of hundreds of people. He won’t have to ask for forgiveness due to that. Can you say the same thing after what you have publically blogged? Get some courage and speak to these so-called celebrity speakers directly instead of sitting behind a computer screen talking nonsense.

    Yes it’s nonsense. Amazing Urdu speakers who are very religious men charge over $1000 a speech. All that matters is that people learn about the message of Ahlul Bayt. Who are you to judge on what they’re asking for price-wise? Qazwini passed along the message of Imam Hussain and did it in a wonderful fashion. Tons of children and adults world-wide benefitted from it.

    I’ll conclude with this. You’re young yet you’re like every adult in our community and other communities all over. Politics. Politics. Politics. Get off your high horse.


    Nabeela Reply:

    Dear Gentle Reader,
    I’m afraid there has been a bit of a misunderstanding here. I don’t know who Mr. or Mrs. Qazwini is, and I don’t know what or where the IEC is, and the quote I took is from Attar (dead a long time, don’t know what he charged for a public speaking engagement).
    I actually thought the author of the blog was quite careful about NOT mentioning names and so on.
    My comment was just meant to make us think that the superstar vs. fans is a kind of relationship. Instead of blaming the superstars for their ‘bad behavior’, we should also look to ourselves and ask “what am I doing to enable this behavior?” Just a bit of introspection, that’s all.
    Scholars are tradtionally given an honorarium after they give a speech, it is academic courtesy. How much each group or institution wishes to give is up to their discretion. If you feel the ‘price’ is worth it for the instruction, then by all means do it. However, if you feel the speaker is charging too much, then don’t invite him or her. Buy the book and have a book club discussion instead.


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