Toronto Imam charged with 13 sexual offenses
Mohammad Masroor, 48, taught the Qur’an at a local mosque
Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq
In the Muslim community three major issues seem to always get buried: Domestic abuse, racism, and sexual abuse crimes. Of course there are many other issues that are also not openly discussed, however, as a direct result of Islamophobia, certain problems in our community are “buried”, partly because many Muslims have the attitude of being frustrated with the tendency of Islamophobes and the media to rashly vilify Muslims and present us in a negative light. Other reasons include the seriousness of these issues and how rigorously Muslims hide their sins.
Whosoever covers (the sins of) a Muslim, Allah covers (his sins) on the Day of Judgment. [Reported by Bukhari]
‘Abd Allah reported that the Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, said, “A believer is not a fault-finder and is not abusive, obscene, or course.”
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners 313, Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, and Hakim]
… Ibn ‘Abbas said, “If you wish to mention the faults of your friend, mention your own faults first.”
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners 329]
... Ibn ‘Abbas said on the following verse of the Qur’an, “Nor defame one another” (49:11), “Do not spend your time finding fault with one another.”
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners #330]
Jubayr ibn Nufayr reported that Mu’adh ibn Jabal said, “If you love someone, do not quarrel with him and do not annoy him. Do not ask others about him, for the one you ask might be his enemy and thus tell you things about him that are not true and thus break you apart.”
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners 545]
‘Amr ibn al ‘As said, “…I am amazed at one who spots an impurity in the eye of another but is unable to detect it in his/her own eye, or who attempts to remove a grudge from another’s heart while making no attempt to remove grduges from his/her own heart. I have never blamed anyone for the confidences of mine that they have betrayed. How could I, when already they have given me reason for pause?”
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners #889 and Ibn Hibban]
Bilal ibn Sa’d al Ash’ari reported that Mu’awiyah wrote to Abu Darda’ “Write to the wrongdoers of Damascus.” So he asked, “What do I have to do with the wrongdoers of Damascus? How will I know them?” Abu Darda’s son, Bilal said, “I will write to them,” which he did. Then Abu Darda’ said [to Bilal], “How did you know to whom to write? You could not have known they were wrongdoers unless you were one of them. Begin with yourself!” So he did not address the letter in anyone’s name.
[Hadith – Bukhari’s Book of Manners 1295]
O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.
Those who love (to see) scandal published (and) broadcast among the Believers will have a grievous Penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows and ye know not.
These ahadith and ayat go towards showing the reticence of Muslims of reporting or even acknowledging certain crimes[terrorism not being one of them, for all our Islamophobic readers]. The issue at hand here is sexual molestation by respected elders and leaders in the Islamic community, the Imam being one of the most important of these. This problem is not a Christian or Jewish problem, not a problem of the Catholic and Protestant Church, but is a human problem. This is something the Muslim community should be tackling head on. Before we make a definitive judgment however I remind readers of this ayah from the Qur’an:
O you who believe! If a Fâsiq (liar – evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done.[Qur’an 49:6].
A Toronto imam has been charged with multiple sexual offenses against his students, the Toronto Sun reports. 48-year-old Mohammad Masroor was arrested August 10 on charges involving five people, both male and female. Masroor is the imam of the Baitul Mukarram Islamic Society in Toronto’s east end. Police say he faces up to 13 charges, many of which involve sexual related acts and death threats. Masroor—who taught the Koran at the local mosque and privately in homes—has traveled extensively throughout the world, raising questions about potential cases outside the country as well. He has been in Canada since 2008.