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An Eye-Watering Story

I am Gujarati: Hands Off My Mosque

ومن أظلم ممن منع مساجد الله أن يذكر فيها اسمه

“And who is more oppressive than he who prevents the mosques of Allah from mentioning His name.”

I write this with a heavy heart and a tear in my eye, never before have I written on behalf of someone who is deceased. That’s right, this message is on behalf of a girl who passed away aged 7.
Before she passed away she desired to visit a Masjid, the house of Allah, but she was refused from several Gujarati Masjids in Blackburn. Why?

One Masjid said her wheelchair will make our carpets dirty?!


Another Masjid said, if we have a fire she will cause a hazard! (She wanted a tour, not admission).


The Masjid that finally gave permission said, just look from the shoe racks??? Which she did and tearfully said, “Mum, is it because I am disabled I didn’t get a proper tour?” Heartbreaking!


In the end, the Abu Hanifah Foundation gave her a proper tour, their students sang Nasheeds for her and gave her a crystal frame…

THIS IS ISLAM! Respect to AHF, I salute you. 


And shame on the others, you disgust me. I must mention that the girl was a Pakistani and Pakistani is not a code word for Patels. Maybe if she was a Patel, she would have been allowed? 


Dear Gujarati Masters,
I’ll call you by the title you love, let me massage that ego for you. I’m happy to be your slave and servant. Your Masjids are no longer the houses of Allah, they are clubs, where the Gujarati Master throws his weight around and stamps his authority down. Perhaps it doesn’t work at home on the wife and kids?


If your heart doesn’t irk with this story you need to do an “Iman test” toooo many people testing for Corona and not checking that their Iman is positive. Just because these Imams don’t have disabled children, that doesn’t mean you don’t care about disabled children. This family is not related to me, nor do we have disabled children in the family, Alhumdu lillah… but the story still bothered me for nights. 


Before you blame committees of the Masajid… stop right there! The family approached the Imams who are very outspoken on the Mimbar but fragile on the inside I guess, it’s easy to talk the talk I guess. Gujaratis are good for establishing institutions, but not for establishing JUSTICE!

Ulama are incompetent when it comes to these diversity issues. Islam is not just about Salah and Sawm. Islam is a diverse religion, let Ulama open their minds, open their hearts and open their Masajid.

Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (one who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)

24 Muharram 1442

By Ismail ibn Nazir Satia

I'm for the truth no matter who tells it. I'm for justice no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being first and foremost and for whoever benefits humanity...

26 replies on “An Eye-Watering Story”

You need to report this to the Police as discrimination. That’s the only language these Masjid committees understand. Don’t let them use previously used emotional blackmail tactics (threatening your akhirah and the like because you’re challenging the masajid committees and going against the Masjid, nothing but taboo), they will only get their act together if they have a formal warning that something must be done to rectify the situation otherwise they’ll be consequences.

It’s sad to say but the upper management of Deobandi mosques is always riddled with such uncompassionate elders that continue to count the incomings in a miserly way but when it comes to changing a brick for any kind of compelling reason such as this one, they take a hard stance and come up with a hundred excuses to stop work from being done.

Well done to the Abu Hanifa Foundation – it’s not surprising cos I hear they are all Young people who have been blessed with knowledge and understanding about these kinds of issues. Well done to them though for stepping up and indirectly shaming the other establishments for their refusals.

Salams brother
You would be shocked to see the responses of Gujarati Ulama and Imams. Arrogant!

By reading about your unforgiving experience, I’m shocked. Please, it’s never too late to report to the police. Gather the courage and do it, i say. These hypocrites need exposing. They are Muslims by name only.

Memoirs from a madrasa

In 1992 at the age of 12 I was admitted into an Islamic School. I left home and move there for 4 years. At that time I was young, naive and simply didnt know what I was getting myself into. How could I? Even my parents didn’t know how torturous and brutal life was about to become.

I recall a time when my mother phoned me whilst I was there, and she told me to come home quick as my father was ill in hospital. I hadn’t seen my family for about 3 months and as soon as I heard my dad was ill, my world stopped and I quickly rushed to the secretary’s office to inform him and ask for leave.

I went in, and the big and bulky Secretary was there alongside one of the esteemed scholars, a Mufti. I informed the secretary about my dads illness and he asked me to fill in a form which he would sign. I started to look for a pen and I saw the pen next to the Mufti and I asked him to pass the pen as it was next to him, all of a sudden I felt a thumping slap on my face, my eardrum was ringing, I fell to the ground dazed, i could see the Secretary above me shouting at me, I asked him why he slapped me, he shouted back “how dare you ask your teacher to pass you a pen!! Don’t you know what respect is!!”

He was referring to “ADAB” a respect which is demanded in madrasa for your teachers..I only asked him for the pen as it was nearest to him. I got up and apologised, all I wanted was a signature so I could get leave and quickly get on a train and go see my dad. Yet there was no sympathy, instead this man felt snapping a 13 Year old to the ground was him teaching me what ADAB is. Anyway I got the signature, he then informs me that i now need to go and see Qari Saab and show him this form and he would allow me leave.

I didn’t want to go to the qari saab, the wickedest man I ever met, the most ruthless bastard I had the displeasure of meeting. I feared him, I had been beaten up by him on many occasions. I had no choice but to go to his office. I slowly walked to his office, my ear drum still ringing, head spinning but all I wanted was to see my dad.

I knocked on his door, I could head him reciting the Holy Quran as per usual. I entered, he was sitting down and reciting aloud the Noble Verses of the Quran, alongside him was a fellow senior student who had the Quran open and helping the Qari sab as he was reciting without looking at the Quran. I was standing up as I was waiting for him to tell me to sit. He had his cane on one hand, and whilst he was reciting the verses from the Quran in a rhythmic way, he shouted in a rhythmic way “betja machli ke baaacheeeeee!” (Sit down you son of a fish) his racist comment towards most Bengalis as we eat a lot of fish. I sat down, I waited for him to stop his recitation so I could hand him the form, as he recites he is staring at me menacingly, and with another verse from the Quran on his lips, he gets his rubber cane and whips it right across my right knee, not touching me, but this was his way of terrifying me, I shivered as the cane was only inches away from my knee, he then recited more words from the Quran and he whipped his cane to my left side, by this I jumped in fear as it was only inches away. What kind of sick bastard does this whilst reciting the Quran, he obviously got kicks seeing children being fearful. Again this went on for a couple of minutes. Tears rolled down my eyes, all I wanted was to get permission to see my sick dad, and here’s these supposed men of God treating me worse than an animal. I had lost my dignity, my shame, I simply was made to feel worthless.

The Qari saw my tears and as he recited, he said “Bol machli ke baache, kis liye aaya?” (Tell me son of a fish why have you come?) I replied “mere walid sab bemar he, mujhe ghar jaana he” (my father is ill, I need to go home”.. he then kept reciting and just looking at me, I was just eager for him to tell me to go, as he recited he hit his cane again towards my left knee, then to my right knee, then I just lost it…as he struck the cane again towards my knee, I instinctively grabbed the cane and shouted “what’s wrong with you, yoy psycho!! I just want to go home!!”

And with that said, he looked shocked and I knew I had to run!! I got up and ran out the room, the Qari shouted to his student to chase me, I ran as fast as I could, it was the most scariest moment of my life, I ran so fast…I wish I could tell you that I escaped..but the student caught me, I begged him to release me, but his student was a loyal student..instead he grabbed my legs and pulled me across the corridor towards the Qari, I was screaming for help, no one came, everyone heard my screams, everyone saw me being dragged that day, but everyone became deaf and blind.

I felt the Qari put his knee onto my back as the student passed me onto his master, his knees crushed into my back, a 15 stone bulky man on a little 13 year old boy. He grabbed both my ears as my face was towards the floor, as he grabbed them he suddenly let go and with both the palms he thumped both my ears…it was excruciating pain. He slapped my head many times, I cried I screamed, he turned me around and whipped me with his cane, every part of my little body was battered that day by his whip… I lost consciousness whilst the beating took place.

I regained consciousness, I saw the mufti intervening, begging the Qari to stop. He reluctantly stopped, he was breathless. The mufti picked me up, took me to his office, I couldn’t walk, I was crying, disoriented. I don’t recall how I got to the office, but I recall the mufti comforting me, telling me that when teachers hit you, it’s actually a blessing as that part of the body will not touch he’ll fire.

Obviously that’s a load of bullshit, but at the time It didn’t make a difference. He told me that he would drop me to the train station, and I should promise not to tell my parents, social services about what happened as the madrasa would be in trouble and I would be cursed by God if anything happened to the madrasa.

I remember believing that..and simply saying “I just want to see my dad”. I remember him dropping me off to the train station, Even giving me sweets for the journey. I remember coming home and seeing Dad, I hugged my dad and mum, they had no idea what their child was suffering, they had no idea of the beatings..my dad was ill, I didn’t want to burden my parents when they had their own worries. I remember looking at my body when I went home, my whole body had cane marks on. But there was no more tears to be shed, I couldn’t cry anymore..I became desensitised by the beatings, I became a victim of indoctrination.

To this very day, my 4 years in madrasa still gives me nightmares. When I see videos of child abuse, I can’t tolerate it as I remember I too was a victim. This was not Islam, this is not what my religion taught, it was simply psycho men beating young children up..it’s as simple as that.

Thanks to stricter laws this doesn’t happen anymore in madrasas…not because they realised it was wrong..they stoped because of stricter laws and because of child safety measures. No child in any institution should ever have to suffer the way myself and my generation of children suffered, no child should ever be emotionally blackmailed or indoctrinated.

Maybe my past sufferings as a child made me intolerant against seeing children suffer, hence my work to support children in refugee camps or poor countries. Maybe, who knows..but what I do know is those dark days made me realise that looks are deceiving, not every big bearded guy is pious, not everyone who recites the Quran is holy…What is important is the internal characteristics of a human, what’s important is how we treat one another..that is the fundamentals of humanity.

Shah Lalon Amin

P.s. retarded guji Madrasa system only incubates Monkeys….. arseholes should be reported to police locked away in a mental faculty. ????

Masha’Allah, these issues need to spoken about more and this sort of racism and abuse needs to be driven out wherever we find it. I remember delivering a Bayaan in Dewsbury Madrasa once about racism, the feedback I got from Ml. Yusuf Raja a teacher there was not to be “too sensitive” about racism! Basically, we needed to just accept it as it was a pandemic within the tableeghi community. Instead of dealing with it and exposing it, they wanted us to just accept it.

By reading about your unforgiving experinced, im shocked. Pls its never too late to report to the police. Gather the courage n do it, i say. These hypocrites need exposing. They are muslims by names only.

Being from a Muslim family meant go to Madrasa after school, 5 to 7 – 5 days a week.
My local masjid happened to be a Gujrati Masjid in London.

I’ll just make one statement and let everyone decide what to make of our experience.

Whenever there was a bad smell in the madrasa, the teacher would say
“Pakistani Larko ne wuzu nai kiya, buhut badboo hai”

The Pakistani boys have not made wuzu, hence the bad smell.

Whether this story is true or false, one thing we can say for sure is US bangali and Pakistani students have experienced so much racism from the gujrati community.
Be it in their Mosques, their Madrasahs, Tabligh Jamaat you name it.

The most saddest and worrying part is those who expressed their racism where not event common people, rather many of them were people who were involved in running institutes, and Mosques and even charities.
Disgusting attitude.
Be prepared to answer to Allah on the day of judgment for your discrimination.
“Wheres your proof for this disabled girls story?? ”
The gentleman might not have proof, and lets say for arguments sake the story is made up, but the fact is oppression has taken place on Bangalis and Pakistanis in Gujrati places of worship and education.

Mufti Satia,you are an absolute legend,I wish all molvis had your grit, determination and balls, sorry about the language but you know what I mean mufti Saab.

These dirty traits such as racism and arrogance are inside the masaajid committees and amongst a lot of ulama this is what stops the masjids from moving forward. The hypocrisy is on another level . My friends who are surti gujarati say this themselves how racist elders can be and worst thing is these traits are passed on to the younger generation and haraam actions are taking place in madrasahs and Darul ulooms

Jazak Allah, but i am not harsh. The experiences were with Gujarati Masajid, hence i wrote “Gujarati” if they were Pakistani Masajid i would have wrote Pakistani? That’s just common sense?!

Unbelievable. Let’s just say, now more than ever, there is a need for change. We’re not asking for the spectacular. In the Arab world, the masjids have facilites for women.

We on the other hand, have made it a taboo, and disturbed the balance. Which ultimately leads to extremities.

Majority of the people that say women shouldn’t be allowed to the masjid, allow their women everywhere else, including supermarkets, schools, colleges and universities.

Our masjid are now averaging hundreds of thousands And more often millions. Why can’t we solve this issue?
There’s a real danger of alienating an entire generation of muslimahs. Many have no connection, after leaving madrasah. Where’s the spiritual hub for these young (and older) muslimahs?
YouTube?
Once a month Bayaans?
Get a grip peoples!

And when it comes to chanda lillah collections, women often lead from the front. Emotionally charged bayans make sure of this!
I’ve seen women sat in their cars while the males go inside to pray their salah. Just doesnt tally!
It feels like we are following the very stricktly guided imported deen from where our elders came from!

. And there are those who put up a mosque by way of mischief and infidelity – to disunite the Believers – and in preparation for one who warred against Allah and His Messenger aforetime.They will indeed swear that their intention is nothing but good; But Allah doth declare that they are certainly liars. (Surah At-Tawba, 107)

#6. Never stand thou forth therein.There is a mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety; it is more worthy of the standing forth (for prayer) therein.In it are men who love to be purified; and Allah loveth those who make themselves pure. (Surah At-Tawba, 108)

#7. of the people there are some who say: “We believe in Allah and the Last Day;” but they do not (really) believe. (Surah Al-Baqara, 8)

#8. When it is said to them: “Believe as the others believe:” They say: “Shall we believe as the fools believe?” Nay, of a surety they are the fools, but they do not know. (Surah Al-Baqara, 13)

I find this tragic and at the same time typical. Asabiyyah (tribalism) is the death of this ummah…we have to sense of Prophet’s supreme goal as one. One just has to read his last sermon to see how much emphasis he laid on anti-racism and anti-bigotry.

Please name these mosques, they deserve to be put to utter shame. Otherwise, they (the imams and those that run the masjids) will continue their malpractices in the name of ‘their’ community.

I agree there is a lot of that and my opinion is that the commitee members mostly (but it’s changing with the new generation) are not educated, specially in Islamic terms. They are unable to grasp that opening and accepting of others in not a sell out to your own Mazhab etc. Alhumdolillah I am a gujarati and on a Commitee member who was of the younger generation. Yes, I found many aspects of the way things are run very disheartening. Alhumdolillah we now have one of the best Masjid open days and we use younger members to volunteer for various events or community programmes we deliver.
I think you are a bit harsh in your criticism as all ethnic groups are guilty of this but Gujarati’s are probably a community who may have most number of masajids under their control. Also remember there are no paid admin positions in most masaajids so the person or people whom run day to day running of the masjid would decline a request without first taking advice etc.

Jazak Allah, but i am not harsh. The experiences were with Gujarati Masajid, hence i wrote “Gujarati” if they were Pakistani Masajid i would have wrote Pakistani? That’s just common sense?!

Imran A

A masjid in east London refused young children (primary years) from attending the masjid (despite a fully compliant safety, hygiene etc policy being presented) due to fear children will destroy the new carpet.
These are kids who walked into a church, temple, synagogue and a gurdwara as per their religious education project.

Many of our Sub- Continant masaajid are failing the Muslim Ummah at large and as a result its no surprise the masaajid are found to be empty throughout the year and children are growing up to become agnostic and young ulama are reluctant to take up imaamat positions etc

I fully respect the management authorities of the masaajid, its not easy work and many are giving time and energy but on a general note, the managing approach needs to change from authorative dictating attitudes to selfless humbled servant attitudes.

باپ کی جاگیر
is no cliché anymore, its literally how many masaajid are run

Long live Mufti Ismail Satia for addressing these issues until these things are not public the institutions and masjids will never move forward.

Muhammad F
The story is indicative of Gujarati religiousness constituting only adherence to the tenets of Islam, devoid of emotion or spirituality. Because if there was spirituality, or dare I say humanity, then the very Salah they have been performing for 30 or 40 years would have perfected their mu’asharah. The fact it hasn’t is indicative that their Salah is merely a ritualistic stiff upper lip burden.

Another aspect of this story is the deliberate or subconscious tribalism at play. A group of people from Yemen became murtad because Allah Ta’ala disliked their tribalism/racism that they perpetuated during the time of Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam.

Wherever you have a predominant Gujarati Muslim community, the general rule is that the issue of a superiority complex will exist. But we’ll all soon find out in the grave who really was superior. Was it the Patel or the Khan?

Great post, bringing to attention an issue that is taboo and long overdue.
As a Gujarati female, I feel not only do they need to tackle ingrained racism but sexism too.
Masjids are meant to be for the community not solely for men. Why are they not running free courses for our community members? Why are youth activities/workshops etc not taking place?

It’s appalling that so much time, effort, and money is raised to build these beautiful masjids however in some no other activity aside from the 5 daily prayers and a few lectures a month takes place.

It would be an idea to translate your article into Gujarati for those who cannot read English, to spread the message.

Jazakallah..

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