Bradford imam resigns after allegations of inappropriate relationships with women

A well-known imam from Bradford has stepped resigned from his position and stopped all public speaking roles after damning evidence was presented to senior scholars about his inappropriate relationships with women.

Muhammed Asim Hussain was an imam at Al-Hikam Institute in Bradford and has a significant social media presence with nearly 197,000 followers on Facebook.

The 28-year-old has regularly delivered talks across the UK on issues mainly relating to Muslim youth.

Yesterday, Mr Hussain posted a video on his Facebook page addressing his followers, victims and the Muslim community, which has now been deleted.

In the 90 second video, the former imam publicly apologised, repented, and asked for forgiveness from those he wronged.

The revelations about the popular imam came to surface after numerous allegations of inappropriate relationships with women who sought his advice were brought to the attention of senior scholars.

A meeting was held on Thursday 24 January in Birmingham, which was attended by Shaykh Asrar Rashid, Shaykh Saqib Shami and other prominent figures to address the accusations made against Mr Hussain.

A public statement signed by Shaykh Shami and Shaykh Asrar was issued yesterday, which read:

“An emergency meeting was conducted on Thursday 24th January, 2019 at Kanz ul Huda Headquarters (Birmingham, UK) in relation to the serious allegations made against Asim Hussain.

“The meeting was initiated and organised by Suhail Ahmed Qadri who insisted that this is a matter for the honour of Islam and must be held by reputable scholars to come to a just decision.

“This meeting was held on the condition that Asim Hussain must abide (in its totality) by the decisions made by the scholars present.’

“The meeting lasted for over two hours and was presided over by Shaykh Saqib Iqbal Shami, with other notable attendees including Shaykh Asrar Rashid, Maulana Qamran Khan, Imam Adil Shahzad, Pervez (Al-Hikam Institute, Bradford), Imran Chaudhary, Suhail Ahmed-Qadri and Asim Hussain respectively.

“After much deliberation, it was decided that Asim Hussain (Al-Hikam Institute, Bradford) will be relieved from all religious duties with immediate effect. This entails:

1) Relinquishing the position of Imam/Shaykh

2) Foregoing all Islamic talks/study circles

3) Abstaining from answering questions relating to Islam

4) Terminating all personal accounts on social media.

“In this meeting Asim Hussain, admitted to the offences and evidence presented before him and as a result the following conditions were put in place to prevent further incidents occurring:

1) Asim Hussain is to refrain from all forms of social media until permitted. He is to utilise his time in seeking knowledge and developing himself spiritually

2) He must pray his five times daily prayers. To aid in this a brother was appointed to monitor this daily and report back

3) He is to look for a spouse as a priority

4) He is to refrain from any contact with Ghayr Mahram women.

“Asim Hussain, categorically agreed to these conditions and repented for his actions.”

The statement also mentioned that Mr Hussain had been spoken to and subsequently disciplined for similar allegations in 2017:

“Whilst there may be concern that this matter should not have been made public by way of this statement, it is necessary that the background to this major step is explained.

“An initial meeting took place in February 2017 at Kanz ul Huda Headquarters, following a series of allegations made regarding abuse of position against Asim Hussain.

“This meeting was presided over by Shaykh Saqib Iqbal Shami, with notable attendees including Shaykh Asrar Rashid, Imam Ijaz Shami, Imran Chaudhry and Asim Hussain.

“In this meeting Asim Hussain, admitted to the offences and evidence presented before him and as a result the following conditions were put in place to prevent further incidents occurring:

1) Asim Hussain is to refrain from all forms of social media until permitted. He is to
utilise his time in seeking knowledge and developing himself spiritually.

2) He must pray his five times daily prayers. To aid in this a brother was appointed to
monitor this daily and report back.

3) He is to look for a spouse as a priority.

4) He is to refrain from any contact with Ghayr Mahram women Asim Hussain, categorically agreed to these conditions and repented for his actions.

“Despite Asim Hussain breaching the above conditions repeatedly, further warnings were given regarding his conduct and behaviour to give him opportunities to repent.

“However, to conceal his sins we have abstained from disclosing them as this would not be expected from a commoner let alone an Imam.”

You can read the full statement here.

Speaking to 5Pillars, Shaykh Asrar said: “Abuse of religious authority is a very serious issue and one which will be addressed and tackled according to its severity. I hope this sets an example for Islamic scholars and institutions across all sects, schools and movements.

“Some people questioned our motive due to us not tackling other cases. But in reality those cases were never brought to me directly. If they were I would take action. If anything illegal it will be taken to the police.”

You can listen to the full audio of the meeting via: https://youtu.be/eeM-dneD-RY

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