My name is Khan – Oh, is it?

Shah Rukh Khan detained on US airport

Not being recognized is a problem Shah Rukh Khan does not encounter very often. On Saturday, however, the 43-year-old Bollywood star, who was on his way to an Independence Day function in Chicago, was detained for close to two hours by immigration authorities at Newark Airport in New Jersey, USA.

Khan said he found the incident “a little embarrassing.”

Khan was waiting for his bags when security officials asked him to accompany them. “I thought it was nice of them to take me to another room,” he said. “But apparently that was a second check. I had my papers in order…I was taken aback.”

Khan said he chose not to say too much to the officials “because I am little worried about Americans as they do have this issue when your name is Islamic.”

“I will take the first flight back to India once my work here is finished,” he added.

The actor was interrogated, his bags checked and he was asked to give names and phone numbers of people he knew in the US. He was not allowed any calls till the interrogation ended. Khan then called the Indian consulate, who secured his release.

Shah Rukh Khan has just finished shooting in the US for his next film, which is about a Muslim man who is subjected to racial profiling in the US. The film is called My name is Khan. The star’s detention has upset his fans, Bollywood and the Indian government. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni suggested an equal and opposite reaction towards Americans visiting India. “I am of the opinion that the way we are frisked, for example I too was frisked, we should do the same to them,” PTI quoted Soni as saying.

India has formally taken up the matter with the US, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said in Delhi. US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer issued a statement saying, “We are trying to ascertain the facts of the case, to understand what took place. Shah Rukh Khan, the actor and global icon, is a very welcome guest in the US. Many Americans love his films.”


Please click here and here to read more in The Times of India

Image Source: Times Online

60 thoughts on “My name is Khan – Oh, is it?”

  1. @Mohamed: “it sounds like something you might have got from one of your favourite “ignorant mullahs”. You’re right, he was a guy who spent his life cheating and looting others but after the age of 50, grew a thick beard, read a few books on Islam, and now runs his fingers through his beard talking solemnly about what true Islam is. He told me that his mentor (a certain professor in Hyderabad, Sindh) had written a book in which Salman Farsi’s age was stated to be 250 years. Then, when I was in Madina after performing Haj, I came across another ignorant mullah (of Pakistani origin) who said Salman Farsi’s age was 650 years when he died.

  2. I have not been able to find the Hadith about 124,000 prophets

    The hadith of 124,000 prophets is according to Musnad Imam Ahmad (Hadith # 21257). Islam differentiates between prophets (nabi) and messengers (rasool) of god. The prophets that have been given a revealed scripture by Allah are messengers.

    Considering the world currently has 6,900 living languages, the dead languages perhaps would be in tens of thousands. Moreover, if every community has had a prophet at different intervals over time, the figure of 124,000 prophets appears quite appropriate.

    I have also heard that Hazrat Salman Farsi’s age at the time of his death was 650 years

    I have never heard of such a hadith, it sounds like something you might have got from one of your favourite “ignorant mullahs”. To make a long story very short, Salman Al Farsi (Salman the Persian) may Allah be pleased with him was a young boy when one of the local churches in his village in Iran attracted him. As a young boy, he left his ancestral religion and home to live with four old Christian monks and priests successively in Syria/ Palesngtine and Iraq areas. Each priest directed him to the next priest who was on the “right guidance”. The last of the priests told him “I know no priest in the world that follows our path anymore” (perhaps referring to monotheistic belief, because at that time Trinitarian Christianity established itself politically successfully destroyed Unitarian beliefs around 200 odd years before the time of this last priest). However, this last priest told him of a prediction of three signs to identify a new prophet who was due to come in the Arabian Peninsula. So Salman Al Farsi set forth on an eventful journey that lasted several years until he reached the Prophet (SAWS) and identified all the three signs. According to hadith history Salman was not old when he met the Prophet (SAWS). If you consider these facts and the following, his age cannot be in hundreds:

    – a gap of 570 years between the prophet Jesus and prophet Muhammad (peace be on them)
    – He was a young boy when he left home in Persia, where, Christianity took a few hundred years to reach after the departure of Christ (AS)
    – He was not old when he met the prophet (SAWS)

  3. @ Mohamed: I have not been able to find the Hadith about 124,000 prophets. I have also heard that Hazrat Salman Farsi’s age at the time of his death was 650 years. Do you know the Hadith number (Bukhari) of these two pieces of information?

  4. @Shakir:

    You said: “I’m afraid I don’t follow your reasoning.”

    You are not supposed to follow me, you are supposed to follow the reasoning offered by Qur’an & Sunnah. If you understand the Qur’an differently, please produce your evidence.

    You said: ”In my opinion, if a man or woman (whether Muslim or non-Muslim) has not sinned in the real sense…”

    I am sure your opinion is valuable in many situations, however, you or anybody’s opinion is not valid in defining sin. Sin is only relevant in context of a religion, it refers to violation of God’s law. Human opinions change over time, certainly in the not so distant future, opinion of some will be- “incest is ok, as long as it is consensual and you don’t reproduce”. More likely, some people already have such an opinion, give it a little time for more people to join this opinion until it becomes more acceptable in society. Sin is what Allah defines and unlike opinions, it does not change with time.

    You said: if a man or woman (whether Muslim or non-Muslim) has not sinned in the real sense, …… he or she is entitled to the rewards of paradise.”

    The greatest truth is oneness of God. The greatest sin is being ungrateful by denying this universal truth and associating partners with the one true God. I happen to meet many people of different faiths and nationalities and very often discuss this subject. I have never come across anyone who disagrees with this universal truth except by agreeing and then following it with a “but…”. This truth is imprinted or stamped on our soul, just as the bees and the ants are “programmed” to know their roles in life. Even the atheists mostly reject the concept of god presented to them by the religions that influence them, in most cases they say they believe in some higher supernatural power. Try checking this fact yourself and you will be amazed by its universality. Allah most high says:

    “We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?”
    Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 41:53

    The belief in oneness of Allah is called “Deen al Fitr” or the natural religion, or the innate nature that every child is born with.

    Allah has sent his messengers to every community and at different times. Eventually, over generations the message is corrupted by people, who influence it with their own ideas for personal benefit or other reasons. Allah most high says:

    Verily We have sent thee (O Prophet) in truth, as a bearer of good news, and as a warner: and there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them (in the past).

    Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 35:24

    And those who disbelieve say: Why has not a sign been sent down upon him from his Lord? You are only a warner and (there is always) a guide for every people.
    Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 13:7

    Our beloved Prophet SAWS told us that there have been 124,000 messengers (or prophets) of Allah SWT among different communities and through time since Adam. Each messenger renewed this message of oneness of Allah. However, people of later generations changed it according to their interpretations and conveniences.

    Hence we find in remnants of the original, in the Hindu scriptures (only few are quoted below):

    “Ekam evadvitiyam”
    “He is One only without a second.”
    Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1

    “Na tasya pratima asti”
    “There is no likeness of Him”
    Svetasvatara Upanishad Chapter 4 verse 19

    “Ma cid anyad vi sansata sakhayo ma rishanyata”
    “O friends, do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One. Praise Him alone.”
    Rigveda 8:1:1

    “Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan”
    “There is only one God, not the second; not at all, not at all, not in the least bit.”
    Brahma Sutra

    “Sages (learned Priests) call one God by many names.”
    Rigveda Book 1, hymn 164 and verse 46

    The Hindu scriptures condemn idol worship:

    “Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.”
    [Bhagavad Gita 7:20]

    “Andhatama pravishanti ye asambhuti mupaste”
    “They enter darkness, those who worship the natural elements” (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). “They sink deeper in darkness, those who worship sambhuti.”
    Yajurveda 40:9

    “Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam.”
    “His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye.”
    Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20

    Similarly we find in remnants of the original, in the Christian scriptures (only few are quoted below):

    “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adna Ikhad”.
    “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”
    The Bible “New Testament” Deuteronomy 6:4 (followed by Christians & Jews as well)

    “Shama Israelu Adonai Ila Hayno Adonai Ikhad.”
    “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.”
    Proclaimed by Jesus on him be peace and blessings of Allah, in the Bible- “New Testament”, Mark 12:29

    “And behold, one came and said unto him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’
    And he said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into (eternal) life, keep the commandments.’ ”
    The Bible, Mathew 19:16-17

    “I am Lord, and there is none else, there is no God besides me.”
    The Bible, Isaiah 45:5

    “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.”
    The Bible, Isaiah 46:9

    “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.”
    The Bible, Isaiah 43:11

    The Old Testament condemns Idol worship:

    “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

    “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:”

    “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.”
    The Bible, Exodus 20:3-5

    You said: ”please note that in my opinion watching TV or listening to music is not a sin”

    Possessing a knife is not a crime if used to cut fruits, however, if used in an inappropriate manner or to kill, then that is a crime.

    You said: ”if a man or woman (whether Muslim or non-Muslim) has not sinned in the real sense …, he or she is entitled to the rewards of paradise. I’ve known Hindus who were very generous (both to Hindus and Muslims), and I’ve known Muslims who are misers and never give charity.”

    There were a few tribes discovered in the 20th century, these tribes namely:
    1. Kapauku Papuans of West Guinea
    2. Aborigines of Australia
    3. Dinka of Africa

    These tribes never were exposed to the rest of the civilised world. What was amazing, is they were Muslims in every sense except the names and language use. They believed in the concept of one god given to them by their messengers, until the Christian missionaries came to preach. These tribes were perfectly eligible for Jannah (paradise) in Islam as the renewed message of prophet Muhammad SAWS never reached them, yet they continued to follow their past messengers without corrupting their original religion.

    Allah SWT knows best in his infinite wisdom, who it is that sincerely and practically believes in Allah’s oneness and does not reject or deliberately ignores his final messenger Muhammad SAWS. Moreover the judgement is at an individual level and depending on resources given to the individual and it is not by labels that groups or communities carry. As Allah most high says:
    We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least, and if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account): and enough are We to take account.
    Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 6:159

    ”I can’t believe (as our mullahs say) that only those who follow a particular version of Islam will go to heaven…”

    You do not have to believe them if you follow the Qur’an and Sunnah. Attaching any label does not assure Jannah. In fact any mullah who makes divisions in Islam has nothing to do with Islam itself:

    Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you (O Muhammad SAWS) have no concern with them in the least. Their case will go to Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do.

    Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 6:159
    (Note: brackets are added for clarity/ to explain)

    52. And verily! This your religion (of Islamic Monotheism or oneness of god) is one religion, and I am your Lord, so keep your duty to Me.
    53. But they (people) have broken their religion among them into sects, each group rejoicing in its belief.
    54. But leave them in their confused ignorance for a time.
    55. Do they think that because We have granted them abundance of wealth and sons,
    56. We would hasten them on in every good? Nay, they do not understand.
    57. Verily! Those who live in awe for fear of their Lord;
    58. Those who believe in the Signs of their Lord;
    59. And those who join not anyone (in worship) as partners with their Lord;
    60. And those who dispense their charity with their hearts full of fear, because they will return to their Lord;-
    61. It is these who hasten in every good work, and these who are foremost in them.
    62. On no soul do We place a burden greater than it can bear: before Us is a record which clearly shows the truth: they will never be wronged.
    63. But their hearts are in confused ignorance of this; and there are, besides that, deeds of theirs, which they will (continue) to do,-
    64. Until, when We seize in Punishment those of them who received the good things of this world, behold, they will groan in supplication!
    65. (It will be said): “Groan not in supplication this day: for ye shall certainly not be helped by Us.
    66. Indeed My Verses used to be recited to you, but you used to turn back on your heels (denying them, and with hatred to listen to them).
    67. In pride, talking evil about it (verses of the Quran) by night.
    Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 23:52-67
    (Note: The pronoun “We” is a plural of majesty not of numbers, as Allah is one.)

    Shakir, these are a warning for the mullahs who make divisions in Islam, as well as for you too, if you don’t stick to the Qur’an and Sunnah and make “versions of Islam” without authority or legitimate basis.

    And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Quran), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren, and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat (evidences, verses, signs) clear to you, that you may be guided.
    – Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 3:103

    You said:”while the rest of the muslims will have to go to hell first and will then be admitted to paradise, and the rest of humanity will not be allowed into heaven”

    There is no guarantee that lip service Muslims who associate equals to Allah will ever go the Jannah at all. In fact the prophet said we will be surprised by who we will find in Jannah and who will be found in Hell.

    “But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart;
    – Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 26:89

  5. @ Mohamed: I’m afraid I don’t follow your reasoning. In my opinion, if a man or woman (whether Muslim or non-Muslim) has not sinned in the real sense (please note that in my opinion watching TV or listening to music is not a sin), he or she is entitled to the rewards of paradise. I’ve known Hindus who were very generous (both to Hindus and Muslims), and I’ve known Muslims who are misers and never give charity. It takes all kinds to make the world. I can’t believe (as our mullahs say) that only those who follow a particular version of Islam will go to heaven, while the rest of the muslims will have to go to hell first and will then be admitted to paradise, and the rest of humanity will not be allowed into heaven.

  6. @Shakir:

    “Please read the following, you will see what is really important in Islam”

    The verses of the glorious Qur’an you have quoted are talking about the groups of people in the present (Mu’mins or those believe in the last prophet SAWS and a set of beliefs taught by him) and the past (jews, Nazarenes and Sabians) who will neither grieve nor fear (or attain success/ salvation) in the hereafter (next life). These groups are all Muslims, Islam is not a new religion that started with prophet Muhammad may peace & blessings of Allah be on him. It started with Adam (on him be peace). All the groups of the past including the jews under Moses, the Nazarenes under Jesus (peace be on them) and the Sabians who don’t really exist now will be successful if they have believed in the one true god Allah, the last day of judgement and have done good deeds as well. Note these words are carefully chosen and are very specifically talking about who will attain success; the reverse may not be opposite. It’s not talking about who will go to hell. In other verses the glorious Qur’an does talk about who will go to hell but that is beyond the scope of the current discussion.

    Those who do not qualify to the verses quoted by you will have to pay for their shortcomings as a tazkiyyah (purification) in the form of a difficult life (with no real peace), with punishment of the next realm (1. while buried, 2. on the day of Judgement and 3. in hell). Some or all of the sins may be forgiven by our Lord depending on various factors in his infinite wisdom, however, the rest have to be paid for, in the form of punishment, in one or more stages depending on the magnitude of the sins. No one can be sure about how much will be forgiven, but what’s most important is to be cautious and not take it for granted (in other words have fear of the punishment). Assuming or deliberately conducting a life of sin and expecting forgiveness is a folly. According to many hadiths at the time of death (last moments matter most and can be anytime) one has to have fear of the punishment and hope in the mercy of Allah (both these are essential).

    Finally, as told by the prophet SAWS in the hadith quoted by you, the ones who have not associated any false gods with Allah (one true God) will attain paradise or Jannah (after paying for all the unforgiven sins, in the different stages including the final stage which is hell)

    The above is purely based on the Qur’an and Sunnah and not speculation from me and Allah knows best.

  7. @ Mohamed: Please read the following, you will see what is really important in Islam:

    A. Yusuf Ali Quran TranslationSurah Al-Baqara Ruku 8 Surah 2Madina (87) 286 Ayahs40 Rukus

    62 Those who believe (in the Qur’an) and those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures) and the Christians and the Sabians and who believe in Allah and the last day and work righteousness shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. 76 77

    A. Yusuf Ali Quran TranslationSurah Al-Maida Ruku 9 Surah 5Madina (112) 120 Ayahs16 Rukus

    69 Those who believe (in the Qur’an) those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures) and the Sabians and the Christians any who believe in Allah and the Last Day and work righteousness on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. 779

    Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 2.329 Narrated byAbu Dhar

    Allah’s Apostle said, “Someone came to me from my Lord and gave me the news (or good tidings) that if any of my followers dies worshipping none (in any way) along with Allah, he will enter Paradise.” I asked, “Even if he committed illegal sexual intercourse (adultery) and theft?” He replied, “Even if he committed illegal sexual intercourse (adultery) and theft.”

  8. “there is a very simple way to determine what is compulsory and what is not compulsory: does the Holy Koran prescribe any punishment…”

    May I ask how you have arrived at this “simple way”, does this simple way have a basis in the Qur’an or the Sunnah of the prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be on him)? I am sure you do not intend to redefine Islam (aoudhubillah), but since when did any Sharia ruling become dependant on the mention of punishment in the Qur’an as a conditional requirement (moreover just Qur’an at that). Islamic law is based on both the Qur’an (the words of Allah) and the Sunnah (the words and traditions of the prophet saws). Here is the evidence and I would like to see yours:

    “Obey Allah and His Messenger”: But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith. – Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 3:32

    ”… I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray…”
    – The last sermon of the Messenger of Allah SWT (may Allah’s peace and blessings be on him)

    “But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission”
    – Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 4:65

    “Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and wish to make a distinction between Allah and His Messengers (by believing in Allah and disbelieving in His Messengers) saying, ‘We believe in some, but reject others,’ and wish to adopt a way in between, they are in truth disbelievers. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating torment.”
    – Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 4:150-151

    “It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error”
    – Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 33:36

    “O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life; and know that Allah cometh in between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom ye shall (all) be gathered.”
    – Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 8:24

    “They say, “We believe in Allah and in the messenger, and we obey”: but even after that, some of them turn away: they are not (really) Believers.”
    – Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 24:47

    The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah (His Words, the Quran) and His Messenger (saws), to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.” And such are the prosperous ones. It is such as obey Allah and His Messenger, and fear Allah and do right, that will win (in the end)
    – Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 24:51-52

    “Say: “Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger: but if ye turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and ye for that placed on you. If ye obey him, ye shall be on right guidance. The Messenger’s duty is only to preach the clear (Message).
    – Translation of the Glorious Qur’an 24:54

    I know the Hadith about keeping beards and trimming mustaches, but again, no punishment was prescribed for not doing so. It was also prescribed in answer to the question by some visitors who said that the Sabines and others were clean-shaven and had huge mustaches.
    The prophet has spoken on several occasions. Aside from the facet of differentiating from Magians (fire worshipers) and pagans, he also mentioned on other occasions the command by itself to “Trim your moustaches and let your beards grow”.

    But let me tell you that these things are not very important in Islam.
    These things are not important in the current society, but they are in an Islamic society. When Umar (RA) the second Caliph (successor) of the Prophet (saws) was informed about an otherwise good Muslim man, who was a heavy alcoholic. Umar (RA) wrote a letter admonishing him with verses from the Qur’an, he made dua for him and asked others in the gathering to do so. The man was moved to tears on reading the letter and he instantly abandoned alcohol altogether. An Islamic society is supposed to evolve innovative and sophisticated methods to encourage compliance and deal with violations. However, it does not pass violations as “not very important” things.

    “Muslims have unfortunately been distracted from the real issues which they face, like poverty, illiteracy, etc. by self-serving mullahs who’ve grown rich on donations to their mosques and madressahs.”
    You have raked up a subject that cannot be addressed in comments, perhaps this can be dealt in a separate future post. However let me just say, your suggestion puts the cart before the horse. Of prime priority is the ummah’s return to the Qur’an and Sunnah. Other successes will follow as is evident from history and the promise of Allah swt:

    … Allah does not change a people’s condition unless they change what is in their hearts… (Glorious Qur’an 13:11)

    The Taliban, too, are now earning billions through drug smuggling.
    “Billions”? Wow! You seem to speak on the authority of Taliban’s accountants. While the so-called “Islamist drug lords” (opposed to the Taliban) have dealt in drugs, the Taliban have never done so. The Afghan population cannot be fooled with the lies of Taliban and drugs.

    The western media argues that most of the production of illegal drugs is being done by the Taliban or that the Taliban is protecting the farmers. The fact that there are well known drug lords in the government of President Hamid Karzai, and many are members of the parliament, is usually ignored. Yet the Asian press carries photos of “narco palaces” in Kabul and describes the local “narcotecture.” The Afghan population is well aware of the close ties between the drug lords and the government.
    – Afghanistan: U.S. Escalates the Illegal Drug Industry – by John W. Warnock

    The sources who initiate these false rumours in fact bear the guilt, watch former LA Police Officer Mike Ruppert Confront CIA Director John Deutch

    In 2001, Taliban dropped poppy cultivation to nothing. This was a severe blow to the economy of several underground industries as well as covert operators.

    See also:
    – Talk by Michael C. Ruppert – Part I
    – Mike Ruppert – The CIA & Drug Running (1/11)
    – CIA: Secret Operations, Drug Money


Leave a Reply