Sheikh Atabek Shukurov

Sheikh Atabek Nasafi, one of the foremost scholars in Europe

Sheikh Atabek Shukrov Nasafi: Born in Uzbekistan while it was still part of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, or as we called it here, the ‘USSR’ Sheikh Atabek Nasafi began his religious studies at the age of ten, in secret, which was the only way the heritage of a land which produced such luminaries such as Abu Laith As-Samarqandi, At-Tirmidhi, Imam Al-Bukhari and Imam Abu Mansur Al-Maturdi, to name a few could be preserved during the Communist era.

He completed his studies aged 21 in various subjects including Arabic Language, Hadith, Fiqh, Tafsir and Tajweed at Madrasa Abul Qasim and Jamia Islamia in Uzbekistan. Thus, he was already considered a scholar when he arrived in the Middle East for higher studies.

Along the way he studied under an unusually eclectic series of teachers, including Uthaymeen, Anwar Badakhshani and

By 1998 he was residing in the historic city of Damascus where he continued his studies with some of the finest scholars of our time. Enrolling on the four year Al-Ijaza Al-Alimiyya programme at the Takhassus Institute affiliated to Al-Azhar University Egypt, his studies included: Sharh Ibn Aqeel with Sh. Atiyya, Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar with Sh. Adeeb Al-Kallas, Lubab fi Sharh Al-Kitab (also known as Quduri) with Sh. Abdullah Rabiah, Aqida with Sh. Saeed Ramadan al-Buti, Risala Qushariyyah with Sh. Abdul Fatah Bizm, Hadith with Sh. Sadiq Darwish, Da’wa with Sh. Tawfiq al-Buti as well as intensive private lessons with Shaykh Muhmd Adnan Darwish and covered Fath Bab Al-Inaya and Muwatta of Imam Malik. He also studied Shudhoor al-Dhab, Sharh Qatr Al-Nidah, Thufat Al-Mureed and Mukhtasar Al-Bukhari with Shaykh Rushdi Al-Qalam.

He graduated in 2003, spending the final year at Al-Azhar University, gaining certification from the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy. He went on to teach in prestigious universities across the Middle East before gracing these shores.

He is the founder of the Afiya Institute and Academy which seeks to promulgate authentic traditional Islamic teaching in Europe and is also affiliated with the Deen Institute which is an English apologetics and Dawah organisation.

Shaykh Atabek supervised one of his student’s translations of The Initiation of Abu Laith As-Samarqandi and its commentary.

Intriguingly, Sheikh Atabek is also a herbalist with a chain of teachers stretching back to none other than the iconic Ibn Sina.

For more information:

visit or

The Jews of Banu Qurayza: Were All The Men Killed?

In my experience, this question is very poorly answered by Muslim apologists (with the exception of people like Shabir Ally). What makes this all the more unacceptable is that it is a complete straw man allegation against Islam. See for yourself.

The accusation that the tribe of Banu Qurayza received ‘collective punishment’ by having all it’s adult males killed, has been so oft – repeated that even Muslims have started to believe it.

But what is the proof that all the males, even non-combatants, were in fact killed?

As you will see, this is merely a fantasy of both Islamophobes and ignorant Muslims…

Part 1:

Part 2:

That’s what happens when you let dumb people with a political agenda run the Dawah…This guy is a traditionalist scholar, he doesn’t care one way or the other, and even HE doesn’t think they were all killed, so I don’t know what the hell Muslim ‘scholars’ in the English speaking world were smoking when they insist that they were…

The Age Of Hadrat Aisha (RA): A Detailed and Balanced Answer

In my sadly long experience with Muslim scholars in the U.K, he is the only one I have found who adheres to the traditional positions of Islam and does not introduce prejudiced and puritanical innovations into the religion.

His talk on the ‘massacre’ of the Jews of Banu Qurayza was superb and showed the inadequacy of many of the Dawah carriers and here he gives a detailed and nuanced answer on this other favourite topic of Islamophobes and modernists.

Where else will you find a near two hour lecture just on this topic? And that’s just part one.

This guys talks are ‘bespoke’ for Islamic apologists. I hope you guys pay heed instead of spamming the same old stuff.

The spiel:

Whenever this topic is brought up it seems to elicit strong reactions from Muslims, with the differing views calling each other ‘modernists’ or ‘backward’ and so on. Some see it as an ‘open and shut’ case not worthy of discussion and not accommodating of dissent.

But what was the REAL position of the early Muslims on this issue?

Did they even make such a big deal out of it?

Why are both sides so determined to prove their case?

Is there another agenda here?

This talk is balanced and detailed and transcends mere polemics and cultural biases and highlights the actual strength of Muslim theologians vis – a – vis other religious functionaries: the ability to engage in critical thinking.

Part 1:

Part 2:


A brilliant set of five lectures by Sheikh Atabek Nasafi clarifying points on this oft mis-understood issue. I was reluctant to get involved in this kind of stuff  but it is important to have clarity, especially if we are to call people to Islam, as is our duty. It is also an issue that has repeatedly (and unnecessarily) brought to the fore by the Salafi/Wahhabi brothers who unfortunately tend to make a big issue out of this and tend to get themselves and others confused in the process.

Part 1; Introduction to The Waseeya of  Imam Abu Hanifa (RA)

Part 2: The Waseeya of Abu Hanifa (RA) 

Part 3: The Isnad of the Waseeya of Abu Hanifa (RA)

Part 4: The Prophet (PBUH) On The Right Hand Of God?

Part 5: Where Is Allah?

Superiority of Arabs In Islam?

Towards Understanding Hadith

Part 1:

Part 2:

Understanding Principles of Hadith: What Does It Mean That Bukhari Is ‘The Most Authentic Book After the Quran’ and What Does Imam Bukhari Say About This?

How exactly should Muslims approach Hadith literature? Do we act upon all Sahih Hadith? Are all ‘Sahih’ Hadith ‘true’? Is Bukhari Sharif ‘perfect’? Who is qualified to use Hadith? Is a Hadith ‘Proof’ in an argument? Is ‘Hadith spamming’ allowed? Who or what are ‘Ahlal Hadith’?

This part deals with the issue of Bukhari being the ‘most authentic book after the Quran’. Is it? What does this statement mean? And are you in trouble if you deny a Hadith from Bukhari? Does a Sahih chain mean you must act on a given Hadith? What do the pious predecessors say?

The biography and ideas of Imam Bukhari are explained as well as the relative position of Fiqh and Hadith, Imam Bukhari visiting graves, and the rank of Imam Malik relative to Imam Bukhari as a Muhaddith.

All this and more in YET ANOTHER brilliant talk, tackling this oft misunderstood subject. Detailed and indispensable as always.

Sheikh Atabek is really becoming the premier scholar as far as Dawah and apologetics responses go in the U.K by addressing all of these misconceptions about Islam that both non-Muslims, and sadly Muslims bring to the fore.

Towards Understanding Hadith 3 – Are All Authentic Hadiths Accepted?

Well, ARE they?

Does being in Bukhari mean that a Hadith is superior to those in other collections? Are you still Muslim if you don’t believe in a Hadith from Bukhari? Are you sinful?

What about the Hadith in Bukhari where Abdullah Ibn Masud is allegedly questioning the number of Suras in the Quran?

It also addresses some of the immensely troubling and controversial attitudes to Hadith exemplified by the Salafi/Wahhabi movement, including the common practice of anathematising and harassing people who question Bukhari as Hadith rejecters – however, they seem to openly reject Hadith from Bukhari and then there is the issue of Ibn Taymiyyah rejecting the famous Hadith of Bukhari ‘There was Allah and nothing else besides him’ (Bukhari 3091)…the stance of Alabani is also addressed.

This clarifies many of the almost universal misconceptions amongst Muslims who have perhaps become confused by all the different voices in the community claiming to use the ‘Sunnah’.

A brilliant introduction to the Usool of Hadith.

Are All Weak Hadith Rejected?

People nowadays often try to settle an argument by bringing forth Hadith and if one of them is found to be ‘weaker’ than the other, then it’s case closed.


Towards Understanding Hadith 5: Who are the Ahlul Hadith?

There are many today who claim to be ‘the people of Hadith’. But how do they measure up?

Divorce In Islam:

Gender Segregation In Islam?

When…and how much?

A one day intensive course by renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Atabek Nasafi

Caught between permissive liberals and watchful puritans?
Don’t know where to get the truth regarding Islamic injunctions about ‘mixing’?
Don’t know how to act at College? Uni? Home?!
Then watch this one — day intensive course and learn about the traditional Islamic position…with plenty of chances to question openly (for boys and girls!)

Part 1:

Part 2:


Does Islam Allow Forced Sex With Slaves?


Many Christians and Islam haters would just love it if it did.

Islamophobes love to assert this, along with holding Islam accountable for slavery in general. This absurdity has been refuted even by Orientalists but the refuge of Evangelicals nowadays is to assert that Muslims ‘rape their captives’.

Sheikh Atabek refutes this stupidity comprehensively. He takes the approach that even bad manners to a captive, let alone wounding, are strictly prohibited in the classical schools. Rape is not mentioned explicitly as it is obviously far in excess of both of these prohibitions. He also addresses the favourite of Islamophobes, the alleged battlefield rapes, where captives had intercourse on the night of capture and shows how there is an unjustified leap from ‘sex’ to ‘rape’ (i.e, whenever Muslims have sex, they are assumed to be raping someone)

Sadly, the haters have not ultimately evolved from the whole ‘they want to kill us all and rape our women’  story (so they just do it to us first).


5 thoughts on “Sheikh Atabek Shukurov

  1. Wrt to the lecture on gender segregation, super useful and balanced! Certainly a nice relief from the usual “cant breathe the same air as the opposite gender otherwise one will burn in the flames of hell forever” university islamic society rhetoric.

    However I had a question, I was told by an individual that both the hanafi and shafi madhabs do allow for mixing of genders, however there has to be a specified purpose e.g. for work purposes, or going to an informative lecture together. Whereas mixing of genders for no essential or required purpose e.g. a group (more than 3 individuals) of mixed friends going out for a meal to catch up together, or going to see a play together etc is not allowed as there is no real purpose aside from just hanging out.

    Is there any opinion in either of the two above madhabs that stipulates this or not?

    If no one is sure of the answers, is there any way of contacting sheikh atabek to ask?

  2. Thanks a lot – I will try to address this but go on some tangents that I want to. So it is not directed at your question but at themes around it and stuff I want to say.

    So short answer: in Hanafi, no. In Shafi, probably yes. But I am not Shafi.

    Shafis often get no love from us Hanafis (the real ones) because of their sometimes bizarre usool (principles) such as the one you mentioned: everything is halal according to us unless specifically prohibited: they have it the other way round.

    We have the usool/principle that something which is ‘well known’ and affects a large group of people actually has to be well known. For example, touching a woman or your own private parts breaking your wudu – Shafis accept it based on a single ahad narration. Lets pretend that this/these narration(s) is/are authentic (and it isn’t), we say how come something which is part of everyday life for EVERYONE was narrated by just one guy but there are loads of hadith about minor issues like what dua to do when? Does it make sense? We say no. Something which was affecting vast numbers of people would be narrated by many senior sahabah not one junior one, so we do not accept this narration.

    Malikis have a similar thing with the ‘adhab of Madinah’ – they do not accept narrations such as those ones which they saw the sahabah and tabaeen going against even if they were sahih – something major should be widely known or it implies that The Prophet (SAW) and senior sahabah neglected to do their job and inform us of the essentials of religion and it was left to junior sahabah like Abu Huraira (RA), or even ones whose biographies we do not know, to do it.

    So now, interaction with 50% or so of humanity being proscribed or limited, 50% of people being off limits for friendship, socialising etc: big issue that should be sorted out in Q’uran or small one that can be left to a single chain narration that might not be true and is speculative, even according to Shafis?

    So as Sheikh Atabek (who is apart from Mahmut Connors one of the only honest and proper Hanafi scholar I have come across in 20 years. And believe me, I looked), explained in the talk, no reason is needed. Prohibition requires a REASON, and major prohibition requires Quran or muttawatir hadith as a reason. No proof, no prohibition. Shafis usool is their own problem: each opinion of each school being correct = impossible. Following all of the opinions = impossible. So we are free to follow our Hanafi usool without being blackmailed or guilt-tripped and if people say this is the opinions of Shafis, then so what?

    From ‘hadith blackmail’ point of view, all hadith state that a person cannot be alone with another person. Three people plus, fine. Two people alone but door is open or there is a window, also fine in Hanafi books of law. The aim is to prevent rape, false allegations of rape and for people to feel ashamed and not start making out (the assumption is people won’t do this in front of others).

    A lot of Hanafis today (most in fact, such as Deobandis) use Shafi and Hanbali usool of hadith (virtually identical anyway) and pretend like the positions of the schools are similar or that you can reach the Hanafi position by Shafi or imam Bukhari’s methods. Absurd and a lie. Which is why we are publishing the book to show Hanafi methodology of hadith so people can make an informed choice.

    It is just a way of controlling people: you can’t hang out with that girl without X being present (usually the same person who told you that anyway). Next thing you know, you are dependent on them for all of your social/relationship/marriage needs and unable to get to know people properly (marrying someone after one meeting, even if alone. Really?). Then that person has a lot of control over you or at the very least has socially crippled you. How many people are going around asking ‘knowledgeable brothers’ (and sisters) if they know any ‘good sisters’ who are ‘looking’ to get married? How did they end up in the position of giving such power to other people?

    You will hear a lot of stuff from a lot of people and emotional blackmail like ‘Oh this punk thinks he knows better than Imam Shafi etc’. No we don’t. But taqleed is not for things that make no sense: to not be gullibal and to be protected from the lies of people, it is necessary to ask if any given thing makes sense. Prohibiting big things on little proofs is very dangerous but the best (and only) strategum of the puritans.

    The they don’t tell you interesting things like how the same principles that allow some Shafis (and others) to say things like this also allow them to give the fatwa that a man is allowed to marry his biological daughter (as long as she is illegitimate). They attribute this to Imam Shafi (not that I believe he said it). So now, do they go round telling young ladies that they believe this or is it just about segregation that they want to pull your ear?

    Let me be confrontational as this affects a lot of peoples health, wealth and relationships so lets sort it out: I say a valid ‘reason’ to mix is that I like the girl and want to get to know her and marry her maybe. Or maybe not. Lets see if anyone can prove me wrong from Quran or sunnah as long as we do not kiss or have sex?

    Because what these people are REALLY saying is this isn’t it: ‘don’t hang out with guys unless you really have to like at work or uni (where we can’t prevent it but if we were in charge we would and did) as you will become attracted to them’. So if God wanted to say that, why didn’t he? Is he inarticulate or something and needs them to sort out the ‘big stuff’ while he fills the Quran with ‘minor’ things like treatment of the poor and justice?

    Are they really doing us ANY favours here? Could ‘they’ really get away with saying ‘actually you are not allowed to go to Uni or work because there are men there’ (which is what a lot of Hanbalis and Shafis ACTUALLY believe, as well as many Hanafis)? So it’s not really a huge concession that you can hang out with guys if you HAVE to.

    Shall I tell you what will happen if we don’t spend time getting to know people that we like of the opposite sex? Nothing, that’s what. But these guys think that is a good thing. Loneliness and sexual desperation make people easy to control (and what do the CIA shrinks say about one of the main motivations of foreign fighters joining ISIS is…’to find a halal partner’. Damn. Must be pretty bad if you have to go that far to get a date…). I don’t know about girls, but guys, if you want to marry a girl, a good idea is to approach her (as women did to the Prophet no less). If you go and ask your local Shafi to approach her for you, I can predict it will not work very well. When it comes to money and relationships, people tend not to be very helpful. The world is not full of saints.

    And do they have an ayat, a Sunnah, a study, an anecdote, anything, that the risk of fornication from ‘mixing’ is more damaging than all the loneliness, being 37 45 or 58 years old and unmarried, homosexual urges, depression, paedophilic tendencies suicide, whatever, that can result from not being able to access a member of the opposite sex? Do they have any proof that their ‘arrangements’ work, are egalitarian or whatever?

    Tis all tosh.

    Also, maybe these guys can explain what the hadith ‘see of a woman that which will entice you to marry her’ means in the context of segregation?

    You know that thing about a little knowledge? How it’s dangerous? Well, these guys have a little knowledge. And they are dangerous.

    But of course, Sheikh Atabek takes questions by e-mail and I believe he has a daily Q&A show 2 hours from 1800-2000 on British Muslim TV. It’s easy to get through!

    Sincere apologies for using your excellent question to go off on a rant!

    Oh wait – I think I found another honest Hanafi…and he answered your question much better than I did (‘No such thing as segregation in Islam’):

    And here’s and article by a female Hanafi scholar. Who also seems to have the courage to tell the truth and not play to the crowd:

  3. If I lived in Sheffield I would definitely send my kids to his school InshaAllah. I had heard of him a lot, but I never realized that he was such an inspirational figure until I started watching him do the Q&A on British Muslim TV.

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