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Written by: Hamzah Moin
DALLAS – Past grudges culminated into an ugly social media scuffle last night when board members of Masjid Al-Taqwa were forced to remove Imam Zaheer Qadri from the Taraweeh rotation after he posted malicious tweets against the new hafiz of the masjid, Aamir Karim.
“The board had no choice but to take Imam Zaheer out of the rotation” said Masjid president Imran Sohail, “his tweets were not in the spirit of Ramadan and frankly, they were demeaning to the new hafiz.”
Imam Zaheer has had a rocky history with the new hafiz. Historically, Imam Zaheer was the sole reciter for the entire Taraweeh prayer. Last year however, Aamir Karim, a fresh graduate from the local hifz program, became the Masjid’s hottest rising star. The board noticed a spike in female attendance everytime Hafiz Aamir recited. “He was like the Justin Bieber of reciters masha’Allah”.
In order to accommodate both reciters, the board decided Hafiz Aamir would read the first 8 rakats while Imam Zaheer finished with the last 12. This frustrated the veteran reciter as 95% of the congregation left after 8 rakats, leaving Imam Zaheer with just a small row of desi uncles.
This frustration built up when Imam Zaheer tweeted about Hafiz Aamir’s recitation:
The tweets were met with huge criticism in the community. The Hafiz Aamir Fanclub (HAF), the new name of the masjid’s sister youth committee, threatened to boycott the mosque if the board failed to discipline the veteran imam.
HAF has noted many instances of the Imam trying to impede Aamir’s rising status at the mosque. “Aamir had difficulty getting through his Surahs” said HAF President Sarah Mubashir, “Every other word was a false correction by Imam Zaheer. Poor Aamu couldn’t even get through Fatiha before bursting in tears.”
Imam Zaheer, 51, thinks the board’s decision to take him off the Taraweeh rotation was overly harsh. “Okay fine maybe my Tweets were stupid, but I learned my lesson. At least give me the last 2 rakats. Or Witr. I’ll take Witr.”
The hafiz shrugged off the beef, believing it to be completely juvenile but was worried that the added 12 rakats would increase his preparation time. “I guess I’ll need to cut down on Call of Duty” said Hafiz Aamir, 12.