Mufti Menk talks about his struggles
There is a popular perception out there that the shaykhs and the mufti’s have it easy. In between the local masjid, the library and classroom, the question pokes at one’s mind – how hard could their life be?
We pose this question to Mufti Menk – a familiar name in any Muslim household in the 21st century – and for good reason. Having been on the ‘Top 500 Influential Muslims’ List 6 years in a row, Ismail Menk is in a good position to shed some light on this issue.
Although his life has been clear of nightclubs, smoking and even the cinemas, the Mufti’s wide reach means he is familiar with how things work on the ground. From the multicultural understandings of a Christian high school to the intimate moral discipline of Indian Madrasa and the unique University scene in Saudi Arabia, the Mufti has reaped rich ways of thinking from multiple institutions.
On the Transit Lounge – a podcast from Toledo Society- we sit with Mufti Menk to beyond his rich intellectual journey. What is it that makes the Mufti so sought after and relatable to Muslims across the globe? As we push further – we notice the Mufti’s life has been no easy journey. In that hardship, there is a wisdom that emerges from lived experience. The Mufti works occasionally at a family business, had felt quite isolated in his distance studying abroad, and has been through a difficult divorce in his life.
Divorce is a particularly intimate, real and raw reality. There are no ways of escaping its grief and regret and it is rare to find a heart at ease following one. As was the case with the Mufti – with a divorce after having 2 kids, there is frustration, animosity and uncertainty. Only after long years, as we learn from the Mufti, do one’s eyes begin to start seeing. Allah had a plan and its wisdom often shows only after a long time. In the case of the Mufti’s divorce, this translates into a contentment and maturity, as he thanks his divorcee for her goodness and raising their kids well.
With the emotional maturity and wisdom arising out of the struggles of the Mufti, his popularity becomes all the more understandable.
In the episode we pick the mind of Mufti Menk and uncover more about what made Ismail Menk who he is today as we trace his struggles, upbringing, intellectual life and some interesting experiences!