A superstar with over 44 films and having made a name for herself in the entertainment industry, Noor Bukhari was at the pinnacle of her career when she shocked all those around her when she quit showbiz. The decision to embrace Islam in its complete majesty was praised by some, but was largely ridiculed by others who don’t let go of any instance to mock her as she stays determined to not deter from her vision to share her journey and continue to learn and progress with gaining more knowledge. Social Diary recently sat down with the former actress who shared more on why she quit the glamor world when she did, her YouTube channel which aims to inspire others and what lies next:
SD: For someone who joined the industry as a child artist, you had invested your whole life into this field- personally, was it difficult on a personal level?
Noor: I loved what I did. As a child, I dreamt of becoming an actress and that was my vision ever since I was 5 years old. I would prepare speeches on what I’ll say when I get an award. I will not deny that this was my passion and I was wholeheartedly invested in it. But when the call from Him came, I embraced it. I truly believe He chose me from so many for some reason. It has changed me for the better and this ‘hidayah’ is my guiding light.
SD: Was this change building up slowly and gradually or does it signify an instance or a moment?
Noor: To be honest it was something which was always embedded in me. I was always on the spiritual side. There were things in my life which weren’t going right. I wasn’t at peace. So it was time for me to reevaluate my reality. I can say the spark was always in me which just needed to be ignited.
SD: How did it feel leaving the industry-cold turkey?
Noor: While I did what I did with passion, I consider it as a fake industry. Upfront and with you, people will praise you and support you but as soon as you leave the room, they will mock you and make fun of you. It’s completely disheartening. I was never a person who would socialize a lot and would refrain from parties and social gatherings as for me it was all about my work and showcasing my talent. The ability to carry yourself in a world which is dishonest was getting to me and I would be in pain. I left my morning show also for the same reason as I knew people were talking behind my back. So when I was extremely hurt, I had two options- either get closer to Allah or get completely infested with the hatred. Alhumdulilah I chose the former and here I am, completely at peace.
SD: How difficult was the change?
Noor: It was difficult. It actually still is. Everyday I have to fight with my ‘nafs’- my ego to remain steadfast. It is definitely not an easy path especially for someone who was completely in sync with the world of glitz and glamor with such fervor and zeal. But I keep praying to Allah to continue to guide me, especially on days when I am feeling very low. Thankfully my family is also very supportive and helps me in this too.
SD: Did you feel the financial burdens when taking on this decision?
Noor: I actually wanted to leave the industry a long time back but was confused and worried for this very reason. This is my known bread and butter- what will I do later? I was actually weak in my faith- there was no ‘tawakkul’ on Him. But when I decided to take this step, it was probably just the first one month in which I had to face a little roughness. Afterwards my life couldn’t have been better. It was His Guidance which allowed me to transform and find myself in a better state than I ever was.
SD: Looking back at your work as an iconic superstar, do you regret it?
Noor: I don’t regret what I did because that was part of my journey which led me here. I was hardworking and did my work with complete honesty. People appreciated me for that. It was just the two-faced people and the hypocrisy that came with it which would pull me down. It was definitely a major deal-breaker.
SD: People can get extremely harsh on Social Media too, targeting you with rude and hurtful comments. How do you tackle that?
Noor: It affects me very much. These trolls don’t understand that it can be so traumatizing not just for that one person but their whole family. If I take my hijab in a certain way, they will mock me. They would ridicule me for being so religious and I always state when I was working as an actress I was 100% committed to that so why not as a servant of Allah? Sometimes I would read something so disturbing that I would feel like quitting my channel but then I gather my thoughts and know there are also those who like to hear me share my journey and views. Maybe my one video will impact someone positively and that is my willpower to continue doing so.
SD: How is your YouTube channel going so far?
Noor: I don’t earn from it. My only aim is to pass off the knowledge that I am getting . I just want to pass it forward. The thing is this path has led to ease in my life. And I want to share the same with others.
SD: Has your journey changed your personality as well?
Noor: Definitely. I recall how I used to be extremely impatient. I would also lose my temper easily. But that was just a small side of it. Largely I was restless and I was not at peace at all. I had everything but the only thing missing was my conscience. However now I feel extremely grateful for everything that I have. And I hope people would be able to instill the simple life lessons our religion has given us which includes being kind to one another. It isn’t just about praying five times a day. We will be asked about how we treated our fellow human beings and I hope those who easily bring so much hurt onto others would spend just 5minutes a day to reflect on their words and actions. Just by doing so we will all be playing our part in making this world a better place.
IN A GLANCE
The Thing You are Grateful for in the Pandemic?
For my family especially my second born Shahrbano; she kept me busy Alhamdulliah
Your most prized possession?
The one thing that is a mood killer?
Lies and show offs
Three things you have with you all the time?
My mobile, my tasbih and wallet.
Your life’s motto?
Be kind and spread love
Desi Wear or Western?
Both-depends on mood
To face Rasool Allah S.A.W on the day of judgment. I pray that Allah forgives me before presenting me in front of Rasool Allah S.A.W
I regret not spending more time with my father. I was too busy and used to think he was here, let me work and party but suddenly one day he was gone.
An Inspiring Role Model?