We came back to Las Vegas to meet up with a familiar face we made friends with last year. The story about Amanullah Naqshabandi was one of the most popular stories on our site last year and we wanted to meet up with him again and see how he was doing.
According to Islam, Muslims are prohibited to gamble and Amanullah is active at his mosque and works at the MGM Grand Casino. Now it’s incredibly easy to point a finger at this guy and slam him for this seeming hypocrisy without understanding his story. But as we discussed last year, his situation isn’t as black and white as it seems. Take a worthwhile moment to read last year’s story if you’re not familiar with him.
Inside Amanullah’s home I noticed vivid photographs taken at various points in his life hanging around the living room. Sometimes to better appreciate a man, you have to understand the journey he took to make him the man he is today.
Amanullah said he struggles everyday in working in a place he’s morally opposed to and makes no excuses whatsoever for it. But he came to this country as an unskilled laborer and took a casino job because it was steady income to support his family. In recent years he’s tried to look for alternative jobs, but the job market is tough in Nevada. To make matters worse, Amanullah is 60 years old and has heart problems.
“I have seven stents inside my heart,” he said. “I need insurance otherwise something could happen to me. Who is going to want to hire someone at my age and health?”
As I had mentioned last year, it’s incredibly easy to bash this guy if you don’t know him for being Muslim and working in a casino. But doing so is unfair and downright foolish. You don’t think he already knows its wrong?
Amanullah gets off the couch and stares into a series of mirrors in his living room. I asked him the same question I poised at him last year – with all the stress and guilt he has about his job, what does he do to comfort himself? His stare into the mirror turns into a smile as he points to the sky.
“I stand before Allah and leave everything for him to judge,” he said. “I am here because of his destiny and all I can do is make best of my situation.”