A Word of Advice When Sending Messages – Sunday 7th April, 2013
One of the blessings that we should thank Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) for is the blessing of technology such as mobiles, internet, etc.
We have to thank Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) for the blessings, and we can do this by using them in the way that pleases Allah.
A woman sent a text saying, “I make an oath with you in front of Allaah and I leave this an Amaanah with you until the day of judgement that if you opened this message you have to send it to all your contacts…..”
Sheikh As-Suhaim from Saudi Arabia said, “It is not permissible to oblige the people with something that Allaah and the Prophet didn’t enjoin upon them.”
We should not help people spread such messages. These are turning into chain letters and people out of fear forward it because they are afraid of this Amanah.
Bear in mind that there are many kinds of fear:
1) Natural Fear
2) Forbidden Fear
3) Shirky Fear
Khawf shirki a type of fear associated with shirk is to fear someone or believe someone can incur a punishment upon you without the will of Allaah and that no one is able to repel it. So this is a kind of Shirki fear. The person might commit Shirk in a way that you believe that by not sending this message you may have punishment.
Natural fear should make you resort to Allaah. You should do Isti’aadha (seek refuge with Allaah). If you don’t run to Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) then this is cowardice.
In Surah Qasas 21:
فَخَرَجَ مِنْهَا خَائِفًا يَتَرَقَّبُ ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ نَجِّنِي مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear. He said: “My Lord! Save me from the people who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)!”
When Musa (‘Alayhis-salaam) was afraid he immediately prayed to Allaah. This is the correct way when you are afraid of something. Such messages cause fear in the heart of people and this is not right. Therefore it is not permissible to send it.
Generally, don’t forward any message you receive from anyone before you verify the truth and before referring it to the scholars.
In Surah Nisa (4:83):
وَإِذَا جَاءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الْأَمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُوا بِهِ ۖ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰ أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَاتَّبَعْتُمُ الشَّيْطَانَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people), if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, you would have followed Shaytan (Satan), save a few of you.
Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is talking about the hypocrites from Verse 81. One of their descriptions is that when there comes to them good information or something fearful they propagate it, making it known to the people. Allaah is advising them, if only they had referred it to the Messenger or those who are charged with authority (judge, rulers, scholars, etc), then the proper investigators would have understood it.
So the hypocrites spread whatever news they receive. You may ask, why did Allah even mention good news? Because the hypocrites spread good news and magnify it by adding lies such that if it does not really happen the people will be frustrated. The people will utter words objecting Allaah, backbiting those in authority, etc.
Hypocrites don’t like good for Islam and the Muslims. They will add lies to small information to make the people utter something evil.
E.g.: A thief robbed everything in a house. The hypocrites will say there are many gangs around the country robbing many houses. They will spread fear in the hearts of the people. This is a great sin.
The hypocrites use the weak believers to spread their news. They will send one message and the weak believers will spread it all over their contacts. Whoever, without verifying, spreads a message indicates his/her weak belief.
What should we do?
We have to verify the truth. We have to refer it to the Ulama, Authority, etc. If we can’t reach them then don’t send this message.
You may want to warn your sisters but how do you know if it’s a true message? It is better to leave it to Allaah.
Hafs ibn ‘Aasim (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said: The Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “It is enough lying for a man to speak of everything that he hears.” [Narrated by Muslim in al-Muqaddimah, 6; Saheeh al-Jaami, 448]
There are other kinds of messages with includes backbiting the rulers, people, etc. When you spread these messages you will be sharing the sin with them. Many people reveal the secrets of other people with messages.
Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhu) related, “The Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) once rose above the podium and then heralded with a loud voice, ‘O those who have embraced Islam only with their tongue, while Eeman has not yet entered their hearts, neither harm Muslims, nor mock them, nor try to expose their mistakes, for he who follows (or searches for) the errors of his brother (so that he exposes him), Allaah will follow his errors, and he whom Allaah follows his errors, He will expose him even if he was in the middle of his home.'” [Saheeh Al-Jamee]
If you come across a wrong message you should advise the sender secretly.
So the true believer:
- Verifies the truth.
- Asks herself if it is beneficial to the people, even if the message is true. If the harm is greater than the benefit, then she doesn’t send it. If she is in doubt, she doesn’t send it.
- Refers to it to the scholars or the authority. If you didn’t get an answer don’t spread it.
You have to be careful. Sometimes even regarding health you don’t even know if its true.
Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) says in Surah Ahzab (33:60):
لَّئِن لَّمْ يَنتَهِ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ وَالْمُرْجِفُونَ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ لَنُغْرِيَنَّكَ بِهِمْ ثُمَّ لَا يُجَاوِرُونَكَ فِيهَا إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease (evil desire for adultery, etc.), and those who spread false news among the people in Al Madinah, cease not, We shall certainly let you overpower them, then they will not be able to stay in it as your neighbours but a little while.
Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is talking about:
- The hypocrites.
- Those in whose heart there is disease.
- Those who spread false news among people to make them scared. (Murjifoon)
Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said if they don’t stop He will let the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) overpower them and expel them out of the countries. The scholars said this is permissible.
مَّلْعُونِينَ ۖ أَيْنَمَا ثُقِفُوا أُخِذُوا وَقُتِّلُوا تَقْتِيلًا
Accursed wherever found, they shall be seized and killed with a (terrible) slaughter.
Whoever spreads news to scare the people are cursed by Allaah. This is not something light, we have to be careful. We may receive many messages from people like this.
Prophet Muhammed (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said in a hadith reported by Abu Dawud and authenticated by Albaani “It is not lawful for a Muslim to frighten another Muslim”.
Whoever violates these prohibitions will be considered a sinner.