Islamic Information in the Age of Electronic Sharing


By Maryam Hedayat

Nearly ten years back, when internet and mobile phones were not so common, the sharing of information was done manually.

Many a time I was requested to share a pamphlet ‘with a sketch of a sacred dead body covered in a coffin’ or ‘a rough draft of a grave-yard’ with instructions written over it: “If you make 100 copies of this sheet, you will get ten thousand rewards from Allah, and if you make 500 copies you will receive fifty thousand rewards and so on, and if you ignore it and do not follow as said, you will be severely punished from Allah in a week.”

Those people who easily believed in such quick rewards used to make thousands of copies and distribute among people. And those who could not afford economically, would make at least fifty copies in order to protect themselves from the punishment of grave.

Now we see almost the same thing happening in the age of technology and internet.  With every Islamic quote, hadith or sayings with a bit of difference, “you must share this to, at least, fifty people or do not forget to share. I know you will not have time to share this. If you share and forward this to others, you will be blessed with a lot of rewards…sharing such a message is Sadaqa Jaariyah, and if you do not share, you will be punished by Allah.”

Is there any difference between what was shared manually before and what is shared electronically now? The methods may have changed but the spirit of sharing remains the same.

The focus is to share more and more in order to harvest more rewards, that is to say, the more we share, the additional the reward.  Isn’t that?

Ironically, most people nowadays have found this way of sharing as a new way of worshiping. They think just sharing and forwarding ahaadith, Quranic ayahs and Islamic quotes are identical to worshipping Allah.

They are so much drowned in posting and sharing that sometimes they even abandon their Salah and other compulsory forms of worship.

Many Muslims just blindly keep posting and sharing ahaadith and Islamic quotes without verifying the authenticity of them. They join Islamic groups and pages on internet. Their favorite pass time is to search Islamic quotes and videos, and then send them to others. Doing this, they think they are spreading Islam and doing great deeds.

Well! The intention of sharing is not bad but sometimes some people depend entirely on internet for each and everything. That might be misleading and deceiving. Instead of looking into the authenticity of Islamic thoughts, their main purpose is just to share and show their religiosity.

Though promoting authentic religious messages containing hadiths and verses are lawful and preferred. However one must always check whether the message is correct before passing them on to others as one may be sinned for forwarding lies and untrue information endorsed to Islamic teachings.

Apparently this is the age of fast communication and almost all of us have access to one or multiple means of communications. The most common means is the mobile phones which are almost used by everyone, every time and everywhere.

In fact, the Internet contains a treasure of valuable information, but it is often difficult to realize the good from the bad.

With easy accessibility, low price, and extensive distribution, the Internet is, at times. A medium for spreading falsehood and inaccuracies. We must keep in mind that even a fifteen year old boy can publish anything on the Web as easily as any other well-established publisher.

Since we get many messages containing falsehood with either no references or authentic source or with baseless orientations, sharing recklessly might yield opposite result.

In the process of doing such acts of Dawah and reviving Islam, we must not forget that we cannot associate lies with our Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) or with Allah swt, the true direction is lost.

If the person sharing anything is not sure about the authenticity of content, he/she must avoid sharing it, whether it is about Islam or about any thing else. In fact spreading anything false or untrue is forbidden in Islam.

The Quran says:

“Do not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and conception) you must verify it for yourself. In the Court of your Lord, you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning” (Surah Al-Israa: 36)

We should be aware that there are some paid agents. Islam haters are assigned this duty to distort the image of sacred messages by spreading false and complex information about our religion.

In addition one must avoid forwarding messages saying “if you do not forward this, you will be sinned” etc.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Prophet (pbuh) said, “It is enough for a man to prove himself a liar when he goes on narrating whatever he hears.”(Muslim -1547)

Everyone has his/her own personal views about different issues such as, politics, sports, educational discussions, but in Islamic matters we must follow what Allah(swt) and our beloved prophet(pbuh) has said.

Since we all know that the media is controlled by few hands whose interests are opposing to Islam. Therefore, we must be very careful and cautious before spreading anything.

Those who use these services for seeking Islamic information; they should be very careful and not believe in just about anything what they come across. Verify the content before believing, following and sharing it.

Allah (swt) has warned:

“O you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done”. (Surah Al-Hujuraat: 6]

Categories: Islam, Maryam Hedayat, TECHNOLOGY

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