Two weeks ago my younger sister received an email that left her puzzled. She looked at me and asked: ”Is this true?”’ When I heard her question, I had a feeling she was asking about some kind of chain-mail, and I was indeed correct.
Praise be to Allah, I do not receive that many chain letters but I have come across a few over the years. I was always quite baffled as to why people felt the need to use scare tactics to spread islam, and in addition to that spread falsehood and claim that it is Islamic. The email my sister received claimed that the person who did not forward it to others would die in 3 days (Not that muslims need proof, but here I am!). It also went as far as saying that the person who does not send it is a disbeliever or something along those lines! Sub7an Allah, no wonder my sister wanted to know what was up with this email!
Needless to say, I reassured my sister that what was said is not true and she understood. She was keen however, to spread the word and clarify this email to other people in her list… so she asked me to do some research.
A quick google search linked me up with a page by Sheikh Yusuf Estes. The particular email my sister received was called ‘Sheikh Ahmed’s Dream’ and It seems as though we were not the only ones unhappy about it.
Here is what Sheikh Yusuf had to say
Thankyou for asking about these types of emails and this one (Dream of
Shaykh Ahmad) and for putting such confidence in our ability to be able
to provide answers.
Actually,we have written on this subject a number of times. It is not
permissable according to Islam, to forward these types of emails
without first verifying and confirming the content, especially when
there is mention of “the prophet, peace be upon him, said . . “, nor to mention them, nor to forward emails about them.
This is not the proper way to handle the situation. In fact, this is exactly what the enemies of Islam want us to do. In many cases they pretend to be Muslims or friends of Islam who are supposedly “helping Islam and
To those who are not familiar with some of the basics of dawah in Islam,
these may not seem like a big problem. However, it is never acceptable
in Islam to try to accomplish some good by doing something haram
(forbidden). It is never, ever possible to spread Islam by lying or
using deceptive practices.
Why would anyone do such a thing?
Because of Muslims promoting the wrong message. Think about this: Muslims continually send out messages like the one that you just sent and then they tell everyone to do the same thing. Right?
Remember that the devil only has ONE GOAL – to put as many of the sons of Adam
in the HellFire as he can. That is it. He does not really care how they get there.And it works – for the enemy. Shaytan (the devil) knows that most Muslims are ignorant of their religion and think that they know enough that they don’t need to ask anyone about
what they are doing. Or else, he counts on the fact that they will consider that it looks like something that will “help” the ummah (Muslim community) to do good deeds, even if it is a “little white lie.”
But keep in mind that by lying about what our prophet, peace be upon him, says (whether in a hadeeth or a dream by some mystic shaykh, supposedly in Madinah), it is still a lie and could cause the one who sends it on to others to go to HELL, FOREVER.
And it is working!
We must discourage this practice of just “forwarding this to everyone on
your list.” You see many Muslims today do not really know a lot about
Islam and they are easily confused by these people who know how to make
up things to fool us or mistranslate or misrepresent the verses of the
Quran and the hadeeth of the prophet, peace be upon him. As a result I
have a number of emails coming to me from different countries wherein
the youth are asking me about things that have really messed them up,
all of it stemming from these teachings.
So it is quite clear that one must verify the accuracy of such emails before spreading them to others. Insha Allah my sister will be sending this to her mail list to advise others and so should you..