“But the hoopoe stayed not long and said, I have encompassed [in knowledge] that which you have not encompassed, and I have come to you from Sheba with certain news.”
[Al-Quran: Surah Al-Naml:22]
It is very tempting to spread first hand information regardless of whether the information is of deen or duniya. Because we do not responsibly validate all information we read and simply pass on, we create fitnah that we witness today in cyberspace.
This fitnah is of altered and corrupted information especially about deen on internet and via other social communication modes. We think with a click of a button we have come across any ayah of the Qur’an, its translation and maybe even its tafsir not knowing whether the source is true or the information is even correct. This is also the case with sms and emails. We forward it blindly at times without realizing whether it is guiding others to the right direction or not.
To double check the reference of hadith, ayahs and translation is a habit I need to inculcate within myself especially before writing about it. It is a good idea to even verify it from more than one authentic book or reliable online sources.
The internet is sometime so treacherous, as a concept or an ayah reference would be searched, and several corrupted sites would result along with the correct ones. There is usually no way of filtering the right information from the wrong unless we have knowledge of it ourselves. On most occasions, it is hard to decipher between what school of thought is being referred to. I fear sometimes, that the difference or the alteration is so minute, that it can give a different meaning to a concept without us even knowing about it. The thought is scary.
It is almost like the concept of musac being used to subtly target the listener in a way that the listener does not even realize the effects of it. So keeping this in mind, I have become more careful on this.
I do not forward phone messages usually until I know they are coming from a reliable source or that I know them to be authentic. It should be very scary to think that because of lack of verification of true information, we may forward or say something or believe in something causing greater damage by: misguiding someone, maybe having a wrong assumption of someone because of the news, hurting relationships and being misguided ourselves.
I need to verify everything that comes to me either in person or through another form of communication and then forward it. I need to know that I bear the responsibility of all the news I blindly forward. The message can be going in my favor by helping guide others or against me if it is false news and others are being misguided by it. I do not want to be the one finding out on the Day of Judgment that it was the latter of the two.