Spread the truth and truth alone

Representative Image (Photo by AFP)

Today we are living in the midst of a social media boom. The common man did not have the power of letting his voice heard and opinions be known at a global level.

This is nothing short of a miracle. It is something to be treasured and cherished. However, we notice that even this wonderful medium is misused and exploited by vested interests, and false news is circulated with impunity and an utter disregard for the terrible consequences it may lead to. There are a few bad eggs who perpetrate this evil of creating false news and the gullible public go on spreading it in good faith. Therefore if we need to check this menace, then we need to become more aware and vigilant.

This is not just the need of the time. Similar situations have been created since time immemorial. The Quran cautions us about the harms of false news. It is striking to note that what the Quran said about this topic is perfectly relevant for our time as well. We read in Chapter 49 verse 6: “O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done.”

Therefore it is our responsibility to not take any action after hearing any news unless we ascertain whether it is true or false. We need to exercise constraint and keep our emotions under control lest, as the Quran says, we will be sorry for what we have done.

Equally relevant for our times is the warning from Prophet Mohammad when he said: “It is enough for a man to prove himself a liar when he goes on narrating whatever he hears”. Today we live in an age that has the capacity to speak to the entire world, therefore, the responsibility is even greater on us that we do not pass on anything we hear unless it is the truth.

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