x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Don't spread Facebook rumours, urges sermon

Friday sermon warns worshippers against spreading rumours on social media.

Worshippers should refrain from spreading rumours on social media such as twitter and Facebook, according to today's sermon.

"Meeting people has become easy and convenient through electronic communication ... and that is a blessing from Allah," says the sermon.

"And the obligation behind each blessing is to thank Allah for it and use it positively to do good, as modern technology can be used to do good or to harm others."

But while the sermon highlights the positives of such media, it warns there are ethics involved.

"A Muslim should intend to use it in fulfilling obligations ... as the prophet said: 'Actions are but by intentions'."

Using such media to harm others by posting indecent content, spreading rumours or promoting destructive ideas is contrary to Islam, warns the sermon. Such actions, it says, are "forbidden gossip".

"How many homes were destroyed, and couples were separated because of such actions," it asks.

Muslims must confirm news before spreading it, as a verse from the Quran says: "O ye who believe! If an evildoer bring you tidings, verify it, lest ye smite some folk in ignorance and afterwards repent of what ye did."

The sermon strongly urges Muslims to check the authenticity of a hadith reported by the Prophet before spreading it around. It notes the Prophet once said that whoever falsely quotes Him should expect a seat in hell.