collections khutbah Responsibilities of a Muslim: In Dealing with Information
Responsibilities of a Muslim: In Dealing with Information

Islamic Religious Council of Singapore

Friday Sermon

3 November 2023 / 19 Rabi’ul Akhir 1445H

Responsibilities of a Muslim: In Dealing with Information

My beloved brothers and sisters in Islam,

Let us continue to strengthen our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.), by obeying all His commands, and abstaining from all His prohibitions. May Allah (s.w.t.) accept and bless our acts of worship. Amin.

My brothers and sisters,

In this era of rapid technological development, Allah (s.w.t.) has blessed us with the capacity and tools to quickly obtain any set of information in a very efficient manner. However, there may be drawbacks to such development that we have to be wary of. Our religion teaches us that it is our duty to evaluate the accuracy of any news or information we receive, whether from friends, websites, social media, or other sources. This is especially important when the information we receive has the power to impact not just our individual attitudes, but also our lives and our minds, as well as that of our families and communities.

Allah (s.w.t.) has provided us with clear guidance in dealing with any news or information. Allah (s.w.t.) says in the Qur’an:

Which means: “O you who believe, if a sinner brings you any news, verify it so you do not harm people unknowingly, afterwards becoming regretful for what you have done.” (Surah al-Hujurat, verse 6).

Imam Ibn Kathir explained in his commentary of the Qur’an, “Tafsir al-Quran al-Azim”, that the revelation of this verse was regarding a person who was sent by the Prophet (s.a.w.) to collect alms (zakat) from a particular village. This individual was an unreliable person, and he made up a story that the villagers refused to pay zakat, and instead wanted to kill him. Upon hearing that, our Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Khalid ibn al-Walid (r.a.) to investigate the matter. It turned out that the story was indeed not true.

My brothers and sisters,

The verse and the story both remind us about the importance of being trustworthy. If the fake news was not properly investigated, imagine the slander that could have spread. It is hence our collective responsibility to verify any information we receive or any news we wish to share via the internet, social media, or other online platforms.

As believers, it is our responsibility to assess the accuracy of any news we encounter, especially if it contains information that could impact one’s psychological or emotional well-being. Indeed, we should not disseminate any news or information before we have confirmed its authenticity.

While it is human nature to always be in a hurry or get things done instantly, my brothers and sisters, being hasty in our words or actions is not a positive trait. In fact, the Prophet (s.a.w.) praised one of his companions who was blessed by Allah (s.w.t.) with the ability to remain calm in all his affairs, and who did not rush in making decisions. Our Prophet (s.a.w.) said that which means: "Truly in you there are two qualities that Allah (s.w.t.) loves: patience and caution." (Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim)

My fellow Muslims,

Peace and harmony are two of the most precious blessings for humankind. We are all responsible for playing our part in ensuring the preservation of peace in our country as well as other countries for our common good. In view of the ongoing crisis facing the world today, we have an important responsibility to ensure that every piece of information we get is thoroughly evaluated and sensibly assessed. Given the rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI), this task is even more crucial. It is incredibly easy for irresponsible individuals to spread false information in order to gain popularity or to get “Likes” on their social media posts or accounts.

Therefore, it is crucial that we assess every information we encounter objectively rather than emotionally. This is because accepting loaded information on an emotional level will blur our vision from seeing the truth and justice. While some of the information may be true, some others may be far from the truth, which could then lead to the spread of misinformation, animosity, and hatred. 

We must exercise caution and ensure that the values ​​of our religion remain untarnished, and our relationships with one another are not negatively affected by the actions and behaviour of a group of irresponsible individuals. We need to remain steadfast and confident in the religious values ​​and principles that we hold as the Muslim community in Singapore.

Islam teaches us the values ​​of justice, peace, and compassion for all. Violence and brutality cannot resolve the challenging issues we see today. On the contrary, we must embody the principles, teachings, and values of our Prophet (s.a.w.) by becoming ambassadors of peace.

Let us all continue to spread peace, kindness, and goodness to all. Let us extend help to those in need, remind one another to perform night prayers and ask Allah (s.w.t.) to restore peace and harmony to the whole world. May Allah (s.w.t.) grant us the wisdom and strength we need to face the challenges of life in this world. Amin.

أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم


Second Sermon

الحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.

أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ العَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.

وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتِ، الأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا البَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ البُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. اَللَّهُمَّ انْصُرْ إِخْوَانَنَا اْلمُسْتَضْعَفِيْنَ فِي غَزَّة وَفِي فِلِسْطِينَ وَفِيْ كُلِّ مَكَانٍ عَامَّةً، يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِين. اللَّهُمَّ بَدِّلْ خَوْفَهُمْ أَمْنًا، وَحُزْنَهُمْ فَرَحًا، وَهَمَّهُمْ فَرَجًا، يَا رَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ. 

عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي القُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذكُرُوا اللهَ العَظِيمَ يَذْكُركُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِن فَضلِهِ يُعطِكُم، وَلَذِكرُ اللهِ أَكبَرُ، وَاللهُ  يَعلَمُ مَا تَصنَعُونَ.