i hope noone reading takes this personally as it's something which has been bugging me for years and years, and not related to recent examples, although i did receive a text today which prompted me to write this post. it reads:
"laa ilahha illallaho mauhammadur rasulullah. ye msg 9 logo ko bhejo to aaj raat 1 good news milegi. ye madina se shuru hua hai isko nazar andaaz mat karna"
roughly translated: "there is no God but Allah and Muhammad peace be upon him is His Messenger. send this message to 9 people and tonight you will receive one piece of good news. this has started in madina so do not ignore it"
i'm sure you can think of your own variation of this, but the basic message is that you don't pass the message on you will be rewarded or punished in some way.
i am asking this as a serious question, so please do not be shy in responding. if you're someone who sends these messages on, please explain to me why?? there are too many examples of people that do send them on, so there must be some good reason that i'm missing.
chain emails/ texts are huge problems for everyone, but when it comes to Islamic stuff i don't think people should be sending these things on under the misguided belief that they are obligated to do so. or maybe i'm the one that is misguided ? maybe the reasoning is that it is better to send them on just in case. after all, it's not doing anyone any harm. but actually i think that that it is, as the only way these things survive is if people pass them on.
i sometimes read the most beautiful and thought provoking stuff, only to have my mood dampened at the end by a message like- send this on to all your contacts or you will be struck by lightening/ be unhappy for the rest of your life/ will lose your favourite brooch (or you know whatever).
if i want to send it on, i always remove this part of the message. someone must have a very inflated ego to want to create something like this just to see it be passed around.
but i'm wondering, do people really send this stuff out because they're scared of Allah's punishment? do we feel the same fear when we read a hadith like this one:
The Prophet Muhammad (Sal-allahu-alleihi-wasallam) said, "That which distinguishes us from the disbelievers and hypocrites is our commitment to Prayer. He who gives it up falls into disbelief."
or this one:
The Prophet Muhammad (Sal-allahu-alleihi-wasallam) said, "The worst among people is one who commits theft in prayer. They said: Allah's Messenger, how does one commit theft in one's prayer? He said: When he does not observe ruku' and sujud perfectly well."
just something to ponder on, that's all. it's easy to click forward and then breath a huge sigh of relief and your conscience is eased.
this is a general message to all readers, so please treat is as such and not a personal attack on anyone who sends these messages on. only Allah knows what's on each person's heart. that's one of the reasons i'm asking. is it something you feel strongly about either way, and if so why?