Thursday, November 30, 2006

Message for Friday - Verification of news and testimony is essential



G'd says in the Qur'an (49.6): "Oh you who beleive! When a corrupt person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth lest you harm people unwittingly, and afterwards be full of repentance for what you have done.

In the age of the internet, humans are able to receive information at a rate never imagined by previous generations. This advancement, however, has opened the door to people with corrupt intentions to circulate misinformation as never before.

Hence, a person, even with the most sincere intentions, can see, hear, or read information, yet be led astray by one who seeks to defame or present a particular perspective for their own monetary benefit, fame or vengeful desires against a particular issue, group or person . Therefore, the Qur'an calls the sincere to also be responsible in their intaking and spreading of reports that they have received.

The following questions should be asked when receiving news:
1) Is the person who gives the information being paid to represent a particular perspective?
2) Is the person who gives the information known for misreporting in the past?
3) Is the person known to be unethical in business?
4) Is there a possible motive attached to giving a particular perspective?
5) Is the person sane?
6) Is there means to verify the veracity of the information?
7) Is there reporting mixed with assumptions or commentary about events or potential issues that have yet to occur?
8) Is this person known to be unjust and/or prejudice?

These are some of the points that can be used as a litmus test, be it hearing conversations about an issue, group or person, seeing or hearing news on television or reading blogs.

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The Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) said, "Ascertainment is from G'd, and rushed judgment is from the Satan.

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