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Don’t jump on the sensationalism bandwagon- How are you reacting to the “hello darlings” scam?

 

Shakirah Hunter

People have lost hard-earned money and find themselves worried at the reality of the loss of thousands of Rands but more importantly the loss of trust by a person they trusted. We all find ourselves reacting- either as someone directly affected or as an observer. How we react to the misfortune can be determining to our own Iman and the manner that we are treated by Allah should we experience the same misfortune later in life.

  1. Verify before we qualify

We do not know all the specifics of the scam therefore we cannot blame or create any sensation. As Muslims every difficulty should be a means for constructive growth and learning. On the part of an observer, we wonder if there is a difference between an advertisement on any platform as opposed to social media platform? Yes, there is a huge difference as there is a personal endorsement attached to it. However, as we all begin to jump to conclusions and blacklist any one person – it is a core basis of Iman to verify, to do due-diligence.

Allah Ta’ala highlights this to us

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَأٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْماً بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا

فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ.

O you who believe! If some transgressor brings you news (that requires taking action), verify it carefully (before you believe and act upon it), lest you harm a people in ignorance and then become regretful for what you have done.4

This will be on the side of the Influencer as well as those spreading information and those victims of the scam itself.  Due to the massive responsibility of personally endorsing a product – it is imperative that even before they do any marketing due diligence is completed before advertising a product. Messages are spreading on WhatsApp as well as social media – and each one of us has to take this verse into consideration as we navigate our personal hurt and our social outrage – but we do not transgress against the boundaries of Allah Ta’ala.

  1. Focus on Taqdeer – without excusing the wrong

We have to focus on our own responsibility. It can be easy to simply lay blame, but we have to focus on our own control – don’t allow a social media’s influencers opinion to guide or determine your buying choices. As Muslims we don’t overlook the error of the influencer or the business – we need to focus on taqdeer in this moment as a coping mechanism as well as understanding that the perpetrator is definitely wrong and at fault, but when we begin to open the doors of “if only I hadn’t listened to this person” or “I lost my money because of a certain person” , we divorce the Will of Allah Ta’ala from this moment and we open the door of the actions of Shaitaan. Repeating the statement of Iman: “ Whatever Allah has wished , has occurred and is destined” , allows us to break those massive doubts and whispers of Shaitan that can break our Iman in a time of test like this.

  1. Malicious Joy

Wathilah ibn Al-Asqa’ reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do not rejoice over the misfortune of your brother, lest Allah have mercy upon him and afflict you with trials.”Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2506

The messages are doing the rounds, they may be hilarious and a good laugh, but behind it all there are real people. People who have lost hard-earned money whether rich or not. As we share these difficult moments of misfortune of another Muslim – making a mockery of their difficulty and trivializing their fear and worry goes against the teachings of Islam. Our goal has to be to feel a unique pain at the pain of any other Muslim – whether we know them or not, for the reality is that it could so easily have been me or you in that exact same situation.

  1. Incorporating Dua into these moments

“All praise is due to Allah, the One who has kept me safe from that with which He has trialed you with , and preferred me over so many of His creation.”

Abu Hurairah narrated that:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever sees an afflicted person then says: ‘All praise is due to Allah who saved me from that which He has afflicted you with, and blessed me greatly over many of those whom He has created, (Al-ḥamdulillāhi alladhī `āfānī mimmabtalāka bihī wa faḍḍalanī `alā kathīrin mimman khalaqa tafḍīla)’ he shall not be struck by that affliction.”

Your Dua should be for the perpetrator, for those who have lost wealth, and especially for ourselves to be protected from falling into these schemes (scams). People are experiencing difficulty, feel their pain and genuinely make dua for them. It can be so easy to express an opinion, yet the only manner that we can change or assist a fellow Muslim is through Dua. The lady blamed in this instance is a fellow Muslim – more than bashing her our focus must be for dua that Allah guides her to do the correct thing.

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