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Sheikh Huthayfi’s death, again, just a rumour.

Yusuf Omar – Radio Islam News 7 May 2017

The ‘instant messaging’ era has no doubt made it easier for us to connect with friends and loved ones in a matter of seconds. It has also made it easier for rumours to spread across the globe in an instant. The latest casualty to such rumours is one of the senior Imams of Masjid Nabawi (S.A.W.), Sheikh Ali Bin Abdur Rahman al Huthaify. In the past few days, rumours of the Imam’s death spread across social media platforms and the instant messaging app, Whatsapp.

Khalid al Shamani, a verified journalist who resides in Madina Munnawara stated:

“The General Presidency for the affairs of the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque stated that Sheikh Huthaify is fine and well, all praise be to Allah” (Translated from Arabic)

Al Shamani also stated that such lies and rumours has sprouted from weak-minded people against a number of Sheikhs in recent times.

This is not the first time that a rumour of Sheikh Huthaify’s passing has circulated. In fact, research shows that such a rumour occurs at least once a year. A simple search on Facebook brings forth interesting results.

In the above image, the words ‘Intaqala Huthaify’ which translates to ‘Huthaify has passed away’ were searched. The first three results show that such rumours had circulated in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Pay attention to the dates. This is only the first three results.

It is our duty to verify such messages before passing it on. A Hadith of Nabi (S.A.W.) states:

“It is sufficient to render one a liar who speaks about everything that he hears (Without verifying).” (Muslim)

From the above Hadith we understand that a person who passes on all messages without verifying can be considered a liar.

So when we do receive a message that seems to be a breaking story, how do we immediately find out if the story is a rumour or not? Here are a few tips…

Scrutinise the web – If an Imam passes away, a simple Google search will show that all mainstream Arab media houses are running the story on their home page. In this case, no major websites mentioned anything related. Also, the Saudi government made no mention of it.

View social media accounts of role players – If any story breaks, all major role players in the industry will make mention of it on social media. Is it possible for a new iphone to launch without the tech junkies tweeting about it? Exactly my point.

Common sense – If the above was indeed true, I think the government of Saudi would have released an official statement. I doubt that they will just send out a Whatsapp broadcast. Some time ago, I came across a message from ‘Whatsapp’ stating that we need to broadcast that message to show Whatsapp that our accounts are active. Really? Whatsapp? A million dollar company needs us to broadcast a message in order to determine if our accounts are active? I think that they would have at least mentioned it on their official website.

The irony is that this past Friday in Masjidun Nabawi (S.A.W.), Sheikh Huthaify delivered the Jumuah Khutbah and performed the Jumuah Salaah. Radio Islam crossed over to Madina to bring you the live transmission of the Khutbah and Salaah. As a weekly feature on Radio Islam, we also gave a brief translation of the Khutbah. This past week, adding to the irony, the Sheikh spoke of negligence. Listen to the English translation here…

 Tune in for the weekly crossover and translation on Friday mornings at 11:30am.


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