re: Dear Sheik
Yusuf, Salam alaykum.
Some Muslims I don't even know keep sending me links to bad websites tell me to send out to everyone on my list. They say these are websites attacking Islam, made by Jews, US government, FBI & haters of Islam.
My questions is, Should I send these links out to others, especially new Muslims who might get all mixed up?
What should we do? Can we visit these sites? How do we warn others about all this? Thank you for your question.
Bismillah Rahman Raheem - Answer
Thank you for asking about these websites and for putting such confidence in our ability to be able to provide answers.
Actually, we have written on this subject a number of times. It is not permissable according to Islam, to visit these sites, nor to mention them, nor to forward emails about them. This is not the proper way to handle the situation. In fact, this is exactly what the enemies of Islam want us to do. In many cases they pretend to be Muslims or friends of Islam who are supposedly "exposing" these evil websites. To those who are not familiar with the way that the search engines work on the internet, there would seem to be no problem in visiting these sites. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The more "hits" (visits) that the site gets, the higher it is going to be rated by the search engines and the higher position it will have on a search. This will help increase the chances of these websites to come up in a word search for "Islam."
Do you doubt this
O.K. Go to www.google.com and then type in the word "Islam" and see how many total sites there are out there with the word "Islam" in them.
Back on Sept. 11, 2003, (exactly 2 years after World Trade Center Attacks) I did a search on Google. There are over 9,670,000 websites listed with Google.com and where do you think the position of one of the worst (Answering Islam) was? Page one!
For three years it has been on page #1. It's position has changed from 8 to 7 and then up to 6 and even 3rd.
Today it is on page 2, in the 3rd position.
Now, how is it that the enemy of Islam can manage to stay on the page one for over 3 years in the top ranking position? HOW?
Because Muslims continually send out messages like the one that you just sent and then they tell everyone to do the same thing.
And it works - for the enemy.
They know it will work and right now they want to get back up on the first page.
Back in September, 2003 - 9,670,000 websites had the word "Islam" - the deviants and misguided and enemies of Islam are sharing the highest places.
Now today - 571,000,000 pages have the word "ISLAM" and still the top ranking ones are more fake sites and sites attacking Islam.
Because Muslims promote the wrong message
The number one position usually went to Ibrahim Shafi at: www.islamworld.net (because he has the most links with the word "Islam") The number two (and sometimes number one) used to go to: www.islamicity.com (because they have so many links to them from their other site and others sites that link to them). Number three was usually their other site: www.islam.org (same reasons)
Then number four was usually the Shiites or NOI (Nation of Islam under Louis Farrakhan) [notice I DO NOT give out these addresses]
Then number five or six or seven was usually ANSWERING ISLAM - [no address again]
Islam has another reason not to promote these sites.
You see many new Muslims and young Muslims today do not really know a lot about Islam and they are easily confused by these people who know how to mistranslate or misrepresent the verses of the Quran and the hadeeth of the prophet, peace be upon him.
As a result I have a number of emails coming to me from different countries wherein the youth are asking me about things that have really messed them up, all of it stemming from these teachings.
For the above reasons you can see why it is haram to give out these sites or to even visit them.
What should we do?
First, when you receive email talking about these sites - DO NOT FORWARD IT TO EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST.
Second, copy this letter and then send it back to everyone on any list that comes with the email to let them know the ruling on this.
Third, begin to visit and promote the websites that are dealing with the real issues of being a Muslim in this place in these times. This is critical.
We can all make a difference. But it takes cooperation and dedication. We must not play with this subject. We must work hard at promoting the real Islam based on the Quran in the Arabic language and the authentic hadeeth.
Our prophet, peace be upon him, warned us of times like these and here we are. So, let us make an agreement to work together for Allah.
Jazakalah khair was salam alaykum,
For live discussions on these matters:
www.Chatislam.com (check the list & join as a member and then you can ask your questions in "chatroom" style)
As regards providing a rather simple and straightforward answer to questions when making dawah or just sharing the basics of Islam, we do recommend the following steps. Begin with mentioning to them who is Allah the Almighty. Explain what we believe about the purpose of this life. This life for us is a test to see if we will worship Allah or something that He created.
Any good is from Allah & the mistakes were from myself.
May Allah guide all of us to His Truth, ameen.
Salam alaykum - Yusuf Estes