Send this Letter to 13 Friends!
Shaikh Salman Al-`Awdah
One year the people were looking for the new crescent of Ramadhan and did not see it. A man came to the town’s judge and said, “In my dream I saw the Messenger of Allah – may Allah bless him and grant him peace – and he informed me that tonight is the first night of Ramadhan. He ordered me and all the Muslims to begin the fast!”
The judge said, “The one you claim to have seen in your dreams … the people have seen him in broad daylight and he told them, “Fast when you see it [the new crescent] and break the fast when you see it”. So we have no need of your dream!”
A short while ago the following rumor spread among the young women: a certain young woman saw the Prophet – may Allah bless him and grant him peace – in the dream and he told her that the Last Hour will be soon, and that its sign is that you will open an old copy of the Qur’an and you will find a hair or a blank page! This fabricated dream had more effect on the ignorant than the statement of Allah,
“Yet for all you know, the Last Hour may well be near” [Al-Qur’an 33:63]
Sometime later this young woman gave a talk in one college, and she gave out a leaflet with the following story:
“A young woman became seriously ill, and doctors failed in their attempts to treat her illness. One night she cried until she fell asleep. In her sleep she saw Zaynab - Mother of the Believers - who put in her mouth a few drops of Syrup. She ordered her to write the story [that is related above] 13 times, and to tell the other people to duplicate and distribute it. When she woke up she found herself completely cured, and she made 13 copies of the story and distributed it them. The result was as follows:
1. The first copy fell in the hands of a poor man, so he made 13 copies and distributed them. After 13 days he made a huge fortune!
2. The second copy reached a wealthy man who ripped it up, so he lost all his wealth in 13 days!!
3. The third copy was given to a person with a very prestigious job. He ridiculed it, and so was fired after 13 days.
My Muslim brother/sister, you should copy this story and distribute it so that you can get from Allah what pleases you”
This silly fairytale reminded me of the fairytale of “The will of Shaikh Ahmed” which resurfaces every once in a while in a way that makes people believe there is something behind it!
This fairytale also reminded me of what I read in some of our magazines – unfortunately – about the “Curse of the Pharaohs” whereby they claimed that this curse is after everyone who disturbs the Pharaohs or their graves, “One man kicked one of their skulls so his leg broke … the other who discovered one of their cemeteries, his plane fell from the sky … on the same night electricity was cut-off in the whole of Cairo … etc!!”
It is a kind of destructive “mental terrorism”. It is saying, “Don’t think! Don’t discuss! Otherwise the same things will happen to you; and beware, DON’T RIP UP THAT PAPER!! Otherwise you may lose your job, your wealth, … or even your religion”. This is their claim.
But we know that revelation finished and does not come to anyone after Prophet Mohammed, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Yet you find some Muslims inventing new legislations in the religion and warn those who do not conform to what they tell them with punishment, and promise those who conform with success. How can a Muslim believe in this after reading the statement of Allah,
“Today have I perfected your religious law for you, and have bestowed upon you the full-measure of My blessings, and willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your religion.” [Al-Qur’an 5:3]
We know for a fact that a person can leave the greatest of our religion’s practices – the five obligatory prayers - and still receive his sustenance from Allah, and not be afflicted by any illness. This is because this world’s life is not an abode of account and recompense – the punishment and reward will be in the here-after. Indeed, you will find disbelievers, who neither believe in Allah nor the Last Day, yet Allah has expanded their sustenance and given them more worldly knowledge and material civilization than others … that is because this world’s life is a trial and not an abode of recompense.
How come then, that some people insult our intelligence claiming that he who does not conform will be punished within days, and he who does will be rewarded?
Moreover, what we have been asked to do is neither obligatory nor recommended … nor is it even lawful (in Islam). It is an evil innovation and a crude fairytale. Let us ask ourselves: is copying and distributing this leaflet an ‘act of worship’ or is it a purely worldly act?
If it is an act of worship then it is rejected because the person’s motive was to preserve his worldly possessions, wealth, job and health. Allah says,
“As for those who care for [no more than] the life of this world and its bounties – We shall repay them in full for all that they did in this [life], and they shall not be deprived therein: [yet] it they who, in the life to come, shall have nothing but fire – for in vain shall be all that they wrought in this [world], and worthless all that they ever did” [Al-Qur’an 11: 15-16]
Therefore, this act of duplicating the leaflet is a worthless – indeed false – act, whose recompense is The Fire.
On the other hand, if it is merely a worldly act, then again it is rejected, for it does not rely on the necessary material means. For example, the one who wants to keep his job should not be late coming into work, he must fulfill his duties in the best way, he should receive clients warmly and politely, and he should establish his relationship with his bosses on a correct foundation.
Likewise with wealth, health, etc. , all these have well-known material means and ways of preserving them, and this act of duplicating the leaflet is not in anyway one of them.
Then, why this number 13 in particular?
If I am not mistaken, the English regard this number as a bad omen. Is this fabricated story in anyway connected to this? In the Shari’ah the acts of remembrance are repeated once, three times, seven times, ten times or a hundred times, but never 13 times.
Finally, who narrates this lie?
A sick girl? Who is she? Who says she is truthful? And who narrated it from this girl? It is a long chain of liars and unknown people. Their witness is not to be accepted in a dispute over an onion or less! How then can we accept their narration in a matter like this?
Even had this tale had been narrated by the most trustworthy of narrators, once they start relating these clear-cut lies then their trustworthiness will cease, and we will stop listening to them, and it is obligatory to censure them, and stop them from playing with the minds of the silly – may Allah help us. But then again, the trustworthy narrators would not relate something like this