There are circumstances and events that produce different reactions from the same people, yet there are those whose specialty is spreading rumors, most of which are negative, baseless and even destructive, in addition to rumors that are spread by enemies to cause confusion and create rifts in a society’s unity.

We have seen in different places and countries unidentified people appearing all of a sudden on social media and taking advantage of certain events or crises and use them to serve their own personal interests, while claiming they are close to decision makers, although they lack any knowledge about what they claim.

Rumors can produce major social problems due to creating illusions and raising false expectations, nothing of which will materialize. Some rumors may cause psychological issues among certain classes of people as they worry about uncertainty about the future, including their livelihood.

They may create rifts among members of the same family, as each member formulates their own opinion and insists on it, to the point that some families may break up because of a false claim, and we all know that family rifts are very hard to mend and leave bitter memories that will not be erased for years and years.

Rumors may compromise national security, as one may not realize that their rumor will expose their country to foreign danger, especially when it contains contradicting information about an issue, which in turn creates confusion in the society and allows for many to start doubting statements of authorities. They may even spread fears and scare the entire population.

I noticed in some countries that rumors have put tremendous pressure on their governments, because they were widespread and gave people high expectations, so decisions and legislations were made in a hasty fashion, only to be revoked or significantly amended later.

Rumors, when they are spread deliberately by officials of some countries against others, may affect the trust between governments and the economic components in them, especially in the private sector, as one institution doubts the other and this may continue for a very long time. Let us not forget what rumors can do to stock markets and how difficult it is to recover if damage occurs.

Please avoid rumors – do not believe them, do not follow them. Be vigilant and aware, think deeply and use logic!

Allah Almighty says: “O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.”—Holy Quran (49:6)