I received an email the other day from somebody who claimed to be from Nigeria. And as I read the email, I began to laugh. Oh, no.. not another one!
You see, this is not another email who informed me about a lottery winning. (I am an internet millionairess if I count the number of unclaimed lottery tickets, hahaha). This email was written by a woman who claimed to be a terminally sick Muslim woman, who had nobody to turn to for help in her own country (really?) and had decided to ask for donation from email readers like me.
Here's a part of the mail:
...I WANT YOU TO HELP ME WITH ANY AMOUNT YOU CAN AFFORD, THE SITUATION IS UNBEARABLE, IF YOU WOULD LOVE TO HELP ME, LET ME KNOW SO THAT I CAN SEND THE INFORMATION ON HOW TO SEND THE MONEY.
Please, anything you might want to use to help me, PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! FOR THE SAKE OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH. PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! FOR THE SAKE OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH AND HIS HOLY PROPHET [SAW]. HELP ME WITH ANY AMOUNT YOU CAN AFFORD.
I BEG YOU IN THE NAMES OF ALMIGHTY ALLAH I NEED YOUR EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. I AM DYING... "
The letter sounded too good to be true. Surely a sick and dying person would not have time or energy to write such a long letter? Therefore I ran a check through google and found her! It's a SPAM!
And what do you know? Many kind Muslims have been tricked! Some like a sister here was almost tricked after she offered to send some money to the so-called sick person. Charity scam in the name of religion is one of the most despicable!
Grrrrr... isn't it irritating to know the things they do by misusing the name of Islam? And trying to manipulate the kindness of Muslims worldwide? They send emails asking for alms in the name of Allah but in reality, they may not even be Muslims. And they use certain words and phrases to soften our stance.
And some novels and dramas are made by stating that those have "Islamic content" but really? Just because they have a character that wears a niqab or a serban doesn't merit it to be an Islamic novel or drama. If after reading or watching, you feel uncomfortable due to the level of maksiat or tahyul described, then it's time to do another check. Always read and watch with a critical mind. Not all that has Quranic quotes mean they're really teaching the true way of Islam.
So friends, don't be fooled by such scams (check out this link) Even when they claim to be Islamic and even when they ask in the name of Allah swt. Check and double check first before you believe in them. If it sounds too good to be true, then it really is - too good to be true. Don't believe that by giving alms to these "needy" folks will merit as an amal ibadah. You might find that you'd end up poorer when your bank account is wiped out. :P