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Timeless wisdom for modern society

Surah al-Hujurat and the fight against digital misinformation
12:00 AM Mar 22, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
timeless wisdom for modern society

In today’s interconnected world, where information flows freely and swiftly through digital channels, the challenges of misinformation, disinformation, and fake news have become more pronounced than ever before. In the midst of this digital discord, the Quran continue to offer everlasting wisdom that can escort us in navigating the complexities of modern society.


Surah Al-Hujurat, the 49th chapter of the Quran, offers thoughtful insights and principles that resonate deeply with the fight against misinformation in the present overloaded digital age especially during the election seasons.


During election seasons a lot of misinformation and fake news becomes the common and this sometimes becomes fatal for some particular communities.

Election season and misinformation, particularly during elections, can have significant ramifications, especially concerning particular (like Muslims in some countries) communities here’s how:


Targeted falsehoods


Misinformation often targets specific communities, including Muslims, exploiting existing social tensions or prejudices. During elections, this misinformation can be particularly harmful, aiming to sway opinions or incite fear and division.


Polarization and division


False narratives about certain communities ( Muslims) can exacerbate existing societal divisions, fostering mistrust and animosity between different religious or ethnic groups. This polarization can lead to social unrest and even violence, especially when fuelled by misinformation spread through digital channels.

Undermining democratic processes

Misinformation undermines the integrity of democratic processes by distorting public discourse and manipulating public opinion. When false information spreads unchecked, it can influence electoral outcomes, undermining the principles of free and fair elections.

Impact on minority communities

Muslim communities are often disproportionately affected by misinformation campaigns due to existing prejudices and stereotypes. False narratives can fuel discrimination, marginalization, and even violence against Muslim individuals and communities.

Loss of trust in institutions

When misinformation runs rampant, it erodes trust in traditional media, government institutions, and other authoritative sources of information. This loss of trust makes it easier for false narratives to take hold and spread rapidly through digital platforms.

Violence and hate crimes

Misinformation can contribute to the escalation of violence and hate crimes targeting certain religious or communities. False rumours and inflammatory content shared online can incite individuals or groups to commit acts of violence or vandalism.

Understanding Surah al-Hujurat

Surah al-Hujurat, comprised of 18 verses, serves as a guidebook for social conduct, ethics, and interpersonal relations. Its teachings highlight the importance of respect, harmony, justice, and integrity in human interactions. The surah emphasizes the need for communication, empathy, and mutual understanding among individuals and communities.

Respectful communication in the digital age

In the age of social media and digital communication platforms, the manner in which we communicate has a profound impact on the spread of information. Surah al-Hujurat retells us of the importance of respectful and well-mannered communication. It cautions against spreading rumors, engaging in gossip, and making assumptions without verification – all of which are predominant challenges in today’s digital landscape.

In the milieu of present digital misinformation, respectful communication involves critically evaluating information before sharing it, verifying sources, and avoiding the spread of false or misleading content. By adhering to the principles of Surah Al-Hujurat, we can contribute to fostering a more informed and responsible digital society.

Building trust and integrity online

Trust and integrity are essential pillars of a healthy digital ecosystem. Surah Al-Hujurat emphasizes the importance of honesty, trustworthiness, and fulfilling commitments – principles that are integral to combating digital misinformation. In an environment where trust in online information is constantly tested, individuals must strive to uphold these values in their online interactions.

By being transparent about the sources of information, fact-checking content before sharing it, and refraining from spreading misleading information, we can contribute to building trust and integrity in online discourse. Surah Al-Hujurat reminds us that integrity is not only a personal virtue but also a collective responsibility in the digital realm.

Promoting critical thinking and media literacy

In the battle against digital misinformation, critical thinking and media literacy are powerful weapons. Surah Al-Hujurat encourages thoughtful reflection and discernment, urging believers to verify information before accepting it as truth. In the context of modern society, this principle translates into the promotion of critical thinking skills and media literacy education.

Educating individuals, particularly the youth, about the importance of questioning information, evaluating sources, and distinguishing between reliable and unreliable content is crucial in combating the spread of misinformation. Surah Al-Hujurat serves as a timeless reminder of the importance of intellectual curiosity and skepticism in the pursuit of truth.

Cultivating empathy and understanding

In an era characterized by polarization and echo chambers, cultivating empathy and understanding is essential for bridging divides and fostering meaningful dialogue. Surah Al-Hujurat emphasizes the importance of treating others with kindness, respect, and compassion values that are sorely needed in the digital sphere.

By empathizing with diverse perspectives, engaging in constructive dialogue, and seeking common ground, we can mitigate the spread of misinformation and build bridges across ideological divides. Surah Al-Hujurat reminds us that true wisdom lies not in blindly adhering to one’s own beliefs but in seeking understanding and empathy for others.


As we navigate the complexities of the digital age, the teachings of Surah Al-Hujurat offer everlasting guidance and wisdom that are deeply needed. By keeping principles of respect, integrity, critical thinking, and empathy, we can face the challenges of digital misinformation and contribute to building a more informed, responsible, and compassionate society.

BY Farooq Ahmad Bakloo