The coming of the internet has brought about a great deal of ease in the way we live our lives nowadays. Now, it is very easy for you to send electronic letters (called e-mails) to your loved ones thousands of kilometers away and receive your reply almost Immediately.

You can also chat with these people without having to empty your pocket. You can either chat on line or through the internet phone (called VOIP -voice over internet protocol); both of them at very low charges. The internet also brings the world close to you and you can buy and sell as you please! .

Beautiful as this may look; do you know that some people now use this same thing to perpetrate a lot of evil? What you witness nowadays is the sight of young men keeping themselves busy at cyber cafes all day. Some of them will even "murder" their sleep because they have something "very, very important" doing at the internet centres. What is this "very important thing" that they are doing that will not make them not sleep at night?

These people flock the centres for no other reason but to go and 'steal' other people's property. How? The methods they use vary. The most common among them is by gaining access to some websites where they get the credit card numbers of people. Once they get these numbers, the next thing is to use these peoples' money to buy products ranging from beautiful handset to shoes and clothing, computer system to exotic cars etc.

This clearly is a case of stealing. Allaah has forbidden this for us as Muslims. Imagine it is your own wealth that is being stolen, I am sure you would not like it one bit. Not only would you be sad, you may find it difficult to forgive such a person. And worse still, it may be all that the person had on him! Allaah says:

 "And eat up not one another's property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, deceiving} ...” (Q2:188).

This is a clear warning from Allaah about illegal possession of other peoples' property.

The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

 "When an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse, then he is not a believer at the time he is doing it, and when a drinker of an alcoholic liquor drinks it, then he is not a believer at the time of drinking it, and when a thief steals, then he is not a believer at the time of stealing, and when a robber robs, and the people look at him, then he is not a believer at the time of doing robbery." (Bukhaari).

The implication of this statement of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is that if a person dies in the process of stealing then he may have died as an unbeliever (of a lesser degree)!

There is nothing wrong in asking to be wealthy but one has to be careful so that he would not attain wealth while hurting others in the process. It is the unbelievers that do not care about what they do as regards their life but the Muslim is not such.

We pray to Allaah not to make us victims of such people and not make us perpetrators of such an act. (Ameen).

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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