Fact-Check: WhatsApp message touting free degree programme in Qur’anic science is a scam

Whatsapp News

By Mohammed Dahiru Lawal

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Fake News has been the prowl from immemorial but there is a psychology to why we engage with it.

Claim: A WhatsApp message, which has been forwarded many times, claims that the International Qur’an University, Yemen has opened a new branch and is offering free degree programs in Islamic studies and Qur’anic science. Verdict: There is no known University as the International Qur’anic University in Yemen nor does any such University exist in Nigeria. No such offer of free degree program as claimed.

Full Text

A WhatsApp message, which has been forwarded many times as of Thursday, 17th June 2021, in Hausa language, claims that the International Qur’an University, Yemen has opened a new branch and is offering free degree programs in Islamic studies and Qur’anic science.

It urged potential applicants interested in the free degree programs to send their credentials to a given contact. It further emphasizes that lectures will be held on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Hausa Text reads: “International Qur’an university ta Qasar Yemen. Sun bude reshen su na arawacin Nigeria a jahar Kano,Yin degree kyauta a bangaren Islamic studies da kuma bangaren Qur’anic Science. Duk Wanda ke bukata ya gaggauta tura takardun sa zuwa: 08032492569. 08065079464. Ranakun karatu a wannan jamia sune asabar da lahadi. Ka/ki turawa yan musulmi domin muyi tarayya cikin ladan gaba daya. Allah ya bamu iko.”

The Message literally translates as follows: “International Qur’an University Yemen Have opened its Northern branch in Kano State and is offering free degree programs in Islamic studies and Qur’anic Science.

Anyone interested should instantly send their credentials to: 08032492569. 08065079464. Study days in this institution are Saturdays and Sundays. Send to fellow Muslims so that we can all have a share in the blessing together. May God grant us the ability.”

Unsuspecting persons have shared this message especially on student-based WhatsApp groups.

It was discovered that the body of the text of the original message has no verifiable address associated with the claim which can be traced to any website or location in any part of .

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Further verification by PRNigeria via keyword search on google and other search engines did not turn up any such University existing in either Yemen or any part of Nigeria.

The closest reference is a news item on the websites of the International Quran News Agency which dates back to 2013 crediting Yemen’s Prime Minister, Mohammed Salim Basindawa, with an announcement that the government has allocated a sum of $500000 for establishing the University of Holy Quran and Islamic Sciences.

A query by PRNigeria using the search tool on the news agency’s website did not reveal any result that points to commissioning of the University or any related activity.

Additional check by clicking on the “news” header of Google search engine window shows that the search did not match ‘any news result,’ which means there was no credibly linked media that authenticates the message. Similarly, clicking the ‘images’ header of Google search engine window any associated result in picture format as the same goes with videos.

The closest search result with a similar name is the University of the Holy Quran and Islamic Sciences, a non-profit public higher-education institution, established in 1990 and located in the metropolis of Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan with 11 Faculties and no Campuses abroad.

Enrolling into an undergraduate program requires candidates to have obtained a pass in the Sudanese Secondary School Certificate (the academic section) (or equivalent) or pass in the Ahliya certificate and must satisfy the general requirements of admission.

Furthermore, online search of the given contact (08032492569 and 08065079464) did not turn up any credible result, rather, checks reveal that the same message has been circulating on Social Media since September, 2020. Conclusion Findings reveal that the purported message offering free degree programs in Quran Science to interested students is false and should be ignored.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with PRNigeria to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.