Pal Talk’s Unfair Treatment of Subscribers in the Middle East

As salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. A few people asked me about Pal Talk, so here’s my take on the whole (unfair) issue: After my arrival to Jeddah, and waiting several weeks for internet service, I logged onto to Pal Talk anxiously looking for family to chat with and a live class to attend. I tried to enter a room and was prompted to subscribe. I thought, ‘ok this is just another beta upgrade.’ So, now I am at looking all around the download page trying to find the freebie button. It wasn’t there. I wrote Pal Talk customer service requesting details about their “automatic upgrade.” No reply. I entered the online help room for answers. The customer service representative said that all Pal Talk users in the Middle East – starting with Saudi Arabia – have to upgrade to a paid subscription. He also said eventually all users will have to pay for the service. {I doubt it.}

 It doesn’t matter if you use an old user name or not, so long as your I.P address is issued from the Middle East they will not allow you to enter a room for free. I tried using my old nickname and it did not work. Pal Talk even erased all of my contacts. Every detail pertaining to my account was gone. 

Funny – Users in Middle East are from the last to get Pal Talk, yet from the first to have to pay for it. I wrote to them asking several questions and they never bothered to reply.  

Payments: You only have 2 options (Padeel via your Saudi bank account or money order).  I wrote Pal Talk asking if I could use my ATM card to make an online payment, that way I wouldn’t have to send a money order in the mail and wait for God knows how long. They never replied.  I asked my sister in-law in New Jersey if she could mail a money order off for me. She agreed, so I sent some funds via Pay Pal. I figured her mailing a money order from N.J versus me mailing it from KSA was the better choice (a shorter wait). Pal Talk still took their merry time with my account. I waited a month maybe – not sure. It doesn’t take a piece of mail a month to go from N.J to Liberty N.Y.  

Waiting, waiting, waiting…. 

Ok, so now I am back on Pal Talk, everything seems fine. My hubby decides to use it. He logs on to his old account, then what do you know….he is prompt to upgrade/pay for his own subscription. Pal Talk use to give each account the ability to have 7 nicknames will all the features. Not so for the Middle East. You will have to either share one account with the whole family, or pay for each subscription separately. I paid about $29.98 for a 6 month subscription. 

I think this is just another means to retard the da’wah. Far fetched? Not really. I can’t count the many times I’ve witnessed someone taking shahaadah on Pal Talk. I remember a 14 year old boy once came online and was in such a hurry to take his shahaadah. He said that he had a dream that Jesus told him to enter through Islaam’s door. You could hear the excitement and slight anxiety in his voice. After he accepted Islaam and listened to some advice, then thanked everyone and rushed off.  Recently a sister accepted Islaam in al Baseerah org’s room, Tabaarakallaah. It was beautiful listening to her repeat after the Shaykh (hafithahullaahu wa ahsanallaahu ilaih).

How many of our scholars use Pal Talk to give classes calling to Tawheed, speaking out against lies spread by the mass media and such? Several, Alhamdulillaah. Coincidence? I don’t think so. They can charge us all they want. Abu Uwais (rahimahullaah) said it loud and proud – “Islaamu Aatin, aatin, aatin!” They know it and it scares them. Ok, my rant is over now. 


2 thoughts on “Pal Talk’s Unfair Treatment of Subscribers in the Middle East

  1. I was asked about the the phrase “Islaamu Aatin.” Here’s an old E-mail In Shaa Allaah.


    Date: Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:40 am
    Subject: {TSSG} Why do you say that Islaam is coming when it is already here?

    As salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. While sitting in the waiting room of my doctor’s office last week, I heard a newscaster say, and I quote, “People are leaving Christianity for Islaam in crowds. I want to ask the new Pope once he’s elected what he would do to solve this problem.”

    This definitely caught my and my mother’s attention. We stopped reading for a second and I asked her if she heard what he just said. The newscaster continued talking about this “problem,” which caused a Christian lady sitting across from us to look over at my mother who softly said while looking at her, “mm hm,” (meaning yes) then she went back to what she was reading.

    The Speech of Allaah came to mind:

    وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَاجًا

    And you see that the people enter Allaah’s religion (Islaam) in crowds.
    An-Nasr 110:2

    There’s nothing that the new Pope can do against Allaah’s Will. Aboo Uwais (rahimahullaah) gave a very beneficial lecture “Islaamu Aatin (Islaam is Coming).” I recommend this tape for everyone, especially new Muslims as it contains encouraging words. He said, “You may ask, why do you say that Islaam is coming when it is already here?” The explanation is beautiful. I no longer have access to this tape, but I recall Aboo Uwais (rahimahullaah) saying that “Islaamu Aatin” refers to the time when Islaam will be dominant and upper most in the lands. He mentioned how there will not be a household except that someone in it is a Muslim. He advised the sisters in full hijaab to be patient, ease is coming.

    He said, “Islaamu Aatin brothers! Tell your wives. Islaamu Aatin sisters! Tell your husbands.” – May Allaah give him Jannatul Firdaws, aameen.


    BTW, I remember who the newscaster was now….Matt Lauer from the “Today Show.”

  2. Here’s an interesting article sent out by Fatwa Online:

    The West is becoming ‘obsessed with Islam,’ Vatican warns


    The West is becoming obsessed with Islam at the expense of the other world religions, the Vatican has warned.

    Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, said that the Church “has to have regard for all religions” and that the West’s fascination with Islam was putting inter-faith dialogue at risk.

    Cardinal Tauran said the council had this week discussed new guidelines on how to achieve this.

    “Islam is very important, but there are also other great Asiatic religious traditions. Islam is one religion,” he reveals on Catholic website

    He added that Islam should not monopolise inter-faith dialogue and that it was just one of the world’s many religions.

    “I’m going to India next month and I want to give this message that all religions are equal.

    “Sometimes there are priorities because of particular situations, but we mustn’t get the impression there are first-class religions and second-class religions.”

    The Cardinal also criticised countries such as Saudi Arabia for not allowing Christian worship.

    “What is good for me is good for the other, so if it’s possible for Muslims to have a mosque in the West, we should have the same in Muslim countries. This is not the case in many countries,” he said.

    Cardinal Tauran’s comments come in the lead up to an inter-faith meeting in Amman, the capital of Jordan, later this month.

    “What was interesting about our discussions was that we did not concentrate on Islam because in a way we are being held hostage by Islam a little bit.”

    Pope Benedict XVI has also convened a Catholic-Muslim forum for October in a bid to compensate for a controversial speech he gave two years ago when he suggested that Islam was “irrational and inherently violent”.

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