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Humor Ethics In Islam - What is Permissible and What is Prohibited.

Updated on April 18, 2015


Humor in Islam - Basic Principles

Humor is permissible in Islam but with certain conditions. The basic principle is that the life is of this fatal world is in fact a trial from the Almighty and unnecessary humor and jokes divert the attention of the common humans from his real Goal. It is stated in one of the Hadith says: “Do not laugh too much for excessive laughing makes a man’s heart dead”. Generally, laughing is taken as a best medicine. However, from the latest research proved that excessive laughing is occasionally causes harm.

Ethics of Humor in Islam

Excess of very thing is bad. Same is true with humor. Excess of trivial amusements of the world affect the human behavior and attitude with Almighty adversely. Existence of each human on earth is not without purpose and the purpose is to follow the guidelines given by the Almighty in the holy scripture i.e. Quran-e-Karim and sunnah (the way of life of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

However, it is also an undeniable fact that humor is a part of nature of a human being. When we say that Islam covers all spheres of life, how it could be possible that necessary guidelines could not be derived about humor from the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Despite all the difficulties the holy Prophet (PBUH) faced in his life he used to smile and also have very good sense of humor. Like all other spheres of life in Islam there are also certain limitations for humor. Certain things are allowed to afresh the minds and hearts of people and certain things are strictly prohibited.

The things which are permissible and which are not permissible in Islam are discussed as under:

1. First principle about humor is; there should be no lie. The holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) said: “The person who tells a lie just to make others laugh would go to hell.” Lying is prohibited in all forms and in any circumstances in Islam. Islam is a true religion and believes only in truthfulness that is why Islam persuades its followers to be truthful even in the worst circumstances. There are certain Islamic scholars who wrote the comedy but all that was narrated in those books was true and based on real life. There are Arabic jokes which are very clean and makes you laugh but without any sort of vulgarity.

2. Don’t make slander of others. In Quran it is strictly prohibited to slander. In Surah Al-Hujrat Allah Subhan hu Wa Tallah says, “O People who believe! Avoid excessive assumptions; indeed assumption sometimes becomes a sin, and do not seek faults, and do not slander one another; would any one among you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? So you will hate that! And fear Allah; indeed Allah is Most Acceptor of Repentance, Most Merciful.

3. Slandering prominent religious personalities/deities or gods of other religions is a great sin according to the teachings of Quran and Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). Slandering other religions by a Muslim is as if a Muslim is slandering Islam itself. Even you cannot slander your enemies just for joke. However, you can narrate an incidence if it has some funny material without any exaggeration.

Logic behind this is that such slandering may offend the followers of a particular religion and this mischievous act may instigate them to slander Islam and respectable personalities of Islam. This is the reason why one could not see any offending remarks from a Muslim regarding any religious personality of the other religion.

This also shows the soberness and high moral approach taught by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) and Quran. This situation emerges despite the fact there are numerous books written by non-Muslims based on misleading, deceptive and false facts to offend the feelings of Muslims but no one could not find any material from any Muslim against Christ, Mary, Moses, Ram, Krishan or Buddha. Rather, Muslims respect all of them and Muslims claimed themselves to be the true followers of the teachings of Christ, Mary, Moses and all other Apostles. Muslims believe that Christ, Moses, Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) and all other Apostles were sent by the Almighty to guide the human beings for a specific period. They were just humans but not gods or sons/wife of God, as Almighty is pure from all such humanly attributes and there is no god but Allah.

4. It is also prohibited to make laugh of any ones physic or complexion as the Creator of every human being is Allah Who says in Quran, “We have indeed created man in the best shape” [Teen 95:4]. The God has created human being in the complexion of white, black or wheatish. Islam beliefs in international brotherhood. A man’s status in the sight of Allah depends on his deeds and not on his color, wealth, creed or caste. None has the right to make fun of others if someone does not have the fair complexion.

5. Such jokes which may hurt feelings of others are strictly prohibited as it is a greater sin to hurt others feelings as compared to destroying the Ka’aba (the most respected place for Muslims on earth).


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