Islam is a perfect religion it has set guidelines for everything, in every walk of life. Following the Sunnah of Rasulullah (SAW) is the key to everything and it shows us that Rasulullah (SAW)) used to smile and joke with his companions:
A man came to Rasulullah (SAW) and said: “Give me an animal to ride on” Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “I will give you the son of a female camel”. The man said with astonishment: “What could I do with the son of a female camel?” (Thinking that he would be given a camel too small to ride). Thereupon Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “What do female camels deliver except camels?” (i.e., that every camel, even if it is fully grown, is the product of a female camel!). (Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi).
Remember that there are guidelines to follow, according to the Sunnah, when it comes to joking, laughing and having fun
1) MAKE SURE you don’t make fun of any aspect of Islam:
Jokes should not involve verses from the Qur’aan, hadith, or any of fundamentals of Islam. Unfortunately, some people tell jokes about the verses of the Qur’aan, Prophets, angels, or they make fun of the Hijaab, the beard, etc. This is the most dangerous as it can make a person a Kaafir, EVEN IF YOU ARE ONLY JOKING.
Sheikh Al-‘Uthaymeen said: “One who mocks Allah, His verses, His signs or His Messengers is a disbeliever because this action nullifies belief.”
Rasulullah (SAW) said: “A slave (of Allah) would utter a word, without paying attention to it, which would result in him going down into the Hellfire further than the distance between the east and the west.” (Muslim)
So the sister in the Niqaab is NOT A NINJAA and the brother who shortens his pants or lengthens his beard is NOT A NERD!
وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ ۚ قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنْتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ
لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنْ نَعْفُ عَنْ طَائِفَةٍ مِنْكُمْ نُعَذِّبْ طَائِفَةً بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ
“If you ask them, they declare: ‘We were only talking idly and joking.’ Say: ‘Was it at Allah, and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking? ’Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed” (Surah al-Tawbah 9:65-66)
2) NEVER joke about something that is HARAAM:
Some people, especially the youth living in the western society tend to take the things that are Haraam too lightly and something to joke about. For example, they make jokes about a person being GAY or being ‘high’, having committed zinaa, etc.
Subhaan Allah! We forget that these are things among the worst in the sight of Allah and bring on Allah’s wrath and curse and are certainly NOT things to joke about.
3) Say ONLY that which is true:
Rasulullah (SAW) used to joke but he would only speak the truth.
Someone asked Rasulullah (SAW)): “Do you joke with us?” Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “I do, but I only say that which is true” (Al-Bukhari, Tirmidhi)
If it involves lying and making up stories, then it is not allowed.
Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Woe to the one who speaks and tells a lie in order to make the people laugh at it. Woe to him. Then again, woe to him.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
4) Don’t make jokes to make ‘FUN’ of people:
Be careful that your joking does not hurt anybody’s feelings or harms them in any way. So don’t make those snide remarks or wink behind their backs. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَسْخَرْ قَوْمٌ مِنْ قَوْمٍ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِنْهُمْ وَلَا نِسَاءٌ مِنْ نِسَاءٍ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَكُنَّ خَيْرًا مِنْهُنَّ ۖ وَلَا تَلْمِزُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَلَا تَنَابَزُوا بِالْأَلْقَابِ ۖ بِئْسَ الِاسْمُ الْفُسُوقُ بَعْدَ الْإِيمَانِ ۚ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَتُبْ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
“O you who believe! Let not a group ridicule another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it to insult one’s brother after having Faith” (Surah Hujuraat 49:11)
5) Don’t laugh if someone slips or falls or is afflicted with something:
Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Do not express malicious joy towards your brother’s misfortune, for Allah may have mercy on him and you may be stricken by the thing you made fun of.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
6) Never scare anybody while joking or otherwise:
Rasulullah (SAW) said: ‘It is not permissible for a Muslim to frighten another Muslim.’” (Abu Dawud).
7) Joking should not involve backbiting:
Don’t ever joke about others when they are not there, even if you ‘think’ they wouldn’t mind, as it would involve backbiting.
“(Backbiting is) your mentioning about your brother something that he dislikes.” (Muslim)
8) Beware of excessive laughing and joking:
Don’t be like the one who jokes ALL the time. The amount of joking should be like the amount of salt in one’s food, as too much laughing and joking makes the heart hard, distracts one from the remembrance of Allah and makes you lose respect.
Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Do not laugh too much, for laughing too much deadens the heart.” (Sahih al-Jaami)
‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (RA) said: “Whoever laughs too much or jokes too much loses respect, and whoever persists in doing something will be known for it.”
9) Choose appropriate time and place for your jokes:
Some people don’t appreciate the time or place for joking and do so indiscriminately. There is a time and place for everything. For example, what might be amusing at a picnic or at the dinner table might not be so amusing in the middle of a Halaqah. Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah said, “….. It (joking) is Sunnah, but only for those who know how to do it and do it at the appropriate time.”
10) Use appropriate language:
Some people resort to immoral or obscene language when joking around, even though under ‘normal’ circumstances they would not even think of using such words. Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The Muslim does not slander, curse, speak obscenely or speak rudely.” (Al-Tirmidhi
11) Acknowledge people’s status:
Some people may joke with everyone indiscriminately, but scholars and the elderly have special positions and rights, so you have to be aware of the character of the person with whom you are dealing. You should also not joke with people whom you do not know or who won’t understand, or it may lead to unpleasantness.
‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez said: “Fear joking, for it is folly and generates grudges.”
Thus we see that Islam is not against jokes. Good humour is part of Islam and Islam does not go against this because it is typically a part of human nature. A Muslim should develop a positive and optimistic personality, and not a gloomy and pessimistic one that is negative towards life. However, moderation is the key, and it is what distinguishes Muslims from others. We should not go overboard in our jokes and humour, (or in anything else, for that matter) and if we follow the Sunnah of Rasulullah (SAW) , and his guidance, we will certainly not get lost.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اصْبِرُوا وَصَابِرُوا وَرَابِطُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
“O you who believe! Be patient, and excel in patience, and remain steadfast and fear Allah, that you may be successful.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:200)