by Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplain & well being writer.
I was recently speaking with a brother on a supposedly religious marriage site and he told me he was “lowering his standard talking me to me because I was from Essex”………I think he was trying to make a joke,I asked him to explain his off key comment and told him(a born muslim Asian man) that there is a adab /manners when making jokes in Islam and maybe he needed an Essex girl to teach him Islam manners in regards to jokes -that’s a turn around for the books!
Islamic manner of joking
1 – It not should not involve any element of making fun of Islam.
That is one of the things that nullify a person’s Islam. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“If you ask them (about this), they declare: ‘We were only talking idly and joking.’ Say: ‘Was it at Allaah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?’
Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed”
Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Making fun of Allaah, His Signs and His Messenger is kufr (disbelief) and the one who does that disbelieves thereby after he had believed.”
The same applies to making fun of some Sunnahs, an action which is widespread, such as making fun of the beard and the hijaab, or of shortening one’s garment, etc
2.You cannot lie to tell a joke
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Woe to the one who tells lies to make people laugh, woe to him.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, warning against this kind of behaviour which some jokers are accustomed to: “A man may say something to make his companions laugh, and he will fall into Hell as far as the Pleiades because of it.” (Narrated by Ahmad).
3.Not scaring people. It was narrated that Abu Layla said: “The companions of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that they were travelling with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and a man among them fell asleep. Some of them got a rope and tied him up, and he got scared. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘It is not permissible for a Muslim to frighten another Muslim.’” (Narrated by Abu Dawood).
4.you cannot hurt a person feelings.
“O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at 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”
Ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer: “What is meant here is looking down on them, belittling them or making fun of them. This is haraam and is counted as one of the characteristics of the hypocrites.”