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Islamic humour

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Islamic humour

Islamic humour is a tradition of humour in Islam, dating back to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.


  • Islamic sources on humour 1
    • Hadith 1.1
    • Quran 1.2
  • Muslim comedians 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6

Islamic sources on humour

Laughter, fun, and joking are permissible in Islam provided guidelines from Quran and Hadith are followed. For humour to be in accordance with Islam, the joke should not insult anyone, should not frighten anyone, should be within the limits of Islamic tolerance, should tell the truth, should not be offensive, should not contain unIslamic material or promote immorality and indecency.

Muhammad al-Baqir's Hadith about humour


1) The Prophet used to smile, rather than laugh.

Aisha, wife of the Prophet Muhammad narrated:

"I never saw the Messenger of Allah laugh fully to such an extent that I could see his uvula. He would only smile."
— Sunan Abu Dawood Volume 3, Book 41: Kitab Al-Adab (General Behavior), Hadith Number 5079;[1] Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73: Kitab Al-Adab (Good Manners and Form), Hadith Number 114.[2]

2) The Prophet's smile and his companions' laughing sessions.

Jabir ibn Samurah narrated:

Simak ibn Harb asked Jabir ibn Samurah, "Did you sit in the company of the Messenger of Allah?" He said: Yes, very often. He (the Prophet) used to sit at the place where he observed the morning or dawn prayer till the sun rose or when it had risen; he would stand, and they (his Companions) would talk about matters (pertaining to the days) of ignorance, and they would laugh (on these matters) while (the Prophet) only smiled.
— Sahih Muslim, Book 4: Kitab Al-Salat (Book of Prayers), Chapter 92, Hadith Number 1413.[3]

3) The Prophet made loved ones feel good.

Aisha narrated:

The Prophet in his fatal illness, called his daughter Fatima and told her a secret because of which she started weeping. Then he called her and told her another secret, and she started laughing. When I asked her about that, she replied, "The Prophet told me that he would die in his fatal illness, and so I wept, but then he secretly told me that from amongst his family, I would be the first to join him, and so I laughed."
— Sahih Muslim, Volume 4, Book 56: (Virtues and Merits of the Prophet and his Companions), Hadith Number 819.[4]

4) The Prophet encouraged to be jestful with your family.

Ibn Mas'ud narrated that the Prophet Muhammad said;

"Mix with the people on the condition that your Deen is not jeopardized, and be jestful with the family."
— Sahih al-Bukhari, Chapter 81: To be cheerful with the people.[5][6]

5) The Prophet used to laugh too; sometimes till his front teeth were exposed.

Abu Dharr al-Ghifari narrated that the Prophet Muhammad said;

"...I indeed saw the Messenger of Allah laugh till his front teeth were exposed."
— Sahih Muslim, Book 1: Kitab Al-Iman (The Book of Faith), Chapter 83, Hadith Number 365.[7]

6) The Prophet discouraged laughing at inappropriate times.

Al-Aswad ibn Yazid narrated:

Some young men from the Quraish visited Aisha as she was in Mina and they were laughing. She said: "What makes you laugh?” They said: Such and such person stumbled against the rope of the tent and he was about to break his neck or lose his eyes. She said: “Don’t laugh for I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: If a Muslim runs a thorn or (gets into trouble) severe than this, there is assured for him (a higher) rank and his sins are obliterated."
— Sahih Muslim, Book 32: Kitab Al-Birr was-Salat-I-wa'l-Adab (The Book of Virtue, Good Manners and Joining of the Ties of Relationship), Chapter 12, Hadith Number 6237.[8]

7) The Prophet encouraged jokes about the truth.

Abu Hurairah narrated that;

When some of his companions said to Prophet Muhammad: "O Prophet Muhammad, yet, you also joke with us!" He replied: "Yes, I do. But I only tell the truth."
— at-Tirmidhi.[9]

Prophet Muhammad said:

"A man may say something to make his companions laugh, and he will fall into Hell as far as the Pleiades because of it."
— Ahmad ibn Hanbal.[10][11]

8) The Prophet discouraged lying to make people laugh[12]

"Woe to the one who speaks and tells lies in order to make the people laugh; woe to him, woe to him."
— at-Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 2315; Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith Number 4990.[13][14]

9) The Prophet discouraged frightening anyone as a joke.

Once when travelling, one of the sahabah fell asleep, the others got some rope and tied him up. The man woke up and was frightened so Prophet Muhammad said: "It is not lawful to any Muslim to frighten another Muslim."

10) The Prophet discouraged joking or laughing excessively.[15]

Prophet Muhammad said:

"Do not laugh too much, for laughing too much deadens the heart."
— Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7312; al-Tirmidhi, 2305; Ibn Majah, 4193

11) The Prophet’s companions would limit jokes, joke at appropriate times, and be cautious of joking.

Umar ibn al-Khattab narrated that;

"Whoever laughs too much or jokes too much loses respect, and whoever persists in doing something will be known for it."
— [15]

Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas said;

"Set a limit to your jokes, for going to extremes makes you lose respect and incites the foolish against you."
— [16]
A man said to Sufyan ibn `Uyaynah, "Joking is not right, it is to be denounced." He replied, "Rather it is Sunnah, but only for those who know how to do it and do it at the appropriate time."
— [10][11][16]

Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz said;

"Fear joking, for it is folly and generates grudges."
— [17]

12) The Prophet discouraged backbiting.

"(Backbiting is) your mentioning about your brother something that he dislikes."
— Sahih Muslim, Book 32: (The Book of Virtue, Good Manners and Joining of the Ties of Relationship), Chapter 18, Hadith Number 6265.[18]

13) The Prophet encouraged using appropriate language. Prophet Muhammad said:

"The Muslim does not slander, curse, speak obscenely or speak rudely."
— Tirmidhi[19]


"That it is He Who granteth Laughter and Tears."
— Qur'an, chapter 53 (An-Najm), Verse 43.[20]

1) The Quran discourages insulting anyone.[12][21][22]

"O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong."
— Qur'an, chapter 49 (Al-Hujurat), Verse 11.[23]

2) The Quran discourages mocking Islam.[6][21]

"If thou dost question them, they declare (with emphasis): 'We were only talking idly and in play.' Say: 'Was it at Allah, and His Signs, and His Messenger, that ye were mocking?' Make ye no excuses: ye have rejected Faith after ye had accepted it. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you, for that they are in sin."
— Qur'an, chapter 9 (At-Tawba), Verse 65-66.[24]

Muslim comedians

There are Muslim comedians internationally who use comedy to educate people about Islam, invite people towards Islam, and encourage good actions:

See also


  1. ^ Sunan Abu Dawood, 41:5079
  2. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 8:73:114
  3. ^ Sahih Muslim, 4:1413
  4. ^ Sahih Muslim, 56:819
  5. ^ Farooq, Mohammad Omar (June 3, 2011). "The Lighter Side in Hadith". IslamiCity.Com. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Hadith Humor collection". globalwebpost. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ Sahih Muslim, 1:365
  8. ^ Sahih Muslim, 32:6237
  9. ^ "Jokes and Humor of Prophet Muhammad". Last Prophet. March 5, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b al-Qaasim, ‘Abd al-Malik. "Conditions of permissible joking". Islam Question and Answer. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b al-Qaasim, ‘Abd al-Malik. "What are the conditions for joking to be permissible?". Islam Question and Answer. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c El-Shaf’ei, Ahmad (April 28, 2011). "Sense of Humour in Islam". Productive Muslim. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ Sunan Abu Dawood, 41:4990
  14. ^ Al-Munahhid, Muhammad S. "Ruling on creating a humour application for Facebook". Islam Question and Answer. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Rule of joke". Fukaaha. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Rules of Joking in Islam". Islam,ru. 16 March 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Laughies". CII Youth Foundation. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  18. ^ Sahih Muslim, 32:6265
  19. ^ "Etiquettes of joking". Luton Muslims. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  20. ^ [Quran 53:43]
  21. ^ a b "Humour in Islam". New Muslims. June 3, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Mockery is a disease from Jaahiliyyah". Islam web. November 2, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 
  23. ^ [Quran 49:11]
  24. ^ [Quran 9:65–66]

Further reading

  • Idries Shah (1978) Special Illumination: Sufi Use of Humour, outlining the jokes' dual function as humour and teaching stories.
  • The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin, by Idries Shah, illustrated by Richard Williams
  • The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin, by Idries Shah, illustrated by Richard Williams.
  • The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin, by Idries Shah, illustrated by Richard Williams and Errol Le Cain
  • Khalid Qishtayni (1985) Arab Political Humour

External links

  • Humour in Islam
  • Hadith Humor collection
  • Humour and Jokes In Islam
  • Rules of joke in Islam
  • Islamic Humour and Jokes
  • A collection of Islamic humour from various sources
  • Islamic jokes
  • A Collection of Islamic Jokes
  • Manzoor, Sarfraz. Funny old world. The Guardian. April 6, 2007
  • Khan, Yasmeen. Does Islam have a sense of humour?. BBC News. November 20, 2007
  • Two mullahs went into a bar…. The Economist. November 26, 2011
  • Janmohamed, Shelina Zahra. Warning: Muslims have a sense of humour and we'll be using it. The National. March 17, 2012
  • Safdar, Saleem. Emirs of Laugh: The Rise of The Muslim Comedian. Mecca Stars. April 11, 2012
  • Morse, Felicity. Muslim Jokes Written 1,000 Years Ago Are Revealed In Ancient 'Guide To Gatecrashing'. The Huffington Post. November 28, 2012
  • Zain, Maria. Halal Laughter and Muslim Happiness. December 3, 2012
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