Is It Funny?

A wise man once said that “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people”.

Often to spice up our gathering we feel the need to laugh and we end up laughing at people. Let’s see what we can learn from Quran and Sunnah about this form of pleasure.

So do you find someone’s skin color, language or accent funny?

Quran (30:22) And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge.

The different languages that we speak and the color of our skin are signs of Allah. Let me ask you again, do you find Allah’s signs funny?

How about that short sister or tall brother. Is their height funny?

Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said:
I said to the Prophet (ﷺ): “Such and such thing of Safiyyah (May Allah be pleased with her) is sufficient for you.” (She means to say that she was a woman with a short stature). He said, “You have indeed uttered a word which would pollute the sea if it were mixed in it.” – Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi

How about the way someone walks or talks or eats?

Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said:
…She further said: I imitated a person before him and he said, “I do not like that I should imitate someone even (if I am paid) in return such and such.” – Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi

How about we joke about how misguided others are?

Quran (49:11) O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them.

What if we just smile and feel good about someone’s loss because they were evil to us?

Wathilah bin Al-Asqa’ (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Do not express pleasure at the misfortune of a (Muslim) brother lest Allah should bestow mercy upon him and make you suffer from a misfortune.” – [At- Tirmidhi].

OK how about we have a giggle about someone’s sins?

At-Tirmidhi reported:
The Prophet heard two men saying to one another, `Have you not seen the man who had Allah cover his secret, but his heart could not let him rest until he was stoned to death, just as the dog is stoned’ The Prophet continued on and when he passed by the corpse of a donkey, he asked Where are so-and-so Dismount and eat from this donkey. They said, `May Allah forgive you, O Allah’s Messenger! Would anyone eat this meat’ The Prophet said;The backbiting you committed against your brother is worse as a meal than this meal. By He in Whose Hand is my soul! He is now swimming in the rivers of Paradise.

Man I just like to talk about mistakes of others to feel good about myself that I’m on the straight path

Quran (14:4) … and Allah sends astray [thereby] whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

Abdullah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:
“Whoever has a mustard seed’s weight of pride (arrogance) in his heart, shall not be admitted into Paradise. And whoever has a mustard seed’s weight of faith in his heart, shall not be admitted into the Fire.”

But how bad can it be?

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “During the Mi’raj (the Night of Ascension), I saw a group of people who were scratching their chests and faces with their copper nails. I asked, ‘Who are these people, O Jibril?’ Jibril replied: ‘These are the people who ate flesh of others (by backbiting) and trampled people’s honour.”‘ – [Abu Dawud].

I’m addicted, how should I change?

Dear brother/sister, avoid being with people who take pleasure in talking about others. If you happen to be in such a gathering then its better to leave or if you can’t then try to keep a straight face when they laugh. If you have the courage then remind them that it’s not appropriate. A person should try to say good things about the person being laughed at, and that should be a form of reminder to the people in the gathering. Or at least hate the action of backbiting from heart if he/she can’t give an advice.