The Muslim has a sense of humour and jokes when appropriate, without extremes or saying anything hurtful. When serious, he does not go to extremes.

A man came to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) asking for a riding animal. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) jokingly told him that he’d give him the offspring of a camel. The man, thinking of a baby animal, asked what he would do with it as he could not ride it. He was told that all riding-camels are offspring of camels (and were once young). [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi]
Zahir was a man from the desert. He used to bring gifts from the desert to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) who loved him. One day the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) came to him while he was selling goods and caught him from behind. Zahir couldn’t see, so he said, ‘Let me go! Who’s this?’ Imagine such light-heartedness from the noble Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)!

One Hadith that reflects the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)’s sense of humour and enjoyment of fun is reported by Aisha (radhiallahu anha), his wife. who went with him on a journey. At that time she was young and slender. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) told the people to go ahead so they did, then he said to her, 'Come, let us race.' They raced and she won. Later, when she gained weight, she went on another journey. He told the people to go ahead and they did. They raced and he won. He began to laugh, and said, 'This (win) is for that (first loss).'

Sahaaba used to throw melon-rinds at one another, but when matters were serious, they were the only true men. (al-Adab al-Mufrad) This is moderate, Islamically acceptable humour which refreshes hearts and minds and is within the confines of Islam. There are many reports about jokes exchanged between the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and the Sahabah. He is reported to have laughed at the Sahaaba’s humorous actions.

Sahaaba saw nothing wrong with having fun, as they saw the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) occasionally doing so. The many delightful stories about their sense of humour reflect the easy-going nature of the first Islamic society, and how far removed it was from narrow-mindedness and gloom.


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