Etiquettes of humour and jokes
Humour and jokes are a permissible part of our deen and if kept within limit then can also be an act of reward. However, there are certain guidelines and etiquettes which should be kept in mind with regards to joking and any person who enjoys sharing a joke or two should be familiar with them
A person should not laugh and joke all of the time. Imam al-Nawawi رحمه الله explains why excessive joking is forbidden:
Yes, our beloved Nabi ﷺ on many occasions joked with the companions رضي الله عنهم and our companions too joked in front of our beloved Nabi ﷺ. But his joking was such that:
● He would smile at most.
● He would not be overtaken by laughter.
● He maintained self-respect
● He ensured he did not hurt anyone with his jokes
● He ensured he did not disobey Allah Ta’ala with his jokes.
To put it simple, yes and no. As Sufyan ibn Uyaynah رحمه الله beautifully puts it:
“… it (joking) is Sunnah, but only for those who know how to do it (how to joke) and do it at the appropriate time.”
So if you know how to joke and when to joke it will Insha’Allah be regarded a Sunnah.
What are the etiquettes of joking?
Do’s of joking:
1) Use jokes as a way to cheer up those around us.
2) Use jokes to forget your worries and feel better prepared to worship Allah Ta’ala.
3) Try to bring deeni lessons out of jokes. If we joke in the right way there will be a lesson to be learnt Insha’Allah
4) Joke with one’s family and children. This is very liked. Sayyiduna Umar رضي الله عنه praised the father who was able to do this.
5) Learn when to joke. There is nothing worse than joking at an inappropriate time.
Dont’s of joking:
1) Do not joke too much. Everything is good and beneficial as long as it is kept within limit.
2) Do not lie to make others laugh. Our beloved Nabi ﷺ has cursed such a person (Tirmidhi)
3) Do not laugh too much. As laughing leads to the heart becoming hard.
4) Do not hurt the feelings of others while joking. A joke is something everyone should enjoy together.
5) Do not get carried away with joking. Learn when to stop as someone will end up getting hurt.
6) Do not joke so much that people begin to regard you as a fool or a clown. Respect and dignity should be maintained.
7) Do not let joking make you forgetful of the hereafter.