Ever wanted to take a break and dabble the soul in some humour but run into the dilemma of doing so while staying true to your God-fearing conscience?
Indeed, finding sources of clean humour which a practising muslim can relate to and enjoy without guilt is like finding a needle in a haystack despite the availability of the myriad of humour related materials both online and offline, from muslim and non-muslim sources.
Islamic Heritage : An Untapped Source of humour
The muslim library (much of is still in unpublished manuscript or gone missing) is brimming with materials that can be used for entertainment.
From stories to riddles, poetry and humour, muslim authors have left no field of interest to human intellect untouched.
Many books have been written by authors from different backgrounds, including religious scholars, containing collections of humorous stories (mostly true).
So we find ibn al-Jawzi, a renowned scholar and one of the best wu’aad ( preachers), write more than one book in this field such as : “The Stories of the Dumb and Fools”, “The Intelligent Ones”, “The Stories of the Humorous and the Pretend Lunates”.
And we find the likes of al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, one of the greatest scholars of hadith sciences and a leading historian, write similar books to document the weird and amusing side of his society with works such as : “Interloping and the Stories Interlopers” and “The Stingy Ones”.
On top of these dedicated works, similar materials are found scattered all over other books, especially historical books.
Because having Light-hearted time matters
Inspired by the prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) conduct and way of life, muslim scholars and intellectuals have always recognised the importance of relieving the heart and the soul from the burdens of serious thoughts through humour and other forms of entertainment.
Ibn al-Jawzi said : “… And the scholars and the honourable have always liked humour and other trivia because it recreates the self and relieves the heart from the burden of the thought”
Pointing at the reason why having fun is important, ibn al-Jawzi says : “…and it is clear from what we mentioned that the souls of the scholars roams in allowed entertainment which gives it (the self) vigor for dealing with seriousness so it is as though it (the self) has always been in seriousness”
In other words, when you indulge in a bit of trivia and take some time out, you do this not to waste time or because you are bored but to reinvigorate your heart and soul allowing you to engage serious matters with renewed enthusiasm and a clear head, thus the fun time is a continuation and part of being serious.
This sentiment has been echoed by the companions of the prophet ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) too.
Ibn Abd-alBar has mentioned that Ali bin abi-Taalib (May Allah be pleased with him) said : “Relieve these hearts and seek for it the amusing of the wisdom, for indeed it (the hearts) gets overwhelmed just like the bodies do”
Ibn Abd-alBar also mentioned that abi al-Dardaa (may Allah be pleased with him) said : “Indeed I releive myself with something of the allowed fun so it (the fun) empowers it (the self) upon the haq (serious activities”
Finally : A source of truly Halal Humour
‘From The Islamic Heritage : Truly Halal Humour’ is filled with amusing and witty humorous pieces sourced entirely from ancient books in the Islamic library.
As well as entertaining and bemusing, it connects the reader with the Islamic history and heritage and allows him to appreciate the intellectual richness of the muslim civilisation throughout the ages.