12-04-2006, 12:28 PM
Relaxing the Mind
Following the Prophet's (peace be upon him) example, his noble and pure Companions also enjoyed humour and laughter, play and sport, which relaxed their bodies and minds and prepared them better to travel on the long, arduous path of striving in the cause of truth and justice. Ali bin Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "Minds get tired, as do bodies, so treat them with humour," and "Refresh your minds from time to time, for a tired mind becomes blind." And Abu al-Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "I entertain my heart with something trivial in order to make it stronger in the service of the Truth."
Accordingly, there is no harm in the Muslim's entertaining himself in order to relax his mind or refreshing himself with some permissible sport or play with his friends. However, the pursuit of pleasure should not become the goal of his life so that he devotes himself to it, forgetting his religious obligations. Nor should he joke about serious matters. It has been aptly said, "Season your conversation with humour in the same proportion as you season your food with salt."
The Muslim is forbidden to joke and laugh about other people's values and honor. Allah says: "O you who believe, let not some people mock at other people; it may be that they are better than you..." (49:11). Nor is it appropriate for the Muslim to tell jokes based on what is untrue in order to make people laugh. The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned us against this, saying. "Woe to the one who says something which is false in order to make people laugh! Woe to him, woe to him!" (Collected by at-Tirmidhi)
"The Lawful and The Prophibited in Islam" – Yusuf al-Qaradawi, pg. 292
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