The Humour of the Messenger of Allah

By Amatullah

If we were asked to name instances where the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam displayed bravery, shed tears or gave advice to his Companions, we would be able to do so easily. But how many of us can name at least three times where the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam was seen laughing or making others laugh?
Muslims need to lighten up and embrace this sunnah of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Righteousness does not equate to frowning and looking scary—not only is it counterproductive, but it’s against the sunnah of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. The scholars and du’aat who truly follow this sunnah today are the ones who are loved by the people because their humor brings out their gentleness and approachability, such as Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen rahimahullah who gave some extraordinary answers during his classes that are still being shared by his students.
The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam was complete in all aspects of his character and had a great sense of humor that even makes us laugh today.
From his life we also learn the etiquette of laughter and humor. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam did not normally laugh to a point where his molar teeth were seen (except for a few instances) or laugh so hard that he would shake. Furthermore, unlike nowadays, he did not seek humor in making fun of others or in a vulgar fashion regarding vulgar topics. He also narrated to us that we should not lie  to make people laugh, “Woe to the one who tells lies to make people laugh, woe to him.” [Abu Dawood]. Read more on the conditions of permissible joking here.
We must also keep in mind that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam was moderate in his laughter, just as he was moderate in all facets of his life. He sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam warned us against laughing too much, and told us of the danger it poses to the heart when he said: “Do not laugh too much, for laughing deadens the heart.” [Tirmidhi, ibn Maajah]
Let’s look to the life of the Messenger of Allah and share a few beautiful accounts that show his sense of humor.
A Smile
Jareer ibn Abdullah Al-Bajali radi Allahu anhu narrated, Allah’s Apostle did not screen himself from me since my embracing Islam, and whenever he saw me he would receive me with a smile. Once I told him that I could not sit firm on horses. He stroked me on the chest with his hand and said, “O Allah! Make him firm and make him a guiding and a rightly-guided man.” [ibn Maajah, Graded Saheeh by Shaykh Albaani in Saheeh ibn Maajah]
Points of benefit:
a) The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam made each of his companions feel special. This is an attribute of a successful teacher, as each of his students will feel they have a special place with him.
b) Think about it: do you know anyone who smiles at you every time you see him/her? SubhanAllah, the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam was a mercy for all of creation. Jareer radi Allahu anhu said that since he accepted Islam, the Prophet alayhi salaatu wa salaam would always smile at him. Try for one day to smile in the face of one person and see how it goes.
c) The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam was easily accessible to the people. It is hard for us nowadays to reach an influental person, yet the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam was readily available for his followers. As teachers and Imams in our communities, we should reflect upon this nature of our Messenger alayhi salaatu wa salaam and intend to act upon it.
d) The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam made duaa for Jareer, even for something as small as sitting firmly on his horse. This is a reminder for us to always turn to Allah in every situation, make duaa for ourselves and others, even if it’s something that we feel is insignificant.
The She-Camel
Anas ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu narrated that a man came to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I want you to give me a camel to ride upon.” The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “All that I can find for you is a child of a she-camel.” The man turned around and walked away, disappointed that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam wanted to give him a baby camel upon which to ride. The Prophet sal Alalhu alayhi wa sallam then called him back and said, ‘And is not every camel (be it old or young) the child of a she-camel! [Abu Dawood, Graded Saheeh by Albani in Saheeh Abi Dawood]
Points of benefit:
a) The Companions regularly asked the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam for help/assistance, as they knew he would help them.
b) The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam called him back to explain the joke. Imagine having the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam explain his joke to you!
Old Women in Jannah
Hasan radi Allahu anhu narrated that an old woman went to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and asked him to pray to Allah for her entry into Jannah. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “O mother of so-and-so, no old woman enters Paradise.” On hearing this, the old woman returned weeping. The Prophet sal Alllahu alayhi wa sallam then called her back and said, Did you not hear the saying of Allah:
إنَّا أَنشَأْنَاهُنَّ إِنشَاءً
فَجَعَلْنَاهُنَّ أَبْكَارًا

عُرُبًا أَتْرَابًا
“Verily, We have created them (maidens) of special creation. And made them virgins. Loving (their husbands only), (and) of equal age.” [56:35-37]
Points of benefit:
a) Women had access to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
b) The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam gave tafseer of the ayat from Surah Waqi’ah. Regardless of the age the believing woman died in, she will enter Jannah young.
c) Instead of giving her a straight answer, “yes you will enter Jannah”, the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam made the answer special for her—telling her that she will not only enter Jannah but will enter it in a state of youth.
d) The old woman, radi Allahu anha, cried profusely when she thought she was denied entry into Jannah.
With Allah you are Expensive
Anas ibn Malik radi Allahu anhu narrated, A Bedouin called Zaahir was selling his commodities in the market. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam approached him from behind and, clasping his arms around Zaahir, challenged him to release himself from the grip. Then the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam called to those who passed by, ‘Who wants to buy this slave?’ Laughing and still in the Prophet’s grip,  Zaahir responded, ‘There is no market for me. Nobody would want to buy me,’ [due to his age and deformed body] The Prophet replied, ‘But with Allah, you are priceless and invaluable.’ [Narrated by Ahmad]
Points of benefit:
a) The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam suprised his companion by coming from behind him, as if to wrestle him playfully.
b) The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam took the time out to publically visit someone who was considered from the lower class (Bedouins). He visited Zaahir radi Allahu anhu while he was working in the market.
c) The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam in a joking manner attempted to sell Zaahir, although he was not a slave. He showed the people who were around that he and this Bedouin were friends.
d) He comforted and raised the morale of Zaahir radi Allahu anhu by saying with Allah he is ‘ghaalin‘ (expensive and invaluable) after he said no one would be interested in buying him.
The Race
A’ishah radi Allahu anha narrated, “I went out with the Prophet on a journey. At that time I was a young girl and was quite slender. The Prophet told the people, ‘Go on ahead,’ so they went ahead, then he said to me, ‘Come, let us have a race.’ So I raced with him, and I won. He let the matter rest until I had gained weight. Later, I accompanied him on another journey. He told the people, ‘Go on ahead,’ so they went ahead. He said to me, ‘Come, let us have a race.’ So I raced with him, and he won. He began to laugh, and said, ‘This is for that.” [Narrated by Ahmad]
Points of benefit:
a) The wives of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam would accompany him on journeys.
b) The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam sent his army ahead so he and his wife could have some privacy.
c) The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam was romantic throughout his life. We see here that he not only raced with A’ishah during an early time in their marriage, but he remembered this game they had from the past, as if he was keeping score, and intiated it again.
d) The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam did not tell A’ishah that she lost the race because she had gained weight, although she knew that was the reason.
e) Traveling causes fatigue, yet the Messenger of Allah alayhi salaatu wa salaam phsyically exerted himself to have some fun with his wife.
These few accounts show the loving nature and fun side of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. O Allah, send your peace and blessings upon our Prophet and Messenger and grant him al Fadeelah and al Waseelah.
We’ve lost the chance to see the smile of the blessed Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, so let’s not lose our chance in the aakhirah. May Allah ta’ala unite us with His Messenger in Firdaws al ‘Alaa, Ameen.
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About MuQeet

This is MuQeet. Author. Educator. Soft Skill Trainer. Freelancer. Editor. YasSarNalQuR'aN is my primary blog. There are two other amazing blogs: www.Muqith.wordpress.com and www.IslamCalling.wordpress.com Subscribe if you wish to stay connected, InshaaAllah. Thank you.
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