An Islamic Perspective on Making Fun of People

Ridiculing, mocking or making fun of other people would be considered bad manners in any language, religion, culture or race but in today’s world it has become a very common malaise. Knowingly or unwittingly, we have all become a part of this problem and a big role is being played by social media in propagating this trend.



 
We receive a funny meme ridiculing a political candidate or a celebrity and we quickly share it with our friends on Facebook or Twitter. We come across a witty joke making fun of a particular race, religion or nation and we can’t wait ti forward it to our friends with comments like LOL or ROFL.

 
We might think this is harmless fun. After all what harm can it cause? Political candidates are always the target for satire. There are hilarious jokes targeting the Italians, the Catholics, the Irishmen, the Sikhs, the Muslims, the blondes, the priests and whatnot.

 
I am not very knowledgeable about other religions but Islam strictly forbids making fun of individuals, people, race and nations.

 
Allah commands in the Noble Quran:

 
“O you who believe: let not some men deride others who might well be better than them; and let not some women ridicule others who might well be better than they. Do not belittle one another or insult one another with nicknames.” [Al-Quran 49:11]

 
Mocking, ridiculing, passing sarcastic remarks and mimicking others in order to make fun of people or to insult them is very prevalent in media. Many TV hosts, satirists or comedians do not think twice before targeting a particular person and mocking him by insulting his way of speaking, what he does, what he looks like, or his physique or his appearance which may be because of a defect or hereditary problem.

 
Islamic teachings command a believer to treat others with respect, kindness and good manners. The jokes that ridicule a person or a particular group or race always have a hint of underlying malice, hatred, suspicion or disdain and the purpose usually is to belittle and insult.

 
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ warned against mocking people and hurting their feelings, because that is the path that leads to hatred and grudges. Words are very powerful and if used rashly or maliciously, they can fan a lot of hatred and enmity. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ also stated: 

 

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent.”

 

So before saying something, let us just pause for a while and think about the words we are about to utter or the joke we are about to share or the meme that we are about to forward. Is it just a harmless joke or something that is derogatory or insulting and then decide whether we wish to press the send button.

 

Image credit: Pixabay.com



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  • Comments

    1. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
      Kyla Matton Osborne

      Mocking others often stems from feelings of inadequacy or envy. How much better we are to celebrate a friend’s achievements or to work on our own self-esteem, than to speak words that are intended to belittle and to hurt!

    2. Profile photo of Barbara Radisavljevic
      Barbara Radisavljevic

      James, the brother of Jesus and a leader in the early Christian church, wrote, The tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire….no human being has ever been able to tame the tongue. — a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be. ” These statements came from James, chapter 3, of the New Testament.

      The Apostle Paul admonished the Ephesians to “let no evil talk come from your mouths, but only as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it might impart grace to those who hear. … Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk,no levity, which are not fitting, but, instead let there be thanksgiving. ” (Curated from Ephesains 5 and 6.)

      James realized how destructive our words can be. His first illustration was how a small rudder can guide a large ship to destruction. In his example of the fire, those of us in California are still living it. As I write this, a fire not far from one of our properties has burned 55,600 acres, destroyed 57 homes and outbuildings, and is only 40% contained. It started from a small illegal campfire. A tongue can destroy lives, differently, but just as surely as fire can destroy property and lives.

    3. Profile photo of Logix
      Logix

      Ridicule and fun are 2 ddifferent things. It depends on intentions. No religion approves ridiculing to defame. But there is friendly fun as well. It often adds to constructive criticism.

    4. Profile photo of Jo Pin
      Jo Pin

      Nobody deserve to be mocked at any cost. We all deserve respect from others instead of making fun we can tame our tongue or at least if we can’t say something good about someone’s behavior or attitude or appearance, might as well keep quiet. We don’t want to be mocked ourselves. Don’t we?

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