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CHAPTER ON THE JOKING OF SAYYIDINA RASULULLAH SALLA LAHU ALAYHI WA’ALE HI WASALLAM      


Hazrat Sheikh-ul Hadeeth Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelwi (R.A.) explains;

It has been proven that Sayyidina Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) joked. It has also been prohibited to joke. In Tirmidhi, a narration of Sayyidina Ibn Abbas radiyallahu anhu is reported wherein it has been prohibited to joke.
Imaam Nawawi has compared the two in this manner and said that excessive joking which will result in the heart becoming hard, or it will keep one away from the remembrance of Allah. It may also become a means of troubling a Muslim or it may lessen the dignity and degrade one. All these are included in the prohibition. If it (joking) is void of this and is done solely to appease or make someone happy, then it will be mustahab - desirable. Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Haarith radiyallahu anhu says, “I have not seen anyone who makes a person more cheerful than Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam.” The reason being that the cheerful nature of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam was more of a source of happiness than sadness.

There was also a special necessity for Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam to joke. That is due to the personal dignity and greatness of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam which was of such high calibre, that even at a distance of a months journey the awe was felt (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam). For this reason, if Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam did not smile and joke, it would have been impossible due to the awe, for people to come near him and the doors of reaping benefit would have been closed. It would have become a habit of those who strive to follow and emulate every deed and habit of Sayyidina Rasulullah Salla Lahu Alayhi Wa’ale Hi Wasallam not to smile and joke. It would also have become difficult for those close to a Shaykh (Spiritual guide), to come close and benefit from him. May Allah shower countless Durood -  blessings on the pure soul who opened the doors of easiness for the Ummah. Someone told Sayyidina Sufyan ibn Uyaynah radiyallahu anhu, who was a great Muhaddith, “Joking is also a calamity.”
He replied, “It is a sunnah, and only for those who know its bounds and also know how to joke properly.” 
        

(225) Hadith Number 1

Anas ibn Maalik radiyallahu anhu relates, “Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam once told him jokingly, Ya dhal udhu-nayn (O’ two eared one).” 

Commentary

Every person has two ears. It must have been for a special reason that he was called ‘Abul Udhu-nayn’. For example, he might have had large ears or a sharp hearing, which he could hear from a distance. The latter explanation seems more correct. 


(226) Hadith Number 2

Anas radiyallahu anhu says, “Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam used to associate with us and joke. I had a younger brother. Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam said to him, ‘O ba ‘Umayr, what did the nughayr do?” 
  


Commentary

Nughayr is a type of bird. The ulama have translated it as La’l. The author of Hayatul Haywaan says that it is a Nightingale – bulbul (urdu). Imaam Tirmidhi says that the gist of this hadith is that Sayyidinah Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam addressed this child by his kuniyyah (patronymic name). He had adopted an animal (bird) as a pet. The animal had died, as a result the child became grieved. In order to cheer him up, Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam asked him, “What did the Nughayr do?” or ‘What happened to the nughayr’? Whereas Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam knew that the animal had died. This hadith supports the madh’hab of the Hanafis in a mas-alah. According to the Shafi’ees, the same rule of hunting applies to the Haram of Madinah as that of Makkah. According to the Hanafis, there is a difference between the two. It is prohibited to hunt in the Haram of Makkah, whereas it is jaa’iz (permissible) in the Haram of Madinah. Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam not prohibiting this, is a proof from among many proofs. The details of which are mentioned in the books of fiqh and hadith. There is a dispute in whether Sayyidina Abu Umayr radiyallahu anhu was known by this kuniyyah (patronymic name) previously or did Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam address him first by this kuniyyah? Some ulama have extracted more than a hundred masaa-il and benifits from this hadith. May my soul be sacrificed that from a sentence of a joke, hundreds of masaa’il are solved. May the Almighty Allah fill the graves of the great ulama with nur (light) who have given such great service to each and every hadith of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam and extracted so many massa’il, kept it safe and spread it. A question arises here that it is also mentioned that the animal was kept in a cage and the child played with it. This is cruelty to an animal, which is prohibited in the hadith. An answer to this is, to cage an animal and to play with it to keep oneself happy, is not cruelty. To harm and to be cruel to an animal is a different thing. For this reason the ulama have written that it is only permissible for that person to keep an animal who will not mis-handle or be cruel to an animal, but care for it properly. It is not permissible for a hard-hearted child or one who does not understand animals to keep them. 


(227) Hadith Number 3

Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu reports, “The Sahaabah asked, ‘O’ Messenger of Allah, you joke with us?’ Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam replied, ‘Yes, I do not say but the truth.”  

Commentary

The reason that the Sahaabah radiyallahu anhum asked is because it had been prohibited to joke. Likewise, it is also against the dignity of great people to do so. Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam informed that it has nothing to do with my cheerfulness. This has been discussed at the beginning of the chapter. 


 (228) Hadith Number 4

Hasrat Anas ibn Malik radiyallahu anhu relates that a person requested Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam that he be given a conveyance. Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam replied, “A child of a camel shall be given to you.”
The person replied, “What shall I do with a child of a camel O’ Messenger of Allah?” (I want one for a conveyance).
Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam replied, “Every camel is a child of a camel.” 
 
 


Commentary

The person thought that he would be given a small camel which is unfit for riding. In this hadith besides joking, it also points to the fact that a person should carefully listen and understand what the other person is saying.


(229) Hadith Number 5

Hasrat Anas ibn Malik radiyallahu anhu reports, “A resident of the wilderness whose name was Zaahir (ibn Hiraam Al-Ashja’ee), whenever he visited Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam brought with him presents of the wilderness, vegetables etc., and presented it to Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam. When he intended to leave Madinah, Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam used to present him with provisions of the city. Once Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam said, ‘Zaahir is our wilderness, and we are his city.’ Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam was attached to him. Sayyidina Zaahir radiyallahu anhu was not very handsome. Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam came to him once while he was standing in a place selling his merchandise. Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam caught him in between the arms from the back in such a manner that he (Sayyidina Zaahir radiyallahu anhu) could not see Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam. Sayyidina Zaahir radiyallahu anhu said, ‘Who is this?, leave me.’ However when he saw with the corner of his eye that it was Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam, he straightened his back and began pressing it to the chest of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam (For as long as he gained this opportunity it was better than a thousand gifts). Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam then said, ‘Who will purchase this slave?’ Sayyidina Zaahir radiyallahu anhu replied, ‘O’ Rasul of Allah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam, if you shall sell me, you will be selling a defective thing, and will earn a very little sum.’ Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam said, ‘No, you are not defective in the sight of Allah, but much more valuable.”   


Commentary

Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam coming and embracing him from the back and covering the eyes of Sayyidina Zaahir radiyallahu anhu was being humorous to him. This saying that who shall purchase him was also in joking. Sayyidina Zaahir radiyallahu anhu was not a slave but a free man, therefore some of the commentators have written that this hadith is about joking. However in reality it is full of virtues and hidden benefits. When Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam found him engrossed in selling his merchandise, Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam feared that because he was busy selling, it would keep him away from the remembrance of Allah. Therefore Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam took hold of him from behind, and the embrace would be a means of returning him to the remembrance of Allah. Also as a reminder, Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam said, ‘Is there anyone who will purchase this slave?’, this is because the person who is so engrossed in things other than the remembrance of Allah, is like a slave of his own desires. The embrace of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam totally awakened Sayyidina Zaahir radiyallah anhu, faculties for the remembrance of Allah. This is why Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam gave him the good news that his status in the eyes of Allah is not low but that of an elevated one.


(230) Hadith Number 6

Hasan Basri radiyallahu anhu says that an old woman came to Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam and made a request, “O’ Messenger of Allah make Dua that Allah grants me entrance into Jannah.”
Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam replied, “O’ Mother, an old woman cannot enter Jannah.” That woman started crying and began to leave. Sayyidina Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam said, “Say to the woman that one will not enter in a state of old age, but Allah will make all the women of Jannah young virgins. Allah Ta’aala says, “Lo! We have created them a (new) creation and made them virgins, lovers, equal in age.” (Surah Waaqi’ah, 35-37).

Studying Ash-Shaam-il  

The humour of Sayyidina Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam)  

This chapter explains how Sayyidina Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) would tell jokes but with the truth in them, never lieing about anything. This Sunnah proves that joking does not justify lieing. The nature of telling jokes is that certain jokes become common but joking does not justify lieing. 

Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam liked pleasing children, this is a beautiful Sunnah and shows regardless of position, we can play with children like a child. Imam Hussain (as) and Imam Hasan (as), the blessed grandchildren of Sayyidina Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) would sit on the blessed back of Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam while praying. 

Hasrat Zaahir (ra) was very funny and would also joke with Sayyidina Rasululah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam). For example, he would buy gifts and say that Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) would pay for them. Hasrat Zaahir (ra) was not handsome therefore Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam) would give him special attention, saying ‘But you are so worthy in front of Allah (swt), so priceless’. Beauty is of soul, heart and to worship Allah (swt), this Nur is earned over sixty years whereas physical beauty fades. 


Legal Rulings 

The hadith in which Rasulullah salla lahu alayhi wa’ale hi wasallam asked the child about his bird, has seventy legal rulings derived from it. The seventy legal rulings from this hadith, has been included by Imam Shafi (Rh). This is according to the Shafee madhab. There are little differences between the different madhabs in Islam, these are Hanifi, Shafi, Maliki and Hanbali. There are only seventeen differences between the Hanifi and Maliki schools. In fact according to the Hanifi madhab, if a legal ruling is not found within the Hanifi school of thought, you should go to the Maliki rulings. 

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