April Fools Day

Islam is not a harsh religion. Nor it is a humourless religion. Our Prophet SAWS is reported to have joked with the companions whilst still teaching us a lesson on the lines one must not cross in humour.

This week marks a celebration of an event called April Fools Day. For those who don’t know, on this day the practice is to tell lies so that those who hear them might believe them and thus become victim for those who are making fun of them. In other words make fools out of others through lying.

Allah SWT says in the Quran in Sura An-Nahl, ayat 105:

They only invent falsehood who do not believe in the verses of Allah, and it is those who are the liars.

Dear brothers and sisters, if we analyse, this ayat is outlining a characteristic of a Muslim, of a believer, and that is somebody who is consistent in telling the truth. As Muslims, we follow the teachings and the characteristics of our teacher Muhammed SAWS. He was known even before prophethood as someone who always spoke the truth. This is the characteristic we also need to adapt for people around us to see.

And therefore, April Fools Day is not something that we can advocate or engage in. And that is our struggle in this time and place. Islam clearly forbids lying, even in jokes and so we have to set the standard and apply it to events such as this one.

April Fools Day is a day of celebration and commemoration of the ignorant who glorify the concept of lies and falsehood in the guise of jokes and pranks they play and have a laugh at the expense of their friends.

The believers who sincerely fear Allah SWT and the Last Day are sincere well-wishers to their friends and acquaintances alike, and therefore there is no room for the concept of lies and falsehoods in this religion, even for a single moment of one day.

This concept isn’t something exclusive to Islam. Recent studies by European sociologists have backed up these beliefs when they reported on the damaging effects of such a day.

The research states that just as humour can bring people together, it can also exclude individuals and cause hurt in others.

The research found that the main purpose of these events are to poke fun at someone or something and therefore be a non-threatening way of mocking people of authority such as elders or bosses.

Whereas sociologists state that humour is used to bring people together, pranks that are an intrinsic part of April Fools day do exactly the opposite and automatically create divisions with a group who is in on the prank and often an individual who is the victim of the prank.

The point though dear brothers and sisters is that despite what the majority around us may be engaged it, the important thing to note is that in the law of Allah SWT is wisdom and there is care for people’s circumstances.

And it is only when we hear of these scientific studies that we are humbled by that wisdom of our Creator.

So often the word jihad is thrown around amongst the media and for all the wrong reasons. The word jihad is to struggle and to strive and that is what we have to do in the time and place in which we live.

Our struggle here, especially the youth is that we could be perceived as killjoys by not celebrating, what appears to be, a harmless event.

But use this opportunity to educate others on the thinking behind such a day. Our Prophet SAWS was exmplerary in manners and we should aim to emulate him whenever and wherever we can. No matter how hard it may appear to be on days such as April Fools day.

May Allah SWT help us understand the importance of this April Fools Day. May Allah SWT help us stay away from temptations of April Fools Day. And may Allah SWT reward us for our struggles on this April Fools Day.

Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.

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