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Islam's viewpoint on fun, recreation and joking
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According to Islam, the main purpose for creation is the perfection of man and all of the different creatures this world contains have been created for this purpose (the perfection of man), and that is because man is the highest of all creatures. The holy Quran says:

“I did not create the jinn and the humans except that they may worship Me.”[i]

According to commentators of the Quran, worship here means the servitude of His servants which in other words is their perfection.
Islam has paid attention to all of the different dimensions of the life of man, as Imam Ali (as) says:

“The believer must observe three times during the day; one part of his time needs to be spent in worship and being with God, another part needs to go for daily activities and earning a livelihood and making a living, and the third needs to be spent in making use of halal pleasures and Godly blessings. This third part of the day is a help to the other plans (that one has for one’s day).[ii]


Islam has no objection to legitimate recreation, joking and kidding and swimming in the sea. The only thing is that it has certain guidelines for such programs that the imams have also observed in their own lives.
Islam also has some statements regarding joking; for instance it has been reported that Imam Sadiq (as) said:

“All believers have “do’abeh”. It was asked “What is do’abeh?” His Excellency replied: “Joking.”[3]

There are many hadiths in our hadith books that say that joking is mustahabb.[4]

According to Islam, the main purpose for creation is the perfection of man and all of the different creatures this world contains have been created for this purpose (the perfection of man), and that is because man is the highest of all creatures. The holy Quran says: “I did not create the jinn and the humans except that they may worship Me.”[i] According to commentators of the Quran, worship here means the servitude of His servants which in other words is their perfection.


Yunus Shaybani narrates from Imam Sadiq (as) that his Excellency asked about how I joke with others. I answered that I joke very little. His Excellency said in a scolding manner:

“Why don’t you kid with others? Don’t you know that kidding with others is part of one’s good character and behavior?”

In this hadith, his Excellency goes on to say that even the Prophet (pbuh) used to kid with others, trying to make them happy.[5]
The many examples of our prophet (pbuh) kidding with others and his decent acts for making others happy all show that although his Excellency was of good behavior and a joyful and kidding personality, yet he would never cross the borders of truth in speech and his jokes were never false, bad, unacceptable or nonsense. As h ehimself says: “I might kid around but I only say the truth.”[6] This statement both shows us that kidding was part of the tradition of Rasulullah (pbuh) and it also lets us know of the boundaries of this tradition.

Recreation in Islam is a very important issue to the extent that it has been reported that competitions were held in the presence of the holy Prophet (pbuh) and that he even was supervisor and referee to some of them.[7] Not only doesn’t Islam object to swimming in the sea, but it encourages us to teach our children how to swim, shoot and horse-ride.[8] Of course, one must be careful not to mix these sound activities with illegitimate acts, and that is why Imam Khomeini was against those who would go to the beach and cause illegitimate and haram acts to take place.[9]

The many examples of our prophet (pbuh) kidding with others and his decent acts for making others happy all show that although his Excellency was of good behavior and a joyful and kidding personality, yet he would never cross the borders of truth in speech and his jokes were never false, bad, unacceptable or nonsense. As he himself says: “I might kid around but I only say the truth.”[6] This statement both shows us that kidding was part of the tradition of Rasulullah (pbuh) and it also lets us know of the boundaries of this tradition.


In short, there is no monasticism and extremism in Islam, as it has been reported that the Prophet prohibited monasticism in Islam. Taking into consideration the clues that were mentioned from the Quran and traditions, one can easily conclude that Islam is a religion that has guidelines for all of the different aspects of life, even materialistic ones and how to consume and make use of the various blessings that Allah (swt) has bestowed upon us and how to joke and have fun.

In short, there is no monasticism and extremism in Islam, as it has been reported that the Prophet prohibited monasticism in Islam. Taking into consideration the clues that were mentioned from the Quran and traditions, one can easily conclude that Islam is a religion that has guidelines for all of the different aspects of life, even materialistic ones and how to consume and make use of the various blessings that Allah (swt) has bestowed upon us and how to joke and have fun.


[1] Dhariyat:56.
[2] Ahmad Ali Baba’I, Bargozideye Tafsire Nemouneh, vol. 4, pg. 533; Mousavi Hamedani, translation of Al-Mizan, vol. 18, pg. 583.
[3] Koleini, Usulul-Kafi, vol. 2, pg. 664.
[4] Sheikh Hur Ameli, Wasa’elul-Shia, vol. 12, pg. 112, the chapter of kidding and laughter being mustahabb.
[5] Wasa’elul-Shia, vol. 12, pg. 114, hadith 15794; Allamah Tabataba’I, Sunanul-Nabi, pg. 60.
[6] Allamah Majlisi, Biharul-Anwar, vol. 16, pg. 117.
[7] Ibid, pg. 71.
[8] Kanzul-Ummal, hadith 45342.
[9] Imam Khomeini, Sahifeye Noor, vol. 15, pg. 178.

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Daily Hadith
مَن شَرُفَت هِمَّتُهُ عَظُمَت قِيمَتُهُ.
He whose ambition is lofty his value is heightened.