The Islamic Ruling On April Fool’s Day – Various Scholars

April Fools Day is a day when people play practical jokes on each other to have fun however these jokes are often or always based on lies. In Islam this day is haram for Muslims to be involved in has this day justifies lying and belittles the punishment for the liar.

Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq said: “Beware of lying, for it has nothing to do with faith.” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 5/235, 236)

Ibn al-Qayyim said:  “The lying tongue is like some faculty that is no longer working, indeed it is even worse than that, for the most evil thing a man may possess is a lying tongue.”A’laam al-Muwaqqi’een, 1/95

The origin of April Fools Day is not known for certain. Some historians said that it developed from the celebrations of spring at the equinox on March 21.

Others said that this innovation appeared in France in 1564 CE, after the introduction of a new calendar, when a person who had refused to accept the new calendar became the victim of some people who had subjected him to embarrassment and made fun of him, so he became a laughing-stock for others.

On the other hand some other historians claim that this innovation goes back to ancient times and the pagan celebrations connected to a specific date at the beginning of spring, so this is the remnant of pagan rituals. It was said that hunting in some countries was unsuccessful during the first days of the hunt in some countries. This was the origin of these lies which are made up on the first day of April.

Regardless of the origin of April Fools Day it is about telling lies in jest (in a joking manner just have fun). However telling lies in jest is haraam as it contradicts the guidance of the prophet Mohammed, the prophet Mohammed joked but they never involved lies.  Lying is haraam whether the one who does it is joking or is serious.

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘I joke, but I speak nothing but the truth.’”  Narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer, 12/391, classed as hasan by al-Haythami in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id, 8/89, and classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 2494.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: “They said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, you joke with us.’ He said, ‘But I only speak the truth.’”  Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1990, he said: this is a saheeh hasan hadeeth.

It was narrated that Mu’aawiyah ibn Haydah said: “I heard the Prophet say: ‘Woe to the one who talks to make the people laugh and tells lies, woe to him, woe to him.’”  Narrated by Abu Dawood 4990 and Tirmidhi 235. He said: this is a hasan hadeeth. Also

From the above hadeeths it is clear telling jokes are halaal but when they involve lies like they often do on April Fools Day then these so called jokes or pranks become haram. Therefore the one who tells jokes or plays a practical joke on a Muslim or a kaafir on April Fools Day or any other day has contradict the guidance of the prophet.

The prophet said, “…the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad…” Reported by, Muslim and al-Nasaai.

The Prophet said, “…. I have left you upon clear guidance. Its night is like its day. No one deviates, from it after me except that he is destroyed.” Reported by, Ahmad, Ibn Maajah (no. 43) and al-Haakim. It is declared saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no. 937).

Following the prophet’s guidance to the best of your ability in every thing is an indication of your love for the prophet Mohammed, a way to get Allah to love you and forgive your sins

Allah said, “Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allah then follow me (Mohammed), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Aal Imraan 3:31)

The best three generations of Islam which included the prophets companions never got involved in lies especially not April Fools Day (was invented a long time after their death) or any other similar day or period of time however short or long, which involved telling lies or playing lying jokes on some one for fun.

The Prophet said, “The best of mankind are my generation (or my century), then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come, a people who will not care if their testimony comes before their oath or vice versa (i.e., they will not take such matter seriously).” Reported by, Bukhari, Muslim and al-Tirmidhee.

So if the prophet himself and the best of mankind which were the best three generations of Islam would avoid lying for fun and anything that lead to or involved lying for fun or while being serious this shows taking part in April Fools Day is a very serious matter.

Taking part in April Fools Day is a type of imitating the kuffaar as Muslims nature is a meant to be inclined to telling the truth at all times. The prophet said, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3512; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani. Ibn Taymiyyah said about this hadeeth, “This at the very least indicates that it is haraam to imitate them, although the apparent meaning is that the one who imitates them is a kaafir (disbeliever). Iqtidaa al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, 1/237.

Also telling lies is a characteristic of a hypocrite. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said: “The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; and when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust.”  Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 33; Muslim, 59.

Imam al-Nawawi said:  “What the commentators and most of the scholars said – which is correct – is that this means that these characteristics are the characteristics of hypocrisy, and the one who has these characteristics resembles the hypocrites in this sense.

The words of the Prophet, ‘he is a pure hypocrite’ mean that he strongly resembles the hypocrites because of these characteristics. Some of the scholars said:  this is concerning one in whom  these characteristics predominate; one in whom these characteristics rarely appear is not included in this. This is the favoured view concerning the meaning of this hadeeth. Imaam Abu ‘Eesa al-Tirmidhi (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated this meaning from the scholars and said: ‘The meaning of this according to the scholars is hypocrisy in one’s actions.’” Sharh Muslim, 2/46-47.

In addition to all what has gone before April Fools Day and lying in general whether for fun or out of being serious should be avoided, as the punishments lies are serve because lying is a Major sin.

The punishment in the grave for a le is having the flesh of his cheeks torn to the back of his head.

It was narrated that Samurah ibn Jundub said: “The Messenger of Allaah often used to say to his companions, ‘Has anyone among you seen a dream?’ Then whoever Allaah willed would tell of his dream. One day he said to us, ‘Two (angels) came to me last night and woke me up, then they said to me, ‘Let’s go!’… so we set out and came to a man who was lying flat on his back and another man standing over his head with an iron hook, and behold, he would put the hook in one side of the man’s mouth and tear off that side of his face to the back (of the neck) and similarly tear his nose from front to back and his eye from front to back. Then he turned to the other side of the man’s face and did just as he had done with the other side. Hardly had he completed this side when the first side was restored to its normal state. Then he went back and did that all over again. I said to my two companions, ‘Subhaan Allah! Who are these two persons?’ They said to me, ‘Move on, move on!’ (Then he said, describing how the two angels explained the things that he had seen): ‘As for the man you came across, the sides of whose mouth, nostrils and eyes were being torn off from front to back, he is the symbol of the man who goes out of his house in the morning and tells so many lies that it spreads all over the world.’”  Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5745.

Additionally after a liar gets punished in his grave, he may get further punished by going to hell until he comes out. All Muslims due to their faith (emaan) will all come out of hell and go paradise eventually. It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said:“The Messenger of Allaah said:…Lying is evildoing, and evildoing leads to Hell. A person will keep on telling lies until he is written as a liar (with Allah).’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5743; Muslim, 2607. 

Shaykh al-San’aani said:  “This hadeeth indicates …how ugly lying is and how it may lead a person to Hell. This is in addition to the consequences in this world, for the one who tells the truth will have his words accepted by people, and his testimony will be accepted by judges and he will be liked for what he says, whereas for the liar the opposite will be the case.”  Subul al-Salaam, 2/687  

Even though lying is evildoing (as state by the prophet in the above hadeeth) Allah has made permissible in three cases: war; reconciling between two disputing parties; and a husband lying to his wife or vice versa for the sake of love and harmony. The reason Allah has permitted lying in these three is in these circumstances lying is to prevent greater harm.

It was narrated that Asmaa bint Yazeed said: “The Messenger of Allaah said: ‘It is not permissible to tell lies except in three (cases): when a man speaks to his wife in a way to please her; lying in war; and lying in order to reconcile between people.’”  Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1939, classed as hasan by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7723 

In conclusion to get involved in Aprils Fools Day and lying in general is haram (for all the reason given in this article)and goes against true faith. It was narrated that Umar said: “True faith is not achieved until one gives up lying in jest.” Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 5/235, 236.

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About Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie

I am a revert trying to spread the sunnah inshallah.
This entry was posted in REFUTING SPECIFIC BIDAHS (INNOVATIONS) and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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