What is Lawful (Halal) Fun in Islam?

 

Having the major themes that were mentioned in the previous article in mind, while going out for fun, we can realize if the sort of entertainment that we are up to, is lawful or not.

 

Now, let’s have a look at a few lawful (Halal) fun activities:

 

Parties:

 

Friends and Family Gatherings

 

In Islam having a good relationship with relatives is an obligation even if that relative is not Muslim [1]. Therefore having gatherings with friends, family and relatives is not even lawful (Halal) but also recommended, keeping in mind that in all sorts of gatherings we must avoid gossiping, backbiting, humiliating others and using bad words, as they are prohibited in Islam [i].

 

 

Joking and Humorous Attitude in Islam

 

 

In chapter (Surah) Mu’minoun when Allah is describing the features of a real believer, he says: “And those who avoid vain talk” (23: 3)

 

 

Although we have many verses with the content mentioned above, it does not mean that Muslims should be charmless and moody. Therefore we have to find out what vain talk really means. The vain talk could be a sort of talk that can annoy other people [ii]. However, telling jokes that have no bad content or have a sort of humorous attitude that can make the listener laugh and make him/her happy and energetic, is recommended in Islam. It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (AS) that “among the most precious actions in the eyes of God is to bring joy and happiness to the heart of a believer.” [2]  

 

 

Having Fun in Islam with the Opposite Sex

 

 

Having fun in Islam with non-Mahram opposite sex is forbidden. Instead, getting married and enjoying a relationship with the spouse is highly recommended. It is narrated from Imam Baqir (AS) that, “the fun of a believer is in three things: enjoying his/her spouse, joking with friends, and the night prayer.” [3]

 

 

lawfun fun in islam

 

Travelling and Camping

 

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says: “Travel so that you stay fine and healthy.” [4]

 

Going out to nature, being only a few hours in a park or camping in the woods overnight or traveling to other cities or countries is not only a change of mood, but there are also lessons and edification in it for a believer [iii].

 

 

Sports in Islam

 

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to encourage people to necessarily learn sports such as horse riding, swimming, and archery. There are many narrations concerning these three specific sports as well as other sorts of fun in Islam that our prophet (PBUH) used to get involved in at his time. For example, it is narrated that he used to take part in camel riding races and he was really good at it. 

 

 

However it does not mean that in our time we should stick to archery, horse riding or camel riding, rather we should find the types of sports that suit to our time and are also required in life. We can say that these days driving replaces horse riding. Or even cycling, karate and running or walking are easy and useful sports.

 

 

World championship sports these days mostly serve international political reasons rather than health and joy.

 

fun in islam

Hand gliding, Paragliding, Skydiving

 

These kinds of activities are fun and exciting. Some people enjoy these activities alongside activities such as bungee jumping. Some people have adventurous personalities and need a kind of entertainment like this, so they can gain energy and stability to go back to work on a Monday morning. Therefore there is no problem to enjoy them.

 

 

Reading

 

Reading is a calming and relaxing activity. Sitting by the fire on a winter’s day and drinking a cup of tea while reading, or on a summer’s day doing the same thing in the balcony would be so joyful. Most of our jurists recommend inserting reading in our daily lives. But we have to be careful about what we read. Reading all types of books is, not lawful (Halal) for a Muslim.  A Muslim should be cautious about the contents of the books she/ he chooses to read. The book should help elevate the life and soul of the reader and not engage his/ her mind with useless information.

 

fun in Islam, Salam Islam

 

Digital Games and Movies

 

Playing computer games as long as there is no unethical content in the game is not forbidden. If people play computer games to rest, or change their moods, it would be fine. But we have all seen how some people are addicted to digital games that have no use for them and only waste their energy as well as physically hurting them. However, spending too much time on a computer game that may have no use for the growth of one’s soul is detestable (Makruh). The same rule applies to movies. When choosing a movie to watch, it is important to make sure that the content of that movie does not harm our soul.

 

 

Card games

 

Playing cards, especially when a group of friends come together can be fun. However, any sort of card games that are known to be used for gambling, even if we do not bet on them, is forbidden. Imam Reza (AS) said: “God has prohibited His servants from all sorts of gambling (games with winners and losers), and commands them to avoid these games…” [5], as they are “abominations of Satan’s doing” [iv].

 

 

Working is Fun for the Believer

 

As a conclusion, by keeping in mind that the entertainment of a believer should do no harm to him/her or others, but should also have some benefits for him/her, we can understand why Imam Ali (AS) says: “working is the greatest fun of a believer”. [6]

 

 

Notes:

[i] “O you who have faith! Let not any people ridicule another people: it may be that they are better than they are; nor let women [ridicule] women: it may be that they are better than they are. And do not defame one another, nor insult one another by [calling] nicknames. How evil are profane names subsequent to faith! As for those who are not penitent [of their past conduct]—such are the wrongdoers. O you who have faith! Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins. And do not spy on one another or backbite. Will any of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it. Be wary of Allah; indeed Allah is All-clement, all-merciful.” (49:11- 12)

[ii]“Woe to every scandal-monger and slanderer” (104:1)

[iii]“Have they not traveled in the land and seen how was the fate of those who were before them? They were more powerful than them, and they plowed the earth and developed it more than they have developed it. Their apostles brought them manifest proofs. So it was not Allah who wronged them, but it was they who used to wrong themselves.” (30: 9)

[iv]“O you who have faith! Indeed wine, gambling, idols, and the divining arrows are abominations of Satan’s doing, so avoid them, so that you may be felicitous.” (5: 90)

 

References:

[1] Mafatih al-hayat, p. 211

[2] Al-kafi, vol. 2. P. 188

[3] Mafatih al-hayat, p. 205

[4] Al-hadith, vol. 2, p. 145

[5] Mafatih al-hayat, p. 205

[6] Nahjulbalaghah, Hekmah no. 39