Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience or gives pleasure and delight.
It has captured the hearts of every single human being on the planet.
But one may ask, how beneficial is it to the human race?
Entertainment comes in many forms, such as gossip about celebrities, movies, novels, singing, partying, sports, and travel.
Like many other things in life, it consists of positive aspects and also has some harm in it.
The wise person is the one who navigates through the bad to earn the good whenever and wherever they find it.
Looking at the Islamic way of entertainment… What!? Does that mean entertainment is allowed in Islam? Of course it is!
However, it consists of stipulations that are to help in the betterment and growth of individuals.
Let’s take a glimpse at how the early Muslims used to entertain themselves, and especially how the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) would find entertainment.
Entertainment in The Life of The Prophet
It was narrated by ‘Aa’isha that she took a woman on her wedding night to a man from among the Ansaar, and the Prophet (PBUH) said to her:
“O ‘Aa’isha, was there any entertainment (in the gathering)? The Ansaar love entertainment.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4765.)
According to this hadith, the Prophet not only encouraged but also took part in these happy occasions that involved entertainment.
However, these occasions did not involve dancing, music, or mixing freely with the opposite gender.
There were some guidelines. For instance, besides beating the drum and signing, the women had no other instruments involved.
How Would The Prophet (PBUH) Entertain His Family?
In this hadith, it implies that having a joyful time with one’s family is very important.
The Prophet (PBUH) used to engage in various things that would make his family happy.
One should also strive to make his or her family content, if it is merely by spending quality time together.
The prophet was a very approachable person. He was also very kind to the people around him and would enjoy social gatherings.
Jaabir ibn Samurah said that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) would not get up from the place in which he had prayed Fajr until the sun had risen, and when the sun had risen, he would get up.
They used to chat and talk about matters of the Jaahiliyah (pre-Islam era), and they would laugh, but he smiled.
Abu Hurayrah said: They said: “O Messenger of Allah, you joke with us.“
“But I never say anything but what is true.” (Saheeh al-Adab al-Mufrad, by Shaykh al-Albaani no. 265. )
In light of this hadith, one can see that the Prophet (PBUH) used to joke around with his companions.
Just like regular human beings. It is very hard to survive—actually quite impossible—without friends and family.
What About Limits?
However, we must not forget the rules. Even in social gatherings, there are certain rules that one must follow.
One example is already given in the hadith, which is that while joking, one should not speak falsely about anything.
One would assume that it is a simple rule to follow, but it actually covers a wide range of topics. For instance, “gossip”.
Although it is very entertaining to take part in such activities, one must refrain from such habits, as they can become very harmful to society.
Would The Prophet (PBUH) Enjoy His Time With The Youth?
Well, the following hadith will shed some light on this topic.
Ibn Maajah (144) narrated from Ya‘la ibn Murrah that they had gone out with the Prophet (PBUH) to a meal to which they had been invited, and there was al-Husayn playing in the street.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) came in front of the people and stretched out his hands, and the child started to run here and there.
Then he put one hand under his chin and the other on his head and kissed him.
This hadith displays the importance of being warm and loving to the youth, which has many benefits.
One of the benefits is the spread of love and peace in the community.
What About Theater?
The Prophet (PBUH) would also enjoy live shows. The following hadith demonstrates an example of such show.
Ahmad (24334) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said on that day, i.e., the day when the Abyssinians played in the mosque:
“The Jews should know that there is room for leisure in our religion. I was sent with a tolerant, monotheistic religion.”
Since Islam is a complete and perfect way of life, henceforth, when it comes to everyday life, there are guidelines put down by the Creator for one to follow.
By doing this, one is not constricting oneself in this vast atmosphere; rather, he or she is freeing oneself from the harm that can come from such kinds of entertainment.
As one follows the guided form of entertainment, one has fun and, along with it, gains the pleasure of the Creator, Allah (swt).
Everything that is a part of this world will one day be gone.
And the real goal of Muslims should be to seek the pleasure of their Lord.
As that was also the main goal of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Say (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him):
“Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.” (Al-An ‘aam 6:162).
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