How was Prophet Muhammad Pro Entertainment?

Entertainment – as soon as we see this word in the various forms that it consists of today, it gives us a sense of happiness, a sense of belonging. 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 one finds 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 which 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’ishah 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’ishah, was there any entertainment (in the gathering)? For the Ansaar love entertainment.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4765.)

According to this hadeeth, the Prophet not only encouraged but also took part in these happy occasions which involved entertainment. However, these occasions did not involve dancing, music, or mixing freely with the opposite gender. There were some guidelines. For instance, beating the duff and signing, the women had no other instruments involved.

How would the Prophet (PBUH) entertain his family?

Famously, the Prophet (PBUH) used to race with ‘Aa’ishah, and he used to joke with his family, treat them kindly and chat with them at night. (Muslim (670), Abu Dawood (1294) and an-Nasaa’i (1358).

In this hadith, it implies that having a joyful time with one’s family is very important. As the Prophet (PBUH) used to engage in various things that would make his family happy. One should also strive to make his/her family content if it is merely by spending quality time together.

The prophet was a very approachable person. He was also very kind with the people around him and would enjoy social gatherings. Narrated from Jaabir ibn Samurah 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. He said: “But I never say anything but what is true.”  (Saheeh al-Adab al-Mufrad, by Shaykh al-Albaani no. 265. )

In the light of this hadeeth, 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 to survive 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 and that 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 it can become very harmful for the society.

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