Islamic concepts

Sakhira سَخِرَ — to ridicule, mock, laugh at

Humour that is intended to mock and ridicule has been made ḥarām for our community. Allāh says in the Qurʾān: ‘O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the latter are better than the former: Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the latter are better than the former: Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by offensive nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, to be used of one after he has believed: And those who do not desist are indeed doing wrong.’ (Sūrat al-Ḥujurāt 49:11)

Satire is a genre where the faults and vices of other people are exposed for laughter. This is also sinful. ‘O you who have believed, avoid much negative assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.’ (Sūrat al-Ḥujurāt 49:12)

Ghībah (backbiting, gossip) is the sin of saying bad things about someone absent, regardless if that information is true or not. Allāh’s messenger (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) explained, ‘Ghībah involves talking about your brother in a way he doesn’t like. […] If the fault you mention is actually found in him, you indeed committed Ghībah against him. If it’s not in him, then it is Buhtān (false accusation, slander).’ (reported by Abū Hurayrah, may Allāh be pleased with him, in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

  • And he constructed the ship, and whenever an assembly of the eminent of his people passed by him, they ridiculed him. He said, "If you ridicule us, then we will ridicule you just as you ridicule. 11:38
  • "Allah will ridicule them, and they will have a painful punishment." 9:79

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