March 31st, 2016
Blue food coloring on toothbrushes…
Glue on doorknobs and mayonnaise-filled donuts.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… Oops wait, I think I confused favorite things with funny pranks LOL. But then again that’s what April Fool’s Day is all about, it’s actually some people’s favorite day of the year!
Instead of boring you with the vague and inconclusive history behind this day and how it all started in the 18th century in France and Great Britain, I thought of roaming the streets with our imaginary broadcasting crew to interview Muslims from around the world. Come on now, let’s hear what people have to say about all the ‘fun lying’. Find a comfortable spot, get your snacks and turn on your TVs. Our program should air right after the commercial break. Stay tuned…
“This is Lilly S. Mohsen reporting for On Islam News! Peace be upon you sir. Can I ask if you celebrate April Fools Day with your family and friends?”
“April Fools? Astaghfar Allah! What is this, the ‘Kuffar’ show? Get out of here!”
“Salam sir. As a Muslim, how do you feel about April Fools Day being un-Islamic?”
“God knows our intentions. I believe there’s a huge difference between telling a lie and making a joke. Allah sees what’s in our hearts. I mean what’s wrong with having some harmless fun once a year?”
“Salam sister. How do you feel about April Fools Day?”
“I think all these pranks and jokes are pathetic! Laughing at someone isn’t funny, it’s just mean!”
“Oh a teenager! Salam and thank you for being on our show! So how do you feel about Muslims saying celebrating April Fools Day is a sin?”
“Duh! Muslims think everything is haram. What else is new?”
“Another teenager! What are your thoughts on April Fools?”
“Ummm major LOSERS alert! Come on, it’s SO last century!”
“Salam sister. So what do you think of April Fools?”
“Oh my God I’m on TV! Hi Mom!”
“So, April Fools Day?”
“It’s the best! Last year we pretended our friend died and had a fake funeral! You should have seen the drama! It was EPIC!”
“And that’s a wrap folks. Back to my colleagues in the studio!”
Let’s face it. No matter which perspective and proof you come up with, you’ll find an opposing view proving you wrong. People are different, and can understand the same concept in many contradicting ways. If you don’t participate in all the madness happening on the 1st of April, people will call you names like “Granny or Grandpa”, “Uptight’ and “No fun”. If you do take part in it, you’d be regarded by many as “Ignorant”, a “wannabe”, “not a good Muslim” or just a “silly clown”. So in the spirit of shared diversity, I’m gonna go on a limb and put in my two cents regarding this controversial day….
It’s Not The Joke. It’s The Gist
I’m probably the last person to talk here. I like to laugh and joke and find humor to be an effective medicine to the sadness we pile up inside. People automatically become more attractive when they’re funny (not in a crass way of course). We know of many stories about our beloved Prophet and how he joked with his family and friends. There’s one especially that cracks me up when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was eating dates and placing all the seeds in front of his cousin Ali (May Allah be pleased with him).
“Wow Ali! Look how many dates you ate!” The Prophet joked.
“Oh Messenger of Allah” Ali replied, “Today I realized you eat dates with their seeds” Ali joked back.
I can almost hear the companions’ laughter, God bless them all, and feel the cheerful mood that filled the air that time. Our beloved Prophet was known to have a constantly beautiful smile on his face. He was lenient, loving and made things easy for Muslims. He lightened the mood when necessary with pleasant jokes, enjoyed singing and raced with his wife for fun.
“So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you…” (3:159 Holy Qur’an)
The Tools Of The Fools
But there’s a time and a place for everything people! There’s a big, huge, gigantic difference between pleasant humor and downright mockery. There’s an enormously fat red line between laughing with people and laughing at them (Yeah I’m one of those party poopers sorry!). There’s a humungous gap between cheerful banter and joining the hype of this corny, cheesy day. Islam is by far the most peaceful, sophisticated, positively life-changing religion in the world. If we are prohibited from putting ‘lying’ and ‘foolishness’ under the umbrella of ‘having fun’, it’s not because we are expected to be boring nerds, but rather respectful and merciful human beings. You know what I think this April Fool’s Day really is? (Okay I can’t hear your answer but I’ll tell you anyway). I think it’s a day where people get a free pass to take revenge and let loose the sleeping bullies living inside of them. It’s actually borderline evil. You can tell me that watching people get hurt, scared and mocked can also be hilarious till you’re blue in the face, but it still won’t make it true or humane.
I’m not gonna ask you to dial down the craziness and stop making fools out of yourselves and others because ummm hello I’m not your mom! I’m just sharing an innocent opinion and getting a little worked up in the process. I mean just because I personally think April Fools is incredibly corny and strictly for ‘fools’, doesn’t mean you have to agree….
I only want you to imagine your friends writing on your face with a permanent marker before an important event or hiding your clothes at the gym while you’re in the shower. I just want to ask you how it feels when the joke is on you… Is it still hilarious?
Yeah, didn’t think so : )
Let’s smile and laugh together…
The operative word being ‘together’…
All my love and best wishes…
Lilly S. Mohsen
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