April Fool: A Dishonest Tradition
1st April – a day when people lie, play jokes, and mock in the name of entertainment. This ugly practice of lying, which is considered to be merely humor, is known to have caused great harm to many. Even trauma and death. Still, this dishonest tradition is not only practiced among the common masses but also newspapers and magazines participate in it by publishing false news and untrue stories on the first day of April!
Much is said about the origin of this practice, however, what concerns the most the Muslims is that it is a tradition that directly contradicts the teachings and morals of Islam.
Lying is a characteristic of hypocrisy and Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) strictly forbade lying at all times. He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Let he who truly believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good or be silent.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee] Moreover, he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) has specifically cursed the person who lies to make people laugh, he said: “Woe be on one who speaks and lies in order to make people laugh, woe be on him.” [Abu Dawood]
The above Ahaadeeth shows the gravity of participating in the false tradition of the April Fool, which the Western tradition appreciates and encourages claiming that it brings joy and amusement, whereas the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) forbade lying and deceiving even if the intention of the person is to amuse people.
Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abi Laylaa said: “The companions of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) told us that they were traveling with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). A man among them fell asleep and some of them went and took his arrows. When the man woke up, he got alarmed (because his arrows were missing) and the people laughed. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “What are you laughing at?” They said, “Nothing, except that we took the arrows and he got alarmed.” The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “It is not permissible for a Muslim to frighten another Muslim.” [Abu Dawood (5004) and Musnad Ahmad.]
He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) described the severe punishments for the liars and said: “I saw (in a dream), two men came to me. They said,’The person, the one whose cheek you saw being torn away (from the mouth to the ear) was a liar and used to tell lies and the people would report those lies on his authority till they spread all over the world. So he will be punished like that till the Day of Resurrection.'” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (vol. 8, no: 118)]
May Allah protect us from indulging ourselves in such dishonest activities and may He give us the strength to withstand such practices when they tend to infect our Muslim Society. Ameen!