Jokes and Funs by Prophet Muhammad (SAAS)
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a warmhearted and friendly person and occasionally, he loved joking with the people around him. Due to his fitrah (nature) he always acted in moderation. His gentleness is also referred in the Holy Quran as: “It is part of the mercy of God that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh hearted, they would have broken away about thee” (Al-i Imran, 3/159).
However when he would make jokes and plays, he always behaved moderately like he did in every aspect of his life. For example, as related by Abu Hurairah, when some of his companions said to Prophet Muhammad: “O Prophet Muhammad, yet, you also joke with us!” He replied: “Yes, I do. But I only tell the truth.” This case reveals that the most important thing about a joke is that it should tell the truth and not be offensive.
Prophet Muhammad’s Jokes and Plays with Children
The people he joked with the most were obviously the grandchildren of the Prophet, Hasan and Hussein. He would hold their hands, place them on his feet and then lift them to his bosom, hug and kiss them. Sometimes he would even carry them on his shoulders.
One day while Prophet Muhammad was going to a meeting, he ran into Hussein who was playing on the street. He stopped in front of him, opened his arms and called him. But Hussein did not want to come to him and he ran away playfully. Then the Prophet ran after Hussein laughing and caught him. Then he kissed and petted him and gave him his blessings.
In another rivayah (narration) by Jabir, the Prophet was pretending to be a camel and his grandsons were riding on his back. He was walking on his hands and feet and made a compliment to them:
“How wonderful is your camel and how wonderful riders you are!”
Enes b. Malik was a sahabi (companion) who had served the Prophet the age of ten. The Prophet sometimes joked with him by saying: “Ya Za’l-uzunayn (O you with two ears).” Then he would pull Malik’s locks lightly and pet him.
The Prophet’s Jokes with His Wives
According to a rivayah (transmission) Ibn Abbas, someone once asked him about the kinds of jokes Prophet Muhammad made and he replied:
Once Prophet Muhammad made one of his wives wear a very long dress and told her; “Wear this dress and be grateful to Allah and walk like a bride dragging her skirts.”
In a rivayah Aisha she narrates: Once the Prophet and I were on a journey. I was thin back then and I was not fat. The Prophet told the people around him:
“Go ahead. We will catch you.” When we were left behind far enough he told me:
We raced and I won. He did not mention it again until I gained some weight. Meanwhile I completely forgot about this incident. During another journey he told the people around him to go ahead. When they went far away, he said to me, “Let’s race!” This time he won and started to laugh saying “we are even now.”
From Numan b. Besir: “Once Abu Bakr wanted to ask for permission to enter the presence of the Prophet. While he was waiting outside, he heard his daughter shouting at the Prophet. When he entered, he marched over to his daughter in anger.
Then he scolded his daughter saying: “I heard you shouting at the Prophet. What kind of a behavior is this!!?” Then Prophet Muhammad intervened and defended his wife. When Abu Bakr left he asked Aisha: “Did not I protect you your father?” Few days later Abu Bakr came to visit the Prophet again. When he entered the house, he saw that the Prophet and Aisha were getting along very well.” Then he said:
“Wonderful, let me share your peace as you made me share your fight.” Then the Prophet replied:
“That’s exactly what we are doing” (Abu Davud, Edeb, 92; Kandahlavi, IV, 1176-1177).
His Jokes with Other Female Sahabis
As related by Hasan; An old lady the Ansar (residents of Medina) came to the Prophet and told him:
“Please make a dua (supplication) for me that I go to heaven.”
The Prophet replied: “Did you not hear it? Old women cannot go to heaven.”
The old lady became upset upon this. Then the Prophet said smiling: “Did not you read the verse: “We have d their companions of special creation and made them virgin-pure and beloved, equal in age” (Al-Vakia, 56/35-37). Then in a pleasant manner he explained to the old lady that old women would go to heaven as young girls and thus he cheered her.
Once Prophet Muhammad told a lady that her husband has a white spot in his eyes. The woman came to the side of her husband being very sad and related what the Prophet had said. Her husband told her that the Prophet had joked with her and that he actually meant that everyone has a white spot in their eyes (En-Nuveyri, IV, 3; Ibn Kuteybe ,439; Krs. Koten, IV,466).
His Jokes with Male Sahabis
As related by Enes b. Malik: Once a man came to the Prophet and wanted to give him a ride on his camel. The Prophet replied: “We should give you a ride on a camel’s baby then.”
“But Prophet Muhammad, how can I ride on a camel’s baby?”
The Prophet replied:
“Are not all camels the babies of a mother camel?” (Abu Davud, Edeb, 92; Tirmizi, Birr, 57)
As related by Enes b. Malik: A sahabi named Anjeshe was leading the camels that were carrying the Prophet’s wives on the way back the last pilgrimage. He was making the camels run with the rhythmic songs he sang with his beautiful voice. The Prophet told him:
“O Anjeshe, ride slowly, do not break the crystals” (Darimi, Istizan, 65).
Here the Prophet used a very delicate and gentle term for women. He stressed that his wives are pure and precious like a crystal and at the same time they are very delicate. They can be easily broken.
Again related by Enes b. Malik: A bedouin named Zahir brought presents the desert to the Prophet. When he was leaving the Prophet also gave him presents and told him:
“Zahir represents us living in the desert and we represent him living in the city.” Although he was physically a very ugly man, the Prophet loved him dearly. While Zahir was shopping, the Prophet hid himself behind him and asked “Who am I?” Zahir recognized him.
Then the Prophet asked “Who is going to buy this slave?”
Zahir replied: “O Messenger of Allah, do you find me worthless then?”
The Prophet replied:
“Are not you a slave of Allah? You are very worthy in Allah’s presence (Ahmed b. Hanbal, Tirmizi, Kandahlavi, III, 1176).
As can be seen the above anecdotes, Prophet Muhammad used the art of simile and puns very often.
Sahabis’ Jokes with the Prophet
Once Prophet Muhammad was playing with his grandsons Hasan and Hussein. The kids were sitting on his shoulders. When Umar saw this he told the children:
“What a fine horse you are riding on!”
The Prophet replied:
“They are fine riders as well. But their father is even better than them” (Heysemi, ibid, IX, 181-182).
In another incident Hasan and Hussein got lost. The Prophet found them after a long search. The kids were very scared. The Prophet petted and kissed them. He placed both of them on his shoulders and was carrying them home. He ran into Salman who told the children:
“How lucky you are. You have a fine horse.” The Prophet replied:
“They are fine riders as well. But their father is even better than them” (Heysemi, ibid, 182; Koten, IV, 468).
Nuayman was one of the most humorous sahabis and he loved the Prophet dearly. Whenever a fine item came to Medina, he would buy it and then give it to the Prophet as a present. One day he saw that some fine quality honey had arrived to Medina. He bought some and brought it to the Prophet. However he had not paid the salesman. He brought the salesman to the Prophet and told him to take the money the Prophet. The Prophet asked:
“I thought you brought me the honey as a present!!??”
Nuayman replied: “Prophet Muhammad! I wanted you to taste this fine honey so much, but I did not have any money. So I did it this way.”
Then the Prophet laughed and paid the salesman (I. Abdilberr , el-Istiab, IV, 473).