But no tragedy is perhaps greater than the darkness that besets the human soul due to its ignorance of matters vital to its wellbeing. That means no tragedy is greater than the world’s ignorance of the truth that God Almighty sent down in the form of divine revelation to all the prophets – may God bless them all.
A truth the final and most updated version of which God revealed in the form of Islam in the Qur’an for the guidance and deliverance of humanity for all time to come.
That means no tragedy in this world is sadder than the failure of the Muslims to take the light and truth of the Qur’an and of Islam to every home and heart that needs it in every part of the world. It is this failure, and this culpable and criminal negligence, on the part of the Muslims that has been at the root of a lot of other tragedies that have been the fate of the Muslims and rest of humanity for all these years, decades and centuries.
And not till the Muslims everywhere – as individuals, groups, organizations, communities, societies and as a global Ummah as a whole – rededicate themselves to this goal, using all their resources and talents, will the condition of the world, and the condition of the Muslims, change for the better.
Islam and Fun:
Can the Twain Ever Meet?
So, let us now resume, once again, our talk of the notion of “fun” in Islam.
Islam and “fun”: can the twain ever meet? Is that the question? Or is the question, more appropriately, can the twain ever part? Or is the question, even more appropriately and fundamentally than before, when did they ever part?
That means, if you say: “How can we have fun in Islam?” I will reply: “How can we have Islam and not have fun?”
Ask the Sahaabi, Radiyallahu ‘Anhu, (May God Almighty be pleased with him!) who was taken prisoner by the unbelievers in Makkah. They offered him a deal to spare his life.
“Your man Muhammad’s life for your life,” they said.
Without a moment’s hesitation the Sahabi replied: “No deal! Not even my life for the price of a pinprick for Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam!”
I am broadly paraphrasing his speech here of course.
Ask yourself: Would he have said what he said if he was not having fun? That occasion to him, when he said it, was probably one of the highest, finest, “funnest” and most exciting and thrilling moments of his entire life.
How grateful and overjoyed he must have been to be offered an opportunity – and an equation – like that! His life for the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam’s, life! Do you doubt that?
So, the question to me is not if the notion of fun is compatible with Islam, but rather how can you say you have Islam and not have fun?
Reading Iqbal Can Be Fun
Let me give you some more examples of how it is possible to be a Muslim and have fun at the same time. Do you think Iqbal was not having fun when he wrote his world-famous, soul-stirring poetry – whether in Urdu or in Farsi?
And do you think those who have been reading Iqbal for the past one hundred years or more did not have fun then or do not continue to have fun now?
What world do you live in?
What about reading Ghalib – even though many of you may not look upon his poetry with favor? But if you knew Ghalib, you would know that the man had few equals – in any language.
Or what about reading Jami or Hafiz? Or Rumi? Or Amir Khusroe?
Of course, some of us would like to declare them all personae non grata – often without a proper understanding of who they really were and what their true message really was.
What about reading parts of Shakespeare for that matter? And so many other great poets and prose writers throughout history in so many languages from around the world? From England; from Europe; from America; and from Asia and Africa?
What magical effect do some of their great writings have on those who know these languages and allow themselves to be held in thrall by them?
What is all of that if not a practical manifestation of the divine gift of Wa ‘allamahul bayaan – (my paraphrase: and God taught the human being the art, craft and science of expression) – that the Qur’an talks about in Surah Ar-Rahmaan?
And what is all that if not fun? Good, clean, Halaal, pure fun? A soaring of the human spirit to greater and nobler heights? An opening of the human mind to newer and ever-expanding horizons?
The Indescribable Delights of the Divine Revelation
As for the delights of the words and meaning of the Qur’an, whether in company or alone, and whether listening to them being read by a gifted, God-fearing reader or reading them yourself, well, if you haven’t experienced any of it, then there is no point in talking about it, is there? For, the wonders of the magical effects of the Qur’an on the human body, mind and spirit are in a class by themselves.
Nothing compares to them. Nor can words adequately describe them. They have to be experienced to be believed or known.
And don’t forget the sheer joy and exuberance of reveling in the words of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, in the Hadith – another form or level or version of divine revelation.
In huwa illaa wahyun yoohaa, is how the Qur’an describes the speech of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. My paraphrase: what is it if not divine revelation?
The fact is Islam provides its own “fun” to those who freely and fully succumb to its charm.