Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
May Allah's peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, his folk, companions, and followers
Allah Most High says in the Qur'an,
"Lo! the hearing and the sight and the heart - of each of these they will be asked." [17.36]
Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
The guidance of Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) regarding speech is clear--as detailed by Imam Nawawi in al-Adhkar (and translated in Holding One's Tongue as part of Reliance of the Traveller). Speech is judged according to its content and motives. When the content of humor is halal, it is halal; when its motives are praiseworthy--as in the humor of the likes of Sidi Azhar Usman--then it is something praiseworthy.
Otherwise, if the humor steps outside the bounds of the Shariah--whether through backbiting, slander, lewdity, or talking without genuine need or benefit of sin--then it would be sinful to engage in, sinful to listen to, and sinful to promote.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak the good or remain silent." [Bukhari and Muslim]
Many people make you laugh; but we have to see: Is it for Allah? Is it within the limits laid down by Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) for the good of humanity?
And Allah alone gives success.
MMVIII © Faraz Rabbani and Qibla.
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