Can We Make Memes and Jokes Based on Images of Men from Movies?
Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
Is it permissible to make memes or jokes using images of men or movie scenes? Also, if it does not contradict Islam.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
Making jokes and memes with images of men from movies will not be permissible. One uses someone else’s images from a movie as ridicule and fun. One person’s funny reaction is another person’s hurtful feelings.
This is Islamically disrespectful and like conversing in the immoral, which is against the spirit of Islam and its teachings. It would be insensitive; one meme will lead to another and an increasing cycle of everyone joining in.
So Called Halal Memes
Many memes use Quranic verses, hadith messages, duas, and Islamic terms and words. One uses these sacred words to have fun, sound cool, and be witty. These can amount to the fun of Islam and lead to its mockery and disbelief (kufr).
Beware of Joking That Leads to Grudges and Ugly Behavior
Ibn Abu Rawad (Allah be pleased with him) reported, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz (Allah be pleased with him) said, “You must fear Allah alone without associating partners with Him. Beware of joking, for it leads to ugliness and causes rancor. Sit together for the Quran and discuss it. If it is too difficult for you, then narrate the stories of pious men and go forth in the name of Allah.” [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf]
Leave What Does Not Concern One
Ali ibn Husayn (Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, among excellence in Islam is for a man to leave what does not concern him.” [TirmidhI]
Conversing in Immoral
It is impermissible to converse what is immoral (al-khawd fil batil). This will also apply to our modern-day conversation in the form of social media.
The criteria for permissible joking is that it does not contain a lie or scaring someone. It must also be free of offensive ridicule or mimicking of another; backbiting; slander; insult; and cursing. All of these are unlawful. [Nahlawi, al-Durar al-Mubaha; Khadimi, al-Bariqa al-Muhammadiyya]
Light-Hearted Moments of the Prophet and Companions
One can find many examples of lighthearted moments of the Prophet with his companions. However, they were very cautious about staying within its permissibility boundaries.
We understand that people are different by nature, and it is essential to respect each other, especially where everyone is connected globally through social media. We have different cultures, religions, values, and individual tastes. Everyone cannot be expected to like or dislike the same things; each person’s taste varies. However, there is a level of common courtesy which each member of a society must endeavor to uphold; this may differ from community to community.
Mocking, Cursing, and Other Sins of the Tongue – Birgivi’s Tariqa Muhammadiyya [Video]
The Path of Muhammad: Birgivi’s Manual of Taqwa Explained [Video]
Jesting and Joking
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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.