Q. What is the Islamic stance on participating in or attending comedy shows?
A. As a general rule, it is permissible to engage in laughter or comedy within the limits set by the Shariah.
In regards to the current trend of comedy shows wherein jokes/comments made are offensive, the feelings of others are hurt, it is made up of lies, the faults of others are exposed and the mixing with the opposite genders etc. occur are totally against the limits set by the Shariah.
Allah Ta’ala states in the Quran:
وَ الَّذِیْنَ یُؤْذُوْنَ الْمُؤْمِنِیْنَ وَ الْمُؤْمِنٰتِ بِغَیْرِ مَا اكْتَسَبُوْا فَقَدِ احْتَمَلُوْا بُهْتَانًا وَّ اِثْمًا مُّبِیْنًا۠(۵۸)
And those who hurt Muslim men and women, without them doing anything (wrong), have burdened themselves with false accusation and open sin. (Surah Al-Ahzaab, Ayah 58)
In the Ahadith, Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said:
وَيْلٌ لِلَّذِي يُحَدِّثُ بِالْحَدِيثِ لِيُضْحِكَ بِهِ الْقَوْمَ فَيَكْذِبُ وَيْلٌ لَهُ وَيْلٌ لَهُ
Woe to the one who talks about something to make the people laugh, in which he lies. Woe to him! Woe to him! (Tirmidhi)
مَنْ سَتَرَ عَوْرَةَ أَخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ سَتَرَ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمَنْ كَشَفَ عَوْرَةَ أَخِيهِ الْمُسْلِمِ كَشَفَ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ حَتَّى يَفْضَحَهُ بِهَا فِي بَيْتِهِ
Whoever conceals the (hidden) fault of his Muslim brother, Allah (SWT) will conceal his faults on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever exposes the fault of his Muslim brother, Allah will expose his faults, until (so that) He shames him, due to it, in his (own) house. (Ibn Majah)
Accordingly, it will not be permissible to attend or participate in such comedy shows.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa