An observation made by an almost former Muslim, regarding how marriages in India in his community have become so boring caught my eye.  According to this 40-something man living in Europe, marriages used to be so much fun when he was a child.  There was singing in dancing, laughter and pretty girls, but now attending an Islamic marriage has become a bore.  There is no music and almost no one is laughing.  This has happened in India over decades, as Islam has slowly creeped back into the lives of common households, in every sphere of life. Muslims were a much more ‘tolerable’ lot earlier when they were not practicing their faith so literally.  Now they are bound to lead sad depressing lives because of the tenets of Islam.  Take the example of the simple, harmless act of clapping. Clapping is a sign of expressing happiness and joy.  We clap when we are celebrating, we clap when we want someone to know we appreciate their act, song, dance, katha.  When we are doing Pooja, at times we clap to show our love for bhagwan.  We clap in Bhakti.  This has been the practice of Hindus for thousands of years.  So naturally, it has to be called out by Islam, and Allah does not disappoint by bringing clarity un the 35thverse of Chapter 8 in the Quran called The Spoils (of War, earnings, saving, profits). This Surah was revealed 2 years after Muhammad started receiving messages through Jibraeel, and its 35th verse talks about how clapping is an act by Kuffar, who made it a practice to clap, whistle and dance while doing Parikrama (they call it Tawaf) at the Kaaba. Not only is clapping declared a Kafir ritual, but it also invites punishment, just like it was meted to the Kuffar at the Battle of Badr when according to legend, 313 Muslims aided by thousands of angels were able to defeat the Kuffar of Makka.  Not only clapping is forbidden, laughing out aloud is also looked down upon, unless the laughter is to celebrate conquering against the Kuffar.  Muhammad has clearly stated that if people knew as much as he knew, they will be inclined to weeping more than laughing.  Quran looks down on laughing and only associates it with acts of the ignorant. It is mentioned in 6 places in the scripture, where it was either non-believers were laughing at Moses, or a non-believing wife of Noah was laughing at him to mock him, or non believing women are said to be laughing at the believing ones. In one particularly disturbing verse from Chapter 83 which is called The Defrauders, it is stated that on the day of justice, the believers will be sitting on reclining couches in Jannat and laughing, making merry as they witness the Kuffar in Jahannum.  According to an explanation of this verse, Ibn Abbas said the wall between Paradise & Hell has doors that will be opened so believers can watch the people of Hell. The believers will be reclining on raised couches watching the ways the people of Hell are tortured which will make them laugh. This will be amongst the delights that Allah will gladden their eyes with – how Allah takes revenge on them.

For those who are unclear on what punishments are ordained for the Kuffar, just make note that these include eyes being gouged out, brains exploding and skin peeled off of their bodies.  Laughing when presented with this kind of amusement is one of the rare occasions where Muslims are following the right path.  If you put the word laugh in a Quranic search, you will find it in 35 places, and out of these, 30 findings will appear in the word slaughter.

If you have Muslims in your circle, your workplace or near your house, you can make this observation yourself. The more ‘peaceful’ they are, the less they will be inclined to occasions leading to laughter, singing and making merry. Unless of course, they have already identified you as a ripe prospect.

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