Religions are widely seen as deniers of fun, often for good reason! This may be partly explained by our historical experience with the medieval Church, which promoted the practise of cutting oneself away from worldly temptations as high virtue. It would be no surprise then that the Islamic faith is commonly viewed as having a serious humour problem – all anger and guns, no laughter and fun.

The Quran advocates embracing life and embracing moderation (to be conscious of becoming wayward). If anything, Islamic teachings can be critical of a life of denial as being hollow or unnecessary.

The Quran and Muhammad both speak positively of aesthetics and beauty. A beautiful voice is considered a blessing from God, and Muhammad taught by his example that there is a time and place for work, prayer, rest and fun – he would be seen having a light hearted conversations with his wife, or friend, and would encourage traditional song and dance at weddings or festivals, even within the mosque!

Islam sees entertainment as one of life’s refreshers, but as with most things, some types of entertainment are considered unhealthy. The Quran for instance critically describes a lurid casino-type scene of drunkards. It is not advocating a ban on popular entertainment; instead it is calling us to consider our actions more responsibly and to live a life of balance.