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Scholar: Imâm Muhammad bin Sâlih bin ´Uthaymîn
Source: http://islamcast.wordpress.com/2009/03/29
Reference: Darulhadith.com
Translation & video: http://aFatwa.com
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymîn:

I warn my Muslim brothers against what some stupid people do when they narrate april jokes. This lie have they taken from the jews, the christians, fire-worshipers (Majûs) and other disbelievers.

Not only is this act a lie, which is in itself forbidden according to the Sharî’ah, it also involves imitating the disbelievers, which is forbidden. The prophet (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Whoever imitates a people belongs to them.”

Shaykh-ul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullâh) said:

“Its chain of narration is good.”

The least one could say is that it is forbidden, even if it seemingly entails disbelief.

Together with these two sins, the Muslim becomes humiliated before his enemy. It is generally known that the one who is imitated boasts before the imitator and sees himself as being in front of him. The imitator thus becomes weak so that he imitates him. The believer thusly becomes degraded since he subjugates himself and follows the disbelievers.

The fourth sin is that this filthy lie is often about taking someone else’s money unjustly and scaring the Muslims. They maybe lie and tell the family that they will be having guests. As a result thereof they prepare a great meal and meat and the like. They might also lie and tell them horrifying news of a relative being run over by a car or the like. This is not allowed.

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 “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even if he is joking; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.”

[Abu Da’wud, 4800; also found in ‘Tahdhib al-Kamal’, 3/498; ‘Mu’jam al-Kabeer’, 7488; ‘al-Bayhaqi’, 10/249 and others – graded as Hasan by al-Albani in ‘Saheeh al-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb’, 6/3; and Ibn Baz in ‘Khashiyah Buloogh al-Maraam’, 810]

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