Last year I joined a Yahoo group called American Muslims and get daily e-mails from them that I never bothered to read.
Well, today I actually read one of the e-mails instead of hastily deleting it and came across this little gem:
Question: I would like to know if we are able to take part in April Fool's Day jokes and if not, why not. Jazakallah.
Answer: You know better whether or not you are able to take part in any activity. We do not know your physical or social conditions.
Whether you should is another matter. There the question is why do you want to take part in it? Think about it, research it, ask those who do urge or encourage you to do so. Why? When you do, you will discover that real fools are the persons who foolishly follow this practice while they have no idea why they are doing it.
A Muslim does not follow the mob. He, or she, never does things simply because other people are doing it. He is thinking, reflecting, person who does not waste any of his time in doing things that will not bring him any benefit in the hereafter or in this world.
In contrast, in Jahiliyya society people do things simply because others are doing it. They blindly follow whatever the media or the mob tell them is the latest in thing or cool idea. That is why Qur'an says that they are deaf, dumb, and blind. They are like animals. Rather they are worse than animals.
Islam liberates you from the Jahiliyya society. Indeed it would be tragic if someone, instead of cherishing it, were to question this liberation.
Not knowing what "Jahiliyya society" was, I admit I had to look it up. The definition, which I got from Austin Cline's About: Atheism site, described "jahiliyya" as:
This can mean "ignorance" or even "barbarism" and refers to the state people lived in before Muhammad received his revelation from God and brought Islam to the world. This was a time of lawlessness and idolatry, as contrasted with the period of time under Islamic rule, characterized by morality, enlightenment and divine law.
I have therefore updated my masthead to proudly proclaim my membership in Jahiliyya Society!