In The Name of Allah The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Most High] said:
لَا تَحْسَبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَفْرَحُونَ بِمَآ أَتَوا۟ وَّيُحِبُّونَ أَن يُحْمَدُوا۟ بِمَا لَمْ يَفْعَلُوا۟ فَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّهُم بِمَفَازَةٍ مِّنَ ٱلْعَذَابِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done (or brought about), and love to be praised for what they have not done,- think not you that they are rescued from the torment, and for them is a painful torment. [Surah Al-Imran. Ayah 188]
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allah have mercy upon him] said: “They want to be commended for what they haven’t done and what they haven’t said, so they combine between evil conduct and its utterance and revel in it. And they love being applauded for something they haven’t done”. (1)
Ed Husain said, ”Free speech is not a Western concept: it is a universal craving of the human soul”. [End of quote]
True, everyone would want to be able to talk, but our Lord warned us about the perils and terrible consequences of an unbridled soul and tongue. Ed desperately attempted to pervert an authentic hadith in order to satisfy his burning desire to advance freedom of speech outside the purview of Shariah, a freedom of expression that would allow him to spread his dubious beliefs in the name of Islam. However, before we cite the hadith that Ed tried to twist for his own purposes, it’s important to note that he is guilty of double standards because he uses freedom of speech to spread his errors while criticising the members of his former group, Hizb Tahreer, when they do the same. Allaah [The Exalted] said:
أَتَأۡمُرُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ بِٱلۡبِرِّ وَتَنسَوۡنَ أَنفُسَكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ تَتۡلُونَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَۚ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ
Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety and righteousness and each and every act of obedience to Allah) on the people and you forget (to practise it) yourselves, while you recite the Scripture! Have you then no sense?] [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 44]
While desperately seeking to misinterpret the hadith in order to forward his dishonest pursuit of free speech, Ed said: “Muslim civilisations, too, were once confident in this freedom. The Prophet’s wife, Ayesha, would say to him ‘How convenient that your God reveals verses that satisfy your desires.’ Nasredin Hodja, a Muslim satirist entertained generations of people with his books of jokes and caricatures. For centuries, the Sufis mocked orthodox believers and their rituals. Blessed was blasphemy. We Muslims again need to learn to joke, to laugh more and accept that in the West, since the times of the ancient Greeks, mockery and theatre have been the norm. Islamists cannot and must not destroy this inheritance”. [End of quote]
“Muslim civilisations, too, were once confident in this freedom. The Prophet’s wife, Ayesha, would say to him ‘How convenient that your God reveals verses that satisfy your desires'”.
Following is the hadeeth from which Ed quoted in order to support his perverse defence of corrupt free speech: Ed quoted the hadith as follows: “Aa’Isha [may Allaah be pleased with her] said to the Prophet, ‘How convenient that your God reveals verses that satisfy your desires'”. Arabic text as follows: [ما أرى ربك إلا يسارع في هواك – I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your desires]. [Sahih Al-Bukhari. Number 4788]
First of all, depending on the context, the word “Hawaa – desire” can be used to describe behaviour that is commendable or reproachable. Here is an illustration of the word used as a reprimand in Allah’s statement:
وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ هُدًى مِنَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from Allah? Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. [Surah Al-Qasas. Ayah 50]
The word “Hawaa” (desires) is given a blameworthy meaning in the above verse because it is associated with the person who follows his desires without guidance from Allah.
Second, the following text provides an illustration of the word’s commendable meaning: After the battle of Badr, the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] consulted both AbuBakr and Umar [may Allah be pleased with them] regarding the prisoners of war, so Umar suggested that they should be executed, but Abu Bakr suggested that they should be set free after a ransom is taken on their behalf. Umar said:
[ فَهَوِيَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَا قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ وَلَمْ يَهْوَ مَا قُلْتُ – Allaah’s Messenger هَوِيَ – (with a Kasra on the letter Waw; meaning, the Prophet loved, approved Abu Bakr’s view and held it to be the best thing to do)] (2), and did not approve (or incline towards what I said). Therefore, “Hawaa” is used in a commendable manner in this hadeeth because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never tends to anything unworthy of praise.
As for the meaning of the hadeeth in Al-Bukhaari Number 4788 [ما أرى ربك إلا يسارع في هواك – I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires], Imaam An-Nawawi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said that this hadith means: “Your Lord has made things easy for you and given you a lot of leeway in your affairs”. (3) Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said that this hadith means: “Without delay, Allah fulfils what you want and reveals what you love and choose”. (4)
And moreover, Allaah [The Exalted] said:
وَٱلنَّجۡمِ إِذَا هَوَىٰ
مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمۡ وَمَا غَوَىٰ
وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ ٱلۡهَوَىٰٓ
إِنۡ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحۡىٌ۬ يُوحَىٰ
By the star when it goes down, (or vanishes). Your companion (Muhammad) has neither gone astray nor has erred. Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only an Inspiration that is inspired. [Surah An-Najm. Ayaat 1-4]
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: “Allah [The Exalted] revealed that Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] is neither misguided nor ignorant, neither is he astray nor does he follow his desires, nor does he speak according to his desires but rather according to the revelation that has been sent down”. (5)
There is no ambiguity, speculation, or guesswork because this is the hadeeth’s clear meaning. The hadith’s use of the word “Hawaa” refers to an inclination towards something honourable rather than a desire for something that is blameworthy. But Ed fervently used this hadith to promote satire and corrupt free speech. Al-Allaamah Saalih Al Fawzaan cautioned us against this attitude, saying, “Transmitting forged and false reports while attributing them to the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] is not permitted. This is due to the fact that many misguided people and followers of desires fabricate narrations, use them as evidence, and declare them authentic when they line up with their desires. As for when the authentic narrations conflict with their wishes, they either deny them or alter and explain them (in a way different from what is meant by) correct meanings. This is the situation of the proponents of misguidance; they look for fabricated and false narrations, offer them to the people, and use them as evidence if it supports their desires. Similarly, one of the traits of a hypocrite is that he lies when he speaks, so refrain from speaking to the people unless you are truthful, and avoid using the ahaadeeth excessively in situations where there is no benefit out of fear that you would start telling lies. The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] said, ‘It is enough lying for a man to speak of everything that he hears'”. (6)
Then Ed Husain stated: “Nasredin Hodja, a Muslim satirist entertained generations of people with his books of jokes and caricatures. For centuries, the Sufis mocked orthodox believers and their rituals. Blessed was blasphemy. We Muslims again need to learn to joke, to laugh more and accept that in the West, since the times of the ancient Greeks, mockery and theatre have been the norm. Islamists cannot and must not destroy this inheritance”. [End of quote]
Whatever a person does to entertain the public, it cannot contradict the divine revelation found in the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah. A joke is acceptable as long as it does not make fun of the religion or an authentic act of worship carried out by a Muslim. That’s because a joke of this nature amounts to major disbelief.
وَلَٮِٕن سَأَلۡتَهُمۡ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا ڪُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلۡعَبُۚ قُلۡ أَبِٱللَّهِ وَءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَرَسُولِهِۦ كُنتُمۡ تَسۡتَہۡزِءُونَ
لَا تَعۡتَذِرُواْ قَدۡ كَفَرۡتُم بَعۡدَ إِيمَـٰنِكُمۡۚ
If you ask them (about this), they declare: “We were only talking idly and joking.” Say: “Was it at Allah, and His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?” Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. [Surah At-Tawbah. Aayah 65]
Imam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: “The affairs related to Divine Lordship, Prophethood, Revelation, and the religion are sacred and are to be venerated. It is impermissible to disrespect them, either by mocking them to make others laugh or to make fun of them. If anyone does that, he is an unbeliever because this shows his disrespect towards Allaah and His Messengers, the Books, and Divine Laws. Whoever does this must repent to Allaah because it is a type of hypocrisy. Therefore, the person must repent to Allaah, seek forgiveness, change his behaviour, nurture fear of Allaah [in his heart], venerate Allaah, and have a love for Allaah in his heart”. (7)
The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Woe to the one who speaks to make people laugh and lies, woe to him, woe to him”. (8)
The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “A man may say something to make his companions laugh, and he will fall into Hell as far as the Pleiades because of it”. (9)
As for Ed Husain’s statement, “Blessed was blasphemy”. The word blessed used in this context can either mean pleasure or relief as a welcome contrast to what one has previously experienced, or it is used in mild expressions of annoyance or exasperation – emphasizing that you are annoyed about something. Indeed, regardless of the meaning intended by Ed Husain, he is reminded that the Muslim does not utilise freedom of speech to utter disbelief, sin, or transgression.
As for Ed Husain’s statement: “We Muslims again need to learn to joke, to laugh more and accept that in the West, since the times of the ancient Greeks, and mockery and theatre have been the norm”. [End of quote]
Indeed, because Allah’s Messenger is the only person who has lived a faultless life in all respects, a sensible Muslim makes an effort to emulate his example. We make jokes and laugh in accordance with the divine revelation, and we pay no attention to Ed Husain’s absurd recommendations. If satire was common, then it would also be common among the Prophets of Allah and their upright followers. We are commanded to follow the upright path rather than that taken by terrorists like ISIS or those who have engaged in excessive neglect like Ed Husain. Sufyan Ibn Uyaynah [may Allah have mercy upon him] said: “Indeed, the Messenger is the highest criterion (amongst humans and Jinn), and all affairs are given to him (i.e. for judgment and judged) based on his manners, way, and guidance; so, whatever agrees with this is truth, and whatever disagrees is falsehood”. (10)
Allaah Warns Against Extremism And Negligence By Shaikh Abu Hakeem [may Allah preserve him]: https://www.salafisounds.com/allaah-warns-against-extremism-and-negligence-by-abu-hakeem/
 An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi
 Sharh Saheeh Muslim By Imaam An-Nawawi. 12/74
 Sharh Saheeh Muslim 10/49
 Fat’hul Baaree 8/668. Publisher: Daarus Salaam. 1st Edition 1431AH (2000)]
 An Excerpt from Al-Jawaabus Saheeh Liman Baddala Deenul Maseeh. 1/26-30. Slightly paraphrased
 An Excerpt from ‘It’haaf At-Tullaab Bi-Sharhi Mandhoomah Al-Aadaab’ page 103’. Slightly paraphrased
 Al-Majmoo’ Ath-Thameen, 1/63
 Narrated by Abu Dawood 4990
 Silsilah As-Saheehah 2/78
 Al-Jaami Li-Akhlaaq Ar-Raawi Wa Aadaab As-Saami’ page 8