In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
The Christian Preacher in Southern Iraq
Note: It is common Shi’a custom, to shout “Salawat ala Mohammad!” (Blessings upon Mohammad) whenever something extraordinary is said or occurs.
In the 19th century when many Western missionaries were exploring the region and preaching Christianity, a certain preacher visited a remote, backwards village in the Marshes in the South of Iraq.
The preacher delivered a long sermon outlining the basics of Christianity to a crowd of the villagers. Then he told a marvelous tale about a miracle performed by Jesus Christ.
The villagers were impressed and yelled, “Salawat ala Mohammad!”
A Sunni and a Shi’a
This joke pokes fun at the annual disagreements between Sunni and Shi’a clerics on when the crescent moon is sighted to mark the first day of Ramadan. The two sects also disagree on the specific dates of some holidays, such as the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad (s).
A Shi’a looks out his window and sees a Sunni running on the street panicking and screaming.
The Shi’a asks, “Brother, what is the matter?”
The Sunni said, “It is the Day of Judgment! God is destroying the universe and judging mankind!”
The Shi’a said, “For us that is tomorrow.”
Popular Ramadan Joke Circulated on WhatsApp
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are supposed to fast from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse while the sun is out, and engage in prayer and reading the Qur’an.
They asked a foolish man who was fasting, “Which chapters of the Qur’an do you like best in Ramadan?”
He said, “Al-Maa’idah (‘The Table Spread’), Ad-Dukhaan (‘The Smoke’), and An-Nisaa (‘The Women’).”
A Joke from the Lebanese Civil War
In Lebanon the Christians are mainly settled in the North, and Shi’a Muslims mainly live in the South. Some Christians, however, live in the South, and they often adopt the sayings and customs of their Shi’a neighbors.
During the Lebanese Civil War, there was a Christian man named George who lived in the South and he wanted to travel to the North of Lebanon to visit friends. In order to do this, he had to pass a major checkpoint on the highway which was manned by Christian Militiamen. George approached the checkpoint.
The Christian militiaman said, “ID please.”
George gave him his ID.
The militiaman said, “Your ID says you are from the South.”
George said, “Yes.”
The militiaman said, “But it says on your ID that you are Christian.”
George said, “That’s correct.”
The militiaman said, “This ID is fake, you must be a Muslim spy!”
George said, “I am a Christian from the South visiting a friend.”
The militiaman said, “Liar! Get out of the car!”
George said, “I swear by Imam Ali, I am a Christian!”
Khojas are a caste of Indian Muslims, with a large diaspora in East Africa and now in the West. Most of them are Twelver Shi’a, but some are Ismaili Shi’a or Sunni. They are known for being entrepreneurial and wealthy.
Jaffer was driving down the street sweating because he had an important meeting and couldn’t find a parking place.
Looking up to heaven he said, “O Allah! Take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to majlis every Thursday, and Friday prayer for the rest of my life, and give up all Bollywood music!”
Miraculously, a parking place appeared. Jaffer looked up again and said, “Never mind, I found one!”
A Maulana walks into a video store in and says to the first Khoja he meets, “Do you want to go to heaven?” The man said, “I do, Maulana.” Maulana says, “Then stand over there against the wall.” Then he asked a second man, “Do you want to go to heaven?” The man replied, “Certainly, Mulla Saheb.” The Maulana said, “Then stand over there against the wall.” Then the Maulana walked up to Jaffer and said, “Do you want to go to heaven?” Jaffer said, “No I don’t, Maulana.” Maulana said, “I don’t believe this! You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?” Jaffer said, “Oh when I die, yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.”
A Sufi, a Shi’a and a Salafi on a Deserted Island
A Sufi, a Shi’a and a Salafi were stuck on a deserted island. They found a lamp and rubbed it and then a jinni came out. The jinni said, “I will grant each one of you one wish!”
The Sufi said, “I wish to go back in time and be a disciple of Maulana so he can teach me how to annihilate myself and become at one with the Divine Presence.” The jinni snapped his hand and then the Sufi was transported to the time of Maulana.
The Shi’a said, “I want to go to Karbala so I can visit my beloved Imam Husayn!” The jinni snapped his hand and then the Shi’a was transported to Karbala.
The jinni said to the Salafi, “What is your wish?” The Salafi said, “The Sufi and the Shi’a are gone. My wish already came true!”
An Iraq War Joke from 2004
After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, several rebel groups formed up by 2004. The Shi’as formed a militia called the Mahdi Army and there was a large insurgency of Sunnis in Fallujah. These groups fought American soldiers as well as each other in fierce sectarian battles.
An American soldier was observing the Mahdi Army beating up people on the street. He watched as they cornered a man, and the man said, “By the name of Ali, let me go!” On hearing this, the Mahdi Army let him go. The American solider thought this was a common Iraqi phrase and memorized it as it may come in handy.
The next day the soldier was transferred to Fallujah. After only 30 minutes he was caught by the Sunni Mujahideen (insurgency). Remembering the phrase, he said, “By the name of Ali, let me go!” The Mujahideen looked at each other and said, “Not only is he an American infidel, but he’s also a Shi’a!” and then shot him to death.