Gambling and games of chance
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Gambling is haraam, i understand. And i believe the word used for gambling is translated as "games of chance". Now, if games of chance are haraam, it would include many games which are not actually gambling. For example, children`s games that involve rolling of dice like Ludo, Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders etc. Also, there are so many games to be played with cards where no money is involved. My question is, are games of chance only haraam if there is money to be made or lost with it, or anything involving dice, cards or anything with a random outcome is haraam? if the latter is the case, why?
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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verses 90-91:
90 O ye who believe! Intoxicants, and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan's handiwork: eschew such (abomination) that ye may prosper.
91 Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?
Allah Subhanah has explicitly declared all types of gambling as abominations and evil-works of the Shaytaan, and commanded the believers to eschew and stay away from all such works. If one plays a game of chance or gambling and there is a material gain or loss in this game, then it would definitely be termed gambling and this is absolutely impermissible in Islam.
But if there is no money or any material gain or loss in the games of chance involving dice, cards, or any other device, etc; the nature of these games of chance is such that the ones who play them get excited and fight amongst themselves, or the playing of these games make the believers miss their obligatory prayers and hinder them from the remembrance of Allah Subhanah; thus they will still remain impermissible.
Islam encourages the believers to play wholesome games for their recreation which would benefit the body and the soul. For example if one plays football or basketball, tennis or squash, horse riding or swimming, etc. which involves recreation and entertainment as well as exercises the physical bodies and displays talents and skills, there is absolutely no harm.
But when one plays games of chance like the throwing of the dice, or plays cards, etc.; one would have noticed that one does not win because of his particular talent or skill nor is there any benefit to ones body or soul. The winners and losers depend entirely on chance or luck; and the Shaytaan gets a chance to excite the players and create enmity and hatred amongst them! Also in the hope of ones luck turning towards him, these games tend to be played for long hours at a stretch whereby the prayer times come and go, and the players do not seem to notice!
Allah Subhanah has termed all such senseless play and activities as lagwaw in the Quran, and has called terms of honor for those who abstain from such meaningless, time-wasting things in the name of recreation or entertainment.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 25 Surah Furqaan verse 72: (The true servants of the Most Merciful are ) And those who will not witness vanity, but when they pass near senseless play, pass by with dignity.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,