Does Ludo come under the heading of dice games which are prohibited?
Praise be to Allah
In the answer to question no. 95409, we explained that it is prohibited to play backgammon, and that every game that involves using dice is haraam because it comes under the heading of dice games, which are haraam.
Ludo is not excluded from that, because it is a game that relies on use of the dice, as is the case with backgammon. It is composed of the game board, the dice and four pieces of different colours, one for each player. Each player puts his piece in the middle of the circle on the board, then the first player rolls the dice and answers the question in his circle according to the number of the dice that he rolls. If he answers correctly, he moves out of the circle to the start, but if he gives the wrong answer he stays where he is, then the dice passes to the next player, and so on.
Because the game is based on rolling the dice, as in the case of other dice games, it is a prohibited game.
It says in al-Mu‘jam al-Waseet (2/912):
Nard (dice) is a game of chance that is played using a box, a playing pieces and two dice, in which the pieces are moved according to the numbers shown on the dice. It is known to the common folk as backgammon. End quote.
It was narrated by Muslim (2260), Abu Dawood (4939), Ibn Maajah (3763) and Ahmad, from Buraydah (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever plays with dice, it is as if he were dipping his hand in the flesh and blood of a pig.”
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The scholars said: This hadith was quoted as evidence by ash-Shaafa‘i and others for the prohibition on playing with dice. End quote.
It was narrated by Abu Dawood (4938), Ibn Maajah (3762), Ahmad (19027), and al-Bayhaqi (21478) from Abu Moosa al-Ash‘ari that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever plays with dice has disobeyed Allah and His Messenger.”
Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘ (no. 6529)
Al-Bukhaari narrated in al-Adab al-Mufrad (1270) that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood said: Beware of these two marked cubes that are thrown, for they come under the heading of gambling.
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Adab al-Mufrad (no. 1270)
The two cubes in question are dice, which are marked with spots.
Because they were described as coming under the heading of gambling, some of the scholars quoted as evidence the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al-Ansab (stone altars for sacrifices to idols etc), and Al-Azlam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitan’s (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.
Shaitan (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from As-Salat (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?”
Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
This verse indicates that it is prohibited to play with dice and to play chess, whether that involves gambling or not.
End quote from al-Jaami‘ li Ahkaam al-Qur’an (6/291)
Al-Bukhaari also narrated in al-Adab al-Mufrad (1274) from ‘Aa’ishah that she heard that the people of a household who were living in a property that she owned had some dice, so she sent word to them saying: If you do not throw them out, I will throw you out of my property. And she denounced them for that.
Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Adab al-Mufrad (no. 1274)
He also narrated (1275) that Kulthoom ibn Jabr said: Ibn az-Zubayr addressed us and said: O people of Makkah, I have heard of some men of Quraysh playing a game called dice. I swear by Allah, if anyone is brought to me who has played with them, I will punish him in his hair and his skin, and I will give his goods to the one who brings him to me.
Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Adab al-Mufrad (no. 1275)
And he narrated (1277) that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas said: The one who plays with dice for the purpose of gambling is like the one who eats the flesh of a pig, and the one who plays with them without gambling is like the one who dips his hand in the blood of a pig.
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Adab al-Mufrad (no. 1277).
Shams ad-Deen ar-Ramli ash-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The game of dice is based on guessing and this is the utmost foolishness. Ar-Raafa‘i said: Everything that is based on guessing is prohibited.
End quote from Nihaayat al-Muhtaaj (8/295)
Al-Qalyoobi said in his Haashiyah (4/320): “Dice” refers to that which is now known as backgammon.
It was narrated from Ibn Hajar al-Haytami that playing with dice is a major sin, as it says in his book az-Zawaajir ‘an Iqtiraaf al-Kabaa’ir (3/45). After quoting the reports that were narrated concerning that, he said:
Regarding this as a major sin is what appears to be the conclusion from the reports, and this is what the author of al-Bayaan stated, narrating from most of our companions. Most of our companions said: It is prohibited to play with them. This is what is stated in al-Umm. Anyone who plays with them is to be regarded as an evildoer and his testimony is not to be accepted. End quote.
Before him that was stated by al-Maawardi, who clearly mentioned it in his book al-Haawiy where he said: The correct view, which is that of the majority of scholars, is that it is prohibited to play with dice, and that the one who does that is an evildoer and his testimony is not to be accepted. End quote.
He was followed in that by ar-Rooyaani in al-Bahr. After quoting the view of ash-Shaafa‘i in al-Mukhtasar, he said: I also disapprove of playing with dice, because of the report. Most of our companions said: It is disapproved to play with dice, and because of it a person’s testimony may be rejected, and it is disapproved in the sense of being haraam.
Imam al-Haramayn said:
The correct view is that it is a major sin. That was the view of al-Adhra‘i, who said: Whoever plays with dice, knowing what was said about that, and fully aware of it, is to be regarded as an evildoer and his testimony is to be rejected, no matter what land he is in, not because he has done something contrary to dignity, but because he has committed that which is emphatically prohibited.
End quote from az-Zawaajir, 3/246-248)
From the shar‘i texts quoted above it is clear that dice are haraam. There are many scholarly texts to this effect. The dice games that are known nowadays, such as backgammon, and all similar games in which dice are used, are similarly prohibited and must all be avoided. That includes the game of Ludo.
And Allah knows best.
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