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“My family moved to this boring old town where there was nothing to do and no proper friends to hang out with. It seemed the main attraction was the Casino with its bright lights and busy parking lot. So, I started going out of boredom fully intending to stop when we moved back to the city a few months later but I haven’t been able to – I still gamble, and it has gotten worse.”


“I was bored and so I thought I’d try it out to see what the big fuss is all about; I never thought I’d get drawn into it even deeper. The more I gambled the more money I needed, the more I borrowed, and the deeper in debt I found myself. I let everyone down but I know the big win will make it all better so wish me luck, I got paid and hope to get lucky at the card table tonight!”


“My friend seemed to be winning a lot. I mean, he would play these scratch cards and win – he was always in my face about it too. So, when I found myself in need of extra money, I thought ‘why not give it a go’ and without second thought, I bought my first ticket.”


“The school was running a casino fundraiser so I volunteered. It was my first time in a casino and to be there with other parents made me feel better. I didn't feel so repelled the next time I drove past it and when I heard another school was having their casino fundraiser, I went to contribute – you know, to help them out as I noticed some parents were there from our fundraiser.”


“I used to volunteer at a seniors home where they would have a bingo night. It seemed like they were having fun more than anything. When I found out my neighbor was a bingo fan, I joined her and have been going nightly for the past 3 months – I can’t seem to get enough.”


“My family has been buying lottery tickets for as long as I can remember. I remember my mom would ask me to pick from the batch for good luck. We would even give each other lottery tickets as gifts. Sometimes we would win, but never enough to do all the things we would dream about. It was just a tradition for us and I kept it going.”


“My father would take me to the horse races and I would watch him place his bets. When I got older, if he couldn't make it out, he would send me out to place bets for him. The thrill, especially for a young child, is indescribable - especially the odd time you win.”


“We have family game night every Friday and we like to spice things up a bit by placing bets. At first we would play with candy, but as we got older we started betting with our allowance money. Sometimes we feel let down but mostly it stays within the family so its all good.”


Unfortunately, these scenarios can go on and on and on. The reality is that most of us know at least one person who is affected by gambling if we ourselves are not already affected by it; and those who think there isn't a gambler around them are probably quite naive and blind to it. Gambling has become so mainstream and accepted that it can be found in households, in schools, in seniors homes, you name it, you’ll find gambling going on in one shape or another. For example, did you know many parents in schools in the west fund-raise through casinos and bingo halls? Yes, parents raise money for their schools through gambling!


We may recognize gambling in the form of over-the-top, loud, glitzy casinos and perhaps we know of a few games that would be considered gambling but do we know what else would be considered gambling? Do we realize just how broad a category it is? If you are one of those people who thinks gambling is not part of their life or a part of the life of someone close, then please just take a look at this list and then decide whether it is or not:


  • lottery games
  • Slot machines
  • dice games
  • card games
  • chip and tile games (like dominoes or mahjong)
  • board games
  • wheel games (like roulette)
  • backgammon
  • chess
  • checkers
  • bingo
  • animal fights
  • animal races
  • spectator sports
  • kite racing
  • pool, snookers and billiards
  • amusement park games
  • video gambling and games



These are just a few examples and though not everything in the list is considered gambling by default, many are synonymous with gambling. Ultimately, anything can be a gamble if people engaging in it do so in exchange for money or something of value to them.


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The Definition of Al-Maisir (Gambling) 
Gambling and other terms such as gaming and 'games-of-chance' derive from the Anglo-Saxon ‘gamen’ and ‘gamon’ which mean sport or play. The general use of the word gamble denotes any decision executed in any transaction or pursuit involving risk and uncertainty. Hence, gambling is to play a game of chance for money; or to take a risk for some advantage; or a risky venture. Risk and uncertainty are faced in gambling since the outcome of the decision taken is unknown even though a good outcome is always expected. Therefore, it is said that politics, in fact, are ‘a big gamble’ since judgements passed in this area are always uncertain and risky. The use of the word usually, however, refers more specifically to economic activity which is very concerned with the aspect of gain, loss, risk and uncertainty relating to the 'game of chance'. Economically, therefore, to gamble is to “play 'games-of-chance' for money especially for unduly high stakes; or to stake money (especially to an extravagant amount) on some fortuitous event” (The Oxford English Dictionary, 1989).


However, this definition is too narrow because the words ‘to play games’ does not accommodate all types of gambling. There are business transactions which are certainly gambling in nature but could not be included under the definition of 'games'. Furthermore, there are many kinds of gambling that are not based purely on chance such as betting on horse races, boxing or other sporting events, even though outcomes are unpredictable. In addition, the words ‘for money’ in the above definition do not suit all kinds of modern gambling. Although, monetary gain remains the main objective of much gambling, it is not considered the sole purpose of a 'game of chance'. There are various alternative prizes to be won including political power, leadership and, to a certain extent, women. As mentioned by Cohen and Hansel in their writing, Scythians staked not only their teeth, eyebrows, wives, families and freedom, but also risked their lives on a single throw of the dice (Cohen, 1956). 


Green, in his work, Betting and Gambling, suggested a definition he claimed was more comprehensive. He defined ‘to gamble’ as “an agreement between two parties whereby the transfer of something of value from one to the other is made dependent on an uncertain event, in such a way that the gain of one party is balanced by the loss of another,” (Green, 1930).


Accordingly, this definition fits all types of gambling such as playing 'games-of-chance' or betting on horse racing and other sporting events between clients and bookmakers or between individuals; including all kinds of sweepstakes, lotteries and similar enterprises (Gambling, 1931). Furthermore, the definition given even includes certain business transactions (Green, 1930). 


The above definition claims a comprehensive statue yet it still excludes a few important aspects such as risk, hope of gain and the element of chance. The New Encyclopædia Britannica (1977) offers a closer description of the truth by stating that:


 “... gambling is the betting or staking of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on the outcome of a game, a contest, or an uncertain event, the result of which may be determined by chance or accident or has an unexpected result by reason of the bettor’s miscalculation.” 


This definition excludes sophisticated business transactions that, nevertheless. embody elements of gambling such as the stock market and foreign exchange transactions. Here, at least two significant gambling elements were excluded from the definition offered: the element of economic fundamentals and economic manipulation. Hence, the present writers suggest a renewed definition for gambling as follows: 


The betting of something of value with unnecessary risk with the hope of gain based on elements of chance and uncertain events that may involve, to a certain extent, economic manipulation and, on occasion, loss of the contextual elements of economic reality.
SourceMediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 
MCSER Publishing, Rome-Italy 
Vol 6 No 1 S1
January 2015
Further reading: Speculation: Islamic perspective; A study on al-maisir (Download PDF) 



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Gambling has unfortunately become an acceptable practise in Muslim Society due to its wide scale promotion by the media. A large number of good Muslims are also caught in the web, not realising that they are gambling and that the earnings from the gambling are haraam.

The following is a translation of a scholarly article by the late Mufti Muhammad Shafi rahmatullahi alaihe which is being published to make Muslims aware of the different forms of transactions and other items which are classified in Shar'iah as gambling.




Every transaction in which gain and loss is obscure is known as Qimaar' and 'Maisar' in the Shar'iah terminology, and as 'Juwa' in the Urdu language. For instance, if two people compete in a race with the following conditions, that if you surpass me, then I will give you a thousand pounds and if I surpass you then you will have to give me a thousand pounds. Or if someone says, 'If it rains today you will have to give me a thousand pounds and if it does not rain then I will give you a thousand pounds.' 

Likewise if some packed boxes are being sold for a fixed price, for example four pounds per box and some of the boxes have contents with a value of five pounds with others containing a value of two pounds, then the purchase of these boxes will be Qimaar. Because of the obscurity of the gain and loss. There are numerous methods of gambling and in every age and region, gambling has been played in different forms and methods. 

There was a certain procedure amongst the Arabs for gambling. There would be ten arrows, each with a special name, all having different shares allocated to them, for example, one share, two shares, three shares, etc. There would also be some without a share at all. They would then jumble the arrows and ask someone to pick an arrow for each person. Whichever arrow was picked out for a person, that would be his allocated share and thereafter would be considered the owner of it. On the other hand, whosoever happened to acquire a share-less arrow he would receive nothing at all. The custom, which went hand in hand with this, was that a camel would be slaughtered and distributed according to the shares entitled to them by the arrows. A person who was unlucky would not only be deprived of the camel meat but he would also have to pay for that camel. This kind of gambling has been labelled Maisar and Azlaam by the Qur'aan. Maisar is that particular camel which is slaughtered and distributed because of gambling and Azlaam are the arrows that are used to define the amount of the shares in gambling. Apart from this, gambling was prevalent in trade in different forms. They were known as Mulamasa and Munabaza, etc., the prohibition of which is present in the Ahaadith of the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam. 

Before the advent of Islam, gambling was not only customary but also taken to be a cause of pride, nobility and honour. For excessive show of pride, these people would distribute their share of the winnings amongst the poor. 

(Tafseer-ul-Kabeer Lir-Razi vol 2 p231)




As Islam plays a moderate role in worship, similarly it plays a role in economics and social orders. How can Islam, the moderate way of life, cope with a state where one can take possession of somebody else's property without any valid reason, due to which, the latter gets poorer and his state diminishes and the former, without working, gathers the wealth equivalent to that of Qaroon (Korah, a kaafir whom Allah bestowed with great wealth at the time of Musa alaihis salaam)? Alternatively, without any religious excuse, a great amount of wealth is taken from the poor people's pocket and a single person is made to own it. Therefore, it was vital for Islam to prohibit these unfair ways of taking possessions. For this reason the open mindedness of the all-encompassing religion, Islam, took consideration and concern of the human passions. When alcoholic drinks and gambling were intended to be banned, their prohibition was not revealed immediately, but firstly all the disadvantages concerning them were made clear. Once these were totally engraved into their hearts, then the laws of prohibition were revealed. 

In the early days of Islam the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam was questioned regarding the permissibility of gambling and alcohol. The first verse that was revealed regarding this, is in Surah Baqarah which is as follows: 

"They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say, 'In them is great sin and some benefit for men; but the sin is greater than the benefit."

(Qur'aan 2:19)


In the above aayah, the permissibility and non-permissibility of wine and gambling is not clarified. Soon after understanding the tone of discountenance in the verse, the highly ranked companions of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam abstained from them. On the other hand, Muslims in general were still involved in them and the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam had not said anything that indicated their prohibition, until Allah revealed the following verse: 

"O believers! Intoxicants and gambling, worshipping stones and divination by arrows are impure, of shaytan's handiwork: refrain from such abomination that ye may prosper. "

(Qur'aan 5:90)


In this verse, the total prohibition of alcoholic drinks and gambling has been clearly revealed. Its prohibition has been mentioned with such assurance that Imaam Razi rahmatullahi alaihe states as follows: 

"Firstly, the Arabic word 'innama' has been placed in the beginning of the verse. In Arabic, this creates emphasis on what is mentioned afterwards. Secondly, these prohibited things have been classified as being 'rijs' (impure), from which natural disposition abstains. Thirdly, they have been branded as satanic acts. Fourthly, their severity has been categorised in the same level as idol worshipping (shirk) in the sense that they all are links of a single chain." 

After mentioning that these all are 'rijs' (impure), Allah Ta'ala orders: 

"Keep away from them."

Allah Ta'ala does not terminate the subject here, but He carries on mentioning their religious and worldly harm in the following aayah. Allah, the Almighty states conclusively that shaytaan wants to ruin our worldly life and the life of the Hereafter. These forbidden things, (alcohol and gambling), lay the seeds of hatred and hostility between human beings. These evil outcomes are innumerable. Their habit distracts a man from obligatory duties such as salaah and the remembrance of Allah. 

May Allah protect all the Muslims from their evil. 




Generally, habits and old customs that become part of a person's temperament are almost second to human nature. This was a time of great trial when, up to now, these sinful acts were part of their life and nobility, but today, they became expressly prohibited. This period is of a great importance for the Muslim Ummah in Islamic history. 

It is amazing that, on one hand, there was the concern of human feelings and habits in the Shari'ah, and on the other hand, there was a great desire in the Ummah to obey the revealed commandments. 

After the revelation of the above mentioned verse, Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihe wasallam sent out a caller to proclaim: 

"Behold, alcoholic drinks (intoxicants) have been made haraam."

It was the cry of the caller or perhaps a lightning which immediately changed their habits and feelings. 

Intoxicants were very popular among the Arabs. They were manufactured and imbedded almost in every home and to drink had, so to speak, become a mark of advancement in culture. As soon as the announcement was made, the people who were greatly addicted to it and who regarded it a virtue and sign of social and cultural eminence and who would spend lavishly in the state of drunkenness from which the poor and needy profited. These very same people now in a short span of time were ready to forsake and sever any ties they may have had in regards to alcohol which had, for years played a major role in their lives. Those who held goblets in their hands immediately threw them on the ground. Many others who were in the act of drinking, spat the contents out. Sounds of pitchers and jars being smashed up were soon audible from neighbouring houses. Wine was running to such an extent that the streets of Madinah were overflowing. 

Hazrat Anas radiyallahu anhu, an eminent companion of the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam narrates that some friends including Abu Ubayda ibn Jarrah, Abu Dujahna, Mu'az ibn Jabal and Sahl ibn Bayzah radiyallahu anhum had gathered at the house of Abu Talha. Alcohol was flowing and I was acting as the cup-bearer when suddenly the cry of the announcer reached our ears. None of us considered it necessary to go out and investigate the matter. Instead, the containers and jars were smashed to the ground and the wine thrown onto the streets of Madinah. After performing wudhu and ghusl we proceeded towards the Masjid where upon our arrival we found the blessed Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam reciting the aforesaid verse. 

Hazrat Buraidah radiyallahu anhu also narrates a similar account wherein a group of Sahaabah were busy consuming liquor when the announcement was made. The words no sooner reached their ears that the cups were thrown to the ground. Others who were about to swallow the alcohol immediately spat it out, numerous barrels were also destroyed in the process. 

(Ibn Kathir vol2 p95)


This is not the occasion for a lengthy discussion regarding the prohibition of alcohol, nonetheless, due to the fact that the prohibition was revealed at the same time to that of gambling, it was necessary to give an example of the Sahaabah's habitual obedience, courage and passion. From these incidents it can be imagined just how difficult the situation had become for the Sahaabah. Likewise it can be conceived as to how much hardship they must have endured when the prohibition of gambling was also revealed. Therefore, history itself is a witness that after the revelation of the aayah, the Companions refrained from associating with anything that was even minutely related to gambling. In an authentic hadith of Bukhari the Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam is reported to have said, "If one person says to another, 'Come lets gamble.' (regardless of whether he acts upon it or not) then he shall be liable of committing a sin; and the compensation for that sin will be to give Sadaqah." 

It is a disgrace that today's Muslims, despite the fact that severe and grave warnings have been given in the Qur'aan and Ahaadith relating to gambling and alcohol, lead a life of complete ignorance and unconcern. It seems that they no longer have faith in the Qur'aan and Ahaadith, Allah save us! It is not only the illiterate who are involved, but the sad fact is that those who hold lofty positions in society and who are regarded as religious, because they perform their fasts and salaah, have also fallen prey to its evil clutches. Hence for the benefit of those who are unaware or not acquainted, a few forms of gambling are being mentioned that are currently prevalent. 




Nowadays, just like the epidemic of plague, the art of gambling too has now become so common that it has become virtually a means of trade and commerce. Under such headlines as "Solve this Puzzle", or "Win this Lottery" of innumerable newspapers and monthly journals that are on an ever-increase. They offer prizes for solving puzzles subject to the submitting of a fee. The participants are lured into false belief that they can win substantial sums of money. Some organisers fix huge prizes for the winners due to which the poor public think that the fees is only a small amount and will not bring no harm and therefore enter trying to win a substantial amount. 

Because people have fallen prey to this disease, thousands of individuals are entering the lottery. 

It is crystal clear that when a person enters into playing this game he submits his fee on the understanding that he either loses a small amount or wins a fortune; according to the divine law of Islam this act is classified as 'gambling'. 

In some monthly magazines this form of gambling has expanded very widely and the income runs into millions from which the businesspersons gain overall benefit. Even if the company tries not to indulge in any form of cheating, and distributes the prize money justly, a substantial amount of money is left over which is the blood and sweat of the poor people. 

The outcome of all this, is that it is the public who ends up in poverty whilst the organisers benefit from the expenses of the poor. In confirmation of the prohibition of gambling, the above mentioned evidence is sufficient; the democratic rules and curriculum of lslam and its fundamental principles forebears the public money to go in the possession of few individuals. Gambling in the form of crosswords which are prevalent today, are to be reprimanded furthermore severely since they are an aggregation of vices and sins. 

The sole reason for this is that the public is being urged and exhorted to go against the commandments of Allah Ta'ala and His disobedience and the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam'.

Each and every person that takes part in this vice is disobeying the commandments which are stated by Allah Ta'ala very clearly in the Holy Qur'aan. The participator becomes a doer of major sins, most of which falls upon the organisers. The people who help them in any form also become guilty of this particular major vice. 

Likewise, thousands and millions of Muslim brethren openly go against the clear order of Allah Ta'ala and his Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam. In addition, thousands and millions of Muslims become involved in this act of gambling with the result that it becomes an unending and everlasting vice. May Allah Ta'ala bestow the entire mankind with salvation and freedom from this disease, Aameen.




It has been observed throughout the years in Karachi, Lahore and many other places that various types of tickets are being sold to enter exhibitions. The organisers issue tickets with lucky numbers and then prizes are allocated to the lucky persons whose numbers appear. 

This form is not regarded as open gambling because the ticket owner receives the returns by entering the exhibition but now it is all depending on the intention. The person who purchases this ticket on the basis of winning a prize will be indulging in gambling. On the other hand if his intention is solely to enter the exhibition with no desire of winning a prize, and wins the prize then it will not be classified as gambling according to the rules pertaining to gambling. 




The present day horse racing where one stakes a certain amount on a particular horse is in fact gambling. It is exactly that form where loss and gain is based on something indistinct, where one person loses his initial amount and the other wins a substantial amount. 




In this present day each and every kind of lottery is included within gambling and is prohibited. It is found in bazaars and factories and out of which, a few well-known forms are mentioned. 

The lottery business of this category has now reached an international level. The purchaser of this ticket does not buy the ticket solely with the intention of just buying it but he buys it on the basis of it being a possible winning dice by which he can win the amount of money he has aimed for. That is the reason why this is not merely trade or business venture but rather it is an act of sin to buy these or even to sell them. Because he is not merely committing a sin and transgressing but is also promoting it. 

Islam gives peace to the mind, body and soul, keeping the human in perfect harmony. Every iota balanced and scaled to perfection. A serene picture of bliss and joy but when a shattering and destructive vice strikes through the heart it leaves it in a weak and downtrodden state. The National Lottery, a new religion, has hit Britain. A moneymaking, exciting, nail-biting game of chance, preying on the human soul and wealth. 

This modern lottery system of gambling came from the crusades. The crusaders during a siege of the Islamic citadel of Azhar were forced to pass their time by developing new pass-times. One of those was called hazard and today this is the usual French word used for games of chance. 

Hazard developed into a state enterprise and since then it has been upgraded and reformed constantly, without any feeling of guilt. Now it has, ultimately, hit Britain with a vengeance. It seems it is here to stay for a long time to come. 

The saddening thing however is that from the constant onslaught of the Modernity on Islam, the National Lottery will contribute a great deal towards their ultimate goal, the total assimilation of the Muslims into the British society. 

Coming towards the main aspect of our argument that in no manner can it be justified that it is permissible to play the lottery or to take part in any form of gambling whatsoever will follow. Gambling developed and turned into a money-maker, all in the name of charity. The Qur'aan has commanded the prohibition and total ban of any form of gambling and in no way whatsoever can it be proven permissible. Thus, any person who denies the prohibition of any form of gambling such as lottery etc. will be committing an act of kufr. 

Gambling is prohibited with absolute proof as the Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur'aan, "O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds ofalcoholic drinks), gambling, Al-Ansab, and Al-Azlam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination ofsatan, handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful."

(Qur'aan 5:90)


When the Sahaabahs received the order to refrain from gambling they did not hesitate to fulfil. This is because the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam had said, "Whosoever invites a person towards gambling should give some amount of charity to the poor." 



Due to inviting a person towards gambling, he has committed a minor sin and created zulmat (darkness) in his heart, thus it is necessary to cleanse it and replace it with the noor (light) of Imaan by giving charity. The indication is that even uttering the word gambling is very dire and leads to bad consequences. 

There are sound and noble objectives behind this strict prohibition of gambling. 

1. Islamic teachings urge the Muslims to follow Allah's directives, for earning a living, which is direct means for the attainment of His objectives. On the other hand gambling, which involves raffling or the lottery makes a person dependant on chance, luck and empty wishes taking him away from honest labour, serious work and productive effort. The gambler loses respect for the laws of caution that Allah has established for the people. 

2. In Islam an individual's property is sacred; it may not be taken unless given willingly or by lawful exchange. The Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has said, "A person's wealth is not halal but with his good pleasure. "

(Baihaqi, Dar-e-Qutni)


What happens in lotteries is that people's wealth is gathered and then one of them takes the lot (e.g. £18 million in the recent lottery draw). The money given to a certain person is not from the lottery organisers in fact it is from individuals' pocket. If you were asked to present your money to the winning person, would you willingly do so? I am sure you would reply no. This is one of the reasons for prohibiting gambling. 

3. Gamblers develop hatred and enmity towards one another, although they may claim that losing does not trouble them. However, I would seriously question this, a loser may seem composed but behind his composure is frustration, due to disappointment, anger at the loss of money and regret for not winning the game. The Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam has said, "Do not harbour envy or ill-will; and neither spy nor be inquisitive for other persons 'faults nor make bogus offers of prices to spoil a bargain, and O Allah's servants! Be brethren to each other."



4. Gambling has its own compulsion. The loser plays in the hope of winning and to regain his earlier losses, while the winner plays again to enjoy the pleasure of winning and the greed for more. Naturally, luck changes hands, the loser becomes the winner and the winner the loser. Thus, the gambling addiction is such that gamblers are unable to leave it. 

5. The person engaged in gambling does not stop at a point. Satan the accursed, who is our grave enemy, conquers the mind to such an extent that the gambler does not realise as to how much he has spent. If he were to sit down and think of the amount he has lost, he would then surely understand the situation. 

We read in the papers that a charity firm who greatly in need of cash for renovating their premises gathered a few thousand pounds and were quiet happy to take the chance and gamble it in the lottery. Had this amount been rightly used, it would have at least given some benefit. 

6. Because of this addiction, gambling takes a person away from the remembrance of Allah resulting in negligence of his duties towards his Creator. How correct is the Holy Qur'aan in mentioning drinking and gambling together in its verse, since their harmful effects are so similar. That is why usually one is not found without the other. 

To sum up on the filth of gambling, the saying of Almighty Allah is enough for a fearing Muslim:- 

"O' you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al-A nsab, and Al-Azlam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Satan's handiwork So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. 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 prayers. So will you not then abstain? And obey Allah and the Messenger, and beware (of even coming near to drinking, or gambling, or Al-Ansab, or Al-Azlam, etc.) and be afraid of Allah. Then if you turn away, you should know that it is Our Messenger's duty to convey (the Message) in the clearest way.

The non-permissibility will encompass everyone taking any part, whether it be selling, buying, playing or keeping a vending machine. Muslims should refrain from it as much as possible. Because gambling is a process in which a small sum of money is deposited with the greed of possibly attaining a much greater sum, it is very much appealing to the heart and soul, hence it becomes very hard to even want to believe that it is haraam. 

May Almighty Allah give us all the ability to act upon His commandments and abstain from His prohibitions, Aameen.




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Tafeer Of Surah al-Baqarah (2), Verse 219 (Part 1) 


"They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, "In both there is great sin, and some benefits for people. And their sin is greater than their benefit." (2:219) 


The Prohibition of Gambling 

The word, maisir is an infinitive and lexically means 'to distribute'. One who distributes is called yasir. During the days of Jahiliyyah, several types of games of chance were common in Arabia. In one of such games, they used to slaughter a camel following which they would gamble while distributing shares from the meat. Some used to get more than one share while others remained deprived of even one. The one who thus remained deprived had to pay for the whole camel. The meat was, of course, distributed among the poor; the gamblers did not use it themselves. 

The catch in this particular game of chance was that it benefited the poor while, at the same time, it demonstrated the philanthropy of the gamblers. That is why this game was considered a matter of pride by them. Anyone who would not participate in it was chided as miserly and wretched. 

It is because of the relevance of distribution that Qimar is given the name of Maisir. All Companions, and Successors to them, hold the unanimous view that the word, Maisir includes all forms of Qimar or gambling and that all of them are haram or unlawful. Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir and al-Jassas in Ahkam al-Qur'an report that the blessed Companions 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas, Ibn 'Umar, Qatadah, Mu'awiyah ibn Salih, 'Ata and Ta'wus (R.A) said: 'Qimar (of all kinds) is Maisir - even the games of children with dices and walnuts.' 

Sayyidna Ibn 'Abbas Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him said: that is, Mukhatarah (to put something on stake) falls under Qimar (jassas). Ibn Sirin said: 'That which involves stakes is included in Maisir' (Ruh al-Bayan). 

Mukhatarah or 'stake' is a deal which revolves between profit and loss, that is, there may be a chance that one gets a lot, and also, that one gets nothing. This is very much like what we find in all sorts of modern lotteries. All these types are included under Qimar and Maisir or gambling, and are haram. Therefore, Maisir or Qimar or gambling has been defined as a deal in which the act of making a person the owner of something of value depends on a contingency the two sides of which are equal, and consequently, there are two equal possibilities of taking total profit Or absorbing total loss (Shami, Kitab al-Khatar wa l'ibahah, volume 5, page 355). For instance, it is quite possible that the penalty falls on A, and it is also possible that it falls on B. 

To sum up, the rule is that all kinds and forms in vogue - in the past or current today or likely to emerge in the future - shall all be called Maisir and Qimar and gambling. Prize-awarding cross-word puzzles (in which the participants are charged a fee) and commercial lotteries, the generally known among whatever other forms they may have, are all included under gambling. However, should there be a prize offered by one side only, stipulating that it will be given to one who performs a certain feat, that would not matter subject to the condition that no fee is taken from that person. The reason is that, in this case, the deal does not hang between benefit and harm, but hangs between benefit and no benefit. 
Therefore, in authentic ahadith, chess and backgammon and their likes have been declared unlawful where money or property is staked in a win or lose situation. Should there be money staked in playing cards, that too will be included under Maisir. 

In Sahih Muslim, there is a report from the blessed Companion Buraydah Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him which states that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him said that one who plays backgammon is like one who dyes his hands in the flesh and blood of pork. Sayyidna 'Ali Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him said that chess is included in Maisir, that is, gambling. Sayyidna 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him said that chess is much worse than backgammon. (Tafsir ibn Kathir) 

During the early days of Islam, gambling was permissible like drinking. When the verses beginning in Surah al-Rum were revealed where the Holy Qur'an foretold that the Byzantines have no doubt lost to their rivals - the Persians, but, after a few years, the Byzantines will prevail once again. When the disbelievers of Makkah denied the prophecy, Sayyidna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with himchallenged them with a bet, something like Qimar, proposing that should the Byzantines prevail in so many years the disbelievers will have to pay a certain amount. The bet was approved. When this prophecy of the Qur'an actually came to pass, Sayyidna Abu Bakr Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him made sure that he got the waged amount from the disbelievers and brought it to the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him who expressed his pleasure with what had happened but asked him to give away the bet-money in charity. This is significant because Allah had kept His Messenger Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him protected from something that was permissible at that time but was going to be made impermissible later on. This is why he always kept aloof from wine and gambling, and there were particular ones among the noble Companions (radiallaahu 'anhum) who also remained protected against these. 

It appears in a narration that the angel Jibra'il told the Holy Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam: Peace be upon him that Allah Almighty likes four character-traits in Ja'far al-Tayyar Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him. He asked Sayyidna Ja'far al-Tayyar Radhi-Allahu Anh: Allah be pleased with him as to what these four traits were. He said, 'Till now, I have never talked about these before anyone. Now that Allah Almighty has told you about them, I submit and relate these four to you. I saw that wine ruins reason, so I never went near it. I saw that idols cause no benefit or harm to anyone, so I never indulged in idol-worship even during the days of Jahiliyyah. Since I have an acute sense of honour concerning my wife and daughters, so I never committed adultery. Then, I realized that lying is unbridled meanness, and a terrible disgrace, so I never told a lie even in Jahiliyyah'. (Ruh al-Bayan) 

Social Ill-Effects of Gambling 

The Holy Qur'an has said the same thing about Qimar or gambling as it has said about wine, that is, in it, there are some benefits as well, but the harm it brings is greater than its benefits. Everyone knows this sort of benefit can make a pauper an overnight millionaire, but there are very few people who know how evil the practice is economically, socially and spiritually. 

In gambling, speaking briefly, the gain of one person is dependent upon the loss of the other. The total gain of the winner is an outcome of the total loss of the loser because this transaction does not increase the (national) wealth or production. The amount of wealth remains as it was. What happens through this game of chance is that one is sucked dry of his wealth which then reaches the other, therefore, Qimar is a blanket undoing of a people, and the death of human morality. Isn't it that man, who should be an agent of public good, a model of sympathy and sacrifice, stoops to the level of a beast while gambling, and starts seeing his life in the death of his brother, and finding delight in his distress, and searching for gain in his loss, and goes about harnessing all his abilities to promote his selfishness? 

Contrary to this are the permissible forms of transactions in trade where parties buy and sell releasing profits for both. Then, wealth circulates and increases through exchange of commercial commodities and the buyer and seller both find it beneficial. 

To begin with, gambling is harmful because the addicted gambler comes to be deprived of the very habit of earning his livelihood, because he always keeps dreaming that he will simply sit and grab what belongs to the other person in no time through a bet, specially so as it involves no hard work. Some scholars have said that gambling has been called Maisir (as derived from the word 'yusr' meaning 'easiness') because one can easily take possession of what belongs to the other through it. Even if gambling deals revolve around a small number of people such as two or four, their harmful effects mentioned above show up very clearly. 

But, here we are in this modern age, called 'the age of progress' by those handicapped by superficial vision and lack of insight into its aftermath, where we see wine of all sorts given new names and labels, where ever-new kinds of interest and ever-innovative corporate methods to promote it have been invented, commandeered and given the safe name of 'banking'; so it is with gambling where thousands of dubious forms have found currency. Some of these are so highly collective that the amount of contribution from a whole nation keeps adding up bit by bit, and in case there is a loss, that gets spread out over everybody and thus does not become conspicuous. When an amount from this total 'take' reaches the hands of one person, his gain appears to be prominent, therefore, people tend to look at his personal gain but pay no heed to the collective loss of their nation or country. 

Consequently, they are trapped into believing that these new kinds may as well be valid, although present here are all those harmful effects which are found in gambling confined to a small group of two or four people. Looked at from another angle, the harm brought by this large-scale gambling is much worse than that released by the older form of gambling, for its evil effects are far-reaching and spell out the ruin of a whole nation. As evident, the natural result of this practice will be that wealth belonging to the common people of the community will go on decreasing while the capital of some capitalists will go on increasing further. 

Inevitably then, the entire wealth of the nation will shrink and come to be concentrated into the hands of a limited number of individuals and a limited number of families. This can be witnessed everyday in stock markets and in other forms of Qimar. Now, Islamic economic strategy has an important principle of its own. It declares that every deal which siphons the wealth of a whole community out into the coffers of a few capitalists is haram, unlawful and forbidden. The Holy Qur'an itself, while stating the principle of the distribution of wealth, has proclaimed: . It means that the principle of distributing spoils of war among different segments of the society given by the Holy Qur'an aims to make sure that wealth does not shrink and concentrate in the hands of a few capitalists. 

Gambling, like wine, becomes the cause of mutual disputes reaching the limits of hatred and animosity, so fatal in a civilized society. To quote once again, the Holy Qur'an mentions the evil of gambling in the following words: 

'The Satan only wants hostility and hatred to come to stay between you through wine and gambling, and to prevent you from remembering Allah and from the Salah.' (5:91)

The effect of gambling, like that of wine, is that one gets recklessly involved in it, becoming unable to attend to the remembrance of Allah, and the prayer. Perhaps, this is why the Holy Qur'an has elected to mention wine and gambling side by side in an identical manner since Qimar or gambling has an intoxicating pull of its own which makes one ignore the concern of what is good or bad for him. 
As partly mentioned earlier, the basic evil in gambling is that one can falsely devour what belongs to others through this method without any reasonable compensation or brotherly consideration. This is what the Holy Qur'an prohibits in the following words: (And do not eat up each other's property by false means)(2:188). 

The destroyer of many a home, the ill effects of gambling do not remain restricted to the gambler alone. They affect his whole family and become contagious to a much larger social circle because people may have entered into transactions, contracts and loan deals with him which will hurt all concerned in the event of his becoming insolvent. 

Finally, in the background of rising social addiction to various Qimar forms, it is useful to keep in view that this evil distorts one's natural attitude to work and rivets it on imagined gains. Rather than concentrate on his physical or mental skills to increase his earnings steadily, one starts getting fixed on finding ways and means to usurp the earnings of others. 

That is why the Holy Qur'an has said: the evils of wine and gambling are greater than their benefits.

Some Juristic Rules and Related Notes 

1) In this verse, the acknowledgement of some benefits of wine and gambling has been combined with the instruction to desist from them which helps us deduce the rule that the presence of material benefits in some thing or act is not contrary to its being declared haram under the Islamic law. We know that a certain medicine or food item is called harmful if its harmful effects are far stronger than its benefits. If this was not so, nothing in this world, not even the worst, would turn out to be totally devoid of any benefit. 

A deadly poison, the snake and the scorpion and the wild beasts, they all have their benefits but, speaking generally, they are called harmful and people are told to watch out against them. Similarly, keeping in view the essential sense, things the evils of which are greater than their benefits are declared haram or unlawful under the Shari'ah. None of the crimes such as theft, robbery, adultery, kidnapping and fraud are devoid of some benefit, for had they been totally benefitless no sane person would ever go near them, even though the most perfect people in all such crimes are those known for their tact and intelligence. 

This tells us that some or the other benefit does show up in all crimes but, since their harmfulness is greater than their benefit, no sane person stands up to declare them as useful and permissible. It is under this principle that the Shari'ah of Islam has made wine and gambling unlawful. 

2) This verse also provides the rule that the elimination of evil takes precedence over the acquisition of benefit, that is, should something give a certain benefit along with causing some harm, it becomes necessary to abandon the benefit in order to stay safe against the harm. In other words, a benefit which comes with harmfulness attached to it is ignored. (Ma'ariful Qur'an, Volume 1) 



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Could you please explain briefly why gambling is not permitted in Islam.




In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh


Allah Ta’ala says,


يسألونك عن الخمر والميسر قل فيهما إثم كبير ومنافع للناس وإثمهمآ أكبر من نفعهما


"They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say, 'In them there is great sin and some benefit for men; but the sin is greater than the benefit."(Al-Baqarah, 219)


The reason for the prohibition of gambling is clearly understood from the following verse,


يا أيها الذين آمنوا إنما الخمر والميسر والأنصاب والأزلام رجس من عمل الشيطان فاجتنبوه لعلكم تفلحون (90) إنما يريد الشيطان أن يوقع بينكم العداوة والبغضاء في الخمر والميسر ويصدكم عن ذكر الله وعن الصلاة فهل أنتم منتهون (91)


“O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling,and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; avoid them so that you may attain succees. The devil desires only to create enmity and hatred among you by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to keep you back from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you then keep back?(Al-Ma’idah, 90, 91)


Hatred and hostility is harvested between two individuals when one takes possession of somebody else's property without any valid reason, due to which, the latter gets poorer and the former, without any effort becomes wealthier.

In anticipation of winning a person loses his initiative to work hard. However, when he loses he goes into debt gets into severe financial problems for him and his family. It is perhaps for this reason that many gamblers become so frustrated that they ultimately commit suicide.


Furthermore, the temperament of Islam is to bolt all pathways which lead to some evil. It has been proven that gambling often leads to physical and mental ill-health, family breakdown, the neglect and abuse of children, financial ruin, crime and associated incarceration, and in some cases self-harm and suicide. Over 60 percent of compulsive gamblers commit crimes of which include tax evasion, check forgery, stealing credit cards, fraudulent loan applications, insurance fraud, theft, embezzlement, fencing stolen goods, bookmaking, arson, and even armed robbery. A Delaware study reported that 86 percent of compulsive gamblers commit felonies. The American Insurance Institute estimates that as much as 40 percent of U.S. white collar crime comes from compulsive gamblers.


Gambling addicts usually experience decreased productivity in their businesses as they often daydream about gambling or use the Internet to gamble. Some 14 percent of compulsive gamblers skip entire work days to gamble. They are more likely to ask employers for pay advances, borrow money from fellow employees, steal from work, and embezzle.  It is for this reason that statistics prove that about 36 percent of compulsive gamblers lose their jobs because of their addictions.


In the aspiration of ‘winning’, the amounts lost through gambling are indeed alarming. Statistics have shown that every day New Zealanders lose $5.5 million on gambling. That is around $2 billion each year. Half of this, around $1 billion, is lost on pokie machines. According to Monash University “Australians spend (or, it might be said) lose around $18 billion a year, most of it on poker machines (also known as electronic gambling machines, or EGMs).” According to Dr Rodger Meyer, medical director of the National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP), some gamblers might "spend three days and nights, invariably losing everything in the end…” (1 August 2007, Daily News)


Total absorption in recovering losses made on previous bets (of any form) often lead to depression, strained family relationships and becomes an impediment to ones daily chores. The addiction often comes with a recognizable cycle of withdrawal, moodiness, obsession, dishonesty, guilt and despair. In short, gambling also takes its toll on an addict's emotional, physical, and spiritual health.


Extreme cases of problem gambling may cross over into the realm of mental disorders. It is precisely for this reason that Pathological gambling was recognized as a psychiatric disorder in the DSM-III. As defined by American Psychiatric Association, pathological gambling is an impulse control disorder that is a chronic and progressive mental illness.



This is further corroborated by the national survey data from New Zealand which found that expenditure on gambling was disproportionately higher among people with lower levels of education, people with "lower status occupations," Maori, and Pacific peoples.


Besides the harm that one brings on himself through gambling, he also becomes a burden on others. The 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey reports that almost 3% of adults (87,000) had experienced problems due to someone’s gambling in the previous 12 months.


Moreover, through gambling a person bases his economic activity on chance rather than his own technical capabilities. This leads to cowardice and superstition. 


From the aforementioned, we can clearly see how destructive gambling is. For easier understanding, we hereby present some of the harms of gambling in a table format:


Religious Harms

·         Directly disobeying the emphatic command of Allah Ta’ala.

·         Neglecting of prayers.

·         Becoming unmindful of the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala

·         Loosing trust in Allah Ta’ala. 


  Financial harms

·         Debts.

·         Borrowing from family and friends.

·         Giving personal and family valuables as mortgage.

·         Writing bad checks.

·         Eviction and forced to sell personal items.

·         Bankruptcy.


Family harms

·         A gambler will give less time to his family members

·         Families usually have more arguments over money and get hounded by bill collectors.

·         Problem gamblers might miss family activities, including meals and other important events.

·         "Casino kids" sometimes are left in cars at gambling venues while a parent bets.

·         Addicts are more likely to abuse spouses and children—verbally, mentally, and physically.

·         Children of gambling addicts typically have lower grades, higher substance abuse rates, and more frequent suicide attempts.

·         Half of all children of gambling addicts will become gambling addicts themselves.

·         Problem gamblers are more likely to become separated or divorced.


Health harms

·         Self-esteem declines as losses increase.

·         Problem gamblers suffer more from stress, anxiety, moodiness, attention deficit hyperactivity, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and manic and clinical depression.

·         They are at increased risk of experiencing blackouts and emotional breakdowns.

·         Some physical problems include muscular tension, fatigue, stomach ailments, insomnia, ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, heart disease, migraines, and skin problems.

·         Compulsive gamblers are likely to turn to alcohol, cigarettes, or other drugs to cope with anxiety or depression.

·         About 80 percent of compulsive gamblers seriously consider suicide and 15 percent attempt it.


New Zealand, for example, has adopted a public health approach, and legislation provides for an integrated problem gambling strategy focused on public health (Gambling Act 2003, Part 4, s.317) that is funded by a levy paid by gambling operators to the Crown.


The Ministry of Health is responsible, under the Act, for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling. Their approach is outlined in a six-year strategic plan – (Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm: Strategic Plan 2004-2010.)


In view of all the above, how true is the following verse:

يسألونك عن الخمر والميسر قل فيهما إثم كبير ومنافع للناس وإثمهمآ أكبر من نفعهما


"They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say, 'In them there is great sin and some benefit for men; but the sin is greater than the benefit."(Al-Baqarah, 219)


And Allah knows best


Wassalaamu `alaykum


Ml. Ismail Moosa,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In'aamiyyah




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Please can you inform me of the effects of gambling on ones life, household, rizq and children.

My husband gambles 'occasionally' as he says ( Allah knows best) but says theres no harm because its not something that he does daily. The only reason its not daily is because we live in a town with no casino...but I recently found out that hes been going when we in a city...he just lies about work and visiting friends and cousins and he goes at times when kids are asleep and I cant go with.

I know it is not occasionally because I managed to get information from the casinos and the amounts that were used there, shows otherwise.

Our relationship has always been turbulent . he is showing no remorse...I have three children and feel like I cannot bring them up in a household like this.




In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.


As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


We are sorry to hear of the turbulence in your marriage. We make dua Allah Taala bring peace and happiness in your life.


Whatever is prohibited in Shariah, it is due to the harms contained in it. Allah Taala is Al-Hakeem( The All Wise) He has expressly prohibited gambling.  We trust in the absolute knowledge of Allah Taala and believe that gambling is harmful and detrimental.


Hereunder are some of the harms of gambling,


  • Ø Disobeying Allah Taala by committing a prohibited act.
  • Ø The mind gets consumed in gambling and forgets Allah Taala and other obligations like Salah and Zikr. Such an attitude incurs the anger and wrath of Allah Taala and deprives one of peace and happiness.
  • Ø Gambling leads to an addiction and incurring debts to pursue ones addiction. This in turn affects ones marriage and family life and host of spiritual maladies.



Health harms



  • Ø Self-esteem declines as losses increase.
  • Ø Problem gamblers suffer more from stress, anxiety, moodiness, attention deficit hyperactivity, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and manic and clinical depression.
  • Ø They are at increased risk of experiencing blackouts and emotional breakdowns.
  • Ø Some physical problems include muscular tension, fatigue, stomach ailments, insomnia, ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, heart disease, migraines, and skin problems.
  • Ø Compulsive gamblers are likely to turn to alcohol, cigarettes, or other drugs to cope with anxiety or depression.
  • Ø About 80 percent of compulsive gamblers seriously consider suicide and 15 percent attempt it.


We advise you consult with senior members of your family on the issue. Also turn to Allah with Salah and Dua and Zikr.



And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best


Huzaifah Deedat


Student Darul Iftaa

Lusaka, Zambia 


Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.




{يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِنْ نَفْعِهِمَا } [البقرة: 219]


{يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنْصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ (90)} [المائدة: 90]














Based on recent research, there are currently 2.5 million Americans who have a gambling addiction and an additional three million are considered to be problem gamblers.

A gambling addiction is a compulsion and the end result can be devastating for the gambler as well as their family. More than 80 percent of the population in the United States has reported gambling at some point and studies have revealed that $500 billion is spent annually on wagers. Gambling addictions can lead to other serious effects, including loss of jobs, failed relationships and severe debt.

  • Gambling addictions are often associated with mental health problems, including depression, mood disorders and anti-social personality disorders.
  • There is treatment available for gambling addicts.
  • Treatment has been successful in helping more than 80 percent of gambling addicts.

When discussing a gambling addiction, it is important for people to realize it causes social and economic effects. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission conducts studies on a regular basis to determine the cost to society for gambling addicts. You can get gambling addiction help here.


Economic Effects

Studies have shown that more than $5 billion has been lost each year to gambling addictions. In addition, $40 billion has been spent on social services and creditor losses. These studies go on to state that two out of three gambling addicts will engage in illegal acts to pay for their gambling debts. The effect is that the addiction places a severe hardship on prison systems, public assistance programs and legal systems. There are many consequences of gambling addictions that result in economic costs.

Some gambling addiction dangers are:

  • Increased rates of unemployment
  • Bankruptcy
  • Fraud and check forgery
  • Forced home sales
  • Increased alcohol and drug abuse
  • Poor mental and physical health of the addict

Social Effects


While the addict will definitely suffer, the family also faces challenges when there is a gambling addiction. Family members suffer physical and psychological abuse. More than 85 percent of families with a gambling addict have reported receiving threats from creditors and bill collectors.

There is also an increased rate of divorce. In the United States, 65 percent of couples that consist of one spouse with a gambling addiction, end up divorced. There is also an extreme amount of stress placed on the family to repay debts and bills that the addict has accumulated as a result of gambling. Research has shown that three out of five gambling addicts have a family with children.

The children also suffer the effects of the addiction in many ways, including:

  • Experiencing physical and emotional abandonment.
  • Children of gambling addicts are commonly left in cars while their parent gambles. This causes the child to miss out on the nurturing they should be receiving.
  • Children of gambling addicts are often verbally, physically and mentally abused by the person with the addiction.
  • Children of gambling addicts have a very high chance of developing a gambling addiction later in life. Out of the people who have a gambling addiction, more than half have stated that their parents were also addicts..


Compulsive Gambling


When a person is a compulsive gambler or an addict, the effects are devastating immediately. A large number of addicts will use credit cards and debit cards to pay for their addiction or internet gambling addiction. The result places them in debt to the point of losing homes, jobs, vehicles and even their families.

There are many ways in which a gambling addiction can have an effect on people.

  • Family problems are very common. Almost 90 percent of gambling addicts around the world have issues at home with their family because of their addiction.
  • Financial devastation is unavoidable. People with a gambling addiction will go to extreme measures to get money to gamble. More than large-4 columns of people with this addiction have stolen to support it.
  • Job loss is very high among gambling addicts. These people tend to miss many days at work, causing problems and loss of jobs. Gambling addictions will interfere with work relations. Only 20 percent of gambling addicts are able to maintain their jobs as well as their addiction.

The various effects of gambling addictions do not just apply to the person with the addiction. People who are in close contact with the addict also suffer. In addition, there are serious social and economic effects that are caused by compulsive gambling.

Treatment centers are available for these types of addiction and recommended for anyone who has a problem controlling their urges to gamble.


SOURCE: https://rehab-international.org/gambling-addiction/effects




Potential harms associated with problem gambling



Problem gamblers are more likely than other people to experience the following harms:

  • Financial harms: overdue utility bills; borrowing from family friends and loan sharks; debts; pawning or selling possessions; eviction or repossession; defaults; committing illegal acts like fraud, theft, embezzlement to finance gambling; bankruptcy; etc ...


  • Family harms: preoccupied with gambling so normal family life becomes difficult; increased arguments over money and debts; emotional and physical abuse, neglect and violence towards spouse/partner and/or children; relationship problems and separation/divorce.


  • Health harms: low self-esteem; stress-related disorders; anxious, worried or mood swings; poor sleep and appetite; substance misuse; depression, suicidal ideas and attempts; etc. 


  • School/college/work harms: poor school, college or work performance; increased absenteeism; expulsion or dismissal.


SOURCE: http://patient.info/health/problem-gambling


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 Evaluating the ahadith on the topic, it does seem that dice are not permissible to use, even when there is no gambling involved and this is how it seems, so a spinner or something similar should be used.


By Shaykh (Mufti) Abdullah Nana (HA)

There are a three different terms used in the Arabic language which refer to backgammon. They are 'Nard,' 'Nardsheer,' and 'Ki'aab.' According to the dictionaries, the terms 'Nard' and 'Nardsheer' refer specifically to backgammon and not dice. The dictionary definition of 'Ki'aab' is dice, but this word is also used to refer to the game of backgammon. This could possible be due to the fact that dice is an essential component and a distinguishing feature of the game of backgammon, as confirmed by Mufti Wikipedia (who is a 'muft' ke mufti). We can classify this under the principle of Balaghat where a part is mentioned and where the whole is meant. For example, we can use the term 'Raqabah'(neck) to refer to the whole body of a person. In light of this, it is correct in the Arabic language to use the word 'Ki'aab' to refer to backgammon.

Lane and Hans Wehr have translated 'Ki'aab' as dice in the Arabic-English Lexicon and Dictionary of Modern Standard Arabic respectively. Many of the Muhaddithin who have written books on Gharib Al-Hadith translate 'Ki'aab' as 'Fusoos An-Nard.' Lane has also translated 'fusoos' as dice in his Lexicon. I have attached some passages from a few Arabic dictionaries below:

قال الشيخ العوامه النرد لعبة وصفها في المعجم الوسيط بقوله لعبة ذاب صندوق و حجارة و فصين تعتمد على الحظ و تنقل فيها الحجارة على حسب ما يأتي به الفص (الزهر) و تعرف عند العاملة ب (الطاولة) و الفص المذكور هنا هو المذكور في الآثار الآتية بالكعاب جمع كعب أو كعبة و يسمى أحيانا النردشير يضاف إلى شير بن بابك أول من وضع هذه اللعبة كما في القاموس (المصنف ج 13 ص 346 )

قال الشيخ طاهر بتني : و فيه : كان يكره أن الضرب بالكعاب هي فصوص النرد جمع كعب و كعبة واللعب بها حرام و كرهها عامة الصحابة و قيل كان ابن مغفل يفعله مع امرأته من غير قمار و قيل رخص فيه ابن المسيب يغير قمار و منه لا يقلب كعباتها أحد ينتظر ما تجيء إلا لم يرح رائحة الجنة و هي جمع سلامة للكعبة (مجمع بحار الأنوار ج 4 ص 416(

)س) وفيه <أنه كان يَكْرَه الضَّربَ بالكِعَاب> الكِعَاب: فُصُوص النَّرْدِ، واحدها: كَعْبٌ وكَعْبة.واللَّعِب بها حَرام، وكَرِهَهاَ عامَّة الصحابة.

وقيل: كان ابن مُغَفَّل يفعله مع امرأته على غير قِمار.

وقيل: رَخَّص فيه ابن المُسَيّب، على غير قِمار أيضاً.

)س) ومنه الحديث <لا يُقَلِّب كَعَباتِها أحدٌ يَنْتظِر ما تَجِيء به إلاَّ لم يَرَحْ رائحةَ الجنة> هي جَمْع سَلامة للكَعْبة )لنهاية في غريب الآثار(

والكِعابُ: فُصوصُ النَّرْدِ. وفي الحديث: أَنه كان يكره الضَّرْب

بالكِعابِ؛ واحدُها كَعْبٌ وكَعْبةٌ، واللَّعِبُ بها حرام، وكَرِهَها عامةُ

الصحابة. وقيل: كان ابنُ مُغَفَّلٍ يفعله مع امرأَته، على غير قِمارٍ.

وقيل: رَخَّص فيه ابنُ المسيب، على غير قمار أَيضاً. ومنه الحديث: لا يُقَلِّبُ

<ص:720> )لسان العرب(

Next, we will have to examine all the narrations which refer to backgammon and to see which of these three words are used. The correct translation for the narrations which use the words 'Nard' and 'Nardsheer' is backgammon. On the other hand, the narrations which use the word 'Ki'aab' can be translated both as dice or backgammon as explained above. It is possible that this was the source of confusion in our previous discussion.

The ruling regarding the use of dice is based on the narrations which contain the term 'Ki'aab' and the implications thereof. It is incorrect to base this ruling on those narrations which make mention of 'Nard' or 'Nardsheer because they do not explicitly refer to dice. Therefore, we will have to examine the subject matter and authenticity of these narrations containing the word 'Ki'aab.'

I have gone through many books of hadith including Al-Musannaf of Abdur Razzaq, Al-Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah, At-Targheeb Wa At-Tarheeb, Shu'ab Al-Iman of Al-Bayahqi, etc. to search for all the narrations which make mention of dice. In summary, there are more than 15 narrations from Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, the Sahaabah Radhiyallahu A'nhum, and the Tabi'n Rahmatullahi A'layhim which use the word dice during the discussion of backgammon. The subject matter of this narrations contained will also apply to playing with dice along with backgammon based on the linguistic usage of 'Ki'aab' as discussed above. Here is a summary of some of these narrations:


He who rolls dice waiting to see the result has disobeyed Allah and His Messenger Salallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam. (Musnad Ahmad)



Whoever plays with dice in order to gamble is similar to that person who eats pork, and he who plays with dice without gambling is like the person who applies pig fat to his body. (Musannaf Li Abdir Ar-Razzaq)



Stay away from these two die (or games associated with dice) for verily they are a form of gambling.



Every game which involves the usage of dice is gambling and is not permissible.


The Arabic text and references of these narrations is included below.

قال الشيخ العوامه و يقويه طريق آخر رواه أحمد (4 : 407) و أبو يعلى و البيهقي من طريق محمد بن كعب القرظي عن أبي موسى بلفظ لا يقلب كعباتها رجل ينظر ما تأتي به إلا عصي الله و رسوله و رجال إسناده ثقات إلا حميد بن بشير فقد انفرد ابن حبان بتوثيفه 4 : 150 و لم يذكره بجرح و انظر مساوئ الأخلاق (المصنف لإبن أبي شيبة ج 13 ص 347(

عن أبي موسى أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال من لعب بالكعاب أو قال بالكعبات فقد عصى الله و رسوله وهذا مما لا يوهن حديث نافع و لا يعلله فقد تابع يزيد بن عبد الله بن الهاد نافعا على رواية سعيد ابن أبي هند (المستدرك لحاكم ج 1 ص (50

أخبرنا عبد الرزاق عن معمر عن قتادة أن عبد الله بن عمرو ابن العاص قال من لعب بالكعبين على القمار فكأنما أكل لحم الخنـزير و من لعب بها على غير قمار فكأنما ادّهن بشحم الخنـزير (المصنف لعبد الرزاق ج 10 ص (468

حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ عُلَيَّةَ عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ أَبِي عَرُوبَةَ عَنْ قَتَادَةَ عَنْ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو قَالَ : مَثَلُ الَّذِي يَلْعَبُ بِالْكَعْبَيْنِ وَلَا يُقَامِرُ كَمَثَلِ الْمُدَّهِنِ بِشَحْمِهِ وَلَا يَأْكُلُ لَحْمَهُ (المصنف لإبن أبي شيبه ج 13 ص (348

عن أبي موسى الأشعري رضي الله عنه قال سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و ذكر عنده النرد فقال عصى الله و رسوله عصى الله و رسوله من ضرب بالكعاب يلعب بها (المستدرك لحاكم ج 1 ص 50(

أخبرنا أبو سعد الماليني أخبرنا أو أحمد بن عدي حدثنا جعفر الفريابي حدثنا سويد بن سعيد حدثنا أبو معاوية عن إبراهيم الهجري عن أبي الأحوص عن عبد الله رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : إياكم و هاتين الكعبتين الموسومتين اللتين تزجران رجرا فإنهما من الميسر و كذا رواه زياد البكائئ عن إبراهيم مرفوعا (رواه البيهقي في شعب الإيمان ج 8 ص459(

أخبرنا أبو الحسين بن بشران أخبرنا الحسين بن صفوان حدثنا عبد الله بن محمد بن أبي الدنيا حدثنا خلف بن هشام حدثنا أبو عوانة عن عبد الملك بن عمير عن أبي الأحوص عن عبد الله قال إياكم و هذين الكعبتين الموسومتين اللتين تزجران زجرا فإنهما من ميسر العجم (الجامع لشعب الإيمان ج 8 ص (460

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مِسْعَرٌ وَسُفْيَانُ عَنْ عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ بْنِ عُمَيْرٍ عَنْ أَبِي الْأَحْوَصِ , قَالَ سُفْيَانُ : عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ , وَقَصَّرَ بِهِ مِسْعَرٌ : إيَّاكُمْ وَهَذِهِ الْكِعَابَ الْمَوْسُومَةَ الَّتِي تُزْجَرُ زَجْرًا , فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ الْمَيْسِرِ (المصنف لإبن أبي شيبه ج 13 ص 349(

فقد أخرج أحمد وأبو داود والنسائي وصححه ابن حبان والحاكم من رواية عبد الرحمن بن حرملة عن ابن مسعود " أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يكره عشر خصال فذكر فيه الضرب بالكعاب - قال المنذري: وأخرجه النسائي وفي إسناده قاسم بن حسان الكوفي عن عبد الرحمن بن حرملة. قال البخاري: القاسم بن حسان سمع من زيد بن ثابت، وعن عمه عبد الرحمن بن حرملة. روى عنه قاسم بن حسان، لم يصح حديثه في الكوفيين، قال علي بن المديني: حديث ابن مسعود أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يكره عشر خلال. هذا حديث كوفي وفي إسناده من لا يعرف. وقال ابن المديني أيضاً: عبد الرحمن بن حرملة روى عنه الركين بن ربيع، لا أعلم روى عن عبد الرحمن هذا شيء من هذا الطريق ولا نعرفه من أصحاب عبد الله. وقال عبد الرحمن بن أبي حاتم: سألت أبي عنه فقال: ليس بحديثه بأس وإنما روى حديثاً واحداً ما يمكن أن يقاس به، ولم أسمع أحداً ينكره أو يطعن عليه. وأدخله البخاري في كتاب الضعفاء. وقال أبي تحول منه. هذا آخر كلامه. وفي الرواة عبد الرحمن بن حرملة بن حمزة، وأبو حرملة الأسلمي مدني روى عن سعيد بن المسيب وغيره. أخرج له مسلم والأربعة، وتكلم فيه غير واحد. انتهى كلام المنذري.

حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ عُلَيَّةَ عَنْ ابْنِ أَبِي عَرُوبَةَ عَنْ قَتَادَةَ قَالَ : بَلَغَنَا { أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم سُئِلَ عَنْ اللَّعِبِ بِالْكَعْبَيْنِ فَقَالَ : إنَّهَا مَيْسِرُ الْأَعَاجِمِ } , قَالَ : وَكَانَ قَتَادَةُ يَكْرَهُ اللَّعِبَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَتَّى يَكْرَهَ اللَّعِبَ بِالْعصَى (المصنف لإبن أبي شيبه ج 13 ص 347(

حَدَّثَنَا مُعْتَمِرٌ وَجَرِيرٌ عَنْ الرُّكَيْنِ عَنْ الْقَاسِمِ بْنِ حَسَّانَ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ حَرْمَلَةَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ قَالَ : { نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْ الضَّرْبِ بِالْكِعَابِ } (المصنف لإبن أبي شيبه ج 13 ص (348

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُسْهِرٍ عَنْ إسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ سُمَيْعٍ قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْأَشْعَثِ النَّخَعِيُّ قَالَ : سَمِعْت ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ يَقُولُ : لَأَنْ يَتَلَطَّخُ الرَّجُلُ بِدَمِ خِنْزِيرٍ حَتَّى يَسْتَوْسِخَ خَيْرٌ لَهُ مِنْ أَنْ يَلْعَبَ بِالْكِعَابِ (المصنف لإبن أبي شيبه ج 13 ص 349(

أخرج البيهقي عن أبي هريرة أنه كان يقول : كل لعبة ضرب فيها بالكعاب قمار لا يصلح اللعب بها (الجامع لشعب الإيمان ج 8 ص 466(

حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا كَامِلٌ أَبُو الْعَلَاءِ قَالَ : سَمِعْت صَلْتَ الدِّهْقَانَ مُنْذُ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً عَنْ عَلِيٍّ قَالَ : لَأَنْ أُطْلَى بِجِوَاءِ قِدْرٍ أَحَبُّ إلَيَّ مِنْ أُطْلَى بِخَلُوقٍ , وَلَأَنْ أُقَلِّبَ جَمْرَتَيْنِ أَحَبُّ إلَيَّ مِنْ أَنْ أُقَلِّبَ كَعْبَيْنِ . (المصنف لإبن أبي شيبه ج 13 ص (350

وَأَخْرَجَ أَبُو دَاوُد فِي مَرَاسِيلِهِ : { ثَلَاثٌ مِنْ الْمَيْسِرِ : الْقِمَارُ وَالضَّرْبُ بِالْكِعَابِ وَالصَّفِيرُ بِالْحَمَامِ.

The above-mentioned narrations are of a general nature and do not make any reference to children playing with dice. However, there are some explicit narrations from some of the Tab'iin Rahimahum Allahu which also prohibit children from playing with dice. A'taa, Tawoos, Rashid Ibn Sa'ad, Dhamrah Ibn Habib, Mohammad Ibn Sirin and Mujaahid Rahimahum Allahu all used to consider it gambling for a child to play with dice and some of them used to forbid children from doing so.

قال الحافظ أبو بكر محمد بن الحسين الآجري :

حدثنا إبراهيم بن موسى الجوزي أخبرنا يوسف بن موسى القطان أخبرنا محمد بن فضيل و جرير عن ليث عن عطاء قال : كل شيء من القمار فهو من الميسر حتى لعب الصبيان بالكعاب و الجوز (تحريم النرد و الشطرنج و الملاهي ص75-76(

أخبرنا أبو بكر بن أبي داود حدثنا أبو سعيد عبد الله بن سعيد الأشج حدثنا المحاربي عن ليث عن طاوس و عطاء و مجاهد قالوا: كل شيء من القمار فهو من الميسر حتى لعب الصبيان بالجوز و الكعاب (تحريم النرد و الشطرنج و الملاهي ص75-76(

و كذلك هو في المصنف لإبن أبي شيبة عن طاووس (ج 13 ص 353(

و قال ابن كثير في تفسيره ما نصه : ، قال مجاهد وعطاء: كل شيء من القمار فهو من الميسر، حتى لعب الصبيان بالجوز. وروي عن راشد بن سعد وضمرة بن حبيب مثله، وقالا: حتى الكعاب والجوز والبيض التي تلعب بها الصبيان.(تفسير ابن كثير سورة المائدة(

أخربنا ابن أبي داود حدثنا يونس بن حبيب الأصبهاني أخبرنا أبوداود يعنى الطيالسي أخبرنا حماد بن يحيى الضبعي قال رأيت محمد بن سرين و رأى صبيانا يلعبون بالكعاب فقال يا صبيان لا تقامروأ فإن القمار من الميسر (تحريم النرد و الشطرنج و الملاهي ص75-76(

I hope that this clarifies the matter and proves that it is not permissible for both adults and children to play games using dice, irrespective of whether there is gambling involved or not. So next time someone wants to play a board game, then encourage them to them to do something else or take them out for some physical activity as discussed before. But remember to say 'no dice' for playing with dice. Allah knows best.

(Mufti) Abdullah Nana

San Francisco, California

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As-salāmu 'alaykum If a group of people play games with playing cards, without gambling, is this still counted as haram? I have heard this is the case. Please explain in detail. Jzk. Wassalaam


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


It is Haram to play cards if gambling is involved. If gambling is not involved, then it will not be Haram. However, the nature of games played with cards entails a general ruling of dislike (Karahiyyat) as they contain elements of Haram such as animate pictures and the general association of cards with gambling. Such games distract one from Allah’s remembrance, and often prevent one from fulfilling his/her Shar’i duties.[1]


Thus, one should abstain from playing cards even if it does not involving gambling.[2]


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Abdullah ibn Mohammed Aijaz

Student Darul Iftaa

Baltimore, USA

Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَشۡتَرِى لَهۡوَ ٱلۡحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ۬ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا‌ۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ۬ مُّهِينٌ۬

(Surah Luqman – Verse:6)

Fataawa Darul Uloom Zakariyyah V.7/PG.632

[2] Fataawa Mahmudiyyah V.19/PG.536







is playing chess clearly prohibited in islam, please refer also


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykumwa-rahmatullāhiwa-barakātuh.

All the Fuqaha(Jurists) and scholars of Islam are unanimous on the fact that if gambling is involved in chess, it is categorically prohibited as it will fall under the ambit of the verse:


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنْصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ 


“Oh you who believe, verily intoxicants, gambling (sacrificing on) stone alters (to other than Allah), and drawing arrows are defilement from the works of Shaytan. So avoid them so that you may be successful.”


The same ruling applies to a person who, due to his playing, becomes negligent of his Salah or any other ordainments of Shariah.[1] If a person plays it without any of the aforementioned, it will be prohibitively disliked (makruhtahrimi). [2]


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.



[1] …أو يقامر بالنرد والشطرنج". لأن كل ذلك من الكبائر، وكذلك من تفوته الصلاة للاشتغال بهما، فأما مجرد اللعب بالشطرنج فليس بفسق مانع من الشهادة، لأن للاجتهاد فيه مساغا. 

)الهداية، ج3، ص123، دار احياء التراث العربي (


[2]وَيكرهُ اللّعب بالنرد وَالشطْرَنْجوَالْأَرْبَعَة عشر وكل لَهو لقَوْلهعَلَيْهِ السَّلَام مَا أَنا من دَد وَلَا الدَّد مني…وَهَذَا إِذا لم يكن فِيهِ قمارفَأَما إِذا كَانَ فِيهِ قمار فَهُوَ حرَام مَحْض لثُبُوت حرمته بِنَصّ

)تحفة الفقهاء، ج3، ص344، دار الكتب العلمية ( 


وَيُكْرَهُ اللَّعِبُ بِالشِّطْرَنْجِ وَالنَّرْدِ وَثَلَاثَةَ عَشَرَ وَأَرْبَعَةَ عَشَرَ وَكُلُّ لَهْوٍ ما سِوَى الشِّطْرَنْجِ حَرَامٌ بِالْإِجْمَاعِ وَأَمَّا الشِّطْرَنْجُ فَاللَّعِبُ بِهِ حَرَامٌ عِنْدَنَا وَاَلَّذِي يَلْعَبُ بِالشِّطْرَنْجِ هل تَسْقُطُ عَدَالَتُهُ وَهَلْ تُقْبَلُ شَهَادَتُهُ فَإِنْ قَامَرَ بِهِ سَقَطَتْ عَدَالَتُهُ ولم تُقْبَلُ شَهَادَتُهُ وَإِنْ لم يُقَامِرْ لم تَسْقُطْ عَدَالَتُهُ وَتُقْبَلُ شَهَادَتُهُ ولم يَرَ أبو حَنِيفَةَ رَحِمَهُ تَعَالَى بِالسَّلَامِ عليهم بَأْسًا وَكَرِهَ ذلك أبو يُوسُفَ وَمُحَمَّدٌ رَحِمِهِمَا اللَّهُ تَعَالَى تَحْقِيرًا لهم كَذَا في الْجَامِعِ الصَّغِيرِ

) الفتاوى الهندية، ج5، ص352، دار الفكر (


( وَ ) كُرِهَ تَحْرِيمًا ( اللَّعِبُ بِالنَّرْدِ وَ ) كَذَا ( الشِّطْرَنْجِ ) بِكَسْرِ أَوَّلِهِ وَيُهْمَلُ وَلَا يُفْتَحُ إلَّا نَادِرًا وَأَبَاحَهُ الشَّافِعِيُّ وَأَبُو يُوسُفَ فِي رِوَايَةٍ وَنَظَمَهَا شَارِحُ الْوَهْبَانِيَّةِ فَقَالَ : وَلَا بَأْسَ بِالشِّطْرَنْجِ وَهِيَ رِوَايَةٌ عَنْ الْحَبْرِ قَاضِي الشَّرْقِ وَالْغَرْبِ تُؤْثَرُ وَهَذَا إذْ لَمْ يُقَامِرْ وَلَمْ يُدَاوِمْ وَلَمْ يُخِلَّ بِوَاجِبٍ وَإِلَّا فَحَرَامٌ بِالْإِجْمَاعِ .

) رد المحتار، ج6، ص394، دار الفكر(


( قَوْلُهُ أَمَّا الشِّطْرَنْجُ فَلِشُبْهَةِ الِاخْتِلَافِ ) أَيْ اخْتِلَافِ مَالِكٍ وَالشَّافِعِيِّ فِي قَوْلِهِمَا بِإِبَاحَتِهِ ، وَهُوَ رِوَايَةٌ عَنْ أَبِييُوسُفَ ، وَاخْتَارَهَا ابْنُ الشِّحْنَةِ .

أَقُولُ : هَذِهِ الرِّوَايَةُ ذَكَرَهَا فِي الْمُجْتَبَى وَلَمْ تَشْتَهِرْ فِي الْكُتُبِ الْمَشْهُورَةِ ، بَلْ الْمَشْهُورُ الرَّدُّ عَلَى الْإِبَاحَةِ ، وَابْنُ الشِّحْنَةِ لَمْ يَكُنْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الِاخْتِيَارِ سَائِحَانِيٌّ ، وَانْظُرْ مَا فِي شَرْحِ الْمَنْظُومَةِ الْمُحِبِّيَّةِ لِلْأُسْتَاذِ عَبْدِ الْغَنِيِّ ا هـ .

) رد المحتار، ج5، ص483، دار الفكر (


( ولا من يقامربالشطرنج ) لأنه حرام . أما نفس اللعب لا يسقط العدالة لمكان الاجتهاد إلا أن تفوتهالصلاة أو يحلف عليه كذبا

) الاختيار لتعليل المختار، ج2، ص128، دار الكتب العلمية(

أو يلعب بالنرد من غير شرط المقامرة أو تفويت الصلاة أو يقامر بالشطرنج أو تفوته الصلاة بسببه أي بسبب الشطرنج لظهور الفسق بتركه الصلاة وكذا بالمقامرة أما بدونهما لا يمنع العدالة لأن للاجتهاد فيه مساغا لقول مالك والشافعي بإباحته وهو مروي عن أبي يوسف واختارها ابن الشحنة إذا كان لإحضار الذهن واختار أبو زيد حله

 وفي النوازل سئل أبو القاسم عمن ينظر إلى لاعبه من غير لعب أيجوز فقال لن يصير فاسقا وقد سوى بين النرد والشطرنج في الكنز فقال أو يقامر بالنرد والشطرنج وليس كذلك والحاصل أن العدالة إنما تسقط إذا وجد واحد من خمسة القمار وفوت الصلاة بسببه وإكثار الحلف عليه واللعب به على الطريق أو يذكر عليه فسقا وإلا فلا بخلاف النرد فإنه مسقط مطلقا كما في البحر وإنما لم يذكر الثلاثة الأخيرة لأنها معلومة فلا تساهل في تركها

) مجمع الأنهر في شرح ملتقى الأبحر، ج2، ص199، دار إحياء التراث العربي (


وَيكرهُ اللّعب بالنرد وَالشطْرَنْج وَالْأَرْبَعَة عشر وكل لَهو

) الجامع الصغير وشرحه النافع الكبير لمن يطالع الجامع الصغير، ج1، ض482، عالم الكتب (








i want to ask about ludo game. is it haram or halal?

many of arab ulama say this is haram, and giving tashbeh of ludo to shatranj which is mention in hades of muslim sharef (2260). can i ask my question in arabic or urdu, because i m not good in english


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The word found in the Sahīh of Imām Muslim (2260) is nardshīr which is commonly translated as backgammon. Shatranj refers to the popular game of chess. There are differences of opinion with regards to the ruling of chess. The prevailing opinion is that chess is impermissible to play.[1]   


We have not come across any explicit prohibition on Ludo. In principle, if any game or amusement which is not explicitly prohibited is free of the following, it will not be prohibited. [2][3][4]

It must be devoid of all harām elements, such as gambling, cheating, swearing, etc.

The game should not engross one to the extent that it leads to religious duties to be abandoned, such as prayer.


If any of these conditions are violated, then playing such a game will be prohibited.   


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Tahmid Chowdhury

Student Darul Iftaa

New York, USA

Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.




رد المحتار - ط. بابي الحلبي (6/ 394)

 ( بالنرد ) هو اسم معرب ويقال له النردشير بفتح الدال وكسر الشين والشير اسم ملك وضع له النرد كما في المهمات وفي زين العرب قيل إن الشير معناه الحلو وفيه نظر

 قالوا هو من موضوعات سابور ابن أردشير ثاني ملوك الساسانية وهو حرام مسقط للعدالة بالإجماع


 قوله ( والشطرنج ) معرب شدرنج وإنما كره لأن من اشتغل به ذهب عناؤه الدنيوي وجاءه العناء الأخروي فهو حرام وكبيرة عندنا وفي إباحته إعانة الشيطان على الإسلام والمسلمين كما في الكافي


 قوله ( في رواية إلخ ) قال الشرنبلالي في شرحه وأنت خبير بأن المذهب منع اللعب به كغيره

 قوله ( قاضي الشرق والغرب ) هو الإمام الثاني أبو يوسف لأن ولايته شملت المشارق والمغارب لأنه كان قاضي الخليفة هارون الرشيد



البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق ومنحة الخالق وتكملة الطوري (7/ 91)

(قوله أو يقامر بالنرد والشطرنج أو تفوته الصلاة بسببهما) ؛ لأن كل ذلك من الكبائر وظاهر تقييده بما ذكر استواء النرد والشطرنج وليس كذلك فإن اللعب بالنرد مبطل للعدالة مطلقا كما في العناية وغيرها للإجماع على حرمته بخلاف الشطرنج؛ لأن للاجتهاد فيه مساغا لقول مالك والشافعي بإباحته وهو مروي عن أبي يوسف كما في المجتبى من الحظر والإباحة واختارها ابن الشحنة إذا كان لإحضار الذهن واختار أبو زيد الحكيم حله ذكره شمس الأئمة السرخسي كذا في المحيط البرهاني وفي النوازل سئل أبو القاسم عمن ينظر إلى لاعبيه من غير لعب أيجوز فقال أخاف أن يصير فاسقا اهـ.

وفيه إذا قامر به سقطت عدالته إجماعا وفيه الميسر اسم لكل قمار والحاصل أن العدالة إنما تسقط بالشطرنج إذا وجد فيه واحد من خمس القمار وفوت الصلاة بسببه وإكثار الحلف عليه واللعب به على الطريق كما في فتح القدير أو يذكر عليه فسقا كما في السراج الوهاج وإلا فلا بخلاف النرد فإنه مسقط لها مطلقا والنرد كما في المصباح لعبة معروفة وهو معرب اهـ.

وفي القاموس أنه وضعه أردشير بن بابك ولهذا يقال النردشير اهـ.

وفي فتح القدير ولعب الطاب في بلادنا مثله؛ لأنه يرمى ويطرح بلا حساب وإعمال فكر وكلما كان كذلك مما أحدثه الشيطان وعمله أهل الغفلة فهو حرام مطلقا. اهـ





كتاب النوازل ١٦/٥٤٣ مفتي سلمان منصوربوري

كتاب الفتاوى ٦/١٦٠

أحسن الفتاوى ٨/٢٤٣


دیگر کھیل

أحكام القرآن مفتي شفيع ٣/١٩٤

فتاوى محمودية ١٩/٥٣٦


شرح النووي على مسلم (15/ 15)

[2260] (من لعب بالنردشير فكأنما صبغ يده في لحم خنزير ودمه) قال العلماء النردشير هو النرد فالنرد عجمي معرب وشير معناه حلو وهذا الحديث حجة للشافعي والجمهور في تحريم اللعب بالنرد وقال أبو إسحاق المروزي من أصحابنا يكره ولا يحرم وأما الشطرنج فمذهبنا أنه مكروه ليس بحرام وهو مروي عن جماعة من التابعين وقال مالك وأحمد حرام قال مالك هو شر من النرد وألهى عن الخير وقاسوه على النرد وأصحابنا يمنعون القياس ويقولون هو دونه ومعنى صبغ يده في لحم الخنزير ودمه في حال أكله منهما وهو تشبيه لتحريمه بتحريم أكلهما والله أعلم


الترغيب والترهيب للمنذري ت عمارة (4/ 49)

[قال الحافظ]: قد ذهب جمهور العلماء إلى أن اللعب بالنرد حرام، ونقل بعض مشايخنا الإجماع على تحريمه، واختلفوا في اللعب بالشطرنج؛ فذهب بعضهم إلى إباحته لأنه يستعان به في أمور الحرب ومكائده لكن بشروط ثلاثة: أحدها: أن لا يؤخر بسببه صلاة عن وقتها. والثاني: أن لا يكون فيه قمار. والثالث: أن يحفظ لسانه حال اللعب عن الفحش والخناء، ورديء الكلام؛ فمتى لعب به، أو فعل شيئاً من هذه الأمور كان ساقط المروءة مردود الشهادة، وممن ذهب إلى إباحته سعيد بن جبير والشعبي، وكرهه الشافعي كراهة تنزيه، وذهب جماعات من العلماء إلى تحريمه كالنرد، وقد ورد ذكر الشطرنج في أحاديث لا أعلم لشيء منها إسناداً صحيحاً ولا حسناً، والله أعلم










Monopoly is a game played for amusement in the United States. This game simulates dealing in real estate, United States style. It is not played for money, so there is no gambling. Simulated mortgages (riba) are part of the play, but there is no real money involved. Is playing Monopoly permissible? Please explain your answer.




Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb, the former Grand Mufti of India, mentioned the following principle by which games could be judged:


That game would be permissible which is not an exclusive symbol (Shi-‘aar) of the Kuffaar or Fussaq, there is no condition of money being wagered on winning or losing and furthermore, by playing the game Deeni obligations are not left out, and there is nothing contrary to Shari’ah in it.


Those games and sports whereby a person’s health is maintained and increased and the intention thereby is to become able-bodied against the enemies of Islâm and to acquire skills for Jihaad then by this intention, such sports and games will, in fact, be encouraged like in the case of horse riding and swimming.


Mahmoodiyah (Vol. 15 Pg. 364-365)


From this it could be understood that playing games like monopoly would be permissible, however spending ones valuable time on more fruitful pursuits would be preferred.


and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best


Ml. Husain Kadodia


STUDENT: Darul Ifta


CHECKED & APPROVED: Mufti Ebrahim Desai




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Gambling, Maisir, Qimaar and interest-bearing transactions are strictly forbidden in Islam. This concise booklet gives an indication as to which of the present day monetary systems are inclusive of interest and constitute to gambling and which ones are not, as well as the means of avoiding them. Various forms of gambling, maisir, qimaar and interest-bearing loans have been furnished, all with highly authentic and authoritative, juristically agreed upon and proven Shar’ee proofs.

Please see this post for the links, it is free in the iBookstore and we are working on making it free for Kindle as well (you can help by clicking the "report a lower price" link):

Gambling in Islam eBook


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This booklet is a compilation of nasihat (advice) taken from various discourses of Shaykh Yunus Patel Saheb (Raheemahullah), which has been tremendously beneficial for many sincerely wanting to ‘kick’ their bad habits of smoking, drinking, drug-taking or gambling.

The prescriptions found herein will, Insha-Allah , benefit and motivate anyone who reads with an open mind and is keen to give up the bad habits.


Kicking the habit. PDF


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In the case of helping those we love - use hikmah. Whenever we confront a situation where a person is engaging in something we know to be haraam, the best way to approach them is through the example set for us by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallem).


 A person came to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallem) after alcohol was prohibited and asked him (salallahu alaihi wa sallem) for permission to drink. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallem) first asked him: "are you always truthful?" The man replied: "yes." Then Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallem) asked him: "do you always pray your salaah?" Again, the man replied: "yes." Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallem) advised him to continue telling the truth and praying his salaah; he (sallallahu alayhi wa sallem) did not tell him to stop drinking nor did he give him permission to continue. The man continued and every time he came to the masjid for salaah, he would leave his bottle outside and on his way out, he would get his bottle. After a while, the man said to himself "why should I keep taking the bottle with me, I'll just leave it at home." So he did. After some more time, and because he was truthful and he was keeping good company by continuing with his salaah at the masjid, he stopped drinking.


Insha'Allah we can take a lesson from this as well in that when we want to help our loved ones and friends who may be struggling with such an addiction, we can have hikmah, recognize their strengths, invite them to places where they will have good company and refrain from labeling them as "sinners" (verbally or otherwise) or continually pointing out the "haraam" (verbally or otherwise) they are engaging in - now and again, we can make references but don't over do it. Insha'Allah over time, with good company, they will change. This is one way we can help our loved ones insha'Allah.


Also, it is not a good idea to tackle such problems with a book or pamphlet about the issue - listing statistics, talking about the haraams, the consequences, etc. asking them to read it and leave. No, instead, talk to them - talk about Allah Ta'aala, talk about why we are Muslim, why we're here, talk about imaan, talk about the grave and how we're going to be there alone, talk about Jannah, lightly talk about Jahannam, etc. - stuff that will make him think. Insha'Allah, after a while and with good company, he or she will slowly leave it.  






Many people have different sorts of addictions and they are not impossible to overcome when there is a will to overcome them. Remember that you won’t change overnight and you may often relapse and that’s because you are a human. When you relapse and make an error DON’T beat yourself up but make sincere Tawbah to Allah (SWT) and know that Allah (SWT) is the MOST MERCIFUL and wants to give you a fresh start.


When you fall, get up and fight again. You owe that to yourself and your family.


It isn’t difficult but you need some will power.


1) I suggest that you contact a local Shaykh in your area & discuss the matter with him personally.


2) You can also seek councilling to overcome your weakness.


3) You need to work on substitution i.e. its hard to give up something but it is relatively easier to substitue one habit for another at least in the beginning so figure out something HALAL that you like & enjoy doing & do it when you have the craving for gambling.


4) AVOID being alone & make good Muslim friends and be with them as much as possible...i.e. be in good company.


5) FIGHT IT when you have the craving and REWARD yourself when you have successfully averted the calling of Shaytaan...also PUNISH yourself when you have fallen for the Shaytaan.


6) Cancel all your Credit Cards


7) Put your income in an “escrow” of a friend i.e. BORROW your own money as you need from a friend, family member (of trust) and this will SEVERELY CRUSH YOUR NAFS! Whenever you need your own money you will need to justify to this person and they give it to you. It will not give you a chance to spend your money on foolish endeavours.


8) If it is online: close each and every account you hold with any betting site online or elsewhere. Also, put ad-blockers on your computer and consider blocking all images to protect yourself from those images they use to draw you in.


9) If it is a physical space like a casino: don't even go near it. You know where it is, so avoid driving past it. Make the effort to alter your route to safeguard yourself and not be drawn in by all the flashy lights, colours, images etc.


10) Give your money to someone you trust, perhaps your mother, to hold onto it for you.


11) Give the amount you were planning to gamble away in charity instead. Everytime you want to gamble, give in charity instead. It is a transaction that never loses insha'Allah!


12) Go out in tabligh for a few weeks...a change in environment may help.


13) Fill your time up with activities that are beneficial and keep you busy. Find hobbies that are not destructive.


14) If you have someone you trust, call them for help/support every-time you get the urge to gamble. Let them be there to help talk you through the thoughts and out of them without actually going to gamble.


15) If stress seems to trigger the urge, then get physically active - exercise to relieve stress.


16) If it is thrill seeking that makes you want to gamble, then look for non-destructive yet thrilling activities like skydiving, dirt-biking, mountain climbing, ice-fishing.


17) If it is lonliness that takes you out to gambling sites, then sign up to volunteer your time for a good cause; there is never a shortage of activities our ummah can get involved in.



Gambling is a problem that requires effort and dedication however, being human, we might falter from time-to-time - if you ever find yourself making mistakes or regressing, don't lose hope - just get right back up and keep trying. Make sincere tawbah and continue to strive. If it happens again, again make sincere tawbah and try even harder. If one strategy isn't working or isn't as effective despite sincere effort, try another strategy. Insha'Allah if not one, then another of the listed strategies will be helpful.



With thanks to Sister Acacia and Brother Colonel Hardstone


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Games of Chance



Asalamu alykum. is it permissible to play games where you have to pay to play, and you might win (not based on any skill) or not. for example a kids game where they pay you a fee and there are a few things in a bowl of jelly and you ask them to pick out a certain thing with their mouth. if they pick out the right thing they win a prize. is this permissible?



This comes under games of chance. Hence, it is not permissible.

 (Mufti) E Salejee

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