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The rules and conditions for playing games

Question:

What do the expert scholars of shari’ah say: What is the ruling for playing games? Can we play videogames or games on the internet?

Answer:

It is important to have a fine balance in our daily lives. There should be time for studying, working and time where one can relax. Being extreme in either of these is not a good thing. When relaxing, one should avoid any activity that will have a negative affect on a person’s studying, work, and health. A person should avoid any action which will result in him missing the commands of Allah ﷻ.

Playing games is permissible with the following conditions:

  1. The game does not harm any person or animal. If it does, such a game is haram.
  2. It must not keep you away from your prayers and any other responsibilities that are necessary for you. If It causes you to miss such actions, the game will be haram.
  3. There should be nothing haram within the game, such as inappropriate language or images, or any form of worshipping/religious act that is against Islam.
  4. The game itself should not be anything which is haram. Any form of gambling, cheating, or attaining money in ways that are impermissible in the shari’ah.

e.g. If all the players were to put in a certain amount of money which the winner will take. Then this is a form of gambling and will be haram.

If any game fulfils these conditions, then there will be no harm in playing them. A person must be responsible and understand that even if it is mubah (permissible), it should not take up all of one’s time. To be extreme in this way would cause a mubah act to become makruh (disliked) and even haram.

And Allah ﷻ knows best

This fatwa is written by Dr.Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al Azhari