IslamQA

Is it permissible to sell video games?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Is it permissible to sell any game cards, or game related stuffs? Like google play gift cards, playstation cards etc.

Answer

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

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

Verily, Allah has created us for the purpose of His worship. One should adopt only those actions that lead us to the recognition, pleasure and mercy of Allah. Likewise, all futile and useless activities which do not result in any good whatsoever should be abandoned. Allah says, “And from among the people, there is he who buys the distracting amusement of things, so that he, being devoid of knowledge, may mislead (people) from the Way of Allah and make a mockery of it. Such people are the ones for whom there is a disgraceful punishment”

Video games generally fall under the concept of amusement (lahw) in Shariah and is thus detested and should be avoided. The perfection of a person`s faith and obedience is in his abstinence from that which is useless and brings forth no goodness. The playing of video games causes a person to incorrectly use time as well as other harms such as listening to music and vulgar language, viewing indecent material. There are also certain serious social and psychological implications too.

It will be impermissible to play any video game which either:

(1) brings forth no good in this world or the Hereafter;

(2) Entails anything contrary to Islamic law;

(3) Comprises more harm and evil than benefit and good;

(4) Or is simply undertaken for amusement purposes and is a hindrance from total servitude to Allah.

With regards to your specific question of selling games, if one is certain that the game fulfils any of the aforementioned conditions, then it will be impermissible for one to sell such a game and the income accrued from the sale of such a game will be impermissible. However, if one is certain that the game does not fulfil any of the aforementioned conditions, then it will be permissible to sell such a game. In any event, one should abstain from selling such games as a matter of Taqwaa and piety.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best,

Ismail Desai,

Darul Iftaa

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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