Is it permissible to play and create video games?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Is apps/games that you play on the phone Haraam? Games like angry birds, Fifa etc.

Is it OK for me to make games like that, upload it to the app-store and make money with it? The game will not have music in it.

Answer

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

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

1)     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 nearness of Allah. Likewise, all futile and useless activities which result in no good in both the worlds 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 in the category of amusement (lahw) and are thus detested and should be avoided.[1] The perfection of a person’s faith and obedience is in his abstinence from that which is useless and brings forth no goodness.[2] The playing of video games not only prevents a person from using time effectively but generally involves listening to vulgar language, viewing indecent material and is also responsible for serious social and psychological implications.

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

a)     Brings forth no good in this world or the Hereafter,

b)    Entails anything contrary to Islamic law,

c)     Comprises more harm and evil than benefit and good,

d)    Or is simply undertaken for amusement purposes and is a hindrance from total servitude to Allah.[3]

2)     As far as designing and creating video games is concerned, it is permissible to do so  with the following conditions:

a)     The game should not have any animate pictures.

b)    It should not have music (which you have stated).

c)     It should be free from any lewd or vulgar language.

d)    It should not promote immorality, decadence or evil.

e)     There should be some Shar῾ī benefit to the game.

It is also permissible to upload such games and sell them.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Nabeel Valli

Student Darul Iftaa
Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net


[1]   الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (6/ 348) [سعيد]

فَاللَّعِبُ وَهُوَ اللَّهْوُ حَرَامٌ بِالنَّصِّ قَالَ – عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ – «لَهْوُ الْمُؤْمِنِ بَاطِلٌ إلَّا فِي ثَلَاثٍ: تَأْدِيبُهُ فَرَسَهُ» وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ «مُلَاعَبَتُهُ بِفَرَسِهِ وَرَمْيُهُ عَنْ قَوْسِهِ وَمُلَاعَبَتُهُ مَعَ أَهْلِهِ» كِفَايَةٌ وَكَذَا قَوْلُ الْإِمَامِ اُبْتُلِيت دَلِيلٌ عَلَى أَنَّهُ حَرَامٌ

 

[2]   قال النبي (صلي الله عليه وسلم): من حسن إسلام المرأ تركه ما لا يعنيه (الترمذي: 2470)

[3]   إن اللهو علي أنواع: لهو مجرد، ولهو فيه نفع وفائدة ولكن ورد الشرع بالنهي عنه ، ولهو فيه فائدة ولم يرد في الشرع نهي صريح عنه ، ولكنه ثبت بالتجربة أنه يكون ضرره أعظم من نفعه ملتحق بالمنهي عنه ، ولهو فيه فائدة ولم يرد الشرع بتحريمه ولم يغلب علي نفعه ضرره ولكن يشتغل فيه بقصد التلهي ، ولهو فيه فائدة مقصودة ولم يرد الشرع بتحريمه وليس فيه مفسدة دينية واشتغل به علي غرض صحيح لتحصيل الفائدة المطلوبة لا بقصد التلهي . فهذه خمسة أنواع لا جائز فيها إلا الأخير الخامس

Ahkam al-Qur`an, Vol.3, Page.201, Idarah al-Qu`ran Wa al-Ulomm al-Islamiyyah, Karachi, Pakistan]

Taqi al-Uthmani, Takmilah Fat`h al-Mulhim, Part. 4, Pages. 434-6. For a detail discussion please see: Ahkam al-Qur`an, Vol 3, Pages.194-202

 

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