Are video games such as, in particular, God of War 3 permissible in Islam?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by AskOurImam.com

As-Salamu Alaikum

I just want to know Islamically where we stand when it comes to video games. I have just played a game called God of war 3 which is based on Greek mythology. Although I don’t believe in any aspect of the game and its storyline a thought had hit me that Islamically where do we stand when it comes to these games. Basically the character is someone that kills Greek Gods in the game based on Greek mythology. I would greatly appreciate it if you could clear this up for me as I want to eliminate as many haram things from my life as I can. Salam

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[1]. 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[2]. 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”[3]

Video games generally fall in the category of amusement (lahw) and is thus detested and should be avoided[4]. The perfection of a person`s faith and obedience is in his abstinence from that which is useless and brings forth no goodness[5]. The playing of video games not only prevents a person from using time effectively but generally involves listening to music and vulgar language, viewing indecent material and is also responsible for serious social and psychological implications too[6].

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[7].

The video game in question, `God of War`, nevertheless comprises of no goodness, involves violence and brutality against the creation, forms an addiction, and moreover, fundamentally many of the aspects contradict the tenets of Islamic faith. Amongst many factors, the game depicts `God` as deceiving, cunning, helpless, prone to err and defeated. Allah, in reality, is pure from any defect or weakness and from similarity to any creation[8]. This game may have a detrimental effect to a person`s faith and spiritual wellbeing. To attribute such characteristics to Allah even in play and joke will constitute kufr [9]and disbelief[10].

The specific video game in reference, God of War 3, is clearly prohibited[11].

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hanif Yusuf Patel

Student Darul Iftaa
UK

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

 

References
[1] [Al-Qur`an: 51:56]

[2] [Al-Qur`an: 25:72]

[3] [Al-Quran: 31:6]

[4] فاللعب وهو اللهو حرام بالنص …استماع اللهو حرام

[Radd al-Muhtar ala ad-Durr al-Mukhtar, vol.9, p. 575-6, Dar al-Ma`rifah, Beirut, Lebanon]

[5] قال النبي (صلي الله عليه وسلم): من حسن اسلام المرأ تركه ما لايعنيه

[Al-Tirmidhi: 2470]

[6]  http://www.law.northwestern.edu/lawreview/colloquy/2011/15/LRColl2011n15PollardSacks.pdf

 

[7] ان 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

[8] [Al-Qur`an: 42: 11]

ولاتشبهه الأنام

Sharh al-Aqeedah at-Tahawiyyah, Page.52, Dar al-Basa`ir

[9] إذا وصف الله بما لايليق به … يكفر [al-Fatawa al-tatarkaniyyah 5:462]إذا وصف الله تعالي بما لايليق به  يكفر [al-Bahr ar-Ra`iq, 5:202; Al-Fatawa al-Alamkiriyyah, 2:258] In Fatawa Mahmoodiyyah 1:256, Dar al-Ifta Jamiah Farooqiyah Karachi

[10] واستحلال المعصية كفر والاستهانة بها كفر والاستهزاء علي الشريعة كفر

Sharh al-Aqaid an-Nasafiyyah, Page.193, Dar al-Beiruti

[11] وقد نزّل عليكم في الكتاب أن إذا سمعتم آيات الله يكفر بها ويستهزأ بها ، فلا تقعدوا معهم حتي يخوضوا في حديث غيره ، إنكم إذاً مثلهم

[Al-Qur`an: 4:140]

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