Answered by Ustadha Maimoonah
Is it permissible to play cards in Islam? Why?
Is it permissible to play other card games like Uno, snap ect? Why
Is it permissible to play dice games in Islam? Why?
Is it permissible to play games like checkers and monopoly?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Islam allows entertainment within the boundaries of the shariah. In principle, there is nothing wrong with playing the above mentioned games. However, it should be borne in mind that engaging oneself in these gamesdoes not leave one negligent towards his religious obligations. Furthermore, no money should be wagered and they should not mimic symbols of kuffar or acts against the shariah.
Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan,
“Rivalry in amassing wealth has made you negligent, (heedless of fulfilling Allah’s commands).”
حَتَّىٰ زُرْتُمُ الْمَقَابِرَ
“(And this rivalry will continue making you negligent)until you reach the graves(when you die).” [Surah Takathur: 1-2]
In the above verses Allah Ta’ala speaks about those that are distracted from their purpose and implies that people are so absorbed in attaining materialistic goods that they remain heedless and unmindful until they pass away and then face reality. From thiswe can understand that we should not become so engrossed into these activities and games that we become like such people.
Furthermore, wagering money when playing such games is completely forbidden and against Islam. Gambling is described in the Qur’aan as;
رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَـنِ
“Filth (vile acts)from the acts of shaitaan” [Surah Ma’idah:90]
Gambling also turns one away from the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala and results in enmity and hatred between players. It becomes a sinful and futile hobby that leads to greater transgression.
It is reported by Salman al-Ilhani that Fudhalah ibn Ubayd learnt that a group of men were playing drafts or chess. He got up in anger and forbade them strictly. (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, 1267)
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said, “save yourselves from two marked cubes from which you are forbidden because both of these are used in gambling” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 1270)
The prohibition mentioned here was due to the fear that the players would become neglectful of their religious duties and engaging in these games may become a means of leading to sin as chess and playing with dice were a past time of the Persian kings.
Rasulullah encouraged activities such as horse riding, swimming, archery and wrestling. He would also race with his beloved wife Aisha and she also narrates that he allowed her to watch Abyssinians practice archery in the courtyard of the masjid as entertainment.
From the above mentioned discussion it can be understood that Islam does not prohibit enjoyment. The companions themselves would engage in activities in their spare time, however, they would not let it become a means of distraction or do anything which was against the shariah. We should also adopt the same attitude.
Only Allah Ta’ala knows best
Written by Ustadha Maimoonah
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham