Answered by: Mufti Syed Johir Miah
What is the fiqh of playing video games, especially violent video games? What’s the limit of violence because just about every video game has some violence in it?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)has said in the Noble Quran,
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا أُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ ﴿٦﴾
“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”. (Surah Luqman, Verse 6)
Sayyiduna Ali ( رضى الله عنه ) narrated that the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم)said;
من حسن إسلام المرأ تركه ما لا يعنيه
“A sign of man’s good observance of Islam (his piety) is to keep away from that which does not concern him.”1
Sayyiduna Uqbah Bin Amir Al-Juhani ( رضى الله عنه ) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
” إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَيُدْخِلُ بِالسَّهْمِ الْوَاحِدِ الثَّلاَثَةَ الْجَنَّةَ صَانِعَهُ يَحْتَسِبُ فِي صَنْعَتِهِ الْخَيْرَ وَالرَّامِيَ بِهِ وَالْمُمِدَّ بِهِ ” . وَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ” ارْمُوا وَارْكَبُوا وَأَنْ تَرْمُوا أَحَبُّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ أَنْ تَرْكَبُوا وَكُلُّ مَا يَلْهُو بِهِ الْمَرْءُ الْمُسْلِمُ بَاطِلٌ إِلاَّ رَمْيَهُ بِقَوْسِهِ وَتَأْدِيبَهُ فَرَسَهُ وَمُلاَعَبَتَهُ امْرَأَتَهُ فَإِنَّهُنَّ مِنَ الْحَقِّ ”
“Allah will admit three people to Paradise by virtue of one arrow: The one who makes it, seeking reward by making it well; the one who shoots it; and the one who hands it to him.” And the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Shoot and ride, and if you shoot that is dearer to me than if you ride. All things that a Muslim man does for entertainment are in vain except for shooting arrows, training his horse and playing with his wife, for these are things that bring reward.”2
Some of the key points regarding these video games are listed below;
- There are no religious or bodily benefits in these games. Any game which lacks any religious or bodily benefits is not permissible.
- Time and money are wasted on it and it makes one unaware of the remembrance of Allah (عز و جل).
- The worst harm is that once a person becomes addicted to it, it is hard to let go of it.
- The games contain pictures and photos which is not permissible in Shariah.
- Although children get the contentment of their hearts from these games, it is impermissible to get attached to impermissible things.
- It weakens the memory of the children and creates obstacles in their education and they lose taste in other beneficial actions.
Imam Hasan (رحمه الله) has related that لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ refers to anything that distracts from the worship and the remembrance of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). 3
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Mufti Syed Johir Miah
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
1 Sunan Tirmizi, (Bashshar) Hadith 2318, 136/4, Darul Gharbil Islami, Beirut, Lebanon, 1998.
2 Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 2811, 940/2, Dar Ar-Risalatil Alamiyyah, 1430 H.
3 Aap Ke Masail Or Unke Hal, Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Ludhyanvi, Pages 366/367/8, Maktaba Dihwanawee.