Is gaming haram? This is a question that many people want to know. There are arguments both for and against the idea of video games being forbidden in Islam.
Today, gaming has become a popular activity for many, most especially the youth. Many people all over the world enjoy their leisure time by playing games. It is a fun activity and it helps to pass the time while waiting for something else.
But what is the Islamic perspective on games?
We will explore in this blog post the both arguments and Islamic perspective on games to find the right answer.
Is Gaming Haram?
In Islam, gaming is not Haram as far as there is no such thing against Islamic laws (Shariah). Every game would be judged separately, either it is Halal or Haram. For instance, if a certain game has nudity, gambling, idol worship, killing, or other things that Islam forbids, then it would be considered forbidden to play.
The question of whether or not video games are Halal is a difficult one, and there is no concrete answer that applies across the board. We have seen how different opinions may vary on this issue due to various reasons such as who made it, what kind of game it is and what religion it’s played by etc. Video games can either be Halal or Haram; it is up to the person who wants to play and make their own decision after knowing what game they want to play and it’s content etc.
So this means that different types of games could be either Halal (permissible) or Haram, so it’s crucial to find out the game before you play it and ensure if it’s halal or not.
View of Dr. Zakir Naik on gaming
Dr. Zakir Naik is a renowned scholar and speaker on Islam. He has been speaking for more than 25 years about the subject of halal (permissible) and Haram (forbidden).
Someone asked a question to Dr. Zakir Naik “are video games Halal or not?”
He answered, “Today we find that there is a revolution and there’s a lot of changes that have come, and when you read articles about the video games, unfortunately, most of these video games they are Haram the reason is that many of these video games they are mixed with elements which are prohibited in Islam.
I’ll give a few examples. For example, there are video games that envision a lot of killing, and the more people are killed, the more marks you get, and you become a winner. The unnecessary killing of someone is murder, and murder in Islam, killing an innocent human being is the second major sin in Islam.
There are some video games that glorify witchcraft which is the third media sin in Islam. There are some video games that are attacking Islam. The video game says that if you bomb Makkah, you get a thousand points; if you bomb Medina, you get 500 points if you bomb Jerusalem, you get 200 points, and some games show that there is a non-Muslim country fighting with the Muslim country and the Muslim country is usually the weaker country; if you defeat the Muslim country, you win the game.
So these sorts of games that violate and criticize Islam and against Islam’s principles all these are Haram.
There are many video games in which there is nudity. Today if you have most of the car racing games I am told and read articles in between, you’ll find ladies coming who are not properly dressed; they come in bikinis, they come in scantily dressed clothes bodies most in all this is Haram; there is nudity there is obscenity even in sports you find obscenity invariably not there just to make the game more popular.
You have games in which there is gambling you have games in which there drinking of alcohol, so all these things are Haram even though you may not be drinking yourself physically, but virtually if it involves in Haram activity that game is Haram, it takes the children away from Islam.
Dr. Zakir Naik on Parents responsibility
While answering the question, Dr. Zakir talked about the responsibility of the parents. He said, “Unfortunately, there are many Muslim parents who willingly by fed game for the children they don’t scrutinize that the game is right or wrong “what’s the problem he’s not drinking? What’s the problem? He’s not killing anyone that is just in a game”.
These parents are actually taking the children away from Islam they are ruining their life if anyone will be responsible is not the child is the parents and Today if they want to get rid of the child or they want to keep the child quiet, they give them the mobile phone so that you know the child is busy with the mobile phone and the parents can do what they want they can do their work on the social media and what’s happening they give mobile phone to a small child of four or five years “I was happy my child can operate the mobile” you are ruining your child what is so great in handling a mobile.
Why give a mobile phone to a child and let them play these video games? Most of them are Haram so. If you analyze Today’s video games, most of them have music. Music is Haram in Islam they have got such sound effects.
So most of these games, if you analyze and scrutinize the majority, maybe more than 80%, 90%, or maybe a more extensive number. I’ve not done a survey, but by reading the reports, they will lead to Haram activities directly or indirectly, so such games surely should be prohibited, and you should try and keep your children away from them.
View of Dr. Haitham al-Haddad
In terms of playing games such as PlayStation, Xbox and similar types of games is this allowed for whether children or grown-ups and if it is allowed are there any guidelines with what kind of games they should play or is it like free you can play whatever games you want it is allowed or not.
Secondly, is it recommended that you spend your time playing games when there are so many other better things that you can do because you find many practicing brothers playing games.
Playing games in of itself is a permissible act. Sometimes it can be good, and you will be rewarded for it, and sometimes you can be sinful. It depends on these basic questions: when, why, how, and what is being played.
For example, if you are playing a game that wastes your time and makes you forget about your Salah, it becomes Haram not because of itself but because it leads to Haram. You are wasting so much time, and you are forgetting your Salah.
If the game has pictures of women wearing reveal clothes like some games, then it is Haram from this angle, not in itself.
If there is gambling or music in a video game, then it is also Haram.
Are Fortnite, PUBG, or other video games Haram in Islam?
View of Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem
There’s a game that my brother plays that has a gun named Armageddon which most likely is the Christian name of the Al-Malhama Al-Kubrabra (the big battle at the end of times). Is there anything wrong with playing such games just because of such a name?
The answer is no; the name itself has no significance, whether in Arabic or English, so if I call my car Al-Malhama Al-Kubrabra there’s no problem in that because I’m not referring to the battle itself. It’s just a name, and like so with Armageddon.
But when you come to video games nowadays, it is a bit problematic because it is based on violence. Whether it is PUBG or Fortnite or whatever, it is based on killing your opponent using different techniques hurting others. Now someone says, “ok this is a game.” I say yeah, it is a game. “I’m not actually doing it”, of course, but what are the implications of playing such a game? What is the psychological impact on our children?
It would increase violence, it would make them violent, and there is almost certainly a lot of music involved and maybe sometimes some nudity introduced and a fighter can be a woman, the one who gives you the prize can be a woman in a bikini or something like that.
So destruction killing and sometimes if it has to do with Islam it tells you if you bomb a Masjid you get a hundred points, and if you bomb a house in Baghdad or Kabul in Afghanistan, you get 50 points.
So it turns you around and against your Islam without knowing I personally believe that such games are a bad influence and we should not allow our children to play with such games and Allah knows best.
Guide Lines for Gamers in Islam
In conclusion, there are a few guidelines to follow when playing video games which will help Muslim gamers avoid sinning while still enjoying their hobby:
The player should not become addicted to gaming and neglect other responsibilities such as schoolwork or religious obligations.
The player should not be disrespectful to others while playing the game, such as swearing at another player and/or using racial or homophobic slurs.
The player should not play video games during prayer time.
The player should avoid playing violent or pornographic video games altogether, and they may want to avoid playing excessively violent video games.
It’s also important not to be too competitive or rude while gaming, as these are both sins in Islam.
The player should avoid online games that are considered gambling, such as poker or blackjack.
The player may want to keep gaming sessions short so they do not get addicted or neglect their responsibilities.
The player must also pay attention to the content of video games they play and avoid games that are considered haram, such as gambling, porn or violence.
Finally, the player should not spend too much money on gaming.