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Lesson Gambling

This lesson defines the meaning of gambling and explains its ruling and its harms to the individual and society.

  • Learn the meaning of gambling
  • Learn the ruling on gambling in Islam
  • Learn about the types of gambling and its harms

What is Gambling?

Gambling: Taking part in any game or activity in which you risk money or a valuable object to win something of value, resulting in the participant either winning or losing to someone else.

The Ruling of Gambling

Gambling is impermissible by the Quran, Sunnah and legal consensus.

There is a benefit for the one who wins in gambling and the one who gambles, but Allah clarifies that the sin and harm are more significant than the benefit. He says: (They ask you, ˹O Prophet˺ about intoxicants and gambling. Say, “There is great evil in both, as well as some benefit for people—but the evil outweighs the benefit.”) [Al-Baqara: 219].

Allah says: (O believers! Intoxicants, gambling, idols, and drawing lots for decisions1 are all evil of Satan’s handiwork. So shun them so you may be successful.) [Al-Maidah:90]

Harms of Gambling on the Individual and Society:

It causes feelings of hostility and hatred to spread among people: A player or contestant wins money from other players; this causes hatred and malice and makes them wait for the opportunity to harm them back. This is a reality that everyone is aware of and is testified to by the statement of Allah: (Satan plans to stir up hostility and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling) [Al-Maidah:91]
It prevents the remembrance of Allah and the prayer, which is one of Satan's ultimate goals. We see this from the last part of the previous verse: (he prevents you from remembering Allah and praying) [Al-Maidah:91]
Wasting money and destroying a person's wealth: How many wealthy people became destitute because of gambling.
Gambling addiction: The winner becomes greedy for more and more, while the loser continues to play in hope that he will recoup his losses.
Breakdown of the family unit: Gambling addiction leads the gambler to neglect his family, and loss of money causes material and psychological issues, and in most cases leads to divorce and the complete destruction of the family.

Types of Gambling:

1. Every game where there is a winner and a loser: For instance, a group of players play with cards, and each player puts money down; whoever wins the game takes all the money.

2- Betting on the victory of a team or player: A betting person places money on the victory of his team or player. If his team wins, he wins money; if his team loses, he loses money.

3- Lottery and scratch cards: A person buys a card for a dollar and gets a chance for his card to be chosen, if it gets chosen he wins more than the price of the card, whether that happens often or not.

4- Participating in competitions by telephone or sms messages that are more than their usual cost, as well as all mobile, electric, and electronic games, or via websites, where the player has two possibilities: to earn or lose money.

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