Rafed English

Fatwas on Gambling Instruments

Q1114: Should a group of people take to playing with cards without contemplating betting or winning, for that matter, but only for passing time and amusement, would they be deemed guilty of committing a ḥarām act? And what is the ruling on those attending such gatherings but not taking part in the playing?
A: Playing with cards, which, according to the common view, is deemed among gambling instruments is absolutely ḥarām. It is not permissible to willingly join in the gatherings where gambling is taking place, or playing with its instruments.

Q1115: Is it permissible to use cards, without betting, in mind-stimulating games, which could have scientific as well as religious connotations? And what is the ruling on a jigsaw puzzle, where betting may be used?
A: It is absolutely impermissible to play with cards, which are considered in the common view as gambling. As for cards that are not considered as gambling instruments by common view, there is no problem in playing with them, but betting should not be engaged in.
Generally speaking, it is not permissible at all to play with what the mukallaf sees as instruments of gambling. Playing with other things while betting is involved has the same ruling. However, there is no problem in playing with instruments, which are not considered as gambling ones when there is no betting.

Q1116: What is the ruling in the matter of playing with walnuts, eggs, or other things, which have lawful monetary value? And could children be allowed to play with them?
A: If it is a gambling and betting game, it is ḥarām. The winning party does not possess what he won over the other party and received. However, if the players are not ritually mature, nothing is obligatory upon them, although they do not possess what they won.

Q1117: Is it permissible to bet money or anything else on games in which there is no gambling instrument?
A: It is not permissible to bet on games, even though they are not played with gambling instruments.

Q1118: What is the ruling on playing with gambling instruments, such as cards, on a computer?
A: Its ruling is the same as that of playing with gambling instruments.

Q1119: What is the ruling on playing with Unu [play cards]?
A: Should they, in the common view, be deemed among gambling instruments, it is not permissible to play with them, albeit without betting.

Q1120: Suppose the people in two different countries have divergent views as to treating certain games as being/not being among gambling instruments. Is it permissible to engage in such games?
A: The established common view in both countries has to be taken into account, i.e., if a thing is viewed in one country among the instruments of gambling while in the past, they considered it as a gambling instrument in both countries, it suffices to make it ḥarām to embark on.

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