Computer games are permissible if relevant conditions are met
Fatwa No: 259372

Question

Al Salam Alikom, I work in making online games on facebook & mobile, which are like candy crush, in which you play and have fun for free, but sometimes you pay to enjoy premium service or to be able to play more. Now my question my company is making gambling games like poker, in which players also play for free and have fun on facebook or their mobiles, but they can pay money to continue playing if they lose or have special power ups to make them win virtually, but players do not get any money from playing, they just spend money to enjoy playing and having fun. Is it Haram to work in this kind of games or not?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and messenger.

Islam has permitted recreation and kinds of entertainment provided that they are in conformity with the Islamic requirements, such as not distracting the person from remembering Allaah, offering the prayer or any other obligation. We have already clarified some general conditions for computer games in Fataawa 91906, 86106 and 86146.

As regards what you mentioned about the game in which the player has to pay money if he wishes to continue the game and get means to help him to win, then this does not render it gambling, because the money that the player pays is in return for playing and not for winning money from it but just to continue playing. As regards gambling, the person either wins or loses, but here the player just wants to continue playing the game and he pays money for this purpose. So, this is not gambling. Therefore, it is permissible to have such a job.

However, it is more appropriate to look for a job that does not involve games, because even though it does not involve something forbidden, to waste time in it is forbidden.

Ash-Shaatibi says in Al-Muwaafaqaat: "Moreover, fun, playing and having free time that does not involve what is forbidden and does not lead to what is forbidden is permissible but blameworthy and the scholars do not approve of it. Rather, they dislike to see a person doing something that is not beneficial for his worldly life or for his Hereafter, as this is spending time in what is neither beneficial in this worldly life nor in the Hereafter. The verse in the Quran which reads (what means): {...And do not walk upon the earth exultantly...} [Quran 17:37]; indicates this meaning.” [End of quote]

However, if there is real gambling or something that resembles it, then it is not permissible to play such a game, and it is not permissible to work in producing such games.

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa