Keeping lucky charms or games of magic and luck
Fatwa No: 322036

  • Fatwa Date:27-3-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 18, 1437
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I already sent you a question, but I have many questions, so I am sending them to you separately. I have a question regarding kufr (disbelief). From what point is someone a kaafir (disbeliever)? There are Muslims who are collecting things like lucky charms or things like that but without believing in it, is this kufr? Or some may put decorations at home, like pyramids from Egypt or things like that, or they have books with poems that are partially containing kufr; is it kufr when a Muslim possesses things like this but without believing in it? For example, there are poems in it that do not contain kufr, and there are poems that do contain kufr, like poems about christmas and so on. Or there are games that you can download on your smartphone; is it kufr to play games that are contain magic, fairies, dragons and other fantasy stuff without believing in it? Or some games contain lucky spins and lucky games; is it kufr when someone plays such games? I am confused; from what point does a believer become a disbeliever? May Allaah bless you.

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 ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

Firstly, you should know that the basic principle is that the person whose Islam is established with certainty cannot be declared a kaafir (disbeliever) except with certainty. When a Muslim commits an act of kufr (disbelief), he is not declared a kaafir except when certain conditions are met and impediments are eliminated, as has been underlined by the scholars. We have detailed this topic in fataawa 15255, 8106 and 19773.

A person is declared a Muslim by proclaiming the two testimonies of faith while abiding by their implications in beliefs, words, and deeds. An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “The scholars of hadeeth, fiqh, and scholastic theology from Ahlus-Sunnah unanimously agreed that the believer who is to be declared a Muslim and who will not abide in Hellfire eternally is the one who harbors the belief in the true religion of Allaah  in his heart with firm conviction void of doubts and who proclaims the two testimonies of faith...” [Sharh Saheeh Muslim]

Apostasy means the kufr of a Muslim who had willfully proclaimed the two testimonies of faith after reaching puberty. Ad-Dardeer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “Apostasy is the kufr of a Muslim whose Islam was established with the willful proclamation of the two testimonies of faith...

Collecting lucky charms, magic games, or video games involving magic or the like does not entail declaring the Muslim as kaafir just because he possesses them. However, it is impermissible for the Muslim to keep whatever includes falsehood, as is the case with the magic games and the like because this involves acknowledgment of this falsehood.

We are not familiar with the reality of these lucky charms and spins; but if they are related to fortune-telling, as the names suggest, then it is impermissible for the Muslim to keep them even without believing in their ability to bring about benefit or repel harm. It has been authentically established in the Sunnah that it is prohibited for the Muslim to visit a fortuneteller even if he does not believe him. The Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, “He who visits a diviner and asks him about anything, his prayers will not be accepted for forty nights.” [Muslim]

It is also prohibited to keep poems proclaiming disbelief, except for a valid reason, such as refuting the misconceptions in them. The Hanbali scholars Al-Buhooti  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

It is impermissible for the Muslim to read the scriptures of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) because the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, became angry when he saw ʻUmar ibn Al-Khattaab holding a scroll containing verses from the Torah, and he said to him, ‘O Ibn Al-Khattaab! Are you in doubt?’ It is also prohibited to read the books promoting religious innovations or the books citing both truth and falsehood or relating them given the harm and corruption incurred on the Muslim's creed...” [Kashshaaf Al-Qinaa’]

Allaah knows best.

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