Games about characters with supernatural or magical powers
Fatwa No: 341431

  • Fatwa Date:9-1-2017 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 11, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I just have a quick question. My question is about games which contain ‘magical’ powers. You have stated in a bunch of your fatwas that games that have characters with superpowers or unnatural abilities are permissible and do not come under the heading of Sihr (magic). So what about the games which contain superpowers just like those other games but instead call it ‘magic’? Keep in mind that magic or Sihr, in Islam, is that in which one communicates with or uses the power of the jinn or the devils. The people of the Book also hold a similar view. What is meant by magical in these games is superpowers or unnatural. According to dictionaries on the internet, it can mean the following: “having or apparently having supernatural powers,” “exceptional skill or talent,” “special power, influence, or skill,” “of, relating to, or invoking the supernatural,” “Possessing distinctive qualities that produce unaccountable or baffling effects,” “any extraordinary influence or power,” and so on. So it does not mean the type of haram magic. It is not even considered magic in the first place since it is very different. It does not involve the devils or the jinn. If it is still haram, then that would mean that any type of superpower in children's games or cartoons is impermissible. In some rare cases, the magic portrayed in video games might resemble the real world haram magic, and I do believe that that is haram. However, like I said before, it is rare and is only found in 18+ games. You might say that kids might mistake this type of magic for real life magic, but that does not make it haram. The parents can easily explain it to them, if they mistake it in the first place. So my question is: Are these types of games permissible? And what if we change the word magic in the games to superpowers? Would that make it permissible? I need a logical answer. Thank you very much.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Regarding these animated cartoon characters with supernatural powers and the like, we believe that what is allowed thereof is what does not include the claim of possessing any divine attributes that are exclusive to Allah, The Exalted, such as the ability to raise the dead or know the Unseen, and what does not involve resembling The Creator to His creation and similar violations of the sound Islamic creed.

Among the religious violations that are prohibited to make and watch in movies and games is any form of black magic and sorcery, such that the game includes approval of magic and high regard for it and for magicians by imitating their actions and practices and the like. Such games are religiously prohibited, even though it is not actual magic. It is in this respect that some scholars forbade fictional magic because it involves imitation of real magic. Dr. Saalih Al-Fawzaan said, “It is not permissible to watch magic, whether it is real or fictional acting. It is not permissible because it is falsehood and it is not permissible to watch falsehood because by watching it, one approves of it. 

This statement is sufficient, Allah willing, to enable you to distinguish between what is allowed and what is forbidden of such games. Please accept our apology for not providing a detailed answer for all the points in your long question.

For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 88539.

Allah knows best.

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