[Q-ID0724] What is the Islamic ruling on playing Snooker?

QUESTION:

What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: How is it to play snooker? Please can you clarify this with proofs.

Questioner: Brother from England

ANSWER:

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

If snooker is played in the manner that the loser ends up having to pay the fee, then this will be regarded as gambling, because the definition of gambling is any game in which it is a condition that the loser has to give the winner something. In other words, the winner wins some money from the loser.

Just as it is stated in al-Ta’rīfāt of Imām Jurjānī,

القماركل لعب يشترط فيه غالبًا من المتغالبين شيئًا من المغلوب”

[al-Ta’rīfāt, pg 126]

This is usually the case for the most part with regards to snooker, which is actually gambling, which itself is unlawful as stipulated by the Qur’ān. Just as it is stated in the Holy Qur’ān,

{یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَیۡسِرُ وَ الۡاَنۡصَابُ وَ الۡاَزْلٰمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّیۡطٰنِ فَاجْتَنِبُوۡہُ لَعَلَّکُمْ تُفْلِحُوۡنَ ﴿۹۰﴾}

{O believers! Wine, gambling, idols, and fortune-telling arrows (to ascertain luck or predict future events) are but impure; the works of Satan, therefore continue to avoid them in order that you may attain success}

[Sūrah al-Mā’idah, 90]

However, if it is not like so, rather those playing split the fee 50/50, or a third party pays the fee for both sides, then in this case, it is not regarded as gambling. Although, playing in this manner is without purpose, as it has no benefit in this life or the next, and those matters without purpose are useless. Thus, one should avoid uselessness, just as it is stated in al-Hidāyah,

“وَإِنْ لَمْ يُقَامِرْ فَهُوَ عَبَثٌ وَلَهْوٌ”

“If there is no gambling in a game, then it is without purpose & futile.”

[al-Hidāyah, vol 10, pg 64]

Likewise, it has been stated in a Hadīth that,

وَكُلُّ مَا يَلْهُو بِهِ الْمَرْءُ الْمُسْلِمُ بَاطِلٌ، إِلَّا رَمْيَهُ بِقَوْسِهِ، وَتَأْدِيبَهُ فَرَسَهُ، وَمُلَاعَبَتَهُ امْرَأَتَهُ، فَإِنَّهُنَّ مِنَ الْحَقِّ”

“Everything that a Muslim does for [the purpose of] entertainment is in vain except for shooting arrows, training his horse and playing with his wife, for these are actions that bring about reward.”

[Sunan Ibn Mājah, Hadīth no 2811]

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadiri
Translated by Haider Ali

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0724] What is the Islamic ruling on playing Snooker?

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