What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: What is the ruling on playing card games without betting?

Questioner: Asif from UK


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

It is undesirable and impermissible to play cards without betting as well, for they contain pictures.  One gets so engrossed in playing it that it affects one’s duty towards Allah (Salah etc.). This play does not provide any benefit; worldly or spiritual.  It is rather a tool for time waste.  It is therefore recommended that one plays such sports which may supplement one’s physical or cognitive exercise or there lies a worldly or spiritual benefit in it.  A game which does not benefit in any way is merely a futile game, and playing futile games are wrong and undesirable; as it is evident from the following excerpts of Al-Durr al-Mukhtar:

Every futile game is undesirable due to the statement of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him, “Every futile game of a Muslim is forbidden with the exception of three; 1) one playing with one’s spouse 2) training one’s horse 3) archery with one’s bow.”

Allamah Ibn ‘Aabideen al-Shaami writes the following in its marginal footnotes with reference to Al-Jawahir:

The permissibility of wrestling is established from the Hadeeth, but it is for the sake of equipping oneself for battle, and not as a means of foul play, for it is undesirable.  It is therefore obvious that it will also be applicable to training one’s horse and practicing archery.

[Al-Durr al-Mukhtar with Radd al-Muhtar Vol. 6, p. 395]

A’laHazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan – may Allah’s mercy be upon him – writes:

If a game is played seeking only futile pleasure, then it is undesirable.

[Fatawa Ridawiyyah Vol. 23, p. 277]

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

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Musjidul Haq Research Department ( )

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0764] Is it allowed to play card games if no gambling is involved?

Also see:

[Q-ID0505] What is the Islamic ruling on playing card games?

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