Islamic Ruling on Games

25th November 2017

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Question: In the Hanafi madhab is permissible to engage in sports to pass time, or for leisure? Providing the satr is covered, deeni responsibilities are fulfilled, and it’s not paid for money?  “Every game a person plays is futile except for archery, training one’s horse and playing with one’s wife.” (Sunan Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, Sunan Ibn Majah)


الجواب حامداً و مصلياً

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful



In reference to your query, there are various types of games with each one having specific rulings. There are permitted forms of games as well as prohibited forms. Prohibited games are those that either Islam clearly forbidden e.g. modern-day gambling machines, chess (according to the Hanafi Madhab only) or those games that intrinsically corrupt the spiritual heart. Those games that Islam does not clearly forbid nor intrinsically corrupt the spiritual heart are all permitted provided that they do not cause one neglectful of Allāh’s remembrance and obligations towards Him such as Salāh, do not involve imitation of other nations in those practices which the Shari’ah clearly forbids, doesn’t involve nor display what the Shari’ah prohibits to look at and nor are they generally detrimental to one’s physical and mental well being. Such games must be of those that procure physical and mental benefit for the individual. As for the Hadeeth you mentioned, it is not to rule out other games besides them as Harām (if the above conditions are complied with) but to guarantee that these activities outlined in the Hadeeth are beneficial, productive and rewarding with the right intention.



[Allãh Knows Best]



Written by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed

Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam

JKN Fatawa Department