What Does Islam Say About Gambling?

Are you curious about what Islam says on the issue of gambling? The truth is that it’s strongly discouraged, deemed as haram (forbidden) within Islamic teachings. This blog will outline understanding, evils and Quranic teachings on gambling to broaden your perspective on this frowned upon practice.

Don’t miss out; read along to be enlightened!

Understanding Gambling in Islam

Gambling is defined in the Quran as an activity that involves betting or wagering on uncertain outcomes, and it is strictly prohibited in Islam.

Definition of gambling in Quran

The Quran outlines the concept of gambling quite clearly. While it does not provide a detailed definition, it spreads multiple verses that convey its prohibition – a decree rooted in harm and evil outcomes instead of any potential benefit.

In Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 219, Allah highlights effects such as financial detriment and discord among individuals. The term ‘maisir’ found in the Quran is often referred to represent all forms of gambling or games of chance due to their unpredictable nature and reliance on luck rather than effort or skill.

This concept is backed by Hazrat Imam Muhammad al-Baqir’s statement reinforcing that betting equates to gambling, thus making it haram. It’s worth noting also that activities involving tools synonymous with betting like dice or cards are universally deemed unacceptable among Islamic jurists.

Prohibition of gambling

Islam strictly prohibits gambling, considering it haram according to the Quran. The destructive nature of gambling on families and the potential loss of wealth through haram means are some of the key reasons for its prohibition in Islam.

Islamic law specifically condemns maisir, which encompasses all forms of gambling, and games involving gambling tools like cards and backgammon are unanimously forbidden by Islamic jurists.

Muslims are explicitly forbidden from engaging in any form of gambling as stated in the Quran. Despite this prohibition, some countries with a Muslim majority have casinos, though it goes against the religious teachings regarding gambling.

Gambling is considered a major sin in Islam, although there is no explicit punishment mentioned in the Quran or hadith for those who engage in it. It is crucial for followers of Islam to adhere to these religious teachings and avoid temptations related to gambling.

Islamic perspective on modern forms of gambling

Islam takes a strong stance against all forms of gambling, including modern ones. According to the Quran, gambling is considered haram (forbidden) as it leads to financial loss and addiction while also harming personal relationships and society as a whole.

Maisir, which encompasses all types of gambling, is explicitly prohibited in Islamic law. This includes games that involve gambling tools like cards or backgammon. While some countries with a Muslim majority may have casinos, it goes against the Islamic prohibition on gambling.

Islam considers gambling a major sin and urges Muslims to avoid these temptations by strengthening their faith and seeking alternatives to satisfy their entertainment needs without resorting to haram activities.

Comparison with other world religions

Other world religions also have varying views on gambling. In Christianity, for example, there is no clear consensus among denominations regarding the permissibility of gambling. Some Christian traditions view it as a harmless form of entertainment, while others consider it sinful due to the potential harm it can cause individuals and their families.

Hinduism generally discourages gambling but does not explicitly forbid it. Buddhism teaches that engaging in any form of gambling goes against the principles of right livelihood and mindful living.

Overall, Islam takes a firm stance against gambling, considering it haram (forbidden) according to the Quran.

Evils of Gambling

Gambling leads to financial loss, addiction, strained relationships, and negatively impacts society. Read more to understand the harmful effects of gambling in Islam.

Financial loss

Islam considers gambling haram (forbidden) due to its detrimental impact on individuals, families, and society as a whole. One of the significant evils associated with gambling is the financial loss that individuals often face.

Engaging in gambling activities can lead to severe monetary consequences, causing individuals to lose substantial amounts of money. This not only affects their personal finances but also disrupts their ability to meet basic needs and fulfill responsibilities towards their families and communities.

The Quran emphasizes the importance of using lawful means to acquire wealth and discourages any form of economic exploitation or reckless behavior that could lead to financial ruin.

Islam encourages Muslims to make sound financial decisions based on ethical principles and responsible practices rather than relying on chance or luck through gambling activities.

In Islamic teachings, it is believed that true success comes from working hard, earning a halal income, and making wise investments rather than relying on uncertain outcomes through gambling.


Gambling addiction is a serious issue that affects many individuals. It can lead to devastating consequences, both personally and financially. In Islam, addiction to gambling is condemned as it goes against the teachings of the Quran.

The Quran emphasises self-control and moderation in all aspects of life, including one’s desires and impulses. Gambling addiction not only harms the individual involved but also has a negative impact on their relationships with family and friends.

It is important for Muslims to be aware of the dangers of gambling addiction and seek help if they find themselves struggling with this destructive habit.

Affect on personal and family relationships

Gambling has a significant negative impact on personal and family relationships. It can lead to financial strain, as individuals may spend money they cannot afford to lose, causing tension and conflict within the family.

Moreover, gambling addiction can consume a person’s life, leading to neglect of responsibilities and withdrawal from loved ones. This can cause emotional distance, breakdown in communication, and erosion of trust between family members.

Additionally, gambling can create an environment of secrecy and deceit within the household as individuals try to hide their activities or losses. The harmful effects on personal well-being and family dynamics make it crucial for Muslims to avoid engaging in gambling activities.

Negative influence on society

Gambling has a negative influence on society. It can lead to social problems, such as increased crime rates and financial instability for individuals and families. There is also the risk of addiction, which can further deteriorate relationships and overall well-being.

Moreover, gambling promotes an unhealthy mindset of relying on luck or chance rather than hard work and personal responsibility. Such behaviors not only harm individuals but also have adverse effects on the community as a whole.

Quranic Teachings on Gambling

The Quran explicitly condemns gambling and considers it a greater sin that leads to forgetting Allah.

Maisir and Qimar

Islam categorically condemns gambling, referring to it as “Maisir” and “Qimar” in the Quran. Maisir refers to games of chance where one person can gain at the expense of others, while Qimar encompasses all forms of gambling.

These terms cover activities such as betting, lotteries, card games, and other forms of wagering. Islamic jurists unanimously agree that these practices are forbidden because they involve uncertainty and a reliance on luck rather than hard work or skill.

The Quran explicitly prohibits Muslims from engaging in Maisir and Qimar due to their harmful consequences and potential for addiction.

Greater Sin

Gambling is not only considered haram (forbidden) in Islam, but it is also classified as a greater sin. This means that engaging in gambling activities is seen as a serious transgression against Islamic teachings.

The Quran explicitly condemns gambling and warns Muslims to stay away from it. Hazrat Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, an important figure in Islamic tradition, stated that all games involving betting are considered forms of gambling and therefore forbidden.

It is important for Muslims to understand the gravity of this prohibition and avoid participating in any form of gambling.

Forgetting Allah

Forgetting Allah is one of the dangers associated with gambling in Islam. When engaging in gambling, it becomes easy to lose sight of one’s connection with Allah and neglect their religious obligations.

The act of placing bets and focusing on winning can consume a person’s thoughts and divert them from the remembrance of Allah. This distraction can lead to negligence in offering prayers, reciting Quran, and performing other acts of worship that are essential for spiritual growth.

It is important to remember that as Muslims, our primary focus should always be on pleasing Allah and fulfilling our duties towards Him rather than being caught up in temporary worldly pursuits like gambling.

Objects of gambling

Gambling involves various objects that are used to facilitate the activity and make it more enticing. These objects can range from cards, dice, and roulette wheels to slot machines and sports betting slips.

In Islam, all of these objects are considered tools of gambling and are therefore forbidden. Islamic jurists unanimously agree that any game involving these objects falls under the category of haram.

The Quran explicitly condemns Muslims from participating in any form of gambling, as it is seen as a social disease that leads to financial loss, addiction, and negative impacts on personal and family relationships.

By prohibiting the use of these objects, Islam aims to protect individuals and society from the harms associated with this destructive activity.

The prohibition of gambling in Islam extends beyond just the act itself; it encompasses everything related to it including its tools or objects. By eliminating these objects from one’s life, Muslims are reminded to avoid temptations and strengthen their faith in Allah.

Guidance for Muslims in the Modern Age

Muslims in the modern age are guided to avoid gambling by following religious teachings and focusing on alternatives that strengthen their faith and help them resist temptations.

Prohibition in Muslim countries

Muslim countries have strict regulations when it comes to gambling. Many of these countries, in accordance with Islamic teachings, completely prohibit any form of gambling. This is based on the belief that gambling leads to financial loss, addiction, and negative impacts on personal and family relationships.

Islamic law considers maisir (gambling) as haram, encompassing all forms of gambling activities. Despite this prohibition, some Muslim-majority countries still have casinos operating within their boundaries.

Importance of following religious teachings

Following religious teachings is of utmost importance for Muslims, especially when it comes to the issue of gambling. Islam has clearly prohibited gambling in all its forms, categorizing it as haram.

By adhering to these religious teachings, Muslims can avoid engaging in activities that are financially destructive and have a negative impact on personal and family relationships.

Additionally, by avoiding the temptations of gambling, Muslims can strengthen their faith and build a more spiritually fulfilling life. It is crucial for gambling fans to understand the significance of following these teachings and seek alternative sources of entertainment that align with Islamic principles.

Alternatives to gambling

There are several alternatives to gambling that can provide entertainment and excitement without the risks involved. Instead of spending money on gambling, you could consider participating in activities such as sports, art classes, or joining a hobby group.

Engaging in these activities not only provides enjoyment but also helps to develop skills and interests while fostering healthy social connections.

Another alternative is to explore the world of online gaming. There are various video games available that offer competitive gameplay and challenges without involving real money. This can be a fun way to channel your competitive spirit and enjoy interactive experiences.

If you’re looking for intellectual stimulation, board games and puzzles are great alternatives. These games provide mental exercise while allowing you to enjoy quality time with friends or family members.

Strengthening faith and avoiding temptations

To strengthen your faith and avoid temptations related to gambling, it is important to follow the teachings of Islam. The Quran explicitly prohibits gambling, considering it haram.

By refraining from participating in any form of gambling, you can protect yourself from the negative consequences that come with it. Instead of seeking quick gains through gambling, focus on alternative activities that are halal (permissible) and beneficial for both your personal growth and community.

Strengthening your faith will provide you with a solid foundation to resist temptation and make choices in line with Islamic principles.


In conclusion, Islam unequivocally prohibits gambling in all its forms. The Quran and Islamic teachings condemn the practice due to its negative impact on individuals, families, and society as a whole.

Muslims are encouraged to avoid gambling and instead focus on strengthening their faith and finding healthier alternatives for entertainment. By adhering to these principles, they can lead a more fulfilling and morally upright life in accordance with their religious beliefs.


How does the Quran view gambling and alcohol?

The Quran takes a clear stance on the issues of gambling and alcohol, categorising them as activities that are detrimental to both individuals and society. Verses from the Quran explicitly condemn these practices, often mentioning them together to emphasise their harmful effects. For instance, in Quran 2:219, it states: “In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.” Another verse, Quran 5:90, declares: “Intoxicants and gambling, dedication of stones, and divination by arrows, are an abomination of Satan’s handwork. Eschew such abomination, that you may prosper.”

The Quranic perspective is rooted in the belief that both gambling and alcohol are social diseases that are addictive and can ruin personal and family lives. They are considered to be tools of Satan designed to sow discord and prevent individuals from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer, as mentioned in Quran 5:91.

Muslim scholars generally agree that it is forbidden to be involved in any betting, lottery, or other games of chance. However, there is some disagreement about whether raffles should be included in the definition of gambling. The most common opinion is that it depends on the intention behind participating in the raffle.

The overarching Islamic teaching is that money should be earned through honest labour and effort, rather than relying on luck or chance. Such practices only benefit a minority while luring the unsuspecting—often those who can least afford it—to spend significant amounts of money on the slim chance of winning more. Therefore, both gambling and alcohol are considered deceptive and unlawful in Islam.

What is Maisir in Islam concerning gaming?

In Islamic teachings, Maisir refers to all forms of games of chance or gambling activities, which are strictly prohibited due to their potential to cause harm. The term is rooted in Islamic law (Shari’a), and it is considered immoral because the agreement between participants is based on wishful hopes of gain by mere chance, without any consideration for the possibility of loss. Maisir is often mentioned in Islamic scriptures alongside intoxicants as activities that are sinful and should be avoided.

The Quran explicitly states that games of chance, including Maisir, are a “grave sin” and “abominations of Satan’s handiwork” (Quran 2:219, 5:90-91). Hadiths, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, also reinforce this prohibition. For example, Abdullah-bin-Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah prohibited intoxicants, games of chance, card playing, and Gobairah (Abu Daud).

The prohibition extends to various forms of gambling, including lotteries, betting, and casino-type games. The rationale behind this prohibition is multifaceted. Firstly, it is believed that such activities sow discord and enmity among people. Secondly, they divert individuals from the remembrance of God and from worship. Lastly, they can lead to significant financial and societal problems, including bankruptcy for some individuals.

Therefore, in Islam, Maisir is not merely a form of entertainment but is viewed as a serious ethical and spiritual issue that has wide-ranging implications for both the individual and society.

Are there any benefits to gambling recognised by Islam compared to its sinfulness?

In Islamic teachings, the concept of gambling is not viewed as a mere game or frivolous pastime but as a serious ethical and spiritual issue. While the Quran does acknowledge that there may be some “profit” or material gain in gambling, it emphasises that “the sin is greater than the profit” (Quran 2:219). The primary focus is on the ethical and moral implications, rather than any potential material benefits.

Muslim scholars generally agree that it is acceptable for Muslims to participate in healthy challenges, competitions, and sports, but it is forbidden to be involved in any betting, lottery, or other games of chance. The rationale behind this prohibition is that such activities are deceptive and lure people—often those who can least afford it—to spend significant amounts of money on the slim chance of winning more. The practice is considered unlawful in Islam.

In essence, while some may argue that there are benefits like profit from gambling, Islam places a higher value on ethics and moral integrity. Therefore, any perceived benefit cannot outweigh the sinfulness and the potential harm associated with gambling. The overarching Islamic teaching is that money should be earned through honest labour and effort, rather than relying on luck or chance.

Thus, in Islam, any benefits that might be derived from gambling are overshadowed by its sinfulness and its potential to cause harm both to the individual and society at large.

Is there any punishment specified for engaging in Gambling according to Islamic laws?

In Islamic jurisprudence, engaging in acts considered Haram, such as the use of intoxicants and tools of gambling, does attract strict sanctions. While the Quran condemns gambling and alcohol, it does not explicitly outline the specific punishments for engaging in these activities. However, Islamic scholars and jurists have interpreted the teachings to mean that such actions are subject to severe penalties under Islamic laws.

The Hadiths, which are the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad, also support the prohibition of gambling. In some Islamic countries, the penalties for gambling can range from fines to imprisonment. In more conservative societies, the punishments can be even more severe, including corporal punishment like flogging. The severity of the punishment often depends on the legal interpretations of Islamic law in the respective countries.

The atmosphere in which gambling takes place is often described as dimly lit and filled with deception, further emphasizing its sinful nature. The practice is considered deceptive and unlawful in Islam, leading to stress, illness, nervous breakdowns, and in most cases, crime, suicide, and chronic illness.

Therefore, while the Quran and Hadith may not explicitly state the specific punishments for gambling, the consensus among Islamic scholars is that it is a grave sin that attracts severe penalties. The aim is to deter individuals from engaging in activities that are harmful to themselves and society at large.

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