Praise be to Allaah and peace be upon the Messenger of
The one who looks at these games will see that they are based on mental
skills and individual reactions or decisions. These games are of various types, with many
aspects. Some of them take the form of illusionary battles which train a person in what to
do in similar circumstances [in real life]; some are based on being alert so as to save
oneself from danger; fighting enemies and destroying targets; planning; having adventures;
finding the way out of a labyrinth; escaping from wild beasts; racing cars, planes, etc.;
overcoming obstacles; searching for treasure. Some games increase knowledge and enhance
ones interests, such as games that involve taking things apart and putting them back
together, jigsaw puzzles, building things, colouring, and shading and lighting.
The shar'i ruling:
Islam does not forbid leisure or having fun in permissible ways. The
basic rule concerning these games is that they are permissible so long as they do not get
in the way of obligatory duties such as establishing prayer [i.e., praying properly and on
time] and honouring ones parents, and so long as they do not include anything that
is haraam. There are, however, many haraam elements in these games, such as the following:
Games which depict wars between the people of this world (good
guys) and people from the sky (bad guys), with all its implications of
accusations against Allaah, may He be glorified, or the noble angels.
Games which involve sanctifying the cross or passing over or by it to
gain strength, to bring one back to life or the give the player extra lives
and so on. Also, games which are used for designing birthday cards as in Christian culture
are also forbidden.
Games which approve of witchcraft/magic, and which glorify
Games which are based on hatred of Islam and Muslims, like the game in
which a player gets 100 points if he hits Makkah, 50 points if he hits Baghdaad, and so
Games that glorify the kuffaar and show pride in belonging to them, like
games in which if a player chooses an army belonging to a kaafir state he becomes strong,
and if he chooses an army belonging to an Arab state he becomes weak. Also, games which
teach a child to admire kaafir sports clubs and the names of kaafir players.
Games that include depictions of nudity, and some games that allow the
winner to see a pornographic picture; games that corrupt morals, such as games where the
idea is to run away with a girlfriend from the bad guys or a dragon.
Games based on ideas of gambling.
Music and other things that are known to be forbidden in Islam.
Physical harm, such as damage to the eyes and nervous system; harmful
effects of game sounds on the ears. Modern studies have shown that these games may be
addictive and harmful to the nervous system, as well as causing stress and nervous tension
Making children get used to violence and criminality, and teaching them
to take killing and murder lightly, as in the famous Doom game.
Corrupting childrens sense of reality by teaching them about a
world of illusions and impossible things, such as coming back from the dead, supernatural
powers that do not really exist, images of space aliens, and so on.
We have gone into details about some of the ideological dangers and
things that are prohibited by Islam because many fathers and mothers do not pay attention
to these things, and they bring these games for their children and let them play with
We should also point out that it is not permissible to compete for
prizes in playing these electronic games, even if the game itself is permissible, because
they are not a means of jihaad, and they do not help you develop strength for jihaad.
(al-Musaabaqaat wa Ahkaamuhaa fi’l-Sharee’ah al-Islaamiyyah by Dr, Sa’d al-Shathri).