Can I play Video Games?


Assalaam Mufti I want to know if it is permissible to play video games? Many of these games portray ‘gods’ or ‘demi-gods’, I want to know if this is problematic? Also, will it be permissible to make thikr and salawaat while playing?

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته


1. While a moderate amount of playing games might be arguably tolerable, it most certainly does not behove a Muslim to involve himself in anything that involves gratuitous and senseless violence as well as bad language.
2. A Muslim’s greatest and most valuable is his īmān; he guards it jealously. Part of guarding one’s īmān is steering clear of using words such as “god” idly. When the word is used by others in whatever context, as Muslims we should take care not to mimic them.
3. Games which negatively stereotype Islam and Muslims should be avoided.
4. Making dhikr or ṣalawāt whilst playing undesirable games is in itself reprehensible. Dhikr and ṣalawāt are forms of ʿībādah. Engaging in them whilst playing such games is highly objectionable.
5. While beneficial games or documentaries are not intrinsically objectionable, great care must be taken not to get drawn too deeply into them. It is in the nature of the modern entertainment industry to get viewers completely captured, as Allah states in the Qurʾān:

﴾ومن الناس من يشتري لهو الحديث ليضل عن سبيل الله بغير علم ويتخذها هزوا، أولئك لهم عذاب مهين﴿
There is the sort of person who buys the amusement of speech to mislead [others] away from the way of Allah without knowledge, and to hold it up in ridicule. For those there will be a humiliating torment. [Luqman 6]


6. It would therefore be highly advisable and spiritually uplifting for those who have fallen prey to games and entertainment to force themselves occasionally, and for extended periods of time, into avoiding the games they have become accustomed to.

والله تعالى أعلم
And Allah knows best.

(Issued: November 2019)


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