Playing Cards

His Eminence As-Sheikh Sa’d ibn Nasr Ash-Shitri ( حفظه الله تعالى)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The type of cards intended here is the deck which has 52 cards and consists of black, red, diamonds, hearts and spades.

Among the most popular games played with cards are; Blackjack, Poker, Spades, Hearts, Spoons and Gin Rummy.

The discussion about playing cards;

  • If playing cards involves lying, deception, and abandoning obligations, such as the prayer in congregation, Jumu’ah, or going to work ,then involving yourself in this game is Haraam.

Nonetheless, if these actions aren’t involved then the scholars are split into 2 sides about the issue;

  • Prohibited -and this is the view of the Permanent Committee of Senior Scholars in Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Al-Uthaymeen, and others.


  • Halal- and this is the view of other senior scholars.

The reason why some scholars say it’s Haraam (Prohibited):

  • It causes one to subdue the other in a game, thus causes hatred and enmity ,or allows a person to degrade another with insults, or call them ignorant.
  • They will despise each other  by cursing, lying, slander, and so forth.
  • The same reason why Backgammon is Haramm.

The reasons why other scholars say it’s Halal (permitted):

  • Based on the origin of things in this world. i.e “Everything is Halal until there is text that states its Haraam”.
  • It keeps people away from backbiting, tale-carrying and other forms of sins.

Shaykh Sa’d Ash-Shitri’s conclusion.

Playing card games are prohibited in Islam and this is based on the following considerations:

  • Backgammon and card games are built on chance, coincidence and good luck.


  • Even though these games require one to use their mental faculties and other skills, in most cases the people rely on chance and luck more.



  • The Qiyas [ Legal deduction ] is a proof in the shariah and therefore it removes it from the origin of being Halal.


  • The argument that it prevents people from sinning can’t be used as a proof. Drinking alcohol sometimes prevents people from backbiting, tale-carrying and others sins, yet this doesn’t make it Halal. [1]

And Allah knows best.


Translated by

Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle


Doha, Qatar, The Blessed Arabian Gulf

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upcoming topics on the Gazette

A Discussion about Oral Sex and scholars’ views about the topic. Is it allowed or prohibted, and a refutation against those Du’at who allow it between in unmarried couples in the WEST


[1] Al-Musabaqat [المسابقات] page 229-231, By shaykh Sa’d Ash-Shitri

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