How is investment a different thing to do than gambling (which is haram)?

Both can...

  • make you profit
  • or cause loss
  • depend on skill and chance.
  • be very risky and very likely to be profitable.
  • be very addicted or planned out/researched act.
  • be done for fun or serious needs.
  • be instantaneous transaction.
  • be not physical (virtual goods).
  • Please check the search engine before posting, i.e. islam.stackexchange.com/questions/121/…. This question may be a possible duplicate.
    – user2517
    Feb 20, 2014 at 3:11
  • 1
    no both questions are very different one is asking about if whether buying stock is ok and this one is asking that how gambling and investing money in business different. Feb 20, 2014 at 4:00
  • while it's good to have correct investment, incorrect investment which is less researched one is just that stupid investment but that won't be haram. Though.. Feb 20, 2014 at 18:29
  • investing in some business in what you haven't researched about is not gambling as is gambling in Islam. I mean i understand that this can be called gambling in general sense...this is not what it's in Islam...can anyone further confirm this. To me, from my knowledge, that is investing even though a very poor investment. Feb 20, 2014 at 18:35
  • 2
    Gambling is money on money and Investment is money on something, it is that clear.
    – Murtaza
    Dec 9, 2015 at 8:02

4 Answers 4


It depends on your intention in the end. Value/long-term investing is hardly gambling, or you're saying that buying real estate is gambling. Short-term/speculation is generally viewed as bad - even among economists and traders considering how it brings very little value to the economy - and something a good Muslim should not really take part in.

That said, short term speculation can sometimes be excused to be honest. A short term business venture for example (like taking advantage of a current fad) could be a legitimate investment.

It's a grey area really. The modern markets are too complex to be making generalised rulings on. I daresay that they are out of many scholars' depths.


your question is incorrect; A) gambling (in it's broadest sense) is based 100% on chance, no skill required:

A mentally retarded person can gamble; all they have to do is pick what to bet on. If you are just buying stock in any company you think is doing good and you assume they'll continue on that trend without reading up on them, then that is identical to gambling and in this case alone: You are correct investing is IN THIS CASE very similar to gambling, but not exactly the same, because a shareholder can always lay claim on assets to the value of his share in the company. That's a fundamental difference.

B) You always have knowledge (to some extent) of the outcome of one and never any knowledge of the outcome of the other:

The gambler has no hint or clue what the outcome will be, the only knowledge he does have is odds, and when he puts his money into the pot, he receives nothing in return

C) One is a trade, the other is not -When you invest in a company, you become an owner of that company and you own a percentage of that companies equipment/assets/debt/etc.

-When you bet on something, the only thing you get in return is hope.

I'm sure everyone can expand on this, but this is not something you need to go to the Qur'aan or Sunnah for, pure logic, so no references.


To invest is to buy and sell something, long or short term to make a profit. i.e. you could buy shares, or gold, or property, or bananas and sell it later when the value increases. and/or you can profit from what you invested in while you own it. That is basically investment, which is halaal.

To gamble is to bet, i.e. you put money down on a table and say that if my card is chosen, I win, or if my dice lands on 6, I win. That is haraam.

So as you can see, investing and gambling are 2 totally different things.

Here is a fatwa about it: http://islamqa.org/hanafi/daruliftaa/8574

  • so if i don't put money down on a table or don't use cards or dice..it's not gambling? Feb 21, 2014 at 23:44
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    Those were just examples, gambling is when you bet on something, it doesn't have to be cards, or dice, and you don't have to put money down on the table. For example, you might bet that a certain horse will win the race where your money is still in your bank account. Gambling and investment is not the same thing. Feb 22, 2014 at 12:13
  • i buy a company and i am betting it will make profit... Feb 23, 2014 at 20:06
  • you are not explaining anything just going around in circles with words...just throwing out synonyms...-__- Feb 23, 2014 at 20:06
  • Well yes, if you're going to bet with someone that your company will make a profit, then that is clearly haraam. Why would you want to do that? Why not invest without betting? I'm not going around in circles with words. Instead, it seems that the problem is that you don't understand the difference between gambling and investing. That explains why you can't see the difference between gambling and investing. Investments can seem like a gamble sometimes (a figure of speech), but that doesn't make it gambling literally, unless you actually start betting... Don't do the betting part! Feb 23, 2014 at 21:03

One difference is that investing promotes production and manufacturing and beneficial products for Ummah and creates useful job which results in many benefits for having a healthy society. But gambling has no beneficial product. Without investing many of factories and industries will never start working.

Anyway we do not know why God has made Islam laws. Only some reasons are said by infallibles (Prophet SAWW and Ahl al Bayt).

Also difference of investment and gambling seems off-topic in this site that is about Islam.

  • I understand this sounds off topic for this site..but it will help me understand other things where investing isn't as clear cut. I am not asking why God has made gambling haram, i am asking how is investing different from it...but i can see relevance could lead to that question. After much thought this was the only conclusion that i came up too...that it results in no value to community but maybe good for few. So this activity overall hurts more. Whereas in business aim is to provide something in exchange.. In short no wealth is generated only transferred in exchange of time and energy. Feb 20, 2014 at 18:33
  • So suppose if there is a game where you play and if you win you get some money depending on some variables including how much players before you have spent on this game. And to win you don't simply have to just throw a dice but actually compete, lets say soccer. Both teams put 150, and the winning team get 250 back...is that haram...it's not purely on chance, the outcome is motive for better skils>incentive for coach> job.. Feb 23, 2014 at 20:09
  • @MuhammadUmer by definition of gambling in Islam any game by bond and winning is gambling. not important with or without chance. Feb 24, 2014 at 4:41
  • this is a very bad answer: nothing you can ask, relating to social and economic or moral decisions, is ever off-topic when it comes to Islam. Telling a person that any such question is off-topic is just dismissive, let's not do that to our muslim brothers. It is very on-topic in fact. And the statement "we do not know why God has made Islam laws" is bogus! The Nabi encouraged us to ask about the laws of Islam for the very purpose that we know why they exist! Obviously for some laws there are less detailed reasons that others, but ultimately the laws were created to save of from hell Aug 5, 2016 at 8:31

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