Is it Haraam to Play Board Games in the holy month of Ramzan like Ludo, Checkers, etc??

A friend of mine has said that he had heard that Rasool-Ullah(PBUH) prohibited all such games that do not involve physical activities. That's why I need clarification. If there are Ayaat and/or Ahadeeths related to this matter please share with authentic references.

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    "Ramadan is only 30 days in the whole year. And it is so holy that you should not waste your time playing board games. Instead try to do as much good deeds as you can" I think that's what he was trying to say. But yeah, entertaining your self in Ramadan is fine unless it doesn't take too much of your time. – Sohaeb Jun 30 '14 at 21:07

The evidence from the Qu'ran includes this (from islamqa):

“O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al-Ansaab [stone altars set up for sacrifices to idols etc], and Al-Azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s (Satan’s) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful".

Scholarly opinion has:

“When chess distracts us from what we are obliged to do both inwardly and outwardly, it is haraam according to the consensus of the scholars – such as when it distracts from an obligatory duty such as prayer or anything that is necessary in the interests of oneself or one’s family, or enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, or upholding ties of kinship or honouring one’s parents, or any obligations connected to positions of authority or leadership, etc. In this case it is haraam according to the consensus of the scholars. Similarly, if it involves anything that is haraam such as telling lies, swearing false oaths, cheating, wrongdoing or helping in wrongdoing, or other forbidden things, then it is haraam according to the consensus of the Muslims.” *(Adapted from Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 32/218, 240). *

and further

Al-Dhahabi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “With regard to chess, most of the scholars say that it is haraam to play it, whether that is for money or not. If it is played for money then it is indisputably gambling. Even if it is not played for money it is still gambling and haraam, according to most of the scholars… al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about playing chess, is it forbidden or permissible? He (may Allaah have mercy on him) replied that if it makes a person miss praying on time or he plays for money, then it is haraam, otherwise it is makrooh according to al-Shaafa’i and haraam according to others…” (al-Kabaa’ir, 89-90).

However, I do not understand why Al-Dhahabi says that when chess 'is not played for money it is still gambling'; my understanding of gambling is the kind of risk involved and the association of money.

In short: Its gambling that is haram; in particular dice & board-games have been associated with gambling, so by extension one may think that these games are then haram; but the actual connection is not there; they are maqrooh;

  • Since when is playing monopoly with your family is considered as gambling? – Mehdi Jul 1 '14 at 2:22
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    @mehdi: I wasn't suggesting that playing monopoly is haram! I was merely trying to establish why anyone would think games with dice would be haram; I'm speculating that at the time the hadith on dice-games was haram that these games were on the whole associated with gambling; – Mozibur Ullah Jul 1 '14 at 4:56
  • Dice games are haram as far as I know because they are chance-based. Please read this: islamqa.info/en/14095 – user4150 Jul 1 '14 at 4:57

For people saying it's not haraam, I won't argue with you but will point this hadith for you:

Buraida reported on the authority of his father that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: He who played chess is like one who dyed his hand with the flesh and blood of swine. - Sahih Muslim Book 28 Hadith 5612

Please read explanation from different muhadith.

... But if it does not distract us from our obligations or involve anything that is haraam, then there is a difference of scholarly opinion concerning the ruling. The majority of scholars (Abu Haneefah, Maalik, Ahmad and some of the companions of al-Shaafa’i) said that it is also haraam, basing that view on the evidence of the Book of Allaah and the opinions of the Sahaabah.

More details at http://islamqa.info/en/14095

Jazakumullahu Khairan

  • Who doesn't like my answer? Mind commenting? It's hadith. Wassalam – abumusamq Jul 1 '14 at 3:13
  • +1 But you missed the part of the question "all such games that do not involve physical activities". I was wondering if games like '4 in a row' are also haram. – user4150 Jul 1 '14 at 4:56
  • Allah knows best but if you open the link as per answer , Sheikh has said it's games that waste time and he has made mention of backgammon as well – abumusamq Jul 2 '14 at 1:00
  • True. I read the link you gave. But even though games waste time, some entertainment is permitted in Islam as far as I know. I was wondering, are all board games haram or only a few? – user4150 Jul 2 '14 at 8:04

why is it haraam? I've never heard that playing board game is haraam. For me it's just a game, as long as you do not gamble (making a bet).

The point is don't forgot the most important things in Ramadan, on time prayer, reciting qur'an, tarawih, sadaqah, and of course a good sleep.

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