I have heard that playing cards is Haram even if you play it without gambling. (According to Shia Islam, actually in accordance with the Fatawa of many Maraja' such as Ayatollah Khamenei) playing cards is Haram. (www.islamquest.net)

I wonder what its ruling is from Sunni Islam view?

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    In sunni point of view also it is haram. Since the player forget his goal or ambition and give all the mind in it. and there are also some other reasons.
    – smali
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 12:29
  • You would like to point out or try explaining in short why playing cards is Haram in Shia view. And if it Haram in shia view, then I believe it is definitely Haram in Sunni view also, and if Knowledgeable people((whether Sunni or Shia)) give statements then I would like to act upon them, after verifying though. Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 14:00

9 Answers 9


Many scholars -mostly from the athar school (ahl al hadith wal athar)- have forbidden to play cards and/or to play chess. And mostly the reason behind this is that it could lead to distraction from doing the prayers at time and from the remembering of Allah. For Imam Malik and Ahmad it would fall under sad a-dhra'i سد الذرائع: "Prohibition of what may lead to committing sins".

But on the other side there's a rule saying that anything is halal unless we have a source which forbids it. As this is not the case for playing cards in general as a distraction or just as a pastime: It's not haram. But if we do waste time by playing them for hours or as a habit it would be at least makruh.

It only becomes haram if it's related with gambling or as Job . Because Gambling is forbbiden and as a job there's no good in it, as it doesn't have any use for others.

As Allah says:

O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah ], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.

[Surat al-Maaida (5:90)]

And here is the same fatwa quoted by American Muslim and an other in Arabic

And Allah knows best!

  • "quoted by American Muslim" do you refer to Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid ?
    – aadil095
    Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 20:57
  • @aadil095 I refer to the link and the post of a former user which are both on islamqa a site supervised by this sheikh. This doesn't necessarily mean that he gave fatwas there himself.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 1:28

I also had the same question in my mind and then asked few scholars and googled to know the fact. Same with the case of smoking. These are not directly mentioned in Quran or Sunnah, so scholars explained the matters in question with their own understanding basing on other things similar, and their ideas differ. So it is you who will stand in front of Allah (swt) with your own deeds. So to me, it's better, you form your idea basing on what others have said. and know that, it's always better to remain in safe (if you really fear Allah and Judgement day).

Al-Hasan bin 'Ali said:
"I remember that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:
'Leave what makes you in doubt for what does not make you in doubt. The truth brings tranquility while falsehood sows doubt.'" [Jami` at-Tirmidhi Vol. 4, Book 11, Hadith 2518]

So,the idea that I thought to be more logical and perfect is "HAARAM".

The evidences attributed to my thought are given below:

"Whoever plays with dice (cards- anything that is shuffled to wish for desired ones), would (resemble) one who has tainted his hand with the flesh and blood of a pig," narrated by Muslim (2260).

"Everything other than remembering Allah is (considered) wasteful play except four: a man humoring his wife, a man training his horse, a man walking between targets (learning archery), and man learning swimming," narrated by An-Nasaa'i and authenticated by Al-Albaani (Sahih Al-Jami' 4534).

"And of mankind is he who payeth for mere pastime of discourse (idle talks, singing, playgirls: many tafseers have various ideas about it but basically time wasting device/event is the main crux), that he may mislead from Allah's way without knowledge, and maketh it the butt of mockery. For such there is a shameful doom." [Surah Luqman 31:06]

"What has caused you to enter Hell? They will say: "We were not of those who used to offer their Salat (prayers); Nor we used to feed the Miskin (poor); And we used to enter into vain discourse (idle talks, talking falsehoods, vanities, etc) with those who engaged [in it]" [Surah Al-Muddaththir 74:42-45]

  • Evidences are useful additions to a good answer, but they don't really speak for themselves: See meta.islam.stackexchange.com/q/1475/22
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 3:05
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    Does it speak a little now? @goldPseudo
    – user14748
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 3:38
  • @MRZK, I agree with your answer on the whole, and i think it is haram more than be halal.
    – Mohammad
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 6:17

It is not forbidden. Allah and His prophet never forbade it.

There are some scholars who say that it is forbidden because it could lead to distraction from prayer or it can lead to gambling, but both are pretty opinionated to me. Many things can be used for Haram but doesn't mean it is Haram. For example, you can use a knife or a Gun to kill someone but you can't say that it is forbidden because it can lead to it.

I dare anyone who says it is haram to bring any proof from the Quran and Sunnah, all you will get are wild speculation and weird interpretations.

  • I agree. As it says in the link you sent: "Playing cards is not permitted, even if there is no money involved, because the problem with that is that it distracts people from remembering Allaah (dhikr) and from prayer. Even if they claim that this is not the case, then it is still a means that may lead to gambling which is expressly forbidden in the Qur’aan." This statement is logically invalid. This means we must forbid all kinds of acts. Like playing soccer. It distracts dhikr and prayer and it may lead to gambling.
    – Kilise
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 0:37

Well, it is not forbidden. but of course we should not play as it leads to distraction from more important work. I have seen this distraction. Actually, our children also started playing cards and then you can't stop them from playing. Now this is disturbing. This is a habit-forming game which can convert into big trouble. So in my view, card playing is not forbidden in Islam, but as it leads to other problems so we should not play this game for the betterment of our life.

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    OP is asking about the sunni ruling. Your answer is only showing your opinion so far!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 8:02

someone above gave this example to justify that it shouldn't be haram "you can use a knife or a Gun to kill someone but you can't say that it is forbidden because it can lead to it." Islam forbids anything which is addictive in general and playing cards is addictive but using a knife is obviously not (unless the user is a psychopath and that's a whole other story). I have seen a lot of fatwas saying that its not haram. but if I use my common sense and see in the context, playing cards seems addictive to me. I might have enough knowledge to not indulge in gambling or enough control over my self to not waste time playing cards. But in the long run if my children see me playing cards they will think its all fine and might get addictive to the game and that would not be better for them. in this situation i will stand questionable on how i trained my kids to not be as useful as human beings should be, in front of Allah of course. I think it must be avoided even if it's not haram or declared makrooh. we all are sensible enough to see the big picture instead of just the present moment and then decide what will be good for us today, tomorrow and onward for our generations too and Islam is all about this rule (Betterment for humanity in all times for all generations until qayamah, that's why we have the teachings in the first place). Personally, I hate this game to the extent that it boils my blood. I will never allow my kids to even touch the cards InshaAllah. rest Allah knows best!!

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    The evidence used to support the claim is "my common sense" (from an anonymous random person on the internet). Instead, we seek evidence from Islamic sources, such as scholars. Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 14:41

If wasting of time is the issue of it being Haram, than Monopoly, Soccer, Scrabble, Crossword etc are all Haram. Allah knows best.

  • It is not haram but makrooh (frowned upon) and indeed this would apply to all you've mentioned unless they have any kind of benefit.
    – ياsr
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 14:03

It is not haram as long as you are not playing for money or forgetting to pray salah or any other chores.


Those who say that other things can also lead toward haram for e.g knife can kill and also can be useful! But the point is that it is at least useful. I'll never consider cards to be useful in any sense! so its more closer to be Haram!


I don't know what to say. I know that it would never lead to gambling unless you are tempted to gambling itself. Playing at home with the family is like playing any other game. Perhaps we could set a point limit or time limit. Just like playing other computer games or video games. If it meant that the family is together eating and playing games together then would it be haram? Allah knows best.

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