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I was told that playing games such as Ludo or Snakes and Ladders is haraam as you use a die / dice. What is the correct opinion on this.

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Playing any game where dice are involved is forbidden.

The Prophet ﷺ warned us against using dice in general:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ قَالَ‏:‏ إِيَّاكُمْ وَهَاتَيْنِ الْكَعْبَتَيْنِ الْمَوْسُومَتَيْنِ اللَّتَيْنِ يُزْجَرَانِ زَجْرًا، فَإِنَّهُمَا مِنَ الْمَيْسِرِ

'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said, "Beware of these two marked cubes. They should be forcibly prohibited. They are part of gambling."

— Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, Book 54, Hadith 12

The two marked cubes are the dice. He also said that playing with dice is like dying one's hands with the flesh and blood of swine:

عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ بْنِ بُرَيْدَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: مَنْ لَعِبَ بِالنَّرْدَشِيرِ فَكَأَنَّمَا صَبَغَ يَدَهُ فِي لَحْمِ خِنْزِيرٍ وَدَمِهِ

Buraida reported on the authority of his father that Allah's Apostle (ﷺ) said: He who played Nardashir (a game similar to backgammon) is like one who dyed his hand with the flesh and blood of swine.

— Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Hadith 11

Imam An-Nawawi said in his Sharh that nardashīr means dice and that the hadith above is what Imam Ash-Shafi'i and the majority of scholars used to declare playing with dice forbidden. Imam Malik is of the same opinion; he narrated a story about 'Ā'isha renting her place to people who owned dice. She threatened them to remove the dice from her house or leave:

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، زَوْجِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ بَلَغَهَا أَنَّ أَهْلَ بَيْتٍ فِي دَارِهَا كَانُوا سُكَّانًا فِيهَا وَعِنْدَهُمْ نَرْدٌ فَأَرْسَلَتْ إِلَيْهِمْ لَئِنْ لَمْ تُخْرِجُوهَا لأُخْرِجَنَّكُمْ مِنْ دَارِي وَأَنْكَرَتْ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ

Yahya related to me from Malik from Alqama from his mother that A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard that the people who lived in a room in her house had some dice. She sent a message to them, "If you do not remove them, I will remove you from my house," and she reproached them for it.

— Muwatta Malik, Book 52, Hadith 6

It is clear that she did not even want to be in the presence of dice in the same place, let alone play with it. Imam Malik narrated another hadith about the prohibition of dice:

عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى الأَشْعَرِيِّ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: مَنْ لَعِبَ بِالنَّرْدِ فَقَدْ عَصَى اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ

Yahya related to me from Malik from Musa ibn Maysara from Said ibn Abi Hind from Abu Musa al-Ashari that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever plays games of dice has disobeyed Allah and His Messenger."

— Muwatta Malik, Book 52, Hadith 6

Accordingly, since dice are of and by themselves forbidden, any game that uses dice is consequentially forbidden, board games (Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, etc.) included.


Reference from Islam Q&A: Does Ludo come under the heading of dice games which are prohibited?

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