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I am a owner of a game development company. Currently our team is working on a multiplayer shooter game. In that game, the user will purchase coins and play with others with some portion of that coin. Winners will get all the coin and after a certain amount of coins the winner can redeem that coin for real money. My question is:

  1. Is this a gambling in eye of Islam? As it depends on player skill rather than luck then how could it be gambling?

  2. If it is gambling then if I give them the opportunity to earn that coin from the game by doing some task then will the game still be gambling? (e.g. watching video ads will give the user 1 coin or something like that).

I am a pure Muslim and at least I don't want to do any forbidden things that is directly mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. If the project is related to gambling then how can I make it legal in an Islamic way? I mean what feature will make it not forbidden in the eyes of Islam, keeping in mind that I don't want to remove the coin playing system.

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  1. As per your description of the system, what you're referring to comes under competitions with prize-money. This is haraam except for few cases:

Al-Tirmidhi (1700), al-Nasaa’i (3585), Abu Dawood (2574) and Ibn Majaah (2878) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There should be no (money) prizes for competitions except in archery, camel-racing and horse-racing.”

Here's a fatwa by islamqa regarding competitions with prizes. But IslamWeb also says that Maalikis have an opinion that if the nature of the competition is halaal, even if they don't fall in the above mentioned sports in the hadith, then the prizes are halaal in that case, although majority are still of the opinion that it is impermissible.

  1. If the system of purchasing coins through real money is kept in place, then adding another method of earning money doesn't change the ruling. This is because it is just mixing halaal and haraam and the end product is haraam or at the very least mushbooh.

As long as real money is involved in this scenario which comes from the competitors themselves, it cannot be halaal (Look at second part of this fatwa and also this fatwa). There is no need to further discuss about what ways it can be made halaal as this is off topic as per the site's policy.

And Allah(SWT) knows best

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