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Assalam Alaykum my dear brothers and sisters in Islam. I was recently wondering what is the difference between business investment and gambling in Islam?

Since as far as I know investing in businesses is Halal but gambling isn't. Why is that? In investing you invest money and expect a profit which is based upon luck and slightly calculated figures, and gambling is also the same, isn't it?

Can anyone explain to me the difference between them from an Islamic perspective? and why one is halal and the other isn't?

JazakAllah Khair.

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Gambling is basically time based so when someone gambles they have no control over the returns and the money put into gambling is either lost or won back on the same day. There’s no guarantee and it goes against what Islam teaches which is to put trust into Allah.

  • “O you who believe, intoxicants, Maysir, sacrificing for idols and making decisions based on games of chance are filth from the work of satan, so avoid these things and you may prosper. Satan desires to create enmity and hatred amongst you through intoxicants and gambling and to stop you from praying and remembering Allah. So will you abstain from these things?” [Quran 5:90-91]

Investing is where you put in an amount of money but you have complete control over when you can either sell or keep in order to make profit. You can hold for as long as you want and if the company starts to increase the returns then you have the option to sell and you’ll get profit.

However there are guidelines that must be followed in order to keep in line with sharia teachings. Islamic principles require that investors share in profit and loss, that they receive no interest (riba), and that they do not invest in a business that is prohibited by Islamic law, or sharia. Before investing in a company, it is necessary to evaluate its business activities and financial statements to determine where its primary revenues come from and how its balance sheet is managed. A company that meets certain criteria (mentioned below) would be halal, or permissible. If it does not meet the criteria, it would be haram, or not permitted. If you are to invest in something like stocks the trading company eToro would be a good as they have been deemed halal by many different scholars and websites.

Furthermore you must only invest in halal products, nothing haram like pornography, the manufacturing of alcohol or pork/haram meat products. Gambling, interest based financial services and tobacco products.

To conclude gambling doesn’t give you the control over the money you use in where you have a high chance of losing it whereas investing allows you to make decisions on what you’d like to invest in and also make sure you keep within sharia guidelines. I hope this can be of help to you :)

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  • JazakAllah Khair for answering. May Allah bless you. Aug 24 at 1:11
  • Ameen! No problem :)
    – Usman
    Aug 24 at 4:10

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