A break from our mundane routine; some harmless entertainment; a game of cards. I’ve eaten and done my studies, and work…now it’s time for fun. This is often the thought process that goes through our minds as we pick up the deck and begin shuffling.
Some of you may be dreading what is to come; having the negative perception that ‘everything in islam is prohibited.’ My friends, please, rethink your negative attitude. Rather than thinking the glass is half empty, why not think of it as half-full?
Firstly, Islam does prohibit things except for a limited number, which can be counted on your fingers.
Secondly, it only prohibits what is harmful and will lead to destruction. Hence all forms of vice are shunned.
Thirdly, islam is not selfish, where it only considers one individual, rather it considers the society as a whole. It stands to benefit everyone.
As for playing cards, there is a difference of opinion. Some scholars have stated it is prohibited for it may eventually lead to that which is haram. Those who have permitted it have put regulations in place to govern its usage:
Here are some rules in place so that one can make the most of his time,
- That there are no images of living beings, or they are blotted out. Cards contain, kings, Queens, and Jacks, all of which have the image of a human face. It is important that one covers these images, either using a permanent marker, or sticker of some sort. Or if one is able to rub off the images, or buy cards which have different drawing representations; even better. You can read more about why images are prohibited here.
- That one does not opt to play in a prohibited place, or a place where there is much sin, such as heading to a club, or betting shop to play.
- That the game does not involve betting or gambling.
- That the game to be played is not fully reliant on chance, but rather involves some skill or calculation on the part of the players.
- That the game one intends to play does not include lying, for this is prohibited.
- That the ones playing are not distracted from their obligations nor from the remembrance of Allah. One should not delay the prayer for a game of cards, nor should one ignore his mother’s calls when playing cards.
- That the majority of one’s time is not occupied with playing. Rather one spends his day wisely first.
This is a summary of the regulations for playing cards.
May Allah aid us in spending our time wisely, and in manner pleasing to Him.