It’s been quite the source of debate over whether or not video games are haram. So I decided to look into the arguments for both sides to gain a better understanding.
Are Video Games Haram?
It is a debated topic as to whether video games are haram. They can be Haram if their content does not comply with Sharia, but they can also be halal since entertainment is allowed in Islam. A video game can also be considered Haram if it leads to players becoming addicted or neglecting their duties under Islam. However, some argue that actions in video games are not real and should not be judged by the same moral standards as real-life actions. As with all decisions in which you are worried about something being haram, consult Allah and allow that communication to guide your judgment.
Since we can’t give a definitive answer, as it depends on the content of the game and the behaviour of the player, let’s look at all aspects.
When Are Video Games Are Haram?
Generally, video games can be considered haram when they break the Sharia (the laws of Islam). The most explicit examples of content that breaks sharia are unprovoked violence or murder and gambling. Games can also be considered haram if it leads the player into addiction or to neglect their duties under Islam (praying and reading the Quoran).
Conflicting Arguments on Violence in Video Games
Some people argue that killing in video games is not haram because it’s not real. They believe that video games are a form of fictional entertainment, similar to movies or books and that actions taken within a game do not have real-life consequences. The virtual world is separate from reality, and therefore, actions performed in a game should not be judged by the same moral standards as actions performed in real life.
On the other hand, others argue that even though video games are fictional, they can still influence a player’s thoughts, behaviours, and attitudes. They believe that engaging in violent or immoral acts in a video game can desensitize players to these acts in real life or promote negative behaviour. In this view, playing games with haram content may still be considered haram, as it could lead to the player developing harmful thoughts or behaviours that conflict with Islamic teachings.
Popular games that could be considered Haram
- PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battle Grounds): is considered Haram because players fight in arenas to kill each other – in other words, unprovoked murder.
- Grand Theft Auto: is considered haram because it encourages players to steal, murder, consume alcohol and drugs, gamble and a variety of other immoral acts.
When Are Video Games Halal?
Since entertainment is allowed in Islam, video games can be considered halal so long as they comply with Sharia. Many video games have music which is not allowed in Islam, but fortunately, most video games provide a setting to turn the music off.
Popular games that could be considered Halal
- EA Sports FIFA: is a series of video games about football.
- Mario Kart: a series of games where you race around a track in a go-cart as a cartoon character.
Looking at this topic, we can see that it can be difficult for some players to find the balance between being a good Muslim and respecting Islam while wanting to have fun, relax and socialise with friends and family through video games. If you are unsure if you should play a video game, consult Allah and through that conversation lead yourself into understanding whether or not it is best for you to play the game. But always trust in Allah’s wisdom for you.
Haram is an Arabic word that means “forbidden.” So when something is Haram, it means that it is strictly forbidden by Islamic law. It can also mean that something is forbidden unless one has achieved a certain level of purity or spiritual knowledge.
Hala is an Arabic word that means “permissible” or “lawful” in Islam. So when something is Halal, it means that it is allowed by Islamic law.
Sharia is an Arabic that can be translated as “the pathway to be followed”. In Islam, Sharia is the set of laws based on the teachings of the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet.