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Is Gambling and Interest haraam?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Is gambling haraam, I know that it is haraam as everybody says that. Can you explain me how? Any basis of everybody saying gambling haraam.?


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Is Gambling and Interest haraam?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 90-92: O you who believe, intoxicants, gambling, (ungodly) shrines, and divining devices are all abominable works of Shaitaan, therefore do not go near these, so that you may attain true success. Indeed Shaitaan intends to sow enmity and hatred among you by means of intoxicants and gambling, and to prevent you from the remembrance of Allah and from salat. Will you not, therefore, abstain from these things? Obey Allah and His Messenger, and abstain from these things. But if you disobey, note it well that Our Messengers only responsibility was to convey the Message clearly.


Allah does not actually use the word haraam for intoxicants (wine, etc.) and gambling like he does for the flesh of swine, etc. Allah uses the words faj-ta-ne-bu in the Holy Quran, which is loosely translated in English as do not go near or stay away for lack of a better word. But the eminent scholars of Islam have said that faj-ta-ne-bu is actually a stronger condemnation than haraam, because we are not commanded to stay away from swine, etc. But from wine and gambling, we are commanded to stay away and should not even go near it!


Anyways, in many authentic narrations, the Messenger of Allah (saws) clearly stated that intoxicants and gambling are haraam in unequivocal terms, and no muslim should have any doubt about it in the least. Allah himself says in the above aayah of Surah Maidah, that these are the handiworks of Shaitaan and commands us to stay away and do not even go near it. I believe that is enough proof and evidence from the Quran and Sunnah of the Messenger (saws) to proclaim that intoxicants and gambling are haraam in Islam. And this is one thing all the sects of Islam are unanimous in; proclaiming intoxicants and gambling haraam in Islam.


Your comment: Gambling- Bhai could you give me some specific reasons why Allah has mentioned in the Quran to stay away, except for the reason you had mentioned in the earlier email that it deters from the remembrance of Allah. What if I gamble but still do my prayers and other things as commanded by Allah.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 90-92: O believers, intoxicants, gambling, ungodly shrines, and divining devices are all abominable works of Shaitaan. Therefore refrain from these, so that you may attain true success. Indeed Shaitaan intends to sow enmity and hatred amongst you by means of intoxicants and gambling, and to prevent you from the remembrance of Allah and from Salaat. Will you not, then, abstain from these things? Obey Allah and His Messenger and abstain from these things. But if you disobey, note it well that Our Messengers only responsibility was to convey the Message clearly.


Apart from preventing one from the remembrance of Allah, Allah has given many other reasons in the above aayah to refrain from gambling, etc.

Gambling, etc. are all the abominable works of Shaitaan. And Shaitaan is mans confirmed enemy. His only duty is to incite us to do things which dis-please Allah.

Gambling, etc. sows enmity amongst the people who gamble, and sometimes even creates enmity between the people who are not directly involved in the act of gambling, like their family and friends.

Gambling, etc. sows hatred amongst the people who gamble.

Gambling, etc. prevents one from the remembrance of Allah.

Gambling, etc. prevents from salaat at their prescribed times.

It is a direct order from Allah, if indeed we believe in Allah and the Last Day.


When the All-Wise, All-Knowing Allah, orders us to stay away from something, it becomes a duty of a muslim to obey His orders. Allah wants us to be successful in this world and the hereafter, and He has given us ample warnings about the works and plans of Shaitaan in the Holy Quran. The one and only duty of Shaitaan, the accursed, is to take us away from doing deeds that please Allah, and invite and incite us to do deeds that cause the Wrath of Allah. And there is no doubt from the above aayah, that gambling is an abominable work of Shaitaan, and Allah has warned us to refrain and stay far away from it.


Besides, even in todays supposed free world, gambling, in any religion and culture is considered a vice. No person, no religion and no culture, even in these un-Godly times, approves of gambling as a virtue. They are all unanimous in declaring gambling a vice and a bad habit. It is common knowledge that gambling has destroyed many families and many lives.


It is not that if one is able to control himself, he is allowed to gamble. The wisdom behind all the laws of Islam are made for the general good of an individual as well as the society at large, in order for them to attain true success. And the All Knowing All Wise Allah has declared gambling as an abominable work of Shaitaan and ordered us to stay far away from it. For a muslim who fears Allah and the Last Day, this one statement should be enough to keep him away from this grave sin.


And Allah Alone Knows Best, and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your comment: Interest: I myself do not take interest but once in a time it happens in the business that I have to pay somebody and I have to take a loan. I cannot get the money immediately from anywhere Interest free. What do I do? Request him that I am a muslim and Interest is haraam for me. He will not bother at all as for them Interest is money and does not matter what we have to say.

After reading your interest answer to my queries it seems that we are trying to adjust the haraam deeds and cleanse the interest money by doing all this public welfare. Is this the right approach to Islam.? If we know that this is haraam then why do it in the first place?


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 274-276: But those who devour riba become like the one whom Shaitaan has bewitched and maddened by his touch. They have been condemned to this condition because they say, Trade is just like riba, whereas Allah has made trade halaal and riba haraam. Henceforth, if one abstains from taking riba after receiving this admonition from his Lord, no legal action shall be taken against him regarding the riba he had devoured before: his case shall ultimately go to Allah. But if one repeats the same crime even after this, he shall go to Hell, where he shall abide forever! Allah deprives riba of all blessing and develops charity, and Allah does not like an ungrateful, sinful person.


Allah says further in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 278: O Believers!, fear Allah and give up that riba which is still due to you, if you are true believers. But if you do not do so, then you are warned of the declaration of war against you by Allah and His Messenger!


The above is indeed one of the strongest condemnation aayahs of the Holy Quran for the usage of riba. We are warned of a Declaration of War with none other than Allah and His Messenger (saws)!!!


The Prophet (saws) said in an authentic tradition that on the Day of Judgment, some people will be given swords and ammunitions and will be ordered to pick them up. They will ask, why? And it will be said, Pick up the arms, for today your war is with Allah and His Messenger (saws) for the riba that you used to practice in the life gone by!


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 161: That they took riba, although they were forbidden. And that they devoured mens substance wrongfully. We have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment (of Hell Fire)!


The Prophet (saws) prophesied: A time is certainly coming to mankind, when only the receiver of usury will remain, and if one does not receive it, some of its vapour will reach him.


Unfortunately, we live in those times today. The Prophet (saws) said that a time will come, when even if one tries his utmost to stay away from riba, the whole society and surroundings will be so much engrossed in riba, that some of its vapour or dust will reach this pious person.


Please note that the best way is obviously to stay away from every face of interest and usury in this world; that would be the safest route in the eyes of Allah. There is absolutely no doubt about this. Thus I am not recommending any other route regarding interest and usury, except what is evident from the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (saws). The taking of riba is absolutely forbidden in Islam, and there is not even an iota of space for an auguement for taking riba.


But in todays world, interest and usury have become part of everything, and even if we try our best to keep away from it, some of its vapor will inevidently reach us! But Allah will judge us for our intention and our neeyah, and we must, in our hearts hate this system of usury prevailent in our times and pray to Allah to keep us away from it.


The system of cleansing, etc. were devised by eminent Islamic scholars, not to break or adjust the laws of Allah, but to live a purer life in Islam in todays abominable financial conditions, when the whole financial system is involved in usury and interest. Instead of just not caring about Islam and jumping head-long into the system of usury, the scholars have devised a system, with guidance from the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, as how to best avoid the sins of riba and cleanse our wealth accordingly. Allah will judge each and every one of us according to our intentions, and if our intention and neeyah is to cleanse our wealth for the Pleasure of Allah, we hope and pray that Allah will appreciate our efforts and have mercy upon us.


But I reteiriate again, that the best and most purest way is to stay away altogether, if you can, from this system of usury and interest. That will be closest to taqwa and piety.


Your comment: Muslims know the true religion but they are the worst followers:

I agree with you that we have the true religion with us but the examples the muslims create around are not enough for the world to follow our religion. You mean to say that these Shias, sunnis, bohras did not understand the Quran as you have understood. Look at the Afganistan what they are doing? Destroying somebody else religion in the name of Islam.


Your comment: Look at our Sydena? He is such a religious person? Does he not fear Allah and does he not know that he is doing against the religon? What about Christians, Jews and so many millions of other people each their own religion.?Are all these people wrong? And only you are right? Will they go to Hell? What about Hindus? If you go and tell them that read this book as this is the right religion then would they just take the word and start reading and understanding it?

I absolutely agree with you here, that the muslims are the worst possible example of Islam! And that is the main reason why we are not able to present a model religion to the world in the name of Islam. Please do bear in mind, that Islam is absolutely Perfect, but the muslims are individually and collectively to blame here. And have we ever wondered why are muslims in this state today? The answer was given by Prophet Mohamed (saws) 1400 years ago. The day we leave the guidance of the Holy Quran, and prefer the life of this transitory world to the hereafter, Allah will dishonor us in this world and in the hereafter. Muslims have today left the guidance of the Holy Quran, and formed their own sects on small differences, each one rejoicing in its own claims. Today, most muslims follow and obey and revere personalities in the name of Islam, rather than obey Allah and His Messenger (saws).


There is actually no apparent difference between a muslim and a non-muslim today, except in his name. One is Mohamed and the other is Ram, and there is no apparent difference in their actions and dealings! Both follow a set of rasms and rites and think that they have taken care of the rights of God, and in their normal day to day dealings, they make up their own laws and follow them! But Islam is not the name of some rites and rituals Islam is a complete guidance on how to live our lives in accordance with the commandments of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of our beloved Messenger of Allah (saws). As long as you hold on to Allah and His Messenger, I swear by Allah, you will never go wrong. Anybody or anything else you follow, I guarantee you from the guidance of the Holy Quran, it will lead to a disaster in this life, and the eternal fire of Hell in the hereafter.


Allah will not ask you and me regarding the Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sunnis, Shias, Bohras, and all the other religions and sects in the world! Allah will ask you what you did, and Allah will ask me what I did on this earth. Allah sent us the Holy Quran for our guidance; Did we ever bother to read and understand it? Allah sent us Mohamed ibn Abdulla (saws) as His Messenger, who lived his life as an example for us to follow; Did we ever bother to obey and follow him? Allah warned us again and again and again in the Holy Quran, that one Day you and I will be standing in the court of Allah, alone, to answer for all our deeds in this life; Did we ever give serious thought and fear the appointment with the Lord of the Worlds?


All this fancy and intellectual talk might look fair seeming to you and me today, but in the court of Allah Subhanah, the only talk and language is that of the truth! No fancy talk and no big leaders and personalities will be on hand to intercede for us on the Day of Judgment in the court of Allah Subhanah. It will be just you or me in front of Allah Alone, and we will have to answer for our whole life and the syllabus we followed to live this life. On this depends our entire eternal life of the hereafter!


The syllabus we have to follow is the Holy Quran. Whoever studies and follows this simple syllabus will be successful. Whoever follows anything else, will have nobody else to blame except himself. Can you imagine this scenario in the Court of Allah Subhanah on the Day of Judgement, regarding the person who did not follow the Quran, but instead followed and obeyed some big and learned scholar of his choice. (eg. The Syedna), who has absolutely no authority from the Quran that we should follow and obey him!

Allah will ask us: Did you receive my Message, the Al Quran?.

We will say: Yes, O Allah, I received it. I did not understand Arabic, but I read it every day in the Arabic language without understanding a word, and I thought You would be pleased with that. I assumed You would be displeased with me if I read the translations to understand the meaning of your message, so I stayed away from understanding the meaning of the Quran at all times. I could not understand the Quran, thus I did not follow it. But I did follow and obey this great scholar and leader and did everything he commanded me to do.

Do you think Allah will accept this argument of ours? Where is the authority and evidence from Allah that this Syedna or any other leader must be obeyed and followed? The only one who has the authority that he should be obeyed and followed is the Messenger of Allah (saws).


We know and believe that the Holy Quran is the very word of Allah Subhanah. The Syedna or any other personality has no authority to be obeyed or followed from Allah. These are nothing but self invented names and gods we have created ourselves! These people have deliberately taken away the understanding of the Holy Quran from our system, by making it difficult and even impossible to understand. They create doubts in our minds about the Message of the Lord of the Worlds. Once they have taken the Holy Quran and its guidance out of our systems, they guide us to invoke them, call on them, obey them, follow them, revere them, glorify them, praise them, and worship them and their families dead and alive!! They guide us to become slaves of man (Abd-Syedna) rather than make us slaves of Allah, our Creator and Sustainer (Abd-Allah).


Brother, the choice is very simple. We want to follow Allah and His Messenger (saws), or we want to follow any other personality? We want to follow the guidance from the Al Quran or we want to follow Daim-ul-Islam, Nahj-ul-Balaagh, Ikhwaan-us-safaa, or any other man made book!


All we are inviting you to do is read and understand the Holy Quran in a language you understand, once! And beg and pray to Allah Alone to show you the Straight Path and Siraat ul Mustaqeem. After reading the Holy Quran from cover to cover once, you still think that the Syedna is the right person and has authority from the Quran to be followed, obeyed, invoked and worshipped with Allah, go ahead and follow your way. At least your decision will be based on the knowledge you have received from the Message of Allah. Right now, we have just believed and followed the religion of our parents, thinking we were following the guidance of the Holy Quran. It makes just too much sense to read and understand the Holy Quran once, and then make an educated decision. That is all we are inviting you to do. You tell me if that is reasonable or unreasonable. If the Syedna is on the truth from the Holy Quran, the Holy Quran will guide you towards it. If not, then you will be guided to the right path of Islam.



Your comment: What do I teach my children: Bohrism is wrong. But they will ask me that father what are you following? And what should I do? I myself do not know what to follow with all the above examples of these best known people to the world. Whose examples I am suppose to follow?

I am a God fearing person and I know Allah is one and I know that our community is wrong and I never followed them. But I would like to keep away from the deepness of the deen. At the end it just matters to me that I have to be a good person even without knowing all this.

Now, this is an interesting decision. Just because everybody is calling you to follow their deen, you decide to follow NONE! Its like you are in the market to buy a pair of shoes. Everybody claims that the shoes of his company are the best, and invite you to buy their shoes, with their slick advertisements and billboards. You are so confused on which pairs of shoes to buy, that you decide to never wear shoes and walk bare-foot all your life! Now would you call that an intelligent decision?


Brother, if you believe that there is only One Allah, and that Mohamed is His Messenger, and the Al Quran is the revealed Message of Allah, then you are almost there. Now all you have to do is read the Holy Quran once in a language you can understand. Allah will guide you to the truth, Insha Allah, if the truth is indeed what you are looking for. Why would Allah misguide someone who wants to get closer to Him? Our Lord is not a tyrant! He is a Merciful and Loving God, and He wants His servants to be guided aright. That is the precise reason He sent down 124,000 Messengers and revealed His Books for the guidance of mankind. Read and understand the Holy Quran once, and then make your decision. You are the head of your family and it is your responsibility and incumbant upon you to guide yourself, your family, and your children to the Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah. If you dont, these same people might hold your hand on the Day of Judgement in the court of Allah and hold you responsible for guiding them towards the Hell Fire! Our whole eternal life of maybe billions of years depends on this one decision of ours, and we take it so lightly.


Being a good person is definitely part of Islam, but not the core. The core of belief, is to believe with certainty in only One Allah, and associate no partners with him at all. To believe that Mohamed ibn Abdulla (saws) is the Last Messenger and the Al Quran is the book revealed by Allah to Prophet Mohamed (saws) as a mercy and guidance for mankind. Now all you have to do is read and understand the Holy Quran once, and then decide from the knowledge received of the Quran, what is right and what is wrong. Bhai, trust me on this, the Holy Quran is very simple reading. And if you are indeed looking for guidance from the Quran, Allah will guide you to the Truth, Insha Allah. This is too important a decision to leave it for later! Because if one dies in ignorance or laziness in making a decision on this subject, he will have nothing but regrets for himself in the hereafter.


May Allah guide you and us all to the Siraat al-Mustaqeem


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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