Drugs, Alcohol, & Gambling (part 2 of 2)


Description: A two-part lesson clarifying the Islamic perspective on three widespread evils: drugs, alcohol, and gambling.  Part 2: The Islamic ruling on the different forms of gambling widespread in modern society along with guidance from the Quran and Sunnah to stay away from these vices. 

By Imam Mufti (© 2013 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 11 Feb 2013 - Last modified on 25 Jun 2019

Printed: 483 - Emailed: 0 - Viewed: 20,182 (daily average: 5)


·Recognize the widespread forms of gambling in modern society.

·Learn the Islamic ruling on gambling and it’s types.

·Learn six ways to deal with the vices of alcohol, drugs, and gambling.

Arabic Terms

·Du’a  -  supplication, prayer, asking Allah for something.

·Sunnah - The word Sunnah has several meanings depending on the area of study however the meaning is generally accepted to be, whatever was reported that the Prophet said, did, or approved.


Gambling discourages honest labor and encourages greed, materialism and discontent.  It encourages “get rich quick” thinking and reckless investment of God-given resources.

“Gambling addiction” is a recognized mental health problem![1]  Betting on sports, buying lotto tickets, playing poker, slot machines, or roulette are only a few of the activities in which compulsive gamblers engage.  While many prefer gambling in a casino, the rate of online gambling addiction is on the rise.

Islam forbids gambling.  The prohibition is based on the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet.  In the Quran, we read:

“O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan’s handwork: Abstain from such (abomination), that you may prosper.  Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer. Will you not then abstain?”(Surah al-Maidah 90-91)

The Messenger of Allah emphasized the prohibition of gambling to such an extent that even considering to take part in gambling was regarded to be blameworthy.  The Messenger of Allah said: “Whosoever says to another: ‘come lets gamble’ should give in charity(as a form of expiation for intending to gamble).” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

We can say that gambling is an activity in which the players voluntarily transfer money or something of value among themselves, but this transaction is conditional to the outcome of a future event that is uncertain.

Basically, there are two fundamental formations of gambling:

1)   The first form of gambling is when no party is obliged to pay any amount for certain; rather, the payment of each party is dependent upon an uncertain event in the future.  In this case, the gambler does not stake his money initially, rather the money is put at stake by promising to pay later.

For example, A and B compete in a race, with the promise of the loser paying the winner $100.  In this example, there is no certainty of payment from any one party; rather the payment is contingent from both sides on winning and losing.

Also included in this category is the betting that takes place in horse-racing and various other sports.  For example, A says to B that if team X wins the match, I will pay you $100, but if team X loses, you will have to pay me $100.

2)   The second form of gambling is where payment is certain from one side, and uncertain from the other.  The one paying for certain is actually staking his wealth, in that it may bring more wealth or it may be lost totally.  This is probably the most widespread type of gambling and has many different forms.

Also included are the various types of lotteries, raffles, and sweepstakes, where one has to pay to be included in the draw, whether this payment is in the form of entrance-fees, purchasing of tickets or any other form.  The reason is that the total accumulated cash will be distributed among those whose names emerge in the draw as the prize-winners, which is clear gambling.  If one’s name does not emerge in the prize draw, one will be losing wealth without anything in return.

Treatment Plan

1.Proper Upbringing

A healthy family provides the stability children need and when it instills in children the love and fear of Allah, it becomes a strong deterrent against following desires.  The most effective manner to parent is to provide good role models to one’s children.  Not only words, but action is also required from parents.

2.Repent & Seek Forgiveness

A believer immediately seeks forgiveness after committing a sin and feels ashamed for having disobeyed Allah.  Therefore, any Muslim who is involved in drug abuse, alcoholism, or gambling, must know that Allah is there to help him and forgive him his sins.  He must go to Allah with a repentant heart.  The Prophet of Mercy said, “The one who repents from sin is like the one who has not committed any sin.” (Ibn Majah)

However, repentance should be totally sincere.  A person has to feel ashamed and guilty for doing the sin.  He should also resolve to stay away from that sin in future.  He should make amends to compensate for that sin. 

3.Keep Good Company

Keeping good company is part of the treatment as well as prevention.  Without it, the treatment is incomplete.  A person should make every effort to develop good relations.  Being surrounded by good, pious people cannot be over emphasized.  When a person is deprived of sincere friends, he has no one to remind or advise him when he is feeling sad or lonely.  Many people fall into the vices of drugs, alcohol, and gambling through exposure to bad company.  Live close to the mosque and spend time in it, change neighborhoods, move out of the city, do whatever it takes.

4.Occupy Your Time

When a person with free time fails to utilize it in obedience of Allah, he will likely use it to disobey Allah.  Most addicts complain of boredom! Free time should be seen and utilized as an opportunity to please Allah and gain His rewards in the Hereafter.  The Prophet said “There are two blessings of which many people are deprived: health and free time.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

Use your time to learn the Quran, learn Arabic, learn about Islam, then spread it.  Use your free time to develop skills, get training for a job, or education. 

5.Consult a Rehab Center

Get into a rehab program and get all the help you need.

6.Du’a (Supplication)

Du’a in itself is an effective treatment.  In du’a one implores the All-Powerful by Whose command everything occurs.  When one combines du’a with other efforts, Allah most certainly helps and protects His servants.


[1] (http://www.ncpgambling.org)

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