Gambling is the act of betting money with the expectation of profits. Gambling is a favourite pastime for a lot of people. Gambling means to give or take money or goods depending on something that is not known how it will end. No matter what the name is, any game or bet that has this property and that is played in return for money or goods is called gambling. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
“O you who believe! Verily the intoxicants and [the] games of chance and (sacrifices at) altars and divining arrows (are an) abomination from (the) work (of) the Shaitaan, so avoid it so that you may (be) successful.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:90)
Gambling is a way of obtaining undeserved money which makes a man forget his Creator, prevents him from performing prayers, leads him to laziness, eliminates his strength to work and causes grudge and enmity among people. All kinds of gambling, which causes irreparable wounds in individual and social life, are haram in the religion of Islam. Allah says:
وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُوا بِهَا إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُوا فَرِيقًا مِّنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالْإِثْمِ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
“And (do) not eat your properties among yourselves wrongfully and present [with] it to the authorities so that you may eat a portion from (the) wealth (of) the people sinfully while you know.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:188)
Gambling is like stress, regret and a little guilt, which most people feel at some point even if only briefly. It’s easy to forget about this side of gambling but these feelings often build-up, even if you’re not gambling very much or very often. It might not happen straight away, which is probably why many people don’t understand the negative effects of gambling.
Here are some effects of gambling that impact all the fields:
- Gambling addicts tend to feel abandoned and angry
- Gambling stay away from their social and family life
- Gambling implies a strangely secretive behaviour
- Gambling changes one’s mental state and mood
- Gambling leads to harmful behaviour in people
- Gambling drew in a major depressive disorder
- Gambling involves a mentally taxing activity
- Gambling begins to have damaging effects
- Gambling can lead to criminal activities
- Gambling can leave one in bankruptcy
- Gambling forget satisfaction or peace
- Gamblers often exhibit mood swings
- Gambling hampering the career
- Gambling has proven to be addictive
- Gambling takes start anxiety building
- Gambling adds to the burden on prisons
- Gambling stress may lead to health issues
- Gambling effects to having a drug or a drink
- Gambling causes a decline in work performance
- Gambling is not even refreshing in the real sense
- Gambling tends to remain away from their families
- Gambling soon becomes a habit that can’t be broken
- Gambling leads to a thoughtless expenditure of money
- Gambling increases stress and leads to strained family relations
- Gambling is a mental state that can even lead to suicidal tendencies
Anxiety and Depression
Many people who gamble excessively feel stressed, anxious and depressed. This can make sleeping, thinking and solving problems more difficult.
If you have some of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, making your day-to-day life difficult, you may have chronic depression:
- You feel depressed, down in the dumps or irritable
- You feel helpless, hopeless or despairing
- You have lost interest in social activities
- You have lost interest in usual activities
- You have lost or gained weight
- Your appetite has changed
- You feel angry
- You think about suicide
- Your sleep has changed
- You go over and over guilty feelings
- You can’t stop thinking about problems
- You never thought it would get this bad
- You feel physically tired, slow and heavy; or you feel restless and jumpy
Rates of suicide are higher for people who gamble excessively, and for their family members. The people most likely to attempt suicide are those who also have mental health problems (like depression) or who heavily use alcohol or other drugs.
People who have threatened suicide or hurt themselves in the past are also more at risk. If you feel suicidal or are making plans to end your life, get help right away. You don’t have to deal with your problems alone.
Gambling also causes disorders, disagreements and neglects in family life. Many people sell their religion, honour and country due to gambling and who tread on all kinds of sacred values.
1. Gambling is the fourteenth Greater Sin.
2. “They ask you about intoxicants and games of chances. Say: in both of them there is a great sin…” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:219)
3. “Item al-Kabir” means a very great sin. The Holy Qur’an has used this phrase only for drinking and gambling.”
4. The tradition related by Fazl Ibn Shazān from Imam ‘Ali ar-Riďa (a.s.) also included gambling among the Greater Sins. Similarly, gambling is mentioned as a Greater Sin in the tradition related by Amash from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.).
5. Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.), is reported to have told Abu Basir: “It is Harām to sell chess. It is Harām to spend the income on this sale. To keep chess (board and pieces) in one’s possession is tantamount to kufr (disbelief). To play chess is equal to ascribing partners to Allah. It is a sin even to salute one who plays chess. One who touches it to play it, it is, as if he has contaminated his hands by touching pork.”
6. The same tradition is recorded in the book Man La Yahzarul Faqih with the addition inter alia that: “To teach chess to others is also a kind of destructive sin.”
7. Another proof is the following verse of Qur’an, which shows that gambling, is a Greater Sin:
“O you who believe! Intoxicants and (Maesir) games of chance and divining (azlam) by arrows are only an uncleanness, the Shaitan’s work; shun it therefore that you may be successful.” (Surah al-Mā’ida 5:90)
8. Games of chances that are mentioned in this Quranic verse include all types of gambling. The Arabic equivalent to this is “Maesir” which is derived from the root word “yusur” which means ‘ease’. Since a gambler does not perform laborious work and can easily grab the money belonging to others, gambling is called“Master”.
9. “The Shaitan only desires to cause enmity and hatred to spring in your midst using intoxicants and games of chance…”(Surah al-Mā’ida 5:91). As far as gambling is concerned, the enmity between the participants is the most natural outcome in a game of chance.
The person who loses his money to his opponent is bound to resent him and have a feeling of vengeance and there is bound to be a winner and a loser. The dominating influence on the gamblers is that of hatred and enmity.
10. An alcoholic in a state of intoxication is in no condition to remember Allah (S.w.T.) and he abandons even an obligation like Salāt. In the same way, the craze of a gambler to obtain wealth or make up for his losses is all-consuming and he loses awareness of all obligatory acts including prayers. To stress this point.
In Islam, gambling is not considered to be a simple game or frivolous pastime. The Quran often condemns gambling and alcohol together in the same verse, recognizing both as a social disease that is addictive and destroys personal and family lives. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ إِلَّا أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنكُمْ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا
“O you who believe[d]! (Do) not eat your wealth between yourselves unjustly. But that (there) be business on mutual consent among you. And (do) not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you Most Merciful.” (Surah Nisa 4: 29)
Muslim scholars agree that it is acceptable or even commendable for Muslims to participate in health challenges, competitions, and sports. It is forbidden, however, to be involved with any betting, lottery, or other games of chance. Gambling becomes an addiction in a very short time like alcohol. It is very difficult to get rid of it. Therefore, gambling and alcohol are very dangerous habits. Allah says:
إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاءَ فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلَاةِ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ
“Only the Shaitaan intends to cause between you [the] enmity and [the] hatred through intoxicants and gambling and hinders you from (the) remembrance (of) Allah and the prayer. So will you be the ones who abstain?” (Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:91)
Gambling is a bad thing and Satan’s work because it causes the person to gain a “great sin” and to not “prosper”. Allah Almighty commanded the Muslims to stay away from it. If Muslim wishes to build a personal friendship and relationship with Allah Almighty, then he/she must thrive to do righteousness and to always be the best example to both Muslims and non-Muslims.