Fri 18 Jm2 1435 - 18 April 2014
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Ruling on opening a recreational facility and the ruling on the money earned thereby

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What is the Islamic ruling on the money that is earned from a recreational facility?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: 

The ruling on money earned from a recreational facility depends on the ruling on the games and activities themselves. If the games and activities are permissible, then the income and earning is permissible, but if they are haraam then the income and earning is haraam. 

Permissible games are those that help to strengthen the body and energize the mind, increase understanding and knowledge, and are free of haraam things. There follow some examples of the haraam things involved in recreational facilities: 

1.     If they include sports which include uncovering the ‘arwah, such as swimming and so on.

2.     If they include anything that involves hitting the face, such as boxing

3.     If there is music playing in the facility

4.     If the games and activities involve mixing between men and women

5.     If any gambling is involved

6.     If the games and activities take place at the time of Jumu’ah prayer, or they cause people to miss any other prayer

7.     If the facility contains electronic games with contain crosses or veneration of kaafir religions or sanctification of the symbols of a religion other than Islam, or it encourages violence or scenes of love, sex or nakedness, and other things that most electronic games contain.

8.     If the games contain figures such as foosball and the like.

9.     If the games involve dice, like backgammon 

Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah al-Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: 

What is the ruling on games and recreational facilities that young people go to? 

He replied: 

These games are regarded as idleness and falsehood in which there is no benefit, rather they are a waste of time with no benefit. That includes playing card games. It is idle leisure and a great loss. But if the games involve training, competing and wrestling which give the youth more energy and strength, and trains them in combat skills, and increases their physical strength, then that is permissible. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of the Abyssinians’ playing with their spears in the mosque, because that was training for them in carrying weapons and the like. He also permitted races with horses and camels, and learning archery and swimming, and he wrestled with some of his companions, and permitted wrestling, because it is training that gives energy and physical strength. End quote. 

Fatwa no. 1088 on the Shaykh’s website. 

Secondly: 

With regard to the money earned from those games: if it is earned from permissible games then it is permissible earnings. 

If it is earned from haraam games, then you have to: 

1.     Repent sincerely from these deeds and these earnings.

2.     Get rid of the games that contain haraam things, and if you can make use of them by getting rid of the haraam content, that is good, such as taking out the music or buying tapes of permissible games, or removing the heads of idols in games that are haraam for that reason.

3.     Get rid of the earnings from those games by donating them to charitable causes. What you have spent of them in the past on yourself or on your household, you do not have to give anything to make up for it. 

We advise you to limit it to games that are permissible according to sharee’ah, and to be an example for others who own such facilities, and to offer to your customers and visitors things that will benefit them of games, and offer advice by providing flyers, booklets and tapes, and playing audio and visual material about beneficial topics. 

We have answered on the basis of what may be meant by “games” in your question, because we do not know what you mean by that, or what kind of facility it is. So we answered on the basis that it is a facility for physical games (a gym) or a facility for electronic games. 

See the answer to question no. 22305 (Games between halaal and haraam). In questions no 28989 and 39744 we have discussed the evils of electronic games. 

We singled out the Playstation for mention, and in the second question we have given the ruling on buying and selling it. 

In the answer to question no. 46203 you will find the ruling on one who asked about his income from working in a video game shop. 

And Allaah knows best.

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