Written by Mulla Mujahidali Sheriff
Thursday, 30 September 2010 19:49
Islamic Articles -
WHY IS GAMBLING FORBIDDEN?
â€œThe Shaitaan only desires to cause enmity and hatred to spring in your midst by means of intoxicants and games of chance and keep you away from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer, will you then abstain (from them)?â€ (5:91 Qurâ€™an)
A gambler makes lot of easy money and therefore, he also looks for ways and means for self-indulgence to splurge his ill-gotten wealth. Besides, the gambler who wins is so obsessed that he wagers more around larger profits and on the other hand, the loser is equally obsessed to win back what he has lost. Such compulsive obsessions have usually disastrous consequences.
Shaheedul-Mihrab, Ayatullah Abdulhussein Dasti Ghayb, quoting from the book Balaaha-e-Ijtimaâ€™ee relates the following incident in his book Gunahan-e-kabeera:
An inhabitant of an Iranian town stabbed his opponent thrice and killed him. The accused gave the following statement:
â€œThe victim has grabbed a lot of my money through gambling. He was not prepared to lay another bet despite my persuasion and ran away. I followed and killed him.â€
BesidesÂ creating enmity and hatred among people, according to aforementioned verse, gambling alsoÂ distracts one away from remembrance of Allah (SWT) and prayers. The gamblerâ€™s mind is so engrossed for hours in this satanic evil as to keep him away from remembering his Creator, his responsibilities towards Him (SWT) and even from prayers which is pillar of Islam.
Once again explaining this point, the Late Ayatullah writes:
Alcohol and gambling are vices leading to spiritual bankcruptcy. These offenders are oblivious of Allah and of their duties towards their Creator. Living in a state of forgetfulness of Allah is the worst tragedy that befalls the unfortunate victims of these vices.
An alcoholic in a state of intoxication is in no condition to remember Allah and he abandons even an obligation like Salaat i.e.prayer. 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. In order to stress this point, Allah (SWT) continues in the same verse: â€œWill you then abstain (from them)?â€ Which means that even after being informed of the demerits of these vices, will you still not reform? The next verse continues the emphasis: â€œAnd obey Allah and obey the apostle and be cautious.But if you turn back, then know that only a clear deliverance of the message is (incumbent) on your apostleâ€.
In this way, the argument is completed. Now you cannot say that you have not been warned.
Readers are urged to note the following points on gambling:
1. There is a universal agreement among the Mujtahideen that articles normally used in gambling should not be played with, even if one is not gambling. This is based upon the narration quoted in the previous supplement that All the tools and actions of gambling are Haraam.
2. To lay bets with articles not usually employed in gambling is also Haraam.
3. To sit and watch the game involving any form of gambling is also Haraam as this can, some day lead one to gamble. Imam as-Sadiq (as) once told Abu Baseer: â€œThe prayers of chess-players are not valid till they wash their hands after the game. And to watch a game of chess is like looking at the genitals of ones own mother.â€Meaning that the punishment is equivalent to that of looking the genitals of ones own mother.
4. Chess and cards should not be indulged in even when played only for intellectual stimulation games with no intent to gamble. These games have an inherent power to obsess the player till he becomes oblivious of his duties towards his family and even his livelihood and above all, takes him away from remembrance of Allah. Shaitaan will not lose the opportunity to incite the players to play for stakes.Therefore, the game which started as an intellectual exercise will slip into a game of money making.
It is Mustahab (recommended) that if ever our eyes fall upon an article of gambling, we should remember Imam Hussein (as) and curse Yazeed. It is reported from Imam ar-ridha (as):
When the head of Imam Hussein (as) was brought in Shaam, Yazeed started to dine and wine with his associates. After the meal, Yazeed ordered the head of Imam (as) to be kept in a salver and be placed at the foot of his throne. A chessboard was spread out and he sat down to play chess. During the game, he ridiculed the Imam, his father and grandfather. Whenever he won the game, he used to take hold of the barley wine and drink three goblets.Then he poured the remaining wine upon the head of Imam Hussein (as).
Then the Imam (as) said:
Whoever is our Shiaâ€™h must abstain from barley wine and chess. One who sees barley wine and chess must remember Imam Hussein (as) and invoke curse upon Yazeed and his progeny. If a Shiaâ€™h does this, Allah the Almighty will forgive all his sins even if they are more than the stars in number.
Readers are requested to recite Surah al-Fatihah for Marhum Ayatullah Dasti Ghayb, Marhum Ahmed H Sheriff and all the Marhumeen.
Mulla Mujaheedali Sheriff