Bismillah ar-rahman ar-rahim
Asalamu Alaykum Sheikh
I’ve a question about shooting video games:
As you know in our religion it’s haram to burn living creatures or to hit the face (in reality), so do we apply these (Ahkam) with characters of video games also or not ?
Jazakum Allahu Khairan
If the main content of the video game is something usually considered permissible in Islam, then it would be permissible to play the game provided that one is not so engrossed they become negligent of their duties. For example, if a person does not perform salat on time or they become negligent of the rights of their family due to spending a lot of time playing video games, it will not be permissible for them to play in that manner.
If certain aspects of the game are questionable in Islam then one would have to look at the nature of that issue. Below are some examples:
If a person is committing a sin such as listening to music, or gambling with actual money etc then it would not be permissible to engage in such activities.
If the individual is not committing a sin in reality, but within the game they are required to do something that would otherwise not be permissible in Islam, such as hitting the face, then one would look at the reason for engaging in such an activity. If the reason is to develop a beneficial life skill such as developing awareness, strategy or tactic then there can be scope to play those games with the intention of developing these skills.
If however, the purpose is just for entertainment then we would discourage playing those games that involve carrying out activities which would not be permissible to carry out in reality. The reason for discouraging is that playing such games can potentially lessen the seriousness of that sin in the mind of the gamer. The sin can to some extent become normalised in the mind of the gamer even if it is just in the game.
For example, if the character of the game is a criminal, and their role is to steel, vandalise and attack people then on the one hand the gamer is only carrying out these activities in a game and not real life, but on the other hand these are all acts that Islam considers impermissible. Hence, it would not be befitting of a Muslim to entertain themselves through these acts even though it is just in a game.
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel