Prohibition of Gambling

Gambling is one of the most prevalent and dangerous of human vices, as it presents the illusion of easy money yet can quickly lead to financial ruin. Gambling is a successful industry because the house always wins. Slot machines, cards, casinos, purchasing a lottery ticket, entering a raffle, or making a bet with a friend are all forms of modern gambling.

Based on recent research, there are currently 2.5 million Americans who have a gambling addiction and an additional three million are considered to be problem gamblers. A gambling addiction is a compulsion and the end result can be devastating for the gambler as well as their family. More than 80% of the population in the United States has reported gambling at some point and studies have revealed that $500 billion is spent annually on wagers. Studies have shown that more than $5 billion has been lost each year to gambling addictions. In addition, $40 billion has been spent on social services and creditor losses. 65% of couples that consist of one spouse with a gambling addiction, end up divorced.[1]

Gamblers suffer mental and physical health problems, find it difficult to hold down a job, and struggle to maintain relationships. Consider the following statistics reported by an official Australian government website:[2]

  • Problem gamblers are six times more likely to be divorced than non problem gamblers (source: Thomas, S, and Jackson, A, Report to beyond blue, Risk and Protective Factors: Depression and comorbidities in problem gambling, 2008).
  • Problem gamblers are four times more likely to have problems with alcohol and four times as likely to smoke daily than non problem gamblers (source: Thomas, S, and Jackson, A, 2008).
  • Children with parents who are problem gamblers are up to 10 times more likely to become problem gamblers themselves than children with non gambling parents (source: The Problem Gambling Treatment and Research Centre, Children at risk of developing problem gambling, May 2010).

Islam forbids gambling.  The prohibition is based on the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. 

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).


The benefit of people giving up alcohol, drugs, and gambling on their finances, married and social life, and their children is a simple and convincing reason how Islam can benefit you and your future generations while making you a better person.


  1. Reported by Rehab International

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