Saturday, April 26, 2014

Gambling and other Betting Games

Nowadays gambling has taken extraordinary dimensions and is setting to destroy all in its path. It does not differentiate between nations and religions. Nowadays, those who proclaim to be Muslims are also not spared from this affliction, this satanic attraction. Therefore, stop with gambling habits before calamities from Allah strikes you.

Islam is a religion which seeks to make you follow the established divine commandments, such commandments which are addressed not only to the believers but also to whole humanity. Allah has established the need for you to seek your daily bread (food) and that you obtain money through licit means. As for gambling, hazard games like lotteries, horse betting, “household baskets”, card games, casinos, and lotto etc., all these force people to depend on chance, and give them a false hope to get easy money, such money which if obtained are without making any efforts and through illicit means. Those who fall prey to this do not respect the divine principles to seek one’s living. Islam is a religion which works beautifully. It has established each thing in its own place, and thus established that the riches of others are not licit for us.

It is not allowed for one to take something except through licit means and seeking the permission and consent of the proprietor. Gambling means taking other’s money through the garb of falsehood, through dishonest means. Allah has forbidden this in His Holy Book (the Quran):

And do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly or send it (in bribery) to the rulers in order that (they might aid) you (to) consume a portion of the wealth of the people in sin, while you know (it is unlawful). (2: 189)

And in two other verses found in Chapter “Al-Maida”, Allah says:

O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, (sacrificing on) stone alters (to other than Allah), and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?” (5: 91-92)

And in a Hadith, the prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said that Allah has forbidden wine, gambling and other intoxicants. (Ahmad)

There is no doubt that gambling is creating havoc, be it in the religious and material world.

Its harm in religious aspects:

1. It I a great sin which calls for the wrath of Allah and His punishment.
2. It is a serious matter that Allah has placed it after Shirk in Chapter 5, Verse 91 (of the Quran).
3. It is filth and impurity. Allah has qualified it as defilement (Rijs).
4. Gambling is a demonic act. There is no doubt that Satan is a diehard enemy for man. He promised that he will cause mankind to go astray. Thus, the satanic deeds lead to hellfire.
5. Gambling restricts the daily progress of man, as the anger of Allah and His curse descends upon such person day and night.
6. Gambling deviates a servant from the remembrance of Allah, prayer, as well as his works.
7. It encourages people to swallow fire, and thus in turn that person makes others swallow fire also.

Its harm in material aspects:

1. It brings about hatred, jealousy and enmity.
2. It makes people fight among themselves, spill blood, commit crimes etc.
3. It makes people lazy. It discourages working and doing efforts in a licit way. It encourages the thought that through gambling, they will get money easily; that they just have to play to win outright.
4. It demoralises people concerning life, and thus these people commit suicide.
5. It helps people to become thieves; the more they lose and don’t have money, the more the temptation to go and steal to play.
6. It renders people poor, day by day, and their situation becomes worst.
7. It makes people contract debts.

Muslim brothers and sisters, gambling is annihilating our community, our country and the world as a whole. It is a shame to see that in our country, there is all the more encouragement to play and bet on horses, lotteries, and all sorts of games etc. It depicts an ugly picture of our society and country, especially when a Muslim is falling prey to Satan and his armies, to their traps. Instead of him (the Muslim) being a model for others, he is foremost in evil works. A good Muslim must follow the teaching of the Quran. And Allah has ordained the believers to follow the commands which the prophets have received:

O Messengers, eat from the good foods and work righteousness. Indeed, I, of what you do, am Knowing.” (23: 52)

Everywhere you go, in all corners of streets, there is facility for you to waste your money illicitly. It is a thousand times better to work in a licit way and getting little money than to get a big fortune in gambling (and other illicit ways). Allah says:

Say, “Not equal are the evil and the good, although the abundance of evil might impress you.” So fear Allah, O you of understanding, that you may be successful.” (5: 101)

The responsible parties of the countries of the world and also in Mauritius are contributing to the destruction of people. Where there should have been strategies setup to create jobs, they are encouraging people to become poorer and more miserable. And they are not ashamed to take illicit money to inject it in social projects to help the poor. And there are some Muslims who fall into the trap and shall benefit from these “facilities”. 

Do not hesitate to say NO to gambling – lotteries, lotto games etc. Do not hesitate to tell the truth and remove your brother (or sister) from the wrong path. It is not too late for you to repent Oh my brothers and sisters. Return to the path which Allah has paved for your own good. You shall then be happy both in this world and the hereafter. Fear Allah and do not become combustion of hellfire.

May Allah help us to fight against evil and may Allah help us to make the truth triumph over falsehood. Insha-Allah, Ameen. 

-Extracts from the Friday Sermon of April 25, 2014 delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius