Question: Is it halal to compete for cash prizes in computer games?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question
It is only halal to compete for cash prizes in activities that have a direct use in a military setting, such as marksmanship (Minhaj al Talibin, Nawawi).
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Let there be no competitions in anything except archery, camel racing or horse racing’ (Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban).
Therefore, it would not be permissible to compete for cash prizes in computer games.
It is also a condition that at least one of the competitors also not put any money down. For example, ten men compete in marksmanship, with nine of them putting down $50, and one of then putting nothing down. Alternatively, none of them could put anything down, and the organizer(s) could just give the prize with no entrance fee (Minhaj al Talibin, Nawawi).
Said ibn al Musayyad said, ‘Horse racing is fine when [at least] one non-paying participant enters the competition. If he wins, he wins; but if he loses, it’s no loss to him’ (Muwatta, Malik).
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I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language