Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
Question: Is it halal to go to a snooker lounge that doesn’t have gambling and betting?
Answer: Assalamu alaykum,
Thank you for this excellent question. Playing snooker, also known as pool or billiards is permissible in the type of lounge that you mention. Although it isn’t prohibited, I must mention some detail.
Wasting time has become far too common among our youth and boys. They don’t perceive that the reason for the absence of blessings (barakah) in our lives as a nation (ummah) is because of how much time is wasted. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; your health, before you fall sick; your wealth, before you become poor; your free time before you become preoccupied, and your life, before your death.” [Musnad Imam Ahmad]
This hadith is sufficient to indicate to us that our days and nights are meant to be valued as precious. Our youth should be pre-occupied with learning obligatory and beneficial knowledge, serving the poor, elders, and the needy, seeking to build skills to acquire halal provision, seeking to strengthen one’s body with fresh air and exercise. Building relationships with neighbors and family and not forgetting one’s duties are of utmost importance.
The lifestyle that comes along with snooker lounges is not appropriate for a person who spends his day thinking it could be his last. A Muslim may not enter into an activity that might cause him to miss a prayer, neglect his duties at home, ignore his children and forget about their upbringing, fall short in helping his parents, etc. Ponder this last hadith and I leave the decision up to you. Please see the related links for clarification on wasting time.
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “The feet of a servant will not touch the ground until he is asked about his life and how he spent it; his knowledge and how he acted upon it; his wealth and how he acquired it and spent it and his body and how it was used.” [Tirmidhi]
Do make time for leisure, but with the right intention. Have a picnic with your family, connect with friends for sport, food, worship, or other quality time. Fill your time with beneficial activities and service, you will see the blessings rain down, near and far in sha Allah.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterwards, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.