The Quran on Online Gambling in the Muslim world - Is it still significant?

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

The Quran, the central religious text of Islam, has been a guiding principle for Muslims worldwide, including on matters of morality and ethics. One such issue is gambling, which is strictly forbidden in the Quran. However, with the advent of the internet, the boundaries of culture and religion have blurred, leading to changes in traditions and beliefs, including attitudes toward gambling. This article discusses the Quran's stance on gambling and its significance in the modern world, particularly in the Muslim community's growing interest in online gambling.

The Quran's Stance on Gambling:

The Quran explicitly prohibits gambling, citing it as a significant sin that leads to immorality and corruption. In Surah Al-Maida (5:90-91), the Quran states, "O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows are an abomination of Satan's handiwork: Eschew such (abomination), that ye 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 ye not then abstain?" The Quran's prohibition of gambling is not only limited to physical gambling but includes all forms of gambling, including online gambling.

Online Gambling in the Muslim World:

The rise of online gambling in the Muslim world has been significant, with many people now participating in online casino games. While this trend may seem contradictory to the Quran's teachings, it is crucial to note that not all Muslims view gambling in a casino negatively. Some argue that gambling can be a form of entertainment, as long as it is not taken to an extreme. Others believe that gambling can be a means of earning money, provided it is done in a responsible manner.

Changes in Traditions and Beliefs:

The shift in attitudes towards gambling in the Muslim world can be attributed to various factors, including cultural mixing and the influence of Western culture. In recent years, globalization has brought people from different regions and religions into contact with each other more frequently. As a result, cultural norms and values have become more fluid and adaptable, leading to changes in traditional beliefs and practices. In the case of gambling, the mixing of cultures has led to a growing acceptance of the practice as a form of entertainment, rather than as a sin that should be avoided.

Furthermore, the influence of Western culture and values cannot be ignored. With the rise of the internet, Western entertainment, including gambling, has become more accessible to people around the world, including in the Muslim world. Western media and popular culture often depict gambling as a glamorous and exciting activity, which can have a significant impact on people's perceptions of the practice. As a result, many young people in the Muslim world may view gambling as a fun and harmless pastime rather than as a serious sin.

In Summary

The Quran's prohibition of gambling remains relevant in the modern world, including online gambling. However, the rise of online gambling in the Muslim world suggests a shift in attitudes toward the practice. While some may view this change as concerning, it is essential to recognize that traditions and beliefs are not static and can evolve over time. As such, it is up to individuals to determine their own stance on gambling and to ensure that any participation is done in a responsible and ethical manner.

This article was written in cooperation with Jake Thompson