Shirk and Kufr in Video Games

31Dec09

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمدُ للهِ ربِّ العالمين والصلاةُ والسلامُ على رسوله الأمين

أما بعد

فالسلام عليكم و رحمة الله

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ وَمَن يَتَّبِعْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَإِنَّهُ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ مَا زَكَا مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَبَدًا وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُزَكِّي مَن يَشَاء وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaitân (Satan). And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaitân (Satan), then, verily he commands Al-Fahshâ’ [i.e. to commit indecency (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.)], and Al-Munkar [disbelief and polytheism (i.e. to do evil and wicked deeds; to speak or to do what is forbidden in Islâm, etc.)]. And had it not been for the Grace of Allâh and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. But Allâh purifies (guides to Islâm) whom He wills, and Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (An-Nur 24:21)

The shar3i rulings on  video games vary greatly.  Some say since they contain images of living things they’re completely forbidden.  Others claim they provide no benefit in this world or the next and are a waste of time and money.  Yet others say that these images aren’t prohibited and modern video games are very helpful in developing many useful skills, so they’re not a waste of time.

Regardless, these are minor issues in comparison to the more pressing matter that needs to be addressed.  Many games today are based on stories that include depictions of shirk and kufr.  In the virtual world, one can play as a Shi3i assassin, as a man who kills angels or even as a so-called “God of War.”  So would these depictions in and of themselves make these games absolutely forbidden?

Firstly, I should mention that this article is directed towards an audience that already has a firm understanding of shirk and kufr.  If your only source of Islamic knowledge is the projectile vomit you hear every Jumuah then stop reading before you do the impossible and become a greater jaahil than you already are.  Now let’s lay down the principles along with some supporting evidences:

The First Principle– Making fun of, belittling or mocking any aspect of our religion is kufr.  (at-Tawbah 9:65-66)

The Second Principle– Voluntarily sitting with people as they belittle or make kufr upon the ayaat of Allah makes you one of them.  (al-Nisaa 4:140)

The Third Principle– The unseen (al-ghayb) is a matter of ‘aqeedah which has no room for fictitious claims or storytelling as doing so is tantamount to lying against Allah. (Yunus 10:20, Anaam 6:100, Nahl 16:57, al-Imraan 3:94)

The Fourth Principle– Dealing in matters of shirk or kufr without believing in them is at the very least a major sin. “Whoever goes to a fortuneteller and asks him about something, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days.”  (Saheeh Muslim)

So how do we apply these principles to video games or even books and movies?

Let’s start with the first principle.  Any game whose main theme or story includes any form of belittling or mocking Allah, the Angels, the Messengers, Muslims as a whole or any other aspect of our religion is to be shunned by the Muslims and completely avoided.

For example, God of War is based on Greek mythology which belittles and challenges Allah’s sovereignty, authority, might and power, not to mention all the other aspects of shirk this game is laden with.  Therefore this game is to be completely avoided.

As for the second principle, voluntarily sitting with people as they belittle the ayaat of Allah is analogous to voluntarily watching people on TV do the same.  There is no difference.  Moreover, to actively control a character in a video game who does the same is even more serious.

Here is a bit of the synopsis of the upcoming movie Legion, “When God loses faith in Mankind, he sends his legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse. Humanity’s only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner and the Archangel Michael.”  La hawla wala quwwata illa billah.

Yet there are other movies such as Bruce Almighty, Religulous, The Fiddler on the Roof, The Da Vinci Code and hundreds of others that are based on pure fabrications of our ‘aqeedah and attribute utter lies against Allah.  Furthermore, they make false claims regarding the ghayb, knowledge that belongs only to Allah, and this is where the third principle comes into play.  To simply enjoy or even voluntarily watch such movies is a major sin tantamount to kufr.  “It’s just a movie” is no excuse.

Likewise, games such as Dante’s Inferno are also strictly forbidden.  This particular game is based on a book of lies against Allah, the aakhira, the Angels and even directly attacks the honor of Muhammad, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and Ali, radhiAllahu ‘anhu, as it claims they’re in the eighth circle of Hell.  Regardless of whether or not the game addresses this portion of the poem, the fact that the demo forces you to fight and kill the Angel of Death and the character, “wields Death’s soul-reaping scythe, and commands holy powers of the cross” is sufficient grounds to completely ban this game.  The same can be said about the Assassin’s Creed series.  The plot is thick with lies and fabrications about Adam and Hawwa, the beginning of mankind and other aspects of our ‘aqeedah, never mind the fact that you play a Shi3i kalb part of an offshoot group of the Isma3eelis.

Now, one might ask, “So what about shows or movies that only have small clips of shirk or kufr, but as a whole aren’t based on it?”  An episode of Family Guy, for example, may only have one ten second clip of religious comedy, usually a depiction of a prophet or a joke made about Allah etc.  To laugh at or enjoy this clip is tantamount to kufr.  This includes any scene depicting Allah or any of the Messengers.  A lesser evil one must also be aware of is the backbiting that is done about famous Muslims in our time.  They’re still Muslims who have rights upon us, one of which is safeguarding their honor.  So to laugh at cartoons or jokes made about them is not appropriate.

The fourth principle simply illustrates the gravity of participating in an act of shirk even though one may not believe in its validity.  The ulama justly apply the mentioned hadeeth to those who read horoscopes for fun.  The same can be said about playfully reading fortune cookies.  These matters are serious and must be viewed by Muslims as such.  Don’t be a stupid animal who only acts on its desires.

In conclusion, any games, books or movies that glorify, applaud or advocate beliefs of shirk and kufr are strictly forbidden.  The Muslim holds Allah, the Messengers, the Angels, Muslims and Islam in the highest regard.  He will die to protect their honor and it is certainly not befitting that a Muslim purchases and enjoys a game or movie whose protagonist is a direct challenge to the authority of Allah, nor a game or movie that attributes false claims or characteristics to Allah or matters of the unseen.  As Muslims we are upholders of Tawheed and we do not accommodate anything that threatens it.

“But what do I do with my massive collection of shirk related games and movies?!”  Throw them away.  No, don’t sell them.  Just throw them away.  Or go to Hell, you choose.

والحمد للّه أولا وآخراً. والله وليّ التوفيق وصلى اللّه على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم

و جزاك الله خيرا علي حسن المتابعة  و حياكم الله

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15 Responses to “Shirk and Kufr in Video Games”

  1. 1 Atif

    I guess House is out as well….

    • Well House is like Family Guy, it isn’t based on shirk although it may introduce it every now and then. So we can’t say watching House is tantamount to kufr, but we can say that whenever a joke is made about Allah, the Messengers, the aakhira etc, it is absolutely forbidden to laugh at or enjoy that joke. Doing so is no doubt tantamount to kufr. See the first principle.

  2. 3 Kareem eats the bacon cheeseburger in his picture???

    vote below:

    1- yes he has
    2- naw, there just hasnt been a fatwa on it

    • As a matter of fact, that is the Green-Chile Cheeseburger with grilled onions and avocado found at Alamo Springs Cafe near Fredericksburg, Tx. It has no bacon, dumbass.

  3. 5 Boogers with cheeese

    Almas likes to eat boogers with cheese

  4. 6 Annette

    Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe!:). I’ll go and read some more!

  5. 7 Mustafa

    There’s a game called Bayonetta coming out soon, it’s a stupid game, but it is about a witch fighting “evil angels”. I guess that should be avoided.

    • I looked into it, and that’s correct. Also, another recent movie I just remembered that may be popular is Year One. Not allowed.

  6. 9 Ali

    ‘Abdul Kareem, have you heard of the game Final Fantasy XIII. I started playing it and then 30 hours into the game they bought all this weird stuff about “The maker” who made humans and another brand of creatures called “fal cie”. They haven’t shown the maker, but one of the folks said that to gain the attention of the maker they have to have a huge sacrifice – this is only according to one character of the game. I’ve stopped playing the game for now. What do you think? Do you know anything about this game?

    • alsalaamu ‘alaykum ya ‘Ali,

      I’m not too familiar with the Final Fantasy storyline, but if it attributes the act of creating or protecting life to other than Allah, or it has characters that have the power of controlling destiny, then this game is clearly not permissible to play. To do so would be insulting to the True Creator, Protector and Controller of Destiny.

      And know that if you give up something for the sake of Allah, He’ll grant you a much better reward.

  7. 11 Umair

    what about a game Mortal Kombat, sometimes they refer to people as elder gods, but the game isnt based around them, its just a fighting game like street fighter?

  8. 12 Abdul Rahim

    Just a question, if the game only have a small clip (cutscene) of shirk in it, is it ok if we just skip the shirk part?
    like for example they say “All glory belong to Helgast” ( we know all glory belong to Allah). can we just skip the cutscene and continue playing?
    I m refering to killzone 3.

    Its like self censorship like when u watch a movie with a nude scene in it. u skip that part and continue watching. Is it ok?

  9. 13 Abdul Rahim

    Beside that I also have a question about crysis 2.
    the single player mode tell a story about a special soldier and u play as a character name Prophet.because of that I dont want to play the single player campaign.
    However,
    Is it ok if I just play the multiplayer part of the game where u play as urself with ur own name (without the storyline) and not the single player mode which has the story.
    Its like selfcensorship aswell

  10. 14 lpoiuy34

    alsalaamu ‘alaykum
    i have been searching up if Muslims were allowed to play video games, people have different opinions. I was reading a website which was talking about how music is Haram. I found my self on another website, which started to talk about how watching TV is Haram ( I will post the link ). It said “ The Holy Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallam said,

    “The severest punished on the Day of Qiyaamah will be the picture makers.” (Agreed)

    Without any doubt, the consensus of Islamic legal opinion is that pictures of living objects are Haraam,” doesn’t that mean playing, watching movies and watching TV is Haram. If playing games is Haram then what should I do with my ps3 and my games.

    http://www.inter-islam.org/Prohibitions/tv.htm

    Thanks

  11. 15 QasimAnwar

    What about Runescape it has lots of gods but you don’t have to worship them… And i don’t


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