I. Details about the situation

Suhail and his friends are getting ready to go camping when one of his friends suggests they buy a set of cards to play during their trip. However, Suhail is concerned that playing cards is impermissible and that agreeing to do so, and attending the camping trip, would be a sin. Should Suhail still attend the camping trip?

II. Background

Islam calls for a purposeful life, such that every minute should be spent wisely by not only avoiding what is forbidden, but also staying away from anything that is considered a futile practice and has no benefit to the individual or society. However, Islam does not discourage a person from allocating time for entertainment, provided that it is lawful and does not hinder them from fulfilling and excelling in their lofty endeavors, especially when it concerns their obligations to God. Therefore, one must ascertain that the entertainment does not violate the teachings of Islam before engaging in it. Indeed, there are specific forms of entertainment that are prohibited such as gambling and playing with gambling tools (e.g., cards), even without betting, based on obligatory precaution.


Playing cards that are commonly considered among the tools of gambling are impermissible based on obligatory precaution, even if it is without betting. Any other game that is not considered a game of gambling, and no betting is involved, is permissible to play.

 IV. Action

Suhail should kindly advise his friends not to purchase playing cards and explain the ruling to them, and suggest another permissible game that they can purchase and play instead. On the other hand, he can also refer to the next most-learned jurist to determine if he has issued a fatwa or religious ruling allowing the playing of cards. In any case, there is no problem in him attending the camping trip with his friends, as long as he does not engage in prohibited acts whether they do so or not

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