Would Video Games Come Under the Ruling of Tasweer

CategoriesMiscellaneous [760]

Fatwa ID: 07284


Answered by Maulana Ubaidur Rahman




It all started over a year ago whilst practicing thoroughly for the first ever taraweeh in Chichester and then all of a sudden I got a major breathing attack and have not been the same since. I feel constant varying suffocation due to heavy breathing, dizzy head and eye pressure which is devastating and am not sure if it is jinn related.


The other questions I wanted to discuss over the phone were if the ruling of tasweer would apply to video game characters. Here are my detailed questions:


(1) Would gaming still fall under the category of lahw and laib if someone intends to play permissible games for some fun and refreshment of mind for a small amount of time?


(2) Since 95% of modern games have animated characters would this still fall under the category of tasweer since game developers have to design the characters and then give them expressions and movements as well which might be deemed even worse then standalone pictures because there is more aspects of imitating a living soul? Also, many people who advocate gaming would counter and say that animated characters in games are like videos where the picture is not still, permanent or tangible so it would not come under tasweer?


(3) Now even if it were deemed to come under tasweer then is there permissibility on playing it if one does not show admiration to the actual characters in game? Because the people who play the game did not create the actual characters to begin with and play it mostly for entertainment purposes rather then to worship the content creators design.


(4) Sheikh Yasir Qadhi published a big talk online regarding tasweer and clearly distinguished between creating a picture to owning one as long as it is not venerated. According to him there were many narrations of great sahabas and tabioon that owned things that had animated pictures on them like cushions, curtains, rugs, animated ring stamps and coins. To solidify his stance he stated that the prophet (s.a.w) owned coins with images on them and also stated that Abdul Malik ibn Marwan minted the first caliph gold coin that had a picture of him with a staff. Apparently this coin was in circulation for a long time and was produced at a time when sahabas were still alive. Now if all of this is true then what would be the ruling on purchasing and owning these types of games that have animated characters? Would it be permissible to purchase it with the intention of not venerating the in game characters and having fun or would it be deemed impermissible to buy it due to the nature it was designed?




In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful




Points mentioned in the query,

  • Health condition – unexplainable by doctors- jinn related.
  • Tasweer like video game characters ? – Is it lahw and laib?
  • Are game characters the same as they imitate live characters? For entertainment rather than worship
  • Are animation characters permissible in Islam?


Allah mentions in the Quraan,


وَقَدْ أَضَلُّوا۟ كَثِيرًۭا ۖ وَلَا تَزِدِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ إِلَّا ضَلَـٰلًۭا[1]


A key thing to keep in mind when playing video games and using video game characters is that they are not being used to worship or venerate but rather as a form of passive entertainment for whatever the game was designed for. For example, playing with football game characters is to achieve the joy or simulation of playing a real-life football match, rather than actually playing with them as individuals are focusing entirely on them as individuals. Lahw and laib could be considered as something which is not worship related or something which could be seen as an excess use of one’s time doing things which do not really benefit a person. However, it is narrated in a hadeeth the way in which every moment of a Muslims life can be considered worship, as they are the living embodiment of Iman, they breathe, speak, eat and interact all in the name of Islam. Further, the lahw and laib if it was to act as a distraction from the ultimate purpose that is to gain the pleasure of Allah, then this would not be allowed. Using ones time to the best of ones ability should be the ultimate goal which we all strive towards. In addition, not letting the game life absolutely consume you that it affects your worship and or attention span when it comes to engaging in direct acts of worship is an important aspect to consider, especially when things are circulating in ones mind and distracting from the ultimate remembrance and cognisance when worshipping Almighty Allah.


Animation characters are not permissible in Islam if they are created with all the facial features and brought to life bearing and resembling lifelike characteristics, such as nose, mouth, ears eyes. However, if these core features are absent then it will be permissible.


The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) says in a hadeeth,



عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ عَنْ أَبِي طَلْحَةَ ـ رضى الله عنهم ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ  ” لاَ تَدْخُلُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ بَيْتًا فِيهِ كَلْبٌ وَلاَ صُورَةٌ[2] “.

Translation: The Angels will not enter that household wherein there is a dog or a picture.


In relation to your question regarding jinn related illness and the ailments which you are facing, it is essentially recommended to recite the 4 qul’s, qul aoowzu birabbi naas, qul aoowzu bi rabbil falaq, qulhuwallu ahad and qul yaa ayuhal kaafirooon and blow over your left shoulder. This is famous and recognised in Prophetic traditions and narrations. I would also consult a specialist spiritual doctor who will be able to provide you with more practical advice which is more directly related to your current position. Further, remain vigilant and aware of things which may lead to that sudden onset of the condition which you are describing, to help reach a safe and sounder solution safely.



Only Allah (عز و جل) knows best.

Written by Maulana Ubaidur Rahman.

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah.

Darul Ifta Birmingham.





[1] Surah Nuh, 24:71.


[2] Sahih al Bukhari, 3322







About the author