According to the hadith “All of the games (entertainments) except three games are haram for a Muslim; those three things are a person’s having fun with his spouse, training his horse and shooting arrows”, are all other games haram?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The hadith in question is as follows:

“No game/entertainment is praised except for three. They are training one’s horse, playing and having fun with one’s wife, and throwing arrows and spears.”

Nasai and Abu Dawud narrated the hadith. (see Kanzul-Ummal, h. No: 10862) Another narration contains the following statement:

“All of the entertainments of the world are useless except for three things. They are shooting arrows with your bow, training your horse, and having fun with your spouse.”

Hakim narrated the hadith (see ibid, h. No: 10863).

As it can be seen, there is no expression stating all other games except those three are haram in the hadiths.

As a rule, halal ones are many; harams are exceptions. What is essential in things is being halal, while harams are exceptional cases. Therefore, the principle of considering the rest as haram with a few halal exceptions is not very appropriate.

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