Is it haram to play backgammon? Is the following statement a hadith: "He who plays backgammon is regarded to have put his hand in the blood of pig"?

Details of the Question

Hz. Burayda narrates: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "He who plays backgammon is regarded to have put his hand in the blood of pig." [Muslim, Shi'r 10, (2260); Abu Dawud, Adab 64, (4939)]. Does this hadith belong to the Prophet (pbuh)?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is understood from the resources given that this statement is a hadith.

Harmful games are the games that were prohibited by the religion like gambling, tatayyur (regarding things as ominous) and games of luck. Something forbidden is involved or is possible to be involved in them. In fact, all of the permissible games become harmful and forbidden when they are transformed into that form.

It is necessary to protect children from forbidden games and games that are like them.

"Everything that Allah prohibits is a major sin, even a child’s gambling." (Kütüb-ü Sitte, Volume: VIII, Çocukların Oyunu)

Thus, the Prophet lays the responsibility of the child in gambling on his parents.

Among those games, there are some games that were known at that time and that were prohibited. One of them is backgammon. The Prophet (pbuh) said,

"A person who plays backgammon is regarded to have disobeyed Allah." (Abu Dawud, Adab, 56; Ibn Majah, Adab, 43; Muwatta, Ruya, 6)

As a matter of fact, in the narration that you quoted and in another narration in Muslim, it is stated that playing backgammon is haram as follows: "He who plays backgammon is regarded to have put his hand in the blood of pig." According to the narration of Nafi, "Ibn Umar would beat the members of his family who played backgammon and broke the game board into pieces."

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