Are Muslims Allowed to Play Bingo or is it Haram in Islam?

Can Muslims Pay BingoBingo attracts all sorts of people to play, young and old, male and female, laid back and quiet or loud and full of laughter.

It’s a game for the masses which is accessible to everyone, so bingo halls and online bingo rooms are usually filled with an eclectic mix of people.

One demographic you won’t see in a bingo hall though, is Muslims.

It’s not because Muslims don’t like to have fun, but because they live their lives by the laws of Islam, which are written down in the Qu’ran.

The Islamic faith considers an awful lot of things ‘haram’, which essentially means forbidden, or not allowed, and bingo is among them.

They’re not picking on bingo specifically, but any form of gambling, and how strict these laws are about the game might surprise you.

What Does the Qu’ran Say About Bingo and Gambling?

What the Quran Says About Bingo

Rather unsurprisingly, there is no direct reference to bingo in the Qu’ran, because the book and the Islamic faith are older than the game of bingo, but it does mention gambling.

As anyone reading this should hopefully already know, when you play bingo for money, you are gambling, so we can assume that what the Qu’ran says about gambling also applies to bingo.

The message couldn’t be clearer really:

“O you who believe! Wine, gambling, altars and divining arrows are filth from the work of Satan. Therefore, refrain from it, so that you may be successful. Satan wishes only to plant enmity and malice between you through wine and gambling, and to prevent you from the remembrance of Allah and from Salāh (prayer). Would you, then, abstain?” (5:91)

And here it is in Arabic, just because I want to show off:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاء فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلاَةِ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ

So in modern day English, what the Qu’ran says is that any form of gambling is haram, no matter how friendly the game or how small the stakes; if someone stands to win something, and someone else stands to lose something, then it’s a no go.

Imams have been asked this question many times, and their fatwa is always the same; bingo is considered gambling and is therefore haram.

Muslims are taught to seek success through honesty and hard work, not by luck or games of chance, and also not to form attachments to material possessions, which bingo would be seen as promoting since winning money is the aim of the game.

It’s a shame in some ways, because around 6.5% of the UK population is Muslim, and bingo would be a great way to help with integration, but when someone’s religion is so important to them, no game will ever sway them off course.

Can Muslims Play Bingo Just For Fun With No Money Involved?

Can Muslims Play Bingo for Fun no Money

The question makes sense.

If the problem is that someone is winning money from another person, then taking money out of the equation should solve the issue, right?


Even participating in a game of bingo with no money involved would be against the spirit of Islam.

Since bingo is usually played by people spending money on their tickets and hoping to win more money than they spend, playing that same game – even just for fun –  would be seen as imitation.

On this, The Messenger of Allah, said:

“Whoever imitates a people, he is from them.”

In other words, if you imitate people who do things that are haram, you are putting yourself in the same boat as them.

It’s about steering clear of anything even remotely connected to anything haram, and remaining sensitive to the ethical values and religious identity of Islam.

There is also the chance that playing for fun could ignite an interest in playing for money at a later stage, so it is about staying away from temptation.

So, if you have Muslim neighbours and you want to extend the hand of friendship and invite them over for the evening, keep bingo off the cards and perhaps settle for a board game instead.