Gambling (also known as betting) is the wagering of money or something of value (referred to as "the stakes") on an event with an uncertain outcome, with the primary intent of winning money or material goods. Gambling thus requires three elements to be present: consideration (an amount wagered), risk (chance), and a prize. The outcome of the wager is often immediate, such as a single roll of dice, a spin of a roulette wheel, or a horse crossing the finish line, but longer time frames are also common, allowing wagers on the outcome of a future sports contest or even an entire sports season.


Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 3 months ago

Bismihi ta'ala

In regards to chess specifically, and playing it of course with no gambling, this is a fiqhi matter, where our esteemed Maraji' have different verdicts. 

For example, A.U. Seyid Sistani (may Allah prolong his life) says that it is absolutely haram. 
As for A.U. Seyid Khamenei (may Allah prolong his life), he says if it is commonly seen in the custom of people ('urf) as a gambling instrument, then it is haram, and if not, then it is halal. 

You must refer to your Marja' taqleed for this fatwa. 

And Allah knows best. 


Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 year ago

It is because there are hadith specifically prohibiting chess.

Ayatollah Khamene'i allows chess if it is not being used for gambling, but in general the traditional view is that it is not allowed.

God knows best.


Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 year ago

If there was really no risk of loosing in "matched betting", you would have seen all wealthy companies investing in it. Matched betting is a type of calculated betting which means it is a type of gambling with small percentage of risk. It is a betting and betting is not allowed in Islam.



Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour, Sheikh Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour is lecturer of Islamic Studies at the Islamic College for Advanced Studies, London, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Oriental... Answer updated 2 years ago

Salamun alaykum

Yes this practice is considered as gambling. In general any practice which involves a prize achieved from the property of the participants is gambling.