Everybody knows Muslims can’t eat pork, but pigskin is out too?
Fantasy football, one of the most popular sports spinoffs in history — and a major preoccupation of American men in the fall months — is forbidden by Islam, according to an Islamic cleric.
A questioner named Suhaib Ahmed posed the following query on the website onislam.net:
As-salamu `alaykum. I have a couple of friends who are involved in a game called Fantasy Football where they all pick 11-15 football players each and they get points for the players’ individual performances. At the end of the month, whoever has the most points is rewarded by the other friends, i.e. they give him 10 each. I would like to know if what I am doing is unlawful. I have to pay money to participate and prize money is given out to the winner at the end of season for most points. Is it still considered gambling if you pay to play in the league, but you don’t accept the winnings if I do end up winning?
While the game seems harmless to the vast majority of people, apparently this is forbidden in the Islamic religion, according to the person who answered the question.
Dear brother, thank you for your question that shows your interest in the teachings of Islam even concerning your leisure time and sports.
From your own words, it seems that this game is unlawful (haram) as you pay for the winner which is considered gambling.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,
This game (fantasy football), as I can understand from your description, is akin to gambling. You are paying money to enter the game and then you might win or lose. That is gambling. If you do not pay and the winner is chosen based on performance only, then this game is allowed.
Allah Almighty knows best.
The Muslim cleric finds himself in the company of New Jersey Democrat Sen. Frank Pallone Jr. who has called for a Congressional investigation into the legality of fantasy football as he contends it takes advantage of a loophole allowing legal online gambling.
And here you thought you were just having harmless fun.
h/t: Weasel Zippers.
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