Since screens invaded our homes, children have been crazy about video games. Parents much less. But what does Islam say? Is it Halal? Or is it Haram? In fact, the answer is not so simple.
We met Islamic scholars, but also a pediatrician. Here is our COMPLETE FILE.
Positive points according to the pediatrician
The consensus among psychologists and pediatricians supports the idea that video games under the supervision of an adult can make a child smarter and participate in the development of many skills that cannot be taught in school.
Here is a small list:
- Improve problem-solving ability
- Improve coordination of motor sequences (eye-brain-body)
- Improve planning and strategy development (temporal projection)
- Develop multitasking
- Develop rapid decision-making (Emergency Prioritization)
- Resistance to stress and external pressure
- Improve short/long term memory
- Increase concentration over long distances
- Developing a taste for challenges
- Improve collaboration and teamwork
He claims that not everything is negative in video games and that there are even very good games such as educational games, puzzle games, strategy games, construction games and games that are played several.
Some immersive video games (augmented reality) even make it possible to cure a phobia: such as fear of spiders, planes, emptiness, crowds…
To quickly summarize, video games develop the gray matter of our children, in short their INTELLIGENCE and their LUCIDITY.
He replies that it would be a shame to throw the baby out with the bathwater and thus ban 100% of video games without distinction.
The negative points according to the pediatrician
Unfortunately, some children / teens are left alone with video games and it quickly becomes an open door to all windows.
1) Overflow of violence
Children who play TOO MUCH VIOLENT video games tend to develop aggressiveness and explosiveness.
This excitement can reach varying degrees, but many (too many) young people become apathetic to any form of violence, finding no harm in being physically or verbally brutal.
In some RARE cases , the young person no longer has any compassion for a loved one who is suffering for X or Y reasons. Sometimes the young person is himself the source of this suffering caused to others. He won’t see any problem there. For him, hurting is normal. It becomes hermetic and sinks ever deeper into violence.
In even rarer cases , the young person may, out of pure free and perverse pleasure, cause suffering to animals. “Just to see how it feels in real life.”
2) Slip into addiction (loss of motivation)
Video games stimulate the brain’s “reward system” with the release of dopamine, that chemical messenger of pleasure and satisfaction. And from pleasure to addiction, there is often only a small step to take. Especially in teenagers and children whose brains are still very immature and for whom self-limitation is almost impossible. (Young people need adults to set limits)
Far too many video games are built on a model that besieges our reward system. The goal is to keep us glued to the screens as much as possible.
This push-to-crime conception of video game publishers is wreaking havoc on young players.
The young player is caught in a mental labyrinth that pushes him to always want more. A bit like a drug addict who would constantly need to have a higher dose than the previous one to find the initial effect of the first shot.
The need to play quickly becomes irresistible. The brain gets used to the dopamine and then it becomes very painful to unplug everything. If you are parents, you may know that the expression: “At the table children, we eat” may have been experienced by our children as a real declaration of war. (a bit of humour).
After a long video game session, real life inevitably becomes boring and bland. It is very difficult for them then to resume a calm activity. Video games have a natural tendency to quickly drain our children’s motivation.
The signs that should alert you according to the pediatrician
Addiction to video games is not necessarily always very visible, especially for parents who work mornings or evenings or who have a lot to do here and there.
This addiction can have devastating effects in adolescence or adulthood such as depression, anxiety disorders and desocialization.
Here is a list of weak signals that should alert:
- A lack (or absence) of sleep
- More than 2 hours per day AND every day
- Ever-increasing playing time
- Loss of all social and family life
- Family life increasingly conflicted
- A lack of hygiene (no time for the toilet)
- School results in chronic decline
- Abnormal weight gain or loss (eating disorder)
- Loss of motivation for studies or professional life
- Unable to stop or moderate on its own
- The forced stop turns into an outburst of anger
To really confirm an addiction, these signs must register over the long term (1 year minimum) and be daily .
If all this is only occasional, you should not worry too much. Youth is characterized by all kinds of abuse and exaggeration. Surely, all this will eventually fade as you grow up.
Video games (+18) very popular among those under 18
Here are 3 games that should alert all parents. The list could be much longer. Especially since every week new games of the same ilk flood the market.
The more violent the game, the more popular it seems in playgrounds. Teenagers have an almost magnetic attraction to bloodthirsty and sexual video games.
Hatred : Hatred offers to become a mass murderer. The goal is to kill as many civilians as possible using equally heinous means. The player must coldly shoot poor people who are trying to flee on the street.
Postal 2 : This game is devilishly brutal. The player is immersed in admittedly innocuous situations such as returning a book to the library, but only extreme violence can solve the problem. The game even offers the possibility of urinating on its victims. The atmosphere of the game is very dark.
GTA : This game values gratuitous and easy violence. The player is immersed in a city rotten by crime and drugs. GTA is a huge commercial success and appeals massively to teenagers. The game even allows sex with prostitutes. The player can then kill her to steal her money.
We do not want to post violent or degrading images on our blog. Parents are free to inquire on Google.
Islam and video games: Basic principle
Here is the question that interests us the most!
Because as a Muslim parent we all wish to guide our children in the right path and towards the worship of Allah. Splendor of Her Majesty. Jalla jallālah, جل جلاله.
Entertainment and gambling are perfectly lawful (Halal) in Islam. In our daily lives we all need fun, especially our children. As a whole the video game is Halal, but there are exceptions and prescriptions according to the Koran and the Sunnah.
From Halal to Haram for the same game
The video game is lawful as long as it does not prevent the Muslim from fulfilling his duty towards Allah, Splendor of His Majesty.
But a perfectly LEGAL and HALAL game can very well become HARAM, if the latter proves to be addictive to your child and thus preventing him from performing his prayer.
Nothing should distract a Muslim from the worship of Allah. A LEGAL game can become ILLEGAL depending on how your child uses it.
The problem is not the video game itself, there are very good games such as educational or skill games. The problem is rather the misuse that young people tend to make of it.
Example with FIFA
The FIFA football game is perfectly Halal, but it can generate excitement, hostility and hatred in some players during the game.
Let’s not blame the game, but blame the bad player!
“Go n***ez your mom, you dirty bastard” is not a pretty phrase in the mouth of a young Muslim.
So, let’s watch out for the insults and curses that our children can throw at each other during the game.
What does our holy book, the Koran, say?
Playing games is not forbidden in Islam. Āishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported:
” It was the day of ‘Eīd and people were playing with shields and spears. I stood behind the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) with his face parallel to my face [regardant les gens jouer]
and he said, ” Banū Arfada, be well engaged in the practice of[vos sports] “.
Thus, Our Prophet Muhammad PBUH encouraged people to play games, as if it were physical exercise. Nowadays, video games are also a kind of mental exercise.
( Peace and blessings of God be upon him, ṣallā allāh `alayh wa sallam, صلى الله عليه و سلم .)
Watch out for seemingly childish games
Behind some cute, colorful and childish looking video games hides very bad Sheitan values.
Some games show war against Allah or angels, some depict other religious beliefs, mythological or polytheistic gods, witches, deities, nudity… (the list is very long)
Allah says: Surah 31 verse 6 :
“ Among people, there are those who support unfounded Hadith, and thus divert other people from the path of God unknowingly, and take it lightly. These incur a humiliating retributiont.”
(Classical translation of the verse)
Some (very) popular video games in playgrounds promote witchcraft and glorify magic. The heroes of his games are often very nice and cute. Our children idolize them and would like to be like them.
Of course, it’s just a video game.
Yes it’s virtual and it’s just pixels on a screen.
BUT if we can protect our dear children, then let’s protect them. They must know why these occult practices are strictly forbidden in Islam!
Of course, the teenager can keep his free will and differentiate a fantastic world of illusions and supernatural powers from real life here below, but the power of attraction is very powerful. Alienation and diversion too easy.
Gambling and Gambling in Video Games
Not all video games call for profanity.
Some games are even admirably decent. But some games are monstrously satanic like gambling.
For these types of games there is no tolerance. It is Haram.
Perfect concert of Islamic scholars on the subject
These games are totally forbidden and this unanimously by Islamic scholars.
There is no discrepancy and tolerance on this. The entire Muslim world agrees that it is Haram.
Gambling and games of chance expose us to great dangers whether here on earth or in the hereafter. In Islam, the only way to earn a living is to work and not to rely on good luck in the hope of winning large sums of money at games.
Here below gambling is prohibited (identity verification by the operators) at least 18 years old.
But there are online video games where players can bet (by chance) virtual goods (like skins) to earn points, lives or trophies. It’s a bit like the game of heads or tails. Either you lose your virtual good or you leave with that of the player opposite.
If they cannot play with real euros (€), know that these same virtual goods have a value on the marketplace and that they can be bought and resold for real euros.
In the end, it’s a game of money. Even diverted, a game of money remains a game of money.
It is really to be avoided and monitored. Without blabbering for hours.
Nudity/p****graphy in video games
Many games are prohibited for people under 18, but you just have to listen when you leave high school (college too) to quickly understand that our young people seem to be extraordinarily knowledgeable about it…
For these types of games there is no tolerance. It is Haram.
100% of Muslim parents will ban video games +18.
But the problem is that nudity doesn’t care about age limits. Nudity is concealed but present. You can find them everywhere, even in games with a juvenile appearance!
At the same time, far too many children are exposed to 18+ games through an older sibling, cousin, or classmate. Stay on the bench does not prevent our children from being bombarded and irradiated by its pernicious images.
Space for the propaganda of hypersexualization
Nudity and pornography are sold in games as a life mission. As if living one’s life boils down to adultery and fornication. Video games under the cover of artistic creations too often promote free and rotating sex.
Propaganda has a very strong driving tide power over the youth. The virtual reward is constantly renewed. The player in a trance is as if sucked into the game which is in truth only an abomination of Shaytaan.
The concrete impact is that our young people are growing up too fast. These are still children who, by the toxic influence of the outside world, are spurred on to depravity and wantonness.
Allah our messenger urges you, so that you are aware. (16:90)
Allah says (interpretation of meaning):
“ O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic beverages), gambling, al-Ansaab [sacrifices for idols, etc.], and al-Azlaam[flèches pour chercher la chance ou la décision] are an abomination of Shaytaan’s handiwork. So avoid (strictly everything) this (abomination) so that you can succeed successfully.
Shaytaan only wants to stir up enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drink) and gambling, and prevent you from remembering Allah and al-salaat (prayer).
So won’t you abstain? »
Predators and other pedophiles on network games (On-line)
Sharing a common interest, making friends, fraternizing, founding a community, it’s great!
But sometimes adults come with deceitful and not very pretty attentions to take advantage of these spaces of exchange to pervert and divert (literally) the youth.
Ultimately, these virtual meetings can materialize in real life. Social networks but also online games are the hunting ground of these despicable pedophiles.
Child pornography enthusiasts use fake profiles to gain the trust of our children. They will manipulate them psychologically to extract images and videos of a child pornography nature.
Once the child has taken the bait thinking of having behind the screen a young person of his age, the predator will try to organize a meeting with his young digital capture.
Our children are very vulnerable because they are often very gullible. Predators abuse it and remote manipulation is too easy.
Keep a close eye on his network games.
If the game offers a chat function and an online community of players, be extremely vigilant and always on the alert.
Don’t say: “I know this game, it’s ok”.
The best thing is to prohibit ONLINE games for the youngest. Otherwise, install the game in a common living room (example the living room).
Promote video games that do not require an internet connection to run. (offline)
In addition to the danger of bad encounters, it should be noted that these so-called online (connected) games are often more addictive than offline games because they are constantly in motion. The games never end, the missions are endless and there are always people online to play or chat, even in the middle of the night.
Some tips for us parents
Children do not have the cognitive maturity to manage their consumption of video games on their own. Only you can decide. The games are most often Halal, but require strong supervision on your part.
Banning everything is not the solution. Mean, silly deprivation will sow the seed for future deviant behavior in adulthood, as a sort of catch-up.
GROWING and STRENGTHENING a child towards adulthood also means teaching him what is Halal and Haram.
When the Haram comes his way, be there and explain to him why it’s bad for his life. A good explanation is sometimes better than a ban alone.
Yes some things are Haram, but tell him why and how. And your child will learn to turn away from it.
Hidden everything, forbid everything can only work for a while.
Finally, your child could feel excluded from the group when the other children in the playground discuss this or that video game. The feeling of belonging to a group of his age is very important in children and adolescents.
Here are 8 practical tips:
#1 Add fun activities outside the home, ideally outdoor family sports.
#2 Suggest video games that he/she wouldn’t choose spontaneously. Try to suggest higher quality video games. Take the opportunity to subtly evacuate the video games that you dislike the most.
#3 Play with your child in multiplayer mode. It’s TOP for building beautiful relationships: parent-child-cousin-comrade-neighbor… Be nice and offer more game time for multiplayer mode than for single player mode.
#4 Negotiate with your child to reduce his playing time during school days, even if it means increasing it on weekends or Wednesdays. Be nice.
#5 When the child has a tantrum, offer him to self-analyze. Take the opportunity to teach him by example that anger and hatred do nothing.
#6 Set up a timer to teach them how to manage boundaries. Your child will gain in responsibility and maturity. And you won’t look like the bad cop who unplugs everything because it’s time to eat…
#7 Never trade an extension mid-session. When it’s over, it’s over! Be firm the first time, and the second time will be less painful. Write this law in stone!
#8 Check the game yourself before you buy it. It may contain violence, nudity, pornography, etc. Have suspicious confidence in the label.
#9 Monitor network games (online) like milk on fire. Listen a little to the conversations they have on the microphone. The same goes for chatrooms.
#10 Educate your child about what is Halal and Haraam in Islam. Nothing better than accountability. If you see something Haram passing, take 2 minutes to talk about it and explain why and how.
Your child will grow into a solid, dignified and decent adult. Teach values and our religious duties.
Thus, when your child is alone, he will undoubtedly turn away from violence, greed, materialism or nudity.
#11 Try to be actively there for your child (in quantity and quality). Maybe you too consume too much screen? Never forget that children are reflections of parents. (Action reaction)
#11 (the most important) When you counsel a child or a teenager, remember to do it with gentleness, patience and good behavior as the prophet محمّد Muhammad asked. Peace and blessings of God be upon him ﷺ
If you correct harshly and brutally, your child may stray from the right path in reaction.
What to do when I’m not there to monitor?
This is the most difficult question. Unless we are homeschooling, it is very difficult to keep a protective eye on our children 24/7.
Even being an ultra-involved parent, there is a time when my child will be out of the house, at school or at a friend’s house for example.
The ideal solution would be to replace your child’s smartphone with an old black and white Nokia 3310, and resell all the screens on Leboncoin.
But your child may not agree. Also, this is surely not the best way to make him responsible and strengthen him in his life as a young Muslim.
MuslimSurfer one more solution in your toolbox
Mulsim Surfer offers a range of apps and software to guarantee Halal internet for our children.
Our filtering and blocking solution is resistant to UNINSTALL and DISABLE as well as bypass by VPN and other traffic anonymizers .
Several degrees of filtering are possible. You can filter the internet stream by categories. (gambling, adult, social networks, etc.)
But you can also block certain applications already installed on the phone ( Snapchat , Instagram, Tinder etc.) and even block the websites of your choice. (blacklist)
MuslimSurfer is ultra-powerful and even offers screen filtering against nudity (live blurring) .
We are Made in France and donate 10% of subscriptions to 6 associations that are close to your beautiful Muslim values.
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We ask the Messenger of Allah – The Most High – Muhammad (peace be upon him) to guide us all to the right path and guide us to a favorable outcome here below and in the hereafter!
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