Religious Views on Gambling – Why Few Muslims Occupy Casinos

If you ever step onto a casino floor whether it is in Canada, Las Vegas or even in Singapore where there is a large population of Malay and Singapore following Islam, you almost never see Muslims. We cannot say a Muslim has never stepped foot into a casino and we cannot assume every single Muslim can be identified based on appearance, but we can infer that due to the pious beliefs and culture surrounding the faith of Islam there may be a large link to Muslims’ rather noticeable absence.

Tenets of Faith Influencing these Phenomena

The Qur’an speaks that Allah has a plan for everyone and that one’s own experience is based on the causation that he has provided between him and every individual to experience. To think that someone could change that causation such as changing one’s luck through a game of chance through gambling is therefore considered an insult and downright blasphemous to the creator. We also see evidence with this in the language many Muslims use such as the phrase “God willing” when they are asked a question about what they plan to do in the future. God willing implies that Allah has already made a plan and that it will come to fruition as needed.

There is really no other type of people that speak in terms of a creator dictating all decisions to the point where they feel they should steer clear of a certain aspect of life, and the language as well as beliefs believed in Islam have arguably influenced how Muslims veer away from gambling. But aside from language and a core belief in fate controlled in the hands of the divine, we also see more evidence in the Qur’an when it comes to property and behavior.

One’s own property including wealth is considered a gift from the divine and to place it for wager on chance is considered wrongful. Doing so also prohibits the soul from purifying itself, which is one of the main goals in Islam. Rather than working hard to explore and fulfill the potential that Allah has giving each individual to explore he or she instead wants to skip over that and obtain a life of comfort. This goes against purifying one’s soul, as in order to do so an individual needs to be working in accordance with Allah’s path for him/her.

The Qur’an even goes onto say that gambling is literally an abomination from Satan meant to stir up hatred and greed. In order to prevent creating disharmony and moral disregard for oneself and others, an individual needs to maintain strict prayer and upkeep a connection with God, which gambling puts a dent in and disrupts the flow of divine intervention.

Arguments against gambling and religion

Some of the more liberal advocates in Islam argue that gambling is bad rather the intentions one puts behind them. If a person is wagering on a game for fun or playing a poker game with friends to keep things more interesting, this could be argued as a type of entertainment rather than a lust or desire for obtaining more greed and power. Intention seems to be key for these advocates but for the traditional believer who sticks to the exact words in the Qur’an there is no middle ground.

Other religions

Other religions such as Buddhism also believe in causality and the rise of circumstances dictating the outcome of peoples’ lives but there is no connection to a creator. Instead, each individual’s experience and path in life are based off their choices and actions, making causality a way to explain how things occur as opposed to determining that the universe’s interaction with the individual is set in stone.

Some schools may argue that a current life is set in stone but can be changed given the purification of karma takes place, which means purifying one’s needs as much as possible. In such a scenario gambling is considered a distraction and blockage from reaching a higher state of experience that can lead the soul of the individual to ultimate liberation. For these reasons in addition to the belief that greed and desire are poisons to the mind’s development in spirituality perhaps also shed light as to why Buddhists do not partake in gambling or attend casinos across the world.

So then who exactly are filling casinos in terms of religious populations if any at all? Interesting enough we find that many are Christians. Despite their being mixed interpretations in the bible about the actual behavior of betting in regards to whether it is a sin, there is a lack of verbatim as to whether it tears apart one’s connection with the divine. Christians do believe in sovereignty that God has over people and also believe in the core belief of love. However, these types of teachings are rarely spoken out directly into dictating one’s actions on an every day basis and are largely left for the individual to determine based on their own free will.

Many analysts argue that in gambling some one has to lose in order for another to win so this can be considered theft. Christians also believe wagering one’s earnings when he or she has responsibility to others is harmful and that the amount could instead be placed in fostering one’s own church or future for the benefit of humanity. Also, the amount of time spent gambling is considered wasteful to many Christians and is distracting.

In terms of atheists, because there is no religious views attributed these people believe largely in free choice and more responsibility for one’s actions. Atheism does not mean there is no moral disregard for behavior but rather there is no divine connection or persecution to be experienced based on one’s actions, rather concrete and materialistic results stemming from one’s actions. Simply put, there is no text or rules on gambling for these people and the choice is up to each and every individual based on their capacity and understanding of what gambling means to them.

Conclusion

Overall, we see a diverse range of beliefs just in 3 different schools of thought. There are many others that discuss gambling but what we find are some similar core behaviors that essentially point toward the purification of one’s mind and reaching a state that is free from distress, either in this current life or the after life. Since we are not spiritual advisors and instead enjoy writing about the online gaming world in regards to casinos our take is to do whatever it is you do responsibility, know the consequences and make sure that whatever action you take does not inflict harm onto others.

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