Islam is a practical religion. It does not remain in an ivory tower of imaginary ideals but remains with the human being on the ground of realities and day-to-day concerns. It does not regard people as angels but accepts them as mortals who eat food and walk in the marketplace. Islam does not require of Muslims that their speech should consist entirely of pious utterances, that their silence should be a meditation, that they should listen to nothing except the recitation of the Qur’an, nor that they should spend all their leisure time in the mosque. Rather, it recognizes that Allah has created human beings with needs and desires, so that, as they need to eat and drink, they also need to relax and to enjoy themselves. However, enjoying entertainment should not violate the dictates of the sharia.
Responding to this issue, below is the response given by Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent economist and counselor, who said:
“Dear Brother, if the fee you pay is a charge for internet accessibility to that game, it may be free. What we need to determine is whether the cup awarded to the winner has any market value, e.g., does it include an amount of money too? If there is a market value and it obviously must come from the paid fees, it is then a sort of gambling. In such a case it is forbidden. If the cup has no market value, or if its cost comes actually from advertisers and other sources and the fees are to cover the cost of its administration, it is not then a sort of gambling and therefore it may be permissible.”