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Employment As A Game Tester

Question

I have a job Offer Which requires me to test games for mobile devices, They will pay me based on amount of games tested in a month, The work is at my leisure. Will my earnings be halal with this type of job?

Answer

Games generally fall into the category of lahw (amusement) and thus should be avoided.[i] As Muslims we should always try to look for the best way to earn our livelihood and it should not contradict the guidelines laid out by Shari’ah. A Muslim can either achieve an enormous reward by earning his bread through Halaal means or he can jeopardize his Akhirah [ii]. It has been mentioned in so many narrations the rewards of earning in the Halaal way. Hence, a believer should always be cautious in choosing his way of earning.   

In answer to your query, testing mobile games and earning money from that will only be permissible if it fulfils the following conditions:- 

1.     It does not contain any vulgar or immoral language

2.     It does not have any music

3.     No animation or pictures of animate objects.

4.     Should not promote any immoral or evil things

5.     Should have some moral or benefit of Deen related to it 

It is very unlikely that a video-game fulfills all the above criteria. Practically all modern games have in the least, musical background and pictures of animated objects. By testing and passing these games, one will be assisting in the promotion of a Haraam activity; thus rendering impermissible such a job and its income. The Qur’aan says:-

ولا تعاونوا على الإثم والعدوان

Translation: “And do not help one another in sin and transgression” [Al-Maa’idah; 5:2]. 

As mentioned earlier, one should not be content with earning money in this manner. Furthermore, if it is a job done in your leisure time, it entails that you are not in severe need of this job. So, if you have a background of computer programming and developing, you should try to look for a better job opportunity that is more aligned with the guidelines of Shari’ah. In that way, you will be able to benefit people through your expertise and effort.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

لأن محمدا أطلق اسم اللعب والغناء ‌فاللعب وهو اللهو حرام بالنص قال – عليه الصلاة والسلام – «لهو المؤمن باطل إلا في ثلاث: تأديبه فرسه» وفي رواية «ملاعبته بفرسه ورميه عن قوسه وملاعبته مع أهله» كفاية وكذا قول الإمام ابتليت دليل على أنه حرام إتقاني   (رد المحتار ص348 ج6)

   ثم بين محمد – رحمه الله – أن الكسب فيه معنى المعاونة ‌على ‌القرب والطاعات أي كسب كان حتى قال: إن كسب فتال الحبال ومتخذ الكيزان والجرار وكسب الحركة فيه معاونة على الطاعات والقرب، فإنه لا يتمكن من أداء الصلاة إلا بالطهارة ويحتاج ذلك إلى كوز يستقى به الماء وإلى دلو ورشاء ينزح به الماء ويحتاج إلى ستر العورة لأداء الصلاة، وإنما يتمكن من ذلك بعمل الحركة فعرفنا أن ذلك كله من أسباب التعاون على إقامة الطاعة وإليه أشار علي – رضي الله عنه – في قوله لا تسبوا الدنيا فنعم مطية المؤمن الدنيا إلى الآخرة، وقال أبو ذر – رضي الله عنه – حين سأله رجل عن أفضل الأعمال بعد الإيمان فقال: الصلاة وأكل الخبز فنظر إليه الرجل كالمتعجب فقال: لولا الخبز ما عبد الله تعالى يعني بأكل الخبز يقيم صلبه فيتمكن من إقامة الطاعة.ثم المذهب عند جمهور الفقهاء – رحمهم الله – أن المكاسب كلها في الإباحة سواء، وقال بعض المتقشفة ما يرجع إلى الدناءة من المكاسب فيعرف الناس لا يسع الإقدام عليه إلا عند الضرورة لقوله – عليه السلام – «ليس للمؤمن أن يذل نفسه» وقال – عليه السلام – «إن الله تعالى يحب معالي الأمور ويبغض سفسافها» والسفساف ما يدني المرء ويبخسه ) المبسوط  للسرخسي ص 34 ج30)

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