As-salāmu 'alaykum If a group of people play games with playing cards, without gambling, is this still counted as haram? I have heard this is the case. Please explain in detail. Jzk. Wassalaam
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
It is Haram to play cards if gambling is involved. If gambling is not involved, then it will not be Haram. However, the nature of games played with cards entails a general ruling of dislike (Karahiyyat) as they contain elements of Haram such as animate pictures and the general association of cards with gambling. Such games distract one from Allah’s remembrance, and often prevent one from fulfilling his/her Shar’i duties.
Thus, one should abstain from playing cards even if it does not involving gambling.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Abdullah ibn Mohammed Aijaz
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
 وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَشۡتَرِى لَهۡوَ ٱلۡحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ۬ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًاۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ۬ مُّهِينٌ۬
(Surah Luqman – Verse:6)
Fataawa Darul Uloom Zakariyyah V.7/PG.632
 Fataawa Mahmudiyyah V.19/PG.536