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sulhasany

[LAWS]Is Chess Haram?

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(salam) everyone,

I was sifting through Ayatollah Sistani's website, and on the Question&Answer part, it stated that the game of Chess is haram. I looked through a few more websites to see if this was a Muslim-wide view, or just a Shi'a one; lo and behold, more often than not, it's haram.

But here's the thing. The reasoning behind it was that it consumes you and becomes a disease of the mind; the explanation went on to compare it to gambling. But, I've never played with any money at stake. As a matter of fact, I enjoy the game but only play occasionally. It seems as though the reasoning behind deeming it haram is the same reason why Muslims are advised to stay away from all vices all together (anything you'll get addicted to).

And if chess is deemed bad, then why isn't any sport? They're obviously more time-consuming than the board-game. In basketball, for example, you have hours and hours of practice.

So, is it really a bad thing? And if it is, isn't all 'time-consuming' activities which aren't of Islamic worth?

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The reasoning behind it was that it consumes you and becomes a disease of the mind;

that explanation is the opinion of some people, it is not necessarily the islamic reason. Sometimes you find people trying to justify certain things and getting it wrong.

So why are you in trouble? I don’t see why people play chess if they have so many other games to choose from. If you know that it is likely to be haraam then why play it?

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I don�t see why people play chess if they have so many other games to choose from

^^^ well thats not really fair to say .. it's not like the person woke up to find a big list of things and he choose chess for that day .. its a matter of choice and passion .. i bet shiachat is more time consuming and addictive ( i keep going on to this site .. hoping maybe today theres's an interesting topic .. to my surprise .. ) than chess. ofcoarse u shouldnt gamble on it .. but the fact that chess is time consuming is kind of a lame excuse (watching t.v. , drawing, reading a book i supose are time consuming, when all the mentioned do u the same amount of good a game of chess would only that chess is slightly a tougher and more thinking requiring game ) dont u think? i dont mean any offence .. but to my opinion it seems that chess is a game that requires a lot of creativity and though .. and ofcoarse by playing it .. guess what .. it works out ur brain, ! ;)

Edited by Ya_Hussain

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there are hadith about chess. that's why.

some scholars say it is haraam and some say it is not.

ayatullah seeestani is one who says it is haraam.

i am kind of hoping someday he will change his mind............

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I don�t see why people play chess if they have so many other games to choose from

^^^ well thats not really fair to say .. it's not like the person woke up to find a big list of things and he choose chess for that day .. its a matter of choice and passion .. i bet shiachat is more time consuming and addictive ( i keep going on to this site .. hoping maybe today theres's an interesting topic .. to my surprise .. ) than chess. ofcoarse u shouldnt gamble on it .. but the fact that chess is time consuming is kind of a lame excuse (watching t.v. , drawing, reading a book i supose are time consuming, when all the mentioned do u the same amount of good a game of chess would only that chess is slightly a tougher and more thinking requiring game ) dont u think? i dont mean any offence .. but to my opinion it seems that chess is a game that requires a lot of creativity and though .. and ofcoarse by playing it .. guess what .. it works out ur brain, ! ;)

they say chess is a game that was played by yazid when the imam's head was near him.

quitting chess isnt going to cause any decent person to go into depression. chess may be good for the mind but there are many other good games too. why play chess when is has been mentioned in ahadith?

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there are hadith about chess. that's why.

some scholars say it is haraam and some say it is not.

ayatullah seeestani is one who says it is haraam.

i am kind of hoping someday he will change his mind............

I personally would like to play chess as well. I recall I ask my some one long time ago, why shia don't like chess and he told me that Yazeed :shaytan: (Lanat Ullah Alaih) played chess with Imam Hussain (as) sever head :cry: Honestly, I have not read this any where but would like to know the full story behind it with references!

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I personally would like to play chess as well. I recall I ask my some one long time ago, why shia don't like chess and he told me that Yazeed :shaytan: (Lanat Ullah Alaih) played chess with Imam Hussain (as) sever head :cry: Honestly, I have not read this any where but would like to know the full story behind it with references!

I have no idea about the story about Yazeed. However, my point was that even if you stop chess, shouldn't other time-consuming things be forbidden as well? Shiachat.com, being one... :D

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Guest *~Mrs Power~*

I heard its bad to play Chess etc coz Yazeed(lanat) played it on the Head of Imam Hussain..

is it true? :unsure:

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I heard its bad to play Chess etc coz Yazeed(lanat) played it on the Head of Imam Hussain..

is it true? :unsure:

I can neither confirm nor deny the allegations against Yazeed in regard to him playing chess. But sister, Yazeed was doing a lot more things other than playing chess, too. I'm sure he had drank some water, took air into his lungs, blinked, etc.. Why aren't those things considered bad, as well? We shouldn't be concerned with people like Yazeed, since only Allah (swt) can forgive his sins. But what Yazeed did or didn't do (aside the things that anger Allah...) shouldn't factor into what we're allowed to do.. You see what I'm saying?

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Guest *~Mrs Power~*
I can neither confirm nor deny the allegations against Yazeed in regard to him playing chess. But sister, Yazeed was doing a lot more things other than playing chess, too. I'm sure he had drank some water, took air into his lungs, blinked, etc.. Why aren't those things considered bad, as well? We shouldn't be concerned with people like Yazeed, since only Allah (swt) can forgive his sins. But what Yazeed did or didn't do (aside the things that anger Allah...) shouldn't factor into what we're allowed to do.. You see what I'm saying?

yea brother i understand :) .. thnx for the correction!

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there are hadith about chess. that's why.

some scholars say it is haraam and some say it is not.

ayatullah seeestani is one who says it is haraam.

i am kind of hoping someday he will change his mind............

salaamunUlaykum , if he changes his mind, will this affect you?

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Playing cards is haraam?? I thought it was only haraam when you would use it for bets, like playing poker, or gaining money....

I play it for fun

Harraaaam off with your head.

Nah it is haraam even if your not betting.

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^ wow.... i always play cards though!!

Why is it haraam??

I think its haraam due to its nature. It has been used more for gambling. But im no ayatollah, thats just my explanation for it.

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(bismillah)

(salam)

If my memory serves me correctly, Sheikh Saanei, Ibrahim Jannaati, Lankarani (ra) all ruled chess as halal. Also Sayyid Khamenei and Sayyid Fadhlallah have ruled it as halal. I have read that Sheikh Bahjat rules it as haram but according to Ihtiyat Wajib, which means one can refer to any of the above scholars (unless you have objections to their credentials)

also a few of the above believe playing with gambling instruments is halal provided there is no actual gambling:

Sheikh Saanei:

Q1004: What is the case of trading cards, playing them, and watching others playing them?

A: following some of the most learned religious jurist, I believe that playing with gambling instruments with no intention of gambling and with the purpose of playing and amusing oneself is legal, but if the purpose is to gamble at cards, it will be certainly illegal.

http://www.saanei.org/page.php?pg=books-vi...d=1〈=en

Sheikh Ibrahim Jannaati:

Playing with means of backgammon, cards and chess is permissible, if it is done for mental exercise or for entertainment or improving mathematical ability even if the means with which the games are played are considered as means for gambling. Of course, in all of this the game should not be played for a thing to be won or lost by either side or else it would be forbidden.

http://www.jannaati.com/eng/index.php?page...=4&start=44

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No you guys arent getting the point here, chess isnt like all the other games, its a deep game with literally no limits

so its perfectly understandable why people raise this question

stop saying " i dont get it, theres so many other games to play, why chess? "

cuz chess is next level thats why

and if u think checkers and chess are the same, please jus stick to checkers

I play chess sometimes, dont see nothing haram bout it, jus cuz yazeed used to play? wth, he also used to ride horses, is that haram too?

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asak,

Brother Mohammad , it is not about what you thinkmm it is about what Islam thinks.

Once Imam Ali a.s was walking past people who were busy playing chess. Moula Ali a.s stopped and said what are you doing? You are worshipping the Idols.

The kind of dedication and depth you apply to chess is required in you ibadath.

Ya Ali Madad

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asak,

Brother Mohammad , it is not about what you thinkmm it is about what Islam thinks.

Once Imam Ali a.s was walking past people who were busy playing chess. Moula Ali a.s stopped and said what are you doing? You are worshipping the Idols.

The kind of dedication and depth you apply to chess is required in you ibadath.

Ya Ali Madad

Salaam brother,

I honestly have never heard Ali (as) doing/saying so, but I'd really appreciate any references you have to that.

The argument some people have that Yazeed played chess is weak, however. As I stated before, Yazeed did many things, aside from angering Shi'a. He also drank water, rode horses, blinked, etc.. So why does his actions, ESPECIALLY since it's post-Qur'an being revealed, make something haraam? It can't, that's the answer..

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Asak,

Mr. Hasan Sajjad. Do you know me? Do not have prejudices about a person. I do not say I am an Aalim but Ahlul bayt a.s have taught me how not to go astray and how to check if a hadith is correct. You may be following a mujtahid it is your choice, no worries but you do not have a right to nullify what I have put forward. I thought shiachat encourages different views but it seems you guys only accept views of Marjas.

Dont be so biased.

Ya Ali Madad

Imam Ali a.s said: "Man qala ana alim fi hua jaahil"

Edited by siraatoaliyinhaqqun

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Asalaamalaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaato Hu,

"But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (Muhammad, peace be upon him) as a judge in all disputes between them, and find no resistance against your decisions, and accept (the decisions) with full submission." [Holy Quran 4:65]"

Mr. Hasan Sajjad for that you should have to hold the rope as mentioned below in these quranic verses.

La ikraha fee alddeeni qad tabayyana alrrushdu mina alghayyi faman yakfur bi al taghooti wayumin bi Allahi faqadi istamsaka bialAAurwati alwuthqa la infisama laha waAllahu sameeAAun AAaleemu.

Taghoot is one who does not have the rights to command and Bi Al Aaurwati Al wuthqa is the rope, which is 12 Masoomeen a.s. Read ziarath of Imam Mahdi a.s for reference of Aurwati al Wuthqa. So you will first have to hold the rope tightly and next.

Waman yuslim wajhahu ila Allahi wahuwa muhsinun faqadi istamsaka bi Al AAurwati Al wuthqa waila Allahi AAaqibatu alomoori

One who submits his whole self to Allah swt while doing Ehsan amal (Love towards Imam Ali a.s) and has indeed held the rope, and with Allah swt rests the end and decisions of all his affairs.

The bottom line is you will have to hold the rope tightly by doing taqleed of Masoomeen a.s. and thereby forgoing and distancing from anyone whom you have taken as Hujjat Allah, vali ul Amr, etc and resting every end and decision of your affairs to Allah swt, who indeed has appointed our 14 a.s as the Hujjat and the Ulil Amri.

and now read this and relate where we fit:

Kumayl bin Ziyad Nakha'i says that once Imam Ali put his hand in my hand and took me to the graveyard. When he passed through it and left the city behind, he heaved a sigh and said "Kumayl, these hearts are containers of the secrets of knowledge and wisdom and the best container is the one which can hold the most and what it holds, it can preserve and protect in the best way. Therefore, remember carefully what I am telling you. Remember that there are three kinds of people: one kind is of those learned people who are highly versed in the ethics of truth and philosophy of religion, second is the kind of those who are acquiring the above knowledge and the third is that class of people who are uneducated. They follow every pretender and accept every slogan, they have neither acquired any knowledge nor have they secured any support of firm and rational convictions. Remember, Kumayl, knowledge is better than wealth because it protects you while you have to guard wealth. It decreases if you keep on spending it but the more you make use of knowledge the more it increases. What you get through wealth disappears as soon as wealth disappears but what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you.

O Kumayl ! Knowledge is power and it can command obedience. A man of knowledge during his lifetime can make people obey and follow him and he is praised and venerated after his death. Remember that knowledge is a ruler and wealth is its subject.

O Kumayl ! Those who amass wealth, though alive, are dead to realities of life, and those who achieve knowledge, will remain alive through their knowledge and wisdom even after their death, though their faces may disappear from the community of living beings, yet their ideas, the knowledge which they had left behind and their memory, will remain in the minds of people".

Kumayl says that after this brief dissertation, Imam Ali a.s pointed towards his chest and said,

"Look Kumayl! Here I hold stores and treasures of knowledge. I wish I could find somebody to share it with me. Yes, I found a few, but one of them, though quite intelligent, was untrustworthy, he would sell his salvation to get hold of the world and its pleasures, he would make religion a pretence to grasp worldly power and wealth, he would make this Blessing of Allah swt (knowledge) serve him to get supremacy and control over friends of Allah and he would through knowledge exploit and suppress other human beings. The other person was such that he apparently obeyed truth and knowledge, yet his mind had not achieved the true light of religion, at the slightest ambiguity or doubt he would get suspicious of truth, mistrust religion and would rush towards skepticism. So neither of them was capable of acquiring the superior knowledge that I can impart. Besides these two I find some other person One of them is a slave of self and greedy for inordinate desires, which can easily drag him away from the path of religion, the other is an avaricious, grasping and acquisitive miser who will risk his life to grasp and hold wealth, none of these two will be of any use to religion or man, both of them resemble beasts having appetite for food.

If sensible trustees of knowledge and wisdom totally disappear from human society then both knowledge and wisdom will suffer severely, may bring harm to humanity and may even die out. But this earth will never be without those persons who will prove the universality of truth as disclosed by Allah, they may be well-known persons, openly and fearlessly declaring the things revealed to them or they may, under fear of harm, injury or deaths hide themselves from the public gaze and may carry on their mission privately so that the reasons proving the reality of truth as preached by religion and as demonstrated by His Prophet may not totally disappear.

How many are they and where could they be found? I swear by Allah swt that they are very few in number but their worth and their ranks before Allah are very high. Through them Allah swt preserves His Guidance so that they, while departing, may hand over these truths to persons like themselves. The knowledge which they have acquired has made them see the realities and visualize the truth and has instilled into them the spirit of faith and trust. The duties which were decreed as hard and unbearable by them. They feel happy in the company and association of things which frighten the ignorant and uneducated. They live in this world like everybody else but their souls soar to the heights of Divine Eminence. They are media of Allah on this earth and they invite people towards Him. How I love to meet them O Kumayl ! I have told you all that I have to say, you can go back to your place whenever you like".

It is enough for a momin to be guided and come on siraat al mustaqeem after reading this. If you have been guided then present to me the proof and Inshallah I will reveal to you the secrets which I have been taught by Imam Ali a.s.

Ya Ali Madad; Ali Rahbar

Imam Ali a.s said: Nahno Ulema wa Shiatona mutalemoon.

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asak,

Mr. Hasan sajjad you have the right to deny my posts. These qutbas are taken from authentic shia books. If I have not taken them from authentic sources then May Allah swt send me to hell.

But, I have a question for you? Have you ever asked your mujtahid for the source from where a fatwa has been derived. I have not issued a one liner, I have presented a qutba, some quranic verses and their universally acceptable meanings with clear cut reference.

It is Allah swt who guides, I can just warn everyone.

3:86 How shall Allah Guide those who reject Faith after they accepted it and bore witness that the Messenger was true and that Clear Signs had come unto them? but Allah GUIDES not a people unjust.

9:24 Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah GUIDES not the rebellious.

24:46 We have indeed sent down signs that make things manifest: and Allah GUIDES whom He wills to a way that is straight.

28:56 It is true thou wilt not be able to guide every one, whom thou lovest; but Allah GUIDES those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance.

39:3 Is it not to Allah that sincere devotion is due? But those who take for protectors other than Allah (say): "We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah." Truly Allah will judge between them in that wherein they differ. But Allah GUIDES not such as are false and ungrateful.

Ya Ali Madad

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they say chess is a game that was played by yazid when the imam's head was near him.

A Shi'a Mawlana said that to me when I asked him this question... my reply was "Yazeed also talked and laughed. What's the Fatewa on these two things?"

He was shocked and couldn't answer. Even if this is a true story, it does not automatically make Chess haram... for what reason?

- Mansab

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I think everyone is arguing in circles. Either that, or getting all defensive against your own fellow Shi'a. Calm down! Are you trying to sow conflict amongst the Muslim Ummah? No wonder the world is degrading by the day, if everyone with good intentions ends up doing more harm than good.

Someone (not me, obviously--I'm not qualified enough) needs to compile all the reasons different Maraja' have banned or allowed chess (and backgammon and cards), hopefully with Hadith and Qur'an references, and at least some semblance of logic. Could someone do that? Or is the argument too convoluted at this point?

And in my humble opinion, I agree with the argument that even if Yazid did play chess with the heads of the Karbala martyrs (which still needs historical backing), that alone cannot be interpreted as a reason to ban chess, cards, etc. because he did some other things as well that are definitely not haraam (like breathing). Also, quoting ahaadith that only serve to prove someone else's argument wrong, instead of providing a better argument to prove oneself right, is a horrible logical fallacy, and anyone with the wisdom to formulate a hadith-based argument should (again, in my humble opinion) know that.

Also, remember that when quoting hadiths and ayaat, providing book references or surah and ayah numbers is necessary for the hadith to be credible, or the ayah to be found for future use. It would also be nice for the fellow sisters and brothers to be wary of fabricated or skewed (whether purposely or through misunderstandings) ahaadith, especially when said ahaadith were heard through word of mouth.

Just wanted to put that out there. A lot of this also applied to anyone trying to answer any question on this website, or any other website, for that matter.

I'm sorry that I couldn't actually answer your question, though, sulhasany (and everyone else who's wondering about this issue along with me).

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There are many things haram in Islam and chess is just one of them. Things that create rijz or temptations are regarded as haram. There are many reasons for the game to be haram one of the reaons is that it creates temptations. Not because it is time consuming but because the temptation makes people forget about all important aspects of life without fetching any benefit for the person who plays it.

 

Any other game can create equal temptations like casino and card games even if money is not involved in it. Islam wants people to be as successful in life and thereafter as possible.

 

Islam on one side has a provision for zakat and khums which implies that Islam desires that muslims be wealthy people having halal source of income and good life. Islam desires people to be well-dressed, good looking and smart wearing halal and decent clothes and adopting good habits. Islam wants people to be healthy and thus the aspects about medicine and wisdom have been provided. Islam wants muslims to rule on earth and thus it provides laws for administration and governance. Islam wants people to obey Allah and seek his refuge from all vices and all fears and to seek forgiveness for even smallest mischiefs and rise without sins on the day of judgement. Islam wants people to learn marefat of Allah, His Prophet, Ahlulbait of Prophet and Islam, thus it want muslims to keep learning and adding to knowledge and wisdom.

 

Thus Islam wants people to utilize their time in most beneficial methods for most beneficial tasks. Thus the things that create temptations have been declared haram so that muslims do not waste their time in useless activities like games and music.

It is not that Islam does not wish people to arrange for amusement. Islam has provided for means of entertainment and amusement as well. Provision for visiting your friends and relatives atleast once a week and the provision for namaz in jama'at atleast once a week is a means of brotherhood, fraternity, discourse and amusement. Similarly provisions of celebration of festivals is also provided by Islam.

 

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It is Haraam.

 

Question :

What is the ruling on playing chess using the commonly known equipment? Is the ruling different if the play is conducted on a computer, using symbols?

Answer :

Playing chess is haraam mutlaqan (absolutely or under any circumstances), even though betting is not used. There is no difference between the two methods of play.

Source: The official website of Grand Ayatollah al-Uzma Seyyid Ali al-Sistani
 

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