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In the Name of God بسم الله
zeinab94

Is Chess Haram?!

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Salam brothers and sisters,

I got a reply from 2 Marjahs, Fadlallah and Khamenei,

My question was:

Asalamu Alaikum,

Is Chess Haram?

If it is Haram, what is the reason making it Haram?

Is it true that the enemies of the Ahlulbayt AS planned how they will kill Imam Hussain AS on a chess board?

Khamenei reply:

Istifta’ no.: 525169

Bismihi Ta`ala

Salamun `alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

If the mukallaf recognizes that nowadays chess is no longer a gambling instrument, there is no problem in playing it without betting.

With apologies this site is reserved specifically for the sake of answering questions pertaining to the practical laws of Islam.

With prayers for your success

Fadlallah reply:

(It's in arabic, not sure if it will post the same way I pasted it, but either way I'm getting a friend to translate it for me in English)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

بإسمه تعالى:

ج) ليست حراماً، إن كان اللعب للتسلية وليس بمراهنة مالية، ولكن استحباباً اجتنابها مطلقاً.

ج2) ليس صحيحاً.

والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

 

He's basically saying that it is not haram if it was played for entertainment and not money betting. But it is recommended to avoid it completely.

As for your second question, he's saying that's not authentic/correct.

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Salam,

I got a reply from the Shirazi Marjah:

(I got it a few days ago but I had no time to post it here)

Salam alaikum

Indeed, Chess is Haram. Playing chess, selling chess boards or buying them is also Haram. The Hadiths in this regard are many, of them are:

1- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: He who looks at a chess board is equal to he who has looked at the private part of his mother.

2- When they brought the head of Imam Hussain (a.s) to Yazid, he was sitting down and playing chess.

Wasalam.

The office of the Grand Ayatollah Sayed Sadiq Shirazi

The Holy City of Qum, Republic of Iran

www.English.Shirazi.ir

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It is not permissible to play chess, card game and poker  as long as they are used as a means for gambling even though you do not play them with the intention of gambling.  If a game is considered to be a means for gambling in the eye of Urf (public), it is not permissible to play it. In case, it is not used as a means for gambling, there is no problem in it. 

Generally speaking, if a game involves betting, it is not permissible to play it. When it comes to chess, chess is absolutely forbidden. Grand religious authorities have forbidden playing chess even if it is played for fun or as a pass time instrument. When it comes to a game which is not considered, in common view to a means for gambling, there is no problem in playing it.

Edited by Jawid Akbari

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My favorite old post on the subject, courtesy of @Ya Aba 3abdillah. I used the search function!

His comment on chess:

-----------

Quote

 

You realize terms that describe something are just that, terms, they're not descriptions. For example, if i was to say the definition of 'A' in the year 1000 is 'B C D E F' and 'A' is haram, it's written in hadith. Today, the definition of 'A' is 'W X Y Z'. Now a person that doesn't use their brain, takes it literal. A is A it's haram till qiyamat. A person that does have a brain would say 'B C D E F' is haram, however 'W X Y Z' is halal.

To take it another step:

As described here: http://en.wikipedia....istory_of_chess

These were the early 'Chatarangu' pieces

Lewis_Chessmen_Overview.jpg

to me, they certainly look like idols. Also "the uncheckered 8×8 board served as the main board for playing Chaturanga" and "Scholars in areas to which the game subsequently spread, for example the Arab Abu al-Hasan 'Alī al-Mas'ūdī, detailed the Indian use of chess as a tool for military strategy, mathematics, gambling and even its vague association with astronomy." which it is no longer used for, which demonstrates evolution.

Now this is where it gets real funny. Virtually no one that's banned chess, had banned checkers, not even (from what i recall, anyone's plz feel free correct me if i'm mistaken) Modarassi. Now, let's place letters on the white and black pieces to distinguish them (e.g. horse = H) and put them into place. The rules played are the same. Is it still haram? If yes, ok, move the pieces now back to how checkers is played (and leave the letters on the pieces) and play checkers. Is it now haram? No.

So what's the difference here? Because the horse (H) can jump over any piece, it's haram? But if i changed the rules to be the rules of checkers, it's now halal? What if i slightly modified the rules, i made it that the bishop can move twice in one go in a zig-zag manner instead of straight diagonal using the lettered checkers pieces. It's no longer "Chess", now it's called Ya Aba Banganess. Is that halal or haram?

 

 

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Edited by magma

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On 4/23/2015 at 2:09 AM, zeinab94 said:

1- Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: He who looks at a chess board is equal to he who has looked at the private part of his mother.

salam @zeinab94

Thank you for that info, 
Why is shirazi always different?
Can anyone tell if
 the above hadith is authentic or not?
It seems hard to believe

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5 hours ago, realizm said:

:salam:

We are debating over chess which had become a game for mostly upper-class, intellectual people while video games today are creating the most vile forms of social misbehaviour.

That's because literalism and social ignorance is rampant among layman Muslims today. Instead of using their knowledge and principles to apply progression in modern times, they waste time splitting hairs and debating nonsense topics, in an almost anachronistic mindset, where everything today can somehow be directly transferred to 7th century Arabia, even to the most tangible detail. 

They don't use logic, knowledge, or intuition, they simply squawk and repeat literal words like parrots, trying to forcibly shove square pegs into round holes, and saying thats how Allah's religion works. 

Edited by magma

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On 19/03/2015 at 2:34 PM, zeinab94 said:

Asalamu Alaikum,

Does anyone have any Hadiths on y chess is Haram?

I'v heard that it's Haram because the enemies #BULB planned how they would kill Imam Hussain AS on a chess board,

I'm going to email a few Marjahs that I listen to: Sistani, Fadlallah, Shirazi.. And I'll also be emailing Khamenei because many people like him,

But I wanted to see if anyone knows any Hadiths first,

In spite of what may be brought forth, I do not believe Chess is haram. It is a game similar like all others, and since my actions are per my intentions, I only intend to play for fun, not for shirk.

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On 19/03/2015 at 11:59 PM, narcotic_ice said:

one can intepret this gambling/alcohol as being not haram nor halal

O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah ], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. [5:90]

Here it clearly says 'avoid it'.

The reason why it does not explicitly say this before is because, if the Quran had forbidden alcohol straight away, many would have left Islam and decided not to change.

However, in the Quran, you can see a gradual change - now, it is haram.

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