Is Chess Haram Or Halal In Islam? Best Guide 2023

Reviewed by: Shakira Ahmed
Fact Checked by: Shahina Islam

Is Chess Haram

Is Chess Haram In Islam: The question of whether is chess haram in Islam has been the subject of much debate and discussion over the years. The chess game is a centuries-old, strategy board game played by two players.

While some Islamic scholars consider it to be haram, others believe that it can be played without violating Islamic law. It is important to understand the arguments on both sides before deciding on whether or not chess should be considered halal. Let’s read about “Is Chess Haram”.

Is Chess Haram In Islam?

One of the main arguments for considering chess as haram is that it involves gambling, which is prohibited in Islam. This argument is based on the fact that chess usually involves betting money or valuables on each game, and gambling with money or goods is prohibited according to Islamic law.

As Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrated the aayah from the Quran and said:

“….it is haraam to play dice or chess, whether that involves gambling or not because when Allaah forbade alcohol He explained the reason for that, which is ‘Shaytaan (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allaah and from As-Salaah (the prayer).”

(al-Jaami’ li Ahkaam al-Qur’aan, 6/291). 

Some scholars have also argued that playing chess can lead to excessive competition between players and can cause people to forget their religious duties due to their obsession with winning games. 

On the other hand, some argue that playing chess without any gambling involved does not violate Islamic laws.

They point out that while gambling may be haram, there is nothing necessarily wrong with simply enjoying a game of strategy like chess.

Furthermore, some scholars argue that playing chess can help instill patience in people and teach them valuable lessons about strategy and problem-solving skills, all of which are beneficial qualities from an Islamic perspective.

Why Is Chess Haram According To Islam?

Those who argue against playing chess cite numerous verses from the Quran as evidence for their stance:

“O you who believe! Intoxicants [all kinds of alcoholic drinks], gambling, Al-Ansab [stone altars for sacrifices], and Al-Azlam [arrows for seeking luck or decision] are an abomination of Satan’s handiwork; so avoid that [abomination] in order that you may be successful.”

(Quran 5:90).

Other Islamic scholars also point out that even though there may be no risk involved with playing chess, such an activity can lead people away from more meaningful pursuits such as learning more about their faith. 

When Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) was questioned about chess and its permissibility in Islam, he said,

“It is worse than dice.” 

On the other hand, those who argue in favor of playing chess point out that there are certain conditions under which this activity can be acceptable according to Islamic law. 

Specifically, they argue that if someone were to play chess without betting money or engaging in any sort of deceptive tactics then it would not necessarily fall under the definition of gambling outlined in religious texts.

In addition to this, these scholars contend that playing the game itself presents nothing morally wrong or sinful as long as it does not involve any kind of deception or financial losses for either party involved. 

In What Situations Is Chess Halal?

is chess haram in islam

To determine whether chess is haram or halal according to Islamic law, it is important to understand the conditions under which chess can be considered acceptable.

According to some Islamic scholars, chess can be permissible if there is no money or other valuables at stake and both players agree on the rules before starting the game.

In addition, chess should not involve any form of deceit or dishonesty and should only be used as a means of entertainment between two consenting adults.

Furthermore, chess is also permissible when it is played in moderation and does not become an obsession that distracts one from their religious duties. If chess is played responsibly and within the boundaries of Islamic law, then it can be considered halal.

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Will Playing Chess Be A Sin?

Is Chess Haram Or Halal In Islam?

Is Chess Haram? There is a fine line in determining an activity as sin or haram, and chess is no exception. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide if their way of playing chess involves any forbidden activity according to the Quran. If it does then the conclusion shall straight lead to sinning.

In some cases, chess can be a valid means of entertainment, however, caution should be taken so that it does not become a distraction from the more important matters of life.

Is Chess Haram If Gambling Is Not Involved?

The ruling on chess is not completely clear-cut, and various opinions exist among Islamic scholars. Let’s give you some information on “Is chess haram” if gambling is not involved.

Many scholars suggest that chess is permissible if gambling is not involved. Although the views of many scholars vary, as long as chess does not indulge in vulgar and illegal activities it is halal.

Many scholars agree that if you are not engaging in any form of betting or gambling then there should be no issue with enjoying a friendly match of this classic game every once in a while among family and friends in an appropriate setting.

Conclusion

Is Chess Haram? We understand that amidst the unresolved doubts on chess haram, it may be difficult for you to reach a conclusion. Therefore it is advised to always keep your faith and practices in alignment.  

Similarly, do keep a check on your chess-playing activities to make sure it does not involve any forbidden items or activities according to Islamic law.

Chess has been enjoyed by people all over the world for centuries and continues to remain a popular pastime today among both adults and children alike.

Despite some Islamic scholars believing it could potentially lead to gambling, there are still plenty of ways one can enjoy a friendly match without involving money in the equation as long as proper precautions are taken while playing between trusted individuals in an appropriate setting. Thanks for reading “Is Chess Haram”.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Chess Haram In Islam?

Many suggest that chess can be permissible if no money or other valuables are involved, the game does not involve any form of deceit or dishonesty, and it is played in moderation and does not become an obsession.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide if their chess playing involves any forbidden activities according to Islamic law.

2. Will Chess Be A Sin?

It is ultimately up to the individual to decide if their way of playing chess involves any forbidden activity according to the Quran. If it does then it can be considered a sin.

3. Is Chess Invented By Muslims?

No, chess is a game of strategy that claims its origin in the Indian subcontinent more than 1500 years ago. It was then introduced to the Middle East by Persian traders and further evolved during the Islamic Golden Age into what we know today as chess.

4. Is Chess Forbidden In Saudi Arabia?

Chess is widely accepted in Saudi Arabia and is commonly played in public places. There are chess clubs, chess tournaments, chess schools, chess forums, etc.

Despite this widespread acceptance, some conservative clerics argue that chess is forbidden based on religious texts.

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