Yes and yes, the game of chess, which everyone loves to play, and though it might seem harmless, legal and fun, it is a game that the Muslims forbid, therefore restrict and warn that no Muslim should play it. Let’ s get right to it.
I know a sizeable percentage of people might be puzzled as to why and how the game of chess seems offensive that it is strongly kicked against and forbidden.
What Is Islam?
Permit me to say that only those living beneath a rock would not know what Islam is or have heard about Islam before. Well, in order not to waste much of your time, let us get right to looking at what Islam is. Islam is a religious group, and it is the world’ s most practiced and largest religious group.
Islam, which refers to its believers as Muslims, is a religious group that believes in Allah as the True God. Allah is regarded as the only God, the world’ s creator, sustainer, and restorer of Muslims and the sacred scriptures, the Quran, which Allah revealed to his messenger, Muhammad, and conveys Allah’ s will, to which human beings must bow, and who also believes in the Prophet Mohammed as the guide and leader of the Muslims. Islam can be traced as far back as 1000AD.
Islam first began as a religion taught by Muhammad, who was at that time a common trader who could barely read or write, to a small group of followers. It wasn’ t long until it spread quickly over the Middle East to Africa, parts of Europe, the Indian subcontinent, the Malay Peninsula, and China, retaining its emphasis on uncompromising monotheism and rigorous obedience to certain basic religious traditions. More than 1. 5 billion Muslims lived on the planet in the early twenty- first century.
Although there have been numerous sectarian movements within Islam, all Muslims share a similar faith and a sense of belonging to a single community. It is no lie that Islam is a religion with lots of doctrines and Islamic teachings that forbid a lot of things non- Muslims believe in, so forbidding chess won’ t come as much of a shock.
What Is The Game Of Chess?
The game of chess is one of the most popular games in the world. It is widely recognized and enjoyed by several people in different parts of the world. It consists of just two players, in which these two players are known to compete against each other until a winner emerges. Chess is simply a board game that is said to have evolved from similar, much older Indian and Persian games.
While the modern form of the game emerged in Southern Europe during the second half of the 15th century, chess remains one of the most popular games in the world today, with millions of people playing it and even going to tournaments for this game. Showing how completely legal and harmless it is, but Muslims think otherwise. Let’ s find out why.
Islam’ s Reason For Forbidding The Game Of Chess
Hate, gambling, wasting of time and money are the four main offenses of this game, the precious game of chess, that makes it a no- no for Muslims. Sheikh Abdulaziz Al- Sheikh, a popular and well- known Islamic religious teacher in Saudi Arabia, has recently gone on national television to debunk the belief that it is okay to play the game of chess.
He further backed his teachings up with a verse from the Quran (the Muslim’ s holy book) which spoke about how idolizing things and indulging in gambling was a sin before the presence of Allah, and how it was a direct rule and teaching from Allah.
In light of that, he further backed up his claims with an incident which took place in Iran in the year 1979, after an Islamic revolution which led to the banishment and forbidding of the game of chess from being played in public on the grounds that it was no different from gambling.
After a while, the ban on the game of chess was lifted and revoked by an Ayatollah, Ruhollah Khomeni, the supreme Iranian leader, who claimed that the game of chess could be played publicly so long as it was not linked to gambling or made people miss their five daily prayers, which was the case for most Muslims during the 15th century.
It was, however, discovered that Ayatollah Ruhollah came out to testify that banning chess in Saudi Arabia would be a great tragedy as it is just a simple game of brains and you can see how much they have done so well during their Olympics and the recognition they have gained.
He made it known to the world that he happened to see the angle the leaders in the 15th century were coming from and why they had to ban it.
It was recorded that in the 15th century, gambling and missing the five daily prayers became the order of the day and a habit for these Muslims, and seeing how much of an eyesore it was, the ban was placed, but now that they have fully understood their duties and responsibilities as true Muslims, the law was revoked.
While the BBC was able to get some words out of the mouth of a grandmaster player of chess, he spoke, saying, ” Forbidding chess in Saudi Arabia would be a great tragedy. ” ” I don’ t consider chess to be a threat to society. ” ” It is not something that is as depraved as corrupting morals, ” he said. ” Even Ayatollah Khomeini came to the conclusion that he’ d gone too far and repealed his own ban. “
By now, fatwas, or edicts, issued by those in high authority by the religion’ s clerical establishment are nothing new to them. In response, Saudi and other clerics issued a fatwa against the popular Pokémon franchise in the early 2000s, and religious scholars in the United Arab Emirates said that using the widely reviled vuvuzela instrument was forbidden if the sound produced was above 100 decibels during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
It’ s unlikely that Sheikh’ s decision will be enforced, and it’ s more probable that chess will be put in the same category as other minor vices like music, which are frowned upon by many in the clerical establishment.
Furthermore, because the decision was made in response to a specific query, it was most likely intended as an advisory opinion rather than a formal edict.
Though most Muslims still see nothing wrong with playing chess as long as they are not violating any law by gambling or missing a prayer. Most of Islamic society still frowns strongly against it and condemns those who indulge in it. But as said earlier, this won’ t come as a shock as Muslims are known to have lots and lots of laws.
Thanks for reading