Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Declares Chess UnIslamic

We have previously discussed the wacky views of Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh like declaring that Twitter is “the source of all evil and devastation.” Now the grand mufti has ruled that chess is forbidden in Islam even though Arabs helped spread chess around the world after conquering Persia in the Seventh Century. Yet, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s supreme Shia religious authority, has previously issued rulings forbidding chess. Likewise, after the 1979 revolution in Iran, chess was declared haram, or forbidden.

At first I was not sure if it was the role of a powerful “bishop” or the mixing of genders with the Queen intermingling with knights and other non-family members.  It turns out that the grand mufti believes that chess can encourage gambling and is a waste of time. That is appears is enough to declare it an affront to Islam.

Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh appears to play a pretty hard core version of the game. He insisted that chess is “a cause for hatred and enmity between players.” I am not sure how chess differs from any competitive sport. However, he declared that chess runs afoul of the Qur’an’s ban on “intoxicants, gambling, idolatry and divination”.

Given his position in Saudi Arabia, the announcement could have a substantial impact on chess players in the Kingdom — an association that has existed for centuries. Most people would view declaring a game like chess as anti-Islamic to be rather unhinged but the grand mufti is not just some guy raving about chess in the subway. These declarations are expected to be followed by faithful Muslims regardless of the absurdity of the suggestion. Of course, given the rise of online gambling in Saudi Arabia, there appears to be many Muslims who do not hold with such fatwas against fun.

Source: Guardian

108 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Declares Chess UnIslamic”

  1. Paul

    I would think it would be more important what you think, Paul. Or you could be one of those that needs a grand muffdiver to think for them.

  2. If you would like to lay out your evidence I would be glad to debate it.
    Paul, will debate you one sentence at a time 🙂

  3. Beldar

    There was nothing wrong and perhaps everything right about Jesus. His suggestions all have merit and if one disconnects the naivety and authority from the writings what is left is perhaps the greatest advice that has come down through time. However, he didn’t say squat. It was the ‘elders’ who put together this new political party, which at the time was cloaked in the mantle of religion. They put it together over centuries crafting and adjusting to the times and oppositions. Religion is a natural, natural because it happened so consistently and for so long in humans, function of the evolution of mankind’s greatest societal activities. Somehow, mankind has to govern itself and the never to be answered questions of how, why, when, etc are always open to anyone and everyone; L Ron Hubbard for example. Success is realizing that it is mankind and mankind only that can sort this out. There is no supreme being and anyone that listens to a grand muffdiver is nothing more than the tail on this creature that came, is coming, and will continue to come out of the ooze.

    1. issac – I think it is a threat if the moderator thinks it is a threat.

  4. Paul C. Schulte…….I had seen notices to others that their ” comment had been deleted under the civility rule”.
    So I thought that comments were either deleted or published, or maybe deleted soon after publication; not held in suspended animation where it’s impossible to tell whether they’re published or not.
    Or taken away, put back in different order, etc.
    Looks more like sloppy editing than a rational, orderly civility rule.

  5. My research reveals that Jesus may have been what you creatures call “queer” or “bent”. Would that go against the so called “teachings”?

    1. Beldar – there is NO research that shows that Jesus was a homosexual. If you would like to lay out your evidence I would be glad to debate it.

    1. Tom – when I first started here they would have a note saying they took your stuff off. Now it seems to be a stealth approach. The just ‘disappear’ it. I never check on my old stuff so I am never sure if it is still there, however some people do and have mentioned their comments have disappeared.

  6. Paul C. Shulte….I didn’t know that a civility code was being enforced.
    A related question……can you give me the time stamps on the two comments just prior to your comment?

  7. Were there lies, Tom, I surely woulda been embarrassed, for unlike…uh…you…I have shame,
    Typical of you however, accuse me of something without proof…a decent man would either provide the proofs or refrain from accusing…. you do neither…typical, typical!

    So at the end of the day, everything you said about me cannot be sustained?
    And yet I am the liar?
    So are we done here?
    Are you now relieved, happy, satisfied? Gotten plenty of my attention! It’s starting to get a bit creepy here with your obession with me 😕

  8. “Senegal is the most tolerant country on earth”. “4,000,000 killed in Iraq”. ” Crimes against Palestinians by Israelis are never sanctioned”.-Po
    I won’t bother trying to explain to Po the difference between “singular” and “plural.”

    1. Retrace your steps, Tom, you musta dropped it, your integrity.
      Wasting too much time with your obsession of me…though I am certainly flattered 🙂

  9. “Meanwhile, have you ever obfuscated, ignored, or denied every point I’ve ever made….??????-po
    I’ll try to help Po along in the same language he prefers, and uses; i.e,
    ” Rephrase the question, make it clear in your mind, then ask it again”.
    That’s an exact quote from one of Po’s “answers”, and he deserves no less as a ” response”.
    Ain’t word games fun?????

  10. Not sure what my first post was to Po………the only certainty was that, in his mind, he won the exchange.
    Probably added a hahahahaha at the end as “proof” that he won. Evasiveness and word games are not part of “cogent, rational, logical, fair arguments”. Inventing his own set of ” facts” to make a point has muddled exchanges.
    Then claiming “well, it was just hyperbole” when called out on factual errors. That pattern of “logical argument” has been repeated again and again and again by Po, at GREAT length.
    And that’s why his credibility is shot.

    1. Evasiveness and word games are not part of “cogent, rational, logical, fair arguments”. Inventing his own set of ” facts” to make a point has muddled exchanges.,”, my point exactly, Tom.
      Glad we agree on something.

      As for acknowledging my error (singular, one, not more as you suggest), most people would give me credit for it. I mean, I could have obfuscated like most of ya’ll do…I could have ignored the question like most of ya’all do…I could have doubled down on the denial as most of …instead I acknowledged your point like a man, knowing full well it would cost me down the line. Meanwhile, you have obfuscated, ignored or denied every point I have ever made…?????

      As for my credibility being shot, at least I have one for you to aim at…I am still looking for yours…seems like you don’t have one, or if you do, you never brought it along. Retrace your steps… 🙂

  11. talk, walk, WTF, take a pill, or I’ll meet you out behind the old wood shed

    1. issac – they don’t know allow sheds in my area. We have very strict HOAs. And I think threatening people violates the Civility Code.

  12. Po seems to have problems with almost everyone on this site. He may one day realize that maybe, just maybe, HE is the problem.
    As delusional as he is, that is a remote possibility.

    1. Tom, where did you come from? I remember your first post to me, and it set the tone for what was to be the norm, a challenge to a point I made that you were unable to sustain.
      Try me, make an argument that is based on facts, that is rational, that is fair, and keep doing it and we won’t have a problem.
      Meanwhile, as long as you keep trying to score cheap shots, friend, we keep having a problem.

      As for those who really matter on this blog, who are able to make cogent, rational, logical, fair arguments, and those are in the majority thank God, I have no problem with them.
      So I dare to say that you and your ilk are the problem 🙂
      By the way, weren’t you on your way out?

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