Is Chess Haram?

Is chess haram? As a Muslim aspiring to be a chess grandmaster you may be wondering what the answer to the question is. In this blog we explore the opinions on chess in the Muslim community and whether chess is haram or halal. Make sure to read till the end!

A Closer Look

What is Haram?

Haram is an Arabic term meaning “forbidden”. In Islam, there are many things that are considered haram, or forbidden. These include things like stealing, lying, cheating, and harming others.

There are also many behaviours that are considered haram. These include things like gambling, drinking alcohol, and using drugs. Certain behaviour, such as smoking is considered halal in some reigions of the world while it is considered haram in others. If you’re looking to know about what are haram behaviours, then you’ve come to the right place.

Is Chess Haram – What’s the Verdict?

Some people believe that chess is haram because it can lead to gambling. However, there is no clear evidence that chess is haram. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not prohibit chess, and there is no hadith that specifically mentions chess. The ultimate opinion is – chess is halal, unless it is played to gamble. If gambling, or violence is involved when it comes to playing chess, it is haram.

In Iran, chess was banned briefly following the Islamic revolution of 1979. However, in 1988 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s supreme leader at the time, removed this ban. Today the company has international teams that compete in games worldwide.

It must be noted that in Saudi Arabia, chess is altogether banned and considered haram. This opinion however, is not followed globally. Ultimately the decision lies with you, on whether or not you believe it is alright to play chess! In my humble opinion, it is alright to play chess as long as it doesn’t co-incide with other haram acts such as gambling.


Reference – The above information is verified via The Guardian.

Is Chess Haram or Halal?Bottom Line

The bottom line is that chess is widely considered okay to play as long as gambling or violence is not involved. However, in Saudi Arabia, chess had been established as haram, but do keep in mind that this opinion isn’t shared globally. So you must make the choice for yourself, based on your personal beliefs. Thanks for reading!

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Written By Nazim Almasi

Nazim is an Islamic scholar, author and External Consultant at Renewable Energy Maldives. He writes on Islamic finance, food and halal dietary guidelines. He is a respected voice in the Muslim community, known for his clear explanations of complex religious concepts. He has been invited to speak at various conferences and seminars on topics related to Islamic finance, food and Renewable Energy.

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