Is Chess Haram

Yes, Chess is considered haram. According to the consensus of Islamic scholars, playing chess is considered forbidden or “haraam” if it distracts from religious obligations or important responsibilities, such as family duties or upholding ties of kinship.

Is the classic game of chess haram, or forbidden in Islam? This is a question that has been debated within Muslim communities for centuries. The answer to this question is not straightforward and there are different opinions among Islamic scholars and laypeople alike. In this blog post, we will discuss the possible answers to this age-old question, including the various opinions of Islamic law and interpretations of the Quran. We will also explore some of the historical context surrounding why chess has been controversial in Islamic culture, as well as examine how this game is viewed today by Muslims around the world. In this blog, we explore the opinions on chess in the Muslim community and whether or not is chess haram or halal. Make sure to read till the end!

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 religions of the world while it is considered haram in others. If you’re looking to know 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.(Source)

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 coincide with other haram acts such as gambling.

Why Is Chess Haram According To Islam?

In Islam, chess is considered haram (forbidden) due to its gambling element. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reportedly said: “Whoever plays chess is like one who has dyed his hand with the flesh and blood of swine.” This saying was a warning against the sinfulness associated with the game, as it was thought to be a game of chance and luck, rather than strategy.

The gambling aspect of chess is seen as a major issue in Islamic doctrine. Gambling has been prohibited by Allah (SWT) because it leads people away from the remembrance of Allah (SWT). Additionally, Islam teaches that any form of gambling is an act of injustice, as it is an unequal exchange and a form of deception.

In Islamic teachings, chess is also seen as a wasteful and vain activity. Playing the game consumes time that would be better spent in worship or remembrance of Allah (SWT). Furthermore, there is no benefit derived from playing the game; therefore, it should be avoided.

Muslims who do choose to play chess should keep in mind the teachings of Islam and be mindful of the consequences that come with engaging in this activity. It is important to remember that any form of gambling is not allowed in Islam, as it can lead to sinfulness. Furthermore, worshipping Allah (SWT) should always take priority over any other activity. By keeping these principles in mind, Muslims can ensure that engage in chess responsibly and without guilt.

Finally, it is important to note that chess does have strategic elements and can be used as an educational tool for those looking to sharpen their cognitive skills. The game itself is not haraam; rather, the gambling element associated with it is what deems it unacceptable in Islam. Therefore, if Muslims choose to play chess without the gambling element, then this would be acceptable under Islamic teachings.

Thus, while chess is haram according to Islamic doctrine, it can still be used as an educational and intellectual tool without offending Islamic principles. By understanding the background of why chess is haram and avoiding the associated gambling element, Muslims can enjoy playing the game safely and responsibly.

In What Situations Can Chess Be Halal?

Chess is a game commonly played in many countries around the world and has been for centuries. While there are no clear religious rulings on its permissibility, some Muslim scholars have argued that it can be permissible under certain conditions.

The most important indicator of whether chess playing is halal or not lies in the intention of the players. If chess is being used for gambling, then it would be considered haram (forbidden). However, if the intent is to improve one’s mental faculties and to pass time in a leisurely manner, with no money involved, then it may be permissible.

It is also important to note that some schools of thought argue that the game of chess should be avoided in general, due to its capacity to consume too much time and energy. For this reason, it is important for a Muslim to consider his own situation before deciding if playing chess is halal or not.

When played in accordance with Islamic principles, chess can be an enjoyable way to pass time, build mental strength, and bond with friends or family. It can also help sharpen reflexes and strategies, making it a worthwhile activity for those looking to hone their skills. Ultimately, the decision of whether chess playing is permissible lies in the hands of the individual Muslim; however, it can be a positive thing if played in accordance with Islamic principles.

With a little bit of thought and consideration, chess can be an enjoyable pastime that is halal and beneficial to the mind and body. Ultimately, it is up to the individual Muslim to decide if it is permissible in his particular situation. If done with good intentions, then chess can still be a valid way to pass time in accordance with Islamic principles.

In addition, some Muslims have argued that chess playing is permissible only in the presence of a trustworthy person who can guarantee no money will be wagered on the game. This helps to ensure that all participants are playing for legitimate reasons and not just for the purpose of gambling or making money. Similarly, it is important to be aware of the intentions of playing chess and to make sure that it is not being used as a tool for gambling or other activities prohibited by Islamic law.

Ultimately, whether chess playing is halal or not depends on the particular situation and the intentions of the players. If it can be played in accordance with Islamic principles, then it is permissible and can be a fun and educational way to pass time.

However, it should also be remembered that chess playing should not become excessive or an addiction. For this reason, it is important to set limits on the amount of time spent playing, as well as ensure that other responsibilities are taken care of first. Additionally, it is important to be mindful of the intentions behind playing chess and to make sure that money or gambling is not involved. With these considerations, chess can be a halal and enjoyable pastime.


Did Muslims invent chess?

There is a long-standing debate over the origin of chess, but it is widely believed that the game was developed in India around the 6th century AD. Muslims later adopted the game and spread it throughout the Arab world, eventually introducing it to Europe in the 9th century. Although Muslims did not invent chess, they certainly played a significant role in its evolution and spread.

Why is chess haram in Saudi Arabia?

In Saudi Arabia, some religious scholars consider chess to be haram (forbidden) because they believe it involves gambling, which is considered a sin in Islam. Others argue that the game is permissible as long as it does not distract one from their religious duties or lead to addictive behavior. Ultimately, the interpretation of whether chess is haram or not varies among Muslim scholars and communities.

Does chess count as gambling?

There is no clear consensus among Muslim scholars and communities on whether chess counts as gambling or not. Some argue that it does, because players wager their time and mental energy on the game and may become addicted to it. Others argue that it does not, because chess is a game of skill and strategy rather than chance. Ultimately, the interpretation of whether chess is considered gambling varies depending on individual and cultural beliefs.

Is chess a religious game?

Chess is not inherently a religious game, as it does not have any direct connection to religious beliefs or practices. However, it has been associated with different cultures and religions throughout history, and some communities may view it as having religious or spiritual significance. For example, in some Muslim societies, chess has been used as a means of teaching moral and ethical values, and some Christian communities have used chess as a way of promoting peace and reconciliation.


It is difficult to definitively answer the question of whether or not chess is haram. Opinions on this topic vary greatly among Islamic scholars and no clear consensus has been reached. Some believe that playing chess can be an enjoyable pastime that does not contradict Islamic teachings, while others consider it to be a form of gambling and therefore haram. Ultimately, it is up to individuals to decide what they believe is permissible and take personal responsibility for their actions. Regardless of which stance you may take, it is important to be respectful of other people’s beliefs and opinions on this matter.

Also explore Is Music Haram, Is Drawing Haram, Is Dancing Haram, Is Sufism Haram and many more at Halal Haram World.

Mohamed J

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