Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Announces Chess as a Sin

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

22nd January, 2016


Chess is contrary to Islam, and therefore considered sinful. This statement was made on television by the Supreme mufti of Saudi Arabia Abdul-Aziz Ibn Abdullah al ash-Sheikh, reports The Guardian. According to him, chess provokes animosity between players.

“Chess is included on the list of gambling, it’s a waste of time and money, and is the reason for hatred and enmity among the players,” said the Mufti.

He likened chess to gambling, together with idolatry, spirits and divination forbidden by the Koran.

The publication stressed that a complete ban of the game is unlikely. Most likely, chess will be announced as a “minor blemish,” like music. According to The Guardian, over a period of time the game has been banned in Iran, but now it is rehabilitated. As a rule, Muslim preachers do not refuse religion in chess, however, stakes are strictly prohibited.

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