Is Chess Haram [A Complte Guide]

Chess, an ancient board game played worldwide, has been a topic of discussion among Muslims regarding its permissibility within Islamic teachings. The question arises: is chess halal or haram? This article aims to explore this debate in detail, analyzing various perspectives and providing insights from Islamic scriptures, Quranic verses, and hadiths (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him).

Is Chess Halal or Haram?

The permissibility of chess is a subject of different opinions among Islamic scholars. While some argue that chess is prohibited (haram) due to its association with gambling, others consider it permissible (halal) as long as specific conditions are met. It is essential to delve into the reasoning and references behind each viewpoint to understand the ongoing deliberation.

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Quran Verse & Hadith about Chess – Halal or Haram

The Quran, the holy book of Islam, does not explicitly mention chess. However, scholars have analyzed certain verses and hadiths to derive their viewpoints on their permissibility.

  • Surah Al-Ma’idah, Verse 90: Some scholars interpret this verse, which forbids gambling and the consumption of alcohol, to include chess as it involves elements of gambling. They believe that any game in which winning is based on chance rather than skill is prohibited.
  • Hadith Narrated by Abu Huraira: The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said, “Whoever plays with dice has indeed disobeyed Allah and His Messenger.” Supporters of the opinion that chess is haram compare it to dice games, stating that both involve elements of chance and are therefore prohibited.

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Is Playing Chess Haram

Is Playing Chess Haram?

The question of whether playing chess is haram can generate different responses, depending on the interpretation of Islamic scholars. On one hand, those who consider chess haram argue that it falls under the prohibition of gambling and wasting time, as it diverts the mind from more productive pursuits.

Consequently, playing chess is perceived as a potential avenue for addiction and a distraction from religious obligations. On the other hand, some Islamic scholars may hold a different perspective, viewing chess as a permissible activity when approached with moderation and balance.

They may assert that it can stimulate strategic thinking and intellectual development, making it a beneficial pastime. Nevertheless, the topic remains a subject of debate, and understanding the various viewpoints can shed light on this complex issue.

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Is Playing Chess Haram Without Gambling?

Chess, when played without involving gambling or betting, remains a point of contention among scholars. Some argue that purely playing chess as a recreational activity, devoid of gambling or any negative influences, is permissible. They believe that the prohibition is primarily related to the gambling aspect and not to the game of chess itself.

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Is Playing Chess Online Haram?

The emergence of online chess platforms and the digitization of the game brings new dimensions to the debate. While some scholars adhere to the same rulings as traditional chess, others differentiate between physical and virtual forms. Their opinion is that if the online game does not involve any prohibited elements, such as gambling or inappropriate content, playing chess online can be considered halal.

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Is Playing Chess for Fun Haram?

Playing chess solely for entertainment purposes is viewed differently by scholars. Many consider it permissible if it does not lead to any negative consequences, such as addiction or negligence of religious duties. However, it is important to strike a balance and ensure that engaging in the game does not become excessive or detrimental to one’s spiritual well-being.

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Is Playing Chess Haram According to Hanafi?

Within the Hanafi school of thought, scholars have offered varying perspectives on chess. While some followers of this school consider chess as a permissible pastime, others lean towards the opinion that it is haram due to its alleged association with gambling.

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Is Playing Chess Haram According to Shia?

Shia jurists have diverse opinions about the permissibility of chess. Some consider it prohibited, while others deem it permissible under certain conditions. The views range from strict prohibition due to gambling elements to allowing it within specific guidelines that prevent harm.

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1. Is chess mentioned in Islamic scriptures?

While chess is not directly mentioned in Islamic scriptures, scholars have derived their perspectives from general guidelines and interpretations of Quranic verses and hadiths.

2. Can I play chess for fun and relaxation?

Many scholars permit playing chess for recreational purposes, as long as it does not lead to neglecting one’s religious duties or cause harm in any way.

3. Are digital chess platforms more permissible than traditional chess?

Opinions differ among scholars regarding the permissibility of online chess. Some consider it equivalent to traditional chess, while others differentiate between the two based on their respective circumstances and potential sources of harm.


The permissibility of chess in Islam remains a matter of debate and different interpretations. While some scholars consider chess haram due to its perceived association with gambling. Others argue that it is permissible if certain conditions are met.

It is crucial to approach this discussion with respect for diverse opinions. And the understanding that Islam provides guidelines to guide Muslims in their daily lives. It is recommended for individuals consult with knowledgeable scholars to seek clarification. And guidance on matters related to chess and its permissibility.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each individual to seek knowledge, reflect on Islamic teachings, and engage in thoughtful decision-making. Striving for balance, moderation, and the fulfillment of religious obligations should always remain at the forefront of one’s actions.

For accurate and up-to-date information on halal and haram, it is recommended to visit our website. Where we provide comprehensive details and resources to help individuals navigate their dietary choices in accordance with Islamic principles.

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