Mufti of Saudi Forbids Chess, Ahead of Major Chess Tournament in Mecca

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Saudi Arab
Saturday, 23 January 2016

Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh has ruled that chess is forbidden for Muslims because it is a 'waste of time' and promotes gambling.

Grand mufti of Saudi Arabia issued the fatwa ahead of Friday’s major chess tournament in Mecca.

He said the game was 'an opportunity to squander money' and fell under the category of gambling which is banned in the Qu'ran.

He added: 'The game of chess is a waste of time... it causes enmity and hatred between people.'

Abdullah made the declaration while answering questions from viewers on his weekly show With His Eminence The Mufti, it was reported by The Middle East Eye.

Musa Bin Thaily, president of the law committee at the Saudi Chess Association, said a tournament would go ahead as planned today despite the fatwa, which he said was issued last month.

He said on Twitter: Many things are said to be illegal and religiously banned in Saudi.
For example, the religious society view, bans the public musical festivals, but they're everywhere, the view isn't enforced by the law.

"Musa Bin Thaily added that the Grand Mufti 'being an old man in his 80s' was unaware that players do not usually bet on the outcome of games."

One of Britain's greatest ever chess players, Nigel Short, said banning chess in Saudi Arabia would be a 'great tragedy.'

He told BBC Radio 4's Today Program: 'I don't consider chess to be a threat to society.
It's not something that is so depraved as to corrupt morals, Dailymail reported.

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