Friday, March 27, 2009

ARE OUR CHESS COMPETITIONS PERMISSIBLE IN ISLAM?

Chess is not mentioned in the Qur'an. The closest that the jurist could find is the prohibition of gambling and chance in surah al-Ma'idah, verse 92:
O true believers, surely wine and lots (maisir) and images (ansab) and divining-arrows ('azlam) are an abomination of the works of Satan, therefore avoid ye them that ye may prosper.
The verse clearly does not mention chess by its name, but many of those who prohibit the game based their stand on chess being associated with gambling. Thus, if the player manage to play the game solely without the elements of gambling, the prohibition will stand on false ground. Moreover, chess and chance are different altogether. Whereas the latter based on playing usually with dice, where element of lots usually being associated, chess uses only the player's mental intelligence, which can be compared to strategic planning in wars and battles.

Contemporary jurist, Dr. Yusuf al-Qardhawi in his book The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam, states that playing chess is permissible as long as the player adheres to three conditions:

1. No delaying of prayers
2. No gambling involved
3. No vulgar words throughout the game


Nowadays, chess competitions and chess tournaments can be found everywhere, many of which offered prize money. Whenever money is involved, we must make sure that no element of gambling involved. The definition of gambling is (according to Wikipedia)
the wagering of money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods.
This means any competition where the participants put their money with the intention of winning more than that can be deemed as gambling. If this is so, than all the chess competitions and tournaments held in our country can be said to be a gambling place! However, when we take a deep look at the definition, we can see that the intention of the participants is important in determining the permissibility of the tournament. The game will be a gamble when the participant lay small amount of money, which is now rename as a 'registration fee', and hope to get a lot of it at the end of the tournament. Well, this is hard to achieve, because we cannot control our desire and intention, or our friend's intention for that matter, making it almost impossible to take this element out from the equation.

So, how to make a tournament safe from gambling? Zaharuddin said that there are several conditions to make a tournament free from gambling.

1. The prizes should not be taken from the so called 'entry fees', and should be mainly, or part of it, taken from other means such as sponsors.
2. The entry fees could be used for maintaining the smoothness of the event, and not to be used (all of it) as the prize of the event.

References:

http://www.askasia.org/teachers/essays/essay.php?no=82

http://islamweb.net/ver2/fatwa/ShowFatwa.php?lang=e&Id=85615&Option=FatwaId

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503543132

http://infad.usim.edu.my/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=10791

http://www.zaharuddin.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=688&Itemid=72

8 comments:

Bad Bishop said...

Great article.. Agree.. it's just that the definition of gambling should be analysed deeper.. as the gambling concept involves:
1. It is just either Win or Lose.
2. It's solely based on luck / chance

However, what is more important is the ommision of Oppression (Penindasan / ketidakadilan)in the event... However, as prize in official chess tourney (except chow kitt) is usually sponsored by third party..InsyaAllah it is permissible...

n@jd0rf said...

Yes, for one game of chess it can be either Win, Lose or Draw. But for a tournament, it is either Win or Lose only, i.e. you either win the prize or not. It also based on luck, which ever you look at it, you either got lucky and win games, or your luck ran out and you lose games. But as long as the prizes were sponsored, it will be permissible. But if a tournament, how mini it may seem, even though consists of only 5 players, all of whom put some money and hope to get all of it after the mini tournament finished, it IS A GAMBLE.

Muhammad Hilmi said...

saya pun peminat chess...pernah gak bincang pasal isu chess di sisi islam..menurut kajian saya chess x salah di sisi islam..cuma ada pandapat yg mengatakannya haram adalah disebabkan pada zaman jahiliah dahulu golongan arab begitu taksub+leka seharian bermain catur yang mungkin dikenali sebagai dam sekarang..bahkan walaupun islam telah disebarkan di tanah arab pada waktu itu, permainan catur tersebut masih digilai sehingga ramai yang lalai+tidak bekerja+tinggal solat! sehinggakan saidina Ali pernah berkata "wahai sahabatku, apalah gunanya kalian memuja patung-patung di atas papan ini...adalah lebih baik kita beribadat.."(lebih kurang begitu agaknya tetapi kata2 saidina Ali seolah2 mengharamkan permainan catur..namun, setelah diambil kira semua sumber2 al-quran n hadith, ulama' dunia+terkenal termasuk mazhab syafiie membenarkan permainan catur(chess) selagi tidak melebihkan solat...jika tidak maka haramlah ia!so, kalau nak main make sure kalau tengah main tetiba dengar azan, baik cepat2 berenti n g solat dulu! bukan apa takut jatuh hukum haram....lagi teruk kalo tinggal solat terus sbb men chess

n@jd0rf said...

Artikel saya membincangkan hukum pertandingan catur, setelah memastikan bahawa permainan catur itu sendiri ada HARUS apabila tidak disertai dengan perjudian.

Bad Bishop said...

Agree on the mini tourney to... that's why kawe tak buat dah tourney "winner takes all" tu... Yang pertama tu akibat kelalaian... tapi yang standard tourney InsyaAllah hadiah tunai adalah disponsor oleh 3rd party dan mungkin sebahagian saja diambil dari yuran....

Allah knows better...

NASSERO said...

ada ustaz kata sebenarnya bermain catur itu maksudnya berjudi, catur = judi..bukannya permainan catur yang kita duk main ni..catur tak ubah seperti sukan2 lain, ada batas-batasnya bila bermain..selalu orang guna perkataan 'percaturan' yang mebawa maksud perjudian...wallahualam.

n@jd0rf said...

Well, Nassero.. bagi saya PERCATURAN itu bermaksud PERHITUNGAN bukan PERJUDIAN.. seperti motto yang selalu saya gunakan 'PERCATURAN HIDUP PERLUKAN PENGORBANAN'... bukan bermakna perjudian hidup tapi perhitungan hidup...

NASSERO said...

yes jijo..I agree..kadang2 bahasa ni banyak double meaning, atau lebih..macam juga nak berperang kita kata 'mempertaruhkan nyawa..bertaruh pun boleh diertikatakan berjudi..tapi bukannya JUDI yang kita duk main tu haram tu'..anyway walau apa pun maksud, kawe agree yang main chess itu sama jer dengan sukan2 lain..(main bola pun haram kalau duk tayang2 aurat)..selagi tiada unsur2 JUDI dan tidak melalaikan..main aje lah kan..pah demo bilo nok buat COME BACK ni? rugi anok kelate serupo demo hok KEMAH doh kalu bersaro..

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