What is the authenticity of the following Hadith?
A person who plays chess is cursed and those who watches is like the consumer of pig meat
1) Habbah ibn Muslim/Salam (rahimahullah) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
A person who plays chess is cursed and those who watch are like the consumer of pig meat.
Hafiz Dhahabi (rahimahullah) has classifed the above Hadith as extremely weak (munkar).
(See: Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 8209 and As Sirajul Munir, vol. 3 pg. 306)
2) Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
The one who plays chess is like one who consumes swine, and the one who watches is like one who inserts his hands into the blood of a swine.
(Daylami, Hadith: 5509)
Hafiz Suyuti (rahimahullah) has recorded this Hadith in his book on fabricated narrations.
(Refer: Tanzihush Shari’ah, vol. 2 pg. 234) (Also see Targhib, vol. 4 pg. 49, Al Maqasidul Hasanah, Hadith: 1175)
Although the above narrations are not suitable for deducing laws, the Fiqhi ruling will not change because of the prevalence of other juristic proofs. For the conditions of permissibility/impermissibility of playing chess kindly refer to a Mufti or Darul ifta.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar