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Hadith on chess

Question

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

Answer

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