Was anyone actually ever banned from playing chess?

by Jodo 29 Replies latest jw friends

  • Why Georgia
    Why Georgia

    I remember one of the elders at our hall saying he used to love chess but since it symbolizes war he doesn't want to displease Jehovah by playing anymore.

    So with that same reasoning...maybe you shouldn't play Chinese Checkers because the chinese regime got rid of God and worshipped Mao.

    Just my thoughts.

  • blondie

    At the time, I just pointed out that football resembled war more than chess...it is amazing how many elders/brothers are football fan(atic)s.

  • Moridin

    I remember shortly after learning how to play chess an elder spoke to my parents and the parents of my cousin who also played. He told them that they shouldn't allow us to play war games because even the watchtower had mentioned that it was something that should be shied away from. My parents and his told him that since the game didn't cause us to fight or bring us into a war like fervor that we'd be ok.

  • Forscher

    I sure was banned from it!

    I was quite fond of the game when I started in the Org.. A group of us used to play it at when we got together at each other's homes. But after that article came out, we were all banned from playing it. Funny though, after about ten years or so the elders had more important things on their minds (the 1980's apostasy purge) so I was able to get away with it some. I was good enough to trash the city champion in private play. But I never did any contests which would've meant playing openly.

  • melmac

    Maybe they learned from this guy: http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/qa00002582.aspx

    In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

    The blessed Companions of the Messenger of Allah (Allah be pleased with them all) used to explicitly prohibit the playing of chess, and it is obvious that they must have heard this from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) himself.

    Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) said: ?Chess is the gambling of the non-Arabs?. (al-Bayhaqi in his Shu?ab al-Iman)

    Sayyiduna Abu Musa al-Ash?ari (Allah be pleased with him) said: ?Only a sinner plays chess? (ibid).

    He was once asked about chess and he replied: ?It is useless (batil) and Allah does not like useless things? (ibid).

    Due to the above statements, many scholars including the Hanafi Imams have prohibited the playing of chess.

    The great Hanafi jurist, Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) states: ?It is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) to play backgammon and similarly chess?.

    Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) explains:

    ?The reason why chess and backgammon is prohibitively disliked is that, the one who becomes busy with playing these games is relieved from the stress and hardships of this world (m, meaning it is useless and endless entertainment that only waists time and relieves one from the pressing issues of life) and the pains and difficulties of the hereafter come to him. Therefore, it is unlawful and a grave sin, according to us, to play backgammon and chess. And in permitting it, is assisting Shaytan in his ploys against Islam and Muslims?. (Radd al-Muhtar ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar, 6/394).

    Therefore, one should avoid playing chess. The reason is that, playing chess inevitably wastes a lot of time and distracts one from the religious and other worldly obligations. The legal principle (qa`ida fiqhiyya) is that, ?The inevitable is considered actual,? in terms of establishing rulings. [al-ghalibu ka?l mutahaqqaq].

    And Allah knows best

    Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

    Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK


  • Badger

    I don't recall anyone ever coming down on me for playing chess...but I do know the brothers who did have chess sets break the cross off of the top of the king and they called the bishops "brothers" instead.

  • Jodo

    Lol, and I'll bet the queen was a "pioneer sister" and the king was an "elder" because they don't recognise those either.

  • franklin J
    franklin J

    this is outrageous; I do not EVER recall hearing this when I was a JW.

    Good thing; my father was always a chess champ; and so is my 10 year old son ( this talent evidently skips a generation)

  • Brummie

    Yes chess and checkers(draughts) was frowned upon widely in the KH that I attended, no kiddin. It wasnt a dissfping offence as far as I know but it was definately taboo. We were not allowed to play it.

    Fishing for sport was also out, I had to tell a bible study that he couldnt get baptised if he didnt give up fishing, I checked it with the elders first and they gave me the message to pass on.


  • Jodo

    Fishing as well ?? We used to fish every weekend and I never heard of that one ! lol. Were u given an Awake article about it to show him, 'cause I'd really love to see that one !

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