Riyadh: Saudi Arabia grand mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh has ruled that playing chess encourages gambling and is a waste of time and followers of Islam must abandon it.
According to the Guardian, during an interview to a channel, the kingdom's chief cleric said that chess was included under gambling and was a waste of time and money and a cause for hatred and enmity between players.
He also justified his view by citing some verse in the Quran.
In late 70s chess was forbidden in Iran by senior clerics, however, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini lifted the ban on it stating it is permissible to play chess as long as it isn't used for gambling.
After his view on Chess went viral, Twitteratis were quick to react to it. Here's what they felt:
News that chess is forbidden in Islam will be a major surprise to the 7th century Muslims who conquered Persia and exported chess to Europe.
— Kareem Shaheen (@kshaheen) January 21, 2016
— The Chakra (@ChakraNews) January 21, 2016
@TwoStepsAtATime Chess itself started in India, pre-7th-century; but certainly it was and is well-known in many Muslim lands.
— Tim Skellett (@Gurdur) January 21, 2016
— Mira Hashmi (@monadarling) January 21, 2016
— Linda (@SE25A) January 21, 2016