Gambling and Chess
In today’s so-called advanced age, gambling and playing cards are common. People are very comfortable with these two pastimes, especially while travelling in trains and buses. Some play, while others watch intently. The Holy Quran declares:
"They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than their profit."
(Surah Baqarah: 219)
Moreover, it was revealed:
"The Satan only desires to cause enmity and hatred to spring in your midst by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to keep you off from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you then desist?"
(Surah Maidah: 91)
The verse that follows deals a great psychological blow:
"And obey Allah and His Apostle and be cautious; but if you turn back, then know that only a clear deliverance of the message is (incumbent) on our apostle."
(Surah Maidah: 92)
It is prohibited to use those things which are used as a mode for gambling and which in normal circumstances are considered as a means of gambling, regardless of whether there is any bet on the game. Not only playing them is forbidden but even looking at such things is not permissible.
Imam Sadiq (A.S) warns:
"Playing chess is polytheism, holding a chess pawn is like touching pork … looking at it is as hateful and forbidden as looking at the private parts of one’s mother!!!’
(Wasaael-us-Shiah, ‘The Book on Trading’)
Besides inviting punishment in the hereafter, gambling results in some of the following losses in the world:
1. Time spent indulging in sins.
2. Causes enmity.
3. Leads to hatred and malice.
4. Keeps one away from Allah’s remembrance.
5. Distances from prayer.
6. Disobedience of Allah and obedience to Satan.
7. Wealth is squandered.
8. Children are spoilt.
9. Homes are ruined.
10. Results in nervous disorders.
11. Continuous tension.
12. Spoils temperament and behavior.
13. Causes frustration, sometimes resulting in suicide.
Fazl bin Shazan narrates from Imam Reza (A.S):
"When the holy head of Imam Husain (A.S) was being taken from Syria, the accursed Yazid ordered to prepare the table for food. He was engrossed in eating and drinking wine with his cronies and ordered that Imam’s (A.S) head should be placed on the floor. Then he got engrossed in playing chess. He used to remember the ancestors of Imam Husain (A.S) and mocked at them. Whenever he would win the game he would drink three glasses of wine, and spill the leftovers near the tray. Therefore, one who is our Shia, it is compulsory for him to keep away from drinking wine and playing chess. And whenever he sees any of these two things, he should remember Imam Hussain (A.S) and curse Yazid and his progeny. If he dies, Allah will forgive his sins."
(Oyoono Akhbar al-Reza, p. 93)
Source: Al Muntazar