Ask Shaykh YQ #88 – Is it Permissible To Play Board Games with Dice (or Chess)

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Yasir Qadhi

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The next question that we have brother muneeb. And frankly, I'm reading Brandon Williams question, but this question has been asked by half a dozen people in the last few weeks is saying that during the lockdown in order to entertain the children to pass the time, he and his family are playing board games. And sometimes those games involve dice. And he says he has come across a fatwa. He mentioned the website name, but we shall not mention it is a very popular website that answers q&a about Islam. And my advice or suggestion is that it might have some good, but really, people should stick with the scholars who have their own lands or countries, even if it's not any better. Find

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people within your own locality and ask them, sometimes these websites are based from one land. And there's a lot of cultural connotation that is not suitable for other lands. Nonetheless, he is saying he found a photo from this particular website that is saying that it is how long to play board games with one's family that have dice in them. Because there's a headache that forbids the so he's asking this question.

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Why am

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COVID League in region?

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No, he lay him first.

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So this response, and again, I remind the viewers that this is the shortened version, I know that this is going to as usual be you're going to have reputations that people are going to have other opinions. But this is the reality of filter panel. I'm not the first to say what I'm about to say. Nonetheless, this is the shorthand response. Yes, there is a hadith that forbids something called none of the sheave that the Prophet systems that had his assignments now, whoever plays with none of the Shia, it is as if he has dipped his hands in pig's blood and in pigs flesh. Okay, so this is a heavy that is very explicit. Now. There's a number of issues involved over here, what exactly is not

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of the shield? And is it a applicable to the game or to the dice because again, the issue comes, how do you interpret this word here, the word note of the shield is a Persian word, and it is actually a reference to the game that has now evolved into backgammon. There was a rudimentary version of backgammon back then, that the Persians had invented, now the shield is a Persian word, and they had this game of backgammon that they would gamble with. And so backgammon to this day it is sometimes played as something that people you know, bet their money on and the winner basically, you know, takes takes it all. So none of this should primarily applies to backgammon. Now, there are some

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versions or some reports that might reference the dice as well. But the more authentic version of Sam Muslim says none of the sheet and none of the sheet is primarily applied for the game of backgammon. Now, some have said that the that the prohibition is to the dice itself, and there is some basis that how do you separate the game it is all put together, as well. There are some reports about the game of chess. Now there's nothing authentic from the prophecies about chess

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shatranj. But there are a number of reports from the Sahaba and Tabby rune, that, that some of them disapproved of chess somewhat rather harshly. And it is also reported, by the way that some of them did not disapprove of chess. If you look up soon, edited by healthy one of the great books of Hadith, there is an entire chapter about what people have said regarding chess, and you will find a number of reports that are very harsh, I have never thought of for example, he he basically said I wish I could throw this board game onto your face. Have you been created to do this, he found a group of people all playing chess, basically surrounding a match and whatnot, he became irritated or

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the loved one and so you have some very strict, you know, statements from the Sahaba into your own. But you also have on the other side some of the tab the rune and tab, a tab your own, whom it is authentically narrated that they would actually play chess and have them a mama Shafi Rahim Allah, Allah, He says, Mohammed Ebensee Dean, and he Sham in Ottawa, they would play chess, you know, in private means it's not something they would publicize. It's not something you do in front of everybody but do it with your family or in the privacy of the room and they would just go in, you know, just a little bit of time to pass to play chess and even up the bottle. He says in his time he

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that it is reported by a crema and a sharpie, that they would play with the knowledge and say diplomacy, he was asked about playing with another sheet and save them in will save the great great library, the famous Dabiri he said, if there is no money or gambling involved, then there is no problem with it. Now

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These are some reports from these great type your own integrity of your own. I want you to know, this is my short response, I'm not going to detail, you will find more reports from the Sahaba, tableta betabrand that are disapproving. So there's no question I'm not trying to hide that. But you want a response, I'm going to give you a simple response, you will find a longer list of people who disliked it. But these are great scholars who basically said it's okay with certain conditions. And the position that I'm advocating is that we need to be a little bit more pragmatic and take a look at the broader picture. Those respected in great rhythm, some of them are my teachers, and I respect

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them immensely. Those that say that all types of games and cards and board games and dice and everything is how long I fully understand I fully sympathize. Because in their minds, they want the oma to reach the highest level. And the fact of the matter is audio. The last one, you said were you created to do this, no, you were not created to spend hours and hours you know, playing board games and doing chess and whatnot, we have a higher purpose. But when you look at the status of the oma, this is something that the the books have filled palsy and in my time with Bill Belushi that everybody is doing it now everyone is doing it. So for us to adopt the strict disposition

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essentially means nobody cares what we say. And then it's as if you are speaking to a wall because you can say whatever you want, and with my utmost respect, the very people who are giving this photo I am, you know, because I know the reality is their own families, their own children, maybe even they themselves cannot live up to this photo perfectly. And when that is the case, then really, you need to take a step back, because the shady is never going to be impractical, the shady as always applied, and if this is the case, and you also realize that we are living at a time and a place where, again, let us be frank here, there are far bigger problems that our children then them

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sitting down to play a board game than them sitting down to play chess, the stuff that they're watching on television, or the beloved, the Netflix that they're watching, are we the villa, the Online Entertainment and the whatever, tick tock all of these things out there, right. And so you're gonna come and say, Oh, if a father and mother and the children sit down, and they play Ludo or they play, you know, you know cards, or they play a game of chess or whatever, amongst themselves just to pass the time that that is how ramen forbidden and sinful in the eyes of Allah. There is no evidence from the Quran and Sunnah to make that sinful at all. Yes, there's a hadith that talks about

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backgammon. But the question is, is the prohibition because of the gambling? Which is what I am saying? And would these two have your own set? Or is it just any type of board game in any type of game involving dice and what not? And if you look at it, really,

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it is very, to me at least it is very obvious that the first way that we need to give to the people is that look, there is no question. So I'm being precise here. So pay attention to this, there is no question that we have a higher purpose in life than just to spend hours and hours playing video games or watching TV or doing something of this nature. And not all of these things I mentioned are at the same level, some of them are sinful in what we see or what we hear some of them are you know, MOBA permissible, but the MOBA which is permissible when it is done too much, it becomes mcru and when it leads to how long it becomes how long right so even the MOBA It is like salt you add it to

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the food. And so my position the first one I'm going to give you is that all of these board games and chess and the the dice that is used for non gambling as for gambling by unanimous consensus, when you put money, and there are people that are we're talking real money, monopoly is not real money, right? So we're talking about when you put money, and people are betting and they have games and whatnot, there is no question that any type of game that involves money, actual money, and is based upon the luck of the draw, or the luck of the cards or the luck of the dice, that is absolutely how wrong there should be no two opinions about that. As for when there is no gambling

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involved, then my suggestion My advice is that family should understand that indeed we do have a higher purpose and that we have a problem across the board of wasting too much time in entertainment and movies and all that we do so it's not just the dice and the the games it is overall we are killing time and we have not been created to kill time we have been created to be productive with our time. Nonetheless. If somebody you know you cannot continuously 24 hours a day, do something that is absolutely productive. The mind needs to take a break the body needs to take a break your children cannot be expected to be you know, constantly you you're gonna they're gonna play they're

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going to do what they're going to do. And therefore, if we use this like salt just a little bit once in a while.

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We sit down. And for the adults, especially for the parents, especially, my advice to you all is when you sit down with your children to play these games, your knee should be not the game, but family time, your knees should be that I want to come closer to my children, my spouse, my, my kids, I want to teach them manners, what should you say? What should you do, even as you play a game? Right, you can bring in some benefits on it, you know, rather than using vulgarities, you know, say something beneficial, remind them of their past their heritage, your family history, you know, teach them something that is beneficial even as some of this dounia. So the goal should not be the game,

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the goal should be quality time with the family. And the game is an excuse for the kids to come because they don't want to listen to you or they don't want to do so the goal is basically and when you make it that Nia insha Allah hotel, I actually think it's not only just MOBA, you might even be rewarded, if you actually intend to do something productive and useful with your family, teach them something of benefit than as you sit down with them. And you play a board game or whatnot in childhood might even be an act of worship, but the very least we can say it is mobile. But a number of points. First and foremost, this should not take up the most of your time or date. And as you

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grow older, you need to cut back and I speak it out, especially to the young men or young men in college, you need to stop playing your ps4. And Xbox is you know, 10 hours a day that's not going to benefit you you're no longer five years old or 10 years old, when you get to your 30s. What are you doing half the time playing this game? No, definitely at that stage, you need to cut back and be reasonable. I understand a little bit of all of us need a bit of a break. We all have different breaks. Some people take breaks reading esoteric books of history. But that's besides the point. Some people like to take these types of breaks, I understand it's it is in and of itself MOBA. But

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do not make it a bulk of your time what is reasonable, it varies from person to person, as well make sure that you do not do anything wrong within because there are some board and board games where maybe there are some but there are some video games that have vulgarities in them, or where you're expected to do blatantly wrong. And parents, parents it is your job to so here's the point those people who says how long to play board games, okay, you say that what are the kids going to do? The parents think is how long no child is going to listen to this factor. They're going to be in the rooms watching their tic tocs, you know, doing their, their their, you know, ps4 games and whatnot.

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And so again, Isn't it better to take the children out of their private bedrooms, bring them to the living room with the parents, and instead of them watching what they shouldn't do instead of them playing games where the characters are doing things that are indecent or violent or glory, because that's the alternative, right? The parents are going to be following the Federal Way up there, the children not going to be doing that. So as you're aware, if you listen to me, I don't believe in an abstract for tours for tours have to benefit the oma we have to teach and preach at the level of the oma and to make haraam these types of things. I really think that it is harmful to the oma to be

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this strict. I understand if we're talking to a group of Mashallah, who fall in the madrasa full time students of Islamic for sure for them, we can be a little bit stricter and say, Hey, guys, you know, why are you you know, you know, doing of something of this nature,

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do something more productive, don't spend hours and hours, but to give a blanket photo of this nature that it is out on all types of board games or all types of, you know, amusements or how don't know it is like salt, you do it a little bit and the goal should be family time the NEA should be spending quality time and also playing a board game with the children is infinitely better than the children being in the rooms and doing the games or watching the movies that they should not be doing. So it is better to do this. It is definitely the lesser of the two evils and therefore insha Allah to Allah, there is no sin on you whatsoever if these conditions are met. And again, as the

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kids grow older also try to do this less and less and do something more productive. More and more Allah subhana wa tada knows best.