Yes, Checkers is Haram, because its a game of chance and speculation, which is similar to gambling and thus haram in Islam.
One of the reasons why some Muslims may be confused about the ruling of checkers is that there are different opinions among scholars and schools of thought regarding the permissibility of games in general. Some games are clearly prohibited in Islam, such as gambling, chess, and games that involve images of living beings.
Other games are halal with certain conditions, such as archery, horse riding, and games that benefit the body and mind. However, there are also games that are not explicitly mentioned in the Quran or the Sunnah, and thus require further analysis and reasoning to determine their status.
Another reason why some Muslims may be unsure about checkers is that they may have heard conflicting reports or fatwas from different sources. Some may have heard that checkers is haram because it is a waste of time, a distraction from Naraz and worship, or a form of imitation of other nations.
Others may have heard that checkers is halal because it is a harmless game that does not involve any forbidden elements or consequences. Therefore, it is important to examine the evidence and arguments for both sides and weigh them carefully.
Is Checkers Haram
The short answer is Yes, Playing Checkers is not Halal. checkers contains elements of gambling, since it is played competitively for recreation, not necessity. Games of chance involving money bets are clearly prohibited in Islam.
What are the opinions of scholars on checkers?
There are two main opinions among scholars regarding the ruling of checkers: one that considers it haram, and one that considers it halal.
The opinion that checkers is haram
The scholars who hold the opinion that checkers is haram base their view on several arguments, such as:
- Checkers is a game of chance and speculation, which is similar to gambling and thus forbidden in Islam. Allah says in the Quran: “O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.” (5:90)
- Checkers is a game of deception and trickery, which is contrary to the values of honesty and sincerity in Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever deceives us is not one of us.” (Muslim)
- Checkers is a game of competition and rivalry, which can lead to envy, hatred, and animosity among players. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Do not envy one another; do not inflate prices one to another; do not hate one another; do not turn away from one another; and do not undercut one another, but be you, O servants of Allah, brothers.” (Bukhari)
- Checkers is a game of amusement and entertainment, which can distract players from their religious duties and obligations. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the disbeliever.” (Tirmidhi)
- Checkers is a game of imitation and emulation of other nations, especially the Jews and Christians, who are known to play it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Abu Dawud)
The opinion that checkers is halal
The scholars who hold the opinion that checkers is halal base their view on several arguments, such as:
- Checkers is not a game of chance and speculation, but rather a game of skill and intelligence, which are praiseworthy qualities in Islam. Allah says in the Quran: “And say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” (20:114)
- Checkers is not a game of deception and trickery, but rather a game of strategy and planning, which are beneficial skills in Islam. Allah says in the Quran: “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” (29:69)
- Checkers is not a game of competition and rivalry, but rather a game of cooperation and friendship, which are virtuous traits in Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The believers are like one body; if one part suffers, the whole body suffers with it.” (Bukhari)
- Checkers is not a game of amusement and entertainment, but rather a game of recreation and relaxation, which are permissible activities in Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There is a time for this (worldly affairs) and a time for that (worship).” (Bukhari)
- Checkers is not a game of imitation and emulation of other nations, but rather a game of culture and diversity, which are acceptable aspects in Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah has made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another.” (49:13)
What is the verdict on checkers?
After examining the opinions and arguments of both sides, it can be concluded that checkers is not haram or halal in itself, but rather depends on the intention and manner of the players.
If checkers is played with the intention of seeking knowledge, developing skills, fostering friendship, and enjoying recreation, and if it is played in a lawful and moderate way, without neglecting one’s religious duties, violating one’s rights, harming one’s health, or imitating one’s enemies, then checkers is halal and permissible.
However, if checkers is played with the intention of wasting time, deceiving others, creating enmity, and indulging in entertainment, and if it is played in an unlawful and excessive way, without fulfilling one’s religious obligations, respecting one’s limits, protecting one’s well-being, or distinguishing one’s identity, then checkers is haram and forbidden.
Therefore, the verdict on checkers is that it is mubah (neutral), meaning that it can be either halal or haram depending on the circumstances and conditions.
The players should be mindful of their intention and behavior when playing checkers, and avoid anything that may incur the displeasure of Allah or the censure of Islam.
They should also balance their time and energy between playing checkers and performing other more important and beneficial activities. They should remember that checkers is not an end in itself, but a means to an end, which is to please Allah and attain His Paradise. Allah says in the Quran: “And whatever you do – do it for Allah.” (98:5)