Fatwa against chess
As reported in the Guardian,
Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti has ruled that chess is forbidden in Islam...[He] justified the ruling by referring to the verse in the Qur’an banning “intoxicants, gambling, idolatry and divination”
Many here are of course in favor of all four, or maybe not the gambling?
Human folks, being what they are, are prone to gamble on anything. But I've never encountered any dudes or dames who lay odds on a chess match ... although I suppose it has happened.
I suggest we put a fat-what on any event that might possibly have an alternative outcome ... and prohibit it ... because some compulsive gamblers might see an opportunity for a fast buck, or rial, pound, euro, yuan, or yen.
For example, will it be cloudy (or sunny) in the morning? Such speculation might lead to gamblong. Therefore all weather people must be de-headed and all conversation about the weather needs to be prohibited lest we become detracted from our adorations of the Sun. Also, any depictions of Sol, in paintings, sculpture, photos, or drawings, must be destroyed with C4, because idolatry is averse to His preferences.
Also, let's bet on who is funnier, Imams or North Korean news-writers. Well, they're funny from this side of idolatry, but it must be terrible living in their stone-age jurisdiction.
Like Shiva says, betting can be done on anything whose outcome is uncertain. Betting on Chess is no different (Google "betting" and "chess" for thousands of results). Many strict religious codes forbid it, as well as secular legal jurisdictions, because of the social consequences and crime that naturally comes in its wake. Religiously, gambling is also associated with superstitions for luck, which is also, obviously, against puritanical sensibilities.
Some of the stricter Mormons I knew never "invested" in the Stock Market, or any trading market, since it falls into the category of "speculation" - i.e. gambling.
However, as far as I know, Saudi Arabia is big on horse racing, and I've heard it rumored that a lot of betting goes on around these races. Has he fatwa'ed horse racing too?
Having now read the short article (duh), it appears to be a tempest in a teapot. The mufti was answering questions from viewers on a TV show, and gave his legal opinion. A casual setting. Sort of like some Christian call-in shows in the US, some of the opinions given there are pretty puritanical too.
Aside - why is this loud font the default? Why doesn't it take section breaks, spaces between paragraphs?