He also claimed that the game was a cause for hatred and enmity between players". Al-Sheikh justified the ruling by referring to a verse in the Quran banning "intoxicants, gambling, idolatry and divination".
If you are wondering why chess of all things, well, here’s a list of more things that Saudi Arabia considers un-Islamic. They range from the innocuous to the deadly:
Movie theatres: In his book Islam in Saudi Arabia, author David Commins explains the reason behind this, “Public musical entertainment is absent in Saudi Arabia...Clerics find warrant for banning it in a Quranic verse that condemns 'idle tales' and a Prophetic Tradition that places musical performance alongside adultery in a list of sins.”
Building snowmen: Prominent Saudi cleric Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid earlier this week said in a reply to a query on a religious website that, "It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun." According to the cleric, building a snowman means creating the image of a human being, which is a sin, reported Al Akhbar.
Islamic State: Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh said at a seminar that the IS’ ideology is not in line with Muslim history and the Daesh recruits are criminals who want to kill Muslims, reported Eurasia Review.
Pokemon: The Grand Mufti issued a statement on Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV claiming that Pokemon cards and games “possess the minds” of children and parents should “beware of this game”, reported ABC News.
Gay rights: The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals program includes references to same sex relationships. During one of the discussions surrounding it, a Saudi diplomat refused to discuss the topic. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told the UN General Assembly that "mentioning sex in the text, to us, means exactly male and female. Mentioning family means consisting of a married man and woman,” Russia Today said, quoting an Associated Press report. According to Russia Today, he also said that Saudi Arabia had the right to not agree to give the nod to any agenda that runs "counter to Islamic law."
Linda and Binyamin as baby names: Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry came out with a list of 50 baby names that they have prohibited parents from giving their children because these names go against the culture and religion of the kingdom, or are un-Islamic, The Times Of India reported. Among the 50 names are Linda, Alice, Elaine or Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin), Sumuw (highness), Malek (king) and Malika (queen).
With inputs from IANS