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Alan Shore
18-02-2005, 02:07 AM
Saw this in the ACF Bulletin:

http://sistani.org/html/eng/menu/2/books/7/inside/57.htm

I hate literal interpretations without considering context...

Rincewind
18-02-2005, 06:47 AM
Saw this in the ACF Bulletin:

http://sistani.org/html/eng/menu/2/books/7/inside/57.htm

I hate literal interpretations without considering context...

Seems the problem is chess is considered a gambling instrument. Gambling is banned therefore, so is chess. Playing of chess without gambling is also banned (I guess) because it is considered that the main reason people would play chess is for gambling. Like, what else would keep interest in it?

I assume people will still play chess in private. But the banning of chess in public put an end to tournaments, organisations, competition, etc. :(

Ian Rout
18-02-2005, 08:16 AM
Interesting that with the gambling element removed chess is still banned absolutely whereas boxing and wrestling are fine so long as physical injuries are less than "substantial".

But does this mean that chess would be banned in law or merely preached against by clerics? Obviously the two are often the same but are there some things that are left to individual conscience, in the same way that in the West even the most rabid Christian would, for example, not advocate jail time for coveting thy neighbour's ox?

shaun
18-02-2005, 08:38 AM
Without reading any of the previous facts or the context of the story, I will take the "modern journalistic" approach and still add my comments to the mix. :D

Chess being considered a form of gambling resulted in online chess playing being banned in Greece last year under the sweeping legislation designed to crack down on online casinos.

Secondly, the usual reason for the prohibition of chess in Islamic countries has to do with the representation of human figures as pieces, which is either frowned upon or outright banned depending on which reading of the Koran you choose. Only Allah can create people etc etc etc That is why there is no religious iconography in Islam (eg No statues of the Prophet)

1min_grandmaster
18-02-2005, 12:19 PM
According to Tim Krabbe's excellent and humourous website (http://www.xs4all.nl/~timkr/chess2/diary.htm), *playing* chess is "absolutely forbidden", but composing or solving chess problems is not. Krabbe's diary entry is worth a read, if only for a laugh.

Denis_Jessop
18-02-2005, 02:01 PM
Without reading any of the previous facts or the context of the story, I will take the "modern journalistic" approach and still add my comments to the mix. :D

Chess being considered a form of gambling resulted in online chess playing being banned in Greece last year under the sweeping legislation designed to crack down on online casinos.

Secondly, the usual reason for the prohibition of chess in Islamic countries has to do with the representation of human figures as pieces, which is either frowned upon or outright banned depending on which reading of the Koran you choose. Only Allah can create people etc etc etc That is why there is no religious iconography in Islam (eg No statues of the Prophet)

The notion of chess being illegal under Muslim law is by no means new. It exercised the minds of many in the early days of Muslim culture. There is a very interesting (and no doubt accurate) discussion of the matter in Chapter XI of Murray's History of Chess. Briefly, it seems that, at least in early times, both Sunni and Shi'ite muslims took a similar view of chess as being illegal under Muslim law. The main basis of this was the idea that chess had an element of chance in it. The matter of representations of people or animals in carved pieces was a concern to Sunni Muslims but not to Shi'ites. The whole matter was, however, the subject of considerable debate and, in light of this, the view put by Grand Ayatollah Sistani seems to be an over-simplification, or rather just one of a number of possible positions that may be taken on the matter. But then I'm no expert on Muslim law.

Denis Jessop

antichrist
18-02-2005, 02:41 PM
I have always thought of an ulterior motive behind such bannings, i.e., chess distracts the populace from thinking about their daily prayers -- who wants to delay a fantastic chess game to point your backside at the Wailing Wall? So it is about control really, just as the commos banned religion.

The biggest joke is Ramadan - the fasting during daylight hours. The Health Dept has done researach that shows that pigging out in the nightly feista (breaking the fast) results in obesity.

My Israeli mate told me how there are Jewish butchers in Israel that serve pork, apparently the Russky Jews are used to vodka and pork and so keep the tradition up. It is a wonder that they are not bombed.

arosar
18-02-2005, 02:53 PM
I have always thought of an ulterior motive behind such bannings, i.e., chess distracts the populace from thinking about their daily prayers -- who wants to delay a fantastic chess game to point your backside at the Wailing Wall?

Right. And how about that British general who was so absorbed in his game that he failed to notice the advancing rebel armies? As a result, Britain lost America.

AR

Rincewind
18-02-2005, 03:45 PM
The biggest joke is Ramadan - the fasting during daylight hours. The Health Dept has done researach that shows that pigging out in the nightly feista (breaking the fast) results in obesity.

I fail to see how that warrants Ramadan being labelled a 'joke'. I don't think the idea is to lose weight.

antichrist
18-02-2005, 04:02 PM
I fail to see how that warrants Ramadan being labelled a 'joke'. I don't think the idea is to lose weight.

The joke is that when people are fasting it is either to lose weight or at least stay neutral -- not to put on kilos as they are doing -- it defeats the whole purpose of the fast. The fast becomes a means to an end instead of a pious exercise of self control. Strictly speaking the Health Dept should ban it.

The Lebo restaurants in the ghettos (which by the way I love) do a roaring trade once the sun sets. They do serve infidels like me during the day but only take-a-away, all the chairs are on top of the tables.

As Colonel Ingersoll said, an invalid principle blessed by a holy book does not make it right.

Alan Shore
18-02-2005, 04:05 PM
Right. And how about that British general who was so absorbed in his game that he failed to notice the advancing rebel armies? As a result, Britain lost America.

AR

Haha awesome.. is there a site I can read more about this?

Rincewind
18-02-2005, 04:33 PM
The joke is that when people are fasting it is either to lose weight or at least stay neutral -- not to put on kilos as they are doing -- it defeats the whole purpose of the fast. The fast becomes a means to an end instead of a pious exercise of self control. Strictly speaking the Health Dept should ban it.

The idea of a fast is not to lose weight it is a matter of religious observance. Catholics fast before the sacrament of Communion - but only for 1 hour. Do you think the purpose of this fast is to lose weight?

antichrist
18-02-2005, 06:16 PM
The idea of a fast is not to lose weight it is a matter of religious observance. Catholics fast before the sacrament of Communion - but only for 1 hour. Do you think the purpose of this fast is to lose weight?

Of course not, weren't you told why, it was so that there is no "dirty" food in with Jesus (in the Holy Communion). Would not pass Health Dept standards of cleaniness. In the old days I think it used to be that you could not eat from midnight. Again people pigging out before sleeping esp if they had go to a later Holy Mass (notice the respectful capitals) the next day.

I have not got first prizes for Christian Doctrine in my bookshelf for nothing. And my favourite prize is titled "In The Steps of Jesus". There is hope for me yet.

Rincewind
18-02-2005, 06:33 PM
Of course not

And likewise Muslim's don't fast during Ramadan to lose weight. Your whole point is absurd. I suggest therefore that you are the joke and that the Department of Health make you illegal.

arosar
18-02-2005, 06:40 PM
Haha awesome.. is there a site I can read more about this?

I'm not sure. I read it in one my books at home.

Anyway, the following day, when the battle was over, the British general was found dead in the ditch with a Queen still in his shirt pocket.

I'll look up the biblio details and post here.

AR

Arrogant-One
18-02-2005, 07:16 PM
How did a chess related subject turn into a religious debate so quickly? Instead of asking why people from various religions fast, we should be asking "Can fasting improve my chess performance?". According to Nigel Short the answer is no. He believes that being physically fit actually helps improve your chess and in days gone by this proposition was laughed at by USSR Grandmasters. As any medical doctor will tell you fasting will deplete your bodies available energy supplies, which your brain presumably needs to find Grandmaster moves. Therefore fasting is an anti-performance enhancing chess strategy and should be avioded. The next questions, therefore, which arise are these: What if my religion requires me to fast, but there is a chess tournament the same weekend? AND - What should I do then? The answer is simple and surprisingly has eluded many chess players including Grandmasters. Instead of me telling you the answer though I want you all to think this perplexity over and then seek my guidance and re-assurance when you arrive at a solution. :hmm:

antichrist
18-02-2005, 09:02 PM
And likewise Muslim's don't fast during Ramadan to lose weight. Your whole point is absurd. I suggest therefore that you are the joke and that the Department of Health make you illegal.

Well, following your logic, is the purpose of Ramadan to put on weight? Because that is the end result -- regardless of whys and what nots.

We know that they are also not allowed to have sex during daylight -- is the purpose of this so that they will have more after dark after pigging out -- I don't think so. They will be burping garlic, onion and baba gannoush and farting all over each other.

Definitely an ascetic, pious and reflective black hole.

antichrist
18-02-2005, 09:10 PM
Hey Arrogrant One,
Don't change the subject when I am in such good form. How low can I go?

Rincewind
18-02-2005, 09:49 PM
Well, following your logic, is the purpose of Ramadan to put on weight? Because that is the end result -- regardless of whys and what nots.

We know that they are also not allowed to have sex during daylight -- is the purpose of this so that they will have more after dark after pigging out -- I don't think so. They will be burping garlic, onion and baba gannoush and farting all over each other.

Definitely an ascetic, pious and reflective black hole.

There is a difference between the purpose of an action and its actual effect.

The truth is Ramadan has absolutely nothing to do with weight or birth control. Saying that it does just shows how limited your ability for independent thought really is.

As an atheist I believe it doesn't serve any purpose. But your comment just makes atheists look stupid by association.

Rincewind
18-02-2005, 09:53 PM
How did a chess related subject turn into a religious debate so quickly? Instead of asking why people from various religions fast, we should be asking "Can fasting improve my chess performance?". According to Nigel Short the answer is no. He believes that being physically fit actually helps improve your chess and in days gone by this proposition was laughed at by USSR Grandmasters. As any medical doctor will tell you fasting will deplete your bodies available energy supplies, which your brain presumably needs to find Grandmaster moves. Therefore fasting is an anti-performance enhancing chess strategy and should be avioded. The next questions, therefore, which arise are these: What if my religion requires me to fast, but there is a chess tournament the same weekend? AND - What should I do then? The answer is simple and surprisingly has eluded many chess players including Grandmasters. Instead of me telling you the answer though I want you all to think this perplexity over and then seek my guidance and re-assurance when you arrive at a solution. :hmm:

The answer depends greatly on the power the player (or cartel of players) has at his disposal. With enough power you simply pressure tournament organisers to arrange their events around your religious observance. Failing that you wake up to yourself, have two plates of full English and play anyway.

antichrist
19-02-2005, 03:34 AM
There is a difference between the purpose of an action and its actual effect.

AC:
How do you know the purpose of Ramadan, maybe it was conconted by Mohammed's family restaurant chain to bring in more business. In early Islam expedient decisions like this were made. For example, how they point their backside to the Wailing Wall, it wasn't always so.

BC:
The truth is Ramadan has absolutely nothing to do with weight or birth control. Saying that it does just shows how limited your ability for independent thought really is.

AC:
Unless you have researched the history of Ramadan you cannot say that. And even then the purpose for an action can be deliberately obscured. Very few people over the past twenty years have accurately understood the purpose of my public profile. Especially amongst the contra view, I cannot remember one who has. And deliberately I don't clear the fog so researching my actually sayings won't help, one must look at the ultimate effect -- like I now am doing with Ramadan. I have just remembered how I had the whole Islamic community of Sydney against me for making the comments I have made here. There were bomb threats against the newspaper etc etc. I was barred from been published again. They put three pages of letters against me.

BC:
As an atheist I believe it doesn't serve any purpose. But your comment just makes atheists look stupid by association.

AC:
You don't fall for the first two-card trick in chess do you? You know, the bishop and queen out and mate.

Nothing in religion is done without purpose. It is all carrot and stick and control. Unless it is Liberation Theology.

You wouldn't look stupid anyway would you, I can still get the girls in. I am working on Libby. (is she a good sort)

Rincewind
19-02-2005, 08:46 AM
Unless you have researched the history of Ramadan you cannot say that. And even then the purpose for an action can be deliberately obscured.

I've read a few mainstream things on Ramadan and similar sort of religious fasts (like the Lent fast) and never heard of weight control as a reason. Therefore the onus should be on you to publish your reasearch to the contrary.

antichrist
19-02-2005, 10:13 AM
I've read a few mainstream things on Ramadan and similar sort of religious fasts (like the Lent fast) and never heard of weight control as a reason. Therefore the onus should be on you to publish your reasearch to the contrary.

I have never said it was for weight control, as it is obviously a dead loser. This is where you have been off targent from the beginning. What I have been saying that I don't think it was meant to be a weight gainer which it obviously is. I reakon it has to do with cultural reasons, a war footing, lack of food etc etc.

But imagine if you worked night duty, you could not have a naughty for about a month.

Do you think there is Ramadan in Paradise with those 72 ladies waiting, imagine what it would be like after the end of Ramadan -- they would be fighting for you. That is why I say "Islam has a better ending than Christianity and Judaism".

auriga
19-02-2005, 11:17 AM
isn't the fide delegate for asia from iraq?! (or used to be)
will make his job that much harder...

Arrogant-One
19-02-2005, 01:28 PM
The answer depends greatly on the power the player (or cartel of players) has at his disposal. With enough power you simply pressure tournament organisers to arrange their events around your religious observance. Failing that you wake up to yourself, have two plates of full English and play anyway.

Barry, you have clearly thought this quandry over and are closer to the answer than anyone else. :clap: Now I will give you the clue you've been looking for. :hand: Here it is : God created your stomach, AND the food you eat! There you are son, you go off and think about this clue and then come back to me with the answer. :wall:

antichrist
19-02-2005, 01:33 PM
Barry, you have clearly thought this quandry over and are closer to the answer than anyone else. :clap: Now I will give you the clue you've been looking for. :hand: Here it is : God created your stomach, AND the food you eat! There you are son, you go off and think about this clue and then come back to me with the answer. :wall:

Prove that God exists and also that it did this and that before Barry has to answer anything.

This should be in a different thread.

Which god anyway, "ours" or "theirs" in Iraq?

pballard
21-02-2005, 03:43 PM
Secondly, the usual reason for the prohibition of chess in Islamic countries has to do with the representation of human figures as pieces, which is either frowned upon or outright banned depending on which reading of the Koran you choose. Only Allah can create people etc etc etc That is why there is no religious iconography in Islam (eg No statues of the Prophet)

Back to the original topic...

I have heard directly from a Muslim imam that he considered chess was wrong because it was a form of gambling. (Which is basically what the original link said).

I doubt the "human figures" explanation (though I'm willing to be convinced otherwise). To my knowledge, the ban is against images in terms of religious worship only. Images in other contexts are fine, e.g. I've never heard of Muslims banning all forms of photography.

--
Peter

antichrist
21-02-2005, 04:10 PM
Back to the original topic...

I have heard directly from a Muslim imam that he considered chess was wrong because it was a form of gambling. (Which is basically what the original link said).

I doubt the "human figures" explanation (though I'm willing to be convinced otherwise). To my knowledge, the ban is against images in terms of religious worship only. Images in other contexts are fine, e.g. I've never heard of Muslims banning all forms of photography.

--
Peter

The biggest gamble is their arrogant religion. They will die for a paradise that they can't prove exists. They will aim their backsides at the Wailing Wall for years, do this and do that -- all on a promise. Talk about suckers, along with the Christians and Jews (theistic type)

Advanced Pawn
22-02-2005, 05:44 AM
Back to the original topic...

I have heard directly from a Muslim imam that he considered chess was wrong because it was a form of gambling. (Which is basically what the original link said).

I doubt the "human figures" explanation (though I'm willing to be convinced otherwise). To my knowledge, the ban is against images in terms of religious worship only. Images in other contexts are fine, e.g. I've never heard of Muslims banning all forms of photography.

--
Peter

Whatever they claim, the true reason is mind control - banning chess is a strong message to believers that they are not allowed to think, and that they should rather blindly follow religious indoctrination and obey the state authorities (as church and the state aren't really separated in these countries).

Also, isn't this taking place in Iran, not Iraq - Iraq seemed to be a fairly secular country - in the sense of the separation of church from the state.

antichrist
22-02-2005, 06:21 AM
Whatever they claim, the true reason is mind control - banning chess is a strong message to believers that they are not allowed to think, and that they should rather blindly follow religious indoctrination and obey the state authorities (as church and the state aren't really separated in these countries).

Also, isn't this taking place in Iran, not Iraq - Iraq seemed to be a fairly secular country - in the sense of the separation of church from the state.

As has come out in the news, those Shiites in Iraq currently whipping themselves with chains in a religious fervour were not allowed to do so under Saddam. If they were too extreme (???) he would have them be put to death. Following their beliefs they should have appreciated the gesture but they still complained -- the relos that is. It has come out that he learnt from Stalin.

Early on he had support as he was socialistic. When a couple married the state would provide them with a free apartment. I can remember 20 years ago people living here from over there used to praise him as he had helped them.

pballard
22-02-2005, 09:17 AM
Whatever they claim, the true reason is mind control - banning chess is a strong message to believers that they are not allowed to think, and that they should rather blindly follow religious indoctrination and obey the state authorities (as church and the state aren't really separated in these countries).


Why not accept the reason they give (opposition to gambling) as being their true motivation?

In any case, it could be argued that chess was useful for mind control: there are a set of rules and you're not allowed to move beyond that set of rules. Or, let people waste their intellect analysing chess rather than pondering, or acting upon, the great questions of life.



Also, isn't this taking place in Iran, not Iraq - Iraq seemed to be a fairly secular country - in the sense of the separation of church from the state.

sistani.org is the website of an Ayatollah Sistani. So it's the interpretations of one teacher. I've no idea how much influence he has, e.g. whether there are moves to ban chess in either Iran or Iraq.

--
Peter

Ian Rout
22-02-2005, 09:44 AM
Why not accept the reason they give (opposition to gambling) as being their true motivation?


I'm prepared to accept this is an element but I can't believe it's the whole story since in almost the same breath as banning chess, even when not played for gambling, the Ayatollah legitimises boxing. You can just as easily bet on the outcome of a boxing match, and worldwide more money is wagered on boxing than chess. Chessbase reports that cricket, a notorious gambling vehicle, also gets the nod.

Ultimately I don't think we (non-Moslems) can completely understand. The whole point of having a religion is that you do something different to what you what you would do if you followed a different religion or none at all, or else what is its purpose? Trying to make sense of it isn't possible, though interesting to discuss.

antichrist
22-02-2005, 09:55 AM
The RCC has banned chess at least once in its history. In that book the Complete Chess Addict or whatever. But a very keen chess-playing bishop kept the game going. The reason given for its banning was supposedly because they the bishop could be "killed".

EVen the commos don't like contemplating people (but they did encourage chess). anyway I must go.

pballard
22-02-2005, 12:37 PM
I'm prepared to accept this is an element but I can't believe it's the whole story since in almost the same breath as banning chess, even when not played for gambling, the Ayatollah legitimises boxing. You can just as easily bet on the outcome of a boxing match, and worldwide more money is wagered on boxing than chess. Chessbase reports that cricket, a notorious gambling vehicle, also gets the nod.


All that demonstrates is that laws (religious or otherwise) sometimes fail to keep up with the times, or fail to consider all situations.

I suspect the difference between chess and boxing/cricket goes back to when the rulings were first made, and that it is unusual to reverse the rulings of past ayatollahs.



Ultimately I don't think we (non-Moslems) can completely understand. The whole point of having a religion is that you do something different to what you what you would do if you followed a different religion or none at all, or else what is its purpose? Trying to make sense of it isn't possible, though interesting to discuss.

I disagree. It's a completely different worldview but possible to understand.

Ian Rout
28-02-2005, 02:38 PM
Here's a completely different view of it

http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=167182005

No menton at all of gambling. If this link breaks later (or you don't want to read the whole thing) the explanation here goes

" ... chess is forbidden because the act of checkmate is one that only Allah can bring about."

BFG
31-03-2005, 05:41 PM
Here's a completely different view of it

http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=167182005

No menton at all of gambling. If this link breaks later (or you don't want to read the whole thing) the explanation here goes

" ... chess is forbidden because the act of checkmate is one that only Allah can bring about."
I seem to remember that Saddam and an Ayatollah or two, have 'checkmated' a couple of kings in that region quite happily without worrying about Allah. Or is it just Chess where this is forbidden?