View Full Version : Everything in moderation

06-13-2006, 11:50 AM
Hi all

The longer I spend in this forum, and the more I learn about Islam, the more I get the impression that Islam is very black-and-white in many aspects.
Behaviours, thoughts and actions seem to be either right or wrong; halaal or haram; black or white, with very little room for debate.

That kind of thinking is very alien to me (as a Westerner).
To me things are relative. I rarely think in black-or-white ... for me most things come in shades of grey.

For example, discussions on chess: some people have heard it's halaal, so it's okay. Others have read it's haram, so it's a complete no-no.
Personally, I would say that chess is a great activity, as it encourages logical and strategic thinking, and social contact with others. The only time it becomes harmful is when a person becomes so obsessed with it that it distracts from other areas of life (not least of all God!)
Is moderation not the key?

This is not another thread on chess!
Transfer the same principle onto other areas of life: music, football, social contact with non-Muslims.
Moderation. What's wrong with it? :?


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06-13-2006, 11:55 AM

Interesting. There is actually a hadith about this.. where the prophet said to do stuff in moderation, im not sure exaclty how if goes, inshaallah someone else might post it.

BUT, if something is haram, well them there is no such thing as doing it in moderation. Youre just not meant to do it at all.

I would have thought you could relate to this? Being christian, obviously there are things you are prohibited from doing due to your religion. I dont think it would make sense if someone told you about a certain sin that "whats so bad about it if you do it in moderation?"

Also, not everything is just plain either halal or haram. somethings have the title prefered, others simply permissible and some are not recommended.. so there are shades... and i guess its the not recommended stuff to which moderation would mainly apply.. not the haram stuff.

Hope that helps :)

06-13-2006, 12:01 PM
Originally Posted by glo
Hi all

The longer I spend in this forum, ....This is not another thread on chess!
Transfer the same principle onto other areas of life: music, football, social contact with non-Muslims.
Moderation. What's wrong with it? :?


This hadith should answer your question:

"That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honour, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah's sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart." (al Bukhari and Muslim)

If there's evidence to indicate the illegality of something, then it's illegal... and if ther'es something to prove the legality of something, it's absolutely legal... and if something is not clear, it's a grey zone...

Just because you're a westerner doesn't mean we can't think on relative terms too lol.. there's alot of examples showing that in the prophets life

Also... a Muslim looks at it from this perspective:

Me: "I'm considering doing such and such islamically doubtful thing and at same time I want to get to Jannah, what's the shortest and most straight forward way to get there?"

Myself: "What's the point of doing something doubtful when i can forsake it and get rewarded for it, because the reward i get in the hereafter is relatively muchhh greater than the temporary benefit i derive from doing it here..."

any western economist would agree with me too.. 'marginal cost-benefit analysis' we call it...

06-13-2006, 05:46 PM
Interesting replies!
Thank you, both of you. :thankyou:


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06-13-2006, 05:49 PM
lo, i'm sure i started a discussion about this but it never got anywhere. maybe i hit the nail too hard.

thanks for creating something similar though.

06-13-2006, 05:51 PM
huh since when has chess bin haraam???

06-13-2006, 05:54 PM
Islam is the middle way of life.



06-13-2006, 06:09 PM
Book 039, Number 6760:
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: None amongst you would attain salvation purely because of his deeds. A person said: Allah's Messenger, even you also. Thereupon he said: Yes. Not even I, but that Allah wraps me in Mercy, but you should act with moderation. This badith has been transmitted on the authority of Bukair b. al-Ashajj with a slight variation of wording.

Here is another hadith specifically mentioning moderation in Islam. However this is not the way the hypocrites who claim to be Muslim interprete it. Hypocrites use this and some other hadith to justify their belief that Islam as a way of life is out dated and secularism is better. However this is not the case because the moderation in Islam is the Shari'a, anything less is laxity and anything more is extremism. So those Muslims who do not judge by what Allah SWT and the Messenger SAWS judge upon he is lax and should fear the punish of Allah SWT. If the person makes haram what Allah SWT made Halal and vise versa he should fear the punishment of Allah SWT. But if he enjoins what is right and forbid what is evil according to al-quran and al-sunnah then he shall be let into Paradise from any gate he pleases, inshallah ta'ala. so in short a Muslim must judge what is according in the shar'iah and nothing else.


The playing of chess is regarded by the majority of the Ulama as Haraam (otherwise Makrooh-e-Tahrimi by some). This is due to the stern warnings and prohibitions mentioned in the Ahaadith.

Consequently, playing games whether indoor or outdoor has been disliked by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Ãlayhi Wasallam) except for three things:

playing (sporting) with one's wife;
horse riding (for breeding the horse); and,
Apart from these games, if a sport or game where there is religious or worldly benefit then it is subject to the following conditions:

there is nothing contrary to the Shariah; and,
there should be no resemblance with other communities.
In addition, the Holy Quran has used the words 'lahw' and 'laib' which the Jurists of Islam have made reference to games and pastimes. Primarily, Allah Ta'ala has sent us to this world to worship and remember Him. Therefore our aim must be to please Him.

Commenting on the playing of chess, the Jurists have declared it as haraam.

According to Imaam Muhammad (Rahmatullaah Ãlayhi) there is no good in all types of games/play. Although chess is not directly classified under gambling, it is regarded as (useless play).

In the book Al Basaair it is stated in one Hadith:

'When they pass on those people playing Azlaam, chess, backgammon and similar games, do not greet them; and if they do greet you then do not reply (their greeting).'

So serious is the playing of chess that one is instructed not to make salaam nor reply to their salaam. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Ãlayhi Wasallam) would sometimes turn his face or not reply to a greeting to show the veracity and depth of abhorrence to a particular sinful act.

Once Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallaahu Ãnhu) happened to pass by a group of people playing chess and remarked, "What is this? What are these images for which you have gathered here?"

It is also reported that once when Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallaahu Ãnhu) passed a group of people playing chess, he remarked. "Their actions are like those of the idol worshippers". (Ghayatu Bayan).

The statement of Hadhrat Omar (Radhiyallaahu Ãnhu) should be carefully analysed in context i.e. when any act is directly or indirectly associated with a particular culture, religion or community then Muslims are advised to abstain from its affiliation. For instance, Christmas has special religious and spiritual significance to Christians.

Likewise the play of chess has special significance to the kuffaar and therefore identified as a "game" with either cultural or religious connotations.

Aforementioned are a few Ahaadith on the subject matter.

Hadith One
Hazrat Abu Musa Ashari (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) reported that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, `He who plays backgammon (or chess) disobeys Allah and His Rasool (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam).'

Hadith Two
Hadhrat Sulaiman bin Buraidah (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) reported Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) as saying, 'If anyone plays backgammon, he sinks his hand in the flesh of swine and its blood.'

Hadith Three
Hadhrat Musa Ashari (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) reported from Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) that, `He who plays backgammon (or chess) has soaked his hand in the blood of swine.'

Hadith Four
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) gave the parable of that person who plays chess and then performs Salaat, is like the person who makes Wudhu with dirt and the blood of swine and thereafter performs Salaah.

In the light of the above Ahaadith, there is no doubt that playing chess is emphatically declared as not permissible in the Shariah. Furthermore, it appears from the Hadith that the game of chess was existent during the time of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). Even if chess was not existent during that time, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) came to know of it through Wahy (revelation).

Allah Ta'ala knows best.

06-13-2006, 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by cheese
I would have thought you could relate to this? Being christian, obviously there are things you are prohibited from doing due to your religion. I dont think it would make sense if someone told you about a certain sin that "whats so bad about it if you do it in moderation?"
Hope that helps :)
Thanks, cheese.
That really does help to put it into perspective for me! :statisfie


06-13-2006, 09:33 PM
Originally Posted by ------------
huh since when has chess bin haraam???
Since I lose every match I play against my brother. Grr.

(Note: I'm joking. I don't know if it's halal or haraam. I do get a bit mystified when certain people get all in arms about little things like this but don't mind other things like - I don't know - not praying)

06-13-2006, 10:53 PM
Hallo to all

Playing of chess is Haraam if, the playing of chess is associate with gambling than its prohibition is unanimous. If it is played without gambling then there is a difference of opinion in its prohibition. Where Allah(SWT) declared alcohol and gambling as forbidden, he explained the reason for this prohibition.

Allah(SWT) says in the Quran that Demons desires to create an ill feeling amongst you. He desires to create hatred among you, and to direct your attention from Salaat and Allah(SWT) remembrance. So wherever this is present, the prohibition will come into force, and that practice will become Haraam. All are aware of the degree of absorption in these games.

P/S:Someone pls correct me if iam wrong

06-14-2006, 01:03 AM
no worries glo, yeh cheese's point is really good too

guys, pls for the sake of glo don't convert this into a chess debate lol... plug it in another thread hehe...


ps: i wasnt disagreeing with cheese when i said that if its legal its absolutely legal and visa versa... i was just simplifying it.. but yes she is right.. there are 'shades of how good an action is'.. as well as 'degrees of sin'..... murder is much greater of a sin than swearing for example.. and giving charity is a much better deed than.. umm.. say.. i cant think of nething atm lol.

Ansar Al-'Adl
06-14-2006, 01:47 AM
Hi Glo,

Did you know Islam endorses moderation?

Qur'an 2:143 And thus we have made you a nation of balance and moderation...

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said "This religion is easy. No one becomes harsh and strict in the religion without it overwhelming him. So fulfill your duties as best you can and rejoice. Rely upon the efforts of the morning and the evening and a little at night and you will reach your goal." (Sahih Bukhari)
An excellent explanation of this hadith is found here.

He also said, "Beware of extremism in religious matters..." (Musnad Ahmad)

And in the hadith provided by samobosna96, he said "act with moderation."

The key point to note here is that moderation and extremism is not defined according to the whims of the human being. They are defined according to the Qur'an and the Sunnah. So moderation is following the Qur'an and the Sunnah and abiding by the laws and limits set by them, while extremism is in violating or exceeding these limits.

I hope this helps.

ps. Ruling on chess:

06-14-2006, 05:19 PM

I's just like to add to above posts that if you actually look at islam, it is not extreme, but rather lies in the middle. People often say Islam is extreme, meaning it is very strict and has a lot of rules we have to pray so mnay times we have to fast give charity grow beards wear scarves etc etc, but if you think about it in religion there are two kinds of extremes

There's one kind of extremism in religion where a person will go to a mountain in the countryside and stay there for nearly all his life and not get married or have a family, constantly do dhikr, praising Allah and not wasting his time on anything to do with the world, he'll eat little, and live in extreme poverty not wanting to waste money on himself, thinking this life is nothing

Then there's the other kind of extreme, on the other side of the scale/spectrum, where people are totally opposite and don't care about religion/god/anything spiritual. They get on with life going college,thn university, getting a job,making money, having a family, making more money etc etc but not once thinking and pondering on their existence and how they came to be, rather they have no care for it, or have no time for it. This is probably the category most people in the west fall into (I apologise if you feel it is a poor generalisation but i think it's quite correct based on conversations i've had with most people). Lol funny how most non-muslims accuse us of being too extreme when they are themselves :D

Now Islam is in the middle. We don't exclude the dunya- the materialistic world, nor do we go into too much extreme. We get married have children, are meant to get involved iwth the community we live in, are meant to maintain family ties, be a mercy to our neighbours, meet our brothers and sisters, get a job, earn lawful money to provide for family and charity etc etc the middle path

The analogy i suppose would be of a driver on the motorway to a destination, ie London. To get to London he needs to look ahead onto the road and try and reach there. But on the way he'll need to make use of the mirrors to aid his journey. Now if he was to ignore looking ahead onto the road, and instead looked just at the side-mirrors for the whole journey, he would ultimnately crash. In Islam London is our heaven, and the side mirrors is the dunya, we use it to fulfill our needs, but if we become too engrossed in it we will ultimately lose :brother:

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