Ustaz: Haram to play chess, checkers, Snakes and Ladders

PETALING JAYA: Penang-based preacher Ustaz Shahul Hamid Seeni Muhammad has spoken out against the use of mobile devices, such as the iPad, for gaming and games such as Snakes and Ladders.

The preacher was mired in controversy recently for asking Muslims not to patronise hair salons run by non-Muslims, seen in footage seemingly released years ago.

In the Youtube video, he was asked for his view on providing children with an iPad until they were engrossed with it and do not want to read the al-quran and hadis: “It’s a sin! Cannot.”

“Playing game, from what I understand, cannot play, the hukum (rule) is haram. Play checkers, cannot, play chess, cannot, play Snake and Ladders, cannot,” he said.

Shahul also disapproved of asset-accumulation games such as Saidina and Monopoly, and spoke out against Solitaire, a pre-installed game on most computers which involves playing cards, stating that it can lead to gambling.

He also highlighted how schoolchildren spent hours on multiplayer-shooter games in cybercafes: “Cannot play! The hukum (rule) is haram.”

Shahul also spoke about how online betting snared even the very young, teaching them how to gamble.

“Isn’t there any good engineer that can make games that are more Islamic in nature? Then, even if they’re playing game, at the same time, they can understand Islam better,” he said, approving of such knowledge-oriented games and citing the example of Typing Tutor, which hones typing abilities.

The video, which was published onto Youtube today by an account named News Feed, is believed to be footage recorded at an earlier date.
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