Who knew that the Islamic State had a rec room, much less a foosball table? But as with everything else the terrorist group touches, the game has its caveats. A fatwa (religious edict) stipulates that militants are permitted to spend their idle hours playing “table football” provided several conditions are met. One of those is that the little pivoting figures on the table are headless. In the words of the fatwa, as translated into English by British terrorism analyst Aymenn J. al-Tamimi, “the head is cut off from the figurines so they don’t look like statues.” The rule is an extension of a proscription in the Quran against the depiction of human figures.
Here is the fatwa in its entirety:
1. It should be devoid of gambling and included in that definition is having the loser pay to hire the game. The Almighty has said: “Oh you who believe, indeed wine, al-Maysar, stone altars and divination by arrows [an Arab pre-Islamic practice] are filth of Satan’s handiwork. Avoid them that you may have success”- al-Ma’ida 90 [Qur’an 5:90]. Ibn Abbas and Ibn Omar- may God be pleased with them both- said: ‘Al-Maysar is gambling.’ [Tafsir Ibn Katheer- 3/178].
2. That it should be devoid of statues and portraits in accordance with the strong prohibition against that. And that means that the head is cut off from the original part of the game [i.e. the head is cut off from the figurines so they don’t look like statues].
3. In it there should not be blasphemy, cursing, scorn, resentment, hatred, according to what Bukhari narrated from a hadith of Ibn Mas’ud from the Prophet [PBUH]. He said: “Vituperating the Muslim, committing injustice against him or fighting him is disbelief.”
4. That it should not be a barrier to obligatory mention of God’s name, or any obligatory act of obedience, and when you have become distracted from what is obligatory externally or internally, it is forbidden by the agreement of the ‘ulama, just as the Sheikh of Islam [Ibn Taymiyya] affirmed in the exposition of his discussion on chess and this discussion also applies to table football and whatever else corrupts the two from among contemporary games.
We warn as we warned in the ruling on playing billiards about the dimension of these matters that do not render the Muslim benefit, especially the mujahid in the path of God and what is in these things regarding wasting time and harshness of the heart. And God knows best. God bless our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions.
Although it is not mentioned in the fatwa, the decapitation of the foosball figures probably serves as a kind of practice for the real thing.
How crazy are these guys? Only slightly more so than the nutjob in the White House who insists their depraved acts are not guided by precepts of Islam.
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