Date Added : 27-10-2015

Resolution No.(138),(3/2010) by the Board of Iftaa`, Research and Islamic Studies: "Ruling of Sharia on Discount Cards"
Date: 23/4/1431 AH, corresponding to 8/4/2010 AD.

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.
During its session held on the above given date, the Board reviewed the question concerning the ruling of Sharia on buying and using cards issued by some malls which sell them to customers against a nominal price. Whenever the customer purchases an item, points are recorded in his favor and when they reach a certain number, he receives a prize or a discount.
After thorough studying and deliberating, the Board decided the following:
There are different situations as far as these cards are concerned:
1-If  they are given by the mall or the company to the customer for free in order for him to take part in prize drawing or to receive some discounts, then they are permissible. This way, they are tantamount to a promise, to cut down prices or grant prizes, made to the customer. A promise to grant a benefit is permissible provided that the mall or company doesn`t employ this as a trick to increase the prices of the products.
2-If they are paid for by the customer against an amount which is greater than the cost of processing and issuing them, or they are processed against paying an annual subscription, then this type of cards is definitely forbidden because it involves gambling. This way, the mall makes a profit out of selling them; whereas, the customer enters a gambling process, where he may win the discounts and the prizes, or nothing; because he didn`t have the needed number of points to be qualified for receiving  the benefits of these cards, or because he didn`t purchase from that particular mall. The probability which relies on chance is the forbidden gambling, which is Gharar(risk and uncertainty) that Islamic Sharia has forbidden in commutative contracts.
3-If the cards are bought by the customer against a certain amount which is only intended to cover the cost of processing and issuing them, without the mall making any profit, then this is suspicious and requires further examination. To be on the safe side, a Muslim should avoid such suspicious matters.
The above is the view adopted by the Islamic Fiqh Assembly of the Muslim World League No.(103)(2/18) and it reads: 
First: It isn`t permissible to issue or purchase the aforementioned discount cards against a fixed price or an annual subscription, because they involve Gharar; the purchaser pays money and doesn`t know what he will get in return i.e. definite loss against potential benefit. It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: "The Messenger of Allah forbade Gharar transaction and Hasah transactions."{Sahih Muslim}.
Second: If these cards are issued for free, then their issuance and acceptance are permissible, because they are tantamount to a donation or a grant. And Allah knows best.


Chairman of the Iftaa` Board, Grand Mufti of Jordan, Dr. Abdulkareem al-Khasawneh
Vice Chairman of the Iftaa` Board, 
Dr. Ahmad Hilayel
Dr. Yahia al-Botoosh/ Member
Sheikh Sa`eid Hijjawi/ Member
Dr. Mohammad Khair al-Eesa/ Member
Judge Sari Atieh/ Member
Dr. Abdurahamn Ibbdah/ Member
Dr. Mohammad Okla/ Member
Dr. Abdunnasir Abulbasal/ Member
Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalayleh/ Member
Dr. Mohammad al-Gharaibeh/ Member
Dr. Ahmad Al-Hasanat/ Executive Secretary of the Iftaa Board