Subject : Ruling on organizing a competition to increase the proceeds of the charitable bazaar
Fatwa Number : 3876
Date : 16-05-2024
Classified : Forbidden Money
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

We are an association responsible for organizing a bazaar. We have proposed the idea of announcing a prize (in the form of a car), which will be displayed at the bazaar site for a draw through ticket numbers paid for. The association sells these tickets to the public at a nominal price, and the winner of the car ownership is determined by the draw of the ticket. It is worth mentioning that the draw process is random. The charitable association organizing this aims to increase the proceeds of the bazaar in order to increase the quantity of relief materials intended to be sent to the Gaza Strip. What is the Islamic ruling on this?


The Answer :

All Perfect Praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all of his family and companions.

In principle, Sharia is of the view that competitions in which participants have the possibility of winning or losing financially, fall under the category of prohibited gambling, which is prohibited in Quran and Sunna. Besides, scholars considered it among the major sins, as Allah Says (What means): "O ye who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed. Satan seeketh only to cast among you enmity and hatred by means of strong drink and games of chance, and to turn you from remembrance of Allah and from (His) worship. Will ye then have done?" [Al-Mai'dah, 90-91].

The idea of drawing for the aforementioned prize takes the ruling of prohibited competitions, and this ruling does not change even if the prize is paid for through participants' money or donated by an external party. Further, the fact that the prize is intended for lawful purposes does not justify the means. The essence of the prohibition of gambling lies in the fact that each participant faces the possibility of either winning or losing, which is the core of prohibited gambling.

There could be a Sharia-compliant alternative to the mentioned approach, which aligns with the goal of the bazaar. This alternative could be more rewarding in The Sight of Allah, and that is by offering entry tickets to the bazaar - at a fixed price 1JD for example - which people buy as donations. They seek reward and merit from Allah, The Exalted, without seeking profit in this world, so long as there would be no draw on the sold tickets. This alternative method would provide a Sharia-compliant substitute for what was mentioned in your (Association) question. In addition, people in our country are inclined towards charitable acts, and they hasten to support and aid their brothers and sisters. Since Allah, The Almighty, Says in this regard (What means): "help ye one another unto righteousness and pious duty. Help not one another unto sin and transgression, but keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is severe in punishment." [Al-Mai'dah/2]. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also said: "If anyone relieves a Muslim believer from one of the hardships of this worldly life, Allah will relieve him of one of the hardships of the Day of Resurrection. If anyone makes it easy for the one who is indebted to him (while finding it difficult to repay), Allah will Make it easy for him in this worldly life and in the Hereafter, and if anyone conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will Conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah Helps His slave as long as he helps his brother." [Moslim].

Accordingly, organizing the above draw is prohibited and our advice is to replace the latter idea with collecting donations, which will go to the people of Gaza, may Allah Relieve them of their suffering. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.




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