Answered by: Maulana Burhaan Rahman
I have purchased a bata shoe gift voucher from an e-commerce site for $2000. Using this card I can buy $5000 value products from the bata store. But this card has some limitations like, I should buy products within 1 month, Discount products cannot be purchased using this card etc.
My question is, is this type of purchase come under gambling or it is permissible?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Firstly we must understand what a gift voucher is. A gift voucher is not a form of currency as per se nor does it represent some liability to pay someone back or a debt etc. Bata is one of the most trusted shoe brands across the globe and a Bata voucher has an expiry date of ‘one month’ (or can change when stated) and therefore cannot represent a debt or act as a form of currency or selling this card/using this card to get a bigger gift card is not deemed to be riba (usury).
Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said:
الذَّهَبِ بِالذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ بِالْفِضَّةِ وَالْبُرِّ بِالْبُرِّ وَالشَّعِيرِ بِالشَّعِيرِ وَالتَّمْرِ بِالتَّمْرِ وَالْمِلْحِ بِالْمِلْحِ إِلاَّ سَوَاءً بِسَوَاءٍ عَيْنًا بِعَيْنٍ فَمَنْ زَادَ أَوِ ازْدَادَ فَقَدْ أَرْبَ
“(Forbidden is) the sale of gold by gold, and silver by silver, and wheat by wheat, and barley by barley, and dates by dates, and salt by salt, except like for like and equal for equal (to stay free from uncertainty)”. [Muslim Hadeeth no: 1587]
So understanding from the hadeeth that money exchange for money is haram. There is no riba (usury) and also no gharar (uncertainty) in the transaction you stated in the question. So as seen in the hadeeth, it is permissible to upgrade/sell a gift card that upholds more value. Therefore, a gift voucher is a product that can be purchased at any cost that is mutually agreed upon which is similar to purchasing any other product/commodity.
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Maulana Burhaan Rahman
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham