Prize Draws if the Tickets are Free

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Daruliftaa.com
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Could you tell me if its haram or halal to enter in prize draws? And if it makes any difference whether you have to pay for a ticket or it’s a free entry.

ANSWER

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

If one has to pay in order for one to be included in a prize-draw, then that is, without doubt, gambling, hence unlawful. Gambling is defined as “Ownership of wealth with a risk of loss (tamlik al-mal alal mukhatarah)” (Ahkam al-Qur’an, 2/11), hence, paying for a ticket and entering a prize-draw is undoubtedly unlawful and sinful.

However, if entry into the prize-draw is free and no money is demanded, then that would not constitute gambling, hence permitted. The reason for this is that one is not placing any wealth at stake in order to obtain a prize or award.

It should also be noted that at times there may be no ticket or charge for entry, but the charge for other things such as call-charge, postal-charge, etc are greatly increased in order to facilitate the acquisition of the prize. If that is the case, then it will also be a form of gambling hence unlawful. For more details, you may read the earlier comprehensive answer titled “Fiqh of Gambling”.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

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