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Taking Part in a Competition Depends on how it is Run

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
I have participated in a national competition by buying a copy of the questions against quarter a JD, which goes for supporting and rehabilitating the disabled persons. Having answered the questions correctly, my name was included in the prize drawing coupons. Fortunately, I was amongst the winners. Is it permissible that I take that prize, knowing that it is a donation made by sponsors and not from the price of the questions` copies?


Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

If an outside party and not the participants themselves donate the prizes, then it is permissible for the winners to take them. However, if they were from the money paid by the participants or part of it, then that is forbidden, because it is gambling.

In principle, competitions that are based on the possibility of material loss or profit are a sort of forbidden gambling, which is prohibited by texts from the Quran and the Sunnah. Scholars have also considered it amongst the 

major sins, as reflected in the following verse, "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}. And Allah knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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