Fatwas > Miscellaneous Fatwas (Jumada Al-Awwal) > Participation in competitions that stipulate sending coupons

(Part No. 19; Page No. 400)
Ruling on participating in competitions

that stipulate sending coupons

Q 244: Some Islamic and non-Islamic magazines and newspapers hold meaningful competitions, which include various questions that require readers to give correct answers to them to get prizes. The prizes are given to the winning participants by drawing lots. However, it is a condition of these competitions that the answers have to be sent attached to coupons that are cut out of a magazine or the newspaper, which obliges participants to buy the magazine or the newspaper to get this coupon, and they may win or lose.
What is the ruling of the Shari‘ah (Islamic law) on participating in competitions that stipulate sending these coupons along with the answers, which entails buying the magazine in order to win? Is this considered to be a form of gambling or lottery, or not? May Allah reward you with the best! I hope that you will answer mentioning the evidence and discuss it. As-salamu ‘alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)
(Part No. 19; Page No. 401)
A: This transaction is a form of gambling, because the participants may win or lose. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al-Ansâb, and Al-Azlâm (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitan’s (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Shaitân (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allâh and from As-Salât (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?
May Allah guide the Muslims to apply His Law and beware of all that He has prohibited! He is the All-Hearer, the Ever-Near.

Source: Fatwas of Ibn Baz

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