Contests Cards

In the Name of Allāh,

the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

Praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds, may the blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad, the last of prophets, on his family, and all his companions.

Resolution No. 127 (1/14) Contests Cards

The Council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, holding its 14th session in Doha, State of Qatar, on 7–13 Dhū al-Qi’dah 1423h (11–16 January 2003),

Having examined the research papers submitted to the Academy concern- ing Contests Cards,

Having listened to the discussions on the subject,


First: Definition of a Contest

A contest is a transaction based on the competition of two persons or more for realizing or performing a task against a reward (prize) or without reward (prize).

Second: Permissibility of Contest
  1. A contest without reward (prize) is permissible in all matters that are not prohibited by Shariah or lead to skipping of a Shariah duty or commit- ting a forbidden act.
  2. A contest with reward is permissible subject to the following criteria:

    1. The objectives, means, and areas of the contest should be
    2. The reward (prize) should not be resourced from all
    3. The ultimate end of the contest should be acceptable in
    4. It should not lead to skipping a Shariah duty or committing a prohibited

Third: Contest cards (coupons) in which part or all of the proceeds are used for the prize are not permissible according to Shariah because they are a kind of gambling.

Fourth: Betting between two parties or more on the result of a material or

immaterial act by any others is prohibited on the basis of the texts of the Quran and the Sunnah, which prohibit gambling.

Fifth: payment for telephone calls for participation in contests is prohibited if the amount paid or part of it is used in the prizes; this is in the forbiddance of unlawful acquisition of people’s properties.

Sixth: It is permissible for prizes offerers to gain the benefit from their com- modities promoted through permissible contests without getting any financial gain (from the contests) provided that no part of prizes’ funds comes from the contestants and that the promotion does not involve cheating, deluding, or deceiving consumers.

Seventh: Increasing and decreasing the amount of the prize by successive gains and losses is not permitted in Shariah.

Eighth: Cards of hotels, airline companies and other institutions, which entitle their holders to points leading to Shariah-acceptable benefits, are per- missible when given free of charge. If, however, such cards are given against fees, they become not permissible for involving gharar (uncertainty).


The Academy advises all Muslims to seek what is ḥalāl (permissible) in all their transactions and intellectual and promotional activities and keep away from extravagance and squandering.

Indeed, Allāh is All-Knowing.

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