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Gambling : 2nd Form

The second form of gambling is where payment is certain from one side, and uncertain from the other. The one paying for certain is actually staking his wealth, in that it may bring more wealth or it may be lost totally. This is probably the most widespread type of gambling and has many different forms.

In this category we have the prevalent forms of insurance, in that the premiums are paid for certain, whereas the return is uncertain. You may lose all the premiums you paid or may receive in return more than what you paid. This is one of the reasons why insurance has been declared unlawful by the scholars.

Also included are the various types of lotteries, raffles, and sweepstakes, where one has to pay to be included in the draw, whether this payment is in the form of entrance-fees, purchasing of tickets or any other form. The reason being is that the total accumulated cash will be distributed amongst those whose names emerge in the draw as the prize-winners, which is clear gambling. If one?s name does not emerge in the prize draw, one will be losing one?s wealth without anything in return.

Similarly, various types of crosswords and puzzles are published in newspapers and magazines, and it is advertised that whosoever solves them correctly and encloses a certain amount of money, stands a chance of winning a great prize. This is also gambling, because one is enclosing some money (even though it may be a minimum amount) so that it brings with it more or it is lost altogether. Yes, if no money was demanded to be included in the prize-draw, then that would not constitute gambling, hence permitted. At times, various teams take part in a sports tournament with each team required to pay a certain entrance-fee. Thereafter, the winning team is given a prize or a trophy purchased through the money accumulated from each team?s contribution. This is also gambling, hence unlawful. Another example is of the various types of competitions that take place regularly on the Radio, TV, etc. A question is posed to the listeners or the viewers with a promise that whosoever phones in with the correct answer and his name is drawn; he will receive a ticket for two people in such and such country, for example. Now many people think, this great offer is only a phone- call away and who knows, I may be the winner. I won't lose anything if I don't win, because I only have to call and give them the correct answer.

What these people don't realize, however, is that the charge of the call is greatly increased, in order to facilitate the acquisition of the award. So, normally the charge to make such a call would be (for example) 50 paise, whilst one is being charged 6 Rupees here. Hence, the remaining % Rupees and 50 paisa is used in the acquisition of the winners reward.

What's more, not all of the money is used in order to acquire the prize; rather, these companies who offer such competitions keep a large sum of money to themselves, and then with the remaining sum, they acquire the prize. At times, they keep all the money to themselves without even drawing the name of the winner, hence deceiving everyone.

Therefore, the above is clearly and categorically a form of gambling, and must be avoided by the Muslims. A very important aspect should be firmly understood here, that is, in order for a transaction to be considered a form of gambling, it is necessary that the money which one puts at stake is paid without any return (as mentioned earlier). Thus, if one receives the full return for the money put at stake, it cannot be called gambling, rather, it will not even classify as placing ones money at stake, because one has received the full return of one's money.

For example: If one purchased a ticket for entrance into an exhibition or bazaar, with the organizers of the event promising a prize for the holder of the lucky number on one of the tickets, then that cannot be called clear gambling, because the ticket-holder has paid in order to enter the exhibition, and he has received the full return of his money. However, if ones intention was not to enter the exhibition, rather to win the prize, then one will be indulging in a kind of gambling, though not open gambling. Another example is that of manufacturers, in order to attract customers, placing certain lucky tokens or numbers in their produced items, with the lucky winner receiving a prize. The ruling here is that if the cost of these items is similar to its cost when the prize-winning scheme is not in operation, then it would not classify as gambling.

For example: A bar of chocolate is normally sold at 15 Rupees, and the price remains the same even with the prize-winning scheme in operation, then to take part in this scheme and win the prize would be permitted. The reason being is that one has received the full return of one's money which (in this example) is of the chocolate bar; hence one is not placing ones money at stake. However, if the cost of the item is raised due to the prize-winning scheme, for example: the chocolate bar is sold at 20 Rupees, with the promise of an award for the lucky token-holder, then this would be considered gambling, because one is receiving the full return for only the 15 rupees invested but the remaining 5 Rupees is put at stake. If one did not win any prize, the 5 rupees would be lost, and in the case of winning, the 5 rupees would bring with it more than its value.

The above was a detailed explanation with regards to gambling and its various forms. As you can see, there are many ways and forms of gambling. At times, people do not even realize that they are involved in gambling and committing a major sin, hence one need to be vigilant. Gambling discourages honest labour and encourages greed, materialism and discontent. It encourages get rich quick thinking and reckless investment of God-given resources. It is (in its essence) a form of robbery, which is stealing. Each gambler wants to get the prize money for him/herself. Therefore, stay away from all forms and types of gambling. Labor honestly for productive wealth. Use your money wisely in accordance with the injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah. Don't be a loser. Don't gamble. May Allah Almighty save us all from even coming close to gambling, Ameen.

Back to Definition of Gambling

Gambling : 1st Form.