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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Q&A: Contest Entry Fees

Back in June, I mentioned that I was not sure about the permissibility of fees for writing competitions, so I wrote to IslamToday.com and received the following response:

Question:

Is it permissible to participate in writing competitions having fees? For example, each entrant pays $10 - then the money goes to award prizes to the winners of the competition.

Reasons for the fees may include:

1. Raising money for the prizes
2. To ensure that only people who are serious about the competition will participate
3. To raise money for the sponsoring organization (may or may not be a factor, depending on the competition)

Answer:

The issue is not when there is a nominal participation fee with a writing contest for administrative purposes. The problem arises when the fee makes a contribution to the prize that is awarded.

It is lawful when the prize is awarded to the winner team from an outside source. For example, if someone comes along and says that he will award a 2000 pound sterling prize to the winning individual or team, this is not gambling.

What makes it unlawful is that the people who are eligible to receive the prize – the participants or players – are the ones who are providing the money for the prize. This is what makes it gambling.

And Allah knows best.

Fatwâ Department Research Committee of IslamToday.net chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî

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2 comments:

Nicole said...

This is very good information to know. Allah yazeek al khair for asking.

Rahma said...

Jazaakillaahu khairan for getting an answer to this - it makes sense, alhamdulillaah!

This blog is maintained by Amel Abdullah, a freelance writer, editor, and Arabic to English translator.