The ruling regarding winning a hajj or `Umra trip in some competitions | The official website of Sheikh Muhammad Ali FERKUS
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Thirsday 19 Al-Muharram 1446 H - July 25, 2024 G

Fatwa: 781

Category: fatwas about hajj

The ruling regarding winning a hajj or `Umra trip in some competitions

The question:

Some media institutions organize seasonal competitions in which the winner gets the complete sum for performing hajj and `Umra. So, what it is the ruling concerning taking part in such competitions? Moreover, the asked questions may be related to movies, sports games, music or other things. What is the ruling of going to hajj or `Umra through winning in such competitions?

Can the same ruling be applied to each kind of competitions which are related to many fields of knowledge: like knowledge related to Sharia and knowledge related to worldly subjects or else? We hope to deliver us a detailed answer and May Allah reward you with good.

The answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

We should distinguish between the religious competitions in which there are pecuniary rewards given by the rulers, a charitable organization or by charitable persons, and the competitions diffused by media institutions.

The first example of competitions are organized according to the purpose of the Legislator (Allah عزَّ وجلَّ) which consists in being prepared as regards faith: learning Qur’an and Sunna, learning scientific matters related to Sharia; these are joined to the competitions which the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم limited by saying : “Prizes are allowed only for racing camels, or horses or shooting arrows”.(1), that is to say, riding horses, camels and archery, and anything which is related to the material preparation among the means of jihad in the way of Allah for strengthening the power of the Muslims. Prizes in such things are valid (permissible), as both preparations (material and faith-related preparations) are a requirement and a purpose by the Sharia, because they are means for a purpose supported by the Sharia, as “The means take on the same ruling as their aims”.

Therefore, the licit rewards which are given by the donors to the winners, in order to reach this purpose, is absolutely permissible, whether it is for a hajj or a `Umra or other things without any embarrassment.

As for the competitions diffused by media institutions like newspapers, journals, magazines or else, it is not permissible to participate in them, because they include gambling. The participant in such competitions pay money, even a little amount, in order to buy the mass medium, while the media institution gets money and incomes by promoting such competitions.

On the other hand, the aim of the Legislator (Allah عزَّ وجلَّ) is not reached by such means which, on the contrary, go against it. In fact, many aspects of obscenity, nudity, temptation are embodied during the course of these competitions by diffusing films and spreading musical instruments and music, and other manners that go against our true religion, even though we can find some valid competitions, they are submerged in a corrupt environment, as if there is an imposed will by this media means to destroy the Islamic values and exchange them for the ignobility of the occidental society’s values in order to separate religion from the social life, and this, under the influence of secularity that the Islamic Nation undergoes nowadays, and because of the deceived people of our Islamic society.

That being said, and as “The means take on the same ruling as their aims”, it is not permissible to use the gifts and rewards given in such a way because of the two aforementioned reasons. Thus, the person winning gifts after knowing they are prohibited, should give them as charity or spend their value in different ways of good. In fact, one of the conditions of making repentance is to get rid of the illicit money. However, if a person performs hajj with such money, his hajj is valid according to soundest of the two opinions of scholars, and the person is not required to perform this duty, but he incurs sin because of committing something prohibited, as the side of order is separated from the side of prohibition, and this person will not be rewarded for his hajj, in accordance with Allah’s عزَّ وجلَّ saying:

﴿وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى﴾ [البقرة: 197].

The meaning of the verse:

And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness, etc.). So fear Me, O men of understanding!﴿ [Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 197].

And the Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم saying: “Verily, Allah عزَّ وجلَّ is good, and He never accepts but good”(2); whereas, before knowing its prohibition, he does not incur sin because he is excused by his ignorance, in accordance with Allah’s عزَّ وجلَّ saying:


﴿فَمَنْ جَاءَهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ فَانْتَهَى فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إلَى اللهِ﴾ [البقرة: 275].

So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Ribâ (usury) shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allâh (to judge); but whoever returns [to Ribâ (usury)], such are the dwellers of the Fire - they will abide therein﴿ [Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 275].

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers, Sha`bân 14th, 1428H.
Corresponding to: August 27th, 2007.

(1) Reported by Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “Jihad” concerning prizes (hadith 2574), At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “Jihad” concerning betting and prizes (hadith 2878), Ibn Hibbân (hadith 1638) and Ahmad (hadith 9788) from the hadith of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه. This hadith has been judged as Hassan (good) by Al-Baghawi in “Sharh As-Sunna” (5/525) and judged authentic by Ibn Al-Qattân in “Al-Wahm Wal-Îhâm” (5/382), by Ahmad Shâkir in his recension of “Musnad Ahmad” (13/232), by Al-Albâni in “Al-Irwâ'” (hadith 1506), and by Al-Wâdi`i in “Sahîh Al-Musnad” (hadith 1408).

(2) (2) Reported by Muslim, chapter of “The obligatory charity”, concerning accepting the charity which comes from the good earnings, and its growth (hadith 2346), At-Tirmidhi in “Qur’an exegesis” (hadith 2989) and Ahmad on the authority of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.