Lets say you where shopping in some store one day, once you've arrived at the tills to pay, the operator says congratulations there is nothing for you to pay, as a form of promotion or marketing campaign the company is holding.

Is this considered gambling or is unlawful?

I couldn't find similar questions anywhere, all I found was these QAs (here, here, here, here, here, here and here) which are in relation to lottery/gambling/paying more than what the product is worth to raise the price of the reward.

In this scenario the consumer is not being charged more than what the item is worth but may visit this store instead of the one across the street because of a chance of winning that reward, is this considered gambling considering he needed to purchase the item any ways?

NOTE: There is no doubt in my heart that gambling is Haram, but my issue is with understanding whether this is considered gambling or what is the definition of Gambling.

  • 2
    As far as I'm aware, gambling in islam is when someone who stands to lose something depending on the outcome of an uncertain event also stands to gain something depending on the outcome of the same uncertain event (I don't remember the concise way it is usually phrased, but this is the gist I think), so a give-away for ordinary customers without their having to pay specifically to take part in the give-away is allowed. I'm pretty sure I saw fatawa to that effect too, but don't have the time to dig them up, so maybe this is enough of a lead.
    – G. Bach
    Oct 16, 2016 at 17:59
  • @G. Bach, is this (islamqa.info/en/14220) what you where referring to?
    – Aboudi
    Oct 16, 2016 at 18:26
  • That sounds about like what I remembered.
    – G. Bach
    Oct 16, 2016 at 21:59

1 Answer 1


The first part is from my answer to Are the prizes we win from buying things halal? Ordinarily, since there's no entry fee, it's not gambling. One fatwa writes:

... if entry into the prize-draw is free and no money is demanded, then that would not constitute gambling, hence permitted.
Darul Iftaa

And other fatawa are quoted in the question.

As for deliberately going to the shop in order to win a prize, Islam Q&A quote Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen as saying:

... the customer should not buy the product in order to win the prize. ... This is not permissible, because it is a waste of money ...

The fatwa concurs with this opinion and explains it's up to the individual to recognize whether or not this is happening:

... he is the only one who knows what he feels in his heart; no other human being can know that.

So you need to decide: are you buying groceries in order to enter a prize draw (in which case it would be regarded as an entry fee), or are you buying groceries in order to own groceries?

Another Islam Q&A fatwa says: Gambling means that the person does not know whether he will gain something or lose something. There's no chance of losing if you're buying groceries for the purpose of owning groceries.

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