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Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds. He legislated laws with perfection and excellence. He has laid the principles in financial transactions and others to be followed. May His peace and blessings be upon the noble messenger, his household, his companions, and all those who follow them with good deeds.

“Competition” in Arabic language is “Al-musaabaqah”, or “al-sabq”, which means to be ahead in a race (competition) and other similar situations.

However, “alsabq” also refers to that which is sought after by participants in a competition. The word “Al-musabaqah” and its related component words, carry the meaning of "competition" in English language. "Competition" refers to the activity of doing something with the goal of outperforming others or winning something.

Competitions in Islam can be divided into three categories:

The first category: is the competition which may involve giving prize and award to the winner or not. This kind of competition is permissible by the consensus of the Islamic juristic scholars. Such as the competitions in horse race, camel race, and archery. The prophet(peace be upon him) had said:

{لا سبق إلا في خف أو حافر أو نصل}.

[There is no award (in a competition), except in a horse race, camel race or archery]. (Recorded by Abu Dawood 3/29, Ibn Hibban 10/544, and Al-Bayhaqi 4/91).

The second category: is all competitions that may cause a Muslim to be oblivious to Haraam, or distracted from Waajib. This type of competition is totally prohibited by the consensus of the Islamic juristic scholars, whether it involves awards giving or not.

The third category: is all the competitions that are beneficial and may bring out the beauty of Islam to the people.

Hence in the coming paragraphs, we will try our best to discuss the comprehensive type of permitted contemporary competitions;

Dr. Sa'd Ibn Turki Al-Khathlaan has stated some types of permitted contemporary competitions in his famous book tittled: " Fiqhu-l-Muamalaat al-Maaliyyat al-Muasirah". Among of which are as follows;

1 . Quran and Sunnah competitions, and cultural competitions. This type of competition is not absolutely permitted except with two conditions;

a . The competition should not involve any payment by the contestants.

b . If the competition involves prizes, there is nothing wrong with that, unless the reward is from the contestants.

2 . Incentives given or prizes that are with some goods by marketing stores to attract shoppers. There is nothing wrong in this, if the goods are sold at market price, because it is in fact a concession from the seller for some of his rightsA commodity worth ten riyals, for example, instead of making it nine riyals, he put with it a gift of one riyal, Since it does not apply to the gambling's principle, because the buyer in this case will either earn gain or safe from lost.

3 . Incentives given or prizes by fuel shops, like handkerchiefs and so on.

Insha-Allah, this type of competition will be explained in detail in our next article. So follow up.

May Allah, the exalted grants us the understanding of His Deen, and assists us to follow His right path, the path of His prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the good and a goodly people.


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