Praise be to Allaah.
Competitions – sporting or
otherwise – in which competitors pay money then the winner takes all the
money, or a prize is bought for him with it, are haraam, and it is not
permissible for the Muslim to take part in them or to approve of them, or to
help with them in any way. There is no exception from this prohibition
except competitions which involve training for jihad for the sake of Allaah,
or which encourage people to seek knowledge and refute the specious
arguments of the mushrikeen and prove the falseness of their shirk.
Based on this, the kind of
competition mentioned in the question is haraam, and it is a kind of
gambling and betting which are haraam.
al-Nasaa’i (3585), Abu Dawood (2574) and Ibn Majaah (2878) narrated that the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There should
be no (money) prizes for competitions except in archery, camel-racing and
horse-racing.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
These three are all skills
used in jihad. Hence some scholars added to these three everything that
helps in jihad and spreading Islam, such as competitions in (learning and
memorizing) Qur’aan, hadeeth and fiqh, in which it is permissible to offer
Shaykh Sayyid Saabiq (may
Allaah have mercy on him) said:
It is not permissible to
bet in any case where money is offered by all, so that the one who wins will
take all the bets, and if a person loses he will lose to his companions,
because this comes under the heading of gambling, which is haraam. End quote
from Fiqh al-Sunnah (3/373).
Shaykh Muhammad ibn
‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
We have noted recently that
many young people form sports leagues for various games, either belonging to
a club or at the local neighbourhood level. Each team pays a certain amount
of money, and one of the teams does not pay anything, and the organizing
team buys the cup and prizes, and the other teams play for these prizes. The
winning team gets the cup and the other prizes are distributed to the first
place winners and others. Please advise us, may Allaah reward you.
If the prizes are given by
someone who did not take part in the competition, such as someone who was
not one of the competitors, if he pays a sum of money to the winner, then
this does not come under the heading of gambling which is haraam.
But if the prize is given
by each competing team, e.g. each team pays some money and it goes to the
winning team, then this is gambling which is haraam, because Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe!
Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al‑Ansaab
(stone altars for sacrifices to idols etc) and Al‑Azlaam (arrows for seeking
luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s (Satan’s) handiwork. So
avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful”
Similarly, if there are
three teams and two teams pay but one does not, and the prize is taken by
the winning team, this is also haraam, because the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There should be no (money) prizes
for competitions except in camel-racing, horse-racing and archery.” So the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated that giving
prizes is not permissible except in these three cases, and that is because
they are things that have to do with jihad for the sake of Allaah. And
Allaah is the Source of strength. end quote.
And Allaah knows best.