BOTB and Gambling
I have a question regarding a competition known as BOTB. A lot of Muslims are entering it and quite a few have won. Is it halal to enter, would it be considered gambling? You enter by paying a fee for a prize, the fee changes according to the prize you have entered for. The company claims this is not gambling or a raffle because you have to answer a skill-based question and whosoever is closest to the right answer will win. Here is a link to there website:
Answer: ﺑﺴﻢ اﷲ اﻟﺮﺣﻤﻦ اﻟﺮﺣﯿﻢ In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
It is impermissible to participate in BOTB because it would constitute gambling. In Islamic law, there is a maxim: “Consideration in transactions is given to objectives and meanings, not words and expressions.” (Al-Qawaaid Al-Fiqhiyyah: p. 14 [Dar At-Tirmidhi]) In essence, gambling is such a transaction rendered by two parties that makes it possible for each one of them to lose their wealth to the other. Additionally, the possibility exists of each one of them acquiring the wealth of the other, and such a transaction is prohibited according to Islamic texts (Raddul Muhtar: v. 9, p. 578 [Dar Alam Al-Kutub]). Hence, by using names such as “fees” and “prizes”, it would not take it out of the meaning of gambling.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham