Predicting the winning horse in the race

Q: I intend, In sha’a-Allah (if Allah wills), to launch a private magazine specializing in horsemanship in which I plan to profit through advertising and the gradual increase of sales and distribution. This could be achieved through holding a weekly competition with every issue, and the expanded distribution of the magazine will justify the price of advertising.The nature of this competition can be explained as follows:- The competition is managed through a special phone number where (Part No. 11; Page No. 192) the participants' answers are mechanically answered.- A special phone number is enclosed with each issue through which the participants can participate only once.- The magazine explains the names, types, and classifications of the participating horses and the race rounds and conditions.- Each participant selects three horses in order of preference to win the competition race. If any horse withdraws, the next one fills the gap. Usually the selections depend on the history of the participating horses, taking into account the number of competitions in which a horse has won, its performance in the last competition, its health conditions, and training activity.- During the phone call, the participant registers his participation number, then he selects from the participating horses according to the information given.- The participant will, In sha’a-Allah, complete his registration in only a few seconds.- The winning participants are drawn electronically after feeding in the results of the competition.- There will be ten valuable prizes awarded each week. (Part No. 11; Page No. 193) May Allah grant us success. We wish Your Eminence to clarify for us whether this competition is legally permissible or not. Moreover, I seek your advice since I wish to strictly follow what Allah likes and what pleases Him.

A: The mentioned competition is a form of prohibited gambling, Allah (Exalted be He) says: O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al-Ansâb, and Al-Azlâm (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitan’s (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Thus, this competition is one form of devouring people's money unjustly. You have to keep away from such competitions. Whoever gives up anything for the sake of Allah, Allah will compensate him with something better than it. He (Exalted be He) says: And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.