Refrain from engaging in any transactions

Q: The National Bank of Egypt issues investment certificates (Group C). This certificate is bought from the bank and the person draws each month on all the certificates and the winner receives a large sum of money. The certificate owner has the right to redeem it at any time. What is the Shari`ah ruling on this huge prize given to the winner?

A: If the reality is as you have mentioned, this transaction is a kind of Maysir (gambling) (Part No. 13; Page No. 302) which is one of the major sins. 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. Shaitân (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allâh and from As-Salât (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain? Those involved in this transaction should repent to Allah (Exalted be He), seek His Forgiveness, abstain from that sin and get rid of its gains, may Allah forgive them. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.