Q: Please, Your Eminence, be advised that we proposed a charitable project of issuing
a card for the handicapped people,
which is a cheap plastic card that enables its carrier to have a fixed discount from the charitable people who own utilities, hospitals, shops and restaurants. The main part of the subscription fees goes to the account of the Charitable Saudi Institution for Caring for Handicapped Children. This project will be supervised by (Part No. 14; Page No. 11) the institution; while the rest of the fees will be spent on the salaries of employees, mail, printing, making the cards and so on.The institution welcomed the idea, due to the financial support it will provide In sha’a-Allah (if Allah wills), which will help them carry out their humane and charitable aid to a dear category of our society: the handicapped children.As the institution wants to know the ruling on this, and in order to make all our actions in accordance with the instructions of Shari`ah (Islamic law) and the way of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), we present this issue to you so that we might know your opinion, which we are going to follow In sha’a-Allah.
It is impermissible to issue such a card or subscribe to it, as it entails uncertainty and risking the money. The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited Gharar sale (fraudulent transaction where details about the sold item are unknown or uncertain), because the subscription fees might be more or less than the mentioned discount. It is also known through observation that the discounts promised to the holders of such cards are not real, to the extent that if you bargain with the seller, you might get a larger discount. Thus, it also entails consuming money in an unlawful way. (Part No. 14; Page No. 12) Allah (Exalted be He) prohibited this, as He says,
And eat up not one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, deceiving, etc.)
If you want to be charitable to the mentioned people, it should be through lawful ways, as Allah is Pure and He, therefore, accepts only that which is pure.