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In the Name of God بسم الله

Sports Tournaments

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ShiaMan14

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Salaam,

What are Islamic rulings and your thoughts on sports tournaments?

In my city, various sports tournaments are held throughout the city. These are paid tournaments with an entrance fee and a winner's prize. Sports include table tennis (single & double), basketball and cricket mostly.

Let's say I can enter any one of those tournaments for an entry fee of $10. The winner's prize is $100.

Is this gambling? These are not games of chances but there is a chance to win or lose.

Acceptable?

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You're pretty much betting on yourself by paying $10 to win $100. Even if it's not a game by chance, that still doesn't make betting permissible. If your intention is to pay $10 to just have fun, than it's not haram even if you win the $100 prize, because you played not with the intention to try to win the prize. However if you entered with the intention to win the $100, it's haram. 

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28 minutes ago, Hassan- said:

You're pretty much betting on yourself by paying $10 to win $100. Even if it's not a game by chance, that still doesn't make betting permissible. If your intention is to pay $10 to just have fun, than it's not haram even if you win the $100 prize, because you played not with the intention to try to win the prize. However if you entered with the intention to win the $100, it's haram. 

interesting.

the objective of entering any tournament is to win and have fun while doing so. 

What if the intention is to have fun and win but the prize/winnings is inconsequential?

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17 minutes ago, shiaman14 said:

interesting.

the objective of entering any tournament is to win and have fun while doing so. 

What if the intention is to have fun and win but the prize/winnings is inconsequential?

Ask yourself this, if the fee is $10 to enter the tournament but it had no prize if you win, would you still pay $10 to play? If yes, than your intention is to have fun. If no, than your intention is to win that $100 and that's considered betting.

All this falls under Sayed Khamenei's rulings. Your marja may or may not differ.

Edited by Hassan-
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52 minutes ago, Hassan- said:

You're pretty much betting on yourself by paying $10 to win $100. Even if it's not a game by chance, that still doesn't make betting permissible. If your intention is to pay $10 to just have fun, than it's not haram even if you win the $100 prize, because you played not with the intention to try to win the prize. However if you entered with the intention to win the $100, it's haram. 

@shiaman14

If I remember correctly, it's permissible to gamble on a competition if you are participating in it yourself.

I will try to find the ruling as soon as I have the chance, but I clearly recall something like this coming up when I last read the gambling chapter of a tawzeeh.

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9 minutes ago, Shaykh Patience101 said:

@shiaman14

If I remember correctly, it's permissible to gamble on a competition if you are participating in it yourself.

I will try to find the ruling as soon as I have the chance, but I clearly recall something like this coming up when I last read the gambling chapter of a tawzeeh.

If that's the case than the ruling below would be permissible, but it's not because betting on yourself is impermissible.

Q:What is the ruling on billiards. What is your opinion respecting it?
A: If it is played with betting, leads to moral or social corruptions or entails association with a haram practice as per shar`, it is impermissible.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Shaykh Patience101 said:

@shiaman14

If I remember correctly, it's permissible to gamble on a competition if you are participating in it yourself.

I will try to find the ruling as soon as I have the chance, but I clearly recall something like this coming up when I last read the gambling chapter of a tawzeeh.

That is what I remember too but brother @Hassan- has a point too.

I am sure this happens in Shia centers across the US at least.

Come to think of it, a lot of them just hand out trophies instead of cash prizes.

But then, isnt betting on horses or the skill of the horses allowed? So aren't you betting on your skills over your opponents?

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Q: Is it permissible to gamble on horse races?
A: For a rider it is permissible to take part in a horse race and the rider is allowed to get the amount already agreed upon. But, if people, other than the riders, bet to take the mentioned amount, their betting is invalid and they are not allowed to take the amount.

According to Ayatullah Khamenei.

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Question: Is betting allowed on horse race?
Answer: Horse race is permissible even if it involves betting. The property gained through the betting is halal. However, betting is allowed for those who take part in the competition only not for the onlookers and owners of the horses.

According to Ayatullah Sistani.

I'm sure I've seen this rule applied generally to all other competitions as well. I will try to find that ruling.

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3 minutes ago, Shaykh Patience101 said:

Q: Is it permissible to gamble on horse races?
A: For a rider it is permissible to take part in a horse race and the rider is allowed to get the amount already agreed upon. But, if people, other than the riders, bet to take the mentioned amount, their betting is invalid and they are not allowed to take the amount.

According to Ayatullah Khamenei.

The horse riders do not pay to take part in that race, in which it won't be considered betting, but if the horse riders do put money to enter the race and sayed khamenei really allows it than that contradicts the ruling above that I put.

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Just now, Hassan- said:

The horse riders do not pay to take part in that race, in which it won't be considered betting, but if the horse riders do put money to enter the race and sayed khamenei really allows it than that contradicts the ruling above that I put.

Dont the owners of the horses pay the riders and also pay to enter the race?

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5 minutes ago, Hassan- said:

The horse riders do not pay to take part in that race, in which it won't be considered betting, but if the horse riders do put money to enter the race and sayed khamenei really allows it than that contradicts the ruling above that I put.

"The agreed upon amount" exactly describes the situation brother @shiaman14 is referring to- in that it is a pooled amount of money that all racers are trying to win. This is what the concept of betting on horse-races is based on.

And games like billiards and chess are forbidden in themselves, because, as the ruling says, they are considered 'moral and social corruptions.' There is no contradiction.

Edited by Shaykh Patience101
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3 minutes ago, Shaykh Patience101 said:

"The agreed upon amount" exactly describes the situation brother @shiaman14 is referring to- in that it is a pooled amount of money that all racers are trying to win. This is what the concept of betting on horse-races is based on.

And games like billiards and chess are forbidden in themselves, because, as the ruling says, they are considered 'moral and social corruptions.' There is no contradiction.

The objective of a lot of the tournaments is to establish brotherhood.

They start around 10p or so and go into the night until sehr where everyone eats, then prays Fajr and goes home.

Winning the prize money is a by-product for most people as the primary objective is competition and brotherhood.

3-years ago we had a tournament where after taking out costs, all proceeds went to a charity.

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Just now, shiaman14 said:

Similar issue is described but no real solution provided.

What I am saying is that brother @Abdul Hussain also asserts that it is permissible to bet on a skill-based competition (like a spelling bee) that you yourself participate in. 

A simple entrance fee would definitely fall into this category.

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6 hours ago, Shaykh Patience101 said:

"The agreed upon amount" exactly describes the situation brother @shiaman14 is referring to- in that it is a pooled amount of money that all racers are trying to win. This is what the concept of betting on horse-races is based on.

And games like billiards and chess are forbidden in themselves, because, as the ruling says, they are considered 'moral and social corruptions.' There is no contradiction.

Billiards are not forbidden, they are permissible. The question is, why would betting on yourself with billiards is haram, but Horse racing is not? You see the contradiction?

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6 hours ago, Hassan- said:

Billiards are not forbidden, they are permissible. The question is, why would betting on yourself with billiards is haram, but Horse racing is not? You see the contradiction?

The ruling you posted puts billiards in the same category as chess; I'm not sure we can so easily declare playing billiards halal.

A ruling which declared playing basketball with gambling haram would result in a contradiction. I don't think it's appropriate to put billiards or chess in the same category as lawful skill-based activities like math contests or 3-on-3 basketball tournaments.

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6 minutes ago, Shaykh Patience101 said:

The ruling you posted puts billiards in the same category as chess; I'm not sure we can so easily declare playing billiards halal.

A ruling which declared playing basketball with gambling haram would result in a contradiction. I don't think it's appropriate to put billiards or chess in the same category as lawful skill-based activities like math contests or 3-on-3 basketball tournaments.

Billiards, chess and horse riding are permissible for non-gambling purposes the same way basketball is. They are all catigorized as sports, I'm not sure why you're differentiating them. If betting on yourself with billiards is impermissible than horse riding should be the same, or else there's a contradiction going on.

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43 minutes ago, Hassan- said:

Billiards, chess and horse riding are permissible for non-gambling purposes the same way basketball is. They are all catigorized as sports, I'm not sure why you're differentiating them. If betting on yourself with billiards is impermissible than horse riding should be the same, or else there's a contradiction going on.

Chess is expressly haram under Ayatollah Sistani.

Horse-racing is allowed by him.

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1 minute ago, Hassan- said:

I know, but for sayed khamenei all three are permissible for fun purposes.

So let's reset - for all permissible games and sports, is it allowed to take part in paid tournaments where there is a monetary prize?

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13 minutes ago, shiaman14 said:

So let's reset - for all permissible games and sports, is it allowed to take part in paid tournaments where there is a monetary prize?

If you're paying to take part in these tournaments with the intention to win the prize, it's considered betting and haram. For example:

-you say "I bet you $10 that I will beat you in this basketball game" 

-you and your opponents team put $50 on the table, and whoever wins gets all the money.

In these cases above, they are considered betting and haram.

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Question: Is betting allowed on horse race?

Answer: Horse race is permissible even if it involves betting. The property gained through the betting is halal. However, betting is allowed for those who take part in the competition only not for the onlookers and owners of the horses.
 
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Horse riding, shooting and swimming are the "sports" you are allowed to bet on yourself to win if you are participating. This was to encourage people to participate and practice.

 

These are the 3 activities which were wajib i believe for all men to learn. Because they were neccessary for health and protection and maintaining a living. I believe some marjas have allowed you to replace riding with driving and shooting using bow with guns.

 

Double check with your local marja too be safe.

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7 hours ago, repenter said:

Horse riding, shooting and swimming are the "sports" you are allowed to bet on yourself to win if you are participating. This was to encourage people to participate and practice.

 

These are the 3 activities which were wajib i believe for all men to learn. Because they were neccessary for health and protection and maintaining a living. I believe some marjas have allowed you to replace riding with driving and shooting using bow with guns.

 

Double check with your local marja too be safe.

So if only those 3 are an exception, betting on anything else would be considered haram right?

Edited by Hassan-
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10 hours ago, E.L King said:

Question: Is betting allowed on horse race?

Answer: Horse race is permissible even if it involves betting. The property gained through the betting is halal. However, betting is allowed for those who take part in the competition only not for the onlookers and owners of the horses.
 

 

7 hours ago, repenter said:

Horse riding, shooting and swimming are the "sports" you are allowed to bet on yourself to win if you are participating. This was to encourage people to participate and practice.

 

These are the 3 activities which were wajib i believe for all men to learn. Because they were neccessary for health and protection and maintaining a living. I believe some marjas have allowed you to replace riding with driving and shooting using bow with guns.

 

Double check with your local marja too be safe.

That is the issue. If we use horse racing as the example, then it would be qiyas to apply it to all sports or would it?

Or are we restricted to only horse-riding, shooting and swimming as they are considered 'sports'?

@Hassan-   @Shaykh Patience101

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To complicate matters further:

1) Paid tournament with prize-money

2) Paid tournament with no prize-money

3) Free tournament with prize-money

4) Free tournament with no prize-money

I am guessing all of the above have different rulings.

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So what @repenter is saying is any activity or sport that is necessary for health and protection is permissible to bet on yourself, so does that mean even martial arts, swimming, weight lifting, sprint racing and etc are all permissible aswell to bet on yourself?

Edited by Hassan-
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1 hour ago, Hassan- said:

@shiaman14 that's what I don't get either, why are some sports halal to bet on yourself but other sports like billiards is haram.

It wasnt considered sports 1400 years ago. It was considered means of war, survival and necessity for hunting and life in general. If its considered sport today i guess is irrelevant as driving, shooting and swimming are still essential today, specially in times of war.

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