The Definition Of Gambling(,)
Every transaction that is based on one party's gain and
another's loss, or if the transaction is obscure, is called 'gambling' (,) in the terminology
of the Sharee'ah.
In Arabic, it is referred to as Qimaar and Maysir.
Take the case of two persons competing in a race on the
condition that the loser pays the winner $100; or that a person says,
"If it rains today, I will give you $100, and if it does not rain, you will have to give me $100."
Since one party gains and the other loses, it falls under the definition of gambling.
Another example is that of sealed boxes that are sold for a specific price while the contents are unknown - i.e. the sealed boxes are sold for $5 each, while the value of the contents of each box may vary from $1 to $10. As a result, the purchase of these boxes revolves around one's gain or loss being obscure (hidden) is also considered as gambling.
Gambling, therefore, can take countless different forms.
In every era and every different land gambling is practised in a variety of different
ways. A special way of gambling existed among the Arabs. There would be ten (10) people
who would each have an arrow. Some arrows had a sum specified for it while others had no
sum specified. The arrows were put together and one person picked up the arrows one at a
time while calling out one of the names of the ten (10) people for each arrow. The person
whose arrow had no amount specified was completely deprived. It was also a custom to
slaughter one camel and distribute it according to the specified amounts of the arrow. The
person who was allocated an arrow without a sum- specified, was deprived of the meat of
the camel, and was made to pay for the camel.
This particular method of gambling has been referred to in the Holy Qur'aan as Maysir and Azlaam. Maysir meant that camel that was slaughtered and Azlaam meant those arrows which were used for gambling. Besides this, other forms of gambling in business were also present such as Bay'ul Mulaamasah, and Bay'ul Munaabazah, etc. Bay'ul Mulaamasah meant that whatever the buyer touched was his for a particular sum paid before touching. Bay'ul Munaabazah meant that the buyer throws a pebble and on whatever the pebble falls, he becomes its owner, provided a specified amount was paid before throwing the pebble. All these forms of gambling were expressedly forbidden in the
Before the advent of Islaam, gambling was regarded as
great honour and means of gaining respect. To increase their honour and respect the money
earned through gambling would be donated to charity.
The Prohibition Of Gambling