I am aware that Muslims should not gamble.
What about entering a contest in which one person will be drawn at random to receive a prize? I am specifically referring to contests where no entry fee is required. The person entering the contest gives nothing - the one holding the contest gives a prize of some sort to a random person.
- in America, we sometimes have "door prizes" at parties. Often they are funny gifts or things that the recipient may not want (humorous). Or sometimes they are treats, food, etc. Whoever comes to the party is entered and at some point, the host draws names and each name drawn receives one of the door prizes. Is this forbidden?
- We also sometimes have giveaways at restaurants and other small businesses. A restaurant, for example, will say "come for dinner and enter to win a free dinner". So you fill out a form and the restaurant picks on person to receive a free dinner. They do this so that then they have your name to add to their mailing list.
- Sometimes when you join an Internet forum, the forum will say "once a month we give away something to a member". The forum then draws the name and gives that person the gift. They do this to increase membership and draw new members.
I am curious if any of these are considered gambling. I realize in some sense the person is giving something to enter - his attendance/company, his name for a mailing list, his participation in a forum. But it's not clear to me if these are forbidden.