By His Eminence Shaikh Ahmed al Khalili, Grand Mufti of the Sultanate — Contests are permissible in Islam provided that they contain nothing that contradicts the provisions of the Islamic Law (Sharia). Islam urges the Muslims to compete in good and righteousness, Allah the Exalted says: (Pouring forth with a fragrance of musk. To that [wine of paradise], let the competitors compete). However, the means used in competitions should be lawful ones. An instance of haram (unlawful) sort of competition is the kind in which each contestant pays a certain amount of money and the aggregate sum collected from all the contestants is awarded to the winner in the end, this falls in the category of gambling and is rejected and prohibited (haram) in Islam. Allah the Exalted said in the Quran: (O you who believe! Alcohol, gambling, (sacrificing for) idols, and divining of arrows are only an abomination (of Satan’s work…)). In order to ensure fair impartiality and fair judgment the panel overseeing competitions should not include any of the contestants.