RULING ON BUYING LOTTERY TICKETS

All praise be to Allah.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:

“Are the lotteries or raffles which some charities organize to raise funds for their activities in the educational, medical or social work fields, permissible according to sharee’ah?”

He answered:

Lotteries and raffles are other names for gambling, which is haraam according to the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and the consensus of the scholars. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al Ansaab (stone altars for sacrifices to idols, etc.), and Al Azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s (Satan’s) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.

Shaytaan (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allaah and from As Salaah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?” [al-Maa’idah 5:90-91]

For a muslim it is not permissible to engage in any kind of Gambling at all. It doesnt matter if the mony is used for charity or any such cause, gambling is prohibited in all of its forms.

The money of gambling is the kind of money to be avoided and beware of becauae it is an evil practice.

And Allaah is the Source of strength. (Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/442)

Now the question is what is the ruling on taking part in lotteries, i.e. buying a ticket and if lucky winning a certain amount if money or prizes? And spending that money on Islamic projects, on the way of Allah and help the people so that they will benefit from it.

The answer to this question is simply that this is forbidden and haram to do so. It is because the money is won on the basis of chance which comes directly under the heading of Gambling. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al Ansaab (stone altars for sacrifices to idols, etc.), and Al Azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s (Satan’s) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.

Shaytaan (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allaah and from As-Salaah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?

And obey Allaah and the Messenger (Muhammad), and beware (of even coming near to drinking or gambling or Al Ansaab, or Al Azlaam) and fear Allaah. Then if you turn away, you should know that it is Our Messenger’s duty to convey (the Message) in the clearest way” [al-Maa’idah 5:90-91]

Gambling is any transaction in which a person may win or lose and he does not know if he will win or lose is haraam. Gambling is one of the major sins and one can understand how grave the sin is by realizing that Allah mentions it in conjunction with idol worshipping, alcohol and azlaam(arrows for seeking luck or decision).

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“They ask you (O Muhammad) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: ‘In them is a great sin, and (some) benefits for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.’”

[al-Baqarah 2:219]

Allah says that you may find some benefit in them, as some one will say that they will use the money for charity but then Allah says that the sin in them is greater then the benefit in them.

This is an indication that the benefits, no matter how numerous they may be, are insignificant when compared with this great sin; the great sin far outweighs them.

And Allaah knows best. May Allah protect us.