Accepting Lottery Money


Is it permissible to accept money from the lottery?


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Gambling and taking part in the lottery have unfortunately become prevalent practices within the Muslim community. Some Muslims have become so accustomed to gambling that they don’t even realize that they are committing a grave sin, and that their earnings are unlawful (haram).

Allah Most High says:

“They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say in them there is great sin and some benefit for men. The sin is greater than the benefit.” (Surah al-Baqarah, V. 219)

The above verse did not clearly prohibit gambling, thus many Companions (Allah be pleased with them), understanding the tone of discountenance, abstained from consuming alcohol and engaging in gambling. However, some were still involved in these two acts until Allah Most High revealed the following verse:

“O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan’s handwork: Abstain from such (abomination), that you may prosper. Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: Will you not then abstain?” (Surah al-Ma’idah, V. 90-91)

The prohibition of intoxicants and gambling is clearly and openly mentioned in the above verse. It has been declared unlawful with great emphasis, as many scholars of Qur’anic exegesis point out.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “…Whosoever says to another: “come lets gamble” should give in charity (m: regardless of whether one actually took part in gambling or otherwise, thus merely calling another person towards gambling is blameworthy).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 4579)

Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas (Allah have mercy on him) states:

“There is no difference of opinion between the scholars regarding the prohibition of gambling.” (Ahkam al-Qur’an, 1/329)

The harms of gambling and lottery are open and clear to those who reflect. It is a means of creating monopolies and economic unbalance in the society, something which Islam rejects. It’s a form of backdoor taxation, and leads to many other evils in the society.

Therefore, it is totally unlawful to take part in any form of gambling including the national lottery. Similarly, it will be unlawful to derive benefit from and use any money that was received through the lottery fund, for (firstly) the money is filthy and impure, and (secondly) it is a form of supporting the lottery system.

The ruling on money gained from playing the lottery is similar to that of all other unlawfully acquired money, in that it should be given in charity to poor people without the intention of receiving reward, as explained in many earlier posts.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Question #: 5044
Published: 16/06/2004

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