Fatwas on Lottery
Q1229: What is the ruling in the matter of selling and buying lottery tickets? And what is the view if any prize is won in the process?
A: Buying and selling lottery tickets are not valid. The person winning the prize should not take possession of it, nor is he allowed to receive it.
Q1230: What is the ruling of buying tickets in the name of ‘social welfare gifts’ which are distributed among people?
A: There is no shar‘ī objection to publishing and distributing tickets for collecting people’s contributions and using them in charity and encouraging the contributors through stipulation of drawing lots. Also, paying for such tickets with the intention of participating in charitable matters is no problem.
Q1231: A person offered his car for sale by way of lottery. It works like this: Those willing to take part in the draw buy the ticket for a certain amount. After the specified period is up and the target money achieved, the draw takes place. The holder of the winning ticket would own the car. Is this way of selling the car permissible in the Islamic law?
A: There is no harm in selling the car to the holder of the winning ticket, in such a way that the deal is struck after the time of the draw. However, taking possession of, and using the money paid by the other people who took part in lottery is unlawful and considered as ill-gotten property. Accordingly, it should be returned to them.
Q1232: Is it permissible to sell bonds destined for collecting people’s charitable donations with the intention of making a draw at a later date, then some of the money collected would be distributed among the participants as gifts and the remaining proceeds are dedicated to projects of public benefit?
A: Naming this work as “selling” is incorrect. However, there is no harm in distributing these bonds in the avenues that serve charitable causes. It is permissible to encourage potential donors by promising them prizes by way of a draw provided that people obtain these bonds with the intention of taking part in charitable causes.
Q1233: Is it permissible to buy lotto tickets, noting that the company running the enterprise are privately owned and 20% of its profit goes to women’s charitable institutions?
A: Lottery tickets have no lawful monetary value and the ruling of gambling instruments is applied to them. Therefore, it is not permissible to sell or to buy one. Also the money obtained by the winners as a prize is not ḥalāl.
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