Financing Islamic Projects with Lottery Funds

27th August 2016

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Question: Can Big Lottery funding be used to support community-based activities like parent/toddler groups, parenting programmer in a Masjid or Madrasah setting or for an Islamic welfare project?

الجواب حامداً و مصلياً

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


From the Islamic legal perspective, lottery funds fall within the scheme of gambling which Allāh Almighty explicitly prohibits in the Holy Qur’ān.[1] The Holy Qur’ān describes the earning of gambling as rijs (impure). The mainstream scholars of Islām prohibit utilising impure wealth for general Islamic welfare projects because Allāh Almighty only accepts that which is pure. Ibn Ābideen Shāmi rahimahullah, a renowned Hanafi jurist, explains the ruling of all unlawful income that they must be either returned to the source from where they were obtained otherwise disposed of by giving it away to the most destitute people (without the intention of the reward).[2] This was mentioned to differentiate between giving charity and disposing of wealth. Charity brings reward in return which is only possible through lawful income whereas disposing of the unlawful wealth (to the neediest) is not rewardable at all. Some scholars have permitted utilising unlawful income like lottery funds to finance general non-Islamic welfare projects.[3] But for Islamic welfare projects, it won’t be permissible.


[Allãh Knows Best]



Written by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed

Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam

JKN Fatawa Department


[1] Sūrah Maidah 5:90

[2] Al-Shāmi Durrul Mukhtar wa hashiyah Ibn Abideen, Book of Zakāt, Bāb Zakāt al-Ghanam, p 218 vol 3

(قَوْلُهُ: كَمَا لَوْ كَانَ الْكُلُّ خَبِيثًا) فِي الْقُنْيَةِ لَوْ كَانَ الْخَبِيثُ نِصَابًا لَا يَلْزَمُهُ الزَّكَاةُ؛ لِأَنَّ الْكُلَّ وَاجِبُ التَّصَدُّقِ عَلَيْهِ فَلَا يُفِيدُ إيجَابَ التَّصَدُّقِ بِبَعْضِهِ

Al-Shāmi Durrul Mukhtar wa hashiyah Ib Abideen, Book of Hadhr wal Ibāhat, Fsl fil Bai, p 553 vol 9

لَوْ مَاتَ رَجُلٌ وَكَسْبُهُ مِنْ ثَمَنِ الْبَاذَقِ وَالظُّلْمِ أَوْ أَخْذِ الرِّشْوَةِ تَعُودُ الْوَرَثَةُ وَلَا يَأْخُذُونَ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ الْأَوْلَى لَهُمْ وَيَرُدُّونَهُ عَلَى أَرْبَابِهِ إنْ عَرَفُوهُمْ، وَإِلَّا يَتَصَدَّقُوا بِهِ؛ لِأَنَّ سَبِيلَ الْكَسْبِ الْخَبِيثِ التَّصَدُّقُ إذَا تَعَذَّرَ الرَّدُّ

[3] Shaykh Khalid Saifullah Rahmāni, Kitābul Fatāwa, p. 308, Vol 5