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Can a store keeper use the lottery commission to pay off his rents and wages, but not for his personal expenses…..


Assalam o Allaikum
I am doing a convenience store business in Canada where lottery was already sold and tickets were sold to the customers. The lottery terminal are installed by the provincial Govt and they own all lottery sales and every month a commission approx. 5% is paid to the convenience store owner. The sales of the store for other items also improve as customers come in and play lottery and buy other stuff. If the store owner does not keep the lottery commission and give it away as charity or pay rent or staff wages but does not use it himself would it be allowed to do this business. Thanks Syed Ali


Wa Alaykumussalam

Thank you for your question

According to the famous Fatwa, one is not allowed to keep the lottery terminal but if you are bound to keep at your store then you can keep but not earn anything from it. Helping in this cause is not allowed but if you are bound and can’t reject having the lottery terminal and later gain the commission for keeping the machine, you do not become the owner of that earned money and can’t use it. Return the amount if it is possible, but if not possible then get the permission from your Mujtahid’s office and then you can pay it to the needy.

Since you have not mentioned the name of your Marja(Mujtahid) so mentioned the general ruling above, but according to Ayatullah al-Udhma Sayyid Ali Sistany and his office: You are allowed to use the money as it is from a non-Muslim(Kafir).

Question: A Muslim wins a lottery prize and then decides to donate a portion of the prize to a charitable organization. Is it permissible for that charitable organization to accept the money [or the item] and use it for the welfare of Muslims? And does it make a difference if the intention of the winner from the very beginning had been to use some of the prize for the well-being of Muslims?

Answer: If the prize belongs to those whose wealth is not sacrosanct [in Islam], it is permissible to utilize it.

Question: I work at an exchange office but they also make me sell lottery. Is it permitted to sell lottery in this case?

Answer: Buying and selling lottery tickets are not permissible. Yes, it is permissible to take part in a lottery with the intention to contribute in a charitable project such as building a mosque or a bridge not with the intention of earning a profit or a prize.

Question: [Lottery] is a well-known game in America and is the closest thing to [yanasib], if it is not exactly the same. Is it permissible for a Muslim to engage in the sale of lotteries with special machines with the justification that it is rescuing (istinqadh) wealth from the hands of the unbelievers?

Answer: If he is authorized by an established company to offer and distribute them (lottery tickets) among non-Muslims, then it is permitted and he should seize the wealth with the justification of rescuing (istinqadh) it and not with the intent of selling (the lottery tickets). Alternatively, the Muslim seller takes it (money) in return for his relinquishment of his right (over the lottery tickets), if he had any special right over them.

May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider