Current Legal Issues

Lottery Tickets

These are tickets sold by companies whereby they pledge to draw the winning numbers. Whomsoever happen to have such numbers on his ticket will be declared the winner and should get a prize. This could take different forms.

(i) The aim of the buyer of such a ticket could be the possibility of winning the prize.
This type of transaction is haraam and batil without ishkal.. If the haraam act had been committed and he won, and the company happened to be state owned, the amount of the prize taken should be treated as majhoulil malik. The permissibility of having the right of disposal over such money is dependant on consulting the Marji to finding a legitimate way of making it good. If the company was private, the right of disposal over the prize money is in order. However, one should take account of securing the consent of the owners of the money, no matter whether they know the transaction is imperfect (fasidah).

(ii) Giving the money is done without expecting a return on it. That is donating it for a good cause, such as building a school or a bridge, etc., with no intention of winning a prize or making a profit. If this was the case, there is no harm in it.
However, if he won a prize, there is no objection that he received it, and could have the right of disposal over the its money, after consultation with the Marji to finding a legitimate way of making it good. This should be the case if the company was owned by the government. Otherwise, there should be no need for obtaining the permission of the Marji.

(iii) Payment of money is done by way of loan, provided that the money lent be returned in, say , six months time. However, repayment is made subject to the condition of obtaining a lottery ticket, whose value the company will pay should the participant win.
This type of transaction is haraam as it constitutes a form of usury loan.