“Is Lottery Haram? Examining the Islamic Perspective”

The question of whether the lottery is haram, or forbidden, in Islam is one that has garnered significant attention and debate.

Lotteries, often seen as a game of chance with the promise of substantial rewards, are a common form of gambling around the world. In this blog post, we delve into the Islamic perspective on lotteries and gambling, seeking to understand the religious viewpoints and principles that shape the stance on this controversial issue.

Whether it’s a harmless pastime or a forbidden act, the topic of whether the lottery is haram in Islam is one that merits exploration within the context of Islamic teachings and values.

What is a Lottery?

A lottery is a form of gambling in which individuals purchase tickets or chances to win prizes, often monetary, through a random drawing or selection process. The concept of a lottery typically involves the following key elements:

Ticket Purchase: Participants buy tickets, which are often sold by a government agency or a private organisation. These tickets serve as entry into the lottery.

Random Drawing: At a designated time, a random drawing or selection process is conducted to determine the winning tickets or numbers. This is typically done using a randomization method such as a mechanical drawing machine or a computer program.

Prizes: Prizes are awarded to the holders of the winning tickets or numbers. These prizes can vary widely in value and can include cash, goods, services, or other valuable items.

Odds of Winning: The odds of winning a lottery prize vary depending on the specific lottery game and the number of tickets sold. Lotteries often have large jackpots with relatively low chances of winning the top prize.

Regulation: Lotteries are typically regulated by government authorities to ensure fairness, transparency, and the distribution of funds to designated beneficiaries or public projects, such as education or infrastructure development.

Five Real Time Examples on Lottery

Here are five real-time examples of lotteries:

Powerball and Mega Millions (USA): 

The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are among the most well-known lotteries in the United States. Players purchase tickets with a combination of numbers, and the winning numbers are drawn to determine the jackpot winner. These lotteries often feature enormous jackpots, with winners receiving substantial sums of money.

EuroMillions (Europe): 

EuroMillions is a transnational lottery that operates in multiple European countries. Players select numbers, and the lottery drawings determine the winners of varying prize tiers, including a multimillion-euro jackpot.

El Gordo (Spain): 

El Gordo, which means “The Fat One” in Spanish, is a famous Christmas lottery in Spain. It is known for its massive jackpot and widespread participation. The drawing takes place on December 22nd each year, and millions of Spaniards purchase tickets.

National Lottery (United Kingdom): 

The National Lottery in the United Kingdom offers various lottery games, including Lotto, Thunderball, and EuroMillions. Ticket sales contribute to funding various social and cultural projects across the UK.

State Lotteries (Various Countries): 

Many countries and U.S. states operate their own lotteries. For example, states in the USA such as California, New York, and Florida have their own lottery games, each with its own prizes and regulations. These lotteries generate revenue for state programs and initiatives.

Is Lottery Haram In Islam?

The permissibility of lotteries in Islam is a matter of debate among Islamic scholars and can depend on various factors, including the nature of the lottery and the specific circumstances. Here are some key considerations:

Gambling and Risk: Islam generally prohibits gambling (maysir) and games of chance, as they involve undue risk, uncertainty, and the potential for harm. Lotteries, by their nature, contain an element of chance, and participants risk losing their money.

Intention and Motive: Some scholars argue that the permissibility of lotteries may depend on the individual’s intention and motive. If a person participates in a lottery with the sole intention of contributing to a charitable cause or a good purpose, rather than seeking personal gain, they may view it more favourably.

Impact on Society: The impact of lotteries on society is another consideration. Some scholars argue that if a lottery serves a positive purpose, such as raising funds for public welfare, charity, or community projects, it may be more acceptable from an Islamic perspective. However, it should be transparent, well-regulated, and not cause harm to participants.

Interest (Riba): Lotteries that involve the payment of interest (riba) are generally considered haram, as riba is explicitly prohibited in Islam. Therefore, Islamic scholars may scrutinize lotteries that involve interest payments or usurious practices.

Local Regulations: Islamic perspectives on lotteries can also be influenced by local laws and regulations. In some predominantly Muslim countries, lotteries are prohibited, while in others, they are regulated and allowed under certain conditions.

Why Is It’s Haram to Gamble or Play Lottery?

The prohibition of gambling, including playing the lottery, in Islam is rooted in several fundamental principles of Islamic ethics and jurisprudence. 

First and foremost, Islam emphasises personal responsibility, accountability, and the avoidance of behaviours that may lead to harm or social disruption. Gambling, by its very nature, involves chance and uncertainty, often leading to financial losses, addiction, and social problems. This unpredictability goes against the principles of prudence and responsible behaviour advocated in Islamic teachings.

Additionally, gambling promotes wealth transfer without productive effort, which contradicts the Islamic concept of earning through lawful means (halal). In gambling, one person’s gain is often another’s loss, which can lead to financial imbalances and inequality within society.

Furthermore, Islam encourages self-discipline and self-control. Engaging in gambling or playing the lottery can lead to addictive behaviours and a lack of self-restraint, which may lead individuals away from fulfilling their religious and moral duties.

Lastly, the prohibition against gambling is based on the Quranic injunctions and Hadith (sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad). The Quran explicitly condemns gambling and intoxicants, stating that they are the work of Satan and that they cause enmity and hatred among people (Quran 5:90-91). The Hadith also reinforces this prohibition, with the Prophet Muhammad warning against gambling as a sin that leads to moral decay and harm to individuals and society.

Islamic Scholars Perspective On Lottery or Gambling with Quran and Sunnah

Islamic scholars generally view gambling, including lotteries, through the lens of Quranic principles and Hadith (the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad).

Hadith on Gambling: The Hadith literature contains numerous sayings of the Prophet Muhammad that reinforce the prohibition of gambling. The Prophet is reported to have said, “Whoever says to his companion, ‘Come, and let us gamble,’ must give alms [in charity] equivalent to a dinar (a unit of currency).” This illustrates the severity of gambling as a sinful act.

In light of these Quranic principles and Hadith, Islamic scholars generally agree that gambling, including playing the lottery, is haram (forbidden) in Islam. The harmful consequences, the association with Satan, and the clear prohibitions in the Quran and Hadith make it an activity that is discouraged and discouraged within the Muslim community. 

However, it’s important to note that views on this matter may vary among scholars, and Muslims seeking guidance should consult with knowledgeable religious authorities within their own community.

Alternate Halal Options To lottery

Savings and Investments: Rather than relying on chance, Muslims are encouraged to save and invest their money in halal ways. This can include opening a savings account or investing in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds that comply with Islamic finance principles, such as avoiding interest (riba) and investing in Sharia-compliant businesses.

Charity and Zakat: Muslims are encouraged to give to charity and fulfill their zakat obligations by donating a portion of their wealth to those in need. This not only benefits the less fortunate but also purifies one’s wealth and earns spiritual rewards.

Entrepreneurship: Starting a business or engaging in entrepreneurial ventures is encouraged in Islam. Earning a halal income through lawful business activities is seen as a virtuous endeavor.

Education and Skill Development: Investing in education and skill development can lead to increased career opportunities and income. Pursuing knowledge and skills is highly valued in Islam.

Real Estate Investment: Investing in real estate can be a halal option, provided it adheres to Islamic finance principles. Rental income from properties and real estate investment trusts (REITs) can generate halal income.

Participation in Cooperative Savings Programs: Some Muslim communities have established cooperative savings and investment programs that are interest-free and Sharia-compliant. Members pool their funds, and profits are shared based on Islamic principles.

Entrepreneurial Ventures for Charity: Muslims can engage in entrepreneurial ventures with a charitable focus. For example, starting a business that donates a portion of its profits to charitable causes can be a way to earn a halal income while giving back to the community.

Education Funds for Children: Saving for children’s education is encouraged in Islam. Setting up education funds or investment accounts specifically for this purpose is a wise financial choice.


Is It Haram To Play Lottery In Islam?

Many Islamic scholars consider playing the lottery to be haram (forbidden) in Islam. This is based on the Islamic prohibition of gambling (maysir) and games of chance, as gambling involves risk, uncertainty, and potential harm. The Quran and Hadith contain clear instructions against such activities.

Is lotto haram in Islam?

Lotto, which is another term for a lottery, is generally considered haram in Islam due to its association with gambling and chance-based winnings.

Is lottery haram or halal in Islam?

The majority of Islamic scholars and authorities classify the lottery as haram in Islam due to its alignment with gambling and the associated risks and uncertainties. However, opinions may vary, and some scholars may have nuanced perspectives on specific circumstances.

Is the Dubai lottery halal?

Dubai has its own set of lotteries and games of chance. The permissibility of participating in these lotteries can vary among scholars, but many Islamic scholars advise against playing such lotteries due to their resemblance to gambling.

Is the American lottery haram in Islam?

The permissibility of participating in the American lottery or any other national lottery can vary among Islamic scholars. However, many scholars advise against playing lotteries due to their association with gambling, risk, and uncertainty, which are discouraged in Islam. Muslims should seek guidance from knowledgeable religious authorities or scholars within their own community for specific rulings and advice.

Is it haram to accept lottery money?

Whether it is haram to accept lottery money can depend on the circumstances. If someone receives lottery winnings without actively participating in gambling or seeking them, scholars may have different opinions on the permissibility. However, if one willingly accepts such money, it can be seen as benefiting from a haram source, which is discouraged in Islam.

Is it haram to play the national lottery?

Playing the national lottery is generally discouraged in Islam for the same reasons mentioned earlier. National lotteries typically involve chance-based winnings, which align with the characteristics of gambling and games of chance.

Is lucky draw haram in Islam?

Whether a lucky draw is considered haram or not can depend on the specific circumstances and the nature of the draw. If the draw involves elements of gambling, uncertainty, and risk, it may be viewed as haram. However, not all lucky draws are necessarily haram; it depends on how they are conducted and the intent behind them. Muslims are encouraged to seek guidance from knowledgeable religious authorities or scholars regarding specific situations.


In conclusion, the question of whether the lottery is haram in Islam is a complex and debated issue. While some scholars and religious authorities assert that gambling, including lotteries, is haram due to its potential harm and addiction, others maintain that it may be permissible under certain conditions or view it as discouraged (makruh). The stance on lotteries varies among individuals and communities within the Muslim world. Ultimately, it is important for Muslims to seek guidance from knowledgeable scholars and make informed choices aligned with their personal beliefs and values, taking into consideration the ethical and religious aspects of gambling.


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