Can lottery funding be obtained from the national lottery funding to build an Islamic centre for the benefit of the community bearing in mind that the funding has changed hands. Also can funding be obtained to pay an individuals salary?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.
Allah Most High says:
“They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say, in them there is great sin and some benefit for men. The sin is greater than the benefit.” (Surah Baqarah: 219)
Gambling and taking part in National Lottery is without doubt unlawful and sinful. There is no need to go into details of the unlawfulness of gambling as this is not the issue in question here.
The funds that go to good causes from the income generated by the National Lottery is haram and by merely changing hands would not come under the term tabdeel-e-milk (change of ownership). The money that is given to organisations who then distribute it amongst the community etc are merely agents for the National Lottery organisation, hence it is still called National Lottery funding. Therefore Islamic organisations should avoid using these kinds of funds as the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allah is pure and accepts nothing but what is pure.” (Sahih Muslim: 500)
However if the funds were transferred to an organisation by the National Lottery Organisation and they then become the owners of the fund and have their own criteria for funding, then this would indeed be considered tabdeel-e-milk and therefore these kinds of funding may be aquired by Islamic organisations.
Some scholars have allowed using unlawful money for charities in general, such as building roads, constructing community centres for the poor and financing other public-welfare projects. (Fatawa Rahimiyya, Vol 3, P260)
In the books of jurisprudence it is stated that if one has money, which was acquired through interest (or other unlawful means), it will be necessary to give it away to the poor with the intention of removing the unlawful money from one and without the intention of reward. (Fatawa Hindiyya Vol 5, P349)
In conclusion, due to the fact that there has been no tabdeel-e-milk it will not be permissible for Islamic organisations to obtain these grants and funding. The level of poverty, which may have according to some scholars permitted the use of such funds, does not exist in the communities in the UK. Therefore it would not be lawful to obtain grants or funding from the National Lottery or such other organisation that provide funding from these kind of sources to pay a salary or to pay for a community center.
Only Allah knows best
Darul Ifta, Birmingham