Q&A (Fatwa)

#168: Ruling on Lotteries



_” I wish to know the stance of Islam of *VISA LOTTERY*, is it allowed to participate in such program as a Muslim? Jazakallahu Khayra”_



Lottery is defined by dictionaries as:

_” a process or thing whose success or outcome is governed by chance.”_

If that is it, then there is no permissibility to it in Islām. That is because anything that is a gambling is not permissible.

But in the case of Visa Lotteries such as the US Diversity Visas, this ruling does not apply. This is because though the selection is based on chance, there is no investment into the scheme by applicants, therefore not been chosen does not translate into loss of investment which is the significant characteristic of Al-Qimār (Gambling) in the Sharī’a.

However, your question would return to the ruling of a Muslim traveling to live on non-Muslim countries or lands.

The Ulamā have formed a consensus that it is not permissible for a Muslim to live in, or travel to a non-Muslim country/land where he is not free to practice his Dīn or to make his Dīn apparent and manifest. But they consider it permissible for him to travel there if e can practice his Dīn and make his Dīn manifest provided that he is equipped with an Islamic knowledge that prevents him from slipping away from Islām, and strength in the Dīn that prevents him from been carried away by the temptations of the Dunya. For this reason, the majority of the Fuqaha from the Hanafī, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali schools hold that it is only permissible for a Muslim to leave to the lands of the Kuffar if he intends to carry out one of the following there:

1. Da’awah
2. Jihad
3. Seeking of beneficial Knowledge
4. Commerce

That is of course, if the conditions mentioned above are fulfilled.

Bārakallāhu fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran

15th Jumadal Ula 1438H

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