|In the name of
GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
There is no other god beside GOD
Quran Forbids Lottery, Gambling, Games of Chance
I seek refuge in God from Satan the rejected.
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Question: Is buying lottery tickets or playing PowerBall or similar games permitted?
No, Islam (Submission) does not permit buying lottery tickets. In the Quran, God prohibits gambling and games of chance in very clear terms (2:219, 5:90-91).
Intoxicants and Gambling Prohibited*
[Quran 2:219-220] They ask you about intoxicants and gambling: say, "In them there is a gross sin, and some benefits for the people. But their sinfulness far outweighs their benefit." They also ask you what to give to charity: say, "The excess." GOD thus clarifies the revelations for you, that you may reflect, upon this life and the Hereafter ...
*2:219 The world now recognizes that the economic benefits from manufacturing alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs are not worth the traffic fatalities, brain damage to children of alcoholic mothers, family crises, and other disastrous consequences. Check with "Alcoholics Anonymous" and "Gamblers Anonymous" for more information. See also 5:90-91.
Intoxicants and Gambling Prohibited
[Quran 5:90-91] O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; you shall avoid them, that you may succeed. The devil wants to provoke animosity and hatred among you through intoxicants and gambling, and to distract you from remembering GOD, and from observing the Contact Prayers (Salat). Will you then refrain?
Chapter 5 verse 90 and 91 are very strong injunctions against lottery, gambling and games of chance. God calls these, "abominations of the devil". Can there be a stronger reason to avoid them? If we love God, and know Satan is our enemy (Quran 35:6), we would never ever touch lottery or play slots or gamble at a casino. It is worth noting that the strong injunction to "avoid" is used for idol worship (16:36). Gambling and the lottery are that bad. It is just not worth the damage to our souls.
As we read in 2:219, while there may be some benefit (as proponents of the lottery argue), the damage and sinfulness far outweighs any benefits. Even if one has extra money to spend, and it's not destroying a family's finances, God recommends using that money for charity (They also ask you what to give to charity: say, "The excess.") instead of gambling or the lottery.
We know that people who gamble and get drunk, usually have terrible social interaction. They are prone to arguments and fights and a few even end up killing one another. Families are invariably hurt with gambling problems, and people have ended up losing their homes and life savings in some case. It is no coincidence that Las Vegas has one of the highest suicide rates in the country.
Regardless of whether one has "a problem" or "addiction", gambling takes us away from remembering God. We're preoccupied thinking of the next bet, or how the next ticket will make us rich and solve all our problems. Instead, we should turn our focus to God Alone. Only God can make us rich or solve our problems.
[Quran 53:48] He is the One who makes you rich or poor.
Happiness Now, and Forever
[22:15] If anyone thinks that GOD cannot support him in this life and in the Hereafter, let him turn completely to (his Creator in) heaven, and sever (his dependence on anyone else). He will then see that this plan eliminates anything that bothers him.
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