Using funds from Big Lottery Funding

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gra­cious, the Most Mer­ci­ful.

As-salā­mu ‘alaykum wa-rah­mat­ul­lāhi wa-barakā­tuh

Ques­tion:

  1. Q1: Can Big Lot­tery fund­ing be used to sup­port com­mu­ni­ty based activ­i­ties like parent/toddler groups, par­ent­ing pro­grammes [sic], with­in masaa­jid and Madaaris?
  2. Q2:  Can BLF be used to fund projects to go into Masaa­jid and madaaris to deliv­er the­se ser­vices to fam­i­lies?
  3. Q3: Can BLF be used for cap­i­tal fund­ing with­in masaa­jid or Madaaris like pur­chas­ing fur­ni­ture or build­ing a com­mu­ni­ty room?

(Ques­tion pub­lished as received)

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم
هو الموفق
حامدا ومصليا ومسلما
الجواب ومنه الصواب

The query was delib­er­at­ed amongst the Schol­ars at Depart­ment of Darul-Iftaa (Wifaqul Ula­ma) and the con­clu­sion reached after dis­cus­sion was as fol­lows:

In con­clu­sion, Big Lot­tery Fund­ing can­not be used to sup­port com­mu­ni­ty based activ­i­ties like parent/toddler groups in the Masjid/Madrasa set­ting. Sim­i­lar­ly it can­not be used to fund projects to go into the Masjid/Madrasa set­ting to deliv­er the­se ser­vices to fam­i­lies. With respect to using it for cap­i­tal fund­ing with­in the Masjid/Madrasa, set­ting like fur­ni­ture or a com­mu­ni­ty room, then like­wise it is imper­mis­si­ble.

  1. (Mufti) Amjad Mohammed (HA)
  2. (Mufti) Bilal Issak (HA)
  3. (Mufti) Faisal al-Mah­mudi (Canada)  (HA)
  4. (Qad­hi) Imran Sayed Falahi (HA)
  5. (Mufti) Mohammed Ash­faq (HA)
  6. (Qari) Muham­mad Shoy­aib Nur­gat (HA)
  7. (Mufti) Zakaria Akudi  (HA)
  8. (Mufti) Zubair Dud­ha (HA)

Dis­claimer: Wifaqul Ula­ma pro­vides answers as gen­er­al guide­li­nes based on known rel­e­vant mat­ters at the time, and are not intend­ed for use for any oth­er pur­pos­es (legal or oth­er­wise) with­out our speci­fic writ­ten con­sent.

The Nation­al Lot­tery was set up in the mid-1990s by the then gov­ern­ment; there­fore, it is state con­trolled. It is reg­u­lat­ed by the Gam­bling Com­mis­sion under the aus­pices of the Depart­ment for Cul­ture, Media and Sport. The Gam­bling Com­mis­sion describes itself as “an inde­pen­dent non-depart­men­tal pub­lic body (NDPB) spon­sored by the Depart­ment for Cul­ture, Media and Sport (DCMS).” The 12 Com­mis­sion­ers of the Board are select­ed by Sec­re­tary of State for Cul­ture, Media and Sport. They have a num­ber of respon­si­bil­i­ties; one of which is select­ing the organ­i­sa­tion that will oper­ate the Nation­al Lot­tery license. Cur­rent­ly, and in fact since its incep­tion, Camelot have the licence to oper­ate the lot­tery with­in the UK.

Every £1 spent on the lot­tery is dis­trib­ut­ed in the fol­low­ing way:

  1. 50p paid to win­ners in prizes;
  2. 28p given to good caus­es;
  3. 12p to the Gov­ern­ment in Lot­tery duty;
  4. 5p paid to Nation­al Lot­tery retail­ers on all Nation­al Lot­tery tick­ets sold;
  5. and 5p retained by the oper­a­tor to meet costs and returns to share­hold­ers

We will now look at each aspect from the break­down of the ‘earn­ings’ from the Lot­tery.

50p paid to winners in prizes;

It is imper­mis­si­ble to par­take in the Lot­tery as it is gam­bling and any earn­ings from gam­bling must be given to the poor and needy with­out the inten­tion of reward.

5p paid to National Lottery retailers on all National Lottery tickets sold;

It is imper­mis­si­ble to assist in gam­bling. There­fore, a Mus­lim can­not be a Nation­al Lot­tery retail­er; hypo­thet­i­cal­ly if he was he would not be able to keep any earn­ings from the gam­bling process and must dis­pose of it in the man­ner described above.

5p retained by the operator to meet costs and returns to shareholders

It is imper­mis­si­ble to be an oper­a­tor in order to facil­i­tate gam­bling.

12p to the Government in Lottery duty;

It is per­mis­si­ble to ustilise this mon­ey when it even­tu­al­ly makes its way to the con­sumer in the form of direct ben­e­fits or ben­e­fits in kind. The gov­ern­ment levies the­se charges and as a result become the own­ers of this mon­ey on behalf of the UK cit­i­zens..

28p given to good causes;

Camelot send the 28p part to the Nation­al Lot­tery Dis­tri­b­u­tion Fund on behalf of the Cul­ture Sec­re­tary of State, who over­sees the fund. This fund is then dis­trib­ut­ed by twelve dis­tri­b­u­tion bod­ies who describe them­selves as bod­ies that “inde­pen­dent­ly decide which projects have suc­cess­ful­ly applied for a grant. Each is inde­pen­dent of the gov­ern­ment but has to fol­low guide­li­nes when decid­ing who should receive Nation­al Lot­tery fund­ing.” One of them is Big Lot­tery Fund which “is com­mit­ted to improv­ing com­mu­ni­ties and the lives of peo­ple most in need with mon­ey raised from the Nation­al Lot­tery.”

The 28p is trans­ferred to depar­ments which are the appa­ra­tus of the gov­ern­ment, how­ev­er remain inde­pen­dent of it for the sake of trans­paren­cy and fair­ness. As a result the mon­ey is the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the state and it ensures through its var­i­ous bod­ies and mech­a­nisms that ‘good caus­es’ receive this fund­ing in order to improve com­mu­ni­ties.

The­se vehi­cles of the gov­ern­ment and the gov­ern­ment itself do not take own­er­ship of this mon­ey; so at best they act as agents on behalf of the Lot­tery oper­a­tor to ensure ‘good caus­es’ receive the mon­ey. As it con­tin­ues to be gam­bling mon­ey then it is not per­mis­si­be for a Mus­lim to utilise it.

In con­clu­sion, Big Lot­tery Fund­ing can­not be used to sup­port com­mu­ni­ty based activ­i­ties like parent/toddler groups in the Masjid/Madrasa set­ting. Sim­i­lar­ly it can­not be used to fund projects to go into the Masjid/Madrasa set­ting to deliv­er the­se ser­vices to fam­i­lies. With respect to using it for cap­i­tal fund­ing with­in the Masjid/Madrasa, set­ting like fur­ni­ture or a com­mu­ni­ty room, then like­wise it is imper­mis­si­ble

References

http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/Home.aspx
http://www.natlotcomm.gov.uk/index.html
http://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/funding