Powerball lottery – and the Islamic view

How the Powerball rules were tweaked to make the game an even bigger ripoff


We have the best collection for utilitarian value of the Islamic teachings.  Suggested reading by the Muslim Times’ Editor: Gambling: A Correlation between the Holy Quran and Science

Source: LA Times

Powerball fever has gripped the country, as one might expect with a jackpot of $1.5 billion at stake in Wednesday’s drawing.

Newspapers, online sites, and TV broadcasts are brimming with reports of massive sales and hopeful players — The Times website, latimes.com, has run 18 posts about the lottery just since Jan. 10, when the last drawing failed to produce a winner and drove the jackpot to this record level. Powerball officials in the 44 states that participate in the game are quoted expressing astonishment at the size of the jackpot and the nationwide frenzy it has induced.

That last bit is the cynical one. Powerball officials can’t be surprised; they changed the rules last July precisely to produce this outcome — a huge pot, and a stampede of buyers.

The tweak was simple, but deliberate. For each $2 entry, players select five “white” numbers and a single “red” number. At each drawing, five numbered white balls and a red ball are picked. Match all the whites and the red, and you’ve won the jackpot. Match only the whites, and you’ve won the much smaller second prize; only the red, and you’ve won $4, which you’re likely to convert into another pair of tickets.

The rules change increased the white numbers to 69 from 59 and decreased the red number to 26 from 35. The effect was to decrease the chance of winning the jackpot from 1 in 175.2 million to 1 in 292.2 million. The chance of winning that $4 in chump change was increased to 1 in 92 from 1 in 111.

Read further

We Question The Lottery?: Lottery is a form of gambling, so why are Muslims desperate to play?

Source: Rediscover Islam for yourself

  1. What does Islam says about National Lottery?
  2. But why Allah has forbidden Gambling?
  3. What about selling National LOTTERY Tickets?
  4. What does Judaism and Christianity say about the Lottery/ National Lottery?
  5. Isn’t it true that ALLAH chooses the National Lottery Winners?
  6. Many Muslim Country including Pakistan and Egypt have National Lottery.
  7. All the Money is going to charities and other good causes. It’s a donation rather than Gambling.
  8. I’m hardly a practicing Muslim anyway: I do not pray or fast.
  9. One more sin will not harm me?

What does Islam says about National Lottery?

Lottery is a form of gambling and as such is haram in Islam. All forms of gambling: staking money on card games; horse racing; gambling machines etc. are all forbidden in Islam. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was against any form of gambling. All the companions of prophet (SAW) against any form of gambling. The four jurists declare that any form of gambling is strictly prohibited, and whomever gamble in any way are committing a major sin. All this is based on strong ayah (verse) in the Holy Qur’an where Allah SAYS:

O who you believe! Intoxicants (e.g. alcohol) and gambling and idols and (lottery by) arrows are an abomination of Satan’s work, so avoid them so that you may get salvation. Satan’s only desire is to create among you enmity and hatred by means of intoxicants and gambling and stop you from praying and remembering Allah. Will you not then stop? ” (TMQ Sura Ma’idah 5:90,91)

There is also a hadith in Bukhari, where the prophet says that anyone who even asks someone to come gambling should immediately give charity as compensation for inviting to a bad action.

But why has Allah forbidden Gambling?

1. Gambling is addictive and many people stake their hard-earned wages in forms of gambling and lose their wealth and even homes, while their families go hungry. This leads to many social ills, including the break up of families, and Islam is about building families and providing for them, not neglecting them and destroying them.

2. In all forms of gambling, including the National Lottery, only a very small proportion of people wins. The majority is losers. In effect gambling takes money from the vast majority of people

3. Intense jealousy begins as losers look enviously at the winners. This causes hatred among people, and Islam is about creating love and brotherhood not, not hatred.

4. Gamblers spend much time and effort in dreaming ” what I would do if I won a million”, longing and wishing that time and effort could be better spent in looking after their families and remembering Allah.

5. Islam wants you to rely on ALLAH and earn your income with your feet firmly planed on the ground, and not rely on dreams and the National LOTTERY! This is a form of minor SHIRK (relying on other than ALLAH)

6. Allah is our creator and He knows the best, and in his wisdom He has made all forms of gambling forbidden for us and as Muslims we place our trust in Him.

What about selling National LOTTERY Tickets?

Shopkeepers or any persons selling items for use in gambling, which includes lottery tickets, are committing a major sin. This is from the Islamic Fiqh (juristic) ruling that “that which leads to haram is itself haram.”

What does Judaism and Christianity say about the Lottery/ National Lottery?

The Methodist Church has slammed all forms of gambling which includes the Lottery, as harmful instruments of the Devil. They base this on the verse” nor do anything whereby thy brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak”(Romans 14:21) arguing that gambling harms society and so must be shunned. However as seem quite prevalent within the Christian church a lot of principles are being compromised on, and you will find the Most churches actually allow gambling: the roman Catholics even allow bingo to played within their institution Judaism is split over it’s verdict on the Lottery. The majority rabbis say that it is permitted. Of those some say that, although permitted, a gambler is not suitable as witness, nor his charity accepted.

Isn’t it true that ALLAH chooses the National Lottery Winners?

As Muslims we believe that nothing happens in the universe without the will of Allah. His knowledge covers everything: He knows the past, the present and the future. Therefore, He knows who will win all national lotteries and He knows when you and I will die. But He does not force anyone to do the forbidden or the good. He tests you to see what you would do under certain circumstances. But it is you who, out of your will, and freedom of choice, decide to spend £1 or $1on a national lottery ticket, and not on your family etc. And it is you who must pay the price on the day of judgement for the decisions you made on Earth (as indeed we all will).

Many Muslim Country including Pakistan and Egypt have National Lottery.

Muslim does not decide on what is haram (allowed or forbidden) on the basis of what happens in Muslim countries. Our right or wrong comes directly from the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. In Pakistan government has not implemented Shari’h (ISLAMIC LEGAL SYSTEM). That does not mean it is now Islamic to live without Shariah. Similarly in Egypt, the government allows nightclubs and nearly naked belly dancers. This does not mean that they are also accepted in Islam. Indeed they are not!

All the Money is going to charities and other good causes. It’s a donation rather than Gambling.

First of all only 25%-28% of the lottery money goes to *good causes*. 50% goes on prizes (so a few individuals become millionaires) 12% is tax (so the government gets it) 5% goes to the retailers (so the shopkeepers get it) and the 5% goes to Camelot (so they can line their pockets) As you can see only a quarter goes to good causes and they include art galleries, museums and charities. Secondly in Islam you are not permitted to do a forbidden act even it leads to some good. The rule of FIQH states “the ends do not justify the means”. Would you sell drugs to finance the building of a mosque? Finally, to donate some money to worthwhile causes a rewarding act. And there are many good Islamic charities around, and the National LOTTERY IS NOT ONE OF THEM!

I’m hardly a practicing Muslim anyway: I do not pray or fast. One more sin will not harm me?

You cannot be more wrong. Anyone committing a sin irrespective of how sinful he already is is harming himself. Every sin and every good deed will be accounted for on the Day o judgement. The more sins you stop committing the greater you win the battle for your soul. It IS WRONG FOR ANY MUSLIM to ever fill that he is too much of a sinful person for Allah to ever forgive him. On this subject Allah says” Were the son of Adam to come to me with sins reaching up to the sky I would still forgive him” Make that change from this moment. Ask for Allah’s forgiveness and start practicing.


Suggested Reading

Gambling: A Correlation between the Holy Quran and Science


2 replies


    My interpretation of “Haram” in Islam.

    If Citizen still follow the ultraconservative view of Islam, Christian and Jews , they say; Lottery is a form of gambling and as such is prohibited or Haram.
    They( Jews, Christian and Muslim) also discriminate against Gay-Lesbian–or the right of gay-lesbian- They reject the right of gay-Lesbian.

    These ultraconservative view are lack of knowledge, they still live in era-primitive or stone ages.

    Conversely, Liberal scholars from Islam, Christian and Jews believe that as long as that lottery has more benefits for society and less harm, is allowed by any religions.

    People only spend a small money-$.2.00,-will not harm his family, but will be multiply benefits for community such as;
    helping many students–so, they can get a good education and good job later to support his family.–help poor people–create more jobs–create more revenue for Government–and create more rich people, etc.

    The true definition of “Haram” is every things that harm people will be prohibited;
    For example. If Muslim eat rice to much, or drink coffee to much will be “haram’ because it will harm your health.

    The same thing with alcohol. Allah say in Al Quran, if you drink a little bit and bring some benefits for your health will be permitted.

    ” 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”. QS 2;219.

    It is very obvious that Allah and prophet say in Al Quran; if there is some benefits will be permitted–but do not drink to much, will harm you!
    Allah’s laws is logic laws—not dogma.

    So, we, educated Muslim who does not live in the dark ages–lack of knowledge or science–we live in 21st Century should not follow the ultraconservative scholars interpretation of Islam from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Isis, etc.They are showing a bad image of Islam. They are wrong side.

    Ultraconservative scholars feel proud to uphold the ancient Islamic tradition 1400 years ago such as;

    1. Women have to wear Hijab, Burqa, Veil.
    2. They advocate not to eat meat that slaughtered by non Islam.
    3. They advocate eat “Halal food”
    4. They advocate Bank Islam.
    5. They advocate Islamic State, Syariah States.
    6. They reject the system Secular_democracy.
    7. They forbid marry with non Muslim.
    8. They forbid non Muslim to to be employee in Bank Islam, Airline etc
    9. They forbid non Muslim to join army, Police, and to hold a important position in Government.
    10. They advocate to execute the sentence of flogging, beheading, cut off hand at front public square.

    Liberal Muslim want to reform the old interpretation of Islam to modern interpretation.May Allah guide us to the right path of Islam.

    Was Salam

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