Q: A certain organisation requests contribution towards a noble charity initiative. An incentive for making a contribution is an entry into a draw with the possibility of winning a lucrative prize. The organisers have made it clear that no monies from the charity would be utilised for the prizes. The prizes are sponsored independently. Is such an initiative in order?
Respected Brother/Sister in Islam
As Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh
Haamidaw wa Musalliyaa
Charity has numerous benefits and virtues in Islam and every Muslim is encouraged to be charitable. However, the combined charity and competition entry initiative described in your query is discouraged for the following reasons:
1. Such an initiative resembles a conventional ‘raffle’ type draw (which is impermissible due to gambling). Charity initiatives that resemble unlawful transactions must be avoided.
2. The model in reference has the potential to create uncertainty among people and hence lessens the abominable nature of gambling in the minds of Muslims.
3. Contribution to a noble cause should be solely for the pleasure of Allah SWT. Giving charity with the hope of some material motive is contrary to sincerity.
4. At times sponsors of the prizes may market their business interests through the charity initiative. This is undesirable.
5. The possibility of winning a prize by contributing may be considered as incentivising charity contributions which would be improper.
Accordingly, it is our considered opinion that such an initiative is not in keeping with the Islamic concept of charity and must be avoided. A charity initiative should be encouraged and driven independent of any incentives.
And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best
Shafique A Jakhura (Mufti) M.D. Mangera (Mufti)
Fatwa Dept. Fatwa Dept.