Should I Pay Back Lottery Money?

21 May, 2021
Q As-salamu `alaykum. Brother, I have a question; my brother plays the lottery occasionally. One time he won a large sum of money from playing the lottery. But he didn't want to go claim it because he told me he owed the state some money. So, then he told me to go claim it for him and pretend I was the one who won that prize. So, I did go claim it for him, and to this day it has been in my bank account. But since I've been using some of it, does this mean I have to pay back what I used even though it's in my own bank account?


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

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

 All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

You and your brother have to get rid of this money as it was earned from lottery which is gambling, and gambling is forbidden (haram).

Responding to your question, Pprof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economics at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, stated:

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You said that the money is not yours and it belongs to your brother. If so, how come you allow yourself to use some of it? If you did this without prior permission from your brother, it is then a betrayal of trust.

If the money belongs to your brother, being placed upon his request in your account does not give you any right over it.

On the other hand, you made a lie by claiming this money in his name. This is a fraud which is punishable by law and is a sin in the Shari`ah.

Yet another point; this money is haram and your brother must give it to charity because it came from gambling (lottery). Your brother must give it to charity and you must not keep it with you because that is helping him keeping haram money.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

About Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf
Dr. Monzer Kahf is a professor and consultant/trainer on Islamic banking, finance, Zakah, Awqaf, Islamic Inheritance, Islamic estate planning, Islamic family law, and other aspects of Islamic economics, finance, Islamic transactions (Mu'amalat). Dr. Monzer Kahf is currently Professor of Islamic Finance & Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Management, Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey