Intending Charity and Winning Lottery: Permissible?

13 January, 2019
Q As-Salamu `Alaikum. Actually my friend is giving charity to a hospital. This hospital is opening the door for charity but at the same time there is something at the end to be won by somebody (a house), she does have the good intention to give charity but at the same time she is encouraged by the bonus to be earned. So then she has both intentions. Is it considered haram?


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:

1- A Muslim is ordained to pay charity bearing in mind that no amount of money spent would be accepted by Allah without a good and pure intention.

2- It is permissible to pay charity for a hospital as long as you do that for the sake of Allah.

3- However, it is not accepted to pay a charity for two purposes; getting the reward of charity from Allah Almighty and gaining a prize from the organization that receives this charity.

Regarding your question about your friend’s charity, Dr. Ahmad Taha Rayyan, Head of Usul Al-Fiqh Department, Faculty of Shari`ah, Al-Azhar University, states:

Charity is very important in Islam. But to pay charity, or indeed to do anything, there is a condition without which Allah Almighty would not accept any of our deeds. This condition is the good pure intention, i.e. the purpose of the deed should only be to please Allah Almighty and gain His reward.

A Muslim, man or woman, should not intend to get any worldly benefit from his/her good deeds. Making this point clear, Allah the Exalted says in the Qur’an, {And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion.} (Al-Bayyinah 98:5)

As for the Sunnah, Umar ibn Al−Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) saying, “Deeds (their correctness and rewards) depend upon intentions, and every person gets but what he has intended.“‘ (Al-Bukhari)

As for charity, it is permissible to spend it on any beneficial project especially those that help the poor, the sick, and the needy. So, there is no problem in paying charity to a hospital or any other organization that present services for the poor.

But the mistake lies in the second part of the question which is bearing double intention in that good deed. The intention of any deed must be pure, and a Muslim has to do all deeds just seeking the reward of Allah. This is because the double intention may thwart the whole deed.

Therefore, this sister is highly advised to seek another way for spending her charity other than this hospital, so that her deeds would be sincere to Allah and hopefully acceptable to Him Almighty.

Almighty Allah knows best.

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