Turkey’s religious body says purchasing lottery tickets ‘haram’

Turkey’s religious body says purchasing lottery tickets ‘haram’

Turkey’s religious body says purchasing lottery tickets ‘haram’

Turkey’s top religious body, the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), has issued a fatwa on games of chance, stating that purchasing national lottery tickets are considered gambling and that it is forbidden by Islam.

The National Lottery General Directorate will hold a special draw on Dec. 31, with this year’s grand New Year’s lottery prize set at 61 million Turkish Liras ($ 15.8 million).

Answering a question on its website on games of chance, the Diyanet stated that arrangements and games which are based on luck were “gambling and haram.”

“All gambling games that are based on one of the sides winning and the other losing are deemed within the context of gambling and are declared haram [forbidden by religion]. Because while one side loses the other side wins undeservingly,” the Diyanet stated.

“The damage of such gambling is more widespread because masses participate in them,” it added.

Regarding the revenue of such games of chance contributing to the state, the Diyanet noted that some institutions and charity organizations taking advantage of the revenue from game of chances did not legitimize them or change their religious status as “haram.”

The jackpot of national lottery is especially big on New Year’s Eve in the country. A single ticket this year is sold for 60 liras (around $15.4), which lets the buyer to win the entire jackpot. With a half ticket sold at 30 liras, the buyer shares the jackpot with someone else. And a quarter ticket is sold for one-fourth of the 60 liras, at 15 liras.

Each ticket has a number on it, and for the half and quarter tickets there are two and four tickets, respectively, out there in the world with the same number.