We are trying to arrange a Carnival with different games to collect funds to build a new masjid, Inshallah. Is it Islamically permissable to have:
1. a raffle for prizes?
2. play ‘bingo’?
3. play ‘wheel of fortune’?
Answered by: Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf
In the name of Allah. the Inspirer of truth.
Any game that involves paying something upfront to buy a ticket and then only one person wins is not permissible. It seems like the activities you have mentioned fall into this category.
Besides the fact that these games should not be promoted, the children taking part do not take them to be lawful elsewhere either.
On the other hand, if there is an entrance fee to such an event and each person is given a ticket, then there is a lucky number drawn out at the end and the person with the winning number is handed a prize, this can not be considered completely unlawful, since they are paying to take part in the program. However, the intention of the individual will play a big part here.
There are many other ways to do raise funds. You could have various items that for sale at increased prices. For instance, there were some people selling cookie tins worth a dollar for $5.00. People were buying them knowing that that the money is for the masjid.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf