Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan
Would it be permitted to buy raffle tickets for a school charity event? Some of the tickets win prizes, and any remaining money raised from the ticket sales would be used for the school charity funds – and used to buy school equipment such as the library and playground equipment. Ultimately the intention in buying the tickets would be to support the school charity. The money raised could not be used to purchase any impermissible items, and the prizes are all permissible, as the school is in a Muslim country.
A raffle generally refers to a gambling competition in which people obtain numbered tickets, each ticket having the chance of winning a prize. This, of course, is impermissible, and one should abstain from it.
You have somehow presented an argument that, in this instance, those purchasing these “raffle” tickets are doing so intending to donate to the school and not necessarily to be entering into a competition or prize draw.
If this indeed is the donor’s intention, then he is effectively not purchasing tickets, rather he is donating. After that, receiving a ticket or receipt that may or may not win him a prize does not affect his charity, and if he wins a prize, it will be permissible.
Of course, the school must make it known to all donors that they are not purchasing a ticket to gamble or participate in a competition but donating.
And Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan received ijazah ‘ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.