Event Recap: Is funding from the lottery permissible in Islam?

Our unique webinar discussion looked at this very pressing and relevant question for Muslim-led charities.

On Tuesday 25th August, we were delighted to present to a fantastic turn-out, the latest in our online events: ‘Is funding from the lottery permissible in Islam?’

Hosted by Ayesha Tariq, guest speakers included acclaimed scholar Mufti Abdul Qadir Barkatulla. A prominent Sharia scholar with a strong background in economics and finance, he is also member of the Sharia Supervisory Committees of several Islamic financial institutions including United National Bank, Alburaq of Arab Banking Corporation London and Lloyds TSB.

Mufti Barkatulla initially graduated in Islamic Studies at the famous Darul Uloom, Deoband, India where he was also trained as a Mufti (qualified to issue Islamic authoritative edicts) in 1974.

Joining him was Mufti Faraz Adam, well-known UK-based Islamic finance & fintech consultant and head of the global Shariah advisory firm Amanah Advisors.  Mufti Faraz participates to a number of international Shariah boards and has published over a dozen research papers in contemporary Islamic Finance.

Having completed a six-year Alimiyyah program in the UK after which he went on to complete the Iftaa course in South Africa. He holds a Master’s Degree in Islamic Finance, Banking and Management at Newman University, UK in 2017 as well as various and extensive Islamic finance and Independent finance qualifications.

We were delighted to also be joined by Liz Ellis, Policy Project Manager

Business Innovation and Insight and Chris Mason, Engagement Manager for England, London and South from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, who explained the grant funding process and where lottery funding comes from.

Also joining the panel was Sado Jirde, Director of Black South West Network. After obtaining a BA in financial management and business information technology at Gloucestershire University, Sado started working at BSWN in 2007. She has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of racial inequality at strategic and policy levels regionally and nationally, as well locally in Bristol. With over 10 experience working in the Civil Society sector, she was awarded The African Achievers Award in 2015. She is also a member of a number of partnerships/networks, including as a member of Coalition of Race Equality Organisations (CORE).

Opening the discussion was Mufti Barkatulla , who talked extensively and openly about the permissibility of lottery grant funding for Muslim-led charities who are seeking funds to deliver good work. Mufti Barkatulla explained in depth about the fiqh around halal and haram and how these are linked to human action. He said, “money does acquire the attributes of human action.” and encouraged charities and community groups to not waste money or resources in their delivery of aid to help those less fortunate.

We then handed over to Mufti Faraz to give his opinion, raising valuable questions about the ethics and origins of lottery funding from an Islamic perspective and how this can be viewed in terms of the impact upon society. Discussion turned to the other funds such as waqf which can be available financial routes to charities seeking other income streams.

Liz Ellis and Chris Mason gave valuable insights into the motivations and purpose behind The National Lottery Heritage funding and the type of work and projects which can secure funds. It was particularly helpful to hear how heritage projects are viewed in terms of diverse community identities and how history, wellbeing and experiences can be honoured through charitable projects which focus on heritage. Liz talked extensively and encouragingly that “inclusion is a priority for us, especially for groups who are often not heard when it comes to heritage.”

As our final speaker, we then heard from the accomplished Sado Jirde who gave useful insights into her work in the community, the impact of National Lottery Heritage and the value of celebrating and recognising the identity and history of BAME community groups in the UK. It was heartening to hear from Sado about the positive impact of grant finding and what it has allowed BSWN to achieve in delivery.

Closing the discussion, AWN founder Ayesha Tariq took questions from the floor, including whether charities which receive National Lottery funding are required to publicise this on their website. The final audience poll showed that over half of participants felt that their opinion about lottery funding had changed and that they had learnt from the discussion.

Credit: Louise Butt (LBCopywriter: )


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