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Qur’an 5:90 prohibits all games of chance and characterizes them as the “work of Satan” for cogent reasons.

First, most social evils emanate from an inequitable distribution of the national wealth, which allows some to become too rich and others to become too poor. As a result, the rich can exploit the poor. In games of chance and lotteries, there is great temptation for quick and easy gain, although such easy gain is often bad for society. If people spent 3 million dollars every week on horse races, public or private lotteries, and other games of chance, as is the case in certain countries, over the course of only 10 years, 1.56 billion dollars would be collected from a large number of people and distributed among a ridiculously small number of people. Less than one percent of the people thrive at the expense of the remaining 99 percent. In other words, 99 percent of the people are impoverished in order to enrich 1 percent.

Whether games of chance and lotteries are private or nationalized, the evil of a few people accumulating wealth at the expense of a the vast majority works with full force. This is why Islam prohibits such activities. As is the case with capitalistic insurance, games of chance bear one-sided risks. 


Senturk, Omer Faruk. “Charity in Islam” Tughra Books Press. January 2007.