The charity I work for is funded by banks and Big Lottery Fund: will my wage be halal?

Q: I have some questions regarding employment. I work in the non profit sector so for charities and community organisations. My first question is when applying to these jobs sometimes they state the funding has been granted from such and such organisation. This organisations sometimes is the Big Lottery Fund and also banks such a loyds TSB. They give grants to organisations for staff salaries and projects. If when applying this is stated to you, is the money halal for you? If it is not stated and once you start working you find out who the funder is, if the money is from such organisations, are you required to leave this job?

The second aspects of this is. I have worked in roles where you need to apply for funding. Now organisations which are muslim and non muslim both look at funding applications from banks and the big lottery fund. There is alot of funding available from them. Can you apply for funding from such organisations? I have been told that if you yourself directly apply for this funding but do not take any money directly from this then it is allowed. You can give it to other staff but not directly benefit from this. Please can you clear this up for me as alot of funding in this sector today does come from the big lottery fund and also banks and I have seen alot of muslims applying for this for projects in the community and staff salaries. There is an increase in this. The projects themselves are really beneficial to the community but I do not know if this source of funding is halal. Jazakallah Khairan

الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب

A: It is permitted to take up employment in a role that is funded by either the Big Lottery Fund or by a grant from a conventional bank such as Lloyds TSB. Non-Muslims are not obligated to follow the dictates of Sharia in their own lands and so any awards or grants made by them from both these sources are permissible to use to fund projects and staff salaries. In principle, it is also permitted to apply for such funding. However, as the origin of the funding is from the National Lottery or an interest-based bank, it is arguably bereft of any spiritual dimension and as such should be avoided if possible. Religious organisations in particular should avoid such funding. Even non-religious should not actively seek it out. Only when it is unavoidable, such as if one is employed in a community project that is wholly or partially funded by the National Lottery and one has no control over how the role is funded, should it be tolerated. Similarly, in an age of relative austerity wherein government funding has been reduced significantly, community projects of real benefit that cannot sustain themselves without such funding may also resort to such funding.

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