Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
Is anyone aware of any fatāwā in regards to charity dinners and whether paying a fee in exchange for entry and for a meal can be considered charity?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for contacting Mathabah Institute.
The fees paid to enter an event and receive a meal is acceptable and a valid Islamic transaction. If such an event also helps a charitable cause, then the rewards of charity will also be obtained. The attendees support the cause, make pledges to donate, become aware of the charitable work and in some cases a portion of the fees are used for the actual charitable cause.
“The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what they have intended.” – (Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī 6953)
Only Allāh knows best
إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّةِ وَإِنَّمَا لاِمْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى – رواه البخاري ٦٩٥٣