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Life and disability insurance

Fatwaa ID: 1339

Question:
Salam Alikom,
I am a 34 widow with 8 and 5 year old kids. I am training in medicine at the US. I just want to ask if it is islamically allowed for me to do life and disability insurance to secure my kids, since I am there only provider. JAK

Answer:
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

Sister in Islam,
We take note of the details of your query. May Allaah Ta’aala make it easy for you and grant you comfort and happiness. May He make your children the coolness of your eyes.

All forms of conventional insurances are impermissible due to the many haraam elements found therein. This prohibition includes life insurance and disability insurance. Remember, Allaah Ta’aala is your security. Just as He is taking care of them now, He will also take care of them in your absence. Place your trust upon Allaah Ta’aala. He will not let you or your children down. Do your part through permissible avenues and leave the rest to Him.

And Allaah Ta’aala Knows Best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
askthemufti.us

11/23/1444 AH – 06/12/2023 CE | 404

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


There are three prohibited elements found in conventional insurance:
i. Gambling:
In the cited example, if A takes out an insurance policy, and pays a monthly premium, there is a possibility that he may not meet up in an accident. In that case, the insurance company benefits from the monthly premium. If he does meet up in an accident, the insurance company makes a payout. The company will lose out. At the time of entering the contract, the possibility of losing one’s money or gaining is possible. This is clearly gambling which is expressly prohibited in the Qur’aan. Allaah Ta’aala says:

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِنْ نَفْعِهِمَا
Translation: They inquire from you in regards to wine and gambling. Say: In both there is great sin, and some benefits for people. And their sin is greater than their benefit.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, v. 219)

ii. Interest:
In the above example, if A takes out an insurance policy, and pays a monthly premium, and thereafter meets up in an accident, the insurance company will make a payout which may be more than the monthly premium paid by A. This is clearly interest which is expressly prohibited in the Qur’aan. Allaah Ta’aala says:

الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لَا يَقُومُونَ إِلَّا كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا فَمَنْ جَاءَهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ فَانْتَهَى فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَمَنْ عَادَ فَأُولَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ (275) يَمْحَقُ اللَّهُ الرِّبَا وَيُرْبِي الصَّدَقَاتِ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ (276) إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ (277) يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ (278) فَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَإِنْ تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ (279) وَإِنْ كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَى مَيْسَرَةٍ وَأَنْ تَصَدَّقُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ (280) وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا تُرْجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ (281)
Translation: Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, “Trade is [just] like interest.” But Allaah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allaah. But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] – those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.
Allaah destroys interest and gives increase for charities. And Allaah does not like every sinning disbeliever.
Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakaah will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.
O you who have believed, fear Allaah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers.
And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allaah and His Messenger. But if you repent, you may have your principal – [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged.
(Surah Al-Baqarah v. 275-281)

Sayyiduna Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallaahu ‘anh) narrates,

لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم آكل الربا وموكله وشاهده وكاتبه
Translation: “Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has cursed the one who consumes interest, the one who pays it, the one who witnesses it and the one who records it.”
(Abu Dawood 3333, Nasaai 5105, Muslim 1598)

iii. Uncertainty:
In the quoted example, if A takes out an insurance policy, and pays a monthly premium, there is a possibility that he may or may not meet up in an accident. If he meets up in an accident, he benefits and if he doesn’t then the insurance company benefits from the monthly premium. A pays the monthly premium for an uncertain future event. This is gharar (uncertainty) which is prohibited. Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallaahu ‘anh) narrates:

نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن بيع الحصاة، وعن بيع الغرر.
Translation: “Rasulullaah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) forbade transactions determined by throwing stones, and transactions which involve uncertainty.”
(Muslim 1513)

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