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Islam Q&A: Health Insurance Is ‘Haraam’

Just one of many fatwas on the subject from the holy men at Islam Question and Answer:

Ruling on working in insurance companies or broker companies when insurance becomes obligatory

Health insurance is going to be compulsory for all companies and associations in our country. The insurance company will not have direct relationship with companies or associations, as there will be brokers in between, this is also compulsory. 

The question is: What is the ruling on working for these brokers? Its role is basically introducing offers to companies and individuals and dealing with claims.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: Health insurance is haraam like other types of commercial insurance, because it is based on ambiguity, gambling and riba (usury). This is what is stated in fatwas by the senior scholars. See the answer to question no. 39474 and 4210.

In Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (15/277) there is a quotation of a statement of the Council of Senior Scholars concerning the prohibition on insurance and why it is haraam:

1. Commercial insurance contracts are transactions based on probability and extreme ambiguity, because the customer cannot know at the time of signing the contract what he will give or take. He may pay one or two instalments, then calamity may strike and he will be entitled to what the insurer committed to pay. Or no calamity may happen at all, so he pays all the instalments and takes nothing. Similarly the insurer cannot know what he will give or what he will take with regard to any individual contract. In the saheeh hadeeth it says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade ambiguous transactions.

2. Commercial insurance contracts are a type of gambling, because they involve the risk of financial compensation or penalties for no offence or cause on the part of the one who is paying the penalty, or gaining without paying something in return, or paying something that is not equal to the gains. The person who is insured may pay one instalment of the insurance, then an accident occurs, so the insurer will be obliged to pay the whole amount in accordance with the insurance policy. Or no accident may occur, but he pays all the instalments of insurance and gets nothing in return. When the ambiguity becomes prevalent, it becomes like gambling, whereupon it comes under the general prohibition on gambling in the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al‑Ansaab (stone altars for sacrifices to idols etc), and Al‑Azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s (Satan’s) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.

91. Shaytaan (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allaah and from As‑Salaah (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?” [al-Maa’idah 5:90-91].

3. Insurance contracts include both types of riba, riba al-fadl and riba al-nasa’. If the company pays the customer or his heirs or the beneficiary more than the sum that he paid, then this is riba fadl; and usually the insurer pays this money to the customer some time after the contract, and this is riba nasa’. If the company pays the customer only what he paid, this is riba nasa’ only. Both are haraam according to the texts and scholarly consensus.

4. Commercial insurance contracts are a kind of haraam betting, because each party is getting involved in ignorance, ambiguity and gambling. Islam does not permit any type of betting except that which supports Islam and propagates Islam by means of proof and jihad. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) granted a concession allowing betting in only three cases, when he said: “There should be no (money) prizes for competitions except in camel-racing, horse-racing and archery.” Insurance does not come under these headings and cannot be likened to any of them, so it is haraam. 

5. Commercial insurance contracts take a person’s money without giving him anything in return, and taking money without giving anything in return in commercial transactions is haraam, because it comes under the general meaning of the prohibition in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly except it be a trade amongst you, by mutual consent” [al-Nisa’ 4:29].

6. Commercial insurance contracts involve commitment to something that sharee’ah does not make binding. If no accident happens to the customer and he does not cause any accident, then it is merely a contract with the insurer against danger on the basis that it might happen, in return for money that the customer pays to the insurer, and the insurer does not do anything for the customer, so it is haraam. End quote.

Secondly: The fact that the state makes insurance compulsory does not make it permissible; rather the burden of sin is waived from the person or company who is obliged to do that. As for the broker company which is doing this work by choice, it is guilty of sin.

The same applies to the person who works in the insurance company or broker company; he is doing this work by choice, but this work is not permissible for him, because it is directly helping in sin, and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment” [al-Maa’idah 5:2]

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (15/251):

Firstly: Commercial insurance of all types is haraam because it involves ambiguity, riba, uncertainty, gambling and consuming people’s wealth unlawfully, and other shar’i reservations.

Secondly: It is not permissible for the Muslim to get involved with insurance companies by working in administration or otherwise, because working in them comes under the heading of cooperating in sin and transgression, and Allaah forbids that as He says: “but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment” [al-Maa’idah 5:2]. End quote.

And Allaah knows best.

So Muslims will be exempted from mandatory coverage, just like the Amish, Christian Scientists, inter alia.

From pages 273-4 of the now passed Senate bill (a pdf file):


—In the case of an individual who is seeking an exemption certificate under section 1311(d)(4)(H) from any requirement or penalty imposed by section 5000A, the following information:

(A) In the case of an individual seeking exemption based on the individual’s status as a member of an exempt religious sect or division, as a member of a health care sharing ministry, as an Indian, or as an individual eligible for a hardship exemption, such information as the Secretary shall prescribe.

By the way, if these groups can get an exemption on the grounds of their personal beliefs — why can’t Catholics, especially as this bill allows for the federal funding of abortions?

Indeed, shouldn’t everyone who doesn’t approve of abortion or any of the other provisions of the bill be exempted no matter what their official religion?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, March 22nd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

25 Responses to “Islam Q&A: Health Insurance Is ‘Haraam’”

  1. jobeth says:

    So I get my choice? Islam, Christian Science…or Amish?

    I’ll take Amish…the only sincere faith I see in that list.

    Seriously, I can see an uptick in the enrollments of these and other far out denominations by those who want to skirt the new system.

    As to Catholics…or Baptists or others who are pro life…they don’t count. They only revere Jesus and His teachings. They don’t count. (/sarc)

    • JohnMG says:

      I heard that Buckwheat of Little Rascals fame is taking advantage of this in order to shelter his residual earnings. He converted to islam and is now known as………..

      Kareemov Wheat

    • proreason says:

      “Kareemov Wheat”

      now, THAT’s funny

  2. betscon says:

    Is this true? Not sure what is up and what is down this morning in our new country? If Muslims can exempt themselves from mandatory insurance purchases can I exempt myself on the grounds I support the Constitution?

    • Right of the People says:

      Only if we can get common sense ruled as a religion.

      The guvmint would probably rule that it would be a cult not a religion as it isn’t something they believe in or even believe that it exists.

  3. BillK says:

    I suspect that ccording to the Federal Government, Catholicism isn’t really a religion, it’s a “hate group.”

  4. GetBackJack says:

    It’s forbidden by my religion as well.

    The Faith of my Fathers.

    The Constitution of the Republic.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    Call me an Infidel and put me on that damn list if Mooselimbs get cut a huss.

    “This is the first time in my entire adult life that I am ashamed of my country.”

    • jobeth says:

      Gosh, how I love this site!

      I had absolutley NO idea what in the heck you were talking about.

      I looked it up and got an education!

      LOL…Thanks LD.

      I are a hole bunch smarter than I used to be now.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      My pleasure to hep edge-u-makate ya.

  6. Dontmindme says:

    Seems to me this is a violation of equal protection. Why should they have an out because their religion says no when yet my conscience says the same thing, not to mention the Constitution.

    And yes, the Amish are exempt from SS and Medicare taxes…..

  7. Sirpigsalot says:


    I second that. Great website. I saw your link today while catching up at Breitbart’s and the owner/moderators and members here have produced good works.. Plenty of learning materials and resources.

    This is great because to win against the enemy is to know thy enemy. Both Jihad Watch and Atlas do great work as well and I am no stranger to the so-called “Religion of Peace”, but your layout and citations are easily accessible and fresh. I think I’ve found a new home.

    • JohnMG says:

      Welcome to ya’, Sirpigsalot. Steve runs a first-class operation and a tight ship.

      Stick around.

  8. Sirpigsalot says:

    BTW, re this Obamacare crap. Hugh Hewitt is tearing up the airwaves tonight and is promoting to take the fight to the Court, in addition to ramping up identifying state district conservative rep’s for the upcoming November congressional campaign elections. Wants to use the blow back energy to overtake the House and Senate and then go after this mealy mouth vermin occupying the White House.

    go to radiotime.com and then type in Hugh Hewitt. His show will be running for another two hours.

  9. Sirpigsalot says:

    Thanks JohnMG. Semper Fi back to ya. Nam era vet 71-75 MOS 2514/0311

  10. Sirpigsalot says:

    You know, all of the realities back then with the anti-war riots, hippie movement, black panthers, MLK marches and our college campuses being overran by commies. We are now witnessing the end results.

    The freedom loving people and majority in this country just got crapped on in a bad way by this bunch of losers and it’s time to take off the gloves. I’m packed and ready. Talk to ya later.

  11. MinnesotaRush says:

    Whatha?!?!? Another ass kissin’ contest at the WhiteHouse???

    Oh yeah .. there’s Jackson in the 3rd row up.

    Or was that butt kissin’???

    Oh well .. you get the point.

  12. Mithrandir says:

    Actually, there are many tenants of Islam that are admirable and I find myself agreeing with them more and more.

    NO!~ Not the beheading in the name of God stuff, as they would gladly behead me. But their fundamental opposition of liberalism–which they totally reject, and so do I.

    It is too bad Islam can’t just be a peaceful religion, and is not capable from separating itself from radicalism.

  13. canary says:

    Obama is waiting to sign the bill because the Dems are doing their stay up all night changes they’ve been doing. It will be totally different than the bill that was passed.

    A Presidential Executive Order is nothing but lip service, and won’t stand in court such as this bill shows tax-payers will go to Planned Parenthood and such, and they will be able to use the money on abortions because abortions are not illegal.

    Subtitle D—Improvements to Medicaid Services
    Sec. 2301. Coverage for freestanding birth center services.
    Sec. 2302. Concurrent care for children.
    Sec. 2303. State eligibility option for family planning services.
    Sec. 2304. Clarification of definition of medical assistance.

    I really like the way the Obamies used “sect”, instead of “religion”, to give religion’s no rights. But, on the other hand….a “sect” would be easy to join.

    I would guess it’s pretty simple and cheap to start a non-profit sect. When scum artists & perverts can become licensed reverends for $25. How does Reverend Nobama. LC#666 sound.

  14. canary says:

    I had an unpleasant experience with a very rude scary veiled muslim women yesterday. The women are just as rude as the men muslims. They are angry people, who do not like Americans, but like Obama they do everything to run us over.

  15. RWGinger says:

    Does this also apply to any insurance? Car insurance?
    Are these muslims driving around with no car insurance?

    • rkbrumbelow says:

      Most states allow for a bond to be placed with the state. For example if you state has a minimum insurance requirement of 25k/50k/25k like Texas, you can instead place a surety bond with your county comptroller of 55k in stead. That bond then is used in place of insurance. This bond should be in compliance with Islamic law.

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