Wednesday | 24 April 2024 | 15 Shawaal 1445

Fatwa Answer

Question ID: 1705 Category: Dealings and Transactions
Medical and house insurance

Assalam-o-Alaikum,

I am a house owner and has no mortgage or loan. For the last few years, my income is very low. The wooden houses in USA may incur heavy losses in case of fire (may Allah protect all of us). I heard some scholars that house or medical insurance is haram (if option to opt-out is available). Even in case it is mandatory, one can only get his invested amount to cover any loss that happens. I appreciate that ulema in USA are not shy of giving bold verdicts, Alhamdolillah.

However, my question is that what should a person in my situation do? If something happens to the house, I am unable to rebuild it with my finances. These wooden houses are at greater risk  of fire and other hazards. Should I sell the house and start living on rent? Even then, I know that someone else (meaning the house owner) is doing a haram act for the place where I would be living. It is just like paying someone to do the haram for you. For medical, the situation is even more difficult. I cannot rent out anyone's body. Any accident or medical emergency would mean an insane amount of loan (if they are ready to treat a person without any financial credit score or money in bank)

When I discuss these matters with the community, I find that most of the people (if not all) are getting all types of insurances. I would love to live by those fatawa. I have opted out of insurance last year. A few weeks ago, a big tree at my house fall down in a storm. Luckily it did not damage my or my neighbor property. My neighbor told me that if something had happened to his house, my house insuance would be paying him. If I dont have any insurance, I guess I would have to pay for it.  I am sure that the scholars writing those fatawa know all these problems. I am curious to know how these fatawa are practically implemented in USA by the people who wish to follow Islam. Are there some halal ways out to address these concerns?

Thanks and regards

M. Haris Rais 

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم

الجواب وباللہ التوفیق

Insurance is actually a transaction which involves interest and gambling. You may be aware of the the evil of usury that in Ahadith it has been described as worse than adultery with one's own mother.

In the Holy Qur'an, the Almighty Allah (SWT) declares war against those who deal in usury. Bcause of its ugliness and condemnation, there is absolutely no room for usury under normal circumstances

In the Holy Qur'an, the Almighty Allah (SWT) declares war against those who deal in usury. Bcause of it being loathsome and of condemnation, there is absolutely no room for usury under normal circumstances.

However, where there is legal compulsion or such incidents and accidents happen day after day, due to which one has to bear irreparable loss, therefore under such strict compulsion, and while there is no other option available without it, the scholars have allowed it only to the extent as much as absolute necessary.

It should not be difficult for you to conclude by assessing your immediate environment, your friends and family to account for the incidents of houses burned and then find out through public records how many house burning incidents had taken place in a year, in two years etc.

If the percentage of houses burned is fairly estimated, it may not even be one percent. How can this one percent be considered a compulsion. Simply because of fear and suspicion, a forbidden order can not be considered legitimate. 

In addition, it should also be kept in mind that when a person tries to avoid the forbidden by putting complete trust in the Almighty Allah (SWT), then the infinite help of Allah (SWT) assists him, and showers HIS blessings on that person. 

In contrast, when a person,  based on unfounded fears and suspicions, then as a result, some bad incidents or accidents associated with certain misfortunes confront him.

Therefore, only under a legal compulsion or a dire need, this may become permissible, otherwise dealing in usury is strictly prohibited.

A verse in the Qur’an says:

{یا أیہا الذین اٰمنوا اتقوا اللّٰہ وذروا ما بقي من الربوٰٓا إن کنتم مؤمنین ، فإن لم تفعلوا فأذنوا بحرب من اللّٰہ ورسولہ} ۔(سورۃ البقرۃ :۲۷۸ - ۲۷۹)

In the book “Ahkam Al-Qur’a” by Jassas, it says:

ولا خلاف بین أہل العلم في تحریم القمار ، وأن المخاطرۃ من القمار ، قال ابن عباس : إن المخاطرۃ قمار ، وأن أہل الجاہلیۃ کانوا یخاطرون علی المال والزوجۃ ، وقد کان ذلک مباحًا إلی أن ورد تحریمہ ۔ (۱/۳۹۸)

Aaccording to a Hadith in Sunan Ibn Majah:

عن عبد اللّٰہ بن مسعود أن رسول اللّٰہ ﷺ : “لعن آکل الربوا ومؤکلہ وشاہدیہ وکاتبہ ‘‘ ۔ (۱/۱۶۵ ، باب التغلیظ في الربا)

Per another hadith in Sunan Ibn Majah:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «الرِّبَا سَبْعُونَ حُوبًا، أَيْسَرُهَا أَنْ يَنْكِحَ الرَّجُلُ أُمَّهُ»(باب التغلیط فی الربا:۲۲۷۴)

فقط واللہ اعلم واتم