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Life Insurance Permitted in Case Of Need In Islam

The below-simplified version of the article is the conclusion of the 74 Page report on Insurance by Dr. Jamaal Zarabozo on Life Insurance and the Extent to which it is Permitted in case of need.

A special sort of insurance contract is life insurance. A competent fiqh ruling necessitates an examination of how insurance works in general and life insurance in particular. If the outcome of that analysis is that life insurance is prohibited, it is then possible to assess whether need or need may override the prohibition. This necessitates a thorough knowledge of the Islamic concepts of need (dharoorah) and need (haajah). The next step is to consider the many scenarios in which life insurance might be required. These were the methods performed in this study to get a proper judgement about life insurance and the extent to which it is allowed in a case of need and Allah knows best.

Many characteristics are shared by all or most humans, maybe as a result of their innate inclination. Dread of the unknown when it comes to one’s financial well-being is one of these big fears; for many, it is possibly the most terrifying fear. Attempts to overcome such worries might lead to irrational conduct, such as buying lottery tickets on a regular basis when one can barely feed one’s family.

Many characteristics are shared by all or most humans, maybe as a result of their innate inclination. Dread of the unknown when it comes to one’s financial well-being is one of these big fears; for many, it is possibly the most terrifying fear. Attempts to overcome such worries might lead to irrational conduct, such as buying lottery tickets on a regular basis when one can barely feed one’s family.

For example, al-Bukhari and Muslim record on the authority of Saad ibn Abi Waqqaas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated, ك نَّ ِ ن إ أ ذر ك ت ث ت ر و اء ي ِ غن أ ر ي خ ن ن ِ م أ م ُ ه ذر ت ال ة ُ ع و ن كَّفف ت ي النَّاس “It is better for you to leave your heirs well-off than to have them dependent, begging from the people.”

contemporary scholars, such as al-Sanhoori and al-Zarqa, have argued that even though insurance involves gharar, the overriding need for insurance makes such a contract permissible. They argue that insurance developed and continues to be resorted to because it fulfills a general need and is part of the public interest. Due to this overriding benefit, insurance must be considered permissible even if it is argued that it violates some of the principles of a business contract. They argue that without resorting to this type of business contract, Muslims will be forced into a situation of hardship and difficulty. This need makes it similar to a necessity that is considered permissible according to Islamic law. Al-Zarqa argues that the early respected scholars, taking into consideration the broader, magnanimous principles of the Shariah, stated that the droppings of livestock were not to be treated as impure for the people of the village and Bedouins, since there was no way for them to avoid such droppings without undue hardship.

Al-Zarqa rhetorically asks about what those scholars would say if they would today see the great need for insurance and the hardships found in avoiding it.

Al-Misri argues that those who consider insurance permissible are those that consider the economic benefits of insurance while those who consider it forbidden fail to consider those important benefits.

The idea of leaving something behind for one’s family, to make sure that they are taken care of, certainly is sanctioned in the Shariah.

As quoted earlier, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told Saad ibn Abi Waqqaas, َس ها فو َن الن ُ ف ه َتَ َك ه ْم َعاَلًة ي ُ ْن أَ ْن َتَذَر ي ري م َخْ َ َاء ي ي ْغن َوَرَثتَ َك أَ ن َك أَ ْن َتَذَر ه ي إ “No doubt, it is better to leave your children rich than to leave them poor, reduced to begging from others.” (Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

Similarly, taking care of widows and orphans is in itself a virtuous act. Al-Bukhari records: َم ل َوَسه ي ْه َّل اَّللُ َعَلي ه َص ُل اَّللهي ُسو َر َس ْه ٍل َقاَل يِف اجلَ َع ْن ن ه ي يم ي َت ل الي ُ ي َوَكاف َنا َوأَ ه َج َوَفر و ْس َطى ُ َوال ي َة هاب هسب ال ي َر ب َشا َوأَ َه َكَذا ي ة ْئًا هََم َشي ْنَُ َي ب Sahl [narrated that] the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “I and the one who looks after an orphan will be like this in Paradise,” showing his middle and index fingers and separating them somewhat.

Al-Bukhari also recorded that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ص ه َل ال ْ لي ه يم ال ي الَقائ ي يل اَّللهي أَوي ي َسب يِف ي د ي َجاه يني َكاْلُْ ي ْسك ي َواْل ي َلة َ ْرم ي َعََّل األَ ي ه
The one who looks after and works on behalf of a widow and on behalf a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah’s Cause or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all the night.” What better way to look after one’s family, orphans or widows than to make sure that they are taken care of financially. This is essentially what life insurance is all about.

Opinions of some of the scholars of India, since they live in a non-Muslim environment somewhat similar to those who live in the West. Ubaydulla Rahmani of India says similarly that insurance is permissible “when the conditions are such that there is no safety of life and property.”172 Abd al-Salam Nadwi noted the communal riots in India as a cause for the necessity of insurance.173 A committee of the Nadwat al-Ulamaa in Lucknow, India concluded in 1965 that, Taking into consideration the importance of insurance which has penetrated deep into human life, the difficulties involved in conducting business without it and especially the need to protect life and property, it seems that Islamic law provides for insurance in case of emergency. NOTE: Emergency implies the danger of unbearable loss to one’s life, property and dependents.

The purchase of life insurance is economically justified if the insured has earned income, and others are dependent on those earnings for part or all of their financial support. If a family head dies prematurely with dependents to support and outstanding financial obligations, the surviving family members are exposed to great economic insecurity. Life insurance can be used to restore the family’s share of the deceased breadwinner’s earnings.

Fiqh Conclusion:

Close inspection some of the cases seem borderline for selected individuals—where the need almost merges into a necessity. In the American environment, it is very easy to fall between the cracks and end up homeless, for example. Being homeless is difficult enough in general but it is probably extremely difficult to retain an Islamic life and faith while being homeless in the United States, as the Muslim community is not very well equipped to handle that situation. That situation can definitely put one’s life, health, and religion at risk. Concerning Muslim women, Spinner writes, for Muslim women without a place to live, particularly those who have been battered or are immigrants, being homeless can test their faith […] When Muslim women are sent to shelters that serve the general population, they are often exposed to lifestyles that challenge their faith, such as drinking, abusing drugs, eating pork and undressing or bathing in front of others.212 If, out of fear of these ever-present realities, a Muslim resorts to a life insurance policy, it is hoped that Allah will shower His mercy and forgiveness upon them.


106 Abdul-Wahaab Abu Sulaimaan, Fiqh al-Dharoorah wa Tatbeeqaatuhu al-Muaasirah: Afaaq wa Abaad (Jeddah: al-Mahad al-Islaami lil-Buhooth wa al-Tadreeb, 1993), p. 139. 107 Ibn Taimiyyah and ibn al-Qayyim, al-Qiyaas fi al-Shari al-Islaami (Beirut: Daar al-Afaaq al-Jadeedah, 1975), p. 11. 108 Al-Sanhoori is quoted in al-Dhareer, al-Gharar, p. 653. Also see al-Zarqa, Nidhaam al-Tameen, pp. 168-169. Al-Zarqa (p. 172) quotes ibn Taimiyyah who said, “If the evil of a speculative transaction is that it leads to hatred, enmity and devouring wealth wrongfully, it is known that if that evil is outweighed by some benefit, the benefit will take precedence. Such is the case with competing in horseracing, archery and camel racing. Since there is a Shareeah utility to it, it is permissible even with payment, although other such transactions are not allowed with payments.” It is generally understood that those exceptions are matters that strengthen the Muslim nation’s ability in jihad and are not simply for personal, economic benefit. 109 For a review of this argument, see al-Shanqeeti, vol. 2, pp. 585-587.

Quotes from Islamic Scholar's About Insurance

Quotes from Islamic Scholar's

✅  Life Insurance per se is not haram in Islam as you have to tie your camel – Dr. Zakir Naik

✅  Insurance is not haram as per Islam – Dr. Israr Ahmed

✅  Mustafa Ahmad Al-Zarqa, Abdelwahab Khallaf, and Monzer Kahf (among others) do permit term life insurance

Islam and Fuqaha allow us to pool the money to help – Takaful Insurance. 

Since the TAKAFUL insurance will not be available and there is no such development in the United States, therefore, as per many prominent scholars we can get life insurance to protect ourselves and our family. 

Therefore we have partnered with policy genius to provide you with the best insurance possible and it is very easy for you to get a quote, just click the button below and follow through.

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