Praise be to Allaah.
Commercial insurance is haraam, because it involves gambling
and ambiguity. The one who pays money to the insurance company is taking a
risk. Either he will lose all the money that he paid or he will take more
than that, and this is gambling which Allaah forbade in the Qur’aan
(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?”
Contemporary scholars have stated that commercial insurance
is haraam because it is a kind of gambling. It says in Fataawa
al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (15/297):
it is not permissible for a
Muslim to insure himself against illness, whether he is in a Muslim country
or in a kaafir country, because that involves ambiguity and gambling.
It is not permissible for a
Muslim to take out life insurance or insurance on any part of his body, in
whole or in part, or on his wealth, property, car and so on, whether that is
in a Muslim country or a kaafir country, because that is one of the kinds of
commercial insurance, which is haraam because it involves ambiguity and
gambling. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Insurance means that a person pays a certain amount to the
company each month or each year against an accident that may happen to the
It is known that the one who pays insurance is losing in all
cases, and the insurance company may win or lose, because if the accident is
very serious and costs more than the money paid by the customer, the company
will lose, but if it is minor and costs less than the money paid by the
customer, or if no accident happens at all, then the company will win and
the customer will lose.
This kind of contract – i.e., contracts in which a person may
win or lose – is regarded as a kind of gambling which Allaah forbids in His
Book and mentions alongside drinking alcohol and worshipping idols.
Based on this, this kind of insurance is haraam. I do not
know of any kind of insurance based on ambiguity that is permissible, rather
all kinds are haraam, because of the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be
pleased with him) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) forbade transactions based on ambiguity.
End quote from Fataawa ‘Ulama’ al-Balad al-Haraam, p.
If you are forced to pay insurance, then an accident occurs,
it is permissible for you to take from the insurance company the equivalent
of the payments that you have paid; anything more than that you should not
take. If they force you to take it, then you should donate it to charitable
And Allaah knows best.