Thursday, July 19, 2007

Medical Insurance

Question: I am a convert to Islam. I want to know what is the ruling in Islam with regards to going for Medical Insurance. Please clarify.
I am glad to hear that you have taken this step and embraced Islam. I myself converted to Islam years ago. One of the basic beliefs of Muslims is that Allaah is the Creator of everything, including benefit and harm. This is because nothing can happen without His knowledge and nothing can overpower His Will. It is the only rational belief then, to believe that everything happens according to His Will.
In light of that, Muslims are required to rely on Allaah for their needs, and remain firm in knowledge that no one can escape the harm that He has willed, or prevent the benefit that He has specified for a creation. Insurance of any kind is very much contrary to this obligation of relying on Allaah, rather than on worldly promises.
One of the wisdoms in insurance being prohibited in Islam then, is that engaging in it prevents one from truly relying on Allaah. There are also other wisdoms that can be understood with some pondering.
In any case, with regards to the verdict. It is strictly prohibited to buy insurance in Islam, whether it is for healh or anything else. This is because buying and selling risk is not allowed by consensus of reliable scholars. Bying insurance is buying risk, because you are buying an unknown amount to be delivered at an unknown time in the future. It also involves the contractual condition that you will pay a certain amount of money now in order to get paid more back of the same kind of money if the future accident should require it. This is what is called ribaa in Islam, because it is like interest on loans, and is one of the greatest sins. Hope that helps.
Abu Adam