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Selling insurance policies to non-Muslims?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

I work in a call center part of my job is to sell insurance policies to non-Muslims what would the shar’ee order for this be?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

All prevalent types of commercial insurances are unlawful (haram) in Shari’ah as they have either an element of interest (riba) and chancing (qimar), both of which have been explicitly and sternly forbidden by Allah Most High in the Qur’an:

“Those who swallow usury cannot rise up save as he ariseth whom the devil hath prostrated by (his) touch. That is because they say: Trade is just like usury; whereas Allah permitteth trading and forbiddeth usury. He unto whom an admonition from his Lord cometh, and (he) refraineth (in obedience thereto), he shall keep (the profits of) that which is past, and his affair (henceforth) is with Allah. As for him who returneth (to usury) – Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein.
Allah hath blighted usury and made almsgiving fruitful. Allah loveth not the impious and guilty.
Lo! those who believe and do good works and establish worship and pay the poor-due, their reward is with their Lord and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
O ye who believe! Observe your duty to Allah, and give up what remaineth (due to you) from usury, if ye are (in truth) believers.
And if ye do not, then be warned of war (against you) from Allah and His messenger. And if ye repent, then ye have your principal (without interest). Wrong not, and ye shall not be wronged.” [Qur’an, 2.275-279]

And, regarding chancing and gambling (qimar) Allah says:

“They Question thee about strong drink and chancing. Say: In both is great sin and (some) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness. And they ask thee what they ought to spend. Say: that which is superfluous. Thus Allah maketh plain to you (His) revelations that haply ye may reflect.” [Qur’an, 2.219]


“O ye who believe! Strong drink and chancing and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed.” [Qur’an, 5.90]

To directly assist another towards involvement in the sin of riba is also unlawful and sinful.

Allah Almighty says:

“Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour” (al-Ma’idah,2).

Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) has cursed the one who accepted usury, the one who paid it, the witness to it, and the one who recorded it. (Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 22, Number 3327).

In light of the above and many other hadiths, scholars have ruled that it would be unlawful for a Muslim to accept employment in a bank or any such institution whose dealings are primarily centred on interest-based transactions, such as an insurance company.

Therefore, it will not be permissible for you to sell insurance policies even to non-Muslims.

If you are unemployed and have to support your dependants, you will be excused until you find an adequate alternative. Many scholars have permitted to continue working and using the income for the needs of oneself and ones family until a suitable job is found. At the same time one must seek forgiveness from Allah for one’s actions and pray to Him to extract him from this sin.

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari, UK

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.