Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
I work for a life assurance company dealing with bonds, pensions and life assurance. I work as an administrator taking quote details and answering phone calls but do not directly sell to people. What is the position with my income? Do I have to leave this Job?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Firstly, when taking up employment, one needs to consider two things:
1) The nature of the actual job one is undertaking, and
2) The source of the income that one will be receiving.
In order for a job to be considered Islamically lawful, both the actual job and the source of income have to be Halal.
Secondly, all prevalent forms of commercial insurance are unlawful, whether it is the insurance of goods, insurance of responsibility or insurance of one’s life and body. Life insurance and life assurance is exactly the same product. Whether one takes out a plan as life insurance or life assurance, one will be involved in Riba transactions. If one was to die within one’s policy term, the life insurance/life assurance policy would pay out the agreed guaranteed sum assured that one covered one’s self for.
With regards to working in a life insurance/assurance company, if the work entails being directly involved in interest-based transactions, then that work would be considered unlawful. If your job as an “administrator” includes giving advice on insurance and interest based transactions or helping a customer take up an insurance policy, then your job would not be lawful, as you will be considered to have assisted another in sin, which has been prohibited by the Qur’an.
Then there is also the aspect of the source of your income that needs to be considered. If the company is giving you your salary from the profits it made, then it will not be Halal for you to take that salary, as the company would have made this profit through unlawful means.
Thus, in conclusion, if you are dealing with life insurance policies by giving advice and helping clients take up a life insurance policy, then your work and the resulting wage would be considered unlawful. You should try and seek another alternative Halal job. Until you find an alternative job, you may provide for your family by carrying on working in the company, but try and leave this job as soon as possible.
And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK