Ruling on Insurance
All praise is due to Allah Alone and peace and blessings be upon the Last of the Prophets. To proceed:
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ has reviewed what was sent to His Eminence the Grand Mufty from the questioner, Prince Sultan ibn Faysal ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-‘Aziz Al Sa’ud, which was referred to the Committee from the Secretariat General of the Council of Senior Scholars under no. (2983) and dated 15/5/1421 A.H. The text of the question is:
As Your Eminence knows that our country is a joint place for those countries of the Levant (the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine) and the Gulf States, the neighboring states have business transactions with the countries of the Levant and such is the case with the Levant which also needs some goods or services from those countries. The passage of land of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has become a meeting point for the goods coming from Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and other countries to the Gulf States and vice versa. This leads to the admission and passage of large numbers of lorries and trucks from those countries which results in a lot of road accidents, some of them lead to injuries, deaths and casualties in possessions and souls of the citizens both Saudis and others.
In light of what has just been mentioned, the state, may Allah maintain its prestige, detains the passing driver sending him to the penitentiary and takes upon itself to pay all his financial and in kind responsibilities till the issuance of a Shar`y (Islamically legal) sentence and its execution. As for Diyah (blood money), the Saudi charitable committees pay it in most cases because of the incapability of the passing driver to pay such large amounts of blood money. He may have a lengthy stay in penitentiary which forces him to quit his business as a breadwinner for his family back in his country which leads to great harm both for Saudis or others.
We have a great desire for development and modernization so long as it coincides with our tolerant Shari`ah (Islamic law) since we would like to take the permission of our mindful state to apply the system of Islamic cooperative insurance to those who pass by in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which is similar to what is taking place in the neighboring countries. The following are some benefits of such a procedure:
- We will totally comply with the conditions of the Fatwa of the Council of Senior Scholars no. 51 which includes the permissibility of Cooperative Insurance .
- The driver will also make use of this procedure at the time of having an accident, Allah forbid, as it will allow him to pay for his financial responsibilities and enable him to return home and keep his family together.
- Financial saving of the state budget as a result of the needed charges for the comprehensive care of the prisoner.
- The stability of the social and psychological status of the admissions and the passing of citizens coming from neighboring countries to our countries as they will feel safe in themselves and their rights.
- Maintaining the rights of the citizens and expatriates and the availability of obtaining these rights as soon as possible especially when we take into consideration that in some cases there are wives and orphans who only have one breadwinner whose imprisonment will affect them negatively.
So, we hope that Your Eminence will kindly clarify this issue for us. May Allah grant you success.
After examining the Fatwa request, the Committee replied that a Fatwa was issued from the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ no. (55) prohibiting Commercial Insurance in all forms because of its harmful effects and great risks including using up people’s money unjustly; its practices are legally prohibited and forbidden. A decree has also been issued by the Council of Senior Scholars no. 51 announcing that cooperative insurance is permissible but it should consist of the endowments of good donors and it should be meant for the help of the needy and the devastated without any profits for the participants even their capital, profits, or any return on investment since the participants intended Thawab (reward from Allah) (Glorified and Exalted be He) through helping the needy and not any worldly gain. This is included in what Allah (Exalted be He) says: “Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression.” [al-Maidah: 2]
And what the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah will aid a servant of His so long as the servant aids his brother.”
What has been mentioned in the question is considered as one form of prohibited commercial insurance, so it is not permissible to be ratified or applied.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
Date: Muharram 12, 1442 AH
Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah no. 21563
Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Aal al-Shaykh
Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan
Shaykh Salih Fawzan
Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd