Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: 1. In Saudi if you hit a car and the other car gets damaged you have to pay thousands of dollars if you don’t have insurance. Further, you will be in Jail till you pay back money. How is a poor person to pay such money? What other choice does he have but to take out insurance?
2. My company sent me a job contract saying you and your family’s medical is covered. Will I be sinful if I use this insurance? Considering the medical is so expensive here what options do I have?
Answer: assalamu `alaykum
The default legal ruling of conventional insurance is that it is impermissible due to its incorporating elements of interest and chance, both of which are prohibited in the Qur’an.
There are, however, two exceptions to the above rule:
(a) In cases where the law of the land deems it a requirement to have insurance in order to use a certain commodity, such as a car, and
(b) In cases where there would be clear hardship in not having insurance.
In both the above cases, it would be permitted to take out insurance to fulfill the legal requirement and to the extent required to lift any potential hardship arising as a result of not being insured. Anything beyond these limits would remain on the basic rule of impermissibility. This is the opinion held by scholars such as Mufti Saeed Palanpuri, Shaykh Ali Qurra Daghi, and others.
Therefore, it would be permissible to take out car insurance and medical insurance in the specific situation that you describe since doing otherwise will result in clear hardship.
However, I would advise you to also consult local scholars on your situation as they may be aware of permissible alternatives and the details surrounding the law in Saudi Arabia
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani