Fatwa: # 17551
Category: Financial Transactions
Country: South Africa
Date: 20th February 2009


I am a 25 years old woman, that’s enquiring about the permissibility of working in the HRD of life assurance.


I am a 25 years old woman, that’s enquiring about the permissibility of working in the HRD of life assurance.


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail correspondence wherein you queried the permissibility of working at a human resources department of a life assurance company:-

Before responding to your query, we would like to mention that we are pleased that you have the enthusiasm to practice upon the perfect Deen of Islam, which is borne out by the fact that you queried the Shar’ie ruling with regards to working for a life assurance company. May Allah too be pleased with you. Always remember that no matter what are the “consequences” of practicing upon the Shari’ah, you should continue querying every aspect of your life and practice accordingly. By doing so, in spite of what the people say, you will be assured a happy life in this world and success in the life after death.

Keeping the above in mind, before answering the question you have posed, we would like to advise you with regards to you as a pure Muslim woman working. It should be borne in mind that Islam does not prohibit Muslim women from working on condition that no command of Allah Ta'ala and limit of Shari’ah are transgressed. This means that if a woman works from within the four walls of her house, without getting into contact with strange men (i.e. other than her husband, father, brothers, sons, maternal & paternal uncles, etc.), and without disobeying any other command of Allah Ta'ala (the details of which may be queried) then it is permissible to do so. As far as leaving her house is concerned, permission has been granted to such a woman who does not have any other male who may earn and provide for her and she is unable to earn her livelihood by working from home. Such a woman may go out to earn but it must be done in accordance with the Shar’ie principles laid down, such as with regards to her dressing, etc. However, if she has brothers or any other close family member, then he would be obliged to provide her with her needs and she should remain at home. These laws of Islam might seem difficult but they are for our own good. Islam respects and honours a woman chastity, body and shame, because of which it instructs us to conceal our women folk, just as an expensive diamond is concealed and protected. Similarly, the Shari’ah stresses that a woman should be concerned about the bringing up of her children and the protection of her husband’s property and wealth. Thus, she should remain at home and lead her life fulfilling her duties, whilst her husband or father should provide for her. This would earn both of them Allah’s pleasure. Yes, if there is no one to provide for her then keeping the Shar’ie laws in mind, she would be allowed to work. Therefore, we request you O respected sister of ours to consider your position and endeavour to follow the teachings of Islam with regards to your life. Remember that after all every person will definitely gain the portion of sustenance (wealth) set-aside for him/her. However, either it is gained whilst obeying Allah Ta'ala or whilst disobeying him. Thus, we should endeavour to gain our sustenance without disobeying Allah Ta'ala so that we do not spoil our chances of success in the hereafter. Do not worry about what people would say. What they say does not matter, because these people will not help you or me in the hereafter. We have to worry about what Allah Ta'ala says. Therefore, we advise you to consider the Shari’ah before taking up any job or doing anything. May Allah Ta'ala make it easy for you and may He make it possible for you to fulfill your needs without disobeying Him. Aameen.

Nevertheless, the Shar’ee ruling with regards to working for a life assurance company is as follows: -

All forms of voluntary insurance, be it life insurance or short term insurance of motor vehicles, properties, businesses, houses or other assets are not permissible in Islam. The reason is that there are two Haraam ingredients involved in insurance schemes, one being interest and the other, gambling. The interest aspect comes to the fore when, after paying a minimal amount of premiums, a substantially greater amount is received to cover one's losses. The gambling aspect comes to the fore due to the fact that insurance is like a game of chance: If one suffers losses in one's properties, businesses or any other assets by way of theft, fire or damage one would receive a monetary kickback from the insurance company that would be far in excess of the premiums paid in. If on the other hand, there is no loss sustained, then instead of receiving something back, one would have to forfeit the entire premiums that were paid in.

Since insurance is Haraam, by working for a company dealing with it, you are assisting in Haraam, whereas Allah Ta’ala has prohibited us from doing so. Allah Ta'ala says:

And do not help each other in sin and transgression”. (Surah Maidah verse no.2)

Therefore, it would NOT permissible to work for such a company. For more Queries don’t hesitate to write back. May Allah Increase all of us in Knowledge and piety.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Wassalamu Alaykum

Mufti Ebrahim Desai (M1)
Darul Iftaa

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