Islam Bans Health Insurance?

Where it prevails, Islamic law invades every aspect of life. Now, one Islamic group has declared health insurance forbidden. The Economic Times reports (via WeStandFirm):

Comparing the benefits of health insurance policy to gambling, key Islamic organisations have termed the policies as “illegal” and directed Muslims to keep away from them.

At a seminar to deliberate whether insuring health was permissible under Islamic law Shariat, the Islamic Fiqh Academy (India) decided that availing such policies was illegal. …

Health insurance schemes have turned a noble service in to a business activity, hence under Islam it is not permitted, they said. …

The Ulema suggested that the community could itself organise services to help in the treatment of poor.

There is one exception: if insurance is forced through “legal constraints” (like what?), then a person might be able to get away with having insurance, so long as one spends “the left-over amount… on some form of service to Allah.” (Why would there be a “left-over amount?” Isn’t health insurance supposed to cover health costs?)

This is the sort of thing that happens when religious dogmatists run things. Nevermind that their views are absurd. Insurance is not remotely like gambling; the point of it is to pool resources to cover the expenses of those who happen to suffer high-cost health problems. If that’s gambling, then life is a gamble (but don’t tell these Islamists!). Note the socialist presumptions of the Islamists, who define business activities as ignoble. The line about helping the poor is off point; health insurance enables the middle class to avoid poverty. But poverty must be a central concern of such Islamists, as they perpetuate it through their anti-reason, anti-liberty controls.

One thought on “Islam Bans Health Insurance?”

  1. Hi Ari,

    Perhaps I can shed some light on a few of the arguments you have a problem with.

    To the “legal constraints” exception, where you ask “like what?”. Well, certain employers in non-muslim countries require their employees to take health and life cover. As in my case. I am a South African muslim and if I did not agree to take insurance I would be out of a job. As for the left over bit, I can’t comment and agree that it is strange.

    The comparison to gambling is made because in general the monthly premiums are paid for something that may or may not happen. Which plainly means that they (i.e. sharelholders and execs.) keep your cash whether you require the cover or not. What I think most muslims and I think most people in general have problem with is insurance companies profiting from their clients hard earned cash. While there is no problem in paying for the administration of a scheme, the shady leveraged and non-leveraged investments that are made with other people’s money, and the distribution of the surplus funds to massive bonuses and shareholder dividend payments are unacceptable in Islam and to most educated individuals. Case in point AIG who destroyed the savings of many thousands of people.

    The profiting on the labour of others is by far, more dangerous than the reccomendation given by these religious clergy and the biggest enemy to the liberty you speak of in your article.

    Thanks and Peace be upon you

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