Fatwa Request ACA

Shortened Question:

Is it permissible in Islam to engage in sales calls for a program which aims to provide affordable healthcare coverage to individuals?

Question:   Aslam-o-Alikum –

I hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. I am writing to seek guidance and clarification on a matter that pertains to the permissibility of engaging in sales calls for an ACA (Affordable Care Act) program within the scope of Islamic principles.

I represent a telemarketing company in Pakistan that specializes in outreach campaigns for various services, including health insurance programs such as the ACA. Our typical procedure involves contacting individuals to inquire if they are interested in learning more about the ACA program. If they express interest, we then connect them with foreign agents in USA who provide further details and assistance regarding the program and based on those calls we are being paid.

Given the nature of our work, we wish to ensure that our actions align with Islamic teachings and principles. Therefore, we kindly request a fatwa from the esteemed Sharia Board regarding the permissibility of engaging in such sales calls within the framework of Islamic ethics.

Specifically, we seek guidance on the following points:

Is it permissible in Islam to engage in sales calls for a program such as the ACA, which aims to provide affordable healthcare coverage to individuals?
Are there any specific guidelines or restrictions that we should adhere to while conducting these sales calls to ensure they comply with Islamic principles?
Does the involvement of our company as an intermediary in connecting interested individuals with ACA program agents raise any ethical concerns from an Islamic perspective?

We understand the importance of conducting our business in a manner that is ethically and morally sound according to Islamic teachings. Therefore, your expert opinion on this matter would be immensely valuable to us in guiding our actions.

We sincerely appreciate your time and consideration in addressing our inquiry. Please feel free to reach out if any additional information is required from our end. We eagerly await your response and guidance on this matter.

Thank you for your attention to this request, Jizak Allah


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle insurance is not permissible in Islamic Shari’at. Nowadays, the need for self-security has become a major concern among Muslims as well as non-Muslims. Especially with regards to medical coverage. Whereas, Allah Tabaraka wa Ta’ala says:

وَمَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا (سورة هود 6:11 )

The responsibility of sustaining every creature on earth (human and non-human) rests with Allah. (Surah Hud 11:6)

This Ayat of Quran Majeed clearly states that Allah Ta’ala Himself has taken the responsibility of providing sustenance for the entire creation.

Insurance violates the Laws of Shari’at in three ways (1) Qimaar (gambling) (2) Riba (interest) (3) Ghrar (uncertainty).

(1) Qimaar (gambling)

Healthcare coverage involves gambling. Whereas Allah Ta’ala says in Quran:

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِنْ نَفْعِهِمَا (سورة البقرة 219:2 )

Allah Ta’ala says,

“They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In both there is great sin, and some benefits for people. And their sin is greater than their benefit.” (2:219)  

For example, the insurance company may have to pay out more or may be less than what it had received in premiums. Likewise, based upon the insured’s medical condition he or she may receive more or less than what was paid in premiums to the company. It may also be that despite paying premiums for a number of years the insured did not suffer any form of illness, and consequently did not receive any benefit. This is gambling and Allah Ta’ala prohibits gambling.

Allah Ta’ala also says inanother Ayat of Quran:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنْصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ  (سورة المائدة 90:5)

O you who believe indeed wine, gambling, idols and divining arrows are filth from the acts of Shaitan (Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:90)

Allah Ta’ala has prohibited four things in this Ayat: (1) consuming alcohol (2) gambling (3) idols and (4) divining arrows.

(2) Riba (interest)

Riba (interest) is an amount earned in lieu of nothing in return.

If the insurance company pays out more than what it collected in premiums the excess would be interest. Likewise, if the insured derived benefits exceeding the premium paid it would be interest. Allah Ta’ala prohibits dealing in interest whether paying it or collecting it.[i]

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “One dirham of usury that a man consumes intentionally is (to Allah Ta’ala) more severe than thirty six counts of zina.”  [ii]

Mentioned also in Quran Majeed Allah Ta’ala says:

O you who believe, fear Allah and give up what remains of riba, if you are believers.

But if you do not, then be warned of the declaration of war from Allah and His Messenger.[iii]

This Ayat states clearly that if you were previously involved in any interest bearing transaction, then you should leave off the interest portion of the transaction. The transaction should be reduced to the principal amount only. This action will save you from war with Allah Ta’ala and His Messenger, Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam.

(3) Ghrar (uncertainty)

The very fundamental nature of the medical insurance scheme is based on uncertainty. One pays a premium to the insurance company on the condition that, should the insured gets sick the insurance company will satisfy the agreed medical expense. On the other hand, if the insured does not get sick, then, he will derive no benefit in lieu of the premiums paid, even though he must continue to pay his premium. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam prohibits this.  [iv] 

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam prohibited from dealing in a future event that involves uncertainty.

Health insurance has now become a very lucrative and highly emphasized form of business. Nonetheless, we have highlighted for you three prohibitions in Shari’ah regarding this type of business. It is the obligation of a Muslim to be sensitive towards his Din. Take note of the command of Allah Tabaraka wa Ta’ala in the Noble Quran:

وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَاب (سورة المائدة 2:5)

And do not help each other in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is severe in punishment. (Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:2)

Ibn Kathir, reported from Tabarani that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said that, anyone who joins up with an unjust person to assist him goes out of the fold of Islam. (Ma’ariful Qur’an Vol.3 , pg. 37)

In conclusion medical insurance does not conform to the teachings of Shari’ah. Hence, we recommend that you search for a more suitable means of livelihood which is more in line with the ways of Shari’ah.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Saeed Ahmed Golaub


(سورة البقرة 275:2 )

[i]الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لَا يَقُومُونَ إِلَّا كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا

[ii] مسند أحمد – (ج 44 / ص 439)

 حَدَّثَنَا حُسَيْنُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ حَدَّثَنَا جَرِيرٌ يَعْنِي ابْنَ حَازِمٍ عَنْ أَيُّوبَ عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِي مُلَيْكَةَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ حَنْظَلَةَ غَسِيلِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ دِرْهَمٌ رِبًا يَأْكُلُهُ الرَّجُلُ وَهُوَ يَعْلَمُ أَشَدُّ مِنْ سِتَّةٍ وَثَلَاثِينَ زَنْيَةً

   [iii] (سورة البقرة 275:2 )

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ (278) فَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ

[iv]سنن أبي داود – (ج 9 / ص 222)

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ وَعُثْمَانُ ابْنَا أَبِي شَيْبَةَ قَالَا حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ إِدْرِيسَ عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ عَنْ الْأَعْرَجِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ نَهَى عَنْ بَيْعِ الْغَرَرِ