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We are expecting a child and are in financial difficulty. The cost of private medical care is extremely expensive and government hospitals are full. Can we opt for medical insurance? There are so many views online and I am confused.
باسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن والاه
May Allah bless you for writing in dear brother and may Allah bless you and your wife with ease and happiness throughout this period and beyond. Ameen.
Medical insurance from the outset is impermissible in the Shariah as it is based upon the format of a zero-sum game which the Shariah forbids. A zero-sum game is one where one party can only win at the expense of the other. The ambiguous nature of this sort of contract is manifestly clear and the presence of ‘ambiguity’ in a contract is sufficient grounds to render a contractual agreement invalid in the Shariah.
However, there is a well established Jurisprudence principle which states that a
‘real need is a valid precedence for making something which is not forbidden in and of itself
(ما حرم تحريم الوسائل) permissible because of the presence of that real need’.
Our scholars, may Allah shower His mercy upon them, clarify that ‘ambiguity’ in trade is not forbidden in and of itself, but forbidden due to it’s ability to lead to a matter forbidden in the Shariah in and of itself (ما حرم تحريم المقاصد).
The above listed principle thus teaches us that the Shariah does provide lee-way for a person with regards to contracts that have ‘ambiguity’ in them in the event of a Mufti establishing a ‘real need’ in the case of the questioner.
From the points cited in your question; you would qualify for medical insurance on condition of you being unable to find any other permissible alternatives in your location such as suitable co-operative insurance. (If you are unsure about co-operative insurance, please write in and I will further explain InShaAllah).
And Allah Almighty knows best.
Before ending off I would like to share an important message to all our readers to ensure you use the approach of our beloved questioner in this question and at-least write to your local reputable scholars, in the event of you being unable to visit them, seeking clarification regarding your situation. Do not be the judge and jury of deciding the presence of ‘real need’ in your life especially in matters related to halaal and haraam.
And Allah Almighty knows best,