Fatwa ID: 01618
Answered by: Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
1) Are home cover schemes like these permissible? My concern is that it is similar to insurance. Keep in mind the HOMECARE is not a warranty as British Gas provide this service at any time and with any product, whether it be supplied/fitted by British Gas or not. Will the payments for the HOMECARE be considered as gambling if no service is actually rendered. (British Gas do provide a yearly service as part of the cover plan but other than that if there is no breakdown/engineer callout you have paid for nothing in return). And in the case that there was a breakdown it could well be the case that the service that the company provides is worth more in monetary value than the actual payment made to the company (bearing in mind repair costs/replacement parts etc). Will this result in receiving riba – gaining more than you actually paid for?
2) My second question is with regards to employment where part of the role is promoting/selling these kinds of products. Although this is a secondary part of the job it is nevertheless held in high regard. The company goes as far as ensuring all CSA's are making regular sales and even clamping down on CSAs with poor sales figures. The company also offers commission where CSAs are paid for each sale and quarterly/annual bonuses can also be earned for hitting targets. The company pays the commission / bonus into a separate account so it stays separate from the basic salary received. Will this role of employment be permissible and if the role is permissible will money earned from sales be permissible to consume?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
As I have mentioned in a previous answer, which can be found on the Darul Ifta Birmingham website, that it is permissible to have a breakdown cover for showers and boilers. A breakdown cover is different from insurance in that one pays for the service, which the company offers him, which is to assist him at any time. The company does not pay any damages towards it. If one does not use their service during the course of the year, then payment still remains as one is paying for the service of them being there for you at any time.
However, if the British Gas Homecare service extends to the contents of the house then that would not be allowed and it will fall under the ruling of Home Insurance.
Briefly, it should be understood that all types of insurances are impermissible for three reasons:
- Interest/ Usury
- There is an element of deception
- Qimar (gambling)
The reason for it being interest is that insurance is the sale of money for money of a greater or lesser amount with a delay in one of the payments. Insurance companies take people’s money and promises to pay them more or less when an accident happens. This is riba, which is haram in Islam.
(Hujjatullahi Baaligah p.98 v.2)
In the Holy Quran Allah has said:
“Allah has permitted transactions and has forbidden riba” (Surah Al Baqarah v.275)
The Prophet of Allah has cursed the person who takes interest, who gives interest and who writes it and who witnesses it.”
(Mishkaatul-Masabeeh p.244 v.1)
“To take dirham of interest knowingly is worse than committing adultery 36 times.”
(Mishkaatul-Masabeeh p.246 v.1)
Also in insurance policies, there is an element of deception, which Islamicaly, is termed as garar.
- The amount to be paid is unknown
- The time it will occur is also unknown.
The Prophet of Allah has forbidden deception and uncertainty in transactions. (Sunan Tirmizi p.233 v.1)
All forms of insurances are based on uncertainty. The reason why you are being insured must have a possibility of happening or not happening. For example, when an accident happens and the extent of the damage caused.
Finally, the third reason for it being impermissible is because there is an element of qimar (chancing). Insurance policies require payment of money, thereafter if the following mishaps were to occur, a payment will be made. This is pure gambling, thus forbidden in Islam.
The definition of Gambling as stated in Raddul Muhtar; “Gambling is a dealing in which there is a chance of gain and loss. (P577 V.9)
With regards to your second question, if the work is regarding the breakdown covers then that would be permissible and the income gained will also be lawful.
However, where your work is regarding the selling of home insurance, then it will be considered as assisting someone in sin and the income gained from those transactions
Allah in the Holy Quran has said:
“Do not assist in each other in sin and transgression.” (Surah Maaidah v.2)
It will be necessary for you to look for a halal job and when you find it, it will be necessary for you to leave that job. Until then you can work there and seek Istighfaar and repentance from Allah.
(Jadeed Muamalat Ke Sharee Ahkaam p.176 v.1)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham