Date : 28-08-2013

Question :

Please clarify the religious ruling on the insurance card that gives discounts to certain ratios?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah, prayer and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah.

After considering and reflecting on the card ,it has become clear to us that it is a contract between the holder and the issuing company through which the latter guides the former to medical clinics as well as health and beauty centers which give discounts to certain rates for cardholders in return for an amount of money paid to the company i.e. the price of the card. In Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) ,this contract is called the royalty ( Aljo`ala).Alja`el is the buyer of the card and the company is the service provider. Some of Al-Athar (Hadeeths narrated by a Sahabi or a Tabi`e) called it brokerage ; Al-Imam Al-Bukhaari said: " Ibn Sireen, Ataa`, Ibrahim, and Alhassan regarded it permissible for a broker to charge money for service .” {Sahih Al-Bukhari vol.3/pp.29).

Accordingly , it is permissible in Shari`ah to use such cards in accordance with the following conditions :

First: The discounts offered by the clinics and centers must be real, not fake since fraud and lies have prevailed in this sector.

Second: The agreement between the issuer of the card and the different centers must be binding. In case one or both of these conditions have not been met, dealing with such cards becomes forbidden from the view point of Islamic Shari`ah because then it is regarded as eating up others money unjustly for Allah Says: ” And devour not one another’s possessions wrongfully.” {Al-Baqarah/188}. And God knows best.