Opinion Editorials, July 2004, To see today's opinion articles, click here: www.aljazeerah.info



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Permissibility of Life Insurance

Adil Salahi

Arab News, 7/9/04

Q. A few years ago I took out two life insurance policies in my name, but I was subsequently told that insurance is not permissible in Islam. A scholar in my home country told me recently that it is permissible. My mother insists that I should cancel them. I will if they are not allowed, but could you please let me know whether it is permissible to take out a life policy or not?

M. Shijuddin

A. An increasing number of scholars are returning rulings of permissibility on insurance. In the past, verdicts of non-permissibility were voiced on certain types of insurance, but scholars always said that when insurance is of the cooperative type, it is permissible. But we can say that the working of insurance makes it always of the cooperative type, since the people who take insurance policies agree that their premiums are used to compensate those of them who incur losses. Even life insurance falls into this category, because it represents an agreement to give a specified sum to the family of the insured person in the case of the death of that person within the period of the policy. Thus, it is a method of alleviating the loss incurred or the bereavement of the beneficiaries.

A number of famous scholars have written about insurance, most notably the late Shaikh Mustafa Al-Zarqa, a leading scholar of Fiqh, who says that all insurance is permissible, unless there is a clear element of usury in the business of the insurance company.

Ablution Without Removing Socks

Q.1. Could you please explain how the ablution can be performed while one is wearing socks? A ruling issued by some scholars say that this is not permissible if the socks are made of cotton or nylon material, which has created some confusion. Please explain.

Q.2. After one has had a bath, is it necessary to have ablution for performing prayers?

Arshad Ahmed & M. Sirajuddin

A.1. When we perform ablution, or wudhu, we have to wash our faces, hands up to the elbows and feet up to the ankles, as well as wiping our heads. However, a concession is given regarding the washing of our feet. This concession is based on the Hadith in which one of the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was pouring water for him to have his ablutions. When he was due to wash his feet, the companion was about to help him with washing them, but the Prophet signaled him that it was not necessary. He wiped on his khuff, which was a type of shoes worn under the main shoes. The Prophet told his companion that he was doing that because I put them on after having had ablution. Scholars apply this concession to mens socks and womens stockings.

This means that the necessary condition for using this concession is that one should have had a full ablution, or wudhu, before wearing his socks, or her stockings. If he needs to have a fresh ablution, he performs all the parts, but instead of washing his feet, he wipes with a couple of fingers over his socks from the top. He does not wipe the bottom of his feet. It is not necessary to wipe all the foot; it is sufficient to wet ones hand and with one finger go over any part of the top of his foot once only. This process can be repeated every time one needs to have a fresh ablution for one full day, i.e. 24 hours.

Some scholars insist that socks made of cloth are not suitable for using this concession, because they are not waterproof. They may specify other conditions, such as the socks must have no holes. Such conditions are not really required, because they have no strong evidence to support them.

A.2. If one takes a bath for a religious reason, such as a grand ablution to remove the state of ceremonial impurity, or janabah, or the Friday bath, or for the Eid, then his bath or shower includes ablution, or wudhu. If it is an ordinary bath, or shower, for cleanliness, or freshening up, then it does not include the wudhu. You will need to perform the ablution in this case in order to pray.

Earth, a planet hungry for peace


The Israeli Land-Grab Apartheid Wall built inside the Palestinian territories, here separating Abu Dis from occupied East Jerusalem. (IPC, 7/4/04).


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python. (Alquds,10/25/03).

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