Muslim jurists acknowledge that the basis of shared responsibility in the system of "aquila" as practised between Muslims of Mecca and Medina laid the foundation of mutual insurance. Islamic insurance was established in the early second century of the Islamic era when Muslim Arabs expanding trade into Asia mutually agreed to contribute to a fund to cover anyone in the group that incurred mishaps or robberies along the numerous sea voyages (marine insurance).
“Commercial insurance is originally haram as agreed upon by most contemporary scholars. It is well known that in most non-Islamic countries there are cooperative and mutual insurance companies. There is no harm from the Shari`ah point of view to participate in these services. So, it is unlawful for a Muslim living in a country where there is such a cooperative insurance company to make an agreement with a commercial insurance company. But, if a cooperative insurance company is not found one may enter into a contract with a commercial insurance company only by way of necessity. If a person is forced by law to insurance or by way of need, it is obligatory for him to be content with the minimum proportion of insurance that covers his need or to the minimum of such transaction he’s being forced to carry out.”
- European Council for Fatwa and Research