Chapter 5 Social Security Benefits

Social Security
  1. A registered worker shall have access to[1]:
  2. Unemployment Benefit[2]
  3. Old-Age Benefit[3]
  4. Employment Injury/Invalidity Benefits[4]
  5. Survivors’ Benefits[5]


[1] Islam gives importance to the provision of social security benefits for workers by the state. Surah Quraish describes the essential traits of Allah: “So they should worship the Lord of this (Sacred) House (Ka‘ba, to give Him thanks), Who has fed them in hunger (i.e., provided them sustenance in starving conditions) and secured them from fear (of foes, i.e., blessed them with secure and peaceful life). (106:3-4). In line with this verse, the state should establish a social protection system to give them monetary benefits during unemployment, sickness, disability, old age, etc. It is the responsibility of government to ensure employment opportunities and (social) security for the people.

Besides, it is narrated in Sunan Abi Dawud, “The Prophet (ﷺ) said: I am nearer to every believer than himself, so if anyone leaves a debt or a helpless family, I shall be responsible, but if anyone leaves a property, it goes to his heirs. I am a patron of him who has none, inheriting his property and freeing him from his liabilities. A maternal uncle is the patron of him who has none, inheriting his property and freeing him from his liabilities.” (Sunan Abi Dawud: 2900)   

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «أَنَا أَوْلَى بِكُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ، فَمَنْ تَرَكَ دَيْنًا أَوْ ضَيْعَةً فَإِلَيَّ، وَمَنْ تَرَكَ مَالًا فَلِوَرَثَتِهِ، وَأَنَا مَوْلَى مَنْ لَا مَوْلَى لَهُ أَرِثُ مَالَهُ وَأَفُكُّ عَانَهُ وَالْخَالُ مَوْلَى مَنْ لَا مَوْلَى لَهُ يَرِثُ مَالَهُ وَيَفُكُّ عَانَهُ

 Here, the role of the state is emphasised in providing pension and other benefits in case of in-service death of a worker. The Quranic verse 59:07 states, “And whatever (materials of fay—spoils) Allah restored to His Messenger (ﷺ) taking out) from the people of (the towns captured without war in addition to those of Qurayza, Nadir, Fadak, Khaybar and ‘Urayna) belong to Allah, and His Messenger (ﷺ)  and (the Messenger’s (ﷺ)) near relatives (i.e., Banu Hashim and Banu ‘Abd al-Muttalib) and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer (of society at large. This distribution system is to ensure) that (the whole wealth) may not circulate (only) amongst the rich of you (but should circulate amongst all the classes of society). And whatever the Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) gives you, take that and whatever he forbids you, abstain (from that) and keep fearing Allah (i.e., never scoff at the Messenger’s (ﷺ) distribution and award). Surely, Allah is Severe to punish.”

مَّا أَفَاءَ اللَّهُ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى فَلِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ كَيْ لَا يَكُونَ دُولَةً بَيْنَ الْأَغْنِيَاءِ مِنكُمْ وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

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This implies that the state should distribute wealth among all workers in the form of social security benefits such as sickness benefits, maternity benefits, work injury/invalidity benefits, unemployment benefits, old-age and survivors’ benefits. Also, it is narrated in Sahih Bukhari, that, “Muslim is the brother of another Muslim; he is not cruel to him nor does he leave him alone in case of need. Whosoever occupies himself in the service of his brothers, Allah takes care of his needs.” (Sahih Bukhari: 2442)

الْمُسْلِمُ أَخُو الْمُسْلِمِ، لاَ يَظْلِمُهُ وَلاَ يُسْلِمُهُ، وَمَنْ كَانَ فِي حَاجَةِ أَخِيهِ كَانَ اللَّهُ فِي حَاجَتِهِ، وَمَنْ فَرَّجَ عَنْ مُسْلِمٍ كُرْبَةً فَرَّجَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ كُرْبَةً مِنْ كُرُبَاتِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَمَنْ سَتَرَ مُسْلِمًا سَتَرَهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ‏

 This hadith also suggests that the state is required to take care of the labour force, whether by providing jobs or through the provision of social protection benefits.

Moreover, verse 04:05 states, “And do not entrust to the mentally deficient your (or their) assets which Allah has made a means of stability for your economy. However, feed them out of it and clothe them, and say to them good and nice words.” (04:05)

وَلَا تُؤْتُوا السُّفَهَاءَ أَمْوَالَكُمُ الَّتِي جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ قِيَامًا وَارْزُقُوهُمْ فِيهَا وَاكْسُوهُمْ وَقُولُوا لَهُمْ قَوْلًا مَعْرُوفًا

 This implies that social security should not be the employer’s liability, instead it should be ensured by the state. However, the government can ensure that the employer and worker contribute too, as stated in hadith no. 1628/5 in Sahih Muslim, The Book of Wills, “Amir b. Sa’d reported on the authority of his father (Sa’d b. Abi Waqqas): Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) visited me in my illness which brought me near death in the year of Hajjat-ul-Wada’ (Farewell Pilgrimage). I said: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), you can well see the pain with which I am afflicted, and I am a man possessing wealth, and there is none to inherit me except only one daughter. Should I give two-thirds of my property as Sadaqa? He said: No. I said: Should I give half (of my property) as Sadaqa? He said: No. He (further) said: Give one-third (in charity), and that is quite enough. To leave your heirs rich is better than to leave them destitute, begging from people; that you would never incur an expense seeking in addition to that the pleasure of Allah, but you would be rewarded, therefore, even for a morsel of food that you put in the mouth of your wife.”  

عَنْ عَامِرِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ: عَادَنِي رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي حَجَّةِ الْوَدَاعِ مِنْ وَجَعٍ أَشْفَيْتُ مِنْهُ عَلَى الْمَوْتِ، فَقُلْتُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، بَلَغَنِي مَا تَرَى مِنَ الْوَجَعِ، وَأَنَا ذُو مَالٍ، وَلَا يَرِثُنِي إِلَّا ابْنَةٌ لِي وَاحِدَةٌ، أَفَأَتَصَدَّقُ بِثُلُثَيْ مَالِي؟ قَالَ: «لَا»، قَالَ: قُلْتُ: أَفَأَتَصَدَّقُ بِشَطْرِهِ؟ قَالَ: «لَا، الثُّلُثُ، وَالثُّلُثُ كَثِيرٌ إِنَّكَ أَنْ تَذَرَ وَرَثَتَكَ أَغْنِيَاءَ، خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَنْ تَذَرَهُمْ عَالَةً يَتَكَفَّفُونَ النَّاسَ، وَلَسْتَ تُنْفِقُ نَفَقَةً تَبْتَغِي بِهَا وَجْهَ اللهِ، إِلَّا أُجِرْتَ بِهَا، حَتَّى اللُّقْمَةُ تَجْعَلُهَا فِي فِي امْرَأَتِكَ»

 This hadith suggests that the state can require the contribution of employers and workers in old-age benefits, unemployment benefits and survivor benefits. Besides, it is narrated that, “All creation is the family of Allah (S.W.T). The one most liked among His creation is the one who does well to his family.” (Bayhaqi, Shuab-ul-Iman: 7176; Miskat al Masabih: 4999)

الخلق كلهم عيال الله وأحب خلقه إليه أنفعهم لعياله

This also implies that state, employer and worker, all should contribute towards social security. The government must spend wealth for the betterment of its people (including workers). The employers should ensure the social protection of their workers (dependents/family) and the workers should also contribute to the social security system to attaining benefits for them and their families for future needs.

Verse 51:19 also gives importance to social security benefits for workers, as it states, “And in their wealth was appointed a due share for the beggars and the destitute (i.e., all the needy).”

وَفِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ لِلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ

It is implied that workers who cannot make ends meet for their families, they should be taken care of by the state through the provision of social security benefits.

Similarly, Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. The aim is to provide social security cover to the needy. The Quran describes Zakat and its uses as following: “Indeed, alms (Zakat) are meant for the poor and the indigent, and those who are deployed to collect charities and those in whose hearts the inculcation of love for Islam is aimed at. And, (moreover, spending Zakat for the) freeing of human lives (from the yoke of slavery) and removing the burden of those who are to pay a debt and (those who toil hard) in the cause of Allah and the wayfarers (is true). This (all) has been prescribed by Allah, and Allah is All-Knowing, Most Wise.” (09:60)

إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ فَرِيضَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

 Besides, as stated in 16:90, “Verily, Allah enjoins Al-Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allah Alone – Islamic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsan [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allah, totally for Allah’s sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet (ﷺ)  in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allah has ordered you to give them, e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help, etc.): and forbids Al-Fahsha (i.e. all evil deeds, e.g. illegal sexual acts, disobedience of parents, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right, etc.), and Al-Munkar (i.e. all that is prohibited by Islamic law: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds, etc.), and Al-Baghy (i.e. all types of oppression), He admonishes you, that you may take heed.”

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

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The highlighted part also implies that the state/government should help workers by providing social security benefits.

Ali (RA), the fourth Caliph, in his letter to Malik al-Ashtar when he appointed him governor of Egypt, said, “Fear] Allah and keep Allah concerning the lowest class, consisting of those who have few means: the poor, the destitute, the disadvantaged and the disabled; because in this class are both discontented and those who beg. Take care, for the sake of Allah, of His obligations for which He has made you responsible. Fix for them a share from the public treasury… Take care of the affairs of those of them who do not approach you because they are of unsightly appearance or those whom people regard as low. Appoint for them some trusted people who are God-fearing and humble. They should inform you of these people’s conditions. Then deal with them with a sense of responsibility to Allah on the Day you will meet Him, because of all the subjects, these people are the most deserving of equitable treatment, while for others also you should fulfil their rights to render account to Allah”. (Nahj al-BalAgha, Letter 53)

In certain extraordinary conditions, new regulations can be issued to help the needy. Once on an occasion of Eid al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), “the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever has slaughtered a sacrifice should not keep anything of Its meat after three days.” When it was the next year, the people said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Shall we do as we did last year?” He said, ‘Eat of it and feed of it to others and store of it for in that year the people were having a hard time and I wanted you to help (the needy).”

(Sahih al-Bukhari: 5569)

مَنْ ضَحَّى مِنْكُمْ فَلاَ يُصْبِحَنَّ بَعْدَ ثَالِثَةٍ وَفِي بَيْتِهِ مِنْهُ شَىْءٌ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَلَمَّا كَانَ الْعَامُ الْمُقْبِلُ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ نَفْعَلُ كَمَا فَعَلْنَا عَامَ الْمَاضِي قَالَ ‏”‏ كُلُوا وَأَطْعِمُوا وَادَّخِرُوا فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ الْعَامَ كَانَ بِالنَّاسِ جَهْدٌ فَأَرَدْتُ أَنْ تُعِينُوا فِيهَا

[2]  The Quranic verses 16:90 (in the above footnote as well) and 06:151 share the need for unemployment benefits. The verses indicate that the state should help unemployed workers through the provision of unemployment benefits for the period a worker is not able to earn and support their families. Similarly, verse 06:151 says, “Come, I will recite to you those things which your Lord has forbidden to you: Do not set up anything as a partner with Him; be morally excellent with parents; and do not kill your children owing to poverty. We alone give you sustenance and (will provide for) them as well. And do not draw near to shameful deeds (whether) open or hidden. And do not kill the soul whose (killing) Allah has forbidden, except when it is rightfully due (according to the law in self-defence against disruption and whilst combating terrorism). It is these (injunctions) He has enjoined upon you so that you may apply reason.”

قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَلَّا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ مِنْ إِمْلَاقٍ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

The highlighted verse implies that the state should help out unemployed workers with the accumulated funds/wealth. This may be done through cash benefits, training etc.

[3]  Islam talks about the significance of giving rights to people in their old age. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced, whose parents, one or both, attain old age during his lifetime, and he does not enter Jannah (by being dutiful to them)” (Sahih Muslim: 2551; Riyad as-Salihin: 317)

رَغِمَ أنْفُ، ثُمَّ رَغِمَ أنْفُ، ثُمَّ رَغِمَ أنْفُ، قيلَ: مَنْ؟ يا رَسولَ اللهِ، قالَ: مَن أدْرَكَ أبَوَيْهِ عِنْدَ الكِبَرِ، أحَدَهُما، أوْ كِلَيْهِما فَلَمْ يَدْخُلِ الجَنَّةَ

 This suggests that providing old-age benefits to a retired worker is the responsibility of the state. In addition, this is also supported by a couple more ahadith, e.g.,  Ibn al-Qattan, 1997, 4: 371, which states that “Part of respect for God is to show respect to an old Muslim”, as well as Albani, 1: 438, which says that “One may exalt Allah through showing kindness and respect to the elderly among you.”

Similarly, the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He upon whom his brother has a right, be it of the nature of money or honour, let him compensate for it before he is made to compensate for it on a day when there will be neither dinar nor dirham to deal with. Instead, if he has a good deed in his account, it will be taken away from him and given to the person he had wronged. And if he has no good deeds in his account, sins of the other person will be taken from him and added to his account” (Sahih Bukhari).

The highlighted part implies that a retired worker has rights to benefits by the state in his old age. It is narrated in Sunan Abi Dawud that “Anyone who does not show mercy to our children nor acknowledge the right of our old people is not one of us.

(Sunan Abi Dawud: 4943)

مَنْ لَمْ يَرْحَمْ صَغِيرَنَا وَيَعْرِفْ حَقَّ كَبِيرِنَا فَلَيْسَ مِنَّا

 On another occasion, the Prophet (ﷺ) said” “Blessings are with your elders.”

(Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Ḥibbān: 559)

 الْبَرَكَةُ مَعَ أَكَابِرِكُمْ

 The Prophet (ﷺ) even ordered to shorten the prayers for the elderly. It is narrated that “A man came and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! By Allah, I keep away from the morning prayer only because So and so prolongs the prayer when he leads us in it.” The narrator said, “I never saw Allah’s Apostle more furious in advising than he was at that time. He then said, “Some of you make people dislike good deeds (the prayer). So, whoever among you leads the people in prayer should shorten it because among them are the weak, the old and the needy.” (Sahih Bukhari: 702) 

أَنَّ رَجُلاً، قَالَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي لأَتَأَخَّرُ عَنْ صَلاَةِ الْغَدَاةِ مِنْ أَجْلِ فُلاَنٍ مِمَّا يُطِيلُ بِنَا‏.‏ فَمَا رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي مَوْعِظَةٍ أَشَدَّ غَضَبًا مِنْهُ يَوْمَئِذٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ مِنْكُمْ مُنَفِّرِينَ، فَأَيُّكُمْ مَا صَلَّى بِالنَّاسِ فَلْيَتَجَوَّزْ، فَإِنَّ فِيهِمُ الضَّعِيفَ وَالْكَبِيرَ وَذَا الْحَاجَةِ ‏”‏‏.‏

 [4] Islam lays considerable stress on providing employment injury/invalidity benefit to the affected worker. The Quranic verse 04:92 says, “And it is not (lawful) for a Muslim to kill a Muslim but by mistake. And anyone who kills a Muslim unintentionally shall (be liable to) free a Muslim slave and (pay) blood money, to be (necessarily) handed over to the heirs of the person slain unless they remit it. In case, he (the slain) comes from the people who are your enemies and is a believer (as well), then (only) freeing a (male or female) slave is prescribed. But if he (the slain) belongs to a people that between you and them there is a (peace) treaty, then blood compensation must be delivered to his family, and freeing a Muslim (male or female) slave is also mandatory. Then he who does not find (a slave) is (bound) to fast for two consecutive months. (This is his) repentance (prescribed) by Allah. And Allah is All-Knowing, Most Wise.” (04:92) 

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ أَنْ يَقْتُلَ مُؤْمِنًا إِلَّا خَطَأً وَمَنْ قَتَلَ مُؤْمِنًا خَطَأً فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُؤْمِنَةٍ وَدِيَةٌ مُسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ إِلَّا أَنْ يَصَّدَّقُوا فَإِنْ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمٍ عَدُوٍّ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُؤْمِنَةٍ وَإِنْ كَانَ مِنْ قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِيثَاقٌ فَدِيَةٌ مُسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ وَتَحْرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ مُؤْمِنَةٍ فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ شَهْرَيْنِ مُتَتَابِعَيْنِ تَوْبَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا

The highlighted part suggests that in case of accidental death or complete or partial incapacity of a worker, compensation (monetary or otherwise) must be paid to the worker or their family. A higher compensation to be paid if the fault on the employer’s side is proved.  In Sahih Bukhari, Book of Blood Money; hadith No. 6895 says, “The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “This and this are the same.” He meant the little finger and the thumb.” This shows that the work injury benefits should be provided to the worker in case of either complete invalidity or partial invalidity.

However, evidence from ahadith also suggests that benefits should be provided according to the type of invalidity. For instance, it is reported that “the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) wrote a letter to the people of Yemen, included in which were the rules of inheritance, the Sunan and the (rules concerning) blood money. He sent it with ‘Arm bin Hazm, and it was read to the people of Yemen, Its contents were as follows: “From Muhammad the Prophet to Shurahbil bin ‘Abd Kulal, Nu’aim bin ‘Abd Kulal, Al-Harith bin’ Abd Kulal, Qail dhil-Ru’ain, Mu’afir and Hamdan. To precede” – And in this letter, it said that whoever kills a believer for no just reason is to be killed in return, unless the heirs of the victim agree to pardon him. For killing a person, the Diyah is one hundred camels. For the nose, if it is cut off completely, diyah must be paid, for the tongue, diyah must be paid; for the lips, Diyah must be paid; for the testicles, Diyah must be paid; for the ends, Diyah must be paid; for the backbone, Diyah be paid; for the eyes, Diyah must be paid; for one leg, half the Diyah must be paid; for a blow to the head that reaches the brain, one-third of the diyah must be paid; for a stab wound that penetrates deeply into the body, one-third of the diyah must be paid; for a blow that breaks the bone, fifteen camels must be given; for every digit of the hands or feet, ten camels must be given; for a tooth five camels must be given; for an injury that exposes the bone, five camels must be provided. A man may be killed in return for (killing) a woman and those who deal in gold must pay one thousand dinars.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i: 4853)

أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَتَبَ إِلَى أَهْلِ الْيَمَنِ كِتَابًا فِيهِ الْفَرَائِضُ وَالسُّنَنُ وَالدِّيَاتُ وَبَعَثَ بِهِ مَعَ عَمْرِو بْنِ حَزْمٍ فَقُرِئَتْ عَلَى أَهْلِ الْيَمَنِ هَذِهِ نُسْخَتُهَا ‏”‏ مِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِلَى شُرَحْبِيلَ بْنِ عَبْدِ كُلاَلٍ وَنُعَيْمِ بْنِ عَبْدِ كُلاَلٍ وَالْحَارِثِ بْنِ عَبْدِ كُلاَلٍ قَيْلِ ذِي رُعَيْنٍ وَمُعَافِرَ وَهَمْدَانَ أَمَّا بَعْدُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَكَانَ فِي كِتَابِهِ ‏”‏ أَنَّ مَنِ اعْتَبَطَ مُؤْمِنًا قَتْلاً عَنْ بَيِّنَةٍ فَإِنَّهُ قَوَدٌ إِلاَّ أَنْ يَرْضَى أَوْلِيَاءُ الْمَقْتُولِ وَأَنَّ فِي النَّفْسِ الدِّيَةُ مِائَةً مِنَ الإِبِلِ وَفِي الأَنْفِ إِذَا أُوعِبَ جَدْعُهُ الدِّيَةُ وَفِي اللِّسَانِ الدِّيَةُ وَفِي الشَّفَتَيْنِ الدِّيَةُ وَفِي الْبَيْضَتَيْنِ الدِّيَةُ وَفِي الذَّكَرِ الدِّيَةُ وَفِي الصُّلْبِ الدِّيَةُ وَفِي الْعَيْنَيْنِ الدِّيَةُ وَفِي الرِّجْلِ الْوَاحِدَةِ نِصْفُ الدِّيَةِ وَفِي الْمَأْمُومَةِ ثُلُثُ الدِّيَةِ وَفِي الْجَائِفَةِ ثُلُثُ الدِّيَةِ وَفِي الْمُنَقِّلَةِ خَمْسَ عَشَرَةَ مِنَ الإِبِلِ وَفِي كُلِّ أُصْبُعٍ مِنْ أَصَابِعِ الْيَدِ وَالرِّجْلِ عَشْرٌ مِنَ الإِبِلِ وَفِي السِّنِّ خَمْسٌ مِنَ الإِبِلِ وَفِي الْمُوضِحَةِ خَمْسٌ مِنَ الإِبِلِ وَأَنَّ الرَّجُلَ يُقْتَلُ بِالْمَرْأَةِ وَعَلَى أَهْلِ الذَّهَبِ أَلْفُ دِينَارٍ

This states that work injury benefits should be in accordance with the type of disability the worker faces, which depends on the lost body organs. This can also be linked to the capacity to make a living after employment injury. Similarly, Sunan Ul Kubra-Al Bayhaqi, hadith No. 16258 states, “Amr b. Shuaib, on his father’s authority, told that this grandfather said Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) gave judgment that five camels be paid for every wound which lays bare a bone, and five camels for every tooth.”

Also, Jami’at Tirmidhi, reports that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The blood-money for the fingers on the hands and (the toes of) the feet is the same: Ten camels for each finger.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1391)

دِيَةُ الأَصَابِعِ الْيَدَيْنِ وَالرِّجْلَيْنِ سَوَاءٌ عَشْرٌ مِنَ الإِبِلِ لِكُلِّ أُصْبُعٍ

  Similar provisions are located in traditions reported in Sunan Abi Dawud: “The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The fingers are equal, and the teeth are equal. The front tooth and the molar tooth are equal, this and that are equal,” and “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) gave judgment that a third of the blood-wit should be paid for an eye fixed in its place.” (Sunan Abi Dawud: 4559 and 4567)

Islam also supports revising work injury and other benefits workers, based on the cost of living and other factors. As Sunan Abi Dawud reports, “On his father’s authority, said that his grandfather reported that the value of the blood-money at the time of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was eight hundred dinars or eight thousand dirhams, and the blood-money for the people of the Book was half of that for Muslims. He said: This applied till Umar (Allah be pleased with him) became caliph and he made a speech in which he said: Take note! Camels have become dear. So, Umar fixed the value for those who possessed gold at one thousand dinars, for those who possessed silver at twelve thousand (dirhams), for those who possessed cattle at two hundred cows, for those who possessed sheep at two thousand sheep, and for those who possessed suits of clothing at two hundred suits. He left the blood-money for dhimmis (protected people) as it was, not raising it in proportion to the increase he made in the blood-wit.” (Sunan Abi Dawud: 4542)

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ حَكِيمٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ عُثْمَانَ، حَدَّثَنَا حُسَيْنٌ الْمُعَلِّمُ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ شُعَيْبٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ جَدِّهِ، قَالَ كَانَتْ قِيمَةُ الدِّيَةِ عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثَمَانَمِائَةِ دِينَارٍ أَوْ ثَمَانِيَةَ آلاَفِ دِرْهَمٍ وَدِيَةُ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ يَوْمَئِذٍ النِّصْفُ مِنْ دِيَةِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ قَالَ فَكَانَ ذَلِكَ كَذَلِكَ حَتَّى اسْتُخْلِفَ عُمَرُ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ فَقَامَ خَطِيبًا فَقَالَ أَلاَ إِنَّ الإِبِلَ قَدْ غَلَتْ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَفَرَضَهَا عُمَرُ عَلَى أَهْلِ الذَّهَبِ أَلْفَ دِينَارٍ وَعَلَى أَهْلِ الْوَرِقِ اثْنَىْ عَشَرَ أَلْفًا وَعَلَى أَهْلِ الْبَقَرِ مِائَتَىْ بَقَرَةٍ وَعَلَى أَهْلِ الشَّاءِ أَلْفَىْ شَاةٍ وَعَلَى أَهْلِ الْحُلَلِ مِائَتَىْ حُلَّةٍ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَتَرَكَ دِيَةَ أَهْلِ الذِّمَّةِ لَمْ يَرْفَعْهَا فِيمَا رَفَعَ مِنَ الدِّيَةِ

 Similarly, hadith no. 4564 says, “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) would fix the blood-money for accidental killing at the rate of four hundred dinars or their equivalent in silver for townsmen, and he would fix it according to the price of camels. So, when they were dear, he increased the amount to be paid, and when cheap prices prevailed, he reduced the amount to be paid. In the time of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), they reached between four hundred and eight hundred dinars, their equivalent in silver being eight thousand dirhams. He said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) gave judgment that those who possessed cattle should pay two hundred cows and those who possessed sheep two thousand sheep. He said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: The blood-money is to be treated as something to be inherited by the heirs of the one who has been killed, and the remainder should be divided among the agnates. He said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) gave judgment that for cutting off a nose completely there was full blood-money, one hundred (camels) were to be paid. If the tip of the nose was cut off, half of the blood-money, i.e. fifty camels were to be paid, or their equivalent in gold or in silver, or a hundred cows, or one thousand sheep. For the hand, when it was cut off half of the blood-money was to be paid; for one foot of half, the blood-money was to be paid. For a wound in the head, a third of the blood-money was due, i.e. thirty-three camels and a third of the blood-money, or their equivalent in gold, silver, cows or sheep. For a head thrust which reaches the body, the same blood-money was to be paid. Ten camels were to be paid for every finger, and five camels for every tooth. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) gave judgment that the blood-money for a woman should be divided among her relatives on her father’s side, who did not inherit anything from her except the residence of her heirs. If she was killed, her blood-money should be distributed among her heirs, and they would have the right of taking revenge on the murderer. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: There is nothing for the murderer; and if he (the victim) has no heir, his heir will be the one who is nearest to him among the people, but the murderer should not inherit anything.” (Sunan Abi Dawud: 4564)

قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ وَجَدْتُ فِي كِتَابِي عَنْ شَيْبَانَ، – وَلَمْ أَسْمَعْهُ مِنْهُ – فَحَدَّثْنَاهُ أَبُو بَكْرٍ، – صَاحِبٌ لَنَا ثِقَةٌ – قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا شَيْبَانُ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ، – يَعْنِي ابْنَ رَاشِدٍ – عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ، – يَعْنِي ابْنَ مُوسَى – عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ شُعَيْبٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ جَدِّهِ، قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُقَوِّمُ دِيَةَ الْخَطَإِ عَلَى أَهْلِ الْقُرَى أَرْبَعَمِائَةِ دِينَارٍ أَوْ عَدْلَهَا مِنَ الْوَرِقِ يُقَوِّمُهَا عَلَى أَثْمَانِ الإِبِلِ فَإِذَا غَلَتْ رَفَعَ فِي قِيمَتِهَا وَإِذَا هَاجَتْ رُخْصًا نَقَصَ مِنْ قِيمَتِهَا وَبَلَغَتْ عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَا بَيْنَ أَرْبَعِمِائَةِ دِينَارٍ إِلَى ثَمَانِمِائَةِ دِينَارٍ أَوْ عَدْلَهَا مِنَ الْوَرِقِ ثَمَانِيَةَ آلاَفِ دِرْهَمٍ وَقَضَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَى أَهْلِ الْبَقَرِ مِائَتَىْ بَقَرَةٍ وَمَنْ كَانَ دِيَةُ عَقْلِهِ فِي الشَّاءِ فَأَلْفَىْ شَاةٍ قَالَ وَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِنَّ الْعَقْلَ مِيرَاثٌ بَيْنَ وَرَثَةِ الْقَتِيلِ عَلَى قَرَابَتِهِمْ فَمَا فَضَلَ فَلِلْعَصَبَةِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَقَضَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي الأَنْفِ إِذَا جُدِعَ الدِّيَةَ كَامِلَةً وَإِنْ جُدِعَتْ ثَنْدُوَتُهُ فَنِصْفُ الْعَقْلِ خَمْسُونَ مِنَ الإِبِلِ أَوْ عَدْلُهَا مِنَ الذَّهَبِ أَوِ الْوَرِقِ أَوْ مِائَةُ بَقَرَةٍ أَوْ أَلْفُ شَاةٍ وَفِي الْيَدِ إِذَا قُطِعَتْ نِصْفُ الْعَقْلِ وَفِي الرِّجْلِ نِصْفُ الْعَقْلِ وَفِي الْمَأْمُومَةِ ثُلُثُ الْعَقْلِ ثَلاَثٌ وَثَلاَثُونَ مِنَ الإِبِلِ وَثُلْثٌ أَوْ قِيمَتُهَا مِنَ الذَّهَبِ أَوِ الْوَرِقِ أَوِ الْبَقَرِ أَوِ الشَّاءِ وَالْجَائِفَةُ مِثْلُ ذَلِكَ وَفِي الأَصَابِعِ فِي كُلِّ أُصْبُعٍ عَشْرٌ مِنَ الإِبِلِ وَفِي الأَسْنَانِ فِي كُلِّ سِنٍّ خَمْسٌ مِنَ الإِبِلِ وَقَضَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّ عَقْلَ الْمَرْأَةِ بَيْنَ عَصَبَتِهَا مَنْ كَانُوا لاَ يَرِثُونَ مِنْهَا شَيْئًا إِلاَّ مَا فَضَلَ عَنْ وَرَثَتِهَا فَإِنْ قُتِلَتْ فَعَقْلُهَا بَيْنَ وَرَثَتِهَا وَهُمْ يَقْتُلُونَ قَاتِلَهُمْ وَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ لَيْسَ لِلْقَاتِلِ شَىْءٌ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ وَارِثٌ فَوَارِثُهُ أَقْرَبُ النَّاسِ إِلَيْهِ وَلاَ يَرِثُ الْقَاتِلُ شَيْئًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ مُحَمَّدٌ هَذَا كُلُّهُ حَدَّثَنِي بِهِ سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ مُوسَى عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ شُعَيْبٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ جَدِّهِ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ رَاشِدٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ دِمَشْقَ هَرَبَ إِلَى الْبَصْرَةِ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ

 These ahadith share the need for changing or revising the compensation for affected workers according to the time and situation (the type of disability). Therefore, the work injury/invalidity benefits (and other benefits) should be updated by the state, keeping in view the welfare of the affected workers.

[5]               Survivors’ benefits are seen to be a significant right in Islam. Sahih Bukhari reports that “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The one who looks after and works for a widow and for a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah’s cause.” (The narrator Al-Qa’nabi is not sure whether he also said “Like the one who prays all the night without slackness and fasts continuously and never breaks his fast”) (Sahih Bukhari: 6007)

“‏ السَّاعِي عَلَى الأَرْمَلَةِ وَالْمِسْكِينِ كَالْمُجَاهِدِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ـ وَأَحْسِبُهُ قَالَ، يَشُكُّ الْقَعْنَبِيُّ ـ كَالْقَائِمِ لاَ يَفْتُرُ، وَكَالصَّائِمِ لاَ يُفْطِرُ ‏”

 Also, in Sahih Bukhari, The Book of Divorce, hadith No. 5304 reports, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The one who looks after an orphan and I will be like this in Paradise,” showing his middle and index fingers and separating them.” (Sahih Bukhari: 5304)

وَأَنَا وَكَافِلُ اليَتِيمِ فِي الجَنَّةِ هَكَذَا» وَأَشَارَ بِالسَّبَّابَةِ وَالوُسْطَى، وَفَرَّجَ بَيْنَهُمَا شَيْئًا

 These ahadith refer to the importance of survivors’ benefits for workers and require the state to provide this right for the dependants of affected workers. Similarly, it is narrated that “A man freed six slaves of his when he was dying, and he did not have any wealth apart from them. News of that reached the Prophet (ﷺ), and he was angry about that. He said: “I was thinking of not offering the funeral prayer for him.” Then he called the slaves and divided them into three groups. He cast lost among them, then freed two and left four as slaves.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i: 1958) 

أَنَّ رَجُلًا أَعْتَقَ سِتَّةً مَمْلُوكِينَ لَهُ عِنْدَ مَوْتِهِ، وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ مَالٌ غَيْرَهُمْ، فَبَلَغَ ذَلِكَ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَغَضِبَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ وَقَالَ: «لَقَدْ هَمَمْتُ أَنْ لَا أُصَلِّيَ عَلَيْهِ»، ثُمَّ دَعَا مَمْلُوكِيهِ فَجَزَّأَهُمْ ثَلَاثَةَ أَجْزَاءٍ، ثُمَّ أَقْرَعَ بَيْنَهُمْ، فَأَعْتَقَ اثْنَيْنِ وَأَرَقَّ أَرْبَعَةً

 This hadith implies the importance of survivors’ benefits. Workers may be compelled to contribute to the pension fund for their families’ future.

The Quran and ahadith refer to the provision of survivors’ benefits for dependents (children and parents etc.) left behind after the death of a worker. As stated in Sahih Muslim, “Abu Huraira reported that two women of the tribe of Hudhail fought with each other and one of them flung a stone at the other, killing her and what was in her womb. The case was brought to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), and he gave judgment that the diyah (indemnity) of her unborn child is a male or a female slave of the best quality, and he also decided that the diyah of the woman is to be paid by her relative on the father’s side, and he (the Holy Prophet (ﷺ)) made her sons and those who were with them her heirs.” (Sahih Muslim: 1681)

اقْتَتَلَتِ امْرَأَتَانِ مِنْ هُذَيْلٍ، فَرَمَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا الْأُخْرَى بِحَجَرٍ، فَقَتَلَتْهَا وَمَا فِي بَطْنِهَا، فَاخْتَصَمُوا إِلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَقَضَى رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّ دِيَةَ جَنِينِهَا غُرَّةٌ عَبْدٌ أَوْ وَلِيدَةٌ، وَقَضَى بِدِيَةِ الْمَرْأَةِ عَلَى عَاقِلَتِهَا، وَوَرَّثَهَا وَلَدَهَا وَمَنْ مَعَهُمْ

  Parent(s) are entitled to these benefits according to verse 17:23, which says, “And your Lord has commanded you not to worship anyone other than Allah, and treat parents with benevolence. If either or both of them attain old age in your presence, then do not say even ‘Ugh!’ to them, nor reproach them. And always speak to both of them submissively, observing polite manners.”

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا

 Similarly, verse 06:151 says, “Say (O Muhammad ): “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to Al-Fawahish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly and kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law). He has commanded you that you may understand.”

قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَلَّا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ مِنْ إِمْلَاقٍ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

 In view of the above verses, it is not only an individual’s responsibility but also the responsibility of the state to provide social protection to the elderly. Parents’ entitlement to dependents’ benefits is also mentioned in Sunan Abi Dawud which reports that “A man came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ),         I have property and children, and my father finishes my property. He replied; “You and your property belong to your father; your children come from the pleasantest of what you earn; so enjoy from the earning of your children.” (Sunan Abi Dawud: 3530)

أَنَّ رَجُلًا أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، إِنَّ لِي مَالًا وَوَلَدًا، وَإِنَّ وَالِدِي يَحْتَاجُ مَالِي؟ قَالَ: «أَنْتَ وَمَالُكَ لِوَالِدِكَ، إِنَّ أَوْلَادَكُمْ مِنْ أَطْيَبِ كَسْبِكُمْ، فَكُلُوا مِنْ كَسْبِ أَوْلَادِكُمْ

 Any children left behind by the worker are also entitled to survivors’ benefits by the state until they reach the age when they are able to fend for themselves, as verse 06:152 says, “And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he (or she) attains the age of full strength; and give full measure and full weight with justice. We burden not any person, but that which he can bear. And whenever you give your word (i.e. judge between men or give evidence, etc.), tell the truth even if a near relative is concerned, and fulfil the Covenant of Allah, This He commands you, that you may remember.” (06:152)

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ لَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا وَإِذَا قُلْتُمْ فَاعْدِلُوا وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَى وَبِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ أَوْفُوا ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

 Same is the case in verse 17:34, which states, “And come not near to the orphan’s property except to improve it until he attains the age of full strength. And fulfil (every) covenant. Verily! the covenant will be questioned about.”

وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَأَوْفُوا بِالْعَهْدِ إِنَّ الْعَهْدَ كَانَ مَسْئُولًا

 There is also support in the hadith for means-testing (concerning entitlement to benefits) when distributing survivors’ benefits. Sahih Bukhari reports that “The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I am closer to the believers than their selves in this world and the Hereafter, and if you like, you can read Allah’s Statement: “The Prophet (ﷺ) is closer to the believers than their own selves.” (33.6) So, if a true believer dies and leaves behind some property, it will be for his inheritors (from the father’s side), and if he leaves behind some debt to be paid or needy offspring, then they should come to me as I am the guardian of the deceased.” (Sahih Bukhari: 2399)


مَا مِنْ مُؤْمِنٍ إِلَّا وَأَنَا أَوْلَى بِهِ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ، اقْرَءُوا إِنْ شِئْتُمْ: {النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَى بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ} {الأحزاب: 6} فَأَيُّمَا مُؤْمِنٍ مَاتَ وَتَرَكَ مَالًا فَلْيَرِثْهُ عَصَبَتُهُ مَنْ كَانُوا، وَمَنْ تَرَكَ دَيْنًا أَوْ ضَيَاعًا، فَلْيَأْتِنِي فَأَنَا مَوْلاَهُ

Similarly, Sahih Muslim reports the Prophet (ﷺ) as saying, “By Him in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad (ﷺ), there is no believer on the earth with whom I am not the nearest among all the people. He who amongst you (dies) and leaves a debt, I am there to pay it, and he who amongst you (dies) leaving behind children I am there to look after them. And he who amongst You leaves behind the property, that is for the inheritor whoever he is.” (Sahih Muslim: 1619)

وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ، إِنْ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ مِنْ مُؤْمِنٍ إِلَّا أَنَا أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِهِ، فَأَيُّكُمْ مَا تَرَكَ دَيْنًا، أَوْ ضَيَاعًا فَأَنَا مَوْلَاهُ، وَأَيُّكُمْ تَرَكَ مَالًا، فَإِلَى الْعَصَبَةِ مَنْ كَانَ

These ahadith imply that the state should regulate the distribution of benefits to the dependents of affected workers by making certain what the conditions are of the affected workers before distributing the benefits to the families.

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