Fatwa No : 81142
Muslim living in non-Muslim land
Fatwa Date : Rabee' Al-Awwal 2, 1425 / 22-4-2004
I am living in Canada and I need fatwa about Muslims living in non-Muslim land, and growing a beard in order to get a job.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
'Umar narrated: ''The Prophet said: "Indeed actions are judged according to their intentions. So every one will be rewarded for what he intends. Whoever migrates for the Sake of Allaah and His Prophet, then his migration is for the Sake of Allaah and His Prophet, and whoever migrates for worldly benefits, or for the purpose of marrying a woman, then his migration is for what he migrated for (i.e. he will not get a reward from Allaah for migrating as it was not for His Sake)'' [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim].
Therefore, if there are any religious benefits in residing there, then you will be rewarded. You are considered as a Mujaahid (a person who strives in the Cause of Allaah) calling people to Islam, especially if you speak their language. The Prophet said: "I swear by Allaah! If Allaah guides one single man (to Islam) by your efforts, that will be better for you than possessing an abundant number of red camels (a very expensive breed of camels)." [Al-Bukhaari]
However, if you are residing there for a material purpose, then residing in a Muslim country is better for you. Nonetheless, you are permitted to reside there if you are not committing prohibitions and provided you are able to show and practise your religious rites.
As regards growing the beard in order to get a job, then you should correct your intention, as sincerity of the intention turns the habits into acts of worship and vice-versa. Growing a beard is a Sunnah of the Prophet whether or not you are asked to keep it long. You should grow it to abide by the Sunnah and Allaah will reward you, Allaah willing.
Allaah Knows best.