Hijrah recommended, not obligatory, if Islam can be practised openly in land of unbelief
Fatwa No: 279451

  • Fatwa Date:26-2-2015 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 8, 1436
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Question

As salam aleikum. Ive read your many fatwas about hijra so please give me a personal verdict for my question and do not send me a fatwa of another previously asked question. With regards to living in dar ul kufr in the UK we practise reasonably well. We can eat halal, fast and pray and go to the mosques and go to hajj and can give zakat as well as dawah. I fear Allah and do not mix with women so i am safe from that temptation in sha Allah. But if i am working i do not think my boss would be ok with me praying in the mosque during work time as walking there and praying then returning consumes a lot of work time. And people have been arrested for preaching and talking about issues like jihad. Cars are bought with interest and the problem of riba is rampant. I dont know however if this is different in the arab muslim countries. In your personal opinion then is it fard to make hijrah for me or is it permitted to remain here? I know it is recommended but is it obligatory or can i stay?

Answer

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, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

The scholars have held different opinions about whether it is obligatory to make Hijrah from a home of Kufr (unbelief) to a home of Islam if one is able to practice one's religious duties openly. The majority of the scholars held that it is recommended and not obligatory in general. The Kuwaiti encyclopedia of Fiqh (Al-Mawsoo‘ah Fiqhiyyah Kuwaytiyyah) reads: "The Shaafi‘is and Hanbalis held that if a Muslim is able to practice his religion openly in a home of Kufr and does not fear Fitnah (trouble) concerning his religion, then he is not obliged to make Hijrah, but it is recommended." [End of quote]

The Maalikis, on the other hand, held that such Hijrah is obligatory (Waajib).

As for what it means to be able to practice one's religion openly, Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "If, in a home of Kufr, one can pray Salat, pay Zakah, perform congregation prayer and Jumu‘ah prayer, and no one prevents him from that, then such a person is able to practice religion openly." [summarized]

Ibn Jibreen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: "The preferred opinion is that if someone travels to a home of Kufr for the purpose of engaging in trade or importing goods and he is able to practice his religion openly and demonstrate the characteristics of Muslims, then it is permissible for him. For example, he is able to abide by the Islamic dress code, perform the Salah openly, call the Athaan, grow a beard for men, adhere to Islamic Hijab for women, avoid places where immoral practices take place, like nightclubs and casinos, and he is able to protect himself from being deceived by the outward appearance/behavior of the unbelievers and being impressed by their strength and their progress in such a way that he disdains Muslims and thinks lowly of them." [End of quote]

Apparently, the banning of preaching and talking about Jihaad does not contravene the ability to practice one's religion openly. As for the spread of Riba (usurious interest), there is no doubt that it does not contravene the ability to practice one's religion openly.

Regarding the possibility of a non-Muslim employer not giving an employee consent to perform the Salah in the mosque (during working hours), it does not actually contravene the ability to practice one's religion freely and openly, and it does not affect the judgment concerning Hijrah because it does not pertain to a specific country but is rather pertinent to the employer. Other employers may not object to it, and one may instead work in trade or the like.

In brief, it is recommended for Muslims to make Hijrah from the home of Kufr to the home of Islam. Some scholars hold that it is permissible for you to settle in a non-Muslim country as long as you can practice your religion openly as you have described in the question. Other scholars are of the view that the Hijrah is obligatory in an absolute sense.

Allaah Knows best.

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