Assalaamu alaykum. I recently made Hijrah (emigration) from the USA to a Gulf country, praise be to Allah. However, after I arrived here I had issues with the folks at my work and left for another job with a considerably lower pay. For me, as long as the salary is enough to get by, it is ok. However, as a young man in the USA, I was very irresponsible with money and mishandled over 20,000 dollars that my parents gave me to watch over, and it all went away due to my reckless spending. I now feel extremely guilty about it but realize that my salary here in the Gulf will not be enough to pay it off. Should I go back to the USA, where I would be able to get a job that can pay it off in less than a year? Is it haram to return to the USA considering that they invaded Muslim lands?
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.
Living among the disbelievers in non-Muslim communities is the source of many evils. The dear questioner should stay in a Muslim country where he can freely and openly practice the Islamic rituals and where he does not fear deviation for himself and his children. Verily, the safety of one's religiosity and manners are the greatest earnings. Jareer reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "I have nothing to do with any Muslim who settles among the polytheists." [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi] It is impermissible to live in a non-Muslim community except for a necessity.
As for his debts, we advise him to turn to Allaah for aid and implore Him frequently to relieve him of his burdens. It has been reported that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to say the following supplication before going to sleep:
"Allaahumma rabb As-Samaawaati As-Sab' wa rabb Al-'Arsh Al-'Atheem, rabbana wa rabba kulli shai'in, faaliqal-Habbi wan-Nawa, wa munzil At-Tawraati wal-Injeeli wal-Furqaan. A‘oothu bika min sharri kulli shay'in anta aakhithun binaasiyatihi, ant Al-Awwalu falaysa qablaka shay'un, wa anta Al-Aakhiru falaysa ba‘daka shay'un, wa anta Ath-Thaahiru falaysa fawqaka shay'un, wa anta Al-Baatinu falaysa doonaka shay'un, iqdhi ‘anna Ad-Dayn, wa aghnina min Al-Faqr." (O Allaah; Lord of the seven heavens and the Lord of all things; Splitter of the grain and the date-stone; Revealer of the Torah, Gospel, and the Furqaan (Quran). I seek refuge in You from the evil of everything that You are holding by its forelock (i.e. that You control). You are the First; there is nothing before You. You are the Last; there is nothing after You. You are Ath-Thaahir, there is nothing above You, and Al-Baatin, there is nothing below You. Relieve us of our debt and take us out of poverty). [Muslim]
Also, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to Mu'aath :
"Shall I not teach you a supplication which, if you have debts as large as the mountain of Uhud, Allaah will repay them on your behalf? O Mu'aath, say, 'O Allaah, You are the source of all powers; You grant power to whom You will. In Your Hand lies all that is good; indeed, You are Capable of doing all things. You are The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. You grant power to whom You will and You take it from whom You will. Forgive me and bestow your Mercy on me that I would be in no need of the mercy of none other than You.'" [At-Tabaraani]
For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 90514.
Allaah knows best.
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