Assalaamu alaykum, Shaykh. I live in the UK, and my life is ruined. I really cannot live here anymore, I have tried everything, I just cannot go on. For me to be able to hold on to Islam, what I must do is leave this place ASAP. I have been doing evil, disgusting major sins for years, there is no way I can change whilst remaining in this place. I have tried everything, I need to leave this place ASAP. My worst fear is that death comes to me whilst I am disobeying Allaah, The Exalted. For this reason, I have made the intention to make Hijrah (emigration) and go live in an Islamic country. I am saving up money, and I will be gone for three years and will see if I can change myself within this time. However, I was also thinking of Doing 'Umrah, so that, Allaah willing, I could get my sins forgiven by performing 'Umrah and then go live abroad. Please advise me on what I should do; should I go and perform 'Umrah once I have saved up money, or should I use that money to buy a plane ticket and go live in an Islamic country for three years? Please keep in mind that if I go and perform 'Umrah with the money, I then would have to come back to this evil town that I am living in and which has messed my whole life up. And then I would have save up money again so that I could leave this place, and I fear that I would fall in the traps of the devil and go back to this evil life that I am living. Please keep in mind that it is so difficult for me right now. I am doing whatever I can to save up money. I have been getting pains in my neck muscles and in my chest for the past year-and-a-half up to this very day. Nevertheless, I work in a warehouse, which causes me even more pain, just so that I can save up money and leave this place ASAP. By Allaah, this is how bad my situation is. Please advise me on what I should do. Please tell me what is better for me; to go perform 'Umrah or to leave this place ASAP and change my self and then go perform 'Umrah later. Please do not refer me to another fatwa, and please answer me directly and tell me what is better for me. May Allaah reward you, and I am really sorry for the long question.
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
As long as you are not able to hold on to Islam in that country, then you are obliged to make Hijrah from it. It is a priority for you over making 'Umrah, because scholars held different opinions regarding whether ‘Umrah is obligatory or not. Moreover, your Hijrah from this country would help you preserve your religion.
Our advice to you, as long as you cannot hold on to your religion in that country, is to hasten to migrate from it to a place where you can practice your religion and feel safe from temptations. You should seek a Muslim community and pious companions who adhere to the Sharia and whose company would remind you of Allah. This is one of the most effective means to help you adhere to the straight path in those countries. You should also supplicate Allah frequently, recite Thikr (expressions of remembrance of Allah), and think of death and the horrors that will follow. Hopefully, Allah would guide you to sincere repentance by means of which you can have all your past sins and misdeeds forgiven.
Allah knows best.
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