Studying immigration laws in Western country
Fatwa No: 340480


Assalaamu alaykum I want to make a career change, but I do not want to violate Allaah's (The Exalted) laws. I would like to know whether studying in immigration or working in the government (immigration or citizenship) is haram? The program consists of different courses: Immigration and Refugee Law, Temporary Status, Economic Class, Family Sponsorship, Humanitarian & Compassionate Application, Refugee Law and Protected Persons, Administrative Tribunals and the IRB, Business and Client Centred Practice, and Professional Responsibility. I currently live in Canada, where there are a lot of Muslims. I do perfom my prayers daily. I do not want to regret my choice later on in my life. Thank you


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. 

The ruling on studying immigration or working in the government (immigration or citizenship) is included in the ruling on studying man-made laws and working under them. In brief, there is no harm in studying man-made laws as long as it is for a good cause, such as showing how the laws of the Islamic Sharia excel over them and highlighting what is in man-made laws of contradictions, injustice, and flaws that the Islamic Sharia is totally free of, or how to benefit from the man-made laws in matters that do not violate the Sharia, such as the administrative regulations and bylaws and the like, provided that the student is intellectually qualified to shoulder this task. If the purpose is otherwise, then it is impermissible to study it.

The same applies to working under a man-made system of government: if the Muslim works in the fields governed by regulations that do not violate the Islamic Sharia, such as administrative regulations and bylaws, or if his work involves removing oppression from people or lessening it while abiding by Islamic law to the best of his ability, then there is no harm on him; otherwise, it is impermissible to work in such fields. Please, refer to fatwa 89659.

These are the general rulings in this regard. It should be noted, though, that the actual application of these rulings may prove to be problematic. If someone said that working in the field of immigration and citizenship in a Western country such as Canada can hardly be free of Sharia violations, his words would not be far-fetched.

Therefore, in our opinion, it is safer that you seek another field of study or work that is free from Sharia violations in order to obtain lawful earnings and avoid doubtful matters. You should be absolutely confident that if you give up something for the sake of pleasing Allah, He shall compensate you with something better than it. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “You will not give up something out of piety towards Allah but that He gives you something better than it.” [Ahmad - Al-Albaani graded it saheeh (sound)]

Allah knows best.

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