Fatwa n° 350
Category: Miscellaneous Fatwas – Religious science and Scholars
The residency in a country of disbelief
for requesting the religious science
All praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Prayer and peace be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds and his family, companions and followers, then after:
What is the ruling concerning living in Australia -the residency of a Muslim practicing brother- to request the religious science in Sidney at the Islamic Cultural Institute of the Muslim League, the Islamic Center of Australian Muslims? Answer us may Allah reward you with what is best.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection:
All the excuses and reasons leading to the overthrowing of what Allah عزّ وجلّ has enjoined on Al-Mukallaf (1), namely establishing the religion and showing its rituals as well as acting in accordance with monotheism and having loathing for polytheists and disloyalty towards them. With this in mind, all the aforementioned excuses and reasons are considered prohibited according to the Sharia for fear of melting his Islamic personality within the circle of disbelief, and by the same token, losing his ethics and changing his behavior and look. Therefore, he will automatically agree with them and approve of their ways and manners without condemnation or being constrained.
It is known that satisfaction with disbelief is a disbelief in itself. Likewise, satisfaction with guilt is like doing it, be it in a country of disbelief or that of piousness, as the hadith states: “If a wrong deed is committed on the earth, then the one who witnessed and hated it (in another narration: condemned it) is like who has not witnessed it. Conversely, the one who did not witness that wrong deed but just approved of it, is like who has witnessed it” (2). Therefore, it is not permissible to travel to the countries of disbelief under the foregoing risks of polytheism. It is indicated in the Glorious Qur’an:
﴿إِنَّكُمۡ إِذٗا مِّثۡلُهُم ﴾ [النّساء:140].
The meaning of the verse:
﴾ You, in that case, would be like them ﴿[An-Nişâ’ : 140]
And in a set of hadiths, like his saying صلّى الله عليه وسلّم: “Whosoever stays and lives with a polytheist, he is then like him”(3).
On the other hand, if there is an ability of showing the religious rituals and disloyalty towards the polytheists in their manners and behavior, in a way that his personality is distinguished from them in the ways he behaves or looks like; so, if the aforementioned risks are absent, it is permissible- in this case- to travel to a country of disbelief and to live there, be it for trade purposes, studying or for the call to Islam in the sake of Allah according to one’s purpose, and whether or not there is need for that.
Indeed, the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم allowed some companions among them Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه to travel to the countries of disbelief for trade purposes. The Verse and the Hadith -that go against travelling to the countries of disbelief- apply to the first situation, but the hadith which is narrated by Ibn ‘Abbâs رضي الله عنه wherein th Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم said: “No migration after the Opening [Of Makkah] unless for Holy Fight (Jihâd) or having an intention for that”(4) applies to the other situation.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers on: Rabî‘ Ath-Thânî the 14th, 1417 H
Corresponding to August the 19th, 1997 G.
(1) A person meeting the conditions to be held religiously accountable for his actions. Translator’s note.
(2) Reported by Abû Dâwûd (4345) from the hadith of Al-‘Urs Ibn ‘Âmir Al-Kindî رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged Haşan (Good) by Al-Albânî in “Sahîh Al-Jâmi‘ ” (689).
(3) Reported by Abû Dâwûd (2787) from the hadith of Samura Ibn Jundub رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged Haşan (Good) by Al-Albânî in “As-Silsila As-Sahîha” (05/434) number: (2330).
(4) Reported by Al-Bukhârî (2783) from the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbâs رضي الله عنه and by Muslim (1864) from the hadith of ‘Â‘icha رضي الله عنها.