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Sunday 5 Shawwâl 1445 H - April 14, 2024 G

Fatwa n°: 753

Category: miscellaneous fatwas

The danger of traveling to a country of disbelievers for a Muslim


I am a university teacher who travels every year to the land of disbelievers for scientific research. One day, when in the bus, a girl sat near me and started to touch my hand and some sensitive parts of my body. This made me sexually aroused and some semen came out of me. I am still sorry for what I committed, so, what is the ruling of such deed and what am I required to do ? What is your advice? May Allah bless you.


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 till the Day of Resurrection.

It is clear for you that living and settling among disbelievers will cause to resemble them and be assimilated to them. It has also many dangers on the faith of the Muslim and on his moralities, especially if this person is far from his family or brothers.

For this reason, it is of his duty, if he is obliged to travel to these countries, to protect himself from temptations by knowing the Sharia and showing its rites, and to act according to Allah’s commands with full knowledge that He sees all his acts, in order to get away from places of temptation. Nevertheless, if someone commits an act as yours, which is a means to committing adultery and lewdness that are forbidden by the Sharia, it is less sinful than the act of fornication itself; as committing an illegal means is not like committing the sinful act itself as regards punishment and retribution.

Besides, the person who is involved in such illegal means like the lewd mixing of the two sexes and the fact of being illegally with a woman or other things which are means to illegal things, should turn into Allah with a sincere repentance and feel sorrow for what he committed and abstain from it. The fact of not insisting in doing wrong deeds expiates sins whatever significant they are, especially if they are followed with good deeds. Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:

﴿قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لاَ تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللهِ إِنَّ اللهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ﴾ [الزمر: 53].

The meaning of the verse:

Say: “O `Ibâdî (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh, verily Allâh forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful﴿ [Az-Zumar (The Groups): 53].

He عزَّ وجلَّ also said:

﴿وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ وَلاَ يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ وَلاَ يَزْنُونَ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَامًا. يُضَاعَفْ لَهُ الْعَذَابُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَخْلُدْ فِيهِ مُهَانًا. إِلاَّ مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلاً صَالِحًا فَأُوْلَئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ وَكَانَ اللهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا﴾ [الفرقان: 68-70].

The meaning of the verse:

And those who invoke not any other ilâh (god) along with Allâh, nor kill such life as Allâh has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; except those who repent and believe (in Islâmic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allâh will change their sins into good deeds, and Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful﴿ [Al-Furqân (The Criterion): 68-70].

The Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said: “The one who repents from sin is like the one who did not sin”(1). The Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم also said: “By Him in Whose Hands is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have forgiven them”(2).

Returning to Allah and repenting to him should be followed up with good deeds, steadfastness and patience; these are the reasons of uprightness which lead to please Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:

﴿وَأَلَّوِ اسْتَقَامُوا عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ لَأَسْقَيْنَاهُمْ مَاء غَدَقًا﴾ [الجن : 16].

If they (non-Muslims) had believed in Allâh, and went on the Right Way (i.e. Islâm) We should surely have bestowed on them water (rain) in abundance﴿ [Al-Jin (The Jinns): 16].

We ask Allah عزَّ وجلَّ guidance for you and us and ask Him to accept our deeds and make us righteous and away from errors, lapses and afflictions be they open or secrete.

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers, Safar 24th, 1428 H.
Corresponding to: March 13th, 2007

(1) Reported by Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “Asceticism” (hadith 4250), Al-Bayhaqi (hadith 21150) and At-Tabarâni in “Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabîr” (hadith 10281) from the hadith of `Abd Allâh Ibn Mass`ûd رضي الله عنه. Ibn Hajar said in « Fath Al-Bâri» (13/557): ”Its chain of narration is Hassan (good)”. Al Albâni judged it as Hassan (good) in “Sahîh Al-Jâmi`” (hadith 3008).

(2) Reported by Muslim in the chapter of “Repentance” concerning the obliteration of sins through asking Allah for forgiveness (6965), Ahmad in his “Musnad” (8021) and Al-Bayhaqi in “Shu`ab Al-Îmân” (7102) from the hadith of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.