The Fallacy Of The “Hijra” Fatwa


In the past few years the fatwaordering Muslims to make hijra (migrate) from the lands of Kufr to Dar al-Islamis an oft quoted fiqhi opinion transmitted from Islamic scholarly tradition. The validity of this opinion or this option for a Muslim today ought be examined from variety of angles:

Firstly from a fiqhi perspective along with the rationale underlying the juristic reasoning governinghijra.

Secondly, from the angle of the categorization of the world into Dar al Kufr and Dar al Islam.

Thirdly, from a logistical and political perspective in light of Maqasid ash Shar’iah.

The Hijra Fatwa From The Fiqhi Perspective

Initially, the call to hijra assumes that one is incapable of practicing the essentials of Islam, is not free to do so or fears for safety and or the corruption of his religion in the current land he resides in. For the most part Muslims living in the West are more empowered to: practice Islam, by openly believing in Allah (swt) , openly, establish Salah, fast Ramadan, pay Zakat and go to Hajj.

The difficulty of applying traditional juristic opinions is present in both East and West except that in the East there is a lack of economy and political freedom nor is there a rule of law. So the recourse to Fiqh of minorities is not a legitimate cause for demandingHijra when in fact it is a means to contextual practice in light of Shar’iah itself and current socio-political realities.

According to Imam al-Mawardi (r) as narrated by Shaikh Uthman Dan Fudi (r) (who was very pro-hijra):he who can establish his Deen in the lands of the non-Muslim ought not leave, for it may be the case that abiding therein he may aid Islam and others become Muslim.

(The validity of quoting Mawardi’s opinion through Shaikh Uthman Dan Fudi al Maliki (r) is because the Shaikh contextualized this matter illustrating fiqh along with narration.)

He also related some other points which are necessary for our understanding of this matter in other than a superficial matter. [As for those who revert to Islam in the lands of disbelief]…their Islam is sound because migration was only necessary for the soundness of a person’s Islam before the opening of Makka. It is said that migration was obligatory before the conquest of Makka due to the fear that the unbelievers would corrupt the Deen of those who had become Muslims.

What we learn from Imam Mawardi is that if a person is capable of practicing his Deen with his family and engaging in da’wah then that abode becomes for that person Dar al Islam.!

The juristic rationale or the aim of the Shar’iah in legislating hijra is to preserve a person’s Deen and to save one from corruption and oppression. It may be the case that making hijra from the West to the East does not enable one to further practice Islam but instead affords one the comfort of cultural practices influenced by Islam rather than a qualitative practical implementation of Deen.

The Hijra Fatwa From The Perspective Of Dividing The World Into Dar al Islam and Dar al Kufr

Dividing the world into Dar al Kufr and Dar al Islam as noted by Allamah Ibn Bayyah (h) and Allamah Taha Jabir (h) is a political characterization of the world which is not grounded in textual evidence. As Dr. Taha Jabir al Alwani (r) related: ” it rather is a political characterization that emerged by way of the Hanafi Imam Muhammad Ibn Hasan ash Shaybani (r) who was asked by the Khalifa in his age what is the state of the world. So he responded by declaring there is Dar al Islam and Dar al Kufr. This classification of the globe later penetrated juristic literature and was treated as absolute despite its unfoundedness in textual evidence.”

Many leading scholars today are instead turning to another classification which is found in works such as Shaikh al Azhar al Ameer’s (r) Hashiyah on Jawhara at Tawhid. The world is divided in this system as peoples.

(a.) The People of Da’wah (those who are potential da’wah candidates)
(b.) The People of Response (those who are Muslims , who have responded to the Islamic call)

This later categorization is much more favorable in a “globalized world” demanding interdependence and the recognition of a multicultural existence and speaks more in the spirit of Islam and serves its cause more than the first categorization. Henry Kissinger once said that Islam is incapable of functioning in the world predicated upon its war mode which is rooted in dividing the world into two parts Dar al Islam and Dar al Kufrthe second being an abode in which war must be waged against the infidel. Despite the fact the Kissinger was the author of the phrase “War is the source of everything.”

There is an intent media bias postured to establish that Islam is incapable of dealing with current realities, is medievalish, against freedom and violent and totalitarian. The categories of Imam Muhammad Hasan (r) no longer serve the cause of Islam in da’wahor otherwise, in fact there is no empire to be termed Dar al Islam there are only nation states most of which are governed by secular legal apparatuses which tilt to towards repression.

This notion of Dar al Islam and Dar al Kufr gives the reader the impression that the Muslim world is a confederation of States governed by Islamic law and courts and is occupied by institutions which facilitate Islamic law and ethics in society, culture and economy. This in fact, is a false characterization of the Muslim world which is plagued by secularism with the exception of a few instances

The Hijra Fatwa from a logistical and political perspective in light of Maqasid ash Shar’iah

In light of the Hijrafatwa we must ask some critical questions pertinent to the well being of those who may opt to make Hijra which may be in the best interest of some individuals.

Is it the case that there is an Islamic State capable of handling mass migration today, incorporating migrants economically and politically and affording the migrant the rights of citizenship and repatriation?

Is this the case, on the ground, in fact?

The irresponsibility of the some of the scholars in recent times in issuing this fatwa has led to effects which are not other than harmful.

Shar’iah teaches us to think holistically and strategically and to realize the greater good as qualified byShar’iah itself while considering the local realities of which we suffer.

I will speak only as a Muslim American. If a Muslim will migrate from America, for instance, to a Muslim land the first thing we ought ensure is that migration takes place for the sake of ensuring the practice of Islam, safeguarding his or her family, and economic empowerment.

We ought not believe that there is an imaginary second homeland standing patiently to be a host society awaiting the coming of Muslim minorities. This is quite foolish. Political criticisms aside but what we see in the Muslim world is a nightmare as regards social planning and further a disaster in the establishment of social justice and civil rights much less a mature practice of Islam. Muslims are the least bit infallible despite being entrusted with the purity of revelation and this translated into social realities in which the non-citizen is treated as a second class citizen deprived of rights and equality politically and economically. A fiqh that does not look to empower people is a fiqh that is not in sync with Islam. This we ought keep before us without compromise.

As Imam al Akbar, Shaikh al Azhar Imam Maraghi (r) said: “Bring to me that which benefits the people and I will make clear to you the proof for it in Islam.”

So here we might ask: What real benefit is it to call the people to hijra and not offer solutions as to the hows of hijra or to what land they ought go? We are literally seeing more and more Muslims both men and women and children destroy themselves and their families predicated upon the following of irresponsiblefatwa.

Another question we might ask despite the tone of the question is: Is it the case that Saudia Arabia, Syria or Jordan is prepared to incorporate Western Muslims and assist them to have dignified lives under the law? These are the countries of residence in which the scholars who have reissued the hijrafatwa have resided or reside.

There has to be some coming to account for calling the people to destruction. If one is capable of makinghijra to preserve one’s Deen and live a dignified existence than so be it. On the other hand the right of disclosure demands that people be informed that one is often moving in most cases from one set of problems to another and it is not the case that one’s Deen is always preserved. Any desire to make hijramust be studied and charted.

In the line of the right of disclosure it must also be said that the Muslim world is not composed of States governed by Shar’iah but rather most Muslim countries are governed by a repressive implementation of secular law although they may proclaim Islam as a source of legal inspiration.

Despite what was said we must reconsider that it is the case that the Muslim minority has more rights and access to justice in the West and is more in a position to practice Islam than in most Muslim countries. The Muslim world has not solved the Palestinian refugee problem nor the situation of the Kurds. So are we to believe it is in a position to incorporate the large minority Muslim population residing in the West?

Denouement

This post is in no way an character attack on the people of knowledge but it is a call to be responsible forlegal responsa (fatawaa) issued on the matter of hijra. In no way is it right for the Muslim community in the West to allow fatwa coming from the East to undermine the well being of members of our community nor put people at risk in the name of Islam. The burden of Hijra to date has been placed upon individuals and family and has not been a matter handled by the community of export nor the receiving land.

Hijrawhen made to Habasha was a strategic move coordinated, encouraged and carried out under the guidance of the leadership of the Muslims (the Prophet Muhammad (saw)). He looked to see what land the Muslims would go to and he ensured it was a place wherein there was justice and in which the Deen of Islam could be practiced and Muslims aimed to go there as a community. Withing that land they looked after one another. Is it the case that those Ulema who demand hijra today are looking after and tending to the needs of those they have demanded to make hijra?

Are people being looked after and tended to. In most cases Muslims from the West are finding that the practice of Islam is predicated upon personal exertion rather than environmental support. If one is to makehijra for the sake of securing one’s Deen then that person must ensure he can provide for his life in order to practice Deen then he must look to see if it is the case that Deen can be preserved in truth rather than form, then he must see if he can preserve his family. It may be the case, that one can neither practice nor maintain oneself but becomes an economic liability in a weak economy devoid of a social welfare net and incapable of offering one a decent job. If we are going to tell people to uproot as people connected to knowledge then we must also aid them in the reconstruction of life if only in advice and indication. But to advise hijra and a person leaves his home in America to go to the East and live in the path of harm (health wise, economically, family wise) or as a rogue violating the law of the land (being an illegal alien) then we must say that the viability of going with the fatwa of hijra has come into question as it violates the aims of the Shar’iah itself that it claims to preserve. We can not call the community of Muslims in the West to destruction in the name of hijra particularly when there is no host country willing to incorporate Muslims. So the burden of hijra falls on the individual rather than it being a shared burden as it was in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). Muslims in the West are obliged to engage the path of self determination as there is no where to turn except to Allah (swt) and then to themselves. After all the talk of Hijra to the East seems out of sync given that a significant percentage of Muslims are looking to make Hijra to the West. It is hoped that those who are swayed by the Hijrafatwa make a beneficial and informed decision which is empowering rather than emotional and whimsical.

Wa Allahu Al’am

Abul-Hussein

 

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46 Comments

  1. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    The danger of applying fiqh and classical legal opinions without considering the objectives of Shari’ah is telling. In Egypt there was an American family that bought into the hijrah dawa. Their daughter was married off at a young age, and was caste into a life of prostitution, drugs and brutality that eventually lead to a local village calling the American Embassy saying, “Take this girl.” What they found was a young woman being brutally rapped [on a daily basis] and prostituted in the lands of the Muslims. Allah knows what happened to her, but she is not the first, nor the last to slip due to such irresponsible calls by the minority.

    Our brothers and sister will bring verses of Qur’an, Hadith and classic fiqh opinions to support such claims. Our response is: “Do you have the necessary training to apply and understand that law? Are you able to take the law, envision it through its objectives and fuse it with the reality of the questioner? The danger of the textual fetish has lead to two extremes: the salafi school and its dedication to texts without usol and the traditionalist, who clings to classic legal manuals with the same vigor as the former, lacking the same inability to interpret, synthesize and apply the law in context.

    In Egypt there are a large number of American sisters who were divorced by the Husbands and left for dead with no welfare and 3-4 kids! Struggling to obey and build, these sisters left their homes and the security of citizenry to face abandonment by a prepubescent convert community.

    Scholars who make such fatwas need to be called to task. I think many do so with an immigrant mindset, unaware, or unable to visualize the life that many of us, born in the states, have the potential to live here in dignity.

    Recently a scholar from Syria proposed such an idea. I have to ask, in Syria the favorite sweet is black and called “Rais al-’Abd” “Head of the Slave.” Is such a country really a place for Westerners to migrate and settle? I know of an Imam whose wife was forced to wear Nigab because the men in the country considered her an “amah” slave woman and constantly approached her for illicit sex! The security system in Syria is such there that one loses any hope of justice, equality and a sense of civil society. But Western Muslims trust, get played and in some cases get hurt.

    The Muslim world is suffering through a number of crises that impede its ability to move forward, clean house and get right with Allah. I’m very weary of accepting social fatwas from scholars who are not able to understand the West nor deal with their own problems on the ground. Local Muslim leaders must step up, take the hit and protect their communities.

    Great post akhi
    SDW

    • Yusuf Cincinnati says:

      Assalaamu ‘alaikum,

      “The Muslim world is suffering through a number of crises that impede its ability to move forward, clean house and get right with Allah. I’m very weary of accepting social fatwas from scholars who are not able to understand the West nor deal with their own problems on the ground. Local Muslim leaders must step up, take the hit and protect their communities.”

      100%.

      • Dyhia says:

        Agree,
        Most Imams in North America are old school, not familiar with North American society…
        For years I went to the Jumaa prayers and heard boring Khutbas by Imams who can hardly speak English or who would talk about things that are not even relevant or not as important in North American Muslim society.
        Over the last few years I have noticed an improvements in the Imams being recruited as well as the styles of the Khutbas.
        Al Hamdoulillah I am seing more and more Imams who are born and/or raised in North America and therefore very familiar with the challenges faced by Muslims and especially youth.

  2. abu adam says:

    One friend once wisely said: If there are no ansar, then there can be no hijrah. Which Muslim country in the world is opening its arms? Even if you are married to a citizen of most Muslim countries, you are not very welcome (according the immigration laws of the country). How about someone else with no roots in their new land?

    You can live in Saudi Arabia all of your life. Your children can be born here but still you are not even entitled to permanent residence or to even own a speck of dust of this blessed land.

  3. Musa Franco says:

    Subhanallah Your post Imam Suhaib was very heart wrenching. It was sad to read that story. I can’t beleive that muslims woul do that to other muslims.

    Salaam Alaykum

    PS. Will be seeing you at the sharh arba3een

  4. Abdurahman says:

    All praise be to Allah.

    Can I point out a couple things brother Abul-Hussein, I hope you won’t mind:

    1.) I don’t think anyone will disagree that leaving a bad environment and going to a good environment is wajib, according to Shari’ah. What leads to haram is also haram, and what is required for a wajib is also wajib, and this is a well know fiqhi principle.

    2.) There is also a difference between saying something is wajib, but then saying that however it is not possible at the moment due to circumstances. We can say that leaving a dangerous fitna environment is required, but due to circumstances it is not possible right now. However, this doesn’t nullify the original ruling of leaving the environment of fitna, it only qualifies it by saying it ‘when it becomes possible’.

    Thus, we should work towards a realistic solution. Amalgating with non-Muslims meet seem nice in the short term, but we have to think about our progeny and make a realistic assessment of the future of Islam, based on experience and not wishful thinking. We like to dream and hope that America will accept Islam one day, but that is not very realistic. The reality one the ground is the other way around, more and more Muslims are losing their deen everyday. Have you done a realistic assessment of Muslim minorities in South America? I have heard stories from brothers who have been there. It would make you cry.

    At the same time, many Muslim countries are experiencing a revival of religious spirit.

    3.) Dr. Ratib al-Nabulsi gave last Friday’s khutba on making Hijra, he said the following:

    -I once attending a gathering of Muslim doctors in Britain, and one of the speakers said, “If you fear for your son’s son’s son’s deen, then look for somewhere else to live.” Someone came up with tears in his eyes, saying: forget my son’s son’s son, my son is no longer Muslim.”

    -He was told that 50% of the children of Muslims in Australia no longer practice Islam. I don’t think this is far from reality at all.

    -He said: “Don’t compare life in the West with life in Muslim countries, compare the dunya with the akhira.”

    -He said: “A difficult life in a Muslim country where you can establish the Shaa’ir of Allah is better than a comfortable life in the West where you cannot freely practice your deen.”

    4.) He mentioned the hadith: “Whoever settles amongst the Mushrikeen, Allah absolves Himself from their protection.”

    Ustadh Suhaib, there are several families from America who have settled in Syria for the last 6-10 years. They are not students, but came mainly for their kids. Let us suppose that they have to go back one day, wouldn’t they have benefitted tremendously from their experience? Their kids are fluent in Arabic and have faith. The same cannot be said of kids in the West. True, there are difficulties, but the one who struggles achieves. Would we want our kids cursing us on the Day of Judgement because we settled them in non-Muslim lands and they went astray?

    Maybe for the time being, we can suggest mini-Hijra’s according to what is easy, so people can spend some time in the Muslim lands, and at least estabish some connection to scholars, knowledge, get accostumed to Islamic culture, and the holy places and lands of Islam. This is what people of other cultures do, so that their kids don’t lose their identities.

    Last but not least, remember that the Ulema in their fatawa are speaking to the vast majority, 99% of the millions of people who are rushing to leave the Muslim lands for the West to fill their pockets with dough, not reverts or teachers who want to give dawah to their people. Those are two entirely different hukm.

    Please forgive me for anything, I have nothing but love for you two brothers.

    And Allah knows better.

  5. Abul-Hussein says:

    AS

    Abdur Rahman, hope your well. The tone of your post was most refreshing and uplifting. If you noticed there was an attempt in the main post to be open to the notion of hijra and not absolutist. On the other hand, there is some difficultly for me in coming to terms with what you are saying. For a number of reasons. Without running the risk of immigrant bashing.

    What is being said relates to an immigrant mindset and has little to do with indigenous Muslims throughout the world. We saw this same mindset in the US and what this mindset does is undermine the confidence of the indigenous Muslims and gives privilege to the East and localized cultures it gives nothing back to communities in the West. In fact, it splits the Muslim community into immigrant and indigenous. And because the immigrants assume superior understanding it confuses the converts.

    As far as Latin America it is a situation under study it is those Muslims who care little for Islam and da’wah who are having issues. Let me tell you that many of those people there are refugees from Palestine and immigrants from Lebanon. And they are there, particularly the Palestinians, because the Muslim world did not give them a place and they were sheltered in Latin America and given opportunity. Many of them are rich but have little commitment to Islam as a way, rather Islam for them is culture and they preserve their cultural practices.

    Hijra is in our fiqh but to claim people must make hijra is a dangerous claim unless the person who makes the claim is willing to be responsible. In other words it is a fatwa that needs conditions and ‘if’ clauses built into it; times have changed, we have passports, visas, identity cards, and protected borders and immigration laws. It is very naive to think making hijra yesterday is the same today.

    As far as Australia, the immigrants themselves are failing to build community or establish a base to practice Islam much less build educational institutions. They are plagued by infighting and ethnocentrism.

    There is a difference in some regards between practicing in the East and the West, but the kufr accusation can just as well be brought up regarding Muslims in the East. Look at how many people curse the Deen in the East or do not pray? Right now I am dealing with a situation wherein a Muslim American sister, who has been a Muslim for over thirty years, married an immigrant brother and he refuses to pray but calls himself a good Muslim; he was like this in his country, akhi, it has nothing to do with America.!

    Personally, I do not like bashing anyone nor do I enjoy race discussions etc.. It is the converts who are becoming Muslim and practicing Islam in the West with all their sins and faults they are trying to take Islam seriously and those immigrants who are serious, they are the one’s who are building and looking to the future and the future of their children. Those who do not want to practice do not have to be in the West, let them not practice back home, after all, we see this tradition all over the East and for some reason it is little spoken of. I have never seen so many Khutbas about abandoning Salah until I came to the East.

    I don’t see a problem with a Muslim going to the West to become economically empowered but on the condition that he respects the Muslims there and the non Muslims and abide by a moral standard.

    If Muslims are going to migrate to the West, as the Ulema of Deoband have taught over the years, then they have to build and work for da’wah or else they are sinning and must leave. Muslims in the West need to work strategically and plan to stay longterm so they must think about the future. We need to invest in people and institutions as our scholars in the West are saying and slowly become independent of Eastern scholarship in every affair of life without breaking ties in total.

    Personally Abdur Rahman, I am concerned for all Muslim but in particular Muslims who are indigenous to the West, as no one cares little whether they flourish or are destroyed except a few. The immigrants do not have to be in the West unless they are refugees on the other hand as it is we do. As you have mentioned an example of a family in Syria for 6 years I can mention examples of people being kicked out of Syria and they were there studying! Also the stories of hijra that have been narrated to me are disastrous these stories have been told to me in the East not the West.

    Abdur Rahman, the Ulema who have made the hijra fatwa are speaking to Muslim minorities; I have heard them myself or the fatwas in Arabic and read them. They can’t do much to tell people not to leave the East for the West because people are in between providing for their families and poverty.

    Again, being absolutist is of no benefit, here the issue is being logistical and strategic and concerned with the well being of others in total mentally, physically and spiritually. Personally, I am looking after the interest of Muslims in the West.

    Sincerely,

    Abul-Hussein

  6. Abu Majeed says:

    ASAK,
    Akhi Abdurrahman,
    I am asstounded by your claims if you have lived in the Muslim world, you shold open your eyes. In Kuwait in which the religious persecution is much less than Egypt, there are Satanic Cults, Drugs, Alcohol (black market since it is illegal), gays, transvestites (One do my paperwork for turning on a phone) and much more. As someone raised in the states who has lived in both Egypt and Kuwait I can say Islamically it’s a draw with goods and bads on both sides. I can sadly say close to 50% here if not more don’t practice Islam either nor do they have much of an Islamic identity either. With all do respect Sh. Nablusi is highly mistaken in misplaced optimism.

  7. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    Another important point that needs to made is that the usage of the hadith of the Prophet [may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him]:

    “Whoever settles amongst the Mushrikeen, Allah absolves Himself from their protection.”

    This is a grave common misuse of this text. Inshallah, there will be an article on this hadith soon. However, one needs only to look at the context of the hadith to understand this. What is being referred to here is the blood money of Muslims killed by Muslims. The former resided in an area close to Medina and were killed, by accident, and their families demanded blood money. The Prophet [may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him] responded that he was absolved [and what he was "absolved" of was not mentioned as it was understood. However, this is lost in translation]. Thus, while he was free from paying the blood money because the resided amongst the Arabs who they had declared war with, which will be explained soon, they still prayed upon them an honored their rights as Muslims. Muslims need to fear Allah, research and weigh things before accepting them. In addition, there are a number of instances from the sirah where people did not migrate and they were not censured by the Prophet for not doing so.

    SDW

  8. Brother says:

    Salam,

    It is astounding to read even from the kibar al Ulema that migration is wajib. They use the hadith [mentioned by Imam Webb] without understanding the context of the hadith and even the matn of the hadith. We lived in the middle east and I can truly say that in many respects living in the west and practicing the faith us much easier.

    wslm

  9. Abu ubaida says:

    Good post Abdurrahman, Much support for your point

  10. Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî says:

    I don’t think personal experiences are of much value in making conclusions about how much Islam is practiced within a certain country (actually area within a city is probably more accurate) and then generalizing based on that to the rest of the Muslim World! People gave examples of abuses occurring in Muslim lands, but the same and much worse things can be cited from the West. I also find it amazing that people would compare the sins people do in Muslim countries hiddenly, to the sins publicized and done openly in Western countries.

    Also, I really agree with a lot of the points made by AbdurRahman, especially: “Don’t compare life in the West with life in Muslim countries, compare the dunya with the akhira.”

  11. Abul-Hussein says:

    AS

    Abu Musa, hope your well. It is nice to make excuses for the Muslims bro but this is beyond that this is about ensuring people make informed decisions for the sake of their well being. Many people are purely deluded about the Muslim world and its ways. The whole of the earth is Allah’s (swt). Live where you want if your passport is accepted and you get a visa.

    When you get phone calls to help those who have made hijra, when you get a call about a person having no food, another whose son was raped by a Qur’an teacher and the police did nothing and brothers leaving their wives without purpose to suffer the elements, maybe you would think differently. There are brothers who had drug problems in the West who have come to the Muslim world and get turned out by prostitution and drugs. They came with the hope of escaping. Idealism does not do much for people here.

    If we are talking dunya and akhira then practice where every you are. As far as comparing East and the West, there is no evidence that prevents that or forbids it. Abuse, Abu Musa, whether we like it or not, is addressed in the West, you have recourse to a system. Really can’t say this is true for the Muslims, neither secular law is practiced nor shariah, people are in limbo. This has nothing to do with comparing Muslim countries to the West, this is more about preserving your humanity and Deen, saving your dignity to be more exact.

    Imam Ibn al Qayyim (r) said something which fits wells here: “make hijra to the obedience of Allah and His Messenger (saw), migrate from disobedience” This is the real hijra in a globalized world.

    People are free to choice where they will to live although at times this seems true as long as they have Western passports.
    Fi-amanillah

  12. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    I think its time to move beyond examples and engage the adiliah, like the one used by Sh. Nablusi. We will all have good and bad experiences. However, the reality is that there is not justice in the Muslim world. Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah wrote, “The goal of Islam is justice.”

    Thus, let’s move beyond emotions and engage the law. That is what the law does. It frees of from emotional, group and ideological tendencies bringing us to a clear understanding. I have not seen that from those who are against and I say that will all respect. Thus, dear brothers, let’s move beyond experience and go into the legal system.

    SDW

  13. Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî says:

    Wa ‘alaykum salaam,

    Just to clarify, I wasn’t at all trying to imply that I disagreed with the conclusion of the blog entry nor were my objections directed at anyone in particular but rather I was speaking generally. I should have made it more clear, but my main point was exactly what brother Suhaib Webb just mentioned, and that is that examples and personal experiences are not really worth much and that arguments regarding Islamic Law should not be based on them.

    As far as the abuses, I am well aware of the abuses that exist, and for sure, some would make you cry. But the same thing can be said about things that happen in the West. I have no problem if you want to warn Muslims about the evils that exist but if you’re going to speak of a particular country you have experience with, be just and make it clear the context you are speaking in and don’t generalize (again, that’s a general statement not directed at anyone in particular). I’ve heard totally contradicting experiences from people speaking of the same country. Also, regarding the criticism of oppression done to those who make hijrah to Muslim lands, not to downplay their suffering, but isn’t it better that abuse is done to them, as opposed to them being influenced to abuse themselves (by sinning or leaving the religion) while living in non-Muslim countries? Although I would agree that people making hijrah should be aware of the environment they are making hijra into and should not move to a Muslim country blindly, at the same time people shouldn’t exaggerate about Muslim countries. Evil for a surety exists but so does a lot of good, in my experience, in a lot of instances more than what people represent. Basically I am against being absolutist about the evil that exists in the Muslim World.

    And when I quoted the statement of Sh. Nablusi, I was trying to criticize the purely dunya reasons why some people live in the West while they acknowledge that it is better for them deen-wise (but not so much dunya-wise) to live back in the Muslim countries they’ve come from (I probably should have made that more clear as well).

    P.S. Is it possible to get your e-mail brother Abul-Hussein?

  14. Musa Franco says:

    Akhi, even if these atrocities happen in the west; I dare to say that at least in the west it could be brought before a court and for the most part be treated in a better way than in the non- shar3ee compliant middle east.

    Wallah Ta Ala A’lim

    • Dyhia says:

      @Musa Franco
      Well said,
      I was born and raised in North Africa until the age of 24 when I came to Canada where I’ve been living over the last 25 years. I have learned more about my religion here in North America than in the country where I was born. I am also practicing my religion way better than I did when growing up.
      There is so much hypocrisy in Muslim countries….it’s hard to believe we are in a Muslim country when you see the practices: Lying, bribes, cheating, drugs, sexual abuse….
      If these things are happening in the West at least people don’t pretend to be religious like in Muslim countries., plus like you said at least in the West there is a Legal System we can refer to.

  15. Abu Majeed says:

    ASAK,

    With all due respect I beg to differ about leaving experiences and the claim that the texts are seperate from them. It is well known in Fiqh that correctly applying many Ahkaam (rulings) are based upon Istiqra’aat (social surveys), especially when the ruling deals with interactions among people. As one brother mentioned it is an Islamic principle to take the best available option to live which will enable your family to flourish Islamically. But when apply Istiqra’aat there are many cases in which a Muslim would be better off in the West and of course vice versa. In most cases the West offers many good options with Islamic and worldly options.

    According to the Adilllah, I agree with ibn Uthaymeen’s sharh of the hadith from Riyaad as-saliheen that for a Muslim to make Hijrah to America he must either

    1-Be seeking unavailable education (after which he would be returning to benefit his Muslim country)

    2- Be seeking asylum from harship in either wealth, health, or lack of ability to pratice Islam freely

    3- Be seeking to establish the da’wa to Allah the mighty and magnificent.

    In case one he/she is not responsible for Da’wa, although in case two or three the person must seek a place which has an Islamic Center and school (or seeking to start one) and take part in their efforts taking that the center of one’s family outings and general focus. Other than these it would be impermissible for a Muslim to live in the non-Muslim lands.
    Wallahu A’lam

  16. Abu ubaida says:

    Abu Musa AlHabashi much support for your points.

    Besides that, is time to seriously consider to run away from USA before the punishment of Allah comes. Lately gay marriages are becoming halal in the states. Recently Californias supreme court approved gay marriages ,and Only Allah knows what comes next probably many states would perhaps come after it. Allahu musta’an

    Both sides have point, those pro hijra and the opposites. But, in my humble opinion it depends on the person. For example,If the person who is in dawa field calling people to islam then he/she should seriously should evaluate the benefits on both sides. Lets not blame scholars about hijra fatwa because Allah gave people brain to think. That is if people are moving away from their country, then they must take whats sufficient for their trips and not land in a new country with no sustenance at all. Thats their fault without thinking through.

  17. Suhaib Webb says:

    Abu ‘Ubaida:

    What do you say of places in the Islamic world where men are allowed to have pet boys? Does that not bring about Allah’s wrath? What do you say of countries who oppress others because they are from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India? I’ve traveled to most of the Muslim countries and have to say that, while the US is not above criticism, its justice system, in many ways, is far more Islamic than almost all of the Muslim countries.

    SDW

  18. Abu Adam says:

    The principle of hijrah can be applied in many contexts. It may not be necessary to migrate to a Muslim country (or not even possible). I remember listening to a lecture of Bilal Philips many years ago at Masjid Taqwa in New York (i wasn’t there but listened to the tape) and he talked about hijrah to Belize in South America. So the Islamic principle can be adjusted to the reality of the world situation. Hijrah could mean moving to a place in one city where all the Muslims can establish a community environment.

  19. Daroon says:

    Salam a very good discussion. The West has many issues and problems, but it will not be right to say that we cannot practice our deen properly. Some of us to get caught up with many Anti-Muslim issues – but the sad thing is the very same ant-Muslim issues exist in Muslim countries. People talk about Salman Rushdie or the Danish Cartoons – who talks about the Salman Rushdie’s of teh East?

    The example given with the Shaykh, where somebody tells him forget my son’s son’s son – my son is not a Muslim must be reflected upon.

    What did this father do to raise his son with the deen? Did he just chase duniya at the expense of his deen and that of his family? I personally know an Imam who, alhamdulillah is very dedicated to Islam and its practice, however he was so busy with dawah and his masjid that he neglected his children and one of them had become very distant from the deen.

    Also, there are more Muslims in the UK that have started to practice, subhanallah – when I look at my local masjid during Zuhr or Asr a few years back only the first few rows we’re filled – now, Alhamdulillah – the entire hall is filled with mainly younger brothers.

    The answer to the Hijra question was given by abu adam above – show us where the Ansar are and we shall make hijrah to them – period.

  20. Abul Hussein says:

    AS

    Abu Adam, hope your well akhi. You hit on a key point and that is to broaden the way we understand hijra. It would be of benefit if we looked to build community. One of the problems of hijra as far as the East is concerned is that it is bankrupting the brain pool. So the most talented are leaving and moving West leaving the East with a minimal amount of talent to pool from. On the other hand, research and development in whole of the Arab world, in specific, receives less investment than what Portugal, one of the poorest of European countries, invests in R and D. The Muslim in the East is dealing with systemic issues which people are trying to deal with as individuals.

    On the other hand, in the US rather than in the UK, Muslims are still wanting in building communities that are vibrant. This is key in explaining the crisis that many experience whereas perhaps in the UK the problem is isolationism. Each place in the West has distinct realities which ought be studied by the concerned so that people’s needs are addressed. To leave the West would create a vacuum and this goes against what Imam Mawardi was trying to teach us. Rather than build and contribute in the West are we to retreat and abandon? We will have to engage in one way of the other. The hijra debate in my estimation is not about hijra or kufr it is more about what role will the Muslims take on in history?!

    Peace in the East and live Islam to the best possible in the West

  21. Haq says:

    Recently a brother phoned asking about where to place the hands since he watched a program on tv saying “placing the hands on X is better than Y” (this is common by the way, talk about Maqaasid! instead of discussing social vices etc… they are adressing where to place the hands is better) Anyway i tried explaining to him as best as i could, though i noticed that my non confrontational manner of explaining the above issue did not sit well with him. I knew the brother, and he was a really nice friendly brother. I had exams the next day so I tried to put that foreward in a subtle manner, inspite of my efforts he started asking about Voting (something i really dont like getting into based on my previous experiences). Again i tried to explain that to him but he jumped to the issue of credit cards. I tried to explain that to him then he goes to the topic of Sharia in the UK and so on. So I put it to him that applying Sharia in the UK is not our business, and i told him that the views he holds necessitates that he leave the country. His reply was to shock me further, he told me that he is planning to move to Saudi, yet what was really funny was that by his own standard even Saudi is not an “islamic” country (which i am not gonna get into here). He has not been there once, and has this utopian state in mind. No doubt that the gov really helps the pilgrims, but in terms of living then thats very questionable.

    What i found with alot of these brother who think in this digital mannar, is that they have inconcistent thoughts. Hence, later when i was reflecting on what he said i noticed how everything i told him did not sit in his head, and he simply jumped to another topic. Maybe, and Allah knows best, his intention in asking me was not to find out, but rather to “convert” me into his type of thinking. He was also considerably older than me something that was working in his favour. The issue he repeatedly argued for going to Saudi was that the UK gov sanctions Homosexuality. He agreed with me that the UK is probably better than alot of the Muslim countries but continously stressed this issue about how he does not want his children becoming homosexuals etc.., although the area he lives in is known for its drug problems and high abortion rates.
    I knew that his wife had left him, since she found him holding more and more extreme views, something which i found dificult to believe at first since he seemed to be such an easy going brother.
    Seems like i was wrong…

  22. Abul Hussein says:

    AS

    Haq, hope you are well. Thanks bro, I hope that we can support each other emotionally and spiritually through venues like this. We live in tough times people are under pressure. The story you narrated is “real” and “serious” I thank Allah (swt) that he sent you to share it. The story defines us bro, that brother is us.

    We Muslims are struggling on various levels we refuse to speak about it constructively and strategically and we seem to insist on escaping ourselves and realities. Because of this is why it is not very wise to cultivate discourses that do not address what Muslims in the West are going through. We do not have to become insensitive of what is going on in the world but we do have to tend to our selves, homes and local communities.

    The Masjid primarily should be sacred space, is a place for spiritual cultivation and growth not a political platform, nor a cultural preserve and not a sectarian club house. We need sacred space where we can cultivate peace. This does not mean we become apolitical but it means we have to let people breath and be many of us are on the verge of breaking spiritually and mentally and the current Islamic discourses can not and do not address the needs of people. For goodness sake we argue about Allah (swt) and tazkiyyah and spend little time approaching either Allah or purifying our souls. Really practicing Islam demands a personal commitment and investment and in real practice we will find Allah (swt) and the peace that results both Sufi and Salafi and others can agree with that. It is through our relationship with Allah (swt) that we can function and overcome the obstacles we face.

    The discourses that make everything negative we need to be careful of and the tendency to lean to the extreme as a solution will do little to help us we have to slowly change the culture of Muslims in the West so that it is empowering, inspiring and assists people with life rather than supports notions that allow one to escape. It’s within my hopes that we realize that discourses and ideas shape the way we think and feel. If this is the case is it not best to entertain an empowering discourse that helps us to better ourselves in a holistic manner?

    Many of us entertain hijra to escape the self or to lessen the stress of choices this is not bad but in the end where ever we go, we will be there then there is no escaping the self. If we continue to turn to Allah (swt) and strive, in that there is guarantee of success. Where ever you turn there is Allah (swt).

  23. d says:

    asalaamu alaykum,
    i acctually found this a fantastic article and thought it very well constructed. so thank you for writing. i feel that if it were so wrong to live in the west then surely there would be falling or low convertion rates. as to how ever manypeople go astray etc, remember that whom ever allah sends astray no one can guide… so maybe those people would have gone astray no matter what country they live in. also without as some one previously said wanting to do any “imigrant bashing” if the west were so terrible and unaccepting to islam then no one would be migrating here, and all muslims from the west would be migrating on mass to the east.

    also anyone who thinks that just because thinks such as gay marradge are now legally recognised that it is time to leave the west then i would urge them to re-think. how would we feel if for example islamic marradges weren’t legally recognised? do we know if any of the homosexuals will become muslims later in life? what happened to spreading the word in a civilised way, living and letting live, and aknolidging that each persons sin is his own? just because some one isn’t gay doesn’t mean they can’t commit sin. is it then that islam and muslims should under go no tests as to their levels of dedecation and resilience etc?
    also what kind of attitude is it to have that oh lets leg it out of here asap, with no thought as to the well being of the muslims that we would be leaving behind, who perhaps couldn’t migrate. if one thinks ones country is in diseray before leaving and running away perhaps one should try and sort things out first. i say this to myself as much as to anyone else as you’re probably all aware there will come a time when nun of us can run away. i would hate to be asked on the last day why i just ran off leaving my non believing family and so on in a country sinking fast. if no muslims migrated to the UK, or if tey all stayed in segregated areas and i had no opportunity to travel in my life who could have taught me islam?
    wa alaykimsalaam

  24. brother siddiq says:

    ”The juristic rationale or the aim of the Shar’iah in legislating hijra is to preserve a person’s Deen and to save one from corruption and oppression”

    Salam Alaykum, between the two school’s of arguments underlies the answer. The essence of this article–atleast from what i got from–is to make the personal choices: to look after ourselves, our families, our livelihood, and of course must of all our Deen, (which we say we are part of.) Unfortunately, in most cases the latter part has been left out from conclusion at the expense of previous.

    Unfortunately, all of us know the state of the Muslim world, with all of its negativity and misconduct to following Islam. However, same can be said in so called ”land of kufr” and its negativity relating to upholding basic human values which Allah has instructed them to hold; in Torah and Injeel (for those who still claim following it) or even in secular mind set; to upholding equal justice expressed in the constitution.

    For those who claim our justice system is a just, please take a brief look to the proportional amount of African-Americans in prisons, who in must cases get more heavier sentences than some other group(s). Where is the so called justice?

    Nevertheless, no matter what, every society in this world have their good and bad; moral and immoral virtues; prosperities and disadvantages.

    Having said that, we must now focus in the west, and the muslim issues that we face. As you might or might not know, our prisons whether in England or here in States(ie.MN); they are filled with Muslims; who must of them are either: (1) first generation, or (2) migrated with their parents in young age.

    The parents, or guardians, of those youth–now in jails–not long time ago, were muslims who eagerly wanted to migrate to the West, they were part of the group that the article mentioned being, ”… a significant percentage of Muslims [who] are looking to make Hijra to the West.”

    And because of the cultural dilemmas that our youth face in everyday, whether it comes from peer pressure by attending public schools, or media and its advertisement.

    All of them will make our youths to question their identity (ie.Islam), in which they start substituting their Islamic identity for ”gangsta/thug mentality” that they see around in their society. Around same time, when ”mohammad” becomes ”mo”, his dad is working hard for dunya. However, to what expense that excuse will be justified in the front of Allah?

    We can argue back and forward, the reasons we should migrate to muslim country, or stay in the west. I think we are missing the whole picture when engaging with these kind of arguments. We must always go back to our rudimentary basis, which is: ”what is our purpose of life?” Is it to make quick bucks, or to be part of Obama movement; bringing alledged change? Or to construct our lives sincerely following and fullfilling the commandments set by Allah, and insha’Allah getting an award here-and-hereafter.

    I don’t want to go off from the subject, but please be minded that I am not arguing for the establisment of caliphate or shariah, i am only talking about the personal level, after all, what matter the must, is the character of Muslim; which comes from proper understanding of tawheed. Without it we are empty shelves. It was during the Mekkan period that the companions of prophet (s.a.w) their characters were build. It took more than a decade with prophet(s.a.w) around, to establish character, community and must of all understanding of tawheed. What about the contemporary Muslims? How long it will take us?

    In conclusion, please let us stop being panicdotal toward Muslim countries, and start making a choice between Islam and kufr, between akhira and dunya. We must choose track which helps us earning Allah’s pleasure and acceptance; and not what makes us feel good; whether it is living in the west or not. What matter the most, is how we practice Islam; beyond the ritual point of view. And must of all, how we can protect ourselves; whether in the Muslim world or in the West, what matter the most is for our household to be Islamic. Our moms and dads to practice Islam and participate and attend halaqas with their children, so that little ”mohammad” insha’Allah will see the value of staying mohammad and not changing to ”mo”.

    Both domains have good and bads. And i personally think, that some muslims should not reside in the west, as it is causing their akhira. For instance, despite muslim world shortcomings, however, there are a lot of advantages including the moral norms. For instance, it is abnormal in the most muslim countries to have illegitamite relationship(boyfrind/girfriend), in must of time those who engage in it, do it in a hidden place, whereas in the West it is done in public.

    Again, i would summarize my point–due to the status quo of our ummah–unfortunately, our choice at this time should be done in individual cases, because we are lacking collective ummah. There are a lot of success stories for people migrating to the muslim countries, and of course there are those of a lesser success. However, we must always keep in mind of what prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said in this hadith that the “upper hand is always better than lower hand”. So when migrating to Muslim world, we should atleast have some sort of plan.

    But nevertheless, i thank for the brother who posted this article, as it something that we need to debate and talk about insha’Allah.

  25. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    I would appreciate it if you dear brothers could expound on thinking about the akhira and not the dunya? Are you implying that one goes without the other?

    SDW

  26. Ibrahim says:

    I think it was IbnTaymiyyah RA who famously stated that a just state that wasnt muslim will flourish more than an unjust islamic state.

    What the real problem here is should not be confused, first we must ask ourselves “Do we have sincere intention to make hijrah”? because much of the time we pass arguments in support of conclusions, whereas the conclusions must be based on arguments and not visa versa. The reality of racism in the msulim community is gross and undeniable, even in the west we find certain people applying derogortory names and titles to fellow muslims i.e. karia or zinji or any other type of name that you would probably hear a muslim use to refer to a person of certain decent, and as much as it is good to propogate brotherhood much of the people cannot substantiate these claims even in their immediate families, how many arab fathers will allow their daughter to marry an algerian let alone an afro american convert. And when this is the state of affairs in the heartland of “civilised” western nations, what would be the reality back home?

    The truth is bitter, but let us remember that trial and affliction are the hallmarks of a mu’min, please read Surah al-Ankabuut from the beginning, if you think you will attin the rank of ahl al Jannat and not be tested, then think again.

    I think the discourse is levelled against the superfluous aspects and matters that are more cosmetic than material, the meat of the matter is not “can we make hijrah” but “Do we WANT TO make hijrah”, answer that and then come to asking about where and how, I would also like to remind everyone here that we have been made a promise in Quran that if we die in such a state then we will be forgiven our sins, Hijrah erases what came before and we are also promises spacious dwelling places, whether in dunya or akhira, the point is, the whole of Dunya is a testing ground and although i personally hate the racism and double standards not to mention the modern day slavery of indo-pak workers in many of those building sites, the exploitation and debasing treatment of indonesian-malay house maids in the holy land itself, the unjust application of huddud on people of dark skin as compared to the international hoo-haar when the same is applied to a light skinned westener, despite the horrific tales of outright racism even during hajj, at the airport and in the markets, we must read the text and take everything back to Quran and Sunnah.

    This talk of “when we have ansaar then we can make hijrah” is very sharp but might i redirect you to Surat al munafiquun? Did you not realise that even in that blessed generation the immigrants were looked down on as the ayah says “When we return to madinah the honourable will remove the dishonourable” did you not realise that one of the reasons for women wearing hijab and jilbab/niqab acording to some tafsiir is that women were being raped and molested in the streets of Madinah- at that time and age-? Did you not read the Surah of the confederates? and if you complain of danger to life and economic standing, have you not heard of ashab al suffa? did you not hear of the bani quraizah, the bani nadir and all those assasins? did not the news reach you of the various plots to kill the prophet SAW and the killing of muhajireen? have you not studied surah al Taubah and found that even those building masjids were at times munifiqoon plotting to destroy the deen from within? must i go on?

    In light if this, do you seriously find it reasonable or even fair that you expect to bypass all f the above mentioned afflictions and trials yet attain a secure ticket to jannah as well? have your cake and eat it? Yet it is true that they had Ansaar from among the inhabitants of Madinah, but would you choose that or to have ansaar from among the malaika?

    I was born raised and reside in the west, i am not of arab descent and yes, i know the stories, but- in reality it must not be ignored that “you may like athing that is bad for you” Hijrah was a sunnah of prophets and nations even before that of this current muslim generation..have you not read the trials of Musa AS in his hijrah? and if you wanna talk of mass hijrah..well..what promise or welcome did the people of Musa AS have other than that of their Lord? did they not have to fight? [even though they didnt act on it]? did they not get fed from manna and salwa even in the midts of the barren deserts, surely these are all signs and deep lessons wherein lie great truths for those worrying about rizq, Bannu Israe’il were provided with springs of water and food from the heavens, will you now Challenge Allah to do even less than this for you? Did not Ibrahim AS and his family make hijrah to the hijaz with only a few dates and a bit of water, did he have a village there? trees? welfare system in place? but how did the rizq arrive to them? think.

    I am honest with my corrupt soul, so i shall make no excuses, there exists monstrosities in them there lands but im only on earth for a brief stay, the important thing is “That we are on the right platform when the train arrives”

    Salam

  27. Nuruddeen Lewis says:

    Assalaamu alaykum,

    Alhamdulillah, I am thankful to Allah that I have found a place where serious discussions of Islamic issues are occurring. May Allah reward us all for trying to do what is right, and forgive us if we make mistakes or fall into error.

    I would like to add to this discussion. I have never been outside of the U.S., but my brain tells me that the number of violent crimes (rape, murder, armed robbery) that occur in the U.S. is more than the entire Middle East put together. Is it really true that the violence in any country in the Middle East (except for places in which there is war, may Allah help them) is even comparable to the Middle East. I’m sure it’s not perfect, and several terrible things happen. However, I think the frequency of such events must be exponentially greater in the U.S. But, Allah knows best.

  28. Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî says:

    I know this is very late, but here are some of my responses to the above points:

    @ Musa Franco,
    This is part of what I mean when I say, “don’t compare life in the West to life in the Muslim countries but rather compare the dunya to the akhirah”. I contend that the relative lack of justice and relatively greater amount of oppression present within some Muslim countries should not be the gauge we use in determining whether we make hijrah to that Muslim country or not. I think these are dunya concerns whereas our priority should be the akhirah. The gauge should be whether this Muslim country is more conducive to helping me and my family practice Islam or not. I think that’s the bottom line.

    Regarding my point about the existence of the same atrocities that happen in Middle East, in the West, even if I agreed with you that for some of these atrocities, you are more likely to get “justice” in the West as opposed to the East, there are other, much much worse atrocities that occur openly and freely in the West (generally speaking) but both exist to a lesser extent and are punishable in the Muslim World (generally speaking). Such atrocities include homosexuality, apostasy, drinking alcohol in public, insulting Allah and His messenger, etc. Those atrocities are much worse than a child being raped by his Qur’aan teacher, as horrific as that is.

    @ Abu Majeed
    With all due respect, I think you missed my point, which I emphasized by italicization. To repeat, I said personal experiences are not worth much. I didn’t say you should ignore reality. I didn’t even say that personal experiences are worthless. There is a world of difference though, between a sociologically and methodologically sound survey being performed for a country in order to reach certain conclusions about that country, and a person experiencing some hardship in one of the Muslim countries and based on that make sweeping generalizations not just about the city he experienced it in (even though many times it wouldn’t even be right to generalize that hardship to the district within the city he experienced it in), not just about the province, not just the country, not just the region, but the whole of the Muslim World (and yes there are people who go to the extent of one of what I just mentioned). I’ve heard/read some very ridiculous things from people who base what they say on the ‘authority’ of their personal experience.

    Another factor is that some people, in their jahl murakkab (compounded ignorance), don’t know how to properly interpret what they experience according to the scales of sharee’ah. I’ve heard/read some people consider it hypocrisy for example, that in some Muslim countries people are secretive about their sins and in public act as if they don’t commit them, even though this is EXACTLY how EVERY Muslim should be. And I can give many examples of this kind of misinterpretation which causes some people to claim that we shouldn’t make hijrah.

    P.S. Since you mentioned Ash-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, people might be interested to know that, as far as I read, he considered the ability to openly announce the adhaan (not necessarily with a microphone) as being part of openly practicing your religion. Therefore based on that, you cannot openly practice Islam in much of the Western World.

    @ Suhaib Webb
    Regarding your point about pet boys, this is exactly what I was criticizing, when I spoke about people generalizing. With all due respect, are you seriously trying to imply that this is the general state of the Muslim World based on what EXISTS in some parts? Are you seriously trying to compare the general attitude of the Muslim World regarding homosexuality to the general attitude of the Western World regarding homosexuality!? Regarding the racism towards our brothers and sisters from South East Asia, like I said above, is this really a major criterion we should use regarding whether an area is fit to make hijrah to or not? Also people exaggerate about this issue and try to make it appear as if every single citizen of certain countries is racist (I’m not saying you’re doing that) while the truth is that is not the case, and there is a context from which we can understand why that racism exists in the first place. Regarding the justice system of the West compared to the East, perhaps they are more just, overall, regarding the rights of people, but how about the rights of Allah? Which is more just overall?

    Anyways, I may respond to the rest at a later time.

    wAllaah A’lam

  29. Abdurahman says:

    Asalamualaikum wrt wb,

    All praise is due to Allah. May He make this site a source of guidance and goodness, and join our hearts in love for His sake.

    Sidi Suhaib, Allah May He be glorified, created this world as a temporary abode, a means, to achieve success or failure in the Akhirah. When there is no one left in the world to exclaim Allah’s Oneness, Allah will obliterate this Universe, and begin the Akhirah. He is All Powerful over His creation.

    Thus, the dunya is not the goal of a Muslim. I am sure you are familiar with the authentic dua’ of the Prophet, may peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him: “Our Lord, do not make the dunya our main concern, nor the goal of our knowledge.”

    In a hadith narrated by Muslim, the Prophet, may peace be upon him, once found a dead goat with mutilated ears. He said to his companions, “Who will buy this dead goat for one dirham?” They said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, we would not want it even if it were alive, so how about when it is dead?”

    Then the Messenger said, “By Allah, the Dunya is even more worthless in the sight of Allah than this (dead goat) is to you.”

    There are three states of people with regard to the dunya and aakhirah:

    1.) There are those who give up their dunya for the sake of the aakhirah, like one who spends all his wealth in the way of Allah, or makes hijra in the way of Allah, or sacrifices time and effort for knowledge, or propogation of the religion, or gives his life striving in the way of Allah. They benefit themselves and others with knowledge and good works, striving for the akhirah. They realize the time in the dunya is short, in fact nothing in comparison to the afterlife. Such people are Foremost in the Aakhirah, inshaAllah.

    2.) There are those who strive hard to avoid sins and to fulfill obligations. They neither withold their wealth nor spend it generously in the way of Allah. They do not go out in the way of Allah, striving to propogate the truth, but stay home, content with fulfilling their basic duties. They will be Companions of the Right in the aakhirah, inshaAllah.

    3.) There are those who sell their aakhirah for the dunya. They swear false oaths for a small worldly gain in business. They earn haraam income. They trade their religious comittment and security for worldy benefit and security. For them, dunya is the goal, and the akhirah is a distant afterthought. They think they will stay in the world forever. They will be of the Companions of the Left in the akhirah, inshaAllah.

    The Prophet, may peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him, said in a hadith narrated by Bukhari, “Be in the world like a stranger or a wayfarer.”

    So, I hope you can see, the dunya and the Akhirah are not equal in the sight of Allah. Most Muslims today, unfortunately, have lost their yaqeen and love of the aakhirah. The Sahabah, may Allah be pleased with them, were most ardent in their love and striving for the afterlife. I hope the scholars and callers can encourage us to have more love for the afterlife.

    May Allah accept from all of our efforts for His Sake. Oh Allah, do not make the dunya our greatest concern, nor the goal for our knowledge. Ameen.

  30. Ipswichian by Name.... says:

    Salaam’Alaykum,

    May I just say having read the posts and comments, may Allah reward you all, for you maturity in this discourse. All too often we are subjected to reading plain rudeness and polemic rebuttals.

    Very interesting article, as one of my teachers said:

    “Sometimes were are to find more Shari’ah (Justice & Mercy) in Britain than in Muslim lands”.

    May Allah preserve the sound adab and reward you .

    Was-Salaam

  31. MT.Akbar says:

    salaamaat,

    What about the practical effect of a fatwa that declares it wajib to make hijrah, considering the fact that Western Muslims number in excess of 20 million at this point. The one not fulfilling this wajib would be designated what? That to me needs to be taken into account when Ulama are investigating this matter.

    -MT

  32. Allah's slave says:

    Salaam

    *Whoever settles amongst the Mushrikeen, Allah absolves Himself from their protection.*

    “What is being referred to here is the blood money of Muslims killed by Muslims. The former resided in an area close to Medina and were killed, by accident, and their families demanded blood money. The Prophet [may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him] responded that he was absolved “

    So would a muslim ever want to live in a state where Allah absolves Himself from HIS protection?

    NO.

  33. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    Allah’s slave:

    Thanks for stopping by. Sheikh bin Uthaymin (ra) differs with you as well as Sh. al-Qaradawi, Sh. Abdullah bin Bayya, Sh. Faisal Malawi, Sh. Salman al-Awda. Sh. Ahmed Raisooni, Sh. Ali Guma, Sh. Sad Hilali, Sh. Muhammad Rifat Uthman, Sh. Muhammad Hassan al-Dido al-Shanqiti, Sh. Zakariiyah al-Sidique, Sh. Akram Nadawai, Sh. Jud’a, al-Azhar and the Majm’a al-Fiqhi which represents the major schoalrs in the world. So, I think the answer is, yes.

    All the best akhi
    SDW

    • Adam says:

      Salaam
      Sorry but I am a bit confused about the statement
      *Whoever settles amongst the Mushrikeen, Allah absolves Himself from their protection.* – who is exactly protecting who? If someone can clarify for me as I am getting the impression that the saying states Allah frees Himself from their protection?? which is clearly wrong.

      Furthermore what about the hadith

      The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I disown every Muslim who settles among the mushrikeen.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2645; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

      How can one explain that?

      Kind regards
      Adam

  34. Muhammad Al-Jazaeri says:

    Reading a fawta on Shiekh Salah Al-Munajjid’s website (May Allah Preserve him) on this topic gave me the correct way in approaching this perhaps sensitive issue. In a nut shell, one should not make a general ruling. The hukum (judgement) of making hijra to muslim land varies from one person to another. No doubt Fiqh-ul-waqhi must be considered in arriving to individual rulings. For example: I believe that I have made the correct decision to migrate from Canada to Algeria due to my specific circumstances. However, I can say that I have friends who I truly would advise to live in Canada rather than doing hijra due to their different circumstances.

  35. Adam says:

    As-salaam-o-alaykum Brothers and Sisters
    I just got hold of this lovely website and may Allah SWT help Brothers like Brother Webb to solidify the interactions amongst the ummah after all a healthy debate is needed in the Ummah.
    For certain, as one of the brothers mentioned, when the Palestinian refugee crisis took place in the 60s, after the Israeli-Arab war (which in fact was a war built on Arab Nationalism and not on Islam and what humiliating results the Muslims suffered) the Palestinian refugees suffered the most – certain Arab countries denied to give the Palestinians citizenship or stay just in case they would “blur their national identity!” See how racist the Muslims became?!
    Also what I find amazing is that the Muslim minority in the West are the ones who are generally supporting the Muslim majority of the East! Shouldn’t it be the other way round? And like some of the brothers have said, they have learnt more about Islam since migrating to the West. The social welfare and justice in the East is based on an attempt to be secular but at the same time trying to be Islamic – these countries have become confused as to what they are. Due to this, corruption within society appears at a much faster rate than had it been one or the other system. With corruption comes extremism – be it the far right or the far left of Islam. We can blame the corruption on the Western governments getting too involved in these country’s businesses; we can blame the country’s leader for stealing the money for their own desires leaving millions starving etc etc, or it could be that we just pretend to like each other. If these countries can’t protect themselves, how in the heck are they going to treat the Muslim immigrants from the West with any dignity? As one scholar once said “When he travelled to the West, he saw no muslims but Islam was present; but when he went back to his homeland (somewhere in the East) he saw muslims but no Islam”.
    OK I don’t want it to become East vs West – lets not have another Cold War! but those converts from the West and from the East might not feel suited to live on each other’s lands due to cultural differences? Yes there are prejudices experienced by Muslims in the West, but it would be foolish to think that doesn’t happen in the East. Hidden prejudice is a big issue especially amongst South Asian descent people. In Mecca I was with a couple where the husband was of Nigerian descent and his wife was of Bangladeshis descent. Now I don’t know if you know but there are plenty of Bangladeshis in Mecca – and one man saw them and asked me “Does that sort of thing happen in UK?” I knew exactly what he meant as he was implying how can someone like her be with a dark-skinned man like him. It did anger me by what he had said but then I thought maybe he doesn’t know any different. Seeing a muslim inter-racial couple is no problem and I totally accept it. What I don’t accept is when one member of that couple is marrying the other simply to impress friends/family or get a citizenship! Oh by the way we all know how the Arabs treat the South Asian people in their countries. We need to correct ourselves.
    Now correct me if I am wrong brothers and sisters but when Saad Bin Waqas (RA) went to China for a number of years, some of those Chinese people became Muslims but did they return with him back to Arabia?
    Kind regards
    Adam

    Allah Knows Best

  36. Adam says:

    In the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent Most Merciful

    Looking back at what I said, I may have been a bit harsh regarding my views of the East. I do love the East..i miss the calls of the Adhan, eating freely without having to worry if its halal or not, but Islam is more than just praying and eating halal food – it is also about the social welfare of fellow Muslims/muslimah as well as non-muslims, animals and plants. I have to say regarding the welfare of humans, animals and plants is not as active or advanced as we are meant to make it. That is my only problem.

  37. Adam says:

    In the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent and Most Merciful

    I was speaking to someone about this issue, and I have to say that continuing on from my previous message…The East is a place where opportunities to practice Islam is more accessible than the West. I mean if a muslim can survive the temptations of the West, then power to them. Unfortunately there are muslims who are just muslims by face, and many are sucked into the Western lifestyle – some may try to return back, but others don’t. That is a problem for the Muslims in the West. Also some countries, practising Islam can be difficult and one can be discriminated – which is sad and upsetting. In the East, the muslims there do not know how grateful they should be for having things that are halal for them in every sense – from marriage to food to listening to Adhans etc. But when we have such things provided for us, we do not appreciate it as much than the foreign Muslim westerner who yearns for such. As said earlier if Muslims can improve the welfare of their own, animals, plants etc, then positivity and confidence can return to them very lands. Through justice and fairness for everyone can Allah’s Mercy be on us all.
    Ameen

  38. O H says:

    “The difficulty of applying traditional juristic opinions is present in both East and West except that in the East there is a lack of economy and political freedom nor is there a rule of law. ”

    This seems to be a red herring for me…

  39. O H says:

    “For the most part Muslims living in the West are more empowered to: practice Islam, by openly believing in Allah (swt) , openly, establish Salah, fast Ramadan, pay Zakat and go to Hajj.”

    Having lived in a Muslim country for nearly 2 decades and now in Australia for the last few years, I would say this is true for some countries but for the most part Muslims in the East are more empowered to carry out their obligations & in some cases the difference is HUGE! In AUS there are many things Muslims are deprived of which are fundamentals of the deen but which one can avail from in Muslim countries.

    • Adam says:

      Salaam O H

      You do say some valid things and I agree in part to what you say – but since this whole world is a musallah for the Muslims, we should go to the four corners of the world, and invite people to Islam. Islam could not have been established properly without the muslims who migrated to these Western countries…I have to say that it might have been difficult for the 1st and 2nd generation to carry out dawah etc due to cultural differences, but a transition is taking place where some of the 2nd and 3rd generation are opening up to the non-muslims and constructively inviting them to Islam. “Rome wasn’t built in one day” as they say…it might take time, but our job is to spread the Message. We are meant to be the representatives of Allah’s Faith in this world, therefore we should do attempt to do that. If we stay in the East, how is our imaan tested? Yes we may go to Jummah, and fast during Ramadan, and enjoy the festivals of Eid, but are we doing that because our forefathers were doing that? I guess what I am trying to say is that if a citizen of a muslim country migrates to the West, can they communicate to those people about Islam, understanding their cultural traits? If not then maybe their children might in the future, and as more people become muslims, from the Western cultures, they can help invite their non-muslim national brethren more easily (although the acceptance is with the Will of Allah). In the East, what muslims can do is improve on the welfare of the living creatures, because you have the capacity and ability to carry out such fundamentals – it is not uncommon for a non-muslim to look at muslim countries and feel uneasy to accept Islam based on what is happening in the East. They do have a point.
      May I ask O H when you migrated to Australia, did your deen increase then than it did whilst you lived in a muslim country before?

      • O H says:

        Tabarak Allaah great points made. Infact the scholars have agreed with you in the sense that those who are involved in Dawah in the West may stay there & propagate the deen and they have also allowed people to travel to such countries for education, and other reasons within certain guidelines. However, barring certain conditions like Dawah, studying etc they have advised Muslims to migrate to ‘more Islamic areas’ to the best of their ability. The issue is not black and white but the fatwa/rulings depend case by case. It can range from being recommended for a person to stay in the West (e.g.caller to the deen) to haram for another person. What I did not agree with brother Yusuf is the extent of negativity shown for practicing the deen in the East and the relative ease of it in the West. The truth is somewhere in between as per my own experience but it differs people to people.

        Alhamdulillaah I feel my deen has improved after migrating here for studies and there are many factors in play I would say. One would be I aint a kid anymore!

        Note: The scholars views I support/quoted are the ones I trust. I am aware, like most Fiqh issues, there are differing opinions out there which I respect.

  40. It depends says:

    As Salamu Alaikum,

    Im not a scholar so I’m not qualified to comment on a fatwa. However as to the actual question as to whether one’s faith is increased by living in Muslim majority countries in the ‘East’ or by living in the ‘West’, I think it really depends on the person. I don’t believe generalizations can be made.

    Myself, my faith is clearly stronger in the West, while it becomes sluggish and stagnates in the East. On the other hand, the faith of some of my family members increases in the East while it drops noticeably in the West.

    My experience has been, while the West presents stronger challenges than the East (both in terms of pleasures such as sex and drugs, and in terms of intellectual and emotional hurdles), one is also more able to ‘get away’ in the West and really focus on the Deen.

    Meanwhile, in the East, nearly everyone is conversant with Islam: adhan is heard every where, Islamic terms are used regularly in conversation, and certain moral codes are still mostly in place (respect for elders, stable marriages, caring for the ill and weak family, etc).

    The stronger focus on family and community ties in the East is perhaps a double edge sword: On the one hand, expectations are clearer – one pretty much has to be a Muslim, and a the threat of shame generally keeps everyone toeing the line.

    On the other hand, family/community can be quite stifling, especially if they don’t really practice the Deen, or practice it properly. Its much more difficult to study and practice the Deen in a ‘pure’ way.

    And Allah knows best :)

    May Allah help us all with our struggles wherever we are.

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