Islamic Studies

Living In Non Muslim Lands

By Shaikh Abdullah bin Bayyah | Abul-Hussein

Source: The Craft Of Fatwa And The Fiqh Of Minorities

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[The following mentions of some of the proofs that justify  the convert to continue to reside in non-Muslim lands, which in fact,  become for the convert, under certain conditions,  Dar al Islam [the abode of Islam] for him/her.]

The Position Of The Scholars With Regard To Residing In Non Muslim Lands:

“The majority of scholars of fiqh and they are the Hanafis, Hanbalis and Shafis ruled on the permissibility of residing in these lands for he who is capable of professing his religion and is secure in doing so.” Sin’at al-Fatwa wa Fiqh al-Aqaliyat (281)

Evidence for this position:

The Prophet (saw) permitted a people who had entered Islam in Makka to remain therein [and not migrate to Medina] after their profession of faith. Of those people were al Abbas Bin Abdul Muttalib (r).

The Shafi school uses the story of Na’im al Nuhaam al Adawi (r) to justify their position. He stayed with his people as they asked him to do so. And the Prophet (saw) consented to this as is related in the Tabaqaat Of Ibn Sa’ad related on the authority of Muhammad Bin Umar al Waaqady (he is (rejected) Matrouk) as mentioned by Abu Umar Ibn Abdul Barr (r) In the Istayaab and Ibn Atheer (r) in Usdu al Ghaaba.

Locating Dar al-Islam For The Convert

Ibn Hajr (r) related on behalf of Imam Mawardi (r):

“If it be the case that a Muslim is capable of professing and manifesting his/her faith in the land of the non-Muslims, then that has become for him/her his/her  Dar al Islam. His residing in that land is more favorable than his leaving from it given that it is desirable that others enter into Islam beside him/her.”

An Najaashi (r) entered into Islam and remained among his people. The Prophet (saw) said in his respect:  “Today a righteous man has passed away, so stand and offer the funeral prayer for your brother… (Bukhari)”

A Fundamental Condition Governing Residence In A Non Muslim Land

The condition for remaining in the land of the non-Muslims is that one is capable of securing his manifestation of Islam. (Fatawa Hadithiyah Ibn Hajr Haythami)

Rulings Governing Citizenship

Citizenship, is secondary to residence. To become a citizen takes on five rulings:

1.) Forbidden: if one fears he will abandon Islam or his children if he finds a country wherein there is no “fitna”

2.) Disliked: if he does not fear the non-muslims but he witnesses wrongdoing and he finds another country wherein there is less wrong doing.

3.) Obligatory: In the case there is benefit and interest for the Muslims in the case of residing or his leaving contributes to corruption.

4.) Allowable: when all options are equal

5.) Favorable: If one engages in da’wah in the case that there are others engaging in da’wah.

Juridical Clause

These are matters that need study so as to realize the underlying rational of each case….


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