Migration to Non-Muslim Lands
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

If the law and order situation in a Muslim state is awful, like it was in Iraq or in Karachi, do you think a Muslim can migrate to a non-Muslim country to seek protection? Needless to mention is the fact that in many of the western countries a Muslim can lead his life according to the will of Allah - nobody is concerned there with your personal matters and they consider religion to be a personal matter. In fact, if you allow me to say, the situation in some non-Muslim countries is more conducive for living according to the teachings of Islam than quite a few Muslim countries. To give you an example, countries like Libya, Syria, and Turkey are severe even on issues like growing your beard. On the other hand, I know of many people who started practicing Islam after they migrated to the USA. I have also spent a year in the USA, and I think I was a better Muslim there than in Pakistan. I know that there are many problems associated with the western society and it is very hard for a person living there to safeguard him/herself against them, but then you have to make a decision. If you move around in a circle of good Muslims, you can protect yourself as well as your family from the effects of western culture to a certain extent. Please clarify me on this issue keeping in view the current scenario in Muslim and non-Muslim states. Is there any instruction in Qur’ān which restricts Muslims to keep living in a Muslim country even if they find that they are not contributing in a positive sense to humanity and that they can do it in a better way by migrating to a non-Muslim country?


The Sharī‘ah has not stopped Muslims from settling anywhere in the world whether in Muslim countries or in non-Muslim ones. It is entirely a person’s choice and decision. The only thing which perhaps he should care about, if he is a practicing Muslim, is that the place he is going to settle in be conducive to his faith and religion.

Consequently, so important is the place a Muslim settles in as far as his faith is concerned that the Qur’ān emphatically directs Muslims to migrate from societies or countries where they are persecuted because of their religion, and which as a result they are unable to follow. If they do not, they will be dearly held responsible for this indifference and be consigned to Hell. The Qur’ān says:

When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls [while living among the infidels] they will ask them: In what state were you? They will reply: We were helpless and oppressed in this country. The angels will say: Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you that you could have migrated from it. Such men will find their abode in Hell – what an  evil refuge! (4:97)


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