Hijrah and Residing in the Lands of Disbelief : Shaykh Al-Albani

Translated by Abdullah MacPhee in Daarul-Hadeeth, Dammaaj

In the tape series ‘Al-Hudaa wa An-Noor’ tape # 617, Al-Imaam Al-Albaanee was asked:

“Residing in the lands of disbelief, like that is the question, the question is about this matter, and in addition to it the American people who are Muslims, the Americans who are originally Muslims, is it incumbent upon them to make hijrah from there?”

Al-Imaam Al-Albaanee answered:

“Is there any doubt about that? Because of these people He said: ‘Was not the earth of Allaah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein’ (An-Nisaa: 97)

However before your last question, the first part, what is it? I don’t know do you still insist on asking it that we answer it?”

(The questioner): “I would be grateful if you were to answer.”

(The Sheikh): “What?”

(The questioner): “I would be grateful if you were to answer.”

(The Sheikh): “I believe the first part of the question would be understood inclusively from answering the second part of it, however, perhaps from that which is best is to explain what has come in the Sunnah from the authentic hadeeths which warn the Muslim from taking the lands of disbelief as a homeland. There is in the science of Fiqh and Usool a Qiyaas called Al-Qiyaas Al-Awlawee. If the people of the land born and hereditarily (from there) when they embrace Islaam it is incumbent upon them to make hijrah to the lands of Islaam then more so the one who is on the opposite of that, being born in the lands of Islaam and raised and brought up, it is not permissible for him to travel, and I don’t say make hijrah, to the lands of disbelief. This is even more so.

However, with that I say the hadeeths have come one after the other prohibiting the Muslim from traveling to the lands of disbelief. From that is the hadeeth which Abu Dawud transmitted in his Sunan on the Prophet (peace be upon him); that he said with the best form of expression: ‘Whoever is close together with the polytheist then he is like him.’

And the being close together mentioned is mixing together, meaning living together. And other hadeeths have come emphasizing this meaning with the clearest wording. He (peace be upon him); says: ‘The Muslim and the polytheist, their fire is not to appear to one another.’

The Muslim and the polytheist, their fire is not to appear to one another. This is an expression meaning that it is incumbent upon the Muslim that his residence be far away from the residence of the polytheist, because the Arabs from their custom is that they light the fire in front of their abodes, in front of their tents, so the fire appears to the one approaching from a distance. So it is as if the Messenger (peace be upon him) is saying to the Muslim; stay far away, stay far away as much as you can from having the disbelieving polytheist see your fire. The Muslim and the polytheist, their fire is not to appear to one another. A third hadeeth also emphasizes this, and it is his (peace be upon him) statement: ‘I am free from every Muslim who resides amongst the polytheists.’

These are very clear texts that emphasize that it is not permissible for the Muslim to reside amongst the polytheists. And the wisdom in that is very clear. Not from the analogical stand point or the intellectual standpoint or experience wise, because this is a secondary matter with regards to the traditional texts. There are some hadeeths which it is possible to use as a basis to use as an answer to a question that could occur to some minds when they hear those hadeeths. What is the secret? What is the purpose? What is the wisdom of the prohibition from the Messenger (peace be upon him) of the Muslim from living together with the polytheist? There are two hadeeths suitable to mention as an answer to this question. The first is his (peace be upon him) statement: ‘The example of the righteous sitting companion is like the one who sells misk. Either he gives you some as a gift or you buy from him or you smell from him a good fragrance. And the example of the evil sitting companion is like the ironsmith. Either he is going to burn your clothes or you are going to smell from him an offensive smell.’

This is the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) bringing forth an example for the sitting on a reduced scale. A reduced scale sitting, you sit with one person. So he is saying to you, if he is righteous then the example of him is like the one who sells misk, to the end of the hadeeth, or if he is evil then he is like the ironsmith. Either he is going to burn your clothes or you are going to smell from him an offensive smell. The second hadeeth which emphasizes the first hadeeth and the reality increases it in emphasis, it is what Al-Imaam Muslim transmitted and perhaps Al-Bukhaaree also in the Saheeh on the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said: ‘A man from those before you killed ninety nine people then afterwards he wanted to make Tawbah (repentance) so he asked about the most knowledge of the people on earth, so he was directed to a Raahib. He then went to him and said to him, ‘I have killed ninety nine people so is there any Tawbah for me?’ He said, ‘You killed ninety nine people and you ask is there any Tawbah for you! There is no Tawbah for you.’ He then completed with him number one hundred. Then he continued to ask until he was directed to a person of knowledge.’

Before hand he was directed to a Raahib, meaning an ignorant person engrossed in worship. So he gave a verdict with his ignorance so his outcome was that he added him to the murdered ones before him. The second time he was directed to a person of knowledge.

‘So he went to him and said to him, ‘I have killed one hundred people unjustly, is there any Tawbah for me?’ He said, ‘What prevents you from Tawbah? However, you are in an evil land so leave it to such and such town which its people are righteous.’ So he went to go to them, to the end of the hadeeth and it is well known inshaallaah.

The highlight is that this person of knowledge has an understanding of the Fiqh of this hadeeth or these hadeeths, and this does not declare impossible that these hadeeths the Messenger (peace be upon him) narrated them to us, this does not prevent this from being from the understanding of the Prophets beforehand (peace be upon him) because they all used to draw from one source of light (guidance). So therefore, this person of knowledge understands this reality, that the contaminated atmosphere it can infect the righteous person when he intermixes with it. This is an example from the stand point of diseases, the diseases that are contagious. And because of that it has come for this point the quarantine well known today and the Messenger (peace be upon him) has put in place his principle in the well known hadeeth: ‘If a plague occurs in a land and you are in it then don’t leave it, and if a plague occurs in a land and you are not in it then don’t enter it.’

Like that. Therefore, the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) when he prohibited the Muslims from taking the lands of disbelief as a homeland, that is only to protect their Aqeedah, their worship, their manners. So because of this he made it incumbent not upon the polytheists, this is an important matter also, rarely have I addressed it when I speak about the likes of this issue, the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) or the wise legislator, not only made it incumbent upon the polytheists when they embrace Islaam that they make hijrah to the lands of Islaam, rather he made it incumbent upon the Bedouins to make hijrah from their nomadic life to their sedentary life. This, in it is a regard for the same meaning because the Messenger (peace be upon him) says in some of the hadeeths: ‘Whoever becomes a Bedouin he becomes harsh.’

So when the Bedouin lives after being taught Tawheed and learning what is incumbent upon him for correcting his faith and his Islaam then he goes back to his nomadic area and lives there, he could be influenced by the harshness which is from the normal way of the Bedouins. So if the Messenger (peace be upon him) encouraged the Bedouins firstly to return to sedentary life, then he tied into that a legislative ruling, and it is that they don’t have any right to the spoils of war that the Muslims capture from fighting the disbelievers, then more so and more so and more so he makes it incumbent upon the Muslims to remain in their lands and that they don’t move to the lands of disbelief and polytheism and misguidance. Especially in these days because you know that the Jews and the Christians, even if they are misguided because of their going astray firstly from Tawheed which has reached them from their Prophets and again because of their denial of our Prophet (peace be upon him) they with that used to be upon something of good manners and good character and so on. And he who is in my age group or close to it, he knows that the women of the Christians in the lands of Islaam, they used to cover with a covering better than many of the Muslim women today. The meaning of this statement is that the people of the book, sinfulness and immorality and nudity was not widespread amongst them the widespread way that the people of intellect, if there are people of intellect amongst them from the disbelievers, complain about in their lands. So because of that how can it be permissible for a Muslim to expose himself to this society contaminated by immorality and this decadence? This is what I have in response to that question.”

Later on in the tape Al-Imaam Al-Albaanee said: “Here is a Shubhah that must be mentioned on this occasion and it is a deceptive Shubhah that many of the youths are deceived by. They say: ‘Yaa Sheikh, by Allaah, we here, religious freedom is more than that in our country.’ This from some angles is correct. However, I take them by surprise with the reality that they live in. I say to them: ‘Are you able to raise your voices with the Adhaan?’ He says: ‘No.’ I say: ‘Where is the freedom that you claim?’ Then I remind them of the long term. You, if you are fleeing with your deen, you cling, to the lands of disbelief, is it possible for you to conceive that you will be able to set up an Islamic state where you are in America, in France, and so on, except after centuries and long centuries? Which of the two affairs is more likely, that you return to your countries and work together with your brothers there to establish the Islamic society and the Islamic lifestyle from which springs the establishment of the Islamic state and ruling by Islaam, or is it more likely over there? No, by Allaah, they say, in the lands of Islaam it is more likely. Because changing those lands of disbelief to the likes of what the situation is in the Islamic lands requires centuries. Therefore you are living in delusions. You say: ‘We live in freedom greater than the lands of Islaam.’ This is a delusion and this is a fantasy. Yes you pray and you fast and so on, however, most of your fasting, most of your prayer is not in the legislated manner. Furthermore, put this regard aside, you hear from there problems which the youths are exposed to regarding marriage to some of the women of the people of the book, they claim, and having children afterwards, and the disputing when the woman divorces him, he did not divorce her, then his son or daughter remains with her not him and so on; Problems that we are constantly asked about. These don’t occur in the lands of Islaam. Due to that the reality which there is no doubt about is that it is not permissible for the Muslim today to live in the lands of disbelief. So if he is exiled from his land where he was born, it is allowed for him to move to another land from the lands of Islaam. This is what I recall or what I saw necessary to mention pertaining to examining this issue.

(A questioner): Yaa Sheikh, concerning this issue they mention something close to what you mentioned, a Shubhah that the lands have become similar in sinfulness and immorality, the lands of Islaam and the lands of disbelief, and the (Islamic) rulings are not being enforced. So what is your opinion?

(The Sheikh): We have said beforehand regarding sinfulness and immorality, it is not permissible to compare the lands of Islaam to those lands. As for regarding the rulings, correct, sadly, many of the Islamic rulings have been rendered void and have been abandoned. However, Qiyaas here is Qiyaas with the existence of the distinguishing factor because the lands of Islaam many of the rulings still exist in it upon Islaam and at the very least upon some of the Islamic madhhabs. As for there, only the Qaanoon (the man made law) exists there which has judicial power over all of them. So this also is a distortion. They want by it to justify what they are upon from the residing that opposes the Sharee’ah. Furthermore I also say, and as it is said: the speech is connected together, our Lord says in the Noble Qur’aan: ‘And whoever amongst you takes them as friends then verily he is one of them.’ (Al-Maa’idah: 51)

What do you think, the one who lives in a land of disbelief, is he having Muwaalaah (befriending, showing loyalty, supporting etc.) for that land or showing enmity to it? I want to hear the answer from the doctor to loosen up the atmosphere a little bit…

Whichever Muslim travels to a land of disbelief, is he having Muwaalaah for this land and its rulers or is he showing enmity?

(The doctor): No he is not having Muwaalaah, the land and its rulers and its government he is not having Muwaalaah for them.

(The Sheikh): He is not having Muwaalaah? Is he showing enmity?

(The doctor): He is averse, not showing enmity, yes showing enmity, however he perhaps does not do any act of enmity, however he is averse to it.

(The Sheikh): He is averse?

(The doctor): Yes

(The Sheikh): Then why does he take it as residence?

(The doctor): Because of this need as you have mention.

(The Sheikh): Na’am, in that case we say in response why… (A cut in the tape)

(The doctor): Because of the need to resided there.

(The Sheikh): However the need must prove to be true.

(The doctor): No, No. I am saying because of what you mentioned. The answer to your question is what you previously mentioned. The answer to your question is the Muslim who resides in the lands of the disbelievers, is he having Muwaalaah for them or showing enmity to them. If you consider merely residing Muwaalaah this is another matter. If you are asking about the Muwaalaah of the heart, no the Muslim is not having Muwaalaah for them, normally, he resides but he is not having Muwaalaah for them. Meaning he does not love them, pardon me, he is averse to their ways.

(The Sheikh): Pardon me, is Muwaalaah in the heart only or outwardly also?

(The doctor): In the heart and outwardly.

(The Sheikh): You intended in the heart.

(The doctor): He is not having Muwaalaah for them. He is not pleased with what they are upon. He disapproves of that. He calls to the opposite of it. He does not implement it upon himself. Meaning Muwaalaah is not materialized. I don’t see it to be materialized. He remaining amongst them is forbidden. This is a matter. As for Muwaalaah, it is not clear that he is having Muwaalaah. It is possible that he reside amongst a people while he is averse to them, averse to what they are upon.

(The Sheikh): Tayyib. He does not assist them, Yaa Ustaadh?

(The doctor): Yes he assists in the general way of life in the dunyaa. Is this from Muwaalaah?

(The Sheikh): Isn’t he upon their Qawaaneen (man made laws)?

(The doctor): Yes they rule him by it.

(The Sheikh): Tayyib. How is Muwaalaah? Muwaalaah is forbidden. How is it done?

(The doctor): Even in the lands of the Muslims we rule by un-Islamic laws.

(The Sheikh): pardon me, now let us finish with over there then we can come back to the lands of Islaam.

(The doctor): He firstly is residing with them. They themselves have the ability with the rule of law. They implement it, he carries it out. He is not able to avoid it, even if some avoid some things however he carries out most of it. However the laws of disbelief being implemented upon him, it is forced upon him. Is this Muwaalaah? This is a question that applies even to the lands of the Muslims.

(The Sheikh): No, No. It does not apply. Baarakallaah feek. However, I don’t know this jump, is it analogical, from the land of disbelief to the lands of Islaam.

(The doctor): No, it is a jump, the jump Yaa Sheikh is because of an answer to the question. Is merely their laws being applied on them, the laws are applied so he complies with them upon these laws. Is this Muwaalaah? The answer, yes their laws are applied on him. This is the answer to the question. Is this Muwaalaah? You mentioned that this is Muwaalaah. So I say if this is Muwaalaah then all of us in all lands, un-Islamic laws are applied on us.

(The Sheikh): They are not the same. Baarakallaah feek. I am going to say to you now as long as you continue to use Qiyaas. I say to you there is a very big difference. The Muslim he must have an abode, a place of shelter. He must have that. So he must have a land for this shelter, and this land it must either be a land, I don’t say Islamic now, let it be more specific than that beforehand, its residents are Muslims or another land its residents are disbelievers. So he chose to reside in the second land not the first, and another chose to reside in the first land. Is the example of the two the same?

(The doctor): No they are not the same.

(The Sheikh): Baarakallaah feek. That is what was thought. Because of that your Qiyaas of the land of disbelief with the Muslim land does not stand straight. Because the Muslim he must have as I have brought beforehand a place of shelter that he uses for shelter. Therefore, either this place of shelter of his is in a Muslim land or in a land of disbelief. So when he resides in a Muslim land, we say here going along with you, this one is forced to comply with this land in its rulings. However, I have said beforehand there is a difference between the rulings that are applied in the lands of Islaam and the rulings which are applied in the lands of disbelief even if it is five percent, ten percent whatever percentage. What is important is there is a difference. So this one who must have a place of residence and a residency, he is forced to live under these rulings. However, there is another difference. Now I bring forth for you an example for this land and that land. Regarding car insurance, in it as you know there are two types of insurance, compulsory insurance and voluntary insurance. Good, in some land he is forced to have the two types of insurance while in another land he is forced to have one type of insurance. The two lands in good and evil are similar, there is absolutely no difference, to bring the issue closer to comprehension. The Muslim chose the land in which the two types of insurance are forced on him. Is it said that this one is like the first one?

(The doctor): No, he is not like that one.

(The Sheikh): Therefore, Baarakallaah feek, it is necessary that the Muslim always takes into consideration that there is a difference. Let me mention an example, Muwaalaah, there is a difference in Muwaalaah. Muwaalaah is a must, like the Muslim who resides in the lands of Islaam and he pays many, many taxes and sales taxes. This one is excused. Where is he to go? Here it is not said to him: ‘Was not the earth of Allaah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein’ (An-Nisaa: 97)

As for that person who rules with a Qaanoon from beginning to end, he is a Kaafir, and every day, without exaggeration, at every interval changes enter it because it is from that which man has produced. The Qaanoon in the lands of Islaam is not like this in farness from Islaam. There is a difference in it be it small or large, this is not our subject. Therefore, we go along with you, the Muslim in the land of Islaam is having Muwaalaah, however, he is not able to do anything except this. This Muwaalaah is outward and it is not in the heart. As for there, it is in the heart and outward because he is able to escape from that by living in the lands of Islaam being forced to the likes of this bodily Muwaalaah not Muwaalaah of the heart. I hope that these matters are taken into consideration because the reality helps us to make the Muslims understand the Islamic rulings and so that they return to increasing the masses of their nation inside their land instead of increasing the masses of the disbelievers.

I put forth a very simple example. The Muslim in the lands of Islaam, Allaahu Akbar…

(I think there was a pause for the Adhaan)

Perhaps you recall with me a hadeeth in the Sunan of Abu Dawud and others. A man entered and said: ‘As-Salaamu Alaikum.’ So he (peace be upon him) said: ‘Ten.’ A second man entered: ‘As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah.’ ‘Twenty.’ A third man entered. He said: ‘As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakaatuh.’ He said: ‘Thirty.’ They said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, so and so entered so you said ten,’ to the end. He said: ‘The first said As-Salaamu Alaikum so ten good deeds were recorded for him. The second added so twenty were recorded for him. The third, thirty. These good deeds that the Muslim acquires in the lands of Islaam, does he acquire them there? What do you think?

(The doctor): No.

(The Sheikh): This is a very small example. So now I say to you, another example very small. This example differs from one Muslim land to another Muslim land, rather, from a Muslim locality to another Muslim locality in the same land, from a Muslim locality to another Muslim locality, rather, from house to house. Is there something more reduced than this? Is there something smaller than this? There is not. How is this? A Muslim land, however, and from it is this land, you say to him: ‘As-Salaamu Alaikum.’ He says to you: ‘Marhabaa.’ ‘When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it or return it…’ (An-Nisaa: 86)

He is not raised in an Islamic manner. I am coming closer home a little bit with some small examples. As-Salaamu Alaikum, wa Alaikum As-Salaam. However, in the smallest example he entered and said: ‘As-Salaamu Alaikum.’ He left and said: ‘As-Salaamu Alaikum’ going about and automatically good deeds are recorded one after another. Allaah knows best from twenty four hours how much the total of these good deeds is. Why? Because he lives in a Muslim Salafee atmosphere. He knows his (peace be upon him) statement: ‘When one of you enters a sitting then let him give Salaams, and when he leaves let him give Salaams, for the first does not have more right than the second.’

This and other than it from the many examples that we have brought home to you the reality which we seek. It is not possible for you to see it in the lands of disbelief, never. And because of that we ask Allaah عز و جل to inspire our Muslim youths to return to the land of Islaam and that they learn the rulings of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace be upon him) upon the methodology of As-Salaf As-Saalih and that they educate themselves and those they are close with upon this pure Islaam. And perhaps this much is enough inshaallaah. And all praise is due to Allaah Lord of all that exists.”

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