Question 8: Travelling to the lands of disbelief for tourism, business, da’wah, and marriage
“There are some travels to the lands of disbelief that don’t include residing nor settling there, like traveling for vacation, and tourism, and traveling for business, and traveling for da’wah, or for someone who made hijrah to go get married over there.”
With regards to traveling for vacation and tourism we say; traveling to the lands of disbelief for those matters of daroorah (extreme necessity), like seeking treatment and such, there is no problem with this as has preceded.
As for that which is for the purpose of vacation, or tourism, or roaming around or recreation, this travel is not a travel of extreme necessity because it is possible for him to go to the Islaamic lands whose people are conservative Muslims and take vacation there, and it will be less expensive, and he will feel safe in his journey for his deen, although the advice we give is that the Muslim focus on that which benefits him, as the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “Focus on that which benefits you.”
And as for traveling to the land of disbelief and shirk for the purpose of tourism and recreation, no doubt, there is great danger in that and trial on the deen of the Muslim and on his character because of what has been mentioned. Also, in that great sums of money are wasted in these types of journeys to the lands of disbelief, and over there the temptations are intense. How often has a righteous person traveled to those lands then returned corrupted. Rather, how often has a Muslim traveled there and returned as a disbeliever.
So in brief, it is not permissible to travel to the land of disbelief for tourism, and roaming around and recreation. That is so the (person’s) deen can be protected, and so he can be saved from the means of trial, and so he can distance himself from the dangers and the evil consequences, especially since the traveler travels and searches in his journey for everything that delights him and everything that entertains him, and you know the laxity that exists in those lands for sins like drinking alcoholic beverages, and fornication, and nudity, and decadence, and the many types of abominations.
Also, those disbelievers have prepared their lands for these purposes and compete with one another in that. And, all praises are due to Allaah, the people of knowledge have given the legal verdict that it is forbidden to go to the land of the disbelievers for tourism and roaming around.
As for traveling for the purpose of business, some of the people of knowledge allow that, and some of the people of knowledge see that to be forbidden and don’t allow that because of the severe danger which the Muslim is subject to over there. Whatever the case may be, our advice is that the Muslim beware of going to the lands of disbelief for the purpose of business as much as possible because of the danger in that on the deen and on the character, and because of the great evils which have already been mentioned, especially since the one who wants to do business, he brings with him on his journey large sums of money, and you know that the abomination is at hands reach, we ask Allaah for safety and wellbeing. However, if he is going to travel for his business to one of the remote lands of the disbelievers with trustworthy company in a short time-period, in this instance it could be said to be permissible. As for most of the lands of disbelief, there is great danger in that on the deen of the Muslim.
As for the Muhaajir traveling only to get married, it appears that it is not permissible because it is not an extreme necessity, rather, he is able to marry a righteous woman over there, if one can be found, over the telephone or by the different means of communication without having to travel there because in the Muslim traveling there, as you have heard, there is danger for him, and perhaps if he goes to those lands after making hijrah from them he could long for staying there and employ different types of tricks to stay there with the argument that he is still trying to find the right wife, or with the argument that he is working for a little while so he can save money to suffice the requirements of the marriage and the journey with his family to the lands of Islaam, or with the argument that there are obstacles making it difficult to return to the land of Islaam, or because he needs some treatment or things like that, and Allaah is the one whose help is sought. So we advise that he doesn’t go for this purpose.
As for traveling to those lands for the purpose of calling to Allaah, it is well known the many proofs from the Book and the Sunnah mentioning the virtue of calling to Allaah. Allaah (‘Azza Wa Jall) said in His Book:
وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
“And who is better in speech than he who invites (men) to Allaah, and does righteous deeds, and says: ‘I am one of the Muslims.’” – Fussilat (41):33
And Allaah (‘Azza Wa Jall) says:
قُلْ هَٰذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي ۖ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘This is my way; I invite unto Allaah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge. And Glorified and Exalted be Allaah. And I am not of the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers).’” – Yusuf (12):108
And He (Subhaanahu) says:
ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ
“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better.” – An-Nahl (16):125
So traveling to the lands of disbelief for the purpose of da’wah is considered to be a type of Jihaad, and it is fard kifaayah (obligatory on a part of the nation) upon he who is able to do that. So calling to Allaah, and instructing the people, and conveying Allaah’s message to His slaves, and removing the people from the types of darkness to the light, and explaining the good qualities of Islaam to the disbelievers, and educating the Muslims over there about the rulings of the deen, and enlightening them, and instructing them, and encouraging them to leave there and go to the lands of Islaam, no doubt, these are important matters.
The disbelievers are in need of someone to call them, especially since Islaam in the lands of disbelief has been distorted. So many of the disbelievers don’t know anything about true Islaam because of the cover-up, and misguidance, and distortion, and deterrence, and false allegations against the religion of Islaam, that it is a religion of barbarity, and savageness and backwardness.
So in brief, calling to Allaah in those lands is a matter of extreme importance because of what results because of it from benefit and guidance for the creation, in particular when sincerity, and truthfulness, and patience exists in the callers.
No doubt, by Allaah’s permission, good outcomes will occur. However, it is a must that this caller to Allaah, his da’wah must have some effect and influence, and this only happens to a man who has with him knowledge and insight; a man who knows his deen with its evidences, and he has the ability to call to it and refute the specious arguments that he comes across, along with the ability to perform that which Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) has made obligatory upon him, and all of this, meaning the permissibility of going there for the purpose of da’wah, is under the condition that the caller to Allaah feels safe for himself from tribulation, for if he fears tribulation for his deen, or fears for himself falling into that which Allaah has forbidden, it is not allowed for him to travel there even if it is for the purpose of da’wah.
Source : Questions and answers concerning al-Hijrah – By Shaykh ‘Abdur Rahmaan al-‘Adanee
Related Link: Hijrah (Emigration to Muslim Lands) – abdurrahman.org/hijrah