Recently, I got involved in a discussion with friends over moving abroad. Considering the situation in Pakistan, lots of people (who have the means) are moving to foreign countries. They have several reasons, better life style, better opportunities, worsening social, economic and security conditions in Pakistan, etc. I wonder if they ever contemplate and give serious thought to the element that the country they’re moving to is Muslim or non-Muslim. It was during my discussion over this subject, that I discovered that I’d never thought what Islam has to say about it. I therefore, decided to do a bit of research on the subject and here’s what I found.
Putting it simply, I found that it’s considered a sin to knowingly move from a country where you could easily follow Islam to one where you couldn’t. Reason? If the country you’re moving to has culture and values that are against those of Islam, then in time, they might creep into your life and cause you to deviate from the right path. You may become negligent in fulfilling your religious duties and adopt un-Islamic practices. So basically, Islam has taken measures to prevent Muslims from wavering from the right path.
Alas, things in reality are not so simple. After reading the above, a common question that comes to mind is, “What if I want to move to a non-Muslim country because I want to live in a stable economy, a secure society, because the conditions in my own country (which is Muslim) do not offer me this stability and security?” Well the answer to that is, Islam does not forbid you from emigrating to a non-Muslim country if you’re doing so for the aforementioned reason. Islam does not subject its followers to continue living in conditions that will render them weak and make them feel insecure. In fact, in such circumstances, it encourages Muslims to emigrate.
I know that reading this would be a source of relief to many, however, the important thing to remember when contemplating an emigration is to research the countries you want to move to. Evaluate and choose the one which offers the most fitting environment for you to be able to practice your Islamic values and beliefs.