Islam & Emigration


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.


3 thoughts on “Islam & Emigration

  1. hmmmm disagree here;
    which one of the “muslim” countries will give you as much freedom of expression, opportunity, security and free will as some of the “non muslim” countries do?
    ps. not sure there are many countries who call themselves “christians”, or “hindu” … and what about places like China, which follow no religion?
    muslims of yesteryear “emigrated” to other “non muslim” regions to expand their territory; before every such expansion though, there were small attachments of muslims sent to those countries on reconnaisance missions. In other words to deviously look for expansion opportunities.
    itnay doodh k dhulay huay nahi thay hamaray baap daaday 🙂

    • You could be right but I’m just trying to tell what religion says over the matter. How it’s interpreted and practiced is entirely different.

    • Muslims of yesteryears who emigrated to non muslim territories were not entirely reconnaisance missions. In early times these expeditions were carried out to get away from oppressive societies. Later, however, we do find expeditions that were also reconnaisance in nature; the arabs moving to sri lanka for trade or the north western areas indian subcontinents via iran are examples. So, a broad generalization is uncalled for.

      Regarding hindu and christian states, I’m sure you would be aware of the separation of state and religion early in world history. But just because a state does not declare its religion does not mean that its residents don’t follow one. India is as hindu a country as Turkey is muslim. I’m not passing a judgment, just stating a fact.

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