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Muslims Living in non-Muslim Lands


Is it allowed for Muslims to live in "non-Muslim" lands? By this I mean those lands where Muslims are in a minority, there is no implementation of any aspects of Shari`ah, nor is there any endorsement of any fardh (e.g. like Salaah) by the collectivity as a whole (obvious examples are the UK and the USA). Here I would like to point out that in the UK, when someone is naturalized as a citizen, one has to swear his/her allegiance to the current Monarch.

If we are allowed to live in these lands, may we fully participate in these societies? For example, may we vote, stand as councilors; act as Members of Parliaments etc.? It is commonly quoted that "God is the sole legislator", hence, Muslims should refrain from participating in "Kufr" Societies.

Also, are Muslims allowed to take a full active role in the armed forces of these nations? The obvious implications is that one has to swear allegiance to and defend and serve the Head of State, (in the case of the UK, the Monarch).

salaam `alaykum

United Kingdom

Question from United Kingdom

Barring the case of personal likes and dislikes, there is nothing contained in the Shari`ah, which prohibits a person from living in a non-Muslim land. The only exception is where the non-Muslim community hinder the person in practicing his religion or force him into disobedience toward the directives of the Shari`ah.

As far as whether or not Muslims can participate in the general collective activities in these communities or not, I am once again of the opinion that Muslims can participate in all collective activities, even in non-Muslim lands, except in cases where their participation is expressly prohibited by the Shari`ah. "God is the sole legislator is not a very accurate representation of the political ideology of Islam. A more accurate representation, in my opinion, is that in all such cases where God has given a legislation, a Muslim cannot ignore or live a life of disobedience toward these legislations[1].

For my answer to the regarding a Muslim's participation in the Armed Forces of a non-Muslim state, please refer to one of my earlier responses to a question titled: "Can a Muslim Serve in the US Army?".

I hope this helps.


September 4, 2001

[1] For details on this point, please refer to one of my earlier responses to a question titled: "The Nature and Structure of the Islamic State - as Propounded by the Hizb al-Tehrir".

Answer published by Moiz Amjad