The Obligation of Hijrah



Question: “I want to ask a question about hijrah. I live in England, a non-Muslim country. The British government does not give me any problems about going to the mosque to pray, there are no problems for me with work or anything else. Is it obligatory upon me to make hijrah or can I stay here and also call the people to Islaam?”

Shaykh al-Albaani (rahimahullaah) answers:

“This is an important question, especially with regard to the one who used to be a disbeliever then Allaah guided him and he became Muslim. And we frankly say that it is obligatory upon evey Muslim in every spacious land of Allaah – if Allaah guides him to Islaam after he was a disbeliever – to make hijrah from that country to a Muslim country where the rulings of Allaah, ‘azza wa jal, are established, because the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to say: ‘The fires of a Muslim and a mushrik[1] should not come into each other’s views.’[2] In this authentic hadeeth, he (‘alayhi ssalaat wa ssalaam) was indicating what the Arabs – particularly those who were Bedouins – used to do before Islaam, when each one of them used to light a fire in front of his tent. So he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is saying that a Muslim’s dwelling must be far from that of a mushrik, such that if each of them were to light a fire in front of his tent, the fire of one of them would not show to the other one due to the far distance between them. This is the meaning of his (‘alayhi ssalaam) statement: ‘The fires of a believer and a mushrik should not come into each other’s views.’

And another hadeeth mentions: ‘Whoever mixes with a mushrik, then he is like him,’ meaning whoever mixes with them with his body, dwelling and association, and is like that most of the time, then he is like him in misguidance, even if the proportion of misguidance differs, as is the case with eemaan (belief); so just like eemaan has levels, misguidance also has levels. So whoever mixes with a mushrik, he is like him. Then, he (‘alayhi ssalaat wa ssalaam) emphasized that with an expression which contains a severe alarm, which is his (‘alayhi ssalaat wa ssalaam) statement: ‘I am free from every Muslim who resides among the mushriks.’[3] And the reason for that is from the aspect that (one’s) natural disposition is to take on (the characteristics one is surrounded by), especially as he takes on evil and does not absorb good except with difficulty. And the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has indicated this reality in some authentic narrations such as his (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement: ‘The righteous companion is like the seller of musk, he will either give you (some) free of charge, or you will buy from him, or you will smell a pleasant scent from him.’[4] He (‘alayhi ssalaat was ssalaam) means that if a Muslim mixes with righteous people, he will take on (good) from them, definitely, and the lowest level of (this) acquirement in this example is that he will smell a pleasant scent from him. And vice versa, he (‘alayhi ssalaam) said: ‘The evil companion is like the blacksmith (who blows the bellows), he will either burn your clothes or you will smell a foul smell from him.’[5] In short, this hadeeth means that a companion is someone who pulls – if he is righteous, he will pull his associate toward good, and if he is evil and corrupt, he will pull his associate toward evil.

Then the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) narrated to us an example that happened in one of the nations before us, so he (‘alayhi ssalaat wa ssalaam) said: ‘There was a man from those before you who killed ninety-nine people then wanted to repent, so he asked about the most knowledgeable person of the land and was led to a worshiper – but he was ignorant and not a person of knowledge. So he went to him and said: ‘I killed ninety-nine people and I want to repent, so is there any repentance for me?’ He replied: ‘You killed ninety-nine people and want to repent?! There is no repentance for you.’ So this killer did nothing but kill him and thus he completed the hundredth person that he killed with no right. However, he was serious about returning to his Lord and repenting to Him, so he continued asking about the most knowledgeable person of the land until this time he was led to a true person of knowledge. So he asked him and said: ‘I have killed a hundred people with no right, so is there any repentance for me?’ He replied: ‘And who is coming between you and repentance? But – {and here is the point} – you are in an evil land, so depart from it and go to such-and-such town whose people are righteous.’ So he left his town – going on as he repented to his Lord – toward that town with righteous people, considering the fact that the person of knowledge had advised that. And on the way, his appointed time of death arrived. So the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment differed with regard to him, each side claiming that they are entitled to him; the angels of punishment knew the widespread evil of his life, and therefore they deemed that they should take his soul, and the angels of mercy deemed as the Messenger (‘alayhi ssalaat wa ssalaam) said in another hadeeth: ‘actions are based on the last ones,’[6] and this man left repenting to his Lord so we – the angels of mercy – are entitled to taking his soul.

So Allaah sent them an arbitrator, who said to them: ‘Measure (the distance) which is between him and each of the two towns, and whichever one he is closer to, connect him with its people.’ So they measured and found him to be closer to the town with righteous people… So the angels of mercy took his soul.[7] And the point taken from this authentic hadeeth, which is in the two Saheehs: al-Bukhaari and Muslim, is that this distinguished person of knowledge knew and indicated that this man – whose boldness led him to killing ninety-nine people before, who then completed the number by (killing) that ignorant worshipper, such that those whom he killed with no right became a hundred people – that this soul commanding evil was only helped upon that by the environment in which he lived and spent most of his life, and thus (the person of knowledge) advised him to move from that evil land to a righteous town.

…And we know that the one who lives in the lands of the disbelievers, even if he used to be a disbeliever before (and not anymore), that he (still) cannot escape the effects of that evil environment except by being removed from there completely and travelling to the lands of the Muslims. Therefore, it has been mentioned in the Noble Qur’aan that when the angels take the soul of the disbeliever who did not migrate to the lands of the Muslims nor believe in Islaam: ‘Was the earth of Allaah not spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?’[8] So hijrah is a tradition that has been followed since old times and its underlying reason is so a Muslim can preserve his religion.

…And hijrah is only from the lands of disbelief to the lands of Islaam, or in some cases it could be from the lands of disbelief to another country of disbelief but where religious freedom is better than (the former). As for the lands of Islaam, they are present now, all praises be to Allaah, and therefore whoever is a true Muslim, it is obligatory upon him to abandon his disbelieving country and make hijrah to his Muslim country, because the Muslim country includes all of the lands of Islaam, and there is no intolerance among the Muslims and adapting oneself to a particular region. So whichever country in which a Muslim settles, it is his country; and by that, he would preserve his Islaam, concerning the new Muslim, and on the other hand, he would develop himself, nourish himself, and be able to cultivate himself and his relatives with other Islaamic manners. As long as we talk about those Muslims residing in the lands of disbelief, (we say) from where do they learn Islaam? They can’t learn Islaam and its rulings, how does he deal with his wife, his children, his neighbors, and correct his ‘aqeedah (creed) before everything else? He cannot do that except by making hijrah. Thus, the Islaamic legistation – the Qur’aan and the Sunnah – has ordered the Muslim to abandon the lands of disbelief for the lands of Islaam.

Source: Fataawa Jeddah, tape no. 18/2|Asaheeha translations

[1] those who associate partners with Allaah; disbelievers
[2] Saheeh aj-Jaami’ #1461
[3] Saheeh aj-Jaami’ #1461
[4] Saheeh al-Bukhaari #2101, #5534
[5] Saheeh al-Bukhaari #2101, #5534
[6] Saheeh al-Bukhaari #6493
[7] Saheeh al-Bukhaari #3470, Saheeh Muslim #2766
[8] Surat un-Nisaa, 4:97

About Umm Abdulazeez

"I am a Muslim who is upon the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and upon the methodology of the Salaf As-Saalih (Pious Predecessors). And that can be said in short by saying, 'I am a Salafee' " [Shaykh Al-Albaanee رحمه الله] ________ Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed knowledge should only be learned for the purpose of fearing Allaah. Indeed, knowledge has been given virtue over other than it because with it Allaah is feared.” [Jaam'i Bayaan al-'Ilm wa Fadlihi by Imaam Ibn Abdil-Barr (rahimahullaah)]
This entry was posted in Eemaan|Faith, Hijra, Shaykh Naasir- ud-Deen al-Albaani. Bookmark the permalink.

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