Immigration to a Majority Non-Muslim Country
First of all, we’d like to clarify that there is not a one-and-only ruling on living in non-Muslim countries for all Muslims. If a Muslim can practice his or her faith freely and there is no fear for his or her family to be tempted, then there is nothing wrong in doing so. Having said this, if you see that you would be able to exert every possible effort to surround your family with good and righteous friends and there is no fear of being tempted, then there is nothing wrong of travelling to non Muslim countries .
Elaborating on the issue of living a majority non-Muslim countries, we’d like to furnish you with the following fatwa issued by the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, director and imam of Al-Falah Islamic Center, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, who states,
“Scholars look into this issue from various perspectives and the bottom line is the ability to practice Islam and make da`wah (Arabic for: inviting others to Islam). If Muslims are free to practice their own faith and even invite others to join the same faith, then their presence in such countries is needed and sometimes mandatory.
the second perspective is when Muslims are free to practice Islam but they face some difficulties to make da`wah, then it is permissible to live in those countries.
However, if one fears that his or her children will suffer religious-wise, then their presence in such countries is useless and they need to search for a better environment.
So, there is no one ruling for all Muslims living in non-Muslim countries.
the ideal situation is when a Muslim practices his or her own faith and at the same time lives as a good citizen in his or her own country, sharing the beautiful teachings of Islam with other people. Almighty Allah says: [O My servants who believe! Truly, spacious is My Earth: therefore, serve you Me, (and Me alone)] (Al-`Ankabut 29:56).
So, all the earth belongs to Allah, so we should worship Allah wherever we are.”
Moreover, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, President of the Fiqh Council of North America, adds:
“A Muslim can live in any place and in any country. However, there are some basic Islamic rules about migration:
1. It is Haram for a Muslim to live in or to migrate to a place where he cannot practice his/her religion, unless one is very weak and has no other way. Almighty Allah says, “Lo! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they wrong themselves, (the angels) will ask: In what were ye engaged? They will say: We were oppressed in the land. (The angels) will say: Was not Allah’s earth spacious that ye could have migrated therein? As for such, their habitation will be hell, an evil journey’s end…” (An-Nisa’: 97) It is obligatory upon Muslims to live in and to migrate to those lands where they can freely practice their religion.
2. It is not recommended for Muslims to migrate to the lands where their and their next generations’ religion might be at risk, unless they make every effort to safeguard their own religion and the religion of their next generations. Without such efforts it will be Makruh (reprehensible) [and in some cases even Haram] to migrate to such lands.
3. It is permissible for Muslims to migrate to the lands where they feel confident that they can practice their religion freely and they can raise their children under the Islamic principles. It is, however, better for Muslims to live in Muslim lands where they can live under Islamic laws to govern their personal as well as collective lives.
4. It is highly recommended for Muslims to migrate to those lands where they feel they can practice Islam and can spread the message of Islam. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, sent many Sahabah (his Companions) to different areas to spread Islam and to teach Islam. After the death of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, many Sahabah left Madinah and went to different lands to live there and to teach Islam to the people of those lands. It is due to their efforts and the efforts of many Muslims after them that Islam spread in many lands. This is also our duty and we must make every effort to convey the message of Allah to the whole world.”