I am from a secular country; our constitution has no element of sharia law in it.
Sometimes I see that our brothers do not respect and do not follow the laws of our country.

Usually these brothers belong to groups who do not like to be called "Wahabi".
I disagree with them when they said 'we do not want to pay VAT(taxes)', or 'We do not want to vote on elections', or 'We do not want to pass driving test', claiming that they do not admit to a government or the laws of unbelievers.

So, I am looking for the Quran's explanation or Hadith or an event in history form the time of our Messenger (Peace be upon him), which would help prove that they are wrong.

4 Answers 4


This is something a lot of people unfortunately indulge in. They seek to go against the law and become lawless, claiming their religion as an excuse to do this.

Islam is very clear about this; everything from tax evasion to vigilantism. In the Qur'an, Allah says:

O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts. [...] [Surah Ma'ida, verse 1]1.

The meaning of this verse (tafseer) is included in the square brackets; from the language, we understand that it means fulfill your contracts and agreements and pledges and promises.

All of them. Which means if you live in a country, you need to obey their laws. There is a famous athar of Umar ibn Al-Khattab (which some say is a hadith) which says:

Obey the law of the land.

Therefore, if your country stipulates taxes, you have to pay tax. If your country stipulates driving with a license, you need to get the license.

There's one caveat though; what about cases where the law advocates something haram, like the hijab ban in so many countries, or modern forms of insurance? Rasulullah answered this with one hadith:

There is no obedience to the creation in disobedience to the Creator. (Ahmed and Haakim)

In this case, you need to consult with a locak scholar who understands shari'ah and the customs of your land in order to figure out what to do.

For example, where I live, it's haram to drive without car insurance. Car insurance is also haram (money for money transaction with extreme uncertainty). Scholars have said, in this case, that we should buy only the minimal insurance (third party), and not "full coverage."

And Allah knows best.

  • 1
    Great answer. On the insurance aspect, some people may find takaful schemes less of an imposition on their beliefs Jul 28, 2012 at 7:55
  • Thanks @MarcGravell. As the Muslims get more mature in our processes and community, you see these kinds of issues addressed -- just like halal meat and places of worship are quite well addressed these days.
    – ashes999
    Jul 28, 2012 at 15:22
  • 2
    double-edged, though. Personally I prefer not to eat halal. Many people (and animal welfare organisations) have some philosophical disagreements with that method of slaughter. Jul 28, 2012 at 15:26
  • You lost me at "animal welfare organisations"....
    – user14305
    Nov 22, 2015 at 9:52
  • Could you add some references about insurance being haram?
    – Kilise
    Jun 16, 2017 at 10:06

Shia View

Imam Khomeini the leader of the Iran Islamic Revolution (who was an Jafari Fiqh Mujtahid also) said in a Fatwa: obeying governmental laws of a country is Wajib (Obligatory). Not only Islamic governments, but all governments.

While he was exiled to France by Shah of Iran he did not eat meat for a long time because the meat there was not Halal. One day some of his friends who came from Iran to visit him bought a sheep and slaughtered it in home of Imam Khomeini in Islamic method and when Imam saw the meat asked: "From where is this meat?" They replied: "We bought a sheep and slaughtered it at home." Imam Khomeini replied: "According to laws of France slaughtering animals in home is banned and so I do not eat from this meat."

This is only one example of his practices and there are many more, which support this view.


Some practices of Imam Khomeini (Persian)

Imam Khomeini Website


In any land where the sharia is not applied wholistically this can be regarded as secular, if you are a citizen you cannot abide by any law that contradicts Islam i.e. in France and other countries there are hijab bans this definitely contradicts Islam so you cannot abide by that law and must reject it! Similarly other laws in secular countries not so obvious are also contradictory to Islam such as participating in a secular democratic election process, as you are going against the ayat: Allah (swt) says:

“Those who do not rule by what Allah has revealed are disbelievers.”[5-44]

A good read is a book called the fiqh of minorities (a new fiqh to subvert Islam) by asif khan. The whole content of the booklet can be found here

The key is not which opinion appeals most to oneself or sounds most rational but which has the most strong daleel (proof/text) and don’t forget the order it is Quran first then Sunnah and so on, some people have the tendency to go to masalih mursilah first ignoring clear ayats, this is usually for personal gains.

  • This does not answer the question, which asks specifically for counter-arguments.
    – ashes999
    Jul 28, 2012 at 20:28
  • 1
    In my view the question is wrong it's like saying what are the counter arguments for not performing salah! The way to counter argue like i said is by looking at clear texts, which in many cases there are and there aren't and in this case there isnt any counter arguments not from Islam anyway.
    – Abu Nooh
    Jul 29, 2012 at 1:32
  • It prompts the inevitable question: if a non-Muslim lives in a Muslim country, can the non-Muslim disregard laws that don't meet their personal beliefs? How is it any different when reversed? Jul 29, 2012 at 8:55
  • It's okay if you don't agree with the question @abushahin, you're allowed to challenge it. Just be aware that you're not even attempting to answer it.
    – ashes999
    Jul 29, 2012 at 8:56
  • @MarcGravell i think your whole comment should be another question. It would be good to see how it is answered based on Islam, just a word of clarification an islamic country isnt necessarily an islamic state, an islamic state is a caliphate where the entire politics is based on the sources of Quran not like anything you see today, there isnt an islamic state.
    – Abu Nooh
    Jul 29, 2012 at 16:45

If you live in a secular country, you've signed a contract to abide by the laws of the country in return for being granted entry. And as other answers have said, a Muslim is required to abide by contracts he or she have signed as long as they don't include explicit haram(to use an absurd example, such as a ban on prayer or fasting or something).

  • 2
    Decent answer. Just note that answers are expected to have some sort of proof/sources to back them up.
    – ashes999
    Jul 27, 2012 at 15:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .