In the Qu'ran, it says “Verily, as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): “In what (condition) were you?” They reply: “We were weak and oppressed on the earth.” They (angels) say: “Was not the earth of Allaah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?” Such men will find their abode in Hell — what an evil destination!”

And the Prophet said: “I disown every Muslim who settles among the mushrikeen.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2645; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

Do I have to live in a Muslim country and am I committing a sin?

  • 1
    I don't know where people get the term "Islamic Country" from?!?! Is someone prohibiting or preventing you from carrying out acts of worship? Did you know that Muslims can practice their religion more freely in the western countries than they can in other countries
    – Aboudi
    Feb 16, 2017 at 19:35
  • 3
    @Aboudi, What makes you say that? I live in Iran where followers of all major religions can freely practice their faith... contrary to all the propaganda against this country that you see in the media.
    – infatuated
    Feb 17, 2017 at 4:40
  • @infatuated, I was not referring to all countries where Muslims are the majority, but there are countries where Muslims are the majority and do get prosecuted for carrying out acts of worship i.e. visit a mosque frequently, p.s I don't consider the Media to be a reliable source of info neither do I waste time on it.
    – Aboudi
    Feb 17, 2017 at 19:14

2 Answers 2


It is obligatory to emigrate if the country you live in does not allow you to freely practice your religion, i.e. to perform your ritual duties such as prayer, fasting, paying Zakat and observing dress code etc. The Quranic verse and the Hadith you quoted is referring to Muslims who continued to live in Mecca after the emigration to Medinah and didn't practice Islam and infact participated in the battle of Badr against the Muslims(Ibn Kathir).

As far as I know, the laws in the UK do not contravene religious freedom and infact are extremely accommodating. In that case it is permissible for you to continue living there.

Once a bedouin came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and asked him about the migration. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Mercy of Allah be on you! The migration is a quite difficult matter. Have you got some camels?" He replied in the affirmative. Then the Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Do you give their Zakat?" He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet said, "Do you let others benefit by their milk gratis?" He replied in the affirmative. Then the Prophet asked, "Do you milk them on their watering days and give their milk to the poor and needy?" He replied in the affirmative. The Prophet, said, "Go on doing like this from beyond the seas, and there is no doubt that Allah will not overlook any of your good deeds." [Saheeh Bukhari 63/149]

Narrated Malik: We came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and we were young men nearly of equal ages and we stayed with him for twenty nights. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was a very kind man and when he realized our longing for our families, he asked us about those whom we had left behind. When we informed him, he said, "Go back to your families and stay with them and teach them (religion) and order them (to do good deeds). The Prophet (ﷺ) mentioned things some of which I remembered and some I did not. Then he said, "Pray as you have seen me praying, and when it is the time of prayer, one of you should pronounce the call (Adhan) for the prayer and the eldest of you should lead the prayer. " [Saheeh Bukhari 95/1]

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "There is no Hijra after the Conquest (of Mecca), but Jihad and good intention remain; and if you are called (by the Muslim ruler) for fighting, go forth immediately. [Saheeh Bukhari 56/2 ]

In the absence of compulsion and oppression in religion, it is still a Mustahab(recommended and virtuous) act to live in a Muslim ruled land, and to emigrate to one ... but it is not sinful if you don't do it, since not doing a mustahab act is not a sin.

Quote from the Imam Nawawi's Minhaj al Talibin:

The law recommends a Moslem inhabiting an infidel country to emigrate, even though he may enjoy there the free exercise of his religion ; and this émigration becomes obligatory if he is deprived of the exercise of his religion, and he possesses the means enabling him to emigrate.

The above view is shared by the Shafi, Hanafi and Hanbali schools of thought. Malik and many scholars of his school differ about it (consider Migration as always obligatory.)


There was no Hijra after conquest of Macca means no Hijra from Macca, before the conquest of Macca Muslims in Macca had to do Hijra as it was not Muslim at the time when Medina was Muslim (and before Medina there was no Muslim country but Muslims were given permission to go to Abisynia to escape extreme persecution in Macca)

“Hijra will never come to an end until repentance comes to an end” (Ahmad).

You must log in to answer this question.

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