Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Is Hijrah Forever?

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

This is a post that may have a sequel, however hubby and I have sat and composed this to address the outlook and reality for others who desire to make hijrah to Muslim countries, and to Saudi Arabia - Makkah/Madinah specifically.

It is important to think about the meaning of hijrah and whether the place you move to is somewhere you will be able to stay or not. When we got on the plane to move to Madinah, we came with the understanding that this isn't our country and that with the immigration laws so difficult here, it isn't likely we will be able to live here forever.  Anyone who comes here, unless they are a national of the country, can end up leaving at any time. Even if you are a national, your citizenship can be revoked.

It isn't wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Ideally if we could live here and do all the things we want to do in the States here, and have the assurance that things could go without trouble then we would stay. However, we are expats - here to work. Once we don't work or aren't of any service to the government or private sector, there is no compelling reason to keep us here. Unlike the countries we are from, we are very familiar with the job market, retirement, and things needed to live but we don't have the fear of being kicked out of our own country.

If we look at the life of the sahaba (radhi Allahu anhum), we see that very few of them are buried in Madinah. They scattered throughout the world giving da'wah. How can we justify living in a land that is not ours after we have acquired knowledge? Shouldn't we go back and benefit the people that are like us and didn't have the opportunity we had?

For a scholar who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia to come to the United States or the UK for example and give da'wah to educate the people, it would very difficult. He is not familiar with the common problems in Western society, such as drug abuse, blended families, deviant racist branches of so-called Islam and a whole style of life that is not conducive to Islam. However, we are from these lands, we know the problems such as when the Muslim drug addict comes to the masjid and steals the money from the zakat box...or the woman who is a stripper during the evening but attends the masjid for jumu'ah. The simple answer that the scholars give of "fear Allah" is not what the hearts of these people need. However, those who have lived amongst those people have a better understanding of the trials and tribulations they go through. In that respect we are better suited to help the negative nature of these Muslims and help them strive towards the straight and narrow path.

If I sit in Saudi, who am I giving da'wah to? Who am I teaching? For us, it is a life of service and you cannot serve until you learn, so this is our school.


  1. salaams-

    1. I think the decision would be different for a younger person/family than an older person. An older person is looking to die in a good place and live out his or her life in a good place, and the best of places is Madina munawara.


    2. Also, anyone might want to migrate permanently if they feel they cannot keep their deen or secure the deen of their family and children in the West or non-Muslim countries.

    3. InshaAllah, the visa situation will become less restrictive in the future, this will change decision making about hijra.

    4. Other countries might be considered for hijra, and it may be possible to settle there on a permanent basis.

    5. Also, I recently heard that if someone starts a business in KSA they may be able to get a business visa through sagia.com.

    Allahu alim.

  2. I am glad that you are realistic about your expectations of Hijrah. I am sure you are enjoying every bit of time there in Madinah!!

  3. JazakallahuKhair ya ukht, I think this is a very important topic. I also think this topic should be one of those which is backed up my daleel. Its wonderful that you discussed the practicalities such as issues with immagration, but the question should be backed up with a statement of the ulama. I know I for one would think it carries a lot more weight.

  4. @Anonymous 1,

    Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

    Yes, excellent points that are valid. It definitely depends on the age, situation, and goal of the muhajir. I also think that if permanent hijrah is the goal, then alternative countries must always be in the plan, should it not be possible to live out your life in the country of your choice.

    We are talking about our situation and many others here, who came for employment...and of course, the students who come to the Islamic University.

    Barak Allahu feek.

  5. Umm Salwaa, I think we must always be realistic. Just as it is a test in non-Muslim countries, it is also a test here! We keep our ears and eyes open for other ways to stay on a long-term/ permanent basis, but we must keep our minds open and also see where we can benefit.

    May Allah guide us all.

  6. @ Anonymous 2,

    Wa iyaak(i). There is a whole load of daleel out there for making hijrah to Muslim countries. However, to pull up opinions about returning to non-Muslim countries for da'wah, based on having the strength of deen to uphold one's correct practice of Islam, can be accepted or not, depending on who you take from. The most obvious proof we have of the permissibility and obligation to disseminate knowledge to others is the example of our Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, in dispatching the sahabah to surrounding non-Muslim countries to spread Islam.

    It is extremely clear here in Saudi Arabia, as the students of the Islamic University of Madinah come here knowing that when they leave their books and possessions will be shipped back for them free of charge. If hijrah was a permanent goal, surely those seeking knowledge would be kept in the Muslim lands. Instead, they are returned to their home countries once their degrees are finished to give da'wah and spread knowledge amongst their own people. Returning to one's home country for the purpose of dawah, especially if one is planning to live away from the general population and establish and Islamic lifestyle without interference, is agreed to be a good and warranted thing.

    The only purpose of this blog is to shed light on various aspects of life here. We all know where to go for proofs, and there is a big difference between living in the West for the sake of living and being there for the propogation of Islam.

    I'm just giving you a glimpse of our reality check. We are here by the Mercy of Allah. If we get an opportunity to stay in a Muslim country and do what we would like, then we may never return. However, if Allah wills us to return for the good of the people or for our own good, then we are ready for that eventuality.

  7. @ Anonymous 1, again.

    I forgot to mention this very important aspect. Hijrah from non-Muslim countries is based on not being able to practice Islam freely, or being oppressed, or not being able to escape the fitna that is rife in the land.

    The earth is most spacious, and so is the USA (and the UK for that matter). It is perfectly possible to live away from the non-Muslims, either in an Islamic community or making your own community. Most of the da'ee that return to the West live amongst the people, however it isn't a requirement for giving da'wah. It also isn't an option we have any intention of pursuing.

  8. I have a feeling in the future the West may be more hostile to Muslims as can be seen by niqab bans and what not already happening. At this point I have the intention of dying in a Muslim-majority country.

    Can you mention some of the areas where you think are good in the USA?

  9. @Anonymous,
    Although Europe is certainly heading in a dangerous direction regarding the niqab and freedoms of the Muslims, the big old U.S. of A. will have to change its Constitution and Bill of Rights if it wants to start banning religious freedoms. That's why the Mormons have been able to live on compounds and do their own thing for all these years.

    Most certainly, we all hope and pray to die in a Muslim-majority country and be buried by Muslims. May Allah make that a reality - ameen.

    It is difficult to mention good areas in the USA without knowing what you particularly want. For us, we are looking at land packages in the New Mexico, Colorado area. 120 acres for $40,000, 28 acres for $15,000. There is a great deal of land available at reasonable to cheap prices in Montana, Wyoming, and several other states. We want to establish our own environment and self-sustaining homestead inshaa'Allah that can be a base for various da'wah and educational activities. If you seek cities and/or more civilization, aside from Dearborn, MI and Patterson, NJ, there are many cities with very strong, active and functioning communities. It would be a matter of researching areas you were interested in or communities that had what you were looking for.

  10. That sounds good. I read about this plan to start a "Muslim village" in Indonesia:

    I don't think it is for me, although I do understand the need for some people to get away from the fitna which seems to be everywhere. I think we are really in end times now.

    I think you can practice Islam in either type of setting (in a city or in the middle of nowhere), but Islam seems to be more suited for a city atmosphere.

    I read that the Prophet (saws) said there were many virtues to Medina and Sham (Syria), so inshAllah I will try to go to one of these to places.

  11. @Anonymous,

    Yes, there is also a Muslim eco-village project in the UK I believe. In fact, in the USA there are many who are serious about getting together and making their own community. We even went so far as to check the amount of people needed over an area of land for it to qualify as a village or town. It can be registered as such with it's own mayor!

    In any case, I think that coming to Madinah on a business visa looks like the option that is more lasting and easier. Most certainly, I would look into that option. It is a good entry point into many Middle Eastern countries and provided you keep the business running, inshaa'Allah will enable you to live out your days here...or in Sham, perhaps. One thing my husband and I realized was that if we are simply in Saudi Arabia, then we always have access to Madinah. In other words, if one can get to Saudi by working or setting up business in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, etc. or more remote places like Ha'il, Abha, etc. they would still only be a drive (between 3 to 8 hours) away from Madinah. That's an important consideration.

    May Allah make it easy for you - ameen.

  12. Assalamu Alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh Mai to the Extreme i pray that Allaah has kept you and your family in the best of health and firm in your emaan in sha Allaah! Firstly I would like to thank you for starting this topic as it is something which is very important but at the same time, I have found difficulty in finding reliable information on. I have every intention to make Hijrah in sha Allaah with my children as I have recently started to practise my Deen and wish to move to Madina munawara or as close as can be in sha Allaah. You mention a very important point:
    In any case, I think that coming to Madinah on a business visa looks like the option that is more lasting and easier. Most certainly, I would look into that option. It is a good entry point into many Middle Eastern countries and provided you keep the business running, inshaa'Allah will enable you to live out your days here...or in Sham, perhaps. One thing my husband and I realized was that if we are simply in Saudi Arabia, then we always have access to Madinah. In other words, if one can get to Saudi by working or setting up business in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, etc. or more remote places like Ha'il, Abha, etc. they would still only be a drive (between 3 to 8 hours) away from Madinah. That's an important consideration"

    I would seriously consider that as an option of it would help me to achieve my goal of leaving the UK and staying in Madinah in sha Allaah. The problem is sister, that I have very limited knowledge on how to make this a reality? I am aware that Madinah is still quite expensive and dont have enough knowledge of what businesses would be realistic to start up.. I really am completely new to all of this, hence why my message probably sounds very stupid but in reality I do not have anyone that I can go to , to ask and get such honest information. In sha Allaah you will be able to assist me in some way with advice/ information? May Allaah ta ala reward you for helping another Muslimah and her children in sha Allaah!


    1. Wa alaikum as salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. I'm glad that you have found my blog to be useful. With regards to coming to Saudi, one must have a job offer, be a student, or start a business.

      Please note, even if you start a business, it will technically belong to a Saudi. You must have a Saudi sponsor you business, so you must find someone who you can trust! Remember, if there are any disputes, the business is his, not yours.

      I can't recommend a type of business to start, as I don't know your skills or passions. The only advice I can offer is for you to pray Istikhara, and put your faith and trust in Allah.

  13. I do not making hijra to the GCC (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman) because it is impossible to stay long term in one of these countries. The work situation is awful= salaries are usually late, contract violations are routine,and generally speaking the Persian Gulf countries have a preference for white, non-Muslims.


When commenting, fitnah is to be avoided at all costs, as the angels abandon those who argue and dispute."Who believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent." Barak Allahu feekum!

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