Fatwa: # 43122
Category: Basic Tenets of Faith
Date: 6th September 2020


Muslims in non-Muslim countries - What should the mindset be?



There are alot of muslims in non muslim countries who are only muslim by name. They dont practice Islam properly but they call themselves muslim and they always say that we muslims are supposed to follow the law of the land that we live in. My question is to what extent are muslims obliged to follow the law of the non muslim country that they live in according to the shariah because there are many non muslim countries who have banned the niqab. They have made wearing the niqab illegal. Wearing the niqab is fard it is compulsory. So are we supposed to follow Allah SWT and his messenger SAW who ahve commanded women to wear the niqab or are we supposed to follow the kuffar. These muslims who are only muslim by name say that if we dont practice the law of the land they will put us in jail. But the question is disboeying Allah SWT and his messenger and burning in the hell fire for committing this major sin better than going to jail or is it worse than going to jail. My understanding is that it is better to go to jail than to disobey Allah SWT and his messenger SAW. Tommorrow these non muslims will make the law saying that wearing the hijab is illegal, growing a beard is a illegal, doing circumcision is illegal. Are we going to become there slaves and obey everything they tell us just because we have to follow the law of the land that we live in. My understanding is that we only follow the law of the land to the extent that the law of the land does not tell us to do anything haram. Once the law of the land tells use to do haram things like not wearing the niqab then we are not allowed to follow those laws according to the shariah 


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Muslim minorities living in non-Muslim countries are obliged to abide by the laws of their countries on condition the laws are not expressly un-Islamic. In that instance, Muslims should use all possible diplomatic means to approach the government and request to facilitate the religious requirements of Muslims. In doing so, they should consider the overall general interest of Muslims. Muslims should avoid any action, protests etc that will jeopardise the general and overall interest of Muslims. In many instances, Muslims themselves are responsible for restrictions upon themselves due to improper conduct in addressing such issues. 

Allah Ta’ala says:

{لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا} [البقرة: 286]

Translation: Allah does not obligate anyone beyond his capacity. (Al-Baqarah: 286)

If Muslims have explored all diplomatic avenues to address their religious concerns and in the event of them being unsuccessful, they will be excused. It is not an issue of one going to the hellfire for not practicing on Islam.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mahmood Suliman

Student Darul Iftaa
Gaborone, Botswana

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


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