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Question

Can you please explain to me if it is allowed for a Muslim to live in non-Muslim countries. Can you please give evidence, because I have had heard other people saying that Muslims are not allowed to live in non-Muslim countries.

Answered by

Sheikh `Abd Allah b. Bayyah, professor at `Abd al-`Azîz University in Jeddah
It is allowed for a Muslim to live in a non-Muslim country if certain conditions are met. A Muslim may live there for studying, medicalp purposes, business or the like. Sometimes a Muslim would rather live in such countries if he faces serious threats in his home country. However, in all of these cases, he must be able to freely practice his religion in his country of residence.

It was related in the hadîth: “O Fudayk establish prayer, pay Zakâk and abandon bad deeds and live with your people (the unbelievers) wherever you like.” [Related by Ibn Hibbân – all narrators are truthful].

Ahmad also related a hadîth which is evidence for living in non-Muslim countries. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The countries are Allah’s countries and the people are Allah’s servants, so wherever you find good (living atmosphere), you may live.”