Hijrah: Shaikh Al-Islām Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhāb (d. 1206H) and Imām Al-Baghawi (d. 516H) on the subject of Hijrah: Migrating from a Non-Muslim Land to a Muslim Land

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In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation, and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his Companions.

Shaikh al-Islam, Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullāh) said in Thalāthatul-Usūl wa Adillatuhā, “Migration (Al-Hijrah) is to move from the land of polytheism to the land of Islām. Migration from the land of polytheism to the land of Islām is an obligation upon this Ummah, and it remains as such until the Hour is established. The proof for this is in the saying of Allāh, the Most High: 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنفُسِهِمْ قَالُوا فِيمَ كُنتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَاسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُوا فِيهَا فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا ۝ إِلَّا الْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ حِيلَةً وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ سَبِيلًا ۝ فَأُولَٰئِكَ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَعْفُوَ عَنْهُمْ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا

«Verily! As for those whom the angels take in death while they are wronging themselves, the Angels say to them: “In what condition were you?” They reply: “We were weak and oppressed on Earth.” The Angels say: “Was not the Earth of Allāh spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?” Such will find their abode in Hell, and what an evil destination! Except for the weak ones among men, women and children who cannot devise a plan, nor are they able to direct their own way. For these, there is hope that Allāh will forgive them, and Allāh is ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.» [Sūrah An-Nisā’: 97-99]

Also the saying of the Most High:

يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ أَرْضِي وَاسِعَةٌ فَإِيَّايَ فَاعْبُدُونِ

«O My servants who believe! Certainly, spacious is My earth, so worship Me.» [Sūrah Al-‘Ankabūt: 56]

Al-Baghawī (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) said: “The reason behind the revelation of this verse was because of the Muslims who were in Makkah and yet they did not migrate. Allāh addressed them with the title of Imān.”

The proof for migrating (Al-Hijrah) from the Sunnah is in the saying of the Messenger of Allāh (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam):

لاَ تَنْقَطِعُ الْهِجْرَةُ حَتَّى تَنْقَطِعَ التَّوْبَةُ، وَلا تَنْقَطِعُ التَّوْبَةُ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا

“Hijrah will not end until repentance comes to an end, and repentance will not end until the Sun rises from the West.” (Reported by Ahmad in Al-Musnad no. 16906, Abu Dāwūd no. 2479 from Mu‘āwiyah (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā). Authenticated by Al-Albānī in Al-Irwā no. 1208) ― End of the speech of Shaikhul-Islam.

Shaikh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullāh) cited from Al-Baghawī (rahimahullāh) in meaning. Al-Baghawī stated, regarding the reasons for the revelation of this verse in Ma’ālim At-Tanzīl (6/251) that Maqātil and Al-Kalbī said: “It was revealed concerning the weak Muslims of Makkah.” He also said (6/252) that it was revealed concerning those who held back from migrating and remained in Makkah: “They said: ‘If we migrate, we are afraid that we’ll go hungry and lead a constrained life.’ So Allāh revealed this verse and did not give them an excuse not to leave.”

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12 Comments

  1. May Allah reward you and your family with good ustaad for this beneficial article.

    When it comes to taking the means before one does hijra, how far should one go in this so that he does not fall into exaggeration in taking the means?

    For example, is it enough for a single person to just get a plane ticket and £ 1000 pocket money and have full trust in Allah?

    • As-salāmu-alaikum-wa-rahmatullāh

      You must plan carefully and not put yourself in harm’s way. Please see my other more detailed response about preparation.

  2. السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
    May Allah bless you and keep you in good health ameen.
    JazakhAllahu khayr for the article and sharing right knowledge with us..
    BarakAllahu feekum..
    I have a question that now a days all countries need visa and soo many process to do payments.. its hard for middle class and poor muslims to migrate…
    That time what can we do…?
    In sha Allah.

    • Wa-alaikumus-salām-wa-rahmatullāhi-wa-barakātuhu

      It is not easy for a Muslim living in a non-Muslim country to migrate unless he comes from a Muslim heritage country, such as Morrocco, Egypt, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, etc. As a first step, all those who originate from Muslim countries should make plans to visit and gain residency status (and citizenship) in their homelands — that is usually very cheap and easy. That way, even if you are married to someone who is not from your country, they will receive residency (by applying for it) due to marriage as will your children. Our Muslim countries are eager to accept us back because many of us have skills that they need and we bring investment into the country (however small that may be).

      Steps:
      1. Search for and obtain residency status, for yourselves and your children.
      2. Plan a trip, and book a holiday apartment or hotel (unless you have a family you can stay with) — make it comfortable.
      3. Visit the cities and towns where there are [true] Salafis and spend some time there.
      4. Take your family with you — and show them the best parts of the country and instil in them a love for the Muslim lands.
      5. Think about your savings and potential opportunities for work or self-employment.
      6. Open a Shariah-compliant bank account in your heritage country so you can shift small and regular amounts into it.

      You may need to make a few visits before you make your final decision on the choice of city, town or village (ideally very close to where the Salafis are) — get to know the local “way of doing things”. Speak to people and get comfortable with the new environment (this is essential) — be brave, humble and ready to learn! The key is to plan carefully and trust in Allah, seeking His aid constantly.

      Those who do not come from Muslim heritage countries have to work things out differently. There are a number of options:

      1. If you are unmarried, marry a spouse from a Muslim heritage country — that will make things easier, inshā’-Allāh.
      2. Or seek employment in a Muslim country, and work there for as long as can, and take your family with you (that is a must, do not leave your wives and children behind).
      3. Or visit a Muslim country that allows people to stay for extended periods of time: e.g. Morocco, Pakistan, Egypt, etc. Return back to the West only to work enough to gather finances so you can return. This is not an easy option, but with the aid of Allah by du’ā and exerting strong effort, Allah will open up other opportunities, inshā’-Allāh.

      Sitting and doing nothing is not an option! Likewise, being pessimistic is not good, and not from the behaviour of a Muslim. Strive, and trust in Allah, and He will open up doors you never imagined existed!

      Bārakallāhu-feekum.

      Abu Khadeejah

      • As Salaam Alaykum Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Barakahtuh

        Alhamdullillaah for your question [and answer].

        May Allah help us all. Ameen

        Jazak Allaahu khair

      • May Allah love you and give you a beautiful light on the day of resurrection for the good you brought me with this article and your responses in comments.

  3. Alhamdu lillāh. So many of us just want to move in different parts of the non-Muslim lands. And don’t care to move to the lands of the Muslims. Subhaan Allāh. This should make it clearer for most

  4. As-salāmu-alaikum-wa-rahmatullāh

    Jazak ALLAH khair. I really appreciate this website and I am learning so much!

    What about if my parents are still alive? Is it still allowed to migrate? […]

    • Wa-alaikumus-salām-wa-rahmatullāhi-wa-barakātuhu

      Seek their permission. And convince them to travel with you.

  5. Assalaamu alaykum Ustaadh,
    May Allaah bless you with much good!
    When having made intention for hijrah, are we allowed back to visit family in non-Muslim lands? Or does hijrah mean to not return back, for any reason, to these lands?

    An excellent and very informative website tabaarak Allaah, maa shaa Allaah.
    Jazaakum Allaahu khair

    • Wa-alaikumus-salām-wa-rahmatullāhi-wa-barakātuhu

      Once hijrah is made to a Muslim land, it is not permitted in the Shariah to migrate from a Muslim land to the lands of the unbelievers. However, temporary visits are allowed: for trade, for da’wah and teaching Islam, to learn a specific skill, to visit close family members (mother, father, etc), medical treatment, trade delegations and other important matters.

      Permanently migrating to the non-Muslim countries for economic reasons or in search of “liberation” and “freedom” is impermissible, and the outcomes of this mindset have negative and destructive consequences on the religion of the migrant and his offspring – and over generations (as history has shown), the religion of the progeny is gradually eradicated by the education system and indoctrination of the host nation.

      Furthermore, this type of migration has severe negative impacts on Muslim countries: brain and skills draining away from Muslim countries into non-Muslim lands; people left behind feel the urge to also abandon their homeland and go the wealthier non-Muslim lands; loss of attachment (and respect) for one’s own Muslim country and heritage; migration strips wealth and labour from the Muslim nations; future generations contribute to the building of non-Muslim nations instead of Muslim countries; people who have the know-how to build, develop and strengthen the Islamic nations depart and give that capability to the unbelievers, thus further weakening the Muslims.

      Muslims often denigrate their homelands accusing them of being corrupt, backward, poor, uneducated, etc, while doing nothing to help or aid in rectifying them – and they don’t realise that they are merely parroting the belittlement of the Kuffār and fulfilling the goals of the former European colonial “masters” who had dominated (through force and oppression) large swathes of the Muslim lands for centuries, stunting their advancement, stripping their natural resources, dividing their people, suppressing Islam, the Sunnah and the Aqeedah – and the European powers made sure to leave them in a state of decline and chaos when they left only a few decades ago. And since then, they have done everything possible to keep the Muslim countries (especially the poorer ones) in a state of subservience, debt and poverty!

      I see migrating to Muslim countries to be an important part of the tarbiyah (cultivation) of the people of Sunnah and Salafiyyah and their children. A lesson in striving for Allah and sabr that will bear fruits in the long term, inshā’-Allah. And this is the position of many, many great scholars such as Shaikh Al-Albani, Shaikh Muqbil, etc.

      Abu Khadeejah.

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