Guest post from Bint Kashmir.
The electricity had cut out, and while fanning myself with my hand, I said:
“It’s really hot and the lizards have made an appearance!”
My aunt scrunches up her face at the very mention of the creatures and responds:
“Come back and live here then!”
I shake my head in disagreement and reply, while feeling very content:
“I much prefer to live here with the lizards rather than stepping foot back into that country!”
For many, taking a trip back to your country of origin is sometimes dreaded, and for others it’s two weeks in the sunlight, away from school or work. But for those few who go without ever intending to return, it’s a decision that they’re constantly forced to defend.
Many are simply unable to comprehend why a person who grew up in the West would gladly give up its comfort and modernity in exchange for a place where cows and goats roam about freely on the roads; where various ‘luxuries’ are either unattainable or very hard to come by.
Just to be clear, we are not by any means living out in the wilderness. People here go to school, they work and they shop, just as they would have done in the ‘developed’ world. But often perhaps, it’s the unbearable heat and the disorder present within some Muslim majority countries that has people wishing to cut their visit short.
Many Muslims belittle the need to leave the lands of the kuffar (Dar al-Kufr) and migrate to Muslim lands (Dar al-Islam). They do not see the Iman of their beloved family deteriorating right before their very eyes. Parents send their children to public schools, proud and hopeful that they will receive some form of qualifications. This will then enable them to get a high-paying job, make lots of money and contribute endlessly towards the funding of these non-Muslim governments.
The recent LGBT agenda, which has forced its way into school curriculums, has parents dealing with some of the unfortunate side-effects that come along with residing in the West. Children are coming home ‘confused’ about their gender. Many are gravitating towards and committing grave sins such as zina (fornication), alcohol consumption, drug use, etc., and some even end up apostatising and becoming atheists.
All of this is a direct consequence of Muslims making it their number one priority to go and make money in these countries.
I personally always felt like I was an unwanted guest in someone else’s house. They provide you with a room, but they also make you feel really uncomfortable about it.
I’ve never experienced a single thing that made me want to flee. Everyone at school, both Muslim and non-Muslim, got along well together. It was like having a really big extended family.
Imagine being in a country where it makes you feel like you have to hide your identity as a Muslim and carefully blend into the crowd; where you have to assimilate and abandon your most precious beliefs and principles, your Islam, everything that makes you who you are.
Just pondering upon this reality led me to conclude that this is not somewhere I should be staying.
Of course there will be certain inconveniences such as the electricity cutting out unexpectedly, language barriers, missing Bonne Bouche (my favorite patisserie/bakery), etc., but all of this becomes insignificant due to the priceless contentment and tranquility that Allah (Mighty and Majestic is He) places within your heart.
There will always be difficulties wherever you reside. But, I’d much rather be in a Muslim land where the Adhan (call for prayer) is called aloud publicly for the daily prayers. Why would I instead choose to be amongst people who are irreligious and doing their utmost to make us and our children faithless?
One significant hurdle I have faced while living in a Muslim country is marriage. Finding someone who shares the same worldview as me, someone who is willing to settle and start a family in a not-so developed environment, is an almost impossible feat.
Those residing in the West wish to stay there forever, and those who are yet to experience its glittering thorns, dream only getting a visa to relocate there.
What entices some people towards migrating to the West is the idea of being unknown and free to play around, far away from the judgmental interventions of a close-knit community. For others, it’s all about education and earning money.
As for those whose souls the angels take while they are wronging themselves [in the midst of disbelief, the angels] will say to them: “In what [state of faith] were you [in life]?” They will say: “We were [utterly] helpless in the land.” [The angels] will say: “Was Allah’s earth not spacious [enough] for you to migrate therein, [away from disbelief]?” It is these, then, whose [final] abode shall be Hell—and what an evil destination it is! (Qur’an, 4:97)
Under the explanation of the above Qur’anic verse, Imam Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions:
This verse was revealed generally about everyone living in the midst of idolaters while able to migrate and unable to establish his Din. He has wronged himself and committed haram by consensus based on the explicit pronouncement of this verse. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 4:228)
Furthermore, while explaining the above-mentioned verse, Mufti Muhammad ‘Ashiq Ilahi al-Muhajir al-Madani (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions:
Those Living in Europe and America Should Be Concerned About Their Belief (Iman)
Nowadays, many people have reversed the order of things. They leave havens where their Din (religion) of Islam is secure and, for worldly gains, opt to live in the dens of vice and immorality, i.e., the Western countries. They are then robbed of their Din (religion) and cause the same to be lost to generations after them. They weaken in their faith and thereafter their children supersede them in irreligiousness.
(Tafsir Anwar al-Bayan (Illuminating Discourses on the Noble Qur’an), vol.1, p. 627)
Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions:
Question: “What do you think of a Muslim man who enters a hostile land (ard al-harb) with amnesty (aman)—can he marry a woman from the hostile people (ahl al-harb) when they are from the ahl al-kitab (Jews and Christians)?”
Answer: “This would be [prohibitively] disliked/discouraged [and sinful].”
Question: “If he did marry [them], will it be valid?”
Question: “So why then do you deem it to be [prohibitively] disliked/discouraged [and sinful]?”
Answer: “Because it is [prohibitively] disliked/discouraged for his children to be in a hostile land (ard al-harb), and it is [prohibitively] disliked/discouraged [and sinful] for a person to take up permanent residence therein.“
(Kitab al-Asl, vol.7, pp.487-489)
Why is it that the issue of making Hijrah to Muslim lands is not being discussed more often by our scholars today? Instead, what we see is people constantly brushing the idea of Hijrah to Muslim lands under the carpet and portraying as something unrealistic and unattainable.
Unfortunately the poison that is plaguing the West is also slowly making its way into the Muslim world. Through social media, television programs, etc., people are being brainwashed into thinking that the West really is the best.
No place on this earth will be perfect. We are not in Jannah. But Muslim lands are always going to be better for you and your Iman. The believer has a very important choice to make. Will you sacrifice your Akhirah (hereafter) for just a few ‘luxuries’ in this Dunya?