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Jurisprudence for Muslim Minorities

Written by: by Khalid Muhammad Abdul-Qadir :: (View All Articles by: Khalid Muhammad Abdul-Qadir)
  1. Forward

  2. Introduction

  3. Minorities

  4. Chapter 1 Non-Mulims Communities And The Attitude of  Sharî’ah Towards Them.

  5. The 1st Topic: Divisions of Non-Mulims According to Their Religions.

  6. The 2nd Topic: The Attitude of  Shari'ah Towards its Opponents And The Prinicples of Its Relation With Them .

  7. The 3rd Topic: Divisions of Non-Mulims Lands in view of their Attitude Towards Islam and Its Followers.

  8. Chapter 2 Some Rulings for Muslim Minorities.

  9. The 1st Topic: The Rulings for Muslims Living in Non-Muslims Countries.

  10. The 2nd Topic: The Situations of  Muslims Living in Non-Muslims Countries In Case They Were Attacked There.

  11. The 3rd Topic: Some Rulings For Worshipping.

  12. The 4th Topic: Business Transaction

  13. The 5th Topic: Marriage

  14. Epilogue


        Allah, The Exalted, says, “Allah does not forbid you, (as regards) the ones who have not fought you on account of The Religion, and have not driven you out of your homes that you should be benign to them, and be equitable towards them; surely Allah loves the equitable. Surely Allah only forbids you as to the ones who have fought you on account of The Religion, and driven you out of your homes, and backed (others) in driving you out, that you should patronize them; and whosoever patronizes them, then those are they who are unjust.”
(Al-Mumtahanah: 8-9)



By: ‘Umar ‘Ubayd Hasanah

        Praise be to Allah, Who made the land of brotherhood the basis of building the Muslim Nation; so He said, “Surely the believers are only brothers” (Al-Hujurât” 10) and made believers, male and female, patrons of each other; thus Allah, The Exalted, says, “And the men believers and women believers are patrons one of the other; they command beneficence and forbid maleficence, and keep up the prayer, and give the Zakât, and obey Allah and His Messenger; those (are the people) on whom Allah will soon have mercy; surely Allah is Ever-Mighty, Ever-Wise.” (At-Tawbah: 71)

        He gave precedence to the land of faith over all other lands of color, race, homeland, social class, geographical location, etc. Allah, The Exalted, says, “Say, ‘In case your fathers, and your sons, and your brethren, and your spouses, and your kinsmen, and riches that you have scored and commerce you are apprehensive for its slackening, and dwellings you are satisfied with in case these are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in his way, then await till Allah comes up with His command; and Allah does not guide the immoral people.” (At-Tawbah: 24)

        Thus each Muslim, wherever he is, has become a member of the universal Muslim Nation. And each man has become able to choose his religion, and thus enjoy Islamic patronship, i.e. the patronship of all Muslims wherever they are, as well as enjoy the rights of Islamic brotherhood—a matter that achieves the eternity, propagation, and universality of this religion, and makes this religion with its inherent characteristics and values, qualified to lead the world and to contribute continually to civilization and humanity. It also makes each and every Muslim responsible for shouldering religious duties, undertaking the mission of self-advancement, and performing the duty of the Call to Islam and eloquently conveying the message of this religion.

        Prayer and peace be upon the Prophet whose Sîrah (life of the Prophet) and Sunnah (Tradition of the Prophet) have been a practical embodiment of the principles of Islam, and a realization of the community of brotherhood, which is the nucleus of the universal Muslim macro-community, which included the poor and rich, the white and black, and the Arab and non-Arab. Prayer and peace be upon the Prophet, who made clear the rights of Islamic brotherhood, so that the community may become strong and cohesive, may be realized through loyalty and purity, and whose motto is the saying of Allah The Exalted: “Surely the believers are only brothers”, and whose practices stem from the statement of the Messenger (p.b.u.h): “A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim; he is not unjust to him, does not let him down, and does not degrade him. Fear of Allah is here—pointing at his chest three times. It is enough evil for man to degrade his Muslim brother. All that belongs to a Muslim is prohibited to another Muslim: his blood, money.” (Reported by Muslim, quoting Abu Hurayrah). Muslim practices should also stem from the Prophet’s saying: “The blood of all Muslims is equal; they are united against those who are other than them, whose basest are taken care of and whose dignitaries are confronted.” (Reported by Ibn Mâjah, An-Nasâ`î, and 'Ahmad, quoting Ibn ‘Abbâs.

        Having said so, this is member sixty-one of the series “The Book of Al-‘Ummah” (Nation). It is entitled Min Fiqh Al-'Aqalliyât Al-Muslimah  Jurispurdence for Muslim Minorities by Mr. Khâlid Muhammad 'Abdul-Qâdir. The series is published by the Center for Research and Studies, Ministry of Al-Awqâf (Endowments) and Islamic Affairs, the State of Qatar, as a contribution to the revival of Islamic values in individuals, and the mature absorption of the cause of the renewal of the concept of comprehensive Islamic brotherhood, away from narrowing its domain as a result of fanaticism, and ignoring their rights under various pretexts, philosophies, and false interpretations. More than ever before, what is needed now is to get rid of the state of weakness, stagnation, and cultural lingering behind, and to establish a cultural vision based on knowledge of infallible inspiration of the Qur’an and Sunnah, to resume the role of the mind in contemplation, and to underline the importance of reasoning about the causes of the Nation and its contemporary problem in light of the guidance of the inspiration and the earnings of the mind and its creative abilities.

        We are also required to attempt to provide evidence for the eternity of Islamic values and their independence from the limits of time and place, in view of their capacity of producing distinguished Islamic models in every age, and of finding solutions and legal frameworks for the movement and problems of the Nation, and of looking into the status quo and evaluating it by means of the values of the infallible inspiration, and of applying Islamic values to the relatives so that the vision and exerting legal judgment should stem from the status quo with its problems, needs, and suffering.

        Realizing such eternity cannot be attained except through the propagation of the spirit of specialization in the various branches of knowledge, the revival of community obligations, and emphasizing the fact that the age, with its information revolution and its mass communication and scientific influx, no longer allows for the existence of the super, omniscient man, who is capable of legal reasoning and issuing religious judgment about everything. On the contrary, we must specialize and divide work among ourselves, which leads to integration and quality. We must also rebuild the network of social relations on the social tissue of the Nation in a cohesive manner like a strong building whose parts consolidate one another.

        Propagating the spirit of specialization, and the revival of the concept of community obligation necessitate the whetting of the effectiveness of Muslims in the different positions, so that they may resume their role of shouldering responsibility and being merciful to people, investing their spiritual, materialistic and scholarly specialization for the triumph of what is right and calling for it, reviving following the Prophet’s model, and proving that a Muslim is not a strange object in any society, but rather an element of goodness, giving, and specialization, who is capable of adaptation and becoming part and parcel in their communities, but who, at the same time, dissolve there.

        Among the basic issues in this respect is the revival of the concept of stemming from the civilization and the cultural belonging of the mission of Islam and mother nation, especially as regards the Muslims who immigrated, for one reason or another, to non-Muslim communities, which may be saturated with historical grudges and social enmity towards Islam and Muslims. Also among the issues is the contribution of a realistic vision of ways of dealing with such societies and conveying goodness to them.
        The cause which may be in a need for continual contemplation, due to the different circumstances and the development of matter, is that of ijtihâd (exercise of judgment), which means, among other things, the eternity of this religion and its capacity to deal with the renewed problems of life, laying down the legal framework for the movement of the Nation, producing the model that shoulders the mission, and prevents the vacuum which means the expansion of “the other”.

        Ijtihâd, in its general concept, is an attempt at applying the legal text, which is the source of judgment in the Qur’an and Sunnah, to reality, and measuring the conduct and dealings of people against this text. Its domain is always the ordained person and his deeds, which requires, first of all, after looking into the Fiqh of the text, to probe into and evaluate the status quo of human beings through contemplating the text and the ways of applying it in the light of this human reality.

        These rulings, which are derived from the text to evaluate the status quo and issue judgment concerning it, are rulings based on exercising judgment, which may be wrong or right. It suffices that they are human exercising of judgment which are likely to be wrong or right, and which enjoy no sanctity, and which, no matter how accurate they are, do not amount to the status of the holy text in the Qur’an and Sunnah, nor can they replace it to become a criterion for judgment. They are only an inferred rulings, which are measured against, evaluated by, and arrived at through the text.

        We may say that the accuracy and correctness of a ruling in a certain age that has its own problems and causes, or in a given status quo when applying it, do not necessarily mean that it is valid for every changeable status quo. This is because the Fiqh of location (reality) with all its components, complexities, and potentials, is an integral of the process of exercising judgment, side by side with the comprehension of the text which is required to be applied to a certain state of affairs.

        Realizing the reasons behind the ruling and its precise justification, and its non-applicability to similar cases, or when they realized that applying them automatically and decisively may lead to the loss of a legal interest and the occurrence of a certain harm. This is what is termed as “istihsân” (preference). We should also bear in mind that rulings in the Qur’an and Sunnah vary with various states of affairs and capabilities and do notexist in one form, then how come is that in view of the fact that the status quo is subject to change, rising and falling, and that each state of affairs has its own ruling?

        I have mentioned above that the Qur’ân is the source of legislation and knowledge. It was not ordered according to the time of revelation, although it is important to know the time and causes of revelation in order to realize the time, place, and application dimension of the text so that the exercise of judgment does not remain stagnant. Its ordering came from Allah through Gabriel, in order to give flexibility to the exercise of judgment, and hence each case may have its own ruling, even though it includes what was revealed last or first, since the Qur’an as a whole is eternal, and each case has its own proper ruling. The Prophetic education does not go beyond this Qur’anic framework, but is rather an application of it, and a practical demonstration of transforming thought into deeds.

        When we say that the many historical cases of exercising  judgment, which can be classified within the framework of heritage, are judgments for their own time and problems and that they are not incumbent, this does not mean that we should abolish or bypass them or not make use of them in comparable cases, but rather means keeping their company and comprehending their minute investigation and mechanism of exercising judgment so that they may be an aid to us in the contemplation which is required by the changing time and problems.

        Hence we see that many instances of social, international, economic, financial, administrative, and constitutional jurisdiction are not binding if we conclude that time has bypassed them. This, of course, does not apply equally to exercising judgment in the rulings of worship. We are called upon to generally reconsider matters and exercise juristic and intellectual judgment in the light of the changing states of affairs in which we live, or the changes in the communities around us ÜÜÜÜÜ a matter which requires a reconsideration of the juristic rulings in the light of the giving of the Eternal Text (The Qur’ân).

        Therefore, the topic which we are dealing with, namely Fiqh for minorities, is at the case of exercising judgment, since it constitutes a core for the application of rulings, which is far different from what the situation was before.

        The other issue which we would like to linger about as far as possible, and to shed some light on, which we deem necessary for clarifying the status quo or past of its dimensions, is the term “minority” or the concept of minorities and majorities.

        This is because this issue is in essence a relative one, about which the investigation, evaluation, and results may differ. To start with, we hold that the issue is not determined by the number of people, or in other words the negligible mass, or what may be termed “the idle whole”, which does not bring about any good no matter where you direct it, but rather by quality and effectiveness, or what the Glorious Qur’ân has named “the straightforward man.” Therefore, at the level of Islamic values in the Qur’ân and Sunnah, as well as the historical contribution of Islamic civilization, we maintain that the criterion for precedence, dignity, and accomplishment has never been determined by quantity in terms of majority and minority, but is rather realized through the amount and quality of giving. The more dignified are the more pious, neither the lesser nor the greater in number. The piety referred to in the Qur’ânic verse, as a criterion for precedence, is the whole issue. This is because piety, in its several dimensions, means the possession of the fair scale, and being endowed with the right values for absorbing life in all its fields and the ways of dealing with it. The end result may be one individual who is worth a whole nation, or even becomes a nation indeed with all that he stands for and realizes.

        Allah, exalted be He, says, “Surely, 'Ibrâhîm was a nation” (An-Nahl: 120), and the Prophet (p.b.u.h) says, “You find people as a hundred camels, which a man can ride any of them.” (Reported by Muslim, quoting Ibn ‘Umar.)

        The glorious Qur’ân warns against being deceived by the mobs and majority based on other than right and justice, since it may constitute a burden when the atmosphere of mobs prevails, and moves man without awareness and will. The Qur’ân says, “And in case you obey most of whosever are on earth, they will make you err away from the way of Allah.” (Al-`An´âm: 116). Erring away means loss, the aimlessness of life, the absence of purpose, and joining the mob without any judgment, testing, or being aware of destination. The Messenger (p.b.u.h) warned against the weakness which afflicts the Muslim nation because of the state of being mobs, and which leads to the phase of the “food vessel” that prevails in the stages of lingering behind and backwardness, thus leading people to be consumers rather than producers. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) says, “Nations are about to come to you as eaters come to a food vessel”. Someone said, “Will this be because we will be a minority then?” He said, “Nay, you will be many that day, but a scum as that of a flood, and Allah will take fear of you from the hearts of your enemies.” Someone said, “O Messenger of Allah! What is weakness?” He said “Love of this world and hate of death.” (Reported by 'Abu Dâwûd quoting Thawbân)

        An Arab poet tried to deal with deception by a great number of people who offer nothing and have no effectiveness. He also tried to set the situation right when he said,


She holds us in shame for our small number. I said to her, “The noble are but a few.” It does not harm us that we are small in number, but our neighbor is dignified while the neighbor of the multitude is humiliated.

        So the criterion always remains to be dignity resulting from piety, giving, and effectiveness, not the number of inhabitants or the size of the moving headless or one-headed herd.
        I may discern in the saying of Allah, The Exalted, :“How often a little community has overcome a much (larger) community by the permission of Allah” (Al-Baqarah: 249) a reference to the fact that triumph is not confined to military battles. This is because the domain of triumph, prevailing, and dialog between cultures is all walks of life, military, political, economic, cultural, social, and developmental. If the reason of this text is the battle between Tâlût and Gâlût (Goliath) which Allah has narrated to us, in order to realize the lesson of the history of Prophethood, the lesson lies in the general application of the word, not in its specific cause, as our scholars in the source of Fiqh, contemplation, and exercising judgment. This is because there is no lesson to be learnt unless we divest the text of the circumstances of time, place, and occasion and apply it to comparable cases.
        Thus we see the truth continue through history. Whoever studies the status of Muslims just before the battle of Badr, as well as that of the disbelievers, from its various angles, will realize that all their qualifications were of
qualitative nature, and distinguished belief. Therefore, we can say that civic triumph, cultural prevalence, and making Islam triumphant over all religion, cannot be determined by the matter of minority and majority, but rather by qualifications, characteristics, and qualities.

        It may be useful to remind, on this occasion, of the decisive Qur’ânic text about this cause in the chapter of At-Tawbah (Repentance), which is among the latest chapters to be revealed. This text was revealed on the occasion of getting ready for the Conquest of Tabûk in the ninth year after Hijrah. This battle was called the Conquest of Hardship, and its army was labeled the army of hardship, which suffered the severest natural circumstances, when a large number of people refrained from going to the battle, and the philosophies of defeat started to be manufactured and gain weak spirits to their side. The little community moved to realize the great achievement. At that time, the Messenger (p.b.u.h) said as regards contribution and giving, “A dirham may have precedence over a hundred thousand of dirhams.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah! How come?” He said,
"A man has two dirhams; he took one of them and gave it in charity, and another man who has a lot of money and took from it a hundred thousand which he gave in charity.” (Reported by An-Nasâ'î, quoting 'Abu Hurayrah) The matter is not measured by minority and majority.
        Let us now return to the Qur’anic text, which is not bound by time or place, in order to see it from a different angle. It is the text which is recited by Muslims, and by which they worship Allah day and night, and which was revealed to treat the state of helplessness, to rectify the criterion, and establish the historical reality which is still living in the minds and hearts of Muslims. Allah, Exalted be He, says, “In case ever you vindicate him, yet Allah readily vindicated him, as the ones who disbelieved drove him out the second of two, as the two were in the cavern, as he said to his companion, 'Grieve not; surely Allah is with us' ". (At-Tawbah: 40)

        The great vindication was achieved through the Hijrah (migration) as is well known for everybody, through one man, the second of two. The result was what we all know — the establishment of the nucleus of the Muslim state, sometime before the existence of the groups reluctant to go to Tabûk, in which minority did not mean defeat, nor majority vindication. These historical incidents of the Prophetic experience are still envisaged by us. If we add to this fact the technological creations, which come as a fruit of the minds of the minority and which, has abolished the value of majority in various walks of life, economic, military, political, developmental, and social, we become sure that issues of civilization are not governed by the balance of minority and majority.

        It suffices to have evidence for this in the status quo of our enemy, after we forgot our history and entered the phase of the “food vessel”, the state of “the scum” and “helplessness”, which Allah’s Messenger (p.b.u.h) told us about, as we mentioned above.

        Jews all over the world do not exceed thirty million, even according to exaggerated estimates, yet they govern or control the world with all its thousands of millions of people. There is no exaggeration in this, nor is there stemming from an inferiority complex; it is rather a fact which is quite clear to everybody, whether those who accept it, refuse it, reject it, or are ignorant of it.

        The issue, and what involves it as it is sometimes put, is governed by the ability to absorb the ways of rivalry between civilization, to think strategically, to cultivate under all circumstances, and to wisely estimate and make use of the available potentialities. The issue in fact lies in establishing piety in its most general sense, the emanation of the effectiveness, discovering effective positions, and the abundance of both devotion and right, so that the deeds may become to be fair, in the same sense Al-Fudayl ibn 'iyâd, may Allah be merciful to him, understood the saying of Allah, The Exalted, “that He might try you, whichever of you is fairer in deeds.” (Hûd:7). He took it to mean that deeds do not attain the status of being fair unless they are characterized by the sincerity of intention, rightfulness, or what we might call will and power, enthusiasm and specialization, or in other words working with the aim of attaining the establishment of the straightforward man, and getting rid of the dependent man.

        Here we may say how numerous are the cases and hardships for which we are at utmost need for emulating the model set by Na`îm Ibn Mas´ûd, may Allah be satisfied with him, who played a great role in the Battle of Al-`Ahzâb (The Allied Parties). He was certainly like what the Messenger (p.b.u.h) said about him: “you are among us a man of no equal, so defend us as best as you can.”

        Hence I say that dealing with the issue of minority and majority or about the rulings thereof, needs a lot of accuracy, since quite often there is a worthless, powerless majority that can not make a decision, and quite often there is a minority which controls and legislates for the majority.

        The cause is one of reality, or a civilizational and cultural case, which may pertain to either the majority or minority, and needs comprehension, insight, and exercising judgment, and is not a case limited to the Fiqh of minority in its absolute sense.

        The issue which we would like to call attention to in this respect is that the Islamic existence all over the world is part of the nature of this religion, whose Messenger was sent as a mercy to mankind, mercy being part and parcel of this message. Allah, Exalted be He says, “And in no way have We sent you except as a mercy to the worlds.” (Al-‘Anbiyâ` : 107)

        And : “And in no way have We sent you, except as a bearer of good tidings and a warner to the whole mankind; but most of mankind do not know.” (Saba’: 28)

        The Messenger's message was universal ever since the first moments or steps in Makkah. Most of the verses revealed there started their discourse by the saying of The Exalted, “O you mankind”, so that the way and the vision would be clear, and the aspects of the mission would be realized from the very beginning.

        Moreover, the roots of this religion are considered to have dated back to the first Prophethood. Allah, The Exalted, says, “Surely this is in the earliest Scrolls. The Scrolls of 'Ibrâhîm and Mûsâ.”

        He also says “He has legislated for you as the religion what He enjoined on Nûh, and that which We have revealed to you, and what we have enjoined on ‘Ibrâhîm and Mûsâ and ‘Isâ (saying) 'Keep up the religion, and do not be disunited therein'. Greatly (detested) to the associators is that to which you call them. Allah selects to Himself whomsoever He decides, and guides to Himself whomsoever turns penitent.” (Ash-Shûrâ : 13)

        He also considered the Prophets and their followers throughout history one nation, even if geographical sites and historical eras were different. Allah, Exalted be He, says, “Surely this nation of yours is one nation, and I am your Lord; so worship Me." (Al-'Anbiyâ` :92)

        Thus the historical perfection and completeness of the journey of Prophethood has become to be realized in the final Message: “They ask you what is made lawful for them. Say 'The good things are made lawful to you, and (such) hunting creatures as you teach, (training them) as hounds, teaching them (part) of what ‘Allah has taught you.' So eat whatever they hold back for you, and mention The Name of Allah over it. And be pious to ‘Allah, surely ‘Allah is swift at the reckoning.” (‘Al-Mâ’idah :4)

        The mission of the Messenger (p.b.u.h) was clear conveyance, vindicating the Religion, absorbing and completing the journey of Prophethood. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “My similitude in comparison with the other prophets before me, is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully, except for a place of one brick in a corner. The people go about it and wonder at its beauty, but say : 'Would that this brick be put in its place! So I am that brick, and I am the last of the prophets.” (Reported by Al-Bukhârî and Muslim, quoting 'Abu Hurayrah)

        Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, has pledged to make this Religion triumphant over all religion, so Allah, The Exalted, said, “He (is The One) Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of Truth, that He may make it topmost over all religion, though the associators hate (that).” (At-Tawbah :33)

        Making it prevail means, among other things, extension and reaching all geographical sites. Allah’s Messenger (p.b.u.h) said, “This matter (i.e. Religion) will extend what night and day extended to, by means of dignifying the dignified or humiliating the humiliated—dignity with which Allah will dignify Islam, and humiliation with which Allah will humiliate disbelief.” (Reported by Imâm 'Ahmad, quoting Tamîm Ad-Dârî) as the call will extend everywhere, and this means establishing the existence of Islam in every geographical area. The Muslim existence means implementing the Islamic Sharî'ah and acting according to the Islamic values on different levels; politically, economically, socially, and educationally as best as possible.

        For this reason, the Companions' understanding and responding to the task were in harmony with the Sharî´ah duties, so, they conveyed Islam to the whole world, for taking it out of the narrowness of this would to the vastness of this world and the world to come, and could live up and adapt themselves to all circumstances, exactly in the same way Islam did in terms of its international and human principles. So, they inhabited the lands, and lived up to their Islam as best as they could in response to Allah's saying "So, be pious to Allah as best as you can." (At-Taghâbun:16). They never suffered from alienation complexes, never made a distinction between land and land in the process of calling to Allah on the grounds that the earth belongs to Allah, and He causes whomsoever He decides among His bondmen to inherit it, or between people and people, or race and race, since the more pious are the more honorable, or between minority and majority, as the capacities and faculties can be made available to the minority, hence, the single individual may equal a hundred or a thousand. "In case there are twenty of you, patient (men), they will overcome two hundred." (Al-'Anfâl: 65)

        Overcoming here is not confined to military triumph, but goes beyond that to other dimensions that comprise cultural and civilizational triumph and manifestation, as mentioned earlier, whereas they can be lacking to the majority; so, each case has its own ruling and requirements.

        However, among the factors that helped Islam to prevail and outspread, and made it exist everywhere, is that it deemed embracing and believing in it a human choice ÜÜÜÜÜ a choice that manifests the dignity, will, and freedom of man. Allah Almighty says, "You are not in any way a dominator over them." (Al-Ghâshiyah: 22), and says, "and in no way are you a potentate over them." (Qâf: 45) and says, "There is no compulsion in religion." (Al-Baqarah: 256). So, there is no domination, tyranny, or compulsion. It also made the Muslim `Ummah or the Muslim community an open community to all races, ethnicities, and colors, clearing, by so doing, this religion of racism, fanaticism, and confinement to color, race, or geographical borders, as was the case with all historical civilizations. So, no one can claim having a truer right to it than anybody else, as the Prophet (p.b.u.h) says "Salmân belong to our household" and " 'Abu-jahl is the Pharaoh of this Ummah.", [Salmân is a Persian Companion, whereas Abu-Jahl is the Prophet's uncle who was hostile to him.] So anyone who embraces Islam entertains Islamic brotherhood and its rights, and has duties and rights as any other Muslim does.

        So, we can say that all of this helped prevailing and existing everywhere, crushing all barriers of fanaticism and seclusion, and leading to integration, openness, cooperation, and the existence of the Muslim, who wherever he lives, does not suffer from color, race, or alienation complexes, and performs the religious duties as best as he can. Allah Almighty says, "Allah does not charge a self (anything) except its capacity." (Al-Baqarah: 286) This means that he should act according to Islam as best as he can.

        Among the issues which are closely related to the existence of Islam in countries known as non-Islamic countries, is the issue of immigration, which is considered part of Jihâd, and necessary for the evident proclamation and conveying Allah's message of Islam, and the task of the evident proclamation.

        Verily, making Islam, the religion of the Truth, topmost above all religions requires conveying the message and proclaiming it in all posts and places, in order that the Muslim may fulfill that which he is entrusted with. We have already pinpointed the glad Prophetic tidings that this religion will reach everywhere on earth, and spread in desert and urban areas alike, which signifies the existence and spread of Islam one way or another everywhere, whether the majority of inhabitants were Muslims or non-Muslims.

        Therefore, we can say that immigration is a call and a movement, jihâd, and an attempt to bypass the stagnant current state of affairs to a more advantageous situation, and to turn to a more profitable struggle. However, I do not think that immigration has a fixed set of rulings applicable to all cases, but each case has its rulings pursing the constitutional, administrative, and demographic conditions and circumstances, provided that immigration keeps linked to its legal objectives and start-points, and does not turn to negative sideways, overwhelmed with the philosophies and justifications of withdrawal and defeat, but keeps exactly as jihâd is, since it is not permissible to run away or flee the arena except in the cases of marching to fight or taking the side of another group. Allah Almighty says, "O, you who have believed, when you the ones who have disbelieved (marching to battle) then do not turn your backs to them. And whosoever turns his back upon that, except (in case) of digression to fight or taking the side of (another) community, he has then incurred anger from Allah, and his abode is Hell ÜÜÜÜÜÜÜ and miserable is the Destiny" (Al-'Anfâl: 15-16).

        The principal religious purpose of immigration is to flee to Allah on both levels of self and place. So the Prophet (p.b.u.h) defines the immigration as "The immigrant is who abandons that which Allah has forbidden.” (reported by 'Ahmad quoting Ibn-'Amr), even in case he has not changed his place, as he has performed a psychological immigration by clearing himself of the ignorant idolatry cultural state of affairs, which is overwhelmed by worshipping other than Allah, as manifested by Allah's saying:"And so defilement forsake." (Al-Muddaththir: 5)

        So, for a rational reason that Allah wants, and for clarifying the role of migration in proclaiming the religion, and that Muslims may not resort to meekness, relaxation, or falling into luxury, or falling before the unjust, and because immigration is a lasting state as long as life lasts, the Prophet (p.b.u.h) made it the model and example for purity of intention, so, he said "Actions are but by intention, and every man shall have but that which he intended. Thus, he whose migration was for Allah and His Messenger, his migration was for Allah and His Messenger, and he whose migration was to achieve some worldly benefit or to take some woman in marriage, his migration was for that which he migrated."

        The legitimate direct purpose of migration is to move from a country of infidelity and association to a country of Islam, or to flee with religion from temptations to a place in which the Muslim is secure from sinning, or from a country where the Muslim is tempted away from his religion and harmed because of his belief, etc. Allah Almighty says, "O My bondmen who have believed, surely My earth is wide; so Me (alone) do you worship." (Al-'Ankabût:56). Ibn-Kathîr (may Allah's mercy be upon him) explains this verse by saying: "This is a commandment from Allah Almighty to his believer bondmen to immigrate from the country wherein they cannot establish the Religion, to the wide land of Allah wherein they can establish the Religion."

        So, Islam has deemed immigration the reason and tie of loyalty. Allah Almighty says, "And the ones who have believed, and have not emigrated ÜÜÜÜÜÜ you are in no way to offer them patronage in any thing till they emigrate." (Al-'Anfâl: 72)

        Immigration is a movement of calling to Allah and jihâd, as mentioned earlier, and is not a negative movement of fleeing and withdrawal from a post. So, its ruling can only be decided according to circumstances, that is, some circumstances require firm standing at position, putting up with harassment, and forbearing temptation, if this was to lead to an interest for Islam and Muslims such as gaining promulgation and victory to Islam, and that tempting so and so or hurting so and so does not cripple Islam, or when tempting someone becomes awakening to the `Ummah and exposition of tyranny. In these cases, sticking to the land and not evacuating it to Allâh's enemies become a religious duty, and the internal migration through abandoning that which Allah has forbidden, firm standing, and setting an example to follow become a must. This situation, in some aspects, is implied by the saying of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), "No immigration (is demanded) after the opening (of Makkah) but jihâd and resolution (are demanded)." (Reported by Muslim quoting 'Aishah.)

        However, immigration becomes a duty in case of complete siege, lack of channels of movement, and impossibility of response and call. Then, other positions must be thought of, even if they are located in non-Muslim countries, in case they give some freedom that makes proclaiming the religion possible.

        Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah's mercy be upon him) realized this dimension of immigration. He said "In case the settler there (i.e. in a non-Muslim country), was unable to establish his religion, then he must immigrate." Al-Mawârdî maintains that in case a Muslim could proclaim the religion in a non-Muslim country, he should stay there, for hoping that others may embrace Islam.

        Immigration, nowadays, has become controlled by powerful authorities, which narrowed Allâh’s wide earth by the laws of immigration they have legislated. Thus, they extended their domination, and became able to utilize brain drain, by tempting these brains to immigrate to their countries, so that they can build their civilization on their production, and build, meanwhile, tyrannical political systems that contribute to this by expelling experts, professionals, and specialists to these centers of attraction. Not only that, but they created controlled margins of freedom in an attempt of civilizational plundering. Thus, the untrue picture remains that those who grant freedom in their countries to the immigrants and settlers are the same who deny it in some Islamic countries and spread all forms of tyrannical political systems, support them, and back them. This is a form of temptation, which tempted many young Muslims, and absorbed them without making them realize that those who grant them this freedom here are the same who deny them freedom there, support tyranny, and chase freedom in their countries, so that they end up there.

        Therefore, we say that whoever tries to lay down rulings and Fatwa (religious judgments) for the issue of immigration must be fully aware of all aspects of the issue, able to assess all its future consequences on different levels, aware of the fact that what may fit a time or place may not fit another time or place, and that issuing verdicts isolated from the relevant arena without realizing the whole situation may incur many unfavorable complexities.

        Some circumstances may require standing firm in the land, and not immigrating from or evacuating it to Allah's enemies, even in cases of weakness, because this may constitute evacuation for the good of "the other".


        However, immigration may be compulsory in cases of social and cultural blockage. The Muslim, however, may find in non-Muslim countries enough room for practising faith and call, and presenting a civilizational and human example worth following. The role and effect of immigration becomes ascertained if we knew that the wide spread of Islam and embracing it was due to the example given by the callers to Allah, be they merchants or immigrants.

        Generally, we can say that each case has its rulings, and each case of immigration has its causes and reasons, and we cannot apply one ruling to all cases and circumstances. The whole earth belongs to Allah, and proclaiming the call and conveying it is the duty of every Muslim according to his capacity. Actually, the existence of Islam and demonstrating it has become, geographically, culturally, and on the international and media levels, well-established, stable, and constant.

        I believe that this issue requires reflecting on the terms Dârul-Harb and Dârul-'Islâm “land of war” and land of Islam, respectively), and some prefabricated rulings ready for application in various places and different situations, without being able to review and reason about the application, taking into consideration the change- ability of customs and legislations, the changes that occurred in the societies, the laws, rights, and duties of citizenship, and the laws of immigration and residence.

        The issue, in my view, requires reviewing and reconsidering the denotation or the concept of these terms. It is intuitive and axiomatic that the message of Islam is a universal message, that it addresses man wherever he is, that it's geography is the wide earth of Allah, its topic is the created man, that it is the right of every person and not confined to a certain individual, and that once anyone had embraced Islam, he entertains the Muslim membership of the Muslim 'Ummah, and acquires the attribute of brotherhood and the rights it entails.

        This applies to the field of calling to Allah, or of thought and creed, which is the constant field in all cases of weakness and strength alike. The spread of Islam nowadays in the most advanced materialistic societies, and in the most backward, despite the unenvied situation of the Muslims, may constitute an evidence that the call to Allah is continuing, its domain is open, and its contribution is being renewed – a fact which reflects eternity.

        But Islam, as it is certain and a historical reality, is not just a call, or just a nation outspread all over the earth; rather, it is a call and state, wherein the state is a state of call and thought, and presents a means of spreading and protecting the call. Islam is a nation and a government that extends its sovereignty and supervises carrying out the laws and applying them to the nation. Islam is not just a moral precepts that live in the individual's conscience without controlling his reality and behavior with legal rules, and rectifying his deviance with deterring punishment.

        This reality will, naturally, yield a political geography, a place on the international map, cultural characteristics, a social type, and legal and educational uniqueness. It will also entail relations, treaties, conflicts and discords, exactly as is the constitutional reality of all countries. Therefore, it was inevitable to have a term applicable to this geographical area, be it the “land of Islam” or any other adequate term. Hence, the term “land of Islam” came into existence, and the emergence of the terms “land of war” and “land of treaty”, versus the nature of other countries and their relationship with the “land of Islam”.

        The most important issue here is that the “land of war” and "land of treaty" are defined in view of the existence of the “land of Islam” with all its attributes and essentials. The most important essentials are represented by the establishment of the state of thought, or the state of the Islamic message that establishes Allah's ordinance on earth. The jurists have laid down the characteristics and attributes of the state of Islam or the Islamic society, according to which a society can be described as an Islamic society, and the land on which the Islamic state extends its sovereignty as a “land of Islam”, whether the term used is a constitutional term or an international law term, and on the state level, (not on the national level) which is spread all over the earth. So, in case the Islamic entity or the state that establishes Islam applies its rules, and bases its legislation, education, politics and economy on its values, the Muslim society, in other words, is lacking, then, the society is called a society of individual Muslims, where these individuals practice Islam as much as they can, and strive for establishing the Muslim State. In such circumstance, i.e. the absence of the Muslim State, we cannot tell the “land of war” and “land of treaty” is, as they can only be defined in view of the existence of the “land of Islam”.

        However, it is difficult, on the national level, to stick to that term and oblige its consequences, since Muslims who live in non-Muslim countries may be having political freedom, practices, and rights that are lacking in many other Muslim societies, even if they were the majority, that is, an oppressed and repressed majority.

        The other aspect which we see that it needs clarification is that the terms relating to political geography are man-made terms which are prompted by the international circumstance and reality of that time, and are not binding, as recent developments, changes in the nature of societies, the advancement of the international laws, and the establishment of covenants and joint international foundations may urge coining new terms of more recent and definite significance.

        Here, we address an issue which has been overlooked by some researchers including those who claim specialization and reasoning, consideration and renewal, and release claims and projects of renewal. The issue is that the terms “land of war” and “land of Islam” are tentative terms, which is true, and that it is preferable to replace “land of Islam” by the responding nation, referring to those who responded and believed, and  replace “land of war” byr the call nation, referring to those who have not believed and are addressed by the call. This proposal was raised by Ar-Râzî in his Qur'ânic interpretation. This opinion, though right, accurate, and acceptable regarding the general meaning, and on the national level, is neither accurate nor right, on the State, international- law, or political-geography level, as mentioned earlier, due to the existence of Muslim minorities who belong to the responding nation, in non-Muslim societies, who belong to the call nation. So, how can the sovereignty of the Muslim State be geographically extended to them?

        I believe that the religious assignment discourse, and the legislative rulings assigned to the nation as a State and authoritative institution.

        Therefore, the Muslim minorities living in non-Muslim countries are deemed a part of the Muslim nation, a case which we can call cultural geography, not a part of the Muslim State or “land of Islam”, in case the Muslim State exists ÜÜÜÜÜÜ a case which we can call political geography.

        And I believe that many of the Sharî'ah rulings for emigration or the religious rulings for what we called "living in non-Muslim countries" need reviewing in the light of cultural, media, and social changes. The world has become almost one media State, and the Muslim minorities living in non-Muslim countries have become able to live with the culture, issues, and problems of the Muslim world, and to learn the religious rulings and the Islamic culture through more that one medum. Moreover, their existence in those countries may be necessary for the call to Allah and the spread of Islam, giving an ideal example to follow, combatting the enemies, and, possibly, gaining access to whatever is not available in the Muslim countries.

        All the intended Islamic immigrations throughout history contributed to either spreading the Religion, or establishing the Muslim State. We may not need to give examples from more that one place, but it suffices us to say that the exemplary emigration from Makkah to Al-Madînah is the one that formed the historical human turning point and established the State of Islam. And for a reason Allah Almighty wanted, the exemplary Islamic State was destined to be established in the Jewish stronghold at Al-Madînah Al-Munawwarah (the enlightened city) not in Makkah around the House which was built on the bases of oneness, so that this may be an evidence, a guide, and an incentive to all the coming immigration till Allah inherits the earth and all who are upon it, and an indication that weakness , by Allah's will, will turn into power, and that the feeblest of houses, which is the spider's house, was, on the face of it, a reason for protecting the Prophet (p.b.u.h) during his migration to establish the Islamic State.

        The Muslim has only to know his Islam, and how to call to it, and, by so doing, will be influential and effective wherever he might be. Hence the Prophet (p.b.u.h) says, "Be pious to Allah wherever you are." (Reported by At-Tirmithî, quoting ''Abu-Dharr) The earth belongs to Allah, and He causes whomsoever He decides to inherit, and the Muslim's responsibility is an international one, that is, to save the people and bestow mercy upon them. The individual, may equal a nation, as mentioned earlier; hence, matters should not be measured by the majority and minority, since how often a majority turns out to be useless, and how often a minority has shown a great value, if they properly dealt with the laws of the struggle of civilizations.

A final word:

        This book was originally an academic study of some Islamic rulings for Muslims minorities, wherein the author has addressed the Sharî'ah rulings and different reasoning adequate depth, and tried his best to present the preponderant reasoning, whether in the field of worship, transactions, social relations, or the issue of loyalty and quittance in so far as he could scrutinize the circumstances and conditions of the world state of affairs nowadays.

        Confining ourselves to reviewing and reasoning in the field of legislative jurisprudence, though important and necessary, may not be required; rather we should reflect on the educational curricula, designing cognitive systems and resources of cultural formation and reinforcement, pinpointing the position of the Islamic culture among other existing cultures, and the ability to contain different situations, since the rulings and methods that fit for a minority in a society may not fit for another minority in another society of  a different nature, and what fits for the Muslims in the Muslim countries may not fit for Muslims in non-Muslim countries.

        It might be highly important to think about localizing the call so that educational, legislative, and cultural jurisprudence may be relevant to the local reality; hence, the significance of Allah's saying "A Messenger (one) of them" gets materialized, not calling them from behind the borders and without fleeing their suffering.

        The file of Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries remains open for more jurisprudential and cultural levels, in view of social developments, international covenants and institutions, human rights conventions, the civilizational contribution in the field of the media, information network, and the space channels that occupied the space and stormed the political boundaries, and, thus, made the minorities look like majorities in power and influence, made the majorities look like minorities as to powerlessness, slackness, and being under co, and made scientific and educational prospects available everywhere.

        Therefore, the issue needs much more scrutiny, consideration, strife, and planning.

        Allah is the One whose help is to be sought, and He indeed guides to the Straight Path.




        Praise be to Allah, Whom we thank and ask for help and forgiveness. We take refuge in Allah from our evils and misdeeds. None can mislead whomever Allah guided, and none can guide whomever Allah forsakes and adjudges to be astray. And I testify that there is no god but Allah alone without partner and Muhammad is His bondman and Messenger.

        Islam is an integral way of life that deals with all aspects of life, puts all human relations in order, and sets rules and bases for them that conform to the requirements of truth and justice.

        Islam has not confined itself to stating the relationship between man and His Creator, which is the basis of all other relations, but it has been vast enough to comprise the social relationships between Muslims one another, and between Muslims and non-Muslims, in a way that humanity has never known before.

        Neither did Islam confine itself to laying down theories; it linked theory to practice closely in many texts, and commanded its followers to adjust their behavior according to its rules and teachings, and consolidate the connection between thought and behavior to deserve being the most charitable nation that guides to truth, which has been missed by many people.

        Islam is the religion that has hegemony over all other religions, and its adherents are the witnesses of mankind. And in order that a Muslim may be a true witness he has to be up to his Islam, in his way of life, thought, conception, and behavior.

        Such a sublime level cannot be achieved but by full submission to Allah, and strict adherence to the way of Sharî'ah (Islamic Law). By so doing, one becomes a caller to Allah by his behavior in his surroundings, and an ambassador of Islam in his community. And how many a society has embraced Islam for what they have seen of the callers’ noble manners and kind attitudes towards others, and being dutiful and just to them. So, they could not but subdue their minds and perception to the thoughts and creed of these callers. Thus, the noble objective of creating mankind, sending messengers, and revealing books comes true.

        And since Allah Almighty has promised to grant victory to his religion, and make it known everywhere, through dignifying some people and humiliating others, it was natural to find Muslims living in non-Muslim countries due to birth or migration.

        Such Muslims are mostly one of two groups: a hard-line group who isolate themselves from the followers of other religions, treat them harshly, and may go as far as deeming capturing their riches lawful; The other group is an excessively lenient group towards their opponents to the point of seeking their friendship and contentment and fully mixing with them and losing their religious identity.

        So, this study emerged as a contribution towards the efforts of awakening, in order that Muslims may restore their pioneer role, be a torch that lightens the way, guides, and enlightens Muslims. I relied on the Qur’ân, authentic Sunnah, and unanimous opinions of Muslim scholars, seeking guidance from the sayings of the Prophet's Companions, his followers, and others, and keeping away from fanaticism, or following a particular Imam, but following the evidence wherever it may lead to, because we seek the satisfaction of Allah alone.

        This study falls into two chapters, each chapter includes a number of topics, questions, and selected branches which Muslims living in non-Muslim countries aspire to know in order to rectify their behavior towards their opponents, control their way of dealing with others with whom they live, on sound bases.

        I should not fail to draw the attention to the fact that these rulings have been selected from a voluminous thesis (about 700 pages) that contained rulings relating to different domains of life that Muslims living in non-Muslim countries need to know.

        In fact, it is the thesis for which I obtained an M.A. degree from “The Imam Al-'Awzâi Faculty for Islamic Studies” in Beirut, 1415 A.H., under the title “ The Rulings of Sharî’ah Relating to Muslims living in non-Muslim Countries” which will be published soon by the will of Allah.

        Rulings selected here are the outcome of discussions and argumentation with a large number of specialists who lived in non-Muslim countries for long periods.

        Allah is the Granter of success.

        Khâlid Muhammad ‘Abdul-Quâdir



Non-Muslims Communities and the Attitude of Sharî’ah Towards Them

        Grouping human communities on the basis of religion is not a theoretical matter that has no effect on life for us, or does not require rulings for it. Indeed, this research is nothing but an account of this grouping, for the grievously important effects that it entails, which are relevant to Muslims in this life and the Hereafter. Hence, the upright Sharî’ah has laid down many rulings for explaining to a Muslim how to deal with non-Muslims, how his attitudes towards them should be in different walks of life, how his relations with them should be, and his position in relation to their governments, under whose laws he lives. Non-Muslim communities vary according to the origins of their beliefs. They are neither alike, nor are they on the same degree or the same level from the Sharî´ah point of view.


Divisions of Non-Muslim Communities According to Their Religions

        Humankind, from the Islamic Sharî'ah viewpoint, is divided into two big groups:

                        A- Muslims.                                                                                   B- Non-Muslims.

        What we are concerned with explaining here is the well-known sects of non-Muslims. They are so many, with different names, but the entire are infidels .The infidel is the person who does not believe in the Oneness of Allah, the prophethood of Muhammad, his Sharî'ah, or all of these.

        In brief, He is the one who does not believe in the true religion of Allah (Islam).

        They fall into different groups:


        Scholars differed as to defining the people of the Book, and whom this description applies to. These are two groups:

        The First Group: The Hanifites

        They defined the people of the Book as “ Those who believe in a Divine Religion and have a revealed Scripture, such as the Torah, the Bible, and the Scripture of `Ibrâhîm, Shîth, or the Psalms of David”. This viewpoint was also held by Ash-Shâfi’î.

        So, the people of the Book, in their views, are not the Jews and Christians alone, as is widely known, but any people who have a Divine Scripture.

        It seems that the Hanifites and their followers only considered the linguistic aspect of the word “ The people of the Book”, that is, those who have a “Divine Scripture”. 'Abu-Ya'la, a Hanbalite, maintains the same opinion.

        The Second Group: The majority of scholars and jurists

        They maintain that “The people of the Book are only the Jews and the Christians”, pursuing Allah’s saying,

“Lest you should say, The Book has only been revealed to two communities before us”. (Al-’An‘âm: 156)
        That is, if the people of the Book were more than two communities, Allah Almighty would not have confined them to two communities.
        Ibn-‘Abbâs, Mujâhid, and Qatâdah said, “The two communities means the Jews and the Christians”. Ibn ‘Atiyyah added “with the consensus of scholars”. They also said “The people of the Divine sheets (papers) are not included in the people of the Book, because these sheets are just sermons and axioms that lacked rulings and laws, hence, they are not deemed Scriptures”.
        It is not a condition for the people of the Book to be committed to their religion in belief and behavior, that is, the majority of scholars maintain that it is enough for a person to believe in a Scripture to belong to the people of that Book even if he was not fully committed to applying its rulings.
        It has been narrated that ‘Alî ibn Abi-Tâlib objected to the Companions when they considered the Arabs of Banî-Taghlib who turned Christians as people of the Book, saying “They have nothing of Christianity but drinking wine”. So, they said to him “ Enough be it for us that they became Christians”


        Ibn-‘Abbâs (m.a.b.s.w.h.) replied saying that Allah Almighty said, “O you who have believed, do not take to yourselves the Jews and Christians as patrons, some of them are patrons to some (others), and whosoever of you patronizes them, then surely he is one of them”. (Al-Mâ’idah: 51)
        So, they belong to them by virtue of supporting and allying with them in war. The Companions agreed on this opinion except ‘Alî (m.a.b.s.w.h.) and ‘Umar who concluded agreements with them according to which they paid taxes.
        It has been reported that ‘Alî (m.a.b.s.w.h.) disliked their slaughtered animals and their women, but did not prohibit them.

       Magians are people who glorify light, fire, water, and earth, and deem Zorodster a prophet. It has been said that he had a Book, that they had Laws which they believed in, and that they fell into many sects. Scholars disagreed as to whether the Magians are people of the Book or not. They fell into two groups:

        The first group: the majority of scholars, who says that they are not people of the Book.

        The other group: including Ash-Shâfi’î,who says they are.

        Ash-Shâfi’î said in Al-‘Umm – a book by Ash-Shâfi’î 4/173 – “Magians are people of the Book, like the Jews and Christians”. It was also reported that ‘Alî (m.A.b.s.w.h.) said that the Pagans use to have a Book and a Law, but they ceased.

        As-San’ânî said, “It is evident that the saying of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) “Treat them like people of the Book” implies that they are not people of the Book.

        I hold that what supports the opinion of the majority of scholars is that they are, except for 'Abu-Thawr, unanimous that eating their slaughtered animals and marrying their women are prohibited. On the other hand, the sayings of ‘Alî (m.A.b.s.w.h.) and Ash-Shâfi’i (may Allah bestow his mercy upon him) do not conform to the Verse “Lest you should say, The book has only been revealed to two communities before us, and (as for us) we remained unaware of what those (Books) read”. (An-Nisâ': 156). If we consider the face meaning of this Verse, we will find that there are three groups not two.

        Their location: In Iran, there exists a group of Magians of about one million at present, with their places of worship, and Fire, which they never allow to go off.

        Third: Atheists (and Ad-Dahriyyah)
        They deny the existence of the Creator, and say that the world has neither god nor maker, and the things around us exist without a creator, thus holding the created things apart from their creator. Hence, Allah Almighty says about them: “And they have said “In no way is there anything except our present life; we die and we live, and in no way is there anything that causes us to perish except time” (Al-Jâthiyah: 24)
        Allah Almighty also says about them “And they have said, 'Decidedly there is (nothing) except our present life, and in no way are we made to rise again.' ” Al-An'âm: 29)

        The Arabic word dahr means long time, long life, and the succession of night and day.

        A group of them said that things have no beginning at all, but are immediately active, and that the world eternally exists.

        Recently, communists agree with those atheists with regard to their views of the universe and life. Communism is an ideology based on atheism, that is, denying the existence of Allah Almighty and all the unseen, and that material is the basis of everything. Communism explains history in the light of class struggle and the economic factor, and their slogan is: We believe in three; Marx, Lenin, and Stalin, and disbelieve in three; god, religion, and private ownership. They deny the Hereafter, believe in the eternity of material, and fight religion and private ownership. Among their military slogans: Revolution gains victory by iron and fire.

        Communism is known for its cruelty, violence, and brutal liquidation of its opponents. But recent developments in what used to be known as The Soviet Union gave a détente to religions.

        Fourth: Associators:

        Association means that a person takes as god other than Allah, whom he/she considers equal to Him, loves him as he loves Allah, glorifies him in a way similar to glorifying Allah, and worships him in a way similar to worshipping Allah. This is the status of the associators in the world, who make their gods equal to the Lord of the worlds.

        The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) was asked about the gravest sin in Allah's reckoning. He said, “To make a god equal to Allah, Who created you”.

        Associators admit the Lordship of Allah Almighty in general, and that He is the Creator and the Owner, but they do not assign Him as the only One to be worshipped and resorted to. Moreover, they worship other gods such as idols, the sun, angels, fire, people, etc. excepting that they may bring them near in proximity to Allah.

        Among the influential, widespread associators who have overwhelming majority in their countries are Hindus, Confucians, Buddhists, and Sikhs.

The Attitude of Sharî'ah Towards its Opponents And the Principles of its Relation to them

        It is quite certain, following the unanimity of the 'Ummah in the past and at present, that the call to Allah is a universal one. Allah Almighty says, “And in no way have We sent you except as a mercy to the worlds” (Al-Anbiyâ’: 107) and says, “O you mankind, the Messenger has already come to you with the truth from your Lord; so believe; most charitable is it for you” (An-Nisâ’: 170) and says “Say O you mankind, surely I am the Messenger of Allah to you altogether” (Al-’A'râf: 158)

        And in an authentic Hadîth, Jâbir May Allah be satisified with him (m.A.b.s.w.h.) reported that the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said, “I have been given five (traits) which none of the messengers before me was given” and mentioned among them ‘ A Prophet used to be sent to his people, but I have been sent to mankind as a whole”

        So, the Messenger Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) abrogated all the preceding Divine messages and man-made creeds, has hegemony over them, and manifests the eternity of Islam. That is, it is the final stage of Allah's religion, and His final word to mankind; therefore, it addresses all human beings as obligatory, and they all have to respond to its teachings. It is the religion of the original innateness upon which Allah originated all mankind, and the course for a virtuous life that aims at man's sublimity, mentally, emotionally, and morally.

        This Sharî'ah came to encompass life as a whole, and to address the Jinn as well, and call them to it. So, it is neither local nor racist, but universal. Accordingly, it realistically acknowledges the opponents' human nature.

        And as long as this is their nature, its relationship to adherents of other creeds is based on calling them and guiding them with evidence and explanation by logic and proof. It, meanwhile, considers the opponents as misguided and following the untruth; so, Allah Almighty says, “That is because Allah – He is The Truth, and whatever they invoke, apart from Him, is the untruth” (Al-Hajj: 62)

        Our scholars fall into two groups with regard to conveying this call to the opponents:

       The first group, which comprises the majority of early scholars, holds that Muslims should prepare power, mobilize armies, head towards the opponents’ countries, and, before fighting them, offer them a choice between embracing Islam, paying the Jizyah (head-tax), if they were entitled to paying it, or fighting.

        They also see that “war” is the principal relationship between Islam and infidelity, and that “peace” is an exceptional case and interim circumstances. The reason behind war is indefinitely pursuing Allah's saying: “And fight them until there is no temptation, and the religion is for Allah.” (Al-Baqarah: 193); and His saying, “Then kill the associators wherever you find them”; and “And fight the associators as a whole as they fight you as a whole.” (At-Tawbah: 5 and 36, respectively)

        They interpreted the word ‘temptation’ in the first Verse by ‘infidelity’ saying that it means ‘fight them until there is no association, and untrue religions get eradicated so that Islam alone remains’.

        They also quoted as evidence the saying of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.): “I have been ordered to fight people until they witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”.

        The other group comprises the majority of contemporary researchers and a few early scholars. They maintain that ‘peace’ is the principal relationship with non-Muslims, and that ‘war’ is an exceptional and interim matter.

        They say that the State must prepare and qualify the callers to Allah, send them to non-Muslim countries to propagate the blessings of Allah there, and equip them with all that is required for working in the field of calling to Allah, bearing in mind to base their relationship with non-Muslims on safety and peace not on war and fighting, unless non-Muslims tried to afflict the callers to Allah to tempt them away from their religion, and bar them from the way to calling to Allah. Then, they must be fought, since tempting someone away from his religion is an assault on the most sacred thing in human life, and hence, is deemed worse than killing, as the chances should be given to them to explain to the public what they are called to.

        It is not permissible to start fighting non-Muslims, except in case that they attacked the religion, the Muslim State, breached treaties, or for supporting persecuted Muslims.

        War is nothing but a tool for removing barriers that block people from listening to the call to Allah, strive to contain the human conscience, and claim Allah’s right of Lordship, and for establishing Allah's Authority, Word, and Justice on earth. War, then, is only a palisade for the concept of truth, justice, non-transgressing, and non-aggression, which the Qur'ân repeats quite often.

        Sayyid Qutb, may Allah's mercy be upon him, explains Allah's saying: “And the religion is for Allah” as “Establishing Allah's religion on earth, so that nothing may deter whoever wants to embrace it, and he may never fear from any power on earth that may bar him from reaching it, responding to it, or remaining an adherent of it. It is a Jihâd for protecting the Faith from blockade and keeping it from temptation”.

        They quoted the following as evidence:

        From the Qur'ân: Allah's saying: “And fight in the way of Allah the ones who fought you, but do not transgress”, and “There is no compulsion in religion” (Al-Baqarah: 190 and 256, respectively). These Verses show that compulsion and repression are not amongst the ways of calling to the Religion, as it is only based on heartily belief, which can only be attained by persuasion not by the sword. They also quote as evidence Allah's saying: “And in any case they are bent on peace, then be bent on it.” (Al-'Anfâl: 61)

        They also say that the authentic Biography of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) as well as his Caliphs, who followed his guidance, show that they only fought those who initiated aggression against Islam, or breached a treaty with Muslims.

        The first group replied saying that the “Verse of the sword” has abrogated this evidence, and that it generally applies to all non-Muslims and all lands except for what has been specified by the Qur'ân and Sunnah.

        In fact scholars of Sharî’ah and Qur'ân interpretation have vast differences of opinion regarding abrogation, though they are unanimous that “abrogation can only be accepted by evidence”. So, the whole issue is a matter of difference of opinion, and the decisive word can only be elicited from the biography of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and his guidance in Jihâd.

        Muhammad 'Azzah Darûzah (may Allah's mercy be upon him) says, “It is certain that the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) did not fight but the transgressing enemies, and those who breached the treaties”.

        Also, Muhammad 'Abû-Zahrah, (may Allah's mercy be upon him) says, “ Islam has never pulled out a sword on a truth seeker, or transgressed against anyone. But there was brutal assault, and there were kings who exhausted their subjects, strained them, prevented them from approaching the light of truth, and killed those who believed in the Truth they realized and the Religion they were satisfied with. So, the law of cooperation necessitated that oppression should be stopped, and all afflicted people should be freed from slavery and humiliation. Therefore, war was launched, since keeping quiet in these circumstances contradicts cooperation, and fair war is true cooperation, as it bars temptation in religion”.

        I am of the opinion that this statement is away from being wrong. Anyone who looks at and investigates the Prophet’s Biography becomes quite certain of this saying, as the associators of Quraysh were the most bitter in enmity to Muhammad (p.b.u.h.). They left no means or method that may weaken or liquidate him and his call without using it. They started with accusing him of telling lies and oppressed him and his followers in Makkah, and ended up with the Battle of Al-'Ahzâb (The Allied Parties) for which Quraysh gathered all that which they could, together with all their allies of Arab tribes, instigated by the enemies of Allah, the Jews of Banû Qurayzah, to eradicate this Truth that turned everything upside down, and changed the established system of society. After these allies have been driven away from Al-Madînah, the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said, “Now we can invade them, while they cannot, and we can march to them”. Why?

        To repulse transgression and injustice of those who never stopped terrorizing Muslims, forcing them to abandon their religion in all ways of torture, driving them out of their houses, and confiscating their riches.

        As to the other Arab tribes, they were divided as to alliance with the Romans or with the Persians. They also were a grave threat to the Muslims, as they were instigated by their masters (The Romans and Persians).

        Read what 'Umar (m.A.b.s.w.h.) said “I had a friend from Al-'Ansâr (Supporters), so, when he went away I told him what happened during his absence, and he did the same to me when I was absent. We feared a king from Ghassân, who, we were told, wanted to march to fight us, so, we were really afraid of him”.

        As for the Persians and Romans, they used to turn their allies against any power or creed that unites the people anew, or competes with them in the area under their alliance, in order that they may remain the only dominating power. Hercules used to apprehend and kill the Arabs of the Levant who embraced Islam, and Caesar sent someone to bring him the head of the Truthful Messenger when he sent him a message to call him to Islam, and to remove the shades covering the minds and conscience of his subjects. Moreover, they represented a practical threat to the Islamic State.

        These crimes are quite enough to motivate the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and his Caliphs after him to get rid of these oppressive powers, which severely opposed the Islamic call and its followers, when the Muslims attained the power that enabled them to topple the thrones of the Persians and Romans.

        So, war in Islam is not absolutely offensive, aiming at destroying the non-Muslim lands, whether they were peaceful or aggressive, since Allah Almighty, according to Ibn As-Salâh has not wanted the non-Muslims to be eradicated, and neither did He create them to be killed. Nor is it absolutely defensive, waiting for those who come to invade the Muslim lands, then rise to repulse them after the initiative move has been taken by the invaders. But, it is both offensive in the sense that it defends Islam, its call, and its followers, and defensive in the sense that it attacks those who oppose its call, pursuing what is being dictated by the situation, without transgression or aggression.
        The author of The Relationship Between the Muslim Nation and Other Nations says, “The relationship holding between Muslims and non-Muslims is based on the creed, taking the form of an integrated formula to face all possibilities by using the appropriate elements of this formula, bearing in mind that using any of them is determined by the interest of the Islamic call. So, it is senseless to describe it as offensive or defensive, but it is properly described as an element of the formula employed by the Islamic call for facing different possibilities and circumstances”.
        I wish that contemporary writer who wrote about the motivations of Jihâd and deemed it offensive, and badly insulted those who opposed him – in a way that drove him out of the circle of the unprejudiced and committed scholars – and objected to them that they have not considered the interpretations of the righteous ancestors concerning the Verses of fighting and its rulings, I wish that he read the interpretation of At-Tabarî, the master of all following interpreters, which is based on authentic, transmitted tradition, and prior to the interpretations of Inb-Kathîr, Ash-Shawkânî, and others, which were used as references by those who said that Jihâd is offensive in every sense of the word.




Divisions of non-Muslim Lands in View of their Attitude Towards Islam and its Followers

        Our early scholars used to divide the world into two main divisions, i.e., Islamic lands and lands of unbelief, and described each of them in terms of the creed of their inhabitants, the nature of the ruling political system, and the legal rules dominating them.

        Accordingly, lands inhabited by non-Muslims were called lands of unbelief. How did our jurists define them, and what are their divisions?

        They defined then as “Lands wherein the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims, that apply non-Islamic laws, or in which Islamic Law cannot be applied”.

        Lands of unbelief are subdivided into two kinds, hostile lands (or the war land) and treaty lands (i.e., lands with which Muslims concluded peace treaties).


        “It is the lands where war is actually in progress or potential between them and Muslim lands, and that are not partners with Muslim lands in a peace treaty”.

        So, such lands are not in a state of peace treaty with Muslim lands due to their aggressive stance such as actual military aggression, blocking the way of the call to Allah, transgressing against the callers to Allah, supporting those who fight us and usurp our land, or the like.

        Hence, Allah made it incumbent on Muslims to take all measures of precaution to defend Islam and its followers wherever they exist in the world. The way non-Muslims look at Muslims is hostile, malicious, and malignant. Scholars are unanimous that the war land is a land where all acts are permitted.


        The First Branch


        Treaty means an agreement between the Muslims and war lands to stop fighting between them for a certain period on certain conditions.

        Scholars are unanimous that treaty people are those who concluded an agreement with the Muslims to live in their countries – whether the agreement was for money or not – without applying the Islamic rules to them as is the case with 'Ahl Aththimmah (The protected people who adhere to their original faith), who have abstained from fighting the Muslims. These are called the people of the covenant, the people of treaty, or the people of truce.

        According to this definition, treaty lands are not considered Islamic lands, unless they were taken by Muslims, either by force or by reconciliation, and the Muslims practiced their religious rites there, and whether the treaty stated that the land is for Muslims or for the other party in return for paying kharâj (tribute on land) or Jizyah (head tax) and in this case the land remains a non-Muslim land for not being ruled by the Islamic Law.

        When a treaty is concluded with its conditions and general principles, Muslim scholars are unanimous that all its obligations must be kept. Among the conditions of keeping the treaty is that the other party should observe it in letter and spirit. Allah says, “ So, as long as they go straight with you, so, go straight with them”. (At-Tawbah: 7) Here we must draw the attention to an important and extremely serious point which some scholars may overlook, that is, regardless of the necessity of observing treaties and fulfilling them, the Muslim leader should be cautious and alert, monitoring the enemies' moves and behavior, and should not feel secure with them or leave his ports unprotected. Hatred cannot be eased just by signing a treaty, since they respect neither consanguinity nor treaty toward us, and therefore, it is prohibited to us to abandon mobilization just for concluding a treaty, a step which may make every mean person look to us as a prey, especially that we are targeted for being killed or making us abandon our religion. Allah Almighty, says “And they will not cease fighting against you till they revert you from your religion.” (Al-Baqarah: 217)

        The Second Branch:

        The Consequences of a Non-fighting and Safety Treaty:

        The Islamic political thinker Al-Mawârdî says, “The truce contract entails three things:

The first: Peacefulness at its face value, i.e., abstaining from fighting, and non-aggression against life and property. Jurists are unanimous that if a Muslim enters a war land according to a safety or peace treaty, it is prohibited to them to afflict him in his blood (life), property, or private parts. This is because it is incumbent on Muslims to abide by their contracts.
        It is well known nowadays that countries do not give a visa to anyone who wishes to enter their lands except on condition that he abides by their constitutions and laws which incriminate theft, fraud, unlawfully devouring other people’s money, aggression, and the like. This practice is contemporaneous with granting the request or even prior to it.

        “The ruling of Islam concerning this issue is that it should be fulfilled, even if it were from an atheist, unless it stipulates an invalid condition that leads to disobeying Allah”. Hence, it is also forbidden to kill or torture them in accordance with the law of fulfilling the covenant, that is, “The rule of worshipping Allah and fearing Him”.

        The Second: “Forsaking secret betrayal, that is, not to secretly do whatever may breach the truce in case it was done overtly. Both parties are equally committed to this condition”.
        The Third: “To be complomentary in words and actions. So, they should refrain from disgraceful words or actions, and address the Muslims in the best words and actions. Muslims ought to do the same”.
        I say: There is nothing in the Sharî’ah that forbids other Muslims from being complementary to the other covenant party, since it may be a motive to many of them to accept Islam and embrace it, which is the ultimate objective of Jihâd in Islam”.




Some Rulings for Muslim Minorities

       We present here one of the most important rules of Sharî'ah; that is, A Muslim is bound to observe the discourse of Sharî'ah wherever he lives, since living in non-Muslim countries does not nullify any of the rules of Sharî'ah. So, what is incumbent on Muslims in Muslim countries is incumbent on them in non-Muslim countries. The same applies to what is prohibited and what is permissible so long as the individual adheres to the principles of the Religion.

        We have chosen six topics to present in this chapter as follows:

        THE FIRST TOPIC: The Rulings for Muslims Living in Non-Muslim Countries

        Since the natural situations in Muslim countries is that the Muslim individual can practice his worship, is provided with the facilities for doing it, is reminded if he neglects it, coupled with being safe and secure, immigration to Muslim countries has been ordained and has been imperative.

        Hijrah (immigration) originally means “abandoning words or actions”, and also means “moving from land to land”

        In Islamic terminology, it means abandoning residing with infidels and hypocrites who do not enable him to obey Allah's commandments. Of this is Allah's saying: “And so defilement forsake” (Al-Muddaththir: 5)

        It may also mean moving from non-Muslim countries to Muslim countries.

        In the beginning I say that the rule is that a Muslim should not live but in Muslim countries. Otherwise, he should have a good reason for staying there, provided that he should intend to leave it once the reason is over, since “the intention to stay in non-Muslim country without a legitimate reason is unacceptable.”*1

The Ruling for Immigration:

        The ruling for immigration from non-Muslim to Muslim countries is closely linked to how far a Muslim is secure in practising his religious rites. In case he cannot freely practice his religious rites, he should leave that country when he can. The jurists are unanimous on this opinion, pursuing the following evidence:

        First: Allah's saying, “Surely the ones whom the angels take up (while) they are unjust to themselves ÜÜÜÜ (the angels) say, 'Wherefore were you?' They say, 'We were deemed weak in the earth” They (the angels say) “Was not the earth of Allah wide, so that you would have immigrated in it?' So, the abode for those (men) is Hell, and what an odious destiny! Except (the ones) deemed weak among the men and women and newborns (who) are unable (to contrive) a device and are not guided to a way. So, for those Allah may be clement towards them, and Allah has been Ever-Clement, Ever-Forgiving”. (An-Nisâ’:97-99)

        In these Verses Allah made it incumbent on Muslims who live among non-Muslims, and are unable to freely  practice their religion, to emigrate once they are able to do so. Scholars said that these verses apply to all Muslims, since Allah's saying, “(while) they are unjust to themselves” implies that they are unjust to themselves because they abandoned immigration and committed sins by living among non-Muslims without being able to fulfill their religious duties, while they can immigrate through any way or by any means, since they are not excused. Likewise, Allah's saying, “except (the ones) deemed weak” implies an excuse for those people in abandoning immigration, since they are either old men or weak women or the newborn, as they cannot flee from the infidels’ hands, and even in case they could, they would lose their way.

        Al-Qurtubî says, “It is permissible to forsake immigration if one lacks providence and a means of transportation”. The current meaning of providence and transportation is to have cash money and a means of transportation.

        Ibn-‘Abbâs says, “My mother and I were among the weak whom Allah has excused; she is a woman, and I was young”.

        So, in case a disabled person took the pains and endured immigration, Allah will reward him, and the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) invocated for those weak people in his prayers”.

        Scholars said, “Immigration is a duty on those who embraced Islam while they were living in non-Muslim countries and were not able to freely practice their religion, meanwhile, they could emigrate out of those countries.”

        Second: The Prophet’s saying, “I disown any Muslim who lives among non-Muslims; they should not be close to them”

        And the Hadîth narrated by Mu'âwiyah and others relating that they heard the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) as saying, “Immigration should not cease until repentance ceases, and repentance will not cease until the sun rises from the west.”*

        So, scholars explained that immigration in these two Hadîths is incumbent on repressed Muslims, and said that Muslims were commanded to immigrate to the Prophet’s place, to be with him, so that they may cooperate, support each other in case they were afflicted, join other believers in supporting the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), learn and grasp from him the rulings (principles) of the Religion, learn what he says by heart, and convey it to others.

        Immigration was incumbent on every individual at the Prophet’s time, and became incumbent, after him, only on those who are liable to repression and losing religious freedom.

        It is worth mentioning that immigration does not imply retreat or escapism, but rather means moving from the whereabouts of mercilessness to those of righteousness to freely commit oneself to it, increase its adherents, and get ready with them to defend themselves against those people who hindered calling people to Islam.

        So, immigration, in the Qur’ânic sense, means taking the side of another community, i.e., the Muslims.

        Among the conditions that make the immigration incumbent is freedom of travelling and availability of a resort to which the Muslim can flee with his religion. However, having a look at the Muslim world today, we see that it is insecure and not fully ready to receive tens of millions of repressed Muslims all over the world, in case the authorities allowed them in, or in case the authorities of their countries allowed them to depart.

        So, we can say that Muslims who are repressed in their homeland because of their religion, and are unable to immigrate, are not deemed sinful, Allah willing. Yet, those who caused such misery and wretchedness to them will be held responsible for doing so in case they are able to relieve them.

        But we must remind ourselves that it is not unlawful for any Muslim group who live in a non-Muslim country where they are able to defend their religion, selves, and riches to depart from it; on the contrary, they should stay there.

        The author of Nihâyatul-Muhtâj says, “Whoever manages to stay and defend himself in a non-Muslim country, and does not need to immigrate to seek Muslims’ support, should stay wherever he is, since he is deemed living in a Muslim country, because in case he immigrated it would turn into a non-Muslim country. Moreover, if he could call them to Islam he should do so; otherwise he should not.

        In general, in case Muslims living in non-Muslim countries are weak and unable to spread Islam, and are prevented from practicing their rites in public, they should immigrate when it is possible; otherwise, they should not, but the intention of immigration as well as working on achieving it as diligently as possible, should be in their hearts. Allah Almighty said, “O My bondmen who have believed, surely My earth is wide; so Me (only) do you worship.” (Al-‘Ankabût: 56)

        However, whosoever was able to immigrate and did not do so is committing a sin that may lead to apostasy and disbelief. This is because staying in such a state, and abandoning religious duties, in addition to responding to disbelief and committing sins, forsaking duties and obligations, and doing forbidden things and evils, while he is able to avoid them, seems to lead him to utter disbelief, forsaking the true Religion, and joining the atheists. So, it is incumbent in this case to flee from those countries, which are dominated by infidels, to the countries of safety and security.

        However, in case Muslims are able to freely practice their religious rites in public, without endangering themselves or their families, the majority of scholars maintain that they do not have immigrate.

        The majority of scholars recommended Muslims to depart from non-Muslim countries, even if they were able to practice their religion in public, so that they may not follow the manners, customs, and appearance of non-Muslims under the influence of neighborhood and companionship.

        This is highly recommended in our time, since evils have prevailed, and the parental authority has grown weaker in non-Muslim countries. It is true that evils have spread in recent times, and sins have been committed in public all over the world, but a Muslim, in such a case, should opt for the least country in evil if he could ever do so.

        Al-Baghawî said, “It is incumbent on anyone who lives in a country where sins are openly perpetrated while he cannot change such a situation to immigrate to a place where he can practice worship. However, in case all countries have such a situation in common, as is the case in our time, immigration is, unanimously, not incumbent.

        Likewise, Ibn Taymiyah says, “The conditions of countries are just like those of people; so, a person may be sometimes a Muslim and other times an infidel, sometimes a believer and other times a hypocrite, and sometimes pious and righteous, and other times libertine and wretched”. The applies to abodes according to their dwellers. The immigration from a place of disbelief and wrong deeds to a place of belief and obedience is like repentance and moving from disbelief and disobedience to belief and obedience. This is a situation which will last until Doomsday.”

        What Muslims face nowadays in non-Muslim countries, is disrespect to their religious feelings, and attempts to  absorbing them into the communities where they live, whether by the authorities of those countries, or by the will of the children of the Muslims themselves. Such a situation leads to rejecting the educational principles and Islamic traditions, severing their relations to their creed and religious heritage, westernizing their thoughts and behavior, adopting the surrounding manners, and getting influenced by the educational methods of those countries in the intellectual, psychological, and social formation, which contradicts our ethics and the teachings of our religion. Let alone the influence of environment on shaping the personality of Muslims and their way of thinking, coupled with lack of family monitoring, and ineffective and inadequate services rendered by Islamic educational institutions, vis a vis that which is offered by clubs and mass media of evil, corruption, and libertinism, which may obliterate the Islamic values and noble examples. Added to this is what the active schools and churches that work day and night to convert Muslim youths into Christianity and other religions, or at least, incorporate and melt them in their societies.

         All this urges us to say, “Whosoever could not resist and avoid these attempts, lowered his head to them, and tolerated them, undergoes the opinion that says it is prohibited for him in this case to stay in those countries, even in case he entertained freedom of religion that allows him to practice his rites in public if he liked to. That is, any pretext that leads to neglecting worshipping Allah in every sense of the word, and to allying the associators is prohibited, unless his stay would lead to achieving a remarkable benefit to Muslims, since the good consequences of his stay would surpass the vice that he is liable to suffer, provided that he would be able to practice his call to Allah, and the rites of his religion in public. Thus, he is permitted to stay there for gaining any benefit that concerns Muslims, such as learning science, a profession, or any thing else that the Muslim nation needs, or to be an ambassador to the Muslim nation in those countries.

        Any person concerned with the news of Muslims living in non-Muslim countries is fully aware of the atrocities they face, such as hardships, barring from the way of Allah by murder and assassinations, looting their properties, attacks on their mosques and Book, and on their selves and honor, under false slogans that need not be refuted and rejected. But it is the deep hatred and the eternal dispute between good and evil.
        And since disbelief is only of one kind as to its attitude to Islam, it never refrains from rebuking Muslims, driving them out, killing, and terrorizing them. It has generalized its attitude to all Muslims, be they rulers or peoples, at both popular and official levels.
        Some Muslim minorities suffer a lot of repression and depression that goes as far as murder, rape, burning their houses and shops, demolishing their mosques day after day, besieging their language and culture to be replaced by their opponents language and culture, reducing their chances of getting governmental jobs, and depriving them entirely of the higher posts. All this takes place with the blessing of the governments under whose sovereignty they live.
        As a result, they were overwhelmed by illiteracy, superstition, ignorance, and poverty, in addition to paying no cultural, social, or health care to their quarters. An acute example is the Muslims in India and the Philippines.
        If this is the case, what should Muslims in those countries do? Should they be patient or fight only those who fight them? Should they fight all their opponents? Or what should they do?

        The scholars are unanimous on that it is prohibited to a Muslim to set upon non-Muslims blood or riches, in case he has a treaty with them, since it requires the safety and protection of both parties towards each other.

        But they allowed Muslims to set upon their riches and selves in case their ruler acted treacherously towards them and took their riches and houses and imprisoned them for no reason, or repressed them to abandon their religion by torturing and killing some of them. Even in case any other person did that and the ruler knew it, and did not stop him, but he and his subjects were contended with it, the treaty between him and the Muslims, in these cases, is deemed null and void, and it is the infidels who are to blame for it.

        But in case the subjects are the ones who breached the treaty and the ruler did not know it, Muslims have the choice of breaching the treaty or keeping it. But in case the ruler killed some Muslims, or some of his subjects killed Muslims with his consent, the majority of scholars, except Hanifîtes, deem the treaty null and void.

        Al-Mâwardî said, “The treaty is nullified when some subjects breach it with the consent of the ruler or the rest of the subjects, and when the ruler breaches it. But in case the subjects breached it and the ruler and dignitaries did not know that they did so, Muslims have the choice to breach the treaty or keep it.

        The logic behind not breaching the treaty is that the subjects are not entitled to sign treaties; so they are not entitled to nullify them. However, all scholars agreed that the treaty is nullified as to the transgressing group, if not as to the entire community.

        So, Muslims who are assaulted have three options, in view of their strength, capabilities, and assessment of the circumstances.

        The First: They should be patient, endure the difficulties, and hold fast to their religion. They are excused for that because they cannot rid themselves of the infidels, and even in case they can, they do not know the way, or cannot go through it for lack of provision and means of transport.

        They may prefer patience to any other choice, in accordance with the will of their leaders to achieve major interests and avoid major harms, since the leaders there are scholars, and are better aware of their conditions, the nature of the society, their interests of the Call, and the status of the authorities there. So, patience may be more useful for some cases than others. It was said of old : “The people of Makkah are better aware of its pathways”.

        Moreover, the rulings of Sharî'ah differ according to man's conditions, healthy or sick, strong or weak; so, what is good for a country may be bad for another, and they may prefer the verses, in this stage, that enjoin patience, forgiveness, and tolerance.

        The second: they may opt for rebuffing the attack, and deterring those who assault them aiming at killing them and seizing their riches and honor. So, they may opt for defending their religion, selves, and properties, and do not go further to those who did not attack them, even if it was clear that they are contended with assaulting the Muslims.

        In so doing, they adhere to Allah's saying, “ So, whosoever transgresses against you, then, transgress against him in like (manner) as he transgresses against you.” (Al-Baqarah : 194) This reflects the situation of many Muslim minorities all over the world – a situation that conforms to the Sharî'ah and the gradual advancement of the ordinance, and hence, we see no harm in adopting it.

        The Last Choice: Muslims may be distinct from their opponents, and may declare war against them, since they have breached the treaty, and fight military men as a whole as they fight them as a whole.

        In so doing, they follow Allah's saying, “ And fight the associators as a whole, as they fight you as a whole”. (At-Tawbah:36) In such a case, fighting the infidel warriors becomes incumbent on Muslims until they reach a new treaty. Allah Almighty says, “ So, in case they do not keep apart from you, and offer you submissiveness, and restrain their hands, then take them and kill them where you catch them, and against those ones We have appointed for you an evident authority”. (An-Nisâ’ :91)

        So, the lands that the Muslims seize become Muslim lands so long as they practice the religious rites there, and establish rulings of religion, according to the unanimity of scholars.



Some Rulings for Worshipping


        THE FIRST ISSUE : Purity
        This issue comprises three questions:
        THE FIRST: Is an infidel materially pure or impure?
        The first branch is : Is the infidel impure?
        The point here is Allah's saying, “ Surely, the associators are only an impurity.” (At-Tawbah :28)
        So, what is the meaning of association and impurity here? The scholars have two opinions as to association :
        The first: The majority say that the associator in this Verse is everyone who worships idols. Imam Mâlik says, “All infidels of the People of the Book and others are associators by analogy.”
        THE SECOND: The opinion of 'Imâm Ash-Shâfi'î is that the Verse means all infidels. Ibn-‘Umar, Jâbir ibn Abdullâh, and Ibn-Hazm Adh-Dhâhirî are of the same opinion.
        As to the meaning of impurity, the majority of scholars say that Allah's saying, “are only an impurity” refers to immaterial impurity, that is, impurity of creed and religion, or that they are evil and wicked, or, in rhetoric, it is one eloquent way of likening.
        'Imâm Mâlik, Ar-Râzî, al-‘Alûsî, and Dhâhirites say that infidels – every single infidel – are materially impure.
        I see that the opinion of the majority of scholars is the preponderant opinion for the following reasons:
        First: Allah allowed Muslims to marry the women of the People of the Book, and it is self-evident that husbands cannot avoid touching them, or being exposed to their sweat, and wives touch furniture, clothes, etc. However, Allah has not ordained for them any way of cleaning themselves other than that ordained for those who are married to Muslim women.
        Second: Allah allowed Muslims to eat the food of all infidels, except for slaughtered animals, which are lawful only if they are slaughtered by the People of the Book. It is also self-evident that they cannot avoid touching and handling the food. So, if they were materially impure, then anything they touch would get impure, and their food would become dirty and impure, and, hence, would be prohibited.
        Allah says, “Making lawful for them the good things, and prohibiting for them the wicked things.” (Al-A'râf:157)
      It has been authentically reported that the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) ate their food, used their vessels, and accepted their presents. 'Imâm Ibnul-Hussayn narrated that the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and his Companions used an infidel woman's vessel.
        This Hadîth proves that an infidel is materially pure, as the woman whose vessel has already been used. It has been also authentically reported that ‘Umar (m.A.b.s.w.h.) performed ablution in a Christian woman's house. Also, Hudhayfah asked for water to drink and a magian gave him water.
        Third: If they were actually deemed as materially impure, the Prophet's Companions would have conveyed it. However, I have not found any authentic report that the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) or any of his Companions stated the impurity of infidels in the sense related by 'Imâm Mâlik and those who followed him.
        So, we conclude that the non-Muslim is materially pure (unless he is contaminated with an impure substance) but impure in creed and religion. The scholars are unanimous on this opinion.
        It follows from this:
        First: The purity of his su’r , i.e. the water that remains in the vessel after he drinks.
        Second: The purity of his clothes and what he wears.
        The Second Point: Should the disbeliever who becomes a Muslim do Ghusl (ritual bathing)?
        The principle in this matter is the command of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) to Thumamah ibn 'Athâl to do ritual bathing when he embraced Islam.
        The principle is also what Qays Ibn ‘Asim reported quoting his father that when he became a Muslim, the Prophet (p.b.u.h) commanded him to do ritual bathing with water and nabk (i.e. lotus jujube).
        The Third Point: Should a person who becomes a Muslim be circumcised?
        Circumcision is cutting off the foreskin, which covers the glands of a man.
        The wisdom behind this is that dirt may not gather there, and the person may purify himself from urine.
        Verdict concerning circumcision: The majority of scholars hold that circumcision is a practice of the Prophet but not compulsory. This is because lack of evidence of its being compulsory. This is well known and practiced because of the saying of the prophet (p.b.u.h); "The innate nature includes five things" among which he mentioned circumcision.
        `Ash-Shâfi’î holds that circumcision is incumbent on women as well as men.
        The Hanbali's hold that it is incumbent on men but not on women, to whom it is a graceful practice. They say that it is a sign of Muslim (men) and therefore it is obligatory.
        Their evidence for this is that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) was reported to have said to Wathilah Ibn Al-`Asqa´ when he embraced Islam, "Get rid of the hair of disbelief and get circumcised."
        'Ahmad was asked whether circumcision should purify a disbeliever who embraces Islam. He said, "It must do so." I (i.e. the person asking) said, "What if he is old?" He said, "He should do so all the more, because the prophet (p.b.u.h) told us that 'Ibrâhîm (p.b.u.h) was circumcised when he was over eighty years old."
        This is also the opinion of ‘Al-‘Awzâ’î, Rabî’ata-Rra’y, and the Permanent Committee for 'Iftâ’ in Saudi Arabia.
        The Second Issue: Are Intoxicants Pure Or Impure?
        The principle in this is the saying of Allah Almighty: "O you who have believed, surely wines and games of chance, and standards (for idols) and divining are only an abomination of Satan's doing, so avoid it, that possibly you would prosper." (Al-Mâ'idah: 90)
        The majority of scholars understood from Allah Almighty's saying 'abomination' that intoxicants are impure both materially and immaterially. They said that 'abomination' means impurity. Ibn 'Abbâs said that it means exasperation. Mujâhid said that it means that which there is no good in it. Ibn Jubayr said, 'sin, and At-Tabari said, 'sin and rot', while Ibn 'Aslam said, 'suffering and evil'.

        Al-`Alûsî said, "it is unreasonable that the Verse means abomination in the sense of impurity; gambling, for example, cannot reasonably be impure or pure."

        It is my opinion that the scholars unanimously agree that games of chance, idols and divination are pure, although the description as abomination pertains to all, and not intoxicants alone, as the context shows.
        As-San'ânî said, "The truth is that substances are originally pure, and that prohibition does not always go hand in hand with impurity. Hashish is prohibited but pure. As for impurity, it goes hand in hand with prohibition, i.e. every impure substance is prohibited, but the reverse is not true. This is because the ruling concerning impurity is that it is prevented in all cases. Holding something to be impure means holding it to be prohibited. This is unlike holding something to be prohibited. Wearing silk is prohibited [for men] and so is gold, but they are pure according to Islamic law and by consensus. If we realize this, then prohibiting intoxicants, which is ascertained by texts, does not follow from it that they are impure. There must be other evidence for it, or else we should abide by the agreed upon principle of purity. Whoever claims the contrary should provide evidence for it. There is no explicit evidence in Islamic law which states that they are impure, and therefore are considered originally pure.
        This was also the opinion of Rabî'atur-Rray, Al-Muznî, a Shâfi’ite, 'Ash-Shawkânî, and Muhammad Siddîq Khân.
        'Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Reda added, " It would have been possible to add to the things prohibited by Islamic Law those things that are materially impure, if there had been an explicit command to wash a thing that was exposed to an intoxicant, but there is no sound or fair Tradition to this effect."
        The Companions of the Prophet used to drink intoxicants and could not help exposing their hands and clothes with them. If they were impure, they would have been commanded to avoid them before they were prohibited. It should not be said that they became impure by means of prohibition, since impurity is not dependent on the ruling concerning it. So they are pure both materially and according to Islamic Law.
        As for Al-‘Imâm An-Nawawî, he did not approve of the evidence of the mainstream of scholars as regards their impurity. He said, " The most reasonable opinion is that of Al-Ghazâlî, who judges them to be impure as a means of making people shun away from them."
        The Prophet's command to spill them was not because of their impurity -- Allah knows best-- but as a means of blocking expediency. Their being in the possession of someone who previously got drunk and was used to them may encourage him to drink or sell them due to his close connection with them, although drinking and selling are both unanimously prohibited.
        Regarding alcohol, " it is a colorless liquid, with a special smell. It results from the fermentation of sugar, starch [and the like]. It is the essence of intoxicants; the plural from is "alcohols".
        Ruling regarding it: What was said about intoxicants applies to it, because it causes drunkenness, and every substance that causes drunkenness is prohibited. Al-'Azhar Committee issued a verdict of its purity, and considered that the things that are added to it do not become impure because of it. In the Verdicts of Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Rashîd Reda: "Alcohol is pure and purifying. There is no reason for prohibiting it and nothing is prohibited."
        It follows from this that it is lawful to wear perfumes to which alcohol is added [in a small quantity] because it is pure.
        The same applies to some brands of soap, shampoo, shaving cream, and other products which have alcohol as an ingredient."
        It is lawful to buy and sell perfumes since the amount of alcohol that causes drunkenness in the perfumes is dissolved in other substances, does not constitute the larger part, and turns into another form.


        THE THIRD ISSUE : The Purity of Dogs:

        Jurists have three opinions as regards the purity or impurity of dogs:

        First: They are impure, even their hair. This is the opinion of Ash-Shâfi´î, Mâlik, and 'Ahmad in one of two reports quoting him.

        Second: They are pure, even their saliva. This is the well-known opinion of Mâlik and Mâlikites.

        Third: They are pure, except for their saliva. This is the authentic opinion of the Hanîfites and the other report quoting 'Ahmad.

        It is my opinion that the closest opinion to what is right is that they are pure except their saliva, which is impure, unlike the rest of their bodies. This is so because things are originally pure, and hence we cannot hold anything to be impure or prohibited without evidence.

        There was nothing reported about the impurity of anything in dogs except 'Abu Hurayrah's quoting the Prophet (p.b.u.h) as saying, "If a dog drinks from the vessel of any one of you, he should wash it seven times.” to which Muslim added, "the first time of which should be with dust."

        The Tradition is evidence for the impurity of the saliva and mouth of the dog, since it is the place of using impure things, and the place of panting, which, alone, becomes impure by means of saliva. We also learn that the vessel should be washed seven times, which is the opinion of the majority of the scholars.

        'Abû Hanîfah holds that it is not incumbent to abide by the number in removing impurities. He said that the vessel should be washed until it is thought that it became pure. The Hanifites took as evidence the report that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) said about a dog, which drinks from a vessel: "It should be washed three, five, or seven times." They said that the Tradition is evidence for option.

        It was also said that the Tradition is not authentically reported.

        Ibn Rushd (Averose) holds that the command of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) is for guidance lest the dog should be suffering from rabies. The person who drinks from the remaining water or uses the vessel before it is washed is harmed in his body. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) forbids that which inflicts harm on people in their religion and life, and not because of its impurity, since it is taken to be pure.

        If a dog, which is permissible to keep drinks from a vessel or eats from it, the water or food does not become impure, but we should avoid drinking or eating from it or using it before washing it for fear of harm.

        It was medically proven that a dog's saliva contains harmful germs, which need a strong antiseptic to remove them. This somewhat consolidates the opinion of Ibn Rushd.


        It is well known to every Muslim that prayer is the second pillar of the five pillars of Islam, and that Allah Almighty has made five prayers a day obligatory to a sane, mature Muslim who knows about it, and that whoever denies it is no longer a Muslim.

        Because of its great status in Islam, Islamic Law has warned those who do not keep it. Allah Almighty says,

"Then there succeeded ever after them a succession who wasted the prayer and closely followed lusts; so they shall eventually meet misguidance." (Maryam:59)
        The Prophet (p.b.u.h) also said, "The difference between a (Muslim) man and someone who associates partners to Allah and a disbeliever is not performing prayer."
        In this major issue there are several issues, which a Muslim living in a non-Muslim lands needs to know. These are:
   The First Issue: Timing of Prayers:
        This issue falls into several sections, which include: definition of timing, timing in 'moderate' lands, and 'immoderate' lands.
        First: On Defining it from the Perspectives of Language and Islamic Law:
        In the Arabic language it is said "Waqqata-Allah-As-Salâh" in the sense that he set a certain time for prayer. ''Al-mîqât' means the time set for an action, the plural form being "mawâqît".
        In Islamic Law it means " the time which Allah has set for performing this worship [prayer], i.e. the specific span of time.
   Second: The Timing of Prayer in Moderate Lands:
      By 'Moderate lands' I mean the lands in which day and night occur and are distinguished from each other every twenty-four hours.
        The principle concerning the timing of these countries is what Muslim reported in his Sahîh about someone who asked the Prophet (p.b.u.h) about the timing of prayer, but the Prophet (p.b.u.h) did not answer him [in words]. In a report by Buraydah he said to him, "Pray with us these two [days]." The reporter of the Tradition [i.e. 'Abû Mûsa-[Al-`ash´ari] said, "He, i.e. the Prophet (p.b.u.h),] performed the dawn prayer at the break of dawn at a time when people could hardly recognize each other. Then the Prophet (p.b.u.h) commanded Bilâl to call to the noon prayer immediately after the sun moved from the middle of the sky. Someone said, " It is mid-day." He was more knowledgeable than all of them. Then the Prophet commanded calling for the afternoon prayer with the sun rising high, then commanded him to call for the sunset prayer when the sun set. He then commanded him to call to the night prayer when the twilight disappeared. He postponed the dawn prayer the following day and finished it when someone said, "The sun rose or it is about to rise." Then he postponed the noon prayer until a time near the time for the afternoon prayer the previous day. He also postponed the afternoon prayer and finished it while someone was saying, "The sun has turned red." He postponed the sunset prayer until the fall of twilight, and postponed the night prayer until the first third of the night [and in another report until midnight].
        When he rose in the morning, he called the person who asked him and said, "The time is between these two", meaning that the time for prayer is between the two times at which I prayed.
   Third: On Timing Prayer in 'Immoderate Lands such as the Two Poles and the Like:
        The definition of time for prayers in the authentic Tradition applies to the moderate lands in which the Prophet (p.b.u.h) lived and to similar lands. But how about the method of determining the time for prayer in lands where the months and days are not moderate such as the Polar and Scandinavian areas in which the day is long in summer and short in winter, or northern countries where the sun is always shining in summer and always disappears in winter, or countries where the times for night prayer and the dawn prayer overlap in some months of the year, i.e. the countries located north or south of latitude 84?
        I will here mention the statements of jurists about determining and regulating the time for prayer in those countries, as they are discussed in their books, then I will discuss and choose among them.
1-The Saying of Hanifites;
       Fath Al-Qadîr states that "those who have no time for the night prayer as in the case where the dawn breaks before the twilight disappears, Al-Baqali gave the verdict that it is not incumbent on them because of the non-occurrence of the time. This is the opinion opted for by the author of Al-kanz [i.e. Az-Zayla’î] exactly as the washing of hands in ablution is dropped for an amputee. No contemplating person would doubt the difference between the non-existence of the organ [i.e. the amputated hands] and the hypothetical non-existence [i.e. the non-existence of the sign for the night prayer], which is a sign for the implicit, ascertained, and the possibility of the existence of more than one sign for the thing in question. The non-existence of time is non-existence of the defining sign, whose lack does not necessarily mean the non-existence of the original thing, because of the possibility of existence of other evidence.
        The meaning of what 'Ibn Al-Humâm said is that [if there is no sign for the time for the night prayer, namely the disappearance of twilight and the non-break of dawn simultaneously as an identifying sign of it, this does not mean that prayer is dropped because of this, because of the existence of other evidence that shows the time for it, even though the sign of time does not exist.] then he said it was found [ i.e. the other evidence for the time for the night prayer, in spite of the lack of its sign]. This is what came down to us about the night journey when Allah Almighty ordained five prayers, after people were ordered to pray fifty times, then the number settled down to five according to Islamic Law for all people with no difference between one country and another.
        It is also proven that Allah's Messenger (p.b.u.h) mentioned Al-Dajjâl, so we [the Prophet's Companions] asked about the time he will spend on earth. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Forty days, a day like a year, a day like a month, a day like a week, and his other days are like yours." It was said, " O Messenger of Allah, how about the day like a year, will prayer of a day be sufficient for us? He said, "No, give it its due length." So He made three hundred afternoon prayers necessary before the shadow of a stick, for example, becomes the same or double.
        We learn that what is incumbent is five prayers in general, but they should be distributed over all the times when they exist. Their non-existence does not drop the prayer. So the Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Five prayers have been ordained by Allah on bondmen."
2-The Sayings of Mâlikites:
        In Mawâhib Al-Jalîl the following occurs: It occurred in Sahih Muslim that the time for Al-Dajjâl is forty days, which include a day like a year, a day like a month, a day like a week, and the rest of his days is like our days. The Prophet's Companions said, O Messenger of Allah, how about the day like a year, will prayer of a day be sufficient for us? He said, "No. Give it its due length."
        Al-Qâdî Iyâd said, "There is a special ruling about this day which was legislated to us by The Legislator." He added, "If we were left to our own understanding, we would have confined ourselves to the prayers well known on other days. The meaning of "give it its due length" is that if time equivalent to the time between daybreak and noon passes every day, then do the noon prayer, then when the time between it and the afternoon prayer passes, then do the afternoon prayer, and so on until this day comes to an end with the obligatory prayers of a whole year performed on time.

        As for the second day, which is like a month, and the third day, which is like a week, they should be dealt with on the analogy of the first day.

 3- The Sayings of Shâfi'ites:

        In Rawdat At-Tâlibîn the following occurs: Those who live in an area where their nights are short and twilight does not disappear, they should pray the night prayer after a period of time elapses that is equivalent to the time of the disappearance of twilight in the nearest country to them. This means that if the twilight in the nearest country disappears at the first quarter of the night for example, it should be considered as part of the night for them. They should not wait for the passing of their night because this may take all the night.

 4-The Sayings of Hanbalites:

        In Ghâyat Al-Muntahâ the following occurs: Time for prayers is estimated during the days of Al-Dajjâl according to the usual time of night and winter for example. The same applies to Pilgrimage, Almsgiving, and Fasting. The author of 'Al-'Iqnâ´ holds a similar opinion.

        I did not find anyone among the Hanbalites who dealt with the issue of someone who cannot determine the night for the night prayer.

        It becomes clear to us through these quotes that the majority of scholars hold that the night prayer is incumbent on people in lands where time for it is not determined, i.e. by the disappearance of twilight. They established their opinion on the generality of the texts commanding the obligatory performance of the five prayers, without any distinction between one country and another. It is also based on the Tradition about Al-Dajjâl, which commands estimating the timing for prayer, which is incumbent even though the signs for it are absent.

        Fourth: The Kinds of 'Immoderate' Lands and Method of Timing There:

        These lands fall into two groups:

    The First Group: This is where the sun does not set for about six months, then totally disappears the rest of the year.

        To these apply the Tradition about 'Al-Dajjâl. So people living there estimate the time for the five prayers so that they may perform them every twenty-four hours, depending in this on the nearest country to them where the times for the obligatory prayers are distinguishable. They have to distribute them along the time according to the time lapse between every two prayers.

        The rulings concerning days and months as regards women waiting periods, fasting, and almsgiving should be measured by analogy to the above.

      'Ash-Shaykh Muhammad Redâ says, "Do you think that Allah Almighty makes it incumbent on these who live near the Poles to pray in their day which a year or several months five times only? Among the great signs proving that this Qur’an is from Allah the Omniscient is addressing people generally without restriction to the time or place of that to whom it was revealed.

        " It made the command to pray general, and the Prophet (p.b.u.h) showed the times for prayer as proper for moderate lands, which are the great majority of lands so that when Islam reaches the people of the other lands which we have just referred to they may estimate the time for prayers by means of exercising their judgments and taking as criterion what the Prophet (p.b.u.h) clarified of the general command of Allah. They should estimate the matter properly. But on which land should the estimation be based? It was said: on moderate towns where the legislation took place such as Makkah and Al-Madînah. It was also said: on the nearest moderate country to them. Both are permissible since the matter is based on exercising judgment, not on a text."

        The Committee of Senior Scholars in Saudi Arabia, in its twelfth session, issued a verdict of estimation on the nearest country where the times for obligatory prayers are distinguishable.

        I say: There is goodness in both, provided that the Muslims in these countries agree on a certain country so that their prayer may not differ in the same town, with a group of people praying according to the time of Makkah, and another group prays according to the nearest country. This practice may lead to rifts and differences, which are prohibited.

        The Second Group: It is a group where all prayer times are distinguishable except that for night prayer, which is the same as that for the dawn prayer.

        The weighty opinion of the majority of scholars is the incumbency of the night prayer on the people of these countries and the prohibition of not performing it. But they differed about the time for praying it, should it be on time or deferred?

        I Say: The more weighty opinion and the one closer to the text (of the Tradition about Al-Dajjâl) is that Muslims in these countries should estimate the time for the night prayer based on the nearest country. The night prayer in this case is performed on time, but the sunset prayer is deferred since the time for it has elapsed based on the estimation. This is the ruling of the Jurisprudence Complex of the Muslim World League, which determined 45 as the criterion. This is an area in France where twilight disappears before the break of dawn. In this estimation there is alleviation of hardship and bringing about ease, and is proper for Britain and neighboring areas.

        The Second Issue: The Ruling Concerning Praying in the Disbelievers' Places of Worship:

        The majority of scholars are of the opinion that it is disliked to pray in churches and other places of worship of those who associate partners with Allah. They justify the disliking by the presence of pictures there, by their being cursed, by the fact that Allah should not be worshipped in the places of His enemies, and by their being an abode for devils exactly like bathrooms.

        Al-Bukhârî reported that ‘Umar (m.A.b.s.w.h) said, "We do not enter your churches because of the statues which contain pictures." There is no difference between frequented churches and deserted ones.

        Al-`Imâm Mâlik was of the opinion that they are absolutely forbidden, as reported by 'Ahmad.

        Some companions of 'Ahmad were of the opinion of absolute permission.

        Ibn-Taymiyah said, "The right thing is that if they had pictures in them no prayer may be held there because angel [of mercy not of preserving] do not enter a place which contains a picture. But if there are no pictures there, prayer can be performed in them as the Companions did in a church."

        If it is permissible to pray in a church that does not contain pictures, prayer is permissible in any other temple not containing a picture.

        It is evident from the saying of the majority of scholars that whoever prays in a place containing pictures, his prayer is sound but disliked. However, it is better for a Muslim to avoid such places in case there are other places available to him and he was not in need for them. But if he was forced to pray there lest he catch cold or because of the non-existence of a different place, the prayer is permissible but disliked, and he does not have to make it up. Every land is fit for Muslims to perform their prayer "except that which we are sure of its impurity". This is based on the sayings of the Prophet (p.b.u.h): "and the land was made a prostration place for me and was made pure. Wherever it is time for prayer for man he should pray."

        The Jurisprudence Complex of the Islamic Conference has endorsed renting churches to pray there, but recommended avoiding facing statues. If this was not possible, they should be covered if they were in the direction of Al-Ka'bah.

        Here I call upon Muslims to make available the mosques they need so that they may do without the temples of those who associate partners with Allah. They should exert every possible effort in this respect. I would like to call attention to the fact that it is unanimously unlawful to give the designation of 'House of Allah' to the temples of the disbelievers.

        As for praying in tombs, Ibn Al-munthir quoted the majority of scholars as saying that tombs are not proper places for praying. As regards praying on snow, it was ascertained that Ibn ‘Umar prayed on it.

     The Third Major Issue: Combining Prayers For Necessity:

        By this I do not mean combining prayers in travel, rain, or illness, but combining, that alleviate hardship in circumstances other than these.

        For example, there are countries where the twilight disappears after midnight on some days of the year. There are countries in which some months of the year are long, and the night is as short as four hours. There are employees and students who are not able to perform prayers on time because of continued work and the short time of rest. There are also old people and boys.

        All these find it difficult to perform prayers on the time for them determined for them by Islamic Law, especially that they are in non-Islamic countries, which do not care about the Muslim's feeling in this regard and do not attach any importance to his worship.

        Should a person whose night lasts four hours perform three prayers during these hours without sleeping, waiting for prayer time, while he has work to do, which requires a clear mind and sound body, which is dependent on how much rest and sleep a person gets? Or is there a license to which a Muslim resorts in case of difficulty and unease, bearing in mind that "difficulty justifies alleviation" and that hardship is alleviated in our religion because Allah Almighty says, "and in no way has he made for you any restriction in the religion." (Al-Hajj: 78) and that the more a matter gets hard, the more it gets alleviated.

        The consensus is that it is not permissible in urban areas to combine two prayers for excuse.

        Scholars, however, disagreed about these excuses. They agreed on advance combining of the noon and afternoon prayers at the time for the former in 'Arafah, and on deferred combining of the sunset and night prayers at the time for the latter in Muzdalifah. This is a Sunnah for pilgrims, to which the Hanîfites confined themselves.

        The Mâlikites permitted combining for a resident because of rain, mud, sickness, allowing him to combine the noon and afternoon prayers, and the sunset and night prayers.

        The Shâfi`ites permitted combining because of rain, that wets clothes. A group of them permitted combining because of sickness, mud, and fear.

        In one report the Hanbalites added to this : ice, snow, cold strong wind, a nursing woman, a continually bleeding woman and the like, the excused and the unable to do purification for each prayer, know the prayer, those who fear for themselves, their money, or honor, and those who fear harm inflicted on them in their living if they do not make use of combining. They said: He should do what is easier for him, i.e. deferring the first prayer to the time of the second, or advancing the second to the time of the first.

        To my knowledge, there is no explicit authentic evidence for the permissibility of combining prayers because of every excuse that was mentioned by Hanbalites.

        'Al-Imâm 'Ash-Shâfi`î said, "Combining in the case of rain is a license for an excuse. For any other excuse there should not be combining since the excuse in this case is personal such as sickness and fear and the like. There were diseases and fear but it did not come down to us that 'Allah's Messenger (p.b.u.h) combined prayers in these cases. Excuse because of rain is general, and combining is permissible in travel because of what came down to us from 'Allah's Messenger (p.b.u.h). There is no license of combining except in the cases licensed by the Prophet."

        However, we may find evidence for the Hanbalites [who are the most permissible in the four sects] in reports by Muslim and others quoting Ibn 'Abbâs as saying that Allah's Messenger (p.b.u.h) combined the noon and afternoon prayers, and the sunset and night prayers in 'Al-Madînah without fear of rain.

        `Ibn ´Abbâs was asked: What did he mean by this? He answered: He wanted to alleviate hardship for his nation.

        The same is also uncertainly reported through 'Ibnu Mas'ud, as reported by Al-Haythamî, with whom Ash-Shawkânî disagreed and corrected that report.

        The Tradition is evidence for the permissibility of true combining, on condition that there is difficulty and hardship in case of not combining, because of his saying, "He wanted to alleviate hardship for his nation."

        From this Tradition the majority of scholars inferred that combining is permissible for illness and the like. They said, "The hardship because of illness is severer than that of rain."

        I say: If it is permissible to combine prayers for illness because it is hard to pray on time, combining is permissible for any excuse if it may lead to unbearable difficulty and hardship, on condition that the person does not do this habitually or expand it.

        Among those who said so are: Rabî'ah, Ibn Al-munthir, 'Ashhab, Ibn Sîrîn, 'Abdul-Malik, from among Mâlik's companions, and the Dhâhirites. The same was also the opinion of Ash-Shaykh 'Abu Zahrah, 'Ash-Shaykh Yûsuf 'Al-Qaradâwî, who is of the opinion that it is permissible "to combine two prayers in rare cases, and for a limited number of times in order to alleviate hardship."

        For those whose twilight is late or whose nights are short, they should perform as many prayers on time as they can. If they are overcome by sleep and they missed prayers they should perform them once they get up --there is no remisness in sleep-- and in their original order.

        For a person who finds considerable difficulty in waiting for prayer, and is afraid from his previous experience that if he sleeps he may not be able to get up for prayer, there is a report by Hanbalites alone that it is permissible to combine because of the likelihood of continuing to sleep.

        Here we should call attention to a serious matter, namely that misuse of this license, that alleviates hardship, and overusing it without a considerable excuse nullifies prayer.

        This is because scholars unanimously agree that praying after the appropriate time without a lawful excuse is nullified as if he had not performed it since praying on time is a condition for its validity.

         The Fourth Issue: The Friday Prayer:

        "Scholars unanimously agree that the Friday prayer is obligatory, and must be performed by every Muslim and if he does not perform it he is unanimously sinful." This derives from Allah Almighty's saying, "O you who have believed, when the call is made for prayer on Friday (the Day of Congregation), then endeavor (to hasten) to the Remembrance of Allah and leave out your trading. That is most charitable for you, in case you knew." (Al-Jumu;ah : 9)

        It also occurs in Sahih Muslim that Allah's Messenger (p.b.u.h) said, "people should quit leaving the Friday prayers or else Allah will seal their hearts, then they will be among the unwary."

     Time For it:

        The majority of scholars are agreed that the time for the Friday prayer is after the sun leaves the middle of the sky.

        If it occurs before this time it is not valid, except in the opinion of Ahmad, Ibn Râhawayh, and ´Atâ`, the evidence for which is what Muslim reported: "We used to perform the Friday prayer with Allah's Messenger, then we went back and made our camels rest until the sun leaves the middle of the sky."

        I say: the totality of Traditions show that it is valid at the time the sun leaves the middle of the sky or before that time.

        In Al-Mughnî  and Ash-sharh the following occurs: "It is likeable to perform it after the sun leaves the middle of the sky; this is because of the evidence for it, and this is a way out of the difference in opinion.

        I say: If a group of people in non-Muslim lands have to pray it before noon because of hardship and unfavorable circumstances, they can act according to the saying of 'Ahmad and his companions, which is also the opinion of Ibn 'Abbâs and Ash-Shawkânî, provided that it is not performed a long time before noon, because the Tradition which 'Ahmad took as evidence shows that noon starts immediately after the sermon and the prayer.

        If there was hardship, it should be performed after noon, which was the practice of our predecessors.

        Al-‘Imâm Mâlik allowed for the sermon, but not the prayer itself before noon.

        As for the last time for the Friday prayer the majority of scholars are agreed that it is the last time for the `Dhuhr prayer.

    Third: Is the Oration Valid in a Language other than Arabic:

        Scholars are unanimously agreed that the oration is a condition of validity of the Friday prayer, but is the oration valid in a language other than Arabic?

        To start with, I say: If an 'Imâm who can lend the Friday prayer is properly available, it is a sufficiency duty, in the sense that if a group of people are short of performing it as it should, they are all sinful, in accordance with Allah's words: "In case ever you do not march out, He will torment you with a painful torment". (At-Tawbah: 39)

        As for the validity of the oration in a language other than Arabic, the majority of scholars are agreed that it must be in Arabic, because it is obligatory remembrance of Allah, and hence has to be done in Arabic as in the case of attash-shahhud (the invocation at the end of the prayer), and saying "’Allâhu 'akbar" at the beginning of prayer, and because it is the practice of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), who did not make the oration except in Arabic.

        Abu Hanîfah was of the opinion that it is permissible in a language other than Arabic, whether there is or there is no excuse for this. But his two companions permitted it only with an excuse, and so did the Hanbalites, who have a report compatible with the opinion of 'Abu Hanîfah, but they hold it as less preferable in their sect.

        If it is asked: Of what use will the oration in Arabic be if the listeners cannot understand it?

        This can be answered: "Its use is admonition in general." This was said by the Shâfi`ite 'Al-qâdî Husayn.

        I say: And of what use is knowledge of admonition in general as long as the listener does not comprehend what is being said? And is the oration in Arabic is meant for itself so that it may be said that it is not valid except in Arabic, even though people do not understand anything from it? Or is it intended as a means of education and enlightenment?

        As a way out of disagreement and so that every Muslim should be assured that his prayer is valid, one of these two ways may be followed:

        The First: The orator should give the pillars of the oration, which some scholars said that they must be given in Arabic, in the Arabic language, then he makes the admonition in the language of the listeners because of necessity.

        The oration is started with praising Allah, reading one or more verses of the Qur'ân, prayer on Allah's Messenger (p.b.u.h), advising people of fearing Allah, and praying for Muslims.

        The Second: The oration is given in Arabic, then it is translated during it or after finishing the Friday prayer. The translation may be done by the orator himself or by someone who acts for him.

        We can say that it is permissible to deliver the oration in a language other than Arabic only if there was an excuse and a necessity; otherwise this should not be done. However the verses of the Qur’ân should be read as they were revealed, then they are translated.

        It is likeable for the oration to be short in accordance with the saying of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), " A man's long prayer and short prayer are signs for his jurisprudence." This is also compatible with what Jabir-Ibn Samrah reported "that the prayer of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) was short and so was his oration."

        It is incumbent to listen to it according to the majority of scholars, based on the saying of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), "Whoever speaks on Friday while the 'Imâm is giving the oration, is like a donkey carrying books; and whoever says to another: 'listen!' has no Friday prayer " i.e. compared with a person who keeps silent, but the prayer of someone who speaks is valid by consensus. It is not a condition for the Friday prayer to be performed in a mosque; if it was performed in a public area or a plaza it would be valid, and so is the case if it was performed, for necessity, in the temples of the disbelievers.

        It is likeable for the Friday orator to be a specialist in Islamic Jurisprudence and Thought, to be knowledgeable of the culture of people and their various problems, moral, social, economic, educational, etc. so that he may be better able to suggest solutions and deal with them from an Islamic perspective.

        He should deal with the issues, that concern those who have become Muslims recently such as faith and worship, and should concentration on the universality of Islam, its eternity, and its propriety.

        He should familiarize them with the attitude of Islam towards the movements prevailing in non-Muslim lands so that Muslims are aware of them. He should make them feel that they have brothers who are concerned with their problems, and who think about their present and future. He should avoid controversial issues as much as he can, and should care about the time of the congregation.

    Fifth: Those who are Excused for not Performing it:

        Those who are excused for not performing it are women, boys, travelers, and sick people who experience hardship in attending it. People are also excused on muddy and rainy days which wet clothes, on days of strong wind, excessive heat and cold. Also excused are people with chronic diseases, a blind person who has no one to lead him, a person attending a patient who may die if he leaves him, since the right of a Muslim has more precedence over performing the Friday prayer. Also excused is a person who is in the presence of food which he needs, a naked person, a person who fears harm from an unjust person to himself or his money, a person who is so far away from where it is performed that if he attended it, he would suffer. Not included in the people excused are students seeking knowledge in these lands even if they had classes to attend since the Friday prayer is a worship that is performed once a week and so has to be attended. A student has to do his best in order to perform it on time.

        Scholars are unanimously agreed that a person who misses the Friday prayer has to perform the noon prayer. The majority of scholars are agreed that if people with excuse prayed before the 'Imâm performed his prayer, it would be permissible for them to do so, and would have performed the noon prayer in congregation.

     The Fifth Issue: The Funeral and Some of its Rulings:

         First: The ruling Concerning Washing the Deceased:

        Jurists unanimously agree that washing the deceased is generally incumbent on the people who survive them. In case there is no Muslim who can wash the deceased, may a non-Muslim wash a Muslim dead person?

        The majority of scholars hold that it is permissible for a non-Muslim wife to wash her Muslim husband, and that a Muslim husband may wash his non-Muslim wife. Muslims do not have to do the washing again. This was the opinion of Iraqis, since washing does not need the verbal intent of the person doing the washing.

        I say: There is no prohibition of this. Only if the non-Muslim may see a defect in the Muslim while he is washing him, there is no guarantee  that he may not defame him and inform people of it. In Case a Muslim is available no one should do the washing but him.

     Second: The Ruling Concerning Praying on him:

        Jurists unanimously agree that praying on a Muslim is a sufficiency duty.

        If the Muslim family of a deceased person are prevented from praying on him, it is incumbent on some of them to pray on his grave since it was authentically reported in Al-Bukhârî’s Sahih that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) prayed on a dead person in his grave without taking the body out.

        If they all deliberately neglect praying on him, they are all sinful, in view of the above mentioned consensus.

    Third: Is Burial in a Coffin Valid?

        Scholars unanimously agree that burial in a coffin is disliked and should not be used except when there is no other choice. They based this ruling on the fact that no one at the time of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) or the Prophet himself was buried in a coffin, but were buried in the dust. It was not authentically reported that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) licensed it or prevented it.

        Jurists permitted burial in a coffin in case the soil was soft and incohesive or the corpse was tattered by burning, or cut into pieces in a way that cannot be placed properly except in a box.

        They said that the Sunnah was to spread dust in the coffin.

        It follows from this that whoever is forced by the authorities of his country to place his deceased relative in a wood or iron box, he is not a wrongdoer --if Allah wills-- because he has to do it; otherwise he should not do it.

     Fourth: Can a Muslim be Buried in the Graves of Non-Muslims?

        Jurists are agreed that a Muslim should not be buried in the graves of non-Muslims, or a non-Muslim in the graves of Muslims, and if any of them was buried in the grave of the other he has to be taken out unless the corpse had already decayed. This is because disbelievers are tortured in their graves, and a Muslim is harmed by being near them.

        If there are no special graves for Muslims living in some countries, the corpse of a dead Muslim has to be taken to a Muslim country if this was possible financially, was allowed by the authorities of Muslim lands, and there was no fear of the corpse decaying. Otherwise, he may be buried in the graves of non-Muslims provided that a part of them is set aside for Muslims unshared by others. If this was not possible, he may be buried there for necessity. This is the verdict of the Islamic Jurisprudence Complex of the Islamic Conference Organization. A member of the Complex suggested taking into consideration the degrees of disbelief when a Muslim is buried in the graves of non-Muslims, i.e. in case of necessity the graves of Christians are given precedence over those of the Jews, and the latter should be given precedence over the graves of the pagans and atheists, and so on.

         Fifth: Can a Non Muslim be Carried in a Muslim's Funeral?

        No forbiddance came down to us about that. However, it is preferable that this should not be allowed since it is a great grace, unless there was a need for this, building on 'Ash-Shâfi' îs opinion of the permissibility of ritual washing of a Muslim by a non-Muslim.

    Sixth: Praying on the Non-resident Deceased:

        If a close relative or a friend of a Muslim residing in a non-Muslim country dies elsewhere, is it right for him to perform the prayer for the absent accompanied by other Muslims?

        The majority of jurists hold that it is permissible, taking as evidence the prayer of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and Muslims on 'Al-Nagâshî. They said there was no evidence that this was peculiar to the Prophet (p.b.u.h).

        However, the Hanîfites and the Mâlikites are of the opinion that it is not lawful.

        Al-Khattâbî said: Prayer for the absent should not be performed unless he dies in a land where there is no one to pray on him.

        'Al-´Aynî said, "If a Muslim dies in any country and was prayed on, no one else in another country should pray on him. If he knew that he was not prayed on for any reason, the Sunnah is that he should be prayed on; this should not be neglected because of the countries being away from each other. When Muslims pray on him they should direct themselves towards Al-Qiblah [i.e. the Ka'bah in Makkah], not towards the country of the deceased."

        It is my opinion that the saying of the majority of jurists is more preferable, because of the deed of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) which shows that it is lawful. If it were otherwise, the Prophet (p.b.u.h) would have explained it to people.

    Seventh: Some Rulings about the non-Muslim Deceased and How Far they Pertain to Muslims:

        The question of this point is: If a non-Muslim who is a neighbor or relative to a Muslim dies, should the Muslim do ritual bathing to him and shroud him, or is it permissible for him to do so? What is the ruling concerning attending his funeral and condoling his family?

        Jurists unanimously agree that it is unlawful to pray on a non-Muslim or to invoke Allah to forgive him since he is a disbeliever; no intercession is accepted for him, nor is invocation responded to in this case. We have been forbidden to ask forgiveness for him, according to the saying of Allah Almighty, "And do not pray at all over any of them (when) he is dead, nor rise up over his tomb; surely they disbelieve in Allah and His Messenger, and died  when they were immoral."

        What we accept is that if a non-Muslim who is not a relative has no one among his fellows to take care of, Muslims may ritually bathe him, shroud him, and bury him. As for a non-Muslim relative, a Muslim may bathe, shroud, and bury him, whether there is or there is not someone who may do so. This is for the sake for keeping good relations with relatives and caring about the feelings of relatives, since there is nothing which forbids this, especially if he is a non-militant, peaceful person, It came down to us that 'Ali made ritual bathing of his father and buried him with permission of the Prophet (p.b.u.h). As for a non-relative, it is preferable that a Muslim avoids that, unless there is a lawful good, or there is no one among the non-Muslims to do so, and out of respect to him as a human being.

        It came down to us that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) shrouded 'Abdul-Lâh Ibn 'Ubayy Ibn Salûl, the chief of disbelievers and hypocrites, in response to a request by his son 'Abdul-Lâh.
        It was said that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) did this to comfort the heart of the son, and as a sign of honoring him, being a companion of the Prophet's.
        As for following the funeral of a non-Muslim, if he is a relative and there is no one to do this, there is a consensus that a Muslim may do so.
        The Hanbalites said: A Muslim is to ride his beast of burden and to go ahead of the procession.
        It is my opinion that if this is acceptable in Muslim countries ÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜ assuming we take it for granted ÜÜÜÜÜÜÜ it should not be the case in non-Muslim countries where Muslims are few in number and do not have the upper hand, and harm may be inflicted on them.
        Ibn-Taymiyah said, "If a Muslim is in a country in war with Muslims, or in a non-Muslim country not in war with Muslims, it is not incumbent on him to explicitly display being different from them since this may lead to harm inflicted on him. It may even be preferable or incumbent for a person to share with them in their practices if there is a religious benefit such as calling them to religion or other good purposes." In case there is no harm resulting from this, it is a must. [ i.e. to show difference].

        Ibn ‘Abbâs said: He is not to blame if he follows them. If there is a religious benefit in following their funerals there is no doubt about this being permissible, whether the deceased is a relative or an alien. A Muslim should then follow the funeral and walk in front of it or behind it, as he deems proper.

        If the deceased is not a relative, and there is no anticipated religious benefit, or avoiding harm inflicted on himself, money, or children, the Hanîfites and the Shâfi'ites hold that the lawfulness of a Muslim following the funeral of a non-Muslim, while the Mâlikites and the Hanbalites hold the reverse position.

        The family of the non-Muslim deceased may be condoled, according to the majority of the jurists. They recommend that a Muslim says in this case "May Allah greatly reward; you may He grant you comfort".

        For a non-Muslim condoling the family of a Muslim, he should say, "May Allah grant you comfort and pardon your deceased."

        And in the case of a non-Muslim condoling another non-Muslim, he should say, "May Allah make it up for you."

         Eighth: Rising for the Funeral of a Non Muslim:

        As for rising for the funeral of a non-Muslim, it came down to us that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) rose for the funeral of a Jew which passed by until it disappeared. The Prophet's Companions also rose.

        The Companions said: "O Messenger of Allah, it is a Jewish funeral." He said: "Death is panic, so if you see a funeral, rise up." In another report he said, "Is it not a soul.?"

        Some predecessors said that people should rise up when a funeral passes by.

        'Al-Qurtubî said, "The meaning of the saying of the Prophet, "Death is panic" is that man dreads it, in reference to its being a grave matter. The intent of the Tradition is that man should not remain careless after he sees the funeral of a dead person since this may lead to taking death with lack of seriousness. Hence, it is the same if the deceased person is a Muslim or non-Muslim.

        In this there is also calling attention to the fact that this situation may stir the beholder to be worried about it and be attentive towards it.

        A group of scholars hold that rising up is preferable but not incumbent.

        The Mâlikites hold that it is permissible, not incumbent.

        There is another point: If a person known to be a non-Muslim is testified by a fair witness that he became a Muslim before his death, but no one else testified the same, should his testimony be taken and thus allow Muslims, to the exclusion of non-Muslims, to inherit him? And should this testimony be accepted and hence pray on the deceased person?

        An-Nawawî said in Al-Mlâm “There is no difference of opinion that his testimony may not lead to allowing only his Muslim relatives to inherit and deprive his non-Muslim relatives.

        As for praying on him, there are two opinions.

        The Shâfi'ite judge Husayn holds that it is not accepted for praying on him.

        It is my opinion that it rightly came down to us that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to send his Companions so that they may convey his Message concerning creed and other matters.

        Therefore, it is not right to leave a person who was testified by a fair witness to be a Muslim for non-Muslims to perform on him the so-called "burial ceremony" according their religion.

    The Third Major Issue: Fasting

        This includes some questions:

    The First: About Sighting the Crescent and whether we may Rely on Astronomical Calculations:

        Our jurists have conveyed to us the consensus of our predecessors that we cannot rely on astronomical calculations, and the necessity of relying on sighting the crescent as evidence of the commencement of the new lunar month, in view of the saying of the Prophet (p.b.u.h): "Fast when you sight it [i.e. the crescent] and break the fast when you sight it", and his saying, "we are an illiterate nation that does not write or calculate."

        The jurists council of the Islamic Conference Organization issued the following verdict concerning this matter: "We Should rely on sighting the crescent, and make use of astronomical calculations and observatories, in observance of the Prophet's Tradition, "Fast when you sight it' and of scientific facts."

        Ibnu-sh-shakir, a follower, the Mâlikites Al-Qarâfî and Ibn-Ash-shatt, the Shafi'ite As-Subkî, and a group of contemporary scholars hold that astronomical calculations can be relied on in order to prove the appearance of the crescent. They said, "Calculations are decisive; and basing the verdict on the necessity of sighting the crescent on the fact that we are an illiterate nation that does not write and calculate no longer holds, since the verdict is linked with the justification for it in terms of existence or non-existence.

        What I am inclined to concerning relying on calculations is that they should not be endorsed if they are the only evidence, in view of the fact that texts and scientific facts tell us that there are differences in the appearance of the crescent in different places.

        Ash-shaykh Al-Qaradâwî holds that we should still endorse sighting the crescent, but if calculations negate the possibility of sighting, it is incumbent not to accept the testimony of witnesses at all."

        A question poses itself here: May calculations be relied on if they are made by non-Muslims? If non-Muslims came and testified before Muslims that they sighted the crescent, their testimony is not considered, because they are not among those who abide by the verdict, and hence their testimony about calculations cannot be accepted.

        A Necessary Call for Attention:

        When the people in charge for Muslims in a non-Muslim country determine the authority which verifies sighting the moon and announce that they are going to follow this authority, Muslims living in this country are not allowed to go different ways in the sense that some fast according to the sighting of the moon in this country, while others fast according to another country, and so on, while all are living in the same region where you may find in the same country someone who is fasting according to India, and another who has broken the fasting according to Saudi Arabia, for example.

        In this practice there is an implausible difference that is quite obvious, which is a matter that Allah Almighty hates since it is not lawful or logical that Muslims living in the same area should differ as regards the authority they rely on in fasting and breaking the fast as is practiced today, which is a prohibited practice.

        They have to fast according to their own sighting of the moon, or they should follow the sighting of the nearest Islamic country; otherwise, difference and evil would result.

    The Second Question: About the Fasting of People Living in the Polar Areas:

        While we were discussing the prayer of these people, we stated that the preferable practice for them is to follow the timing of the closest moderate country or follow that of Makkah or Al-Madînah. But how can they fast when the sun does not set there before six months, then disappears for six months, and so on?

        The ruling about their fasting is similar to the one about their praying, in the sense that the estimate their day and night following the nearest country where months are distinct and they know the time for commencing the fast and breaking it, and where different times are distinct, and its nights and days are long enough for the fasting and praying which Allah has ordained, in a way that fulfills the wisdom behind the ordinance without hardship or fatigue. Or they should follow Makkah after they endorse the sighting of the closest country, or of an Islamic country which they trust, and whose fasting is in time. No one ever said that fasting is not incumbent on them.

    The Third Question: The Fasting of Those whose Daylight is Very Long:

        It happens in some seasons that daylight is as long as twenty hours or more in some European countries, for example, Germany and Norway. It may happen that Ramadan comes at this time and Muslims often complain of hardship as a result.

        Are they given a license not to fast? Or should they follow the timing of moderate countries at that time?

        This issue was not a subject for discussion in the past, but has been dealt with by contemporary jurists, through whose legal formulations we can state that we have here two different groups:

        The First Group, represented by the Office of Legal Pronouncements (Dâr Al-Iftâ’) made it permissible for Muslims in Norway, and others under similar circumstances, to fast a number of hours equal to that observed in Makkah and Al-Madînah in view of the length of their daytime and the shortness of their nights. Or they may fast an equal number of hours to the nearest temperate countries. Their fast should begin from dawn, and they break fast at the same time as those neighboring countries as regards the number of hours, paying no attention to sunset.

        Shaykh Shaltût says, “Fasting twenty-three hours out of twenty-four hours is an overburden rejected by the rationale behind the ordinance of The Wisest of The Wise, as well as by the mercy of The Ever-Merciful.”

        The Second Group is represented by the Committee for Legal Pronouncements in Saudi Arabia, and also by Shaykh Hasanayn Makhlûf. Here the Permanent Committee for Legal Pronouncements stated that: “ when daytime and night become distinct anywhere, it is the duty of the legally capable inhabitants to fast in Ramadân, and refrain from anything that breaks the fast from dawn to sunset regardless of the length of day-time.”

        Shaykh Hasanayn Makhlûf said, “Fasting is incumbent on the inhabitants of the countries in which the sun rises and sets daily, even in case the daytime amounts to twenty hours, unless it would lead to harming the fasting person, or causing death or severe illness to him. In this case, he is allowed not to fast. Deciding to fast or not to fast should not be based on thinking or guessing, but should be based on concrete evidence such as symptoms, past experience, or warning by a skillful physician that fasting would lead to perishing, severe illness, aggravating illness, or slowing down recovery. However, this differs from person to person, since every person has his own abilities. Yet, any person who did not fast for these reasons must fast a similar number of days when those reasons are over.”

        The preponderant opinion, in my view, is the other group's opinion, since it conforms to the texts that make fasting indiscriminately incumbent once the month (of Ramadân) has started, and the night is distinguished from daytime, since Allah said, “So, whosoever of you is present at the month, then he should fast it.” (Al-Baqarah: 185)

        This denotes unequivocal incumbency of fasting on any person who witnesses the month while in sound health. Allah also said, “And eat and drink until the white thread becomes evident to you from the black thread at dawn; thereafter, complete the fast to the night.” (Al-Baqarah: 187)

        Night and daytime are distinguishable to those people, and the white thread becomes evident to them from the black one at dawn, that is, the light of the morning from the darkness of the night.

        It is noticeable that these verses are general in denotation, and address every Muslim without distinguishing one country from another, or a long daytime from a short one.

        The Prophet (p.b.u.h) also said, “When night falls from this side, and the day vanishes from this side, and the sun sets, then the fasting person should break his fast.” The daytime and night are distinguishable to those people every twenty-four hours, so, they must abide by this ruling.



Business Transactions


        Islam is a religion that deals with all aspects of life through its legislation. So, it has clearly set the relationship between man and his Creator and between the community members with one another as individuals and groups.
         As man cannot put up with seclusion, and cannot manage his worldly affairs but through exchanging benefits with other people, the ordinance laid down rules that control the dealings between people, and base them on the principles of “right” and “justice” without causing them any restriction or distress.
    The First Issue: Texts that Define Business Transactions with Non-Muslims
        Business transactions mean the Sharî'ah legislative rules relating to worldly affairs that manipulate and maintain them, such as selling, buying, renting, letting, etc.
        There are texts and rules that allow dealing with non-Muslims. The Qur'ân says, “ And of the population of the Book is he who, in case you put in his custody a hundred weight (i.e. cantar), will pay it back to you; and of them is he who, if you put in his custody one dînâr, will not pay it back to you, except as long as you are upright over him. That (is) because they said, 'There is no way over us as to the common folk'. And they speak lies against Allah, and they know (that).” ('Ali-'Imrân: 75)
        'Aishah (m.A.b.s.w.h.) reported that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) bought food on credit from a Jew and gave him his armor as a mortgage. It has been proven also that he bought a commodity from a Jew for a deferred payment.
        Also 'Abdur-Rahmân Ibn `Abî Bakr (m.A.b.s.w.h.) said, “We were with the Prophet (p.b.u.h), and a non-Muslim man came with some sheep, and the Prophet (p.b.u.h) bought one from him.” Also, the Prophet's Companion 'Abdur-Rahmân Ibn ‘Awf (m.A.b.s.w.h.) said, “I concluded an agreement with Umayyah Ibn Khalaf that he looks after my family and riches in Makkah, and I look after his family and riches in Al-Madînah.”
        Also, “Muslims are unanimous on that the dealings with non-Muslims in lawful commodities is permitted.”
        Among the scholars' sayings in this respect:
        “Therefore, the Muslim has been competent to deal with non-Muslims in matters other than worship, because he is capable of doing them. This is because the ultimate goals of such dealings is worldly interests, in which they surpass Muslims, since they have preferred this life to the Hereafter.”
        Ibn Bitâl said, “It is permissible to deal with non-Muslims, except for selling them that which makes them overpower Muslims.”
        Ibn Hajar also said, “ It is permissible to deal with non-Muslims, except in matters prohibited by ordinance, regardless of their creed and their dealings with one another.”

        So, the Verses, Hadîths, and scholars' sayings, in general, prove the permissibility of dealing with People of the Book and infidels.

    The Second Issue: Questions Relating to Business Transactions

    The First Question: The Ruling on Usurious Dealings in Non-Muslim Countries

        Scholars agreed that usury is prohibited, be it little or much, in Muslim or non-Muslim countries, among Muslims, or  between Muslims and non-Muslims. This is the opinion of Mâlik, Ash-Shâfi´î, 'Ahmad, Al-Awzâ’´î, Abu-Yûsuf, and others, and the preponderant opinion of the Hanbalites.

        Their evidence is:

        1- texts ordaining the prohibition of usury, which have not confined the prohibition to a place or time, but made it general and absolute. Among them is Allah's saying: “And Allah made selling lawful, and has prohibited usury.” (Al-Baqarah: 275), and “And leave behind what remains of usury in case you be believers.” (Al-Baqarah: 278). And among them is the Prophet's saying, “Keep away from the seven destructive (deeds), among which he mentioned usury.

    All these texts indicate that usury is prohibited in general, without giving details or making restrictions.

        2- what is prohibited in Muslim countries is prohibited in non-Muslim countries, such as usury among Muslims and all other wrongdoing.

        3- by analogy to non-Muslims who lawfully enter our country, since scholars have agreed that usurious dealings with them are prohibited. Similarly, if a Muslim entered a non-Muslim country, the same rule applies.

        Ash-Shâfi´î said, “Living in a non-Muslim country does not exempt any Muslim from performing any duty, be it praying or fasting.” and said, “What is prohibited in Muslim countries is prohibited in non-Muslim countries.”
        Ash-Shawkânî also said, “Rulings are incumbent on Muslims wherever they are, and being in a non-Muslim country does not nullify the Sharî'ah rulings.”
   The Second Question: May a Muslim be Hired by a Non-Muslim to do What We deem Unlawful?
       The example of this question is that a Muslim gets hired by a non-Muslim for building a place of worship for associators, or for carrying a forbidden thing such as wine, dead meat, swine, or for selling it, or work for him in usurious dealings, or in factories that produce forbidden products.
        Scholars maintain that it is forbidden for a Muslim to work for a non-Muslim in such domains. Al-Imâm Mâlik was asked about a Muslim who gets hired by a non-Muslim for carrying wine for him; he said that this is forbidden, and the Muslim is not entitled to get a wage for such work. Al-Imâm 'Ahmad reports the latter point. In his book Al-Mudawwanah, Ibn Al-Qâsim said about a Muslim who takes care of a non-Muslim's pigs, that the wage should be taken from the non-Muslim to discipline him and be given to the poor, and the Muslim should not be given the wage, but should be disciplined by beating for doing such work.
        'Imâm 'Ahmad was asked: Is it allowed for a Muslim to build a Fireplace for Magians? He said: No. Al-'Amidî is of the same opinion. But Ash-Shâfi´î disliked it. Similar to this is building a church or any other place of worship for non-Muslims.
        Working in usurious dealings is prohibited, pursuing the Hadîth related by Jâbir:“Allah's Messenger cursed the eater of usury, the one who helps eating it, and the writer and witnesses of its contract”, and said, “ They are all alike”.
        An-Nawawî said, “This denotes explicitly that writing and witnessing a contract of usury is prohibited”. The Hadîth also denotes prohibiting helping people in wrongdoing whatever it might be.
        The denotation is general and absolute, making no distinction between Muslim and non-Muslim countries.
        For all of this presentation, we conclude that it is prohibited to Muslims to build a place of infidelity for non-Muslims, or sell, on their behalf, wine, pigs, or any other prohibited commodity.
        But in case one had to do it, it would be permitted, but within the limits of the rule that “necessities vary as to peoples' capacities and situations”. So, one should not exceed the limits, but should be satisfied with the minimum needs, and do his best to get out of this situation.
        The Juristic Committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference issued the legal pronouncement that working in restaurants that offer wine and swine, without necessity, or designing places of worship for non-Muslims, or contributing to them, is prohibited.
        However, it is allowed to work in such restaurants in case of necessity, provided that the Muslim does not cater for wine, carry it, make it, or trade in it by himself. The same applies to catering for swine and other prohibited items.

        So, a Muslim is allowed to be hired by a non-Muslim under conditions, among which are:

        1- the work should be lawful;

        2- it should not help him inflict harm on Muslims;

        3- and it should not be shameful or humiliating.

     The Third Question: The Rulings for Taking Loans and Borrowing from Them.

     First: Taking Loans From Them.
        Al-Bukhârî and others reported that Jâbir Ibn 'Abdullah’s father when died he was indebted to a Jew for about 4500k.g. So, Jâbir asked the Jew to give him some time to repay the debt, but the Jew refused. So, Jâbir asked Allah's Messenger to ask the Jew to give him some time .
        So, the fact that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) has not forbidden taking loans from non-Muslims indicates that it is allowed to take loans from them.
        ( But it should be pointed out that in case taking loans from them, or imploring them it is forbidden). This is because “what leads to a prohibited thing is prohibited itself”. Likewise, it is forbidden to include a forbidden condition in the contract.
     Second: Trusting and Depositing Money with Them.
        This is established by Allah's saying: “And of the population of the book is he who, in case you put in his custody a hundred weight (a cantar), will pay it back to you, and of them is he who, in case you put in his custody one dinar, will not pay it back to you. except as long as you are upright over him. That (is) because they said 'There is no way over us as to the common folk. And they speak lies against Allah, and they know (that)”.('Ali-´Imrân: 75)
        Ash-Shawkânî said that the meaning of this verse is that the people of the Book include honest people who pay back what they were given as a deposit, whatever much it may be, and dishonest people who do not pay back the deposits they were given whatever little it may be. An honest person as regards much is all the more so as regards little, and a dishonest person as regards little is all the more as regards much.
        In his talk about the Prophet (p.b.u.h) hiring a non-Muslim from Banî-Ad-Dayl to guide him on the day of Hijrah (migration), Barduddîn Al-‘Aynî said, “This implies entrusting non-Muslims with secrets and money, in case they were known for honesty and honor, as did the Prophet (p.b.u.h) when he hired this associator.”
        It is axiomatic in the Sharî´ah manners that “in case a Muslim needed to entrust a non-Muslim, he is allowed to do so.”
     Third: Borrowing from Them
        Borrowing means to give something to somebody to benefit from it, provided that he returns the very thing to you. 'Abû Dâwûd and others reported that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) borrowed an armor from Safwân on the day of the battle of Hunayn, so, Safwân asked: Are you taking it by force, Muhammad? He replied: No, it is a guaranteed deposit”
        This incident indicates that it is allowed to borrow from non-Muslims, since it is a contract, and Islam is not a condition for the validity of contracts, and transactions are generally allowed, except for cases, that are prohibited by evidence, which is lacking in this case. Such dealings do not involve supremacy of non-Muslims over Muslims, but they are like selling and buying, etc.





      The First Issue: The Ruling for Marrying a non-Muslim Woman in a non-Muslim Country

        Allah Almighty has allowed Muslims to marry chaste women of the people of the Book, whether they were in a Muslim or non-Muslim country.

        Ibn Al-Mundhir said, “ It has not been authentically reported that any scholar has prohibited that.” Yet, it has been reported the ‘Umar said, “A Muslim can marry a Christian woman, but a Christian man cannot marry a Muslim woman.” This report is more authentic than that which reports that he forbade marrying Christian women.

        The Verse that allows Muslim men to marry chaste non-Muslim women of the people of the Book is: “Today the good things are made lawful for you, and the food of the ones to whom the Book was brought is lawful to you, and your food is made lawful to them. And (so) are believing women in wedlock and in wedlock women of (the ones) to whom the Book was brought even before you.” (Al-Mâ’idah: 5)

        At-Tabarî said, “The most appropriate opinion regarding what is meant by “women” in the Verse is “free women”, i.e. not slave women. So, it is allowed to Muslims to marry free non-Muslim women, whether they had committed sins or not.

        However, another group maintained that the Verse means “chaste women”. I agree with this opinion for several reasons:

    First: Allah has permitted those who are unable to find ample means for marriage to marry slave, chaste women. As He said, “And whosoever of you is unable to (provide) ample (means) for marrying believing women, then (let them take) from the believing handmaids that your right hands possess.” Then Allah Almighty has confined those believing women by saying, “ as (women) in wedlock, other than in fornication or taking mates to themselves.” (An-Nisâ': 25)

        So, the Verse means chaste women, not whores.

    Second: Allah Almighty rebuked those who marry adulteresses by saying: “And the adulteress none shall marry her except an adulterer or an associator, and that is prohibited for the believers.” (An-Nûr: 3)

        Moreover, a group of scholars maintain that it is prohibited to marry an adulteress, even if she were a Muslim, before she declares repentance, so what if she were non-Muslim?

    Third: It has been authentically reported that Hudhayfah married a Jewish woman, so ‘Umar wrote to him to divorce her. He replied, “If it is prohibited to me to marry her, I will divorce her.” ‘Umar wrote back to him “I do not claim that it is prohibited, but I fear that you may marry the whores of them.”

        Fourth: Allah Almighty has stated good food and women in the aforementioned Verse, and the adulteress is wicked according to the Qur’ânic words.

        So, we can say that although scholars are unanimous on the permissibility of marrying non-Muslim women of the people of the Book, they are also unanimous on that marrying a Muslim woman is much more preferable to marrying a non-Muslim woman, for the sake of attaining full harmony, as they have the same religion, thought, and way of life in common. Thus, she helps him to obey his Lord, reminds him of his religious duties in case he forgets, encourages him when he falls behind, urges him to fear Allah when he is about to commit a sin, and be his best companion in bringing up a new generation. So, she completes and embellishes what he starts, and makes him feel reposed as to his house and family whenever he is away from home.

        As to the preferability of marrying Muslim women, Allah says, “And indeed, a believing maid is more charitable than a female associator, though you may admire her.” (Al-Baqarah: 221) He also says, “And the men believers and the women believers are patrons one of the other.” (At-Tawbah:71) And the Prophet (p.b.u.h) says, “You should marry a religious woman; otherwise, you will be a loser.”

        It is hardly possible to find a committed non-Muslim woman who can deeply feel the meaning of the Prophet's saying, “ A woman is the guardian of her husband's home and of his children and is responsible for them.”

        A “guardian” means a righteous person who is committed to keeping safe whatever he was entrusted with. So, can a non-Muslim woman, even if she were honest, achieve what she is supposed to do in the light of the Islamic Sharî'ah?

        Therefore, many scholars admonished not to marry non-Muslim women in order that men may not turn their back to Muslim women or for other reasons.

        This opinion is based on difference of religion, for what it leads to of thwarting the children's religion and manners, performing her religious rites in front of her children, drinking wine, and eating swine, then feeding her children of her milk, let alone the resulting unfair situation of the Muslim women in non-Muslim countries.

        So, if marrying a non-Muslim woman in our countries cannot be clear of harm, it is certainly more harmful in non-Muslim countries.

        What aggravates the situation in non-Muslim countries is that the father is busy working all day, and leaves his children alone with the non-Muslim mother, who educates and looks after them. So, what should we expect of such offspring?

    The Second Issue: The Rules for Intending an Interim Marriage without Stating it Explicitly

        The situation is that a man who stays temporarily in an alien country wants to keep himself away from sexual temptation, so, he married a woman, intending to live with her for a certain stretch of time without telling her explicitly. What is the ruling for such marriage?

        In his Explanation of Al-Muwatta’, Az-Zurqânî said, “The scholars are unanimous that he who marries a woman in absolute terms, though he intends to live with her only for a certain period, his marriage is legal and not considered a temporary marriage.” However, Al-`Awzâ´î said, “It is temporary marriage, and there is no good in it.” ‘Iyad is also of the same opinion.

        It is also mentioned in Al-Mughnî , :In case he unconditionally marries her, but he intends to divorce her after a month, or after finishing his mission in that country, his marriage is legal pursuing the opinion of the majority of scholars, regardless of his intention.”

        On the other hand, the Mâlikites and the Shâfi'ites dislike it. Mâlik said, “There is neither honor nor good manners in it.” I say: This reprehensibility is ascertained by the consequences of the contract, i.e., cheating the woman who trusted the man, and deceiving her, whereas our Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “He who cheats us does not belong to us.” Sufyân Ibn ‘Uyaynah disliked interpreting this Hadîth, and used to say, “I refrain from interpreting it so that it may be more effective and more restraining.”

    The Second Point: The Ruling concerning Greeting Non-Muslims and Returning their Greeting:

    First: The Ruling For Greeting

        A group of past scholars were of the opinion that it is permissible to great non-Muslims, including people of the Book and those who associate others with Allah. Ibn Mas'ûd practiced it and said that it was the right of companionship. But 'Umâmah never passed by a Muslim or non-Muslim without greeting him. He was queried about that, and he said, "We were ordered to propagate greeting".' Abu Ad-Dardâ' used to do the same.

        Ibn 'Abbâs sent a message to a man of the people of the Book, which he started with "Peace be upon you."

"'Umar Ibn 'Abdil- Al-Azîz used to say, "There is nothing wrong in taking the initiative of greeting them."
        However, another group of scholars were of the opinion of preventing greeting non-Muslims, taking as evidence the saying of the Prophet (p.b.u.h): "Do not start Jews and Christians with greeting."
        They said that the Hadith contained evidence for prohibiting a Muslim starting greeting Jews and Christians, because this is the principle of prohibition. This is the opinion of the mainstream of scholars.
      Ibn Hajar said, "What is more weighty than all these sayings is what the Hadith denotes; however, it is peculiar to the people of the Book.
        My opinion is that forbidding starting People of the Book with greeting is justified by the fact that they answer with "as-sâmy 'alaykum", i.e. death be upon you.
        This justification is taken from what Al-Bukhârî quoted 'Aishah (m.A.b.s.w.h) as saying that a group of Jews came to the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and said "as-sâmu 'alayk." Hence he (p.b.u.h) said, "If the people of the Scripture greet you, then you should say (in reply), 'wa 'alaykum' (i.e. 'and on you')." In another report: 'they usually say, 'as-salâmu 'alaykum’.
        Based on this, if people of the Scripture change their manner of returning greeting and their wicked words, there is no objection to greet them, since a ruling is dependent on the justification for it in terms of existence and non-existence.
        The Prophet (p.b.u.h) forbade us from this so that in return for greeting we may not get an invocation of death to befall us. If this is no longer the case, I maintain that there is no justification for the forbiddance.

        This is what a group of 'imâms understood. Al-‘Awzâ`î was queried about a Muslim who passed by a non-Muslim and greeted him. He said: If you greeted, the righteous did the same; and if you did not they also did likewise.

        All the preceding differences in opinion apply only when our greeting to them is "as-salâmu 'alaykum." If it is in another form such as "good morning", "good evening", "hello", and the like, I hold that the prevention does not apply. This was also the opinion of As-Suddi, Muqâtil, 'Ahmad, and others.

    Second: The Ruling concerning Returning Greeting

        Scholars are agreed that returning the greeting of people of Scripture should be with, "and on you" in view of the saying of the Prophet (p.b.u.h), "If the people of the Scripture greet you, then you should say (in reply), 'wa 'alaykum' (i.e. and on you)."

        But may more be said in reply?
        A group of past scholars maintained that it is permissible to reply to non-Muslims with "and peace be upon you" in the same way a Muslim is replied to. This is the opinion of Ibn 'Abbâs, Al-Asha'rî, Ash-Sha`bî, Qatadah, and was reported by Al-Mawârdî as one opinion of Shafiites. However, it is not said. "and mercy of Allah (be upon you)". It was also that this was permissible, in which case "mercy" means "guidance".
        The mainstream of scholars maintain that it is prevented to reply with "and peace be upon you". They did not offer any evidence for their opinion except the abovementioned hadith.
        It is my opinion that this prevention is dependent on a reason, which , if it no longer exists, there is no harm in replying with "and peace be upon you".
        Hence, the more weighty opinion is replying in full, in the form that is proper for returning the greeting.
        Ibn Al-Qayyim said, "In case the person is sure that the non-Muslim said to him, "Peace be upon you", legal evidence and rules of Islamic rules require him to answer him, "and peace be upon you", which is being fair and charitable. Allah, Exalted be He, said, "And when you are greeted with a greeting, then greet a fairer one than it, or return it." (An-Nisâ': 86)
    The Third Point: The Ruling concerning Rising for them
        A group of scholars maintained that it is permissible even for no sought good. This is because it is benignity and charity to the non-Muslim, which we were not forbidden from.

        As for rising for the non-Muslim because of his religion and disbelief, it is unanimously prohibited. In case it is the custom and mutual treatment, there is no harm in this. The matter is up to the Muslim living in non-Muslim countries since he is more knowledgeable of the customs of those communities.

    The Fourth Point: The Ruling concerning Shaking Hands with Them and Embracing them:

        A Group of 'imâms maintained that it is reprehensible to shake hands with non-Muslims. These 'imâms include An-Nakhi'î, Ahmad, and 'Abû Yusuf.

        An-Nakh'î said, "They disliked to shake hands with the Jews", meaning our righteous ancestors.

        Others, foremost among whom are Ath-Thawrî, 'Abdur-Râziq, and As-San'ânî, maintained that there was nothing wrong with a Muslim shaking hand with a Jew or a Christian.

        This is the more weighty opinion, which is ascertained by the Saying of Allah, Exalted be He: "Allah does not forbid you, (as regards) the ones who have not fought you on account of the religion, and have not driven you out of your homes that you should be benign to them, and be equitable towards them; surely Allah loves the equitable ones ." (Al-Mumtahanah:8)

        As for embracing them, I am not aware of anyone who permitted or forbade it. However, I am inclined to say that it is reprehended since it is an expression of utter satisfaction, and excessive love, which are feelings that should not be shown to a non-Muslim, unless he is a father, a son, a grandfather, or the like, in which case there is no harm, provided that this is done only on occasions.

        As regards kissing them, the Hanbalites held it to be reprehensible, an opinion which I subscribe to, because of the same reason for reprehending embracing them. However, in case kissing takes place, this will not be sinful due to the non-existence of a text preventing it, provided that it does not lead to amity and satisfaction, which may lead to preventing loyalty.

    The Fifth Point: The Ruling concerning Congratulating them

        Regarding congratulations are on common matters such as marriage, a newborn baby, home-coming, or healing, I am not aware of anyone who was explicit as regards forbidding it except a quote from 'Ahmad. However, since visiting them in sickness is permissible (which will be dealt with later), it is permissible to congratulate them. Ibn Al-Qayyim said, "But he should be wary of using words which denote satisfaction with his religion, such as may Allah honor you' or the like. However, if the congratulation pertains to the rites of disbelief peculiar to him, it is unanimously prohibited, as when he congratulates them on their feasts and fasting by saying, 'blessed feast'".

    The Sixth Point: The Ruling concerning Attending their Feasts and Participating with them in these Feasts

        A Muslim is not permitted to partake with non-Muslims in their feasts, helping them as regards these feasts, or attending with them. This is unanimously agreed on by scholars since non-Muslims are people of maleficence, and in case the people of beneficence mingle with people of maleficence without showing them they are doing maleficence, they will appear as if they were satisfied with it and having preference of it, and as a result the wrath of Allah may be feared to befall their group and consequently may befall everyone.

        Al-Bayhaqî authentically quoted 'Umar (m.A.b.s.w.h) as saying, "Do not enter upon those who associate partners with Allah in their churches on the day of their feast, since curse befalls them."

        Al-Bukhârî quoted him as saying: "Avoid the enemies of Allah on the day of their feast."

        Al-Bayhaqî aquoted 'Abdullâhi Ibn 'Amr as saying: "Whoever in the lands of non-Arabs celebrates their nayrouz feast and their festival, and imitates them until he died like this, he will be resurrected with them."

        Hence scholars have unanimously agreed that it is unlawful to sell them anything pertaining to their religion, or to give them gifts on the days of their feasts.

        It is my opinion that if a Muslim fears that not congratulating them may result in unbearable harm, he is permitted to apparently compliment them while disapproving of it by his heart.

    The Seventh Point: The Ruling concerning Visiting their Patients:

        The principle in this is Al-Bukhârî and others reporting that the Prophet  (p.b.u.h) had a Jewish boy who served him, and when the boy fell sick the Prophet went to visit him. (Cf. the Hadith in the Book of Patients.)

        Ibn Hajar said, "The Hadîth indicates the permissibility of visiting a non-Muslim when he falls sick."

        Al-Mawârdî said, "Visiting a patient of the people of the Scripture is permissible. Closeness is determined by the kind of relationship associated with it such as being neighbors or relatives." To this I add being friends.

        The Prophet (p.b.u.h) visited his uncle 'Abu Tâlib in his death bangs, and made to him an offer of embracing Islam. All this shows the permissibility of calling on non-Muslim patients, because it is a kind of benign it, and a good feature of Islam that does not cause any harm.

        Al-`Imâm 'Ahmad was once queried about visiting non-Muslim patients, so he said, "Did the Prophet (p.b.u.h) not call on a Jew and invite him to Islam?"

        A group of scholars are of the opinion that visiting non-Muslim patients is permissible provided that they will be invited to Islam; otherwise it is not permissible.

        Ibn Bitâl said, "Visiting him is lawful if he is likely to respond to embracing Islam; otherwise it is not lawful."

        It seems to me that the situation may differ according to intentions; visiting him may result in another benefit.

    The Eighth Point: The Ruling concerning Following their Funerals and Condoling them

      First: The Ruling concerning Following their Funerals:

        This has already been discussed under funerals, and you are kindly referred to it.

    Second: The Ruling concerning Condoling them

        The mainstream of scholars are of the opinion that it is permissible for a Muslim to condole a non-Muslim. Ath-Thawrî used to say: A Muslim may condole a non-Muslim by saying to him, "To Allah is Power and Greatness". Al-Hasan used to say: If you condole a non-Muslim then say: "May nothing befall you except what is good". Abû 'Abdil-Lâhi Ibn Bitâl used to say: In condoling a non-Muslim it is said: May Allah reward you for your affliction with the best of what He gave to the followers of your religion."

        The right thing for me is that the Muslim chooses from among invocations that which he considers proper and which does not include supplication for the deceased or power for the living.

        There is a saying of Shafi'ites and a report by 'Ahmad to the effect of forbidding consoling the non-Muslim unless it is hoped that he embraces Islam.

        I find no evidence for this prevention. If visiting their patients is permissible and is considered benign it and a merit of Islam, consoling them is given precedence, whether we intend by that the people or some of them become Muslim or not. Allah, Exalted be He says, "Allah does not forbid you, (as regards) the ones who have not fought you on account of the religion, and have not driven you out of your homes that you should be benign to them, and be equitable ones." (Al-Mumtahanah:8)

     The Ninth Point: The Ruling concerning Visiting Them as a Matter of Courtesy

        Visits between Muslim and non-Muslim families are often a matter of courtesy, for a benefit, or returning a visit. All this is not prevented, especially if it is a visit in appearance, but a call to Islam in essence. Here its permissibility is ascertained, and deepening the relation is required in order to achieve this noble aim if they have honorable aims.

        However, if visits are merely a matter of courtesy, I hold that they are not reprehensible unless they exceed their natural bounds, and went beyond reasonable limits. This is because there must be psychological and sentimental barriers in the soul of a believer towards those who are different from him, and hence does not interrelate with them in a way that leads to amity, love, and satisfaction, which are prevented.

        The evidence for the permissibility of visiting non-Muslims is the Saying of Allah, Exalted be He: "Allah does not forbid you, (as regards) the ones who have not fought you on account of the religion, and have not driven you out of your homes that you should be benign to them, and be equitable ones." (Al-Mumtahanah:8)

    The Tenth Point: The Ruling concerning Nicknaming them

        The principle in this is what Al-Bukhârî reported that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) mentioned 'Abdullâh Ibn 'Abî Salûl, the chief of hypocrites with his nickname, namely 'Abu Hubâb.

        Al-'Aynî said: This usage by the Prophet  (p.b.u.h) was not intended for honoring, but may be because he was famous for this name.

        Ath-Thawrî reported that 'Umar nicknamed Al-Farafisah, who was a Christian, as Abû Hassan. And 'Ahmad addressed a Christian physician as 'Abû 'Ishâq.

        All this is evidence that it is permissible to nickname a non-Muslim with no more that his nickname such as giving him a nickname that makes him feel powerful, which is reprehensible.

    The Eleventh Point: The Ruling concerning Accepting their Gifts and Giving them Presents
        The principle in this is what Al-Bukhârî and others reported that the Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to accept gifts and reward for them. He accepted a gift of a white mule from the King of 'Iiylah, and the Prophet (p.b.u.h) gave him a garment. The King of Dawmah gave the Prophet (p.b.u.h) a gift of a sarcenet garment, and Al-Muqawqis gave him a maid as a gift.
        However, there are some scholars who reprehended accepting gifts from non-Muslims.
        If a non-Muslim gives a gift to a Muslim there is nothing wrong in accepting it, and he has to reward him for it as much as he can, so that the non-Muslim may not have a favor over the Muslim.

        About the Badr captives the Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Had Al-Mut'am Ibn 'Adiyy been alive and pleaded for those rotten people I would have left them for him." It was said as a reward for his effort in ending the boycott against Muslims, and it was also said for protecting the Prophet (p.b.u.h) on the day of his return from At-Tâ'if.

        From this we come to the conclusion that it is permissible to accept gifts from non-Muslims and reward for them, as the Prophet (p.b.u.h) did, and that there is nothing wrong with accepting gifts from them on the day of their feast, and that what is unanimously prevented is to offer them gifts on that day as we have already stated.

        As for accepting a gift from someone whose money is predominately unlawfully earned, this was permitted by Az-Zahrî and Makhûl because the Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to deal with people of the Scripture and accept their gifts although he was aware that they did not avoid unlawful earnings. However, a group of scholars absolutely reprehend acceptance.

        In case the person receiving the gift knows for sure that the gift is from unlawful money, it is unanimously agreed that it is prohibited to accept it.

     The Twelfth Point: A Muslim Woman's Nakedness in the Presence of a non-Muslim Woman

        The principle governing this is the saying of Allah, Exalted be He: "(...) and not displaying their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their brethren, or their brethren's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women (...)" (An-Nûr: 31)

        The mainstream of scholars is of the opinion that what is meant by the saying of Allah, Exalted be He, "or their women" is believing women who are entrusted with companionship and service, as if He said: or their kind (of women).

         It follows from this that a woman believer cannot show some of her adornment in the presence of a non-Muslim woman so that she may describe her to her husband since nothing stops a non-Muslim woman from such description, unlike a Muslim woman. They said that a non-Muslim woman is not one of our women and is alien to us in religion. This is the opinion of 'Umar, Ibn 'Abbâs, Mujâhid, Makhûl, Ibn Jurayh, and others.

        What the Shafi'ites endorse is that a Muslim woman can show in the presence of a non-Muslim only that which is usually shown such as the head, neck, hands to the wrists, and legs to the knees. This is also the opinion of the Hanbalites.

        They took the following as evidence:

        1- It was proven that non-Muslim women used to enter on the Mothers of Believers. They did not veil themselves on those occasions nor were they ordered to do so.

        2- What 'Atâ' reported about the Companions of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) when they arrived in Baytul-Maqdis. The midwives for their wives were Jewish and Christian women.

        3- That veiling is incumbent only by means of a text or analogy, neither of which exists.

        Al-'Alûsî said, "This saying is more appropriate to people today since it is hardly possible for Muslim women to keep themselves away from non-Muslim women.

        As for the Saying of Allah, Exalted be He, "or their women", it is likely that it means all women, and hence the saying of our predecessors is taken as a matter of preference. This is the more weighty opinion, Allah willing, because of the authenticity and weight of the evidence.

    The Thirteenth Point: The Nakedness of a Muslim Woman in the Presence of her Non-Muslim Relatives

        A non-Muslim male relative may be a relative whom it is unlawful to marry or a relative whom it is lawful to marry. If he belongs to the first group such as her brother, father, grandfather, uncle, or the like, she can show her adornment in his presence despite their being non-Muslims, in view of the Saying of Allah, Exalted be He: "(...) and not displaying their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their brethren, or their brethren's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women (...)" (An-Nûr: 31). This applies only if they are not debauch people, who do not distinguish between someone who is lawful to them and another who is not.

        Likewise a Muslim man may look at the adornment of non-Muslim women who are considered unlawful to him to marry by sanguinity, in view of the generality of the verse mentioned above, and of the sameness of feelings of men towards their prohibited women regardless of their being Muslims or non-Muslims.

        However, if the relative is an alien man, it is prohibited for her to show any of her adornment in front of him, in view of the generality of the evidence.

    The Fourteenth Point: The Ruling concerning Possessing Dogs

        It is quite evident for anyone who visited non-Muslim countries, especially western countries that dogs abound there, in all shapes, colors, and kinds. Because of their excessive fondness of this kind of animals they established societies, that take care of them, defend their rights, and secure complete care for them. You can hardly find a house where no dog or cat lives.

        What then is the ruling concerning possessing a dog?

        The principle governing this is what Al-Bukhârî and others reported the Prophet (p.b.u.h) as saying: "Whoever gets hold of a dog, his deeds are reduced by one qîrât everyday, [a qîrât being a quantity known to Allah], except a dog (guarding) sheep, for plowing, or for hunting." According to Muslim: " his deeds are reduced by two qîrâts". The Hadith denotes the impermissibility of possessing dogs for purposes other than guarding cattle, planting, or hunting, unless it bites or causes rabies, since scholars are unanimously agreed on killing these two kinds of dogs, and also on the opinion that possessing a dog out of admiration of its shape or for showing off, this is prohibited without any difference in opinion.

        Ibn 'Abd Al-Barr maintained that the saying of the Prophet (p.b.u.h): "his deeds are reduced" means the reward for his deeds, which denotes that possessing it is not prohibited, since what it is prohibited to possess is absolutely prohibited, whether the reward is reduced or not. This indicates that possessing it is reprehensible, not forbidden.

        It is my opinion that this opinion is unanimously refuted.

        Ibn Hajar said, "What Ibn 'Abd Al-Barr claimed about the non-prohibition is not necessarily the case, but it is possible that the punishment results from misguidance in deeds with the amount of a qîrât, compared with what he would do of good deeds without possessing the dog, and hence is likely to be prohibited.

        What is meant by reduction, or the sin resulting from possessing a dog, equivalent to a qîrât or two qîrâts of his reward is that the reward for a deed of a possessor of a dog is reduced proportionate to the sin for possessing it, i.e. a qîrât or two qîrâts.

        It is my opinion that this explanation indicates the prohibition of possessing a dog for reasons other than those mentioned by the Hadîth, and does not indicate that it is only reprehensible.

        As for the reason for reducing the reward, it was said that it is because angels abstain from entering his house, or because of the harm inflicted on passers-by, or because of possessing that which he was prevented from possessing, or because they often eat impure things, or because some of them are devils, or because they eat from food containers when its master is unaware, and consequently may cause impurity to pure food, which may be used on the assumption that it is pure while it is not, or because of their bad smell.

        It is my opinion that the closest interpretation of the Hadîth is that the reduction of reward is a penalty for not complying with the prevention. As for the reasons for the prevention, they are all that had been mentioned, to which may be added that possessing them may lead to dangerous diseases.

        About the existence of the aforementioned harms in the possession of which is permitted, Siddîq Khân says, "in this there is giving more weight to the benefit over the harm, due to the exception of that which is useful from that which is prohibited to possess."

        As regards keeping dogs for guarding houses and roads, by analogy to the three aforementioned needs, and in view of the justification understood from the Hadîths, namely need, this was endorsed by the Shafi'ites.

        Ibn 'Abd Al-Barr, a Malikite, says, "...unless it is included in the domain of hunting and other things that have been mentioned as bringing benefits and driving harms away by analogy."

        From this we come to the conclusion that it is prohibited to keep dogs if there is no necessity, and that the permissibility of keeping them is for the three needs mentioned in the Hadîth. Keeping them for needs other than those was also permitted, by way of analogy.

        Moreover, raising dogs as a hobby is a bad custom, in addition to its being prohibited, since this entails extravagance in spending money on them and treating them, side by side with the dangerous diseases from which doctors have warned us.




        Praise be to Allah, and prayers and peace be upon His Messenger.
        After this scholarly journey through which we tried to ascertain the comprehensiveness and depth of the rulings of Islamic Law, and after endorsing the permissibility of living among non-Muslims provided that there is religious freedom, and that the basis of the relation to non-Muslims is peace, while war is accidental and is ended as soon as its causes are ended, we would like to remind of the necessity of the following:
        1- Muslims should make use of their living in the lands of non-Muslims in calling to the Way of Allah through rectifying concepts about Islam by means of thought and behavior and all possible and available means.
        2- Muslims should invest every occasion in introducing the Islamic solution to the problems of people in all fields, in accordance with the intellectual and cultural reservoir of every Muslim, with the aim of establishing agreement over them and discharging the responsibility for conveying the Call.
        3- Muslims should diligently work towards uniting Islamic ranks and shunning differences and dispersion since this entails power and triumph, and coming out of shadow to the activity of life, and consolidating the Muslim existence there, and hence many rights.

        And after we determined that living in the lands of non-Muslims does not abrogate any rulings of Islamic Law, we mention the following:

        1- The necessity of avoiding prohibitions in all their forms, except in cases of absolute necessity, which should be properly estimated.

        2- Cherishing religion and the ordinances it came with and the fact that a Muslim is the most sublime with the values, ideas, and methods he has, with the behavior compatible with his faith, and with avoiding cherishing this world and its joys, since it is nothing but vanity in the Hereafter.

        And after we determined the permissibility of being benign to non-Muslims who are peaceful towards us, we remind of the following points:

        1- Preserving the Islamic personality from melting in the big ocean .

        2- Being keen on maintaining psychological barriers towards non-Muslims and their beliefs.

        3- Not being satisfied with their association of partners to Allah and their wrong doings. The least degree of changing maleficence is to deny it with one's heart, less than which there is no trace of belief. A Muslim should realize that good manners towards non-Muslims do not mean prohibited loyalty, and the value of man is determined by the value of his creed.

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Addition Date:Added on Aug,04,05 :: Last modified Aug,04,05
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