He who forsakes his home in the cause of Allah, finds in the earth Many a refuge, wide and spacious: Should he die as a refugee from home for Allah and His Messenger, His reward becomes due and sure with Allah: And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (4:98-100)

Also, given the following verse, how should any Muslim state view Muslims who choose to live in areas where they cannot practice their faith despite having the means to migrate to a place where they would be able to live by Islam. And should Muslims adopt the attitude of "take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way" towards them?

They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper. (4:89)" />

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The Test of Migration
Question asked by Anonymous.
Posted on: Sunday, April 24, 2005 - Hits: 2472


Question:
Do the following verses give the litmus test for Muslims today, for choosing whether or not they should live in Muslim or non-Muslim governed lands?

When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls, they say: "In what (plight) were ye?" They reply: "Weak and oppressed were we in the earth." They say: "Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to move yourselves away (From evil)?" Such men will find their abode in Hell, - What an evil refuge! - Except those who are (really) weak and oppressed - men, women, and children - who have no means in their power, nor (a guide-post) to their way. For these, there is hope that Allah will forgive: For Allah doth blot out (sins) and forgive again and again.

He who forsakes his home in the cause of Allah, finds in the earth Many a refuge, wide and spacious: Should he die as a refugee from home for Allah and His Messenger, His reward becomes due and sure with Allah: And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (4:98-100)

Also, given the following verse, how should any Muslim state view Muslims who choose to live in areas where they cannot practice their faith despite having the means to migrate to a place where they would be able to live by Islam. And should Muslims adopt the attitude of "take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way" towards them?

They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper. (4:89)


Answer:
Consider verses 4:98-91, about which Imam Islahi writes:

Verse 4:81 directed the Prophet to totally disregard the hypocrites. Since some people could have mistakenly deemed some devout Companions as hypocrites, the Almighty directed the Muslims to maintain a balanced approach and not to boycott all whom they considered hypocrites. Thus, Muslims were encouraged to reply cordially if any of the hypocrites greeted them.

Then the Qur’an goes on to address those Muslims who had a soft corner for the hypocrites living in the non-Muslim territories. Such Muslims would think that maintaining ties would encourage the hypocrites to accept Islam with true conviction. However, God mentions that there is little chance that they would accept Islam truly and contrarily Muslims could lose faith in this manner. Thus, God divulged the test of migration to differentiate between the true Muslims who would migrate and the hypocrites who would stay.

The only exceptions were those Muslims who lived with their tribe that had entered a treaty with the Muslim state. The other case was of those Muslims whose tribe decided to stay neutral siding neither with the rejecters nor with the Muslims. Such Muslims were not powerful and courageous enough to fight their tribe but were true enough to openly declare their neutral status. Regarding these two groups God commanded that they should not be interfered with. (Tadabbar al Quran: vol. 2, page 350)

I hope this makes it clear that the test of migration and the resultant retribution applies to a certain group who had declared themselves as Muslims but were not true in heart. In the present time there is no such tension or fighting between two groups. However, if there is a situation, which matches with the one depicted in the Qur’an, then the Muslim states should view them accordingly. Also, in such a situation, Muslims who choose to remain in the non-Muslim state despite having the means of migration must note that God may not accept their faith.

Regards,


Tariq Mahmood Hashmi
Research Assistant, Studying Islam


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