Meaning of Hijrah

The term Hijrah comes from the Arabic language, which means migration. Hijrah can be performed to any country. One can emigrate to dar al-Kufr or dar al-Islam.

The term Hijrah is often used to indicate migration to a country of Islam. The term does not exclude migration to a Muslim country, for it can also be used for migrating to a Kafir country.

Is a Muslim obligated to perform Hijrah by emigrating to another country? There is a lot of uncertainty among many whether this is mandatory, so we will give you clarity around this issue.

  1. Is it obligatory to perform Hijrah?
  2. When is Hijrah recommended to be performed?

Is it obligatory to perform Hijrah?

Now the question is whether the Muslim must emigrate. Yes, emigration is mandatory under certain conditions. These conditions are: being able to and when the obligations of Islam cannot be practiced.

1. Able to emigrate

The Muslim must be able to emigrate. This means that possess enough resources for this. The Muslim must also know the path to the country where he wants to go. The country must provide the ability to practise Islam.

One must be able to emigrate in order for it to be obligatory. If this is missing, then Hijrah is not obligatory. The Quran tells more about this:

Truly! To those whose souls are taken by the Angels, having wronged themselves, they (the Angels) say: "What kind of situation were you in?" (when you died) They replied, "We were weak and oppressed on earth." They (the Angels) say: “Was not the earth of Allah wide enough for you to emigrate? Such people find their abode in Hell – What an evil destination!

Except the weak among the men, women and children who are unable to plan or find a way.

For them there is hope that Allah will forgive them, and Allah is the Forgiving, Forgiving. [Surah an-Nisaa verse 97-99]

2. When the Muslim cannot perform Islamic obligations

This scenario is only appropriate for the Muslim who lives in a land of Kufr (Dar al-Kufr).

When the Muslim cannot perform his duties, it is obligatory to perform Hijrah. This means, for example, that if a person cannot perform the daily prayers or when the Hijab is banned.

It is important to know that when the Muslim is in such a situation, he remains obedient to the president or king. He should not demonstrate or rebel. According to Islam, this is not recommended to do at all.

If the Muslim cannot express his or her religion, then it is obligatory to emigrate. One must then choose another country, where freedom of religion is provided.

There is also a need of Hijrah in the case of oppression. It is then no excuse to stay there if the Muslim is able to move.

Imam Shafi'i said: “The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) shows that the obligation of Hijrah only applies when one is able to do it and is threatened or oppressed by the country because of his religion. This is proved by the fact that the Prophet (ﷺ) allowed some of the Muslims to reside in Makkah after they accepted Islam, such as al-'Abbaas ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib and others, as they feared no fitnah (trial or torment)." [Al-Umm 4/161 of Imam Shafi'i]

Is it mandatory to move to Dar al-Islam?

If there is a land of Islam, it is recommended to move there. It is not obligatory to move to Dar al-Islam, but it can be. The Muslim should thus leave the land of disbelief if they oppress or threaten him to leave his religion.

In the article on Dar al-Islam we warn against falling into extremism. A country of Islam makes peace with other countries. They do not attack other countries and ensure order among their inhabitants.

One should not leave to countries where they falsely claim to be a country of Islam. A country of Islam does not incite violence and fully implements the Laws of Allah. That land is peaceful and calls for peace, not to gain more power by attacking others.

Abu Athari writes about basic principles within Islam. He uses his critical and well-researched way to spread knowledge of the first three Muslim generations.

Questions about Islam?

Do you have questions that came to mind while reading our pages? Or do you have general questions that you would like an answer to? We answer you within 48 hours.

Ask question