via Gates of Vienna
Our guest essayist VaeVictis wrote a historical account of Las Navas de Tolosa in this space last July. He returns with an examination of the Koranic obligation imposed on Muslims which requires them to emigrate to Dar al-Islam if they find themselves ruled by infidels, living in a “position of inferiority”.
Why is it, then, that so many devout Muslims have chosen to live in the lands of the infidel West, and do not return to the Islamic world as soon as they have the opportunity?
VaeVictis presents us with a surprising answer: Muslims in the West do not in fact live in a position of inferiority.
Hijra in Reverse: The Duty to Emigrate
Modern day Muslim immigration to Western nations is a well-known and easily-observed phenomenon. However, most Westerners are ignorant of one of Islam’s oldest tenets, known as “the obligation to emigrate”, which mandates quite the opposite behavior. Stated plainly, the obligation to emigrate is simply an extension of the prohibition against living under infidel rule. If Muslims find themselves living under such circumstances it is their duty to emigrate to Muslim lands as soon as they are physically and fiscally capable of doing so.
Obviously there appears to be a blatant contradiction in the behavior of millions of Muslims regarding this injunction. Are we to believe that all Muslims today residing in non-Muslim countries have simply forsaken an important aspect of Islamic law for personal convenience or economic gain? If so, where is the condemnation? Are there fatwas, or even the hint of debate one would expect from Muslim scholars and the rest of the Muslim world?
To answer these questions requires a closer examination of the practice within Islamic jurisprudence. The concept’s origins are rooted in the belief that Islam, as the one true religion, must never be subject to another religion or put in a position of inferiority. At the same time it is considered not only lawful, but theologically proper for Islam to assume a position of dominance over other faiths.
The Quranic prohibitions against living under non-Muslim rule are remarkably strongly worded and unambiguous. Because these ayat (verses) are essential to this discussion, they are listed here.
As for those whose souls are taken by the angels (at death) while in a state of unbelief, they will be asked by the angels: “What (state) were you in?” They will answer: “We were oppressed in the land.” And the angels will say: “Was not God’s earth large enough for you to migrate?” Their abode will be Hell, and what an evil destination!(97) But those who are helpless, men, women and children, who can neither contrive a plan nor do they know the way, (98) May well hope for the mercy of God; and God is full of mercy and grace. (99) Whosoever leaves his country in duty to God will find many places of refuge, and abundance on the earth. And he who leaves his home and becomes an emigre in the way of God and His Messenger, and death overtake him, is sure to receive his reward from God; for God is forgiving and kind. (100)
You are not responsible for protecting those who embraced the faith but did not leave their homes, until they do so. In case they ask for your help in the name of faith, you are duty bound to help them, except against a people with whom you have a treaty; for God sees all that you do. (72)
But (to) those who were victimized and left their homes and then fought and endured patiently, your Lord will surely be forgiving and kind.(110)
O My creatures who believe, surely My earth has plenty of scope and so worship only Me. (56)
Notably the only exception permitted was the inability to emigrate, as stated in Sura 4:98 above. Accordingly most fatwas permitting living in infidel lands only for exceptional reasons such as: physical incapacity such as age or disability, fiscal inability to acquire the means necessary to leave and an immediate danger in travelling. Some fatwas condemned even Muslim merchants from entering the non-Muslim world in the course of trade or commerce.
The most important precedent of all is Muhammad’s Hijra from Mecca to Medina.
When faced with the superior strength of the non believers he retired to Medina until he was strong enough to return and subdue Mecca.
Following the example of the Prophet, emigration during times of war is acceptable so long as it is viewed as a temporary setback to be regained later under more favorable conditions.
The year of this event assumes no less important role than the first year of the Islamic calendar, referred to as A.H. or anno hegirae, the year of the Hijra.
In the face of such a clearly defined prohibition within both the Quran and the Sunnah (the Prophet’s behavior), one must wonder how modern-day immigration is so acceptable and widespread among Muslims?
The underlying reason for the apparent chasm between Quranic injunction and Muslim action lies in the remarkable successes of Islam’s early conquests.
Continue reading the complete essay Hijra in Reverse: The Duty to Emigrate at GoV but one more excerpt that really covers it:
The additional reason, specific to our modern world, is that being an ethnic minority in a Western nation is no longer a position of lesser power.
Remember that the underlying basis for the prohibition against living under infidel rule is because Islam must never be put in a place of inferiority or subservience to another religion.
The ability of Muslim minorities to wield power and consume resources disproportionate to their numbers points to greater strength, not less.
Muslims know their duty and what comes next.