التوحيد at-Tawhid



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Ruling on Travelling to the Land of the Mushrikin & Residing in it
Shaykh Abd’ul Latif ibn Abd’ur Rahman (1810-1876)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Taqdim (Introduction),


This Risala of Abd’ul Latif ibn Abd’ur Rahman amongst the Ulama (scholars) of Najd was written to warn those who travel to the lands of the Mushrikin especially to the lands that used to belong to the Muwahhidun and then had been taken over by the Turks (i.e., Ottoman) not for the Jihaad purposes but for amicable purposes.

Evidences in this Risala are general, for this reason it will not be appropriate to say, this Fatwa can not be used today since there is no Dar’ul Islam (Abode of Islam).

Namely in this Fatwa, it is emphasized that it is not Ja’iz (permissible) to travel to the lands of the Mushrikin for trading or for any other purpose. It will only be permissible if; he can protect his Din (religion; Islam) in the land of the Mushrikin, he can respond to the views of Ahl Baatil (People of Falsehood), he can manifest his Din openly, he can manifest openly the enmity and Takfir towards the Kuffar (pl., Kafir; disbelievers) then he can travel to the land of Mushrikin only for a temporary period time frame and not for permanently.

Even though today there is no Dar’ul Islam to make Hijrah (migrate) to, one shall prefer a land where he may manifest and live his Din openly better amongst the countries, cities, villages, mountains etc., of the Kuffar. The example of the Mu’minin who migrated to al-Habash (Abyssinia; present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea) from Mecca. This means migrating from Dar’ul Kufr (the Abode, land of Kufr) to another land that is also Dar’ul Shirk where one may display his religion better.

Regardless of what era one lives in, it is not Ja’iz for a Muslim to stay in a place that he is not safe from Fitnah (trial). General principles of the Din forbid this. Issues that had been dealt with in this Risalah are things that many of those who attribute themselves to Tawhid are unwary of. We ask our Rabb (Lord) to make this Risala beneficial for all of us!..
قولوا "لا إله إلا الله" تفلحوا

"Say, La-ilaha Illallah (there is no -true- god -to be worshiped- but Allah) and thus be successful."


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Re: Ruling on Traveling to the Land of the Mushrikin & Living in it
« Reply #1 on: 30.07.2015, 05:42:17 AM »
Shaykh Abd'ul Latif ibn Abd'ur Rahman (rahimahullah) said:

"Bismillahirahmanirrahim (in the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful)

From Abd'ul Latif ibn Abd'ur Rahman, to the noble son: Ibrahim bin Abd'ul Malik, may Allah keep him safe.

as-Salamun Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu (peace be upon you and His mercy and blessings).

Amma bad (as for what follows):

I praise Allah -there is no deity but He- for His blessings. I received your letter in which you asked about my verdict regarding the issue of traveling to the lands of the Mushrikin. What I wrote to the brothers is enough for the student and it was a sufficient explanation. We did not go beyond what the people of passing verdicts have said, according to the majority of the later scholars. Yes, it is true that we were harsh towards those who travel to lands that were attacked by the disbelieving enemy; who is out to destroy the foundations of Islam. They are out to remove them and its great symbols. They want to raise the flags of disbelief and denial. They want to rebuild the institutes that teach Shirk and teach that Allah is like the creation. They want to put out the bright lights of Islam and wipe out its brilliant lamp. This is the enemy that has inflicted severe trials upon Islam and the Muslims. It has given honor to the Rafidhah (sect amongst the extremist Shia), the apostates, and those on their same path from the innovators and the hypocrites.

A land like this is exempted from the general allowances for many reasons. From them: is that displaying the religion in a way that would free someone of any blame is not possible. This fact is known to those who informed the people who they sit with and visit. It is rare that someone deals with them except that he exhibits extreme leaning, alliance, and flattery. This is well-known and is not rejected by anyone but an ignoramus or someone in denial; who has no sense of honor for the religion and Shari’ah of Allah. Such a person has no proper respect or reverence for His Greatness. He merely takes apparent mottos -while he does not know their reality or what the Fuqaha (jurists) meant by them- as a shield against the verses and the Sunnahs and against the methodology of guidance. He is like a rock in the road sitting between those who travel to Allah and between the hereafter; he blocks them from attaining what they are after and hinders them and kills their determination.

Many of these people have appeared who give out verdicts about these issues. It was because of them that there is confusion and the people’s understanding became misguided. The lands of the worshipers of idols were then made permissible and they put most men to trial. People travel to them in caravans along with their women; acting on the verdict of the chiefs of tribulation and misguidance. No one will reach Allah -or enjoy being close to Him, or reach the streams of reality and taste their sweetness- if he listens to them and refers to them in issues of religion and important matters.

One of the predecessors (Ibn Sirin rahimahullah) said: "This knowledge is religion so look to those you take your religion from." Whoever plunges into these types of religious studies without mastery or insight causes more harm than good. He is more likely to become misguided than he is likely to be successful. It is said that the religion is corrupted by someone who knows about half of Fiqh, and the language is corrupted by someone who knows about half of grammar, and medicine is corrupted by those who know only half of it. So learn the foundations of the religion and the sources of wisdom so that you will have the ability to deduce rulings from the verses of the Qur’an and the authentic prophetic Sunnahs. Do not sit back and settle for what is the norm and do what the rest of the people do. One of them said: whoever takes knowledge from its root will be established and whoever takes it from the currents will be confused. How beautiful are these words from "al-Kaafiyah ash-Shafiyah":

The people of Hadith were saved;
The followers of the Messenger and the followers of the Qur'an.
They knew what He said along with knowledge of what,
The Messenger said. So they are the people of knowledge.
The rest are in ignorance and they make claims along with,
Great pride and much rambling.
They tried to stretch a hand towards the heavens,
But with great difficulty, arrogance, and humiliation.
Do you think they will reach it while this is their state?
Free is the Most High of these mortal fools.

Shaykh'ul Islam Muhammad ibn Abd'il Wahhab (rahimahullaah) said when pointing out several events of the Sirah:

"A person's Islam is not correct -even if he believes in the Tawhid of Allah and leaves Shirk- unless he also has enmity for the Mushrikin; while making it clear to them that he has enmity and hatred for them."

Look at how explicit the Shaykh was about the fact that a person's Islam is not correct without enmity and hatred. Is this explicitness found from those travelers? The evidences which indicate what the Shaykh mentioned from the Book and the Sunnah are apparent and Mutawaatir. This is also in agreement with the opinion of the later scholars who said it is permissible to travel for the one who will display his religion.

Ah, but this is the point: "Displaying the Religion". Was there great enmity between him (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and Quraysh for any other reason except that he attacked their religion, called their fantasies stupid, and censured their idols? How many men prepare, then travel to them, and then they do -and it is reported from them that they do- what falls short of this obligation? It is well-known that they leave this altogether and forsake it. Instead they say things out of fear and suck up to them. The proofs for this are many and what is known by the senses and by instinct does not need a proof.

The second reason: is that fighting those who attack the lands of the Muslims -like these people- is obligatory upon each individual and it is not just a collective obligation. This is established and well-known. Therefore, it is not permissible or allowed -in this case- to leave that off and choose something else for some worldly reason. The principles of Islam and the root sources of all rulings reject the opinion that it is permissible to leave off individual obligations for worldly reasons. Whoever knows this will know the difference between this case and between the statement: "It is permissible to travel for those who can display their religion." Even if this condition is possible, how about when this is the reality of the situation?

The third reason: is that the apparent words of our scholars indicate that the one who does not know his religion along with the proofs and evidences is not permitted to travel to them. Therefore, the permission is limited to those who know this with its Mutawaatir proofs that come from the Book and the Sunnah. It is someone of this caliber who will display his religion and make it known. How can someone who does not know it -nor have the certain proofs to use in debate- display it. In poetic form:

The ignoramus, without knowledge, is in need of manners.
The donkey, without a head, needs to halter.

A group of the scholars even said that it is impermissible to go to the land that has become over-run with innovative beliefs like: the Khawarij, the Mu'tazilah, and the Rafidhah unless the person knows his religion, when it comes to these issues, along with the proofs; which he freely mentions to those who dispute him.

You already know -may Allah guide you- that this is a time in which the people of knowledge are scarce. "The old ways of Jaahiliyyah and blind desires have overcome." Only a few people know "the old Islam" and know that "having alliance for the Mushrikin -the enemies of Allah- is impermissible"; along with having knowledge of "the different levels of alliance" and knows that some of those levels necessitate calling a Muslim a disbeliever while others are less severe than that. Only few know the reality of sucking up and leaning towards them. Only a few know of the rest of the matters that Allah and His Messenger made impermissible, and only a few know of the rest of the matters which make the one who commits them a sinner or an apostate.

Where are the hearts filled with honor and reverence for Allah in the face of the disbelief and denial of these twisted people? Who has obtained an abundant share of standing against the enemies of Allah and fighting them? Who has given victory to the religion of Allah and His Messengers and boycotted those who stand in its way and do not give victory to it? Even if this relates to a beloved one, the ruling belongs to Allah the Most High and Most Great. Who clarifies to them that what they are doing is disbelief, extreme misguidance, abuse of Allah the Mighty and Praised, and a nullifier of the foundation of belief and Tawhid? Who clarifies to them that what they are doing is clear disbelief while remaining upon light from his Lord and insight in his religion. Ask the people of doubts: Is it forgivable to be ignorant of this and to turn away from learning it and acting on it? Does it suffice to merely ascribe to Islam when in the company of those who also ascribe to it; even though they are the most disbelieving of Allah's creation? They deny Him, they reject His rules, and they make fun of their realities.

If they say: it is sufficient to merely make this ascription and this frees them of blame, they have retracted and refuted the proof they quoted and established as their own principle. Whoever looks at this correctly -and truly knows the situation of the people- will know that they are following their desires and leaning towards their wishes. We ask Allah to pardon us and them.

Whoever thinks the command of Allah is something easy and sins against Him -or knows His prohibition and does it anyway, or knows His right and then suffers its loss, and remembers Him and then leaves it and his heart becomes heedless of it- and he gives precedence to his desires over seeking His pleasure, and obeying the creation is more important to him than obeying his Lord -he gives Allah what is left of his heart, his statements, and his actions, while the rest are more important-… he has not given Him the proper reverence He deserves and he has not magnified Him as He deserves. How can someone have proper reverence for Him while he leaves His enemies -who deny Him and reject His messengers- alone and does not fight them and censure them -instead he meets them with a smiling face, a sweet tongue, and an open heart- without magnifying Allah as He deserves and does not obey Him; acting arrogantly to his Lord, encroaching on His rights, and belittling His command?

This is in opposition to the companions of the Messenger and an innovation.
And they are blind and ignorant of the path of truth.

The fourth reason: is that for traveling to the lands of the Mushrikin to be permissible one must be safe from falling into trial. If he fears that displaying his religion will bring about a trial -by them overpowering him or introducing beautified doubts- it is not permissible for him to go to them and put his religion in danger. The ones who are first and foremost, and had learned, ran from these trials to go to Ethiopia. Of them were Muhaajirin like: Ja'far ibn Abu Talib (radiyallahu anh) and his companions. You already know of the trial that afflicted those who mix with them and go to them. They made this a reason to verbally abuse those who prohibit them from this, and order them to stay away from the Mushrikin, while they only do this because they believe that such actions are from the religion. They find pride in mentioning this in their sittings and gatherings. More than one person has quoted this:

وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ هَادِياً وَنَصِيراً

"And sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and a Victor." (al-Furqan 25/31)

Some of those who traveled to them from your parts brought back their letters and books to the people of Islam and called them to obey them and make peace with them and to stop fighting those who wrote this. Indeed, many people found this pleasing and help is sought from Allah! The fact that these people have been afflicted with praising them and ascribing them to justice and good leadership -and do other worse things such as disobeying Allah and His Messenger and following other than the way of the believers- has become well-known to you. For those of you who did not witness this or hear it from their mouths, now you have been told. The most ignorant and misguided of creation from the right path are those who dispute the impermissibility of traveling to them -in this case- and hold the opinion that this is permissible.

The fifth reason: is that cutting off the paths and the means is from the greatest principles of the religion. The scholars have based many religious verdicts -related to permissibility and impermissibility- on this principle. This is not hidden to the people of knowledge. "The Shaykh of ad-Da'wah an-Najdiyyah" -may Allah bless his soul- made a chapter heading for this principle in "Kitab'ut Tawhid". He said: "The Chapter of al-Mustafa's (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) Protection of Tawhid and Cutting Off Every Path Which Leads to Shirk." Then he quoted some of the proofs for this principle.

You have read to us from ar-Risaalat'ul Madaniyyah of Shaykh'ul Islam ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) that this is from the beautiful aspects of Malik's Madhhab. He said: 'The Madhhab of Ahmad is similar to him in this respect.' So if we pass the verdict that it is impermissible to travel based on this principle alone -to cut off the paths that lead to evil- we would have stood upon a great foundation and we would have ascribed to a noble Madhhab.

The sixth reason: is that we do not think that going to that land -which we are discussing- is included in the statements of the people of knowledge and their permissions. This is because the reality of the matter is that this would be traveling to a military camp of the enemies who are at war with and are attacking the people of Islam. They have occupied some of their lands and they are trying to destroy the pillars of their religion and remove its foundations and subsidiary matters. They are giving victory to Shirk -and denial- and they are honoring its army. Therefore, someone who travels to that place is similar to the one who travels to a military camp. This is like the military camp of the Tartars or Quraysh on the day of Khandaq or Uhud. Would someone say that it is permissible to travel in that case because it is permissible to travel to the lands of the Mushrikin if we display our religion? Does such an opinion come with any intellect or proof? Or is this sophistry and misguidance from the straight path?

Knowledge does not benefit those who have it,
So long as they do not have intellect and clear vision.

It can be found in Musnad Abu Dawud and Musnad al-Imam Ahmad -which he called an Imam for the people- from the Hadiths of Abu Bakrah (radiyallahu anh) that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

يَنْزِلُ نَاسٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي بِغَائِطٍ يُسَمُّونَهُ الْبَصْرَةَ عِنْدَ نَهْرٍ يُقَالُ لَهُ دِجْلَةُ يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِ جِسْرٌ يَكْثُرُ أَهْلُهَا وَتَكُونُ مِنْ أَمْصَارِ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَتَكُونُ مِنْ أَمْصَارِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ فَإِذَا كَانَ فِي آخِرِ الزَّمَانِ جَاءَ بَنُو قَنْطُورَاءَ عِرَاضُ الْوُجُوهِ صِغَارُ الأَعْيُنِ حَتَّى يَنْزِلُوا عَلَى شَطِّ النَّهْرِ فَيَتَفَرَّقُ أَهْلُهَا ثَلاَثَ فِرَقٍ فِرْقَةٌ يَأْخُذُونَ أَذْنَابَ الْبَقَرِ وَالْبَرِّيَّةِ وَهَلَكُوا وَفِرْقَةٌ يَأْخُذُونَ لأَنْفُسِهِمْ وَكَفَرُوا وَفِرْقَةٌ يَجْعَلُونَ ذَرَارِيَّهُمْ خَلْفَ ظُهُورِهِمْ وَيُقَاتِلُونَهُمْ وَهُمُ الشُّهَدَاءُ

"People from my nation will settle in a low-lying region called Basrah near a river called the Tigris. There will be a town with many people and it will be from the lands of the people who make Hijrah."

In one narration it is said the lands of the Muslims.

"Near the end of times the tribe of Qantura, who have wide faces and small eyes, will come and settle near the riverbed. The people will split into three groups. One group will hold on to the tails of cows and livestock and be destroyed. Another group will save their lives and disbelieve and another group will put their children behind them and fight. Those are the martyrs." (Abu Dawud, #4306)

Even though the Sanad of this Hadith contains Sa'id bin Jamhan, he was graded Thiqah (reliable) by Abu Dawud; the one for whom the science of Hadith was made easy like iron was made soft for. So he split them into three groups and he informed that whoever saves his life and makes peace, without fighting, has disbelieved. Whoever does not fight them and stay away from them, in order to succeed in this life, is destroyed. No one is saved except those who fight them and make war with them; while giving victory to Allah and His Messenger. He informed that they are martyrs and that their martyrdom is special. Even though some people explained this Hadith to refer to the Tatars, during the seventh century, this does not prevent it from referring to other situations nor does it mean it is not still applicable. There is no doubt that even if what is occurring in these times is not included in this, it is still similar to it from every angle.

Even if it is not her or him it is definitely,
Her brother who was breastfed by his mother.

Shaykh'ul Islam (i.e., Ibn Taymiyyah) said in his Ikhtiyarat: "Whoever goes to the military camp of the Tatars and stays with them has become an apostate and his wealth and blood are permissible." So ponder this because -Inshallah (with the will of Allah)- it will remove much confusion. It is often the case that people are obstructed from understanding the intent of Allah and His Messenger and the intent of the clear statements of the people of knowledge.

And know that there are narrations about the obligation of Hijrah, about the prohibition of staying in the land of Shirk, about the prohibition of going to it, about the prohibition of sitting with its people, and about the obligation of staying away from their homes and gathering places. The texts are general and unrestricted and they are clear proofs. Whoever says that they are restricted only brings specific instances and partial evidences which do not have general applications according to the majority of Ahl Usuol (the people of methodology). Rather, these evidences are also susceptible to being restricted.

Whoever says that there is permission for this does not debate the general proofs that indicate that Hijrah is obligatory and that it is prohibited to live with them. All they can do is make one ruling like another or one subsidiary matter like another or one issue like another by Qiyaas (analogy). We do not agree to the Qiyaas made by this person because it contradicts the general and unrestricted proofs.

I found Muhammad bin Ali ash-Shawkani stating with certainty -in refuting al-Mawardi's opinion that it is permissible to live in the lands of Shirk, in his explanation of al-Muntaqa- that: 'This opinion contradicts the generality of the text. Therefore, this is not accepted or given consideration.' This is on top of the fact that what we wrote about this issue is in agreement with the famous opinion of the later scholars. We did not go beyond their opinion as we already mentioned. The point here is that the very foundation of this issue requires a deep research. If you have any remaining doubts respond to me. Beware of remaining silent while you have doubts.

I found something written by my father, may Allah bless his soul and brighten his grave. He said:

Roll up your sleeves and seek knowledge avidly.
And do this in the morning and the evening.
Ask question after question and be a guided researcher.
I see that the real fault is to be ignorant.

As for the issue of selling, then no one has asked me about it, nor have I ever spoken about it. Shaykh'ul Islam discussed the issue of selling to the people under contract and he forbade selling them anything that they can use for their disbelief and festivals. As for the disbeliever at war, then he is not given anything that will help him fight the people of Islam even if it be wealth or similar to that like: animals and mounts. Some of them even said that anything the Muslims find in the lands of war that they can not take carry with them should be burned; including their furniture and belongings. They forbade allowing them to benefit from them. So how about selling to them and helping them against the people of Islam? If you add the actions of the travelers of these times, which we mentioned, then the matter is worse and more despicable. This is just one thing.

Most people do not understand that the apostates in those lands, which are occupied by the disbeliever at war, are worse in their disbelief and crime; in relation to all the rulings we mentioned. You will find those who go to them smiling and honoring them and doing worse than what we mentioned about the disbeliever at war. So understand this.

We ask Allah alone to answer our prayers, to give victory to His religion, His Book, His Messenger, and His believing slaves. We ask Him to give victory to His religion over all other religions even if the Mushrikin dislike it. And may He send much peace and Salah upon His Slave and Messenger, the Ummi (unlettered) Prophet; and upon his family and companions until the Day of Judgment."
قولوا "لا إله إلا الله" تفلحوا

"Say, La-ilaha Illallah (there is no -true- god -to be worshiped- but Allah) and thus be successful."


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