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Islam Q&A – The Calamities Muslims Face

Just in time for the beginning of Ramadan, our latest installment in the course of our Muslim education, courtesy of Islam Question and Answer:

Calamities faced by Muslims in western countries


I am sure you are well aware of the spread of the blessed Islamic awakening, especially among Muslim girls. As we are living in a non-Muslim (European) country we experience difficulty in applying the rulings of Islam. Every now and then there are problems, such as mocking the Qur’aan or stickers appearing in public places showing a picture of a Muslim girl with the words “Do you want to cover your head? We think you do not.” And finally there is the decree issued by the government banning the wearing of niqaab (face veil) altogether and imposing a fine of 150 Euros on the one who wears it.

Recently the situation has become very difficult for the sisters, because the matter has gone beyond a financial penalty and now you see some racist behaviour on the part of the police. That takes the form of mocking and poking fun at them, and sometimes they force them to take off the niqab in front of men. You can imagine the embarrassment faced by the girl who wears niqaab, when she is surrounded by the people and the police as if she has committed a crime. There is no power and no strength except with Allaah.

As for the sisters’ response to this decree, some of them have got in touch with Shaykhs hoping to get a fatwa that will allow them to uncover their faces, and they have in fact found Shaykhs who will issue fatwas saying that because there is a difference of opinion among the scholars and because it is a case of necessity, there is nothing wrong with taking it off. The others are still confined to their homes, waiting for the mercy of the Lord of the Worlds.

I was born and have spent all my life in this land, so please allow me to speak frankly and say that living in a kaafir land involves hidden things that no one knows but the one who lives there.

By Allaah, besides Whom there is no other god, the Muslims in kaafir lands are living in a state of humiliation and loss that no one knows except Allaah alone. How many families have been destroyed, how many children know nothing of the faith but its name. It is so bad that Muslim girls have been sold into slavery and taken to eastern Europe to be employed as prostitutes – there is no power and no strength except with Allaah. One day I listened to the head of the gastric diseases department – who is of Arab origin – say that there are four thousand Muslim girls of various ages working as prostitutes according to official records, and this is in just one city!

Unfortunately even those who claim to be religiously committed find themselves in the lion’s claws, because their wealth is mixed with riba, their children do not speak Arabic, Jumu’ah prayer is offered as Zuhr in the factories, and so on. I am not saying this on the basis of hearsay, rather we see it with our own eyes, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. By Allaah, our hearts are breaking because of what we hear and see, and things have only reached such a level because we went against the laws of our Lord and agreed to live with them for the sake of a few dollars, except those on whom Allaah has mercy among those who have an excuse to stay. On the other hand there are a number of families who made the effort to move to Muslim countries and now they are living a life of ease, and Allaah is the best of providers.

May Allaah reward you for the day when you taught us to be optimistic and not pessimistic, but this is the bitter reality from which there is no escape. But to be fair, praise be to Allaah many are turning to Islam, especially new Muslims (converts), and we praise Allaah for His blessings and bounty.

What we would like from you, may Allaah reward you, is the following:

1- Advice to the Muslim girls to adhere to their hijab and not to depend on weak fatwas that open the door to evil.

2- Encouragement to the youth to migrate and not focus on worldly matters, because many of them – or most of them – are the reason why their wives and children stay and are exposed to these calamities. Many of the youth have not migrated yet on the basis that they want to save enough money to open a business in the country to which they will migrate. How much should they save and when should they think that they have saved enough?

3- Advice to the sisters who go out of the house a great deal for no essential reason, especially in these difficult circumstances.

4- Advice to the brothers who tell their wives to uncover their faces on the basis that it is a case of necessity. What is the ruling on obeying the husband in this matter?.


Praise be to Allaah.


Undoubtedly the problems faced by Muslims, men and women, in kaafir countries are many; their situation in those countries is heartbreaking and brings tears to the eyes.

We have all heard and read about the hardships they are facing, especially the women. We have seen the falseness of these countries which claim to be civilized and free, but they impose hardship on the Muslims in their jobs and in their homes, and on women with regard to their hijab and their work. They allow complete freedom for same-sex marriage and sexual perversions, and freedom to abuse Islam and Muslims, but they impose restrictions on Muslims with regard to their practices and rituals.

Everyone who is able to leave such countries must not fail to do so, before there comes a day when he will regret missed opportunities and will have no control over his family’s affairs or his own affairs or be able to leave, after having lost his children to that permissive society which is devoid of all morals and virtues, where he lives his life working and striving, then he gives his children to the street and the church, and loses out in this world and in the Hereafter.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Settling in a kaafir country poses a great danger to the Muslim’s religious commitment, morals, behaviour and etiquette. We and others have seen how many of those who settled there went astray and came back different from when they went; they have come back as evildoers, and some have come back having apostatized from their religion and disbelieving in it and in all other religions – we seek refuge with Allaah – denying it completely and mocking the religion and its people, past and present. Hence we must take measures to guard against that and stipulate conditions which will prevent people from following this path which leads to doom and destruction.

How can the believer be content to live in the land of the kuffaar where the rituals of kufr are proclaimed openly and rule belongs to someone other than Allaah and His Messenger, seeing that with his own eyes, hearing that with his own ears and approving of it, and even starting to feel that he belongs there and living there with his wife and children, and feeling as comfortable there as he does in the Muslim lands, even though he and his wife and children are in such great danger and their religious commitment and morals are in such peril? End quote.

For the full quotation from the Shaykh (may Allaah have mercy on him) see the answer to question no. 27211, in which there is a detailed discussion of the issue of settling in kaafir countries.

It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to shed her chastity and hijab in the face of these temptations. The devils among mankind and jinn are forever trying to tempt women to join the ranks of the misguided. Whoever follows them will find this world attractive in his eyes and he will be distracted from thinking of the grave, the Hereafter and the meeting with Allaah, may He be exalted.

Unfortunately some of the muftis on satellite channels have contributed to women taking off their hijab on the grounds of study or work. There is nothing good in study or work that incurs the wrath and anger of the Lord, may He be blessed and exalted. Whatever worldly benefits can a woman get with her certification or salary, knowing that it is at the expense of reward in the Hereafter and the pleasure of Allaah? No one would do this except one to whom evil has been made to look attractive so he thinks it is good.

It is not permissible for a Muslim woman to uncover her face, let alone her hair, even on the basis that it is for study or work. That which is with Allaah is better and more lasting. Every Muslim should hasten to leave that darkness, and the scholars should help Muslim families to adhere to their religion and obey their Lord instead of helping them to accumulate wealth and worship dirhams and dollars.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

It is not permissible for you or for any other women to uncover in the kaafir lands, just as it is not permissible in the Muslim lands. Rather it is obligatory to observe hijab in front of non-mahram men whether they are Muslims or kaafirs, and indeed it is more essential in the case of kaafirs, because they have no faith to keep them from doing that which Allaah has forbidden.

It is not permissible for you or anyone else to obey parents or anyone else in doing that which Allaah and His Messenger have forbidden. Allaah says in His Book (interpretation of the meaning):

“And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts”

[al-Ahzaab 33:53]

In this verse Allaah explains that for women to observe hijab before non-mahram men is purer for the hearts of all. And He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands…”

[al-Noor 24:31]

Fataawa ‘Ulama’ al-Balad al-Haraam (p. 529).


Husbands should help their wives to remain chaste, covered and modest. It is not permissible for them to tell them to take off their hijab for the sake of worldly matters such as study and work. If they have no choice and it is not possible and it is not easy for them to keep their women in full hijab, then it is permissible for them to uncover the face due to this necessity, such as in airports and passports, but they should make sure that the one who examines them is a woman.

As for those who want their womenfolk to take the hijab off altogether or unnecessarily, it is not permissible for them to do that. They should be proud of belonging to this religion and they should be proud of their wives and daughters being covered, especially when they see how the kaafir women dress, baring all and going to the extreme in wearing all kinds of fashions and colours.

It is not permissible for a woman to obey her husband if he tells her to go against the rulings on covering and hijab. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no obedience if it involves disobedience towards Allaah; obedience is only in that which is right and proper.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4085) and Muslim (1840).

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:

There is a man who is married and has children, and his wife wants to wear hijab but he is opposed to that. What advice can you give him, may Allaah bless you?

He replied:

We advise him to fear Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, and to praise Allaah for having given him such a wife who wants to dress as Allaah has commanded, in clothing that will protect her from temptation. Allaah has commanded His believing slaves to protect themselves and their families from the Fire, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded”

[al-Tahreem 66:6]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated that men are responsible for their families, as he said: “The man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock.” So how can it be appropriate for this man to try to force his wife not to wear hijab and to dress in a haraam manner which will be a cause of temptation for her and others? Let him fear Allaah with regard to himself and let him fear Allaah with regard to his family, and let him praise Allaah for blessing him and giving him this righteous wife.

As for his wife, it is not permissible for her to obey him by disobeying Allaah, for there is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience towards the Creator.

Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah (1/442, 443).

See also the answer to question no. 45672, in which there is a detailed discussion of the ruling on countries forcing Muslim women to take off hijab.


With regard to a woman going out of her house, our sisters should note that the basic principle with regard to women is that they are to be honoured, and part of her being honoured is that her husband and children are to serve her. The husband is enjoined to spend on her. The idea of her staying in the home is only so that she can do a great work which no group of men could do, which is raising the children, serving her husband and house. These are great deeds. Hence she should not go out except in the case of necessity or urgent need, especially if she is in a kaafir country or a land that is not safe.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Undoubtedly for a woman to remain in her home is better and is farther removed from fitnah (temptation) and evil. We are all aware of what happens when women go out in the marketplaces, and they cause temptation and are themselves tempted. If it is possible for her not to go out, this is what is required. If she must go out, then she should go out as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Let them go out looking scruffy,” i.e., not adorned or wearing perfume. But they should not go out except in the case of need. … What I think with regard to this issue is that women should stay at home in all cases, and not go out except in cases of necessity, and if they go out in cases of necessity, they should not wear perfume or any adornment.

With regard to taking a mahram with her, undoubtedly that is better, but it is not essential so long as the matter does not involve travel. But unfortunately you see some people bringing their families to the tailor or shopkeeper, then the man stays in the car and the woman is the one who goes and speaks to the men, and fitnah may affect his family as a result. The man should be a real man, protective towards his family, and not do such things. If it is essential, then he should go with her and stand with her when she speaks to the man or the man speaks to her, or he should speak to his wife and then speak to the man.

Liqaa’aat al-baab il-Maftooh (117/question no. 2).

See also the answer to questions no. 6742 and 9937.


For the one who wants sincere advice, the Islamic ruling is that one should not stay in kaafir countries. See the answers to questions no. 70256 and 4237, which contain a lot of good advice.

And Allaah is the Source of strength.

Muslims always seem to see themselves as perpetual victims, put upon from all sides.

And they see themselves as so noble in protecting their women — from having a life.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, September 22nd, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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