Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
It should be clear that hijrah is obligatory in case a Muslim is unable to practice his religion in the country he is living in. and if they are facing serious persecutions and find themselves unable to overcome them.
In response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,
Hijrah is obligatory on Muslims if they are unable to practice their religion in the country they are living in, and if they are facing serious persecutions and find themselves unable to overcome them.
In such cases, if they are faced with the choice of renouncing their religion or going to a place where they can readily practice it, they are obligated to emigrate.
However, hijrah should not be an option to consider if what we said is not the case, as Muslims are ordered to struggle to establish their faith wherever they live.
As far as emigration for economic reasons is concerned, it will be reckoned accordingly. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Actions are judged by intentions and everyone will be judged according to his intention. So whoever emigrates for the sake of Allah and His Messenger, his hijrah will be reckoned as done for Allah and His Messenger. But whoever emigrates for worldly reasons or marrying a woman, his hijrah will be reckoned accordingly.” (Al-Bukhari)
Having said this, the economic emigrants living in the West can, however, transform their hijrah into an act of `ibadah (worship) if they change the intention and dedicate themselves to be ambassadors of Islam in their new home.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.