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Abiding by Laws in the West: A Must?

20 November, 2018
Q Is it essential for a Muslim who lives in a non-Muslim country to abide by the laws of that land, such as abiding by traffic laws and the age set for being allowed to drive?

Answer

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:

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1- If the laws in the West are contrary to the teachings of Islam, it is not permissible to act upon them.

2- If the laws are in accordance with the Islamic teachings, a Muslim should abide by them.

3- If the Islamic texts have not said anything about the laws, but they are in the best interests of people, such as laws having to do with driving and the age at which driving is allowed, Muslims in non-Muslim countries must adhere to these laws.


Answering your question, the Fatwa Center at Islam Q and A, states:

With regard to laws promulgated in non-Muslim countries, one of the following three scenarios must apply:

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1- The laws are contrary to what Allah has prescribed, such as giving the wife the power of divorce, or not giving the father guardianship over his daughter after she reaches puberty, or giving a daughter the same share of the estate as a son, allowing the drinking of alcohol and zina (sex outside of marriage), and so on. It is not permissible to act upon these laws or approve of them.

2- The laws are in accordance with what is mentioned in Islamic teachings. In this case, one should abide by them, in obedience to Allah and His Messenger.

3- If the Islamic texts have not said anything about the laws, but they are in the best interests of people, such as laws having to do with driving and the age at which driving is allowed, these laws must be adhered to, in accordance with the religious texts which enjoin being faithful to contracts and covenants. Allah says:

“O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations” (Al-Ma’idah 5:1)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Muslims are bound by their conditions, except a condition that forbids something permissible or permits something forbidden.” (At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

Almighty Allah knows best.

Source: www.islamqa.info