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What Is the Concept of Minorities in Islam?

08 January, 2019
Q As-salamu `alaykum. Could you please shed some light on the concept of minorities with special reference to Muslims? Thanks.

Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

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All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

1- The term minority refers to a smaller group of people with a special faith living within a bigger group with a different faith.

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2- Minorities have their rights which are stipulated in national and international laws.


Responding to the question, Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, Professor of fiqh and its principles, International Islamic University, Malaysia, states:

The term minorities always refer to a smaller group of people with a special faith living within a bigger group with a different faith, such as the case of Muslims in Europe and North America.

Since those Muslims are not living in Islamic countries and they have to respect the laws and rules of the countries where they live, some of the teachings of Islam, especially recommended deeds, are not fully applied on them.

The implementation of these teachings would always depend on their ability in doing them. However, they have to strive their best to apply as much as they can of the teachings of Islam.

Finally, I recommend that the term ‘Muslim minority’ in Europe or North America be changed to the term ‘Muslims in Europe’ or ‘Muslims in North America.’

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.