Is it kufr/shirk if a Muslim obeys a man-made law in a non-Muslim country he/she lives in? Such as obeying a law which orders one to pay interest for a loan or forces you to commit something haram (sinful) in a workplace. Some say this is shirk due to obedience to other laws than those of Allah and by obeying these acts, some say you accept the legislators of these evil laws as ”Legislators” beside Allah. Is this true? Is it shirk to obey man-made laws whom goes against sharia, or in other words, orders something haram?
Please be as clear and referring to quranic sources as much as possible, as a muslim in a european country, this question has put me in great despair and anxiety, causing me to have very depressed and mentally abusive days.
Wa alaykum assalam warahmatullah wabarakatuh,
In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving.
Peace and blessings be upon His noble Prophet Muhammad.
In the Gracious Quran we read this warning against the example of those who “have taken their rabbis and their monks as lords apart from Allah [by sanctifying their mortal dictates]- and [so too have they taken] the Messiah, son of Mary, [as a god], though they were not commanded but to worship the One, [true] God. There is no God but Him. Highly exalted is He [far] above all that they associate as gods [with Him].” (Quran 9:31)
When Adi ibn Hatem, who was Christian, heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) reciting this verse he remarked, “But we do not worship them.” Then the Messenger of Allah replied, “Is not it that when they declare unlawful what Allah has made lawful, you deem it unlawful; and when they declare lawful what Allah has made unlawful, you deem it lawful?” He said, “Yes.” The Messenger of Allah said, “This how they are worshipped.” [Al-Tirmidhi] This verse, among others, clearly regards it a kind of shirk (associating others as gods with Allah) to follow and obey the dictates of those who declare permissible what Allah has declared impermissible or declare impermissible what Allah has declared permissible.
However, obeying man-made laws that contradict the shari`ah is a kind of shirk, if one is pleased with these laws and believes them to be superior or equal to the shari`ah. Yet, if one obeys these laws, confessing that he/she thus commits a sin, but still believes in the superiority of the shari`ah and deems lawful only what Allah has made lawful and unlawful only what Allah has made unlawful, then this person is still a Muslim who has committed a sin, whether minor or major, and needs to repent.
In this context it should be pointed out that a Muslim who lives under a system of laws that forces him/her to disobey shari`ah laws has to try to get out of this system, and find another place, if possible.
Almighty Allah knows best.
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