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Apr 06, 2016
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Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Habdan: Citizenship of Infidel Countries Only in Cases of Life and Death

#5448 | 01:38

Saudi scholar Sheikh Muhammad Al-Habdan, a member of the Muslim Scholars Association, was asked in an Ahwaz TV fatwa show whether a Muslim is allowed to accept the citizenship of an infidel country, "like an American or European citizenship." Sheikh Al-Habdan answered that this is haram, unless there is real necessity, "like in cases of life and death." He added that the same held true for visiting infidel countries, which is allowed only when necessary - for trade or medical treatment, for example - but not for mere tourism. When the necessity ends, he explained, the Muslim must return to his country or any other Muslim country. The video was posted on the Internet by Ahwaz TV on April 6, 2016.

Following are excerpts

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Habdan: What is the ruling about obtaining European or American citizenship? In principle, this is haram, unless there is a real necessity. The principle is that a Muslim is not allowed to obtain citizenship of an infidel state, unless it is essential, as in cases of life and death, for example. With the exception of such cases, it is haram.

The Prophet Muhammad said: "I disown any Muslim who lives among the polytheists. Their fire should not be visible." A Muslim is not allowed to stay in an infidel country unless it is absolutely necessary. The ulema have permitted traveling to infidel countries under certain conditions: Someone who goes there must have the knowledge to protect him from doubts, and the religious devotion to protect him from lust, as well as a real necessity to go there - to conduct trade, to study, or out of fear of being killed. The fourth condition is that he will stay there only as long as is necessary, and that then he will return to his country or go to another Islamic country. If these conditions exist, a Muslim is allowed to go there.

Apart from that, it is haram. Therefore, the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Issuing Fatwas ruled that it was haram to go to infidel countries for tourism purposes. A Muslim can only go there in order to preach Islam, for trade purposes, or for purposes in keeping with the shari'a, such as medical treatment, and so on. Otherwise, a Muslim is prohibited from going there, because these are infidel countries.