In a recent episode of the "Ask a Sister" Q&A Islamic show, a viewer in the West asked scholar Maseeha Saloojee whether she recommends making hijra to Syria and joining the Jihad in the current climate. Saloojee responded that because of all the different groups in Syria, "it's become really difficult to say whether we're moving forward as a group on haqq or not" and said: "I wouldn't advise anyone to come to Syria for Jihad at the present moment." She further said: "Things are too unclear at the moment to make such a momentous decision to just come here for Jihad, if you are capable of doing the Jihad somewhere else. There's obviously lots of places in need of Jihad, not only Syria. There's other places where you can do Jihad as well." The weekly "Ask a Sister" show is posted on various social media networks by the "On the Ground" media group, which operates from Syria. The current episode was posted on YouTube on July 16. According to Saloojee's Facebook page, she is a South African living in Idlib, Syria.
Interviewer: "Maybe you can ask the sister what her advice is for someone from the west, a brother and his wife who really want to join, to come for hijra and join jihad in the current climate. I am asking because some have told us the opinion they should not come. Please, if you read the question or post anything in public leave my name anonymous."
Maseeha Saloojee: "Okay, with regards to hijra and jihad, if you are asking specifically about Syria, I... I personally wouldn't advise anyone to come for jihad at the present moment. With regards to hijra, I wouldn't say no totally because depending on your situation in your area you have to decide what is better for you. You know, you may be living in a place where you are oppressed even more than... Look at the Rohingyas, the Burmese, the Kashmiris, people who are tortured just because they believe in Allah. So people like this, if they make hijra to Sham, you know, obviously there is a better chance of them having, being able to live Islam peacefully here than in their area."
Interviewer: "In their countries, yeah."
Maseeha Saloojee: "So for a person like that I would say that, you know, hijra, yeah go for it. If it is going to make your life easier as a Muslim here, then no problem. With regards to jihad, because the situation has become so... difficult to tell, like it's, because of all the different groups. It's become really difficult to say whether, you know, we are moving forward, as a group, on haqq [truth] or not, you know? I wouldn't say anything bad about any of the groups but we know that there is errors in every single group. And to say that... If you are capable of coming here and having a group start, start with the proper intention of shari'a and moving forward with jihad for that intention then yeah go for it. But coming here and joining a group that is currently here, and, you know, I just think, I'm not saying anyone is on batil [falsehood] but I just think things are too unclear at the moment to make such a momentous decision, to just come here for jihad if you are capable of doing the jihad somewhere else. There is obviously lots of places in need of Jihad, not only Syria, you know. There is other places where you can do jihad as well."
Interviewer: "The Muslims are suffering yeah, subhanallah."
Maseeha Saloojee: "Exactly, so all these places are also a possibility for you to fulfill the aspect of jihad if that is your intention. Hijra and jihad come often together in the Qu'ran. Allah says: 'Those who believe and they make hijra, and they make jihad.' It doesn't have to be together. Sometimes, you know, like for example if you look at the Muslims in Mecca when they made hijra to Abyssinia. They didn't go for jihad, they made hijra to Abyssinia. When they initially made hijra to Medina, the intention was to move out of the zulm [cruelty] and the oppression they were facing. And then, after, in the second year of hijra, Allah made jihad compulsory and they fought against those who were oppressing them before. So there are times when hijra becomes necessary because of the difficulties you are facing in your area and if that is the case then, you know, you can make hijra whether you make it to Syria or to any other place where you are capable of practicing Islam freely and, you know, not being oppressed in any way as a Muslim then, go for it. Inshallah."