Ruling on taking citizenship of countries of disbelievers

Ruling on taking citizenship of countries of disbelievers

As Shaykh Al Allamah Yahya ibn Ali Al Hajoori

14-Safar-1438 H (Yaum-ul-Ithnain)

Question :

Is it permissible (for the citizens of Muslim countries) to take the citizenship of countries of disbelief to take advantage of it in traveling (around the world) and not to live in those countries ?

Answer :

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن تبع هداه أما بعد ..

The majority of the scholars are upon prohibition of taking the citizenship of disbelievers to avoid

  • being supporters/helpers of them and

  • increase their numbers and

  • to get influenced by their ways and

  • to being from them

Due to many proofs, from them :

Allah’s saying :

“Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Auliya (supporters, helpers, etc.) instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment), and to Allah is the final return.” (Aal Imran – 28)

And Allah said :

“Those who take disbelievers for Auliya (protectors or helpers or friends) instead of believers, do they seek honour, power and glory with them? Verily, then to Allah belongs all honour, power and glory. And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Quran) that when you hear the Verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell,” (An-Nisa – 139-140)

What to take note from this ayah is : “do they seek honour, power and glory with them?” and “then sit not with them”

So in this, there is prohibition of being with them under any situation.

For this Allah has made it obligatory to separate from them. So Allah said,

“Verily! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): “In what (condition) were you?” They reply: “We were weak and oppressed on earth.” They (angels) say: “Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?” Such men will find their abode in Hell – What an evil destination! – (An-Nisa – 97)

And Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi and Al Hakim have narrated and Al Hakim declared it to be Sahih the hadeeth of Samurah ibn Jundub (Radiallahu anhu) from the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) that he said : “Anyone who associates with a polytheist and lives with him, then he is like him.”

And his (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) saying : “I am free from every Muslim that lives among the idolaters.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, How is that?”. He said: “They should not see each other’s fires”. (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Graded as Sahih by Al Albani)

And the narration of Bahz ibn Hakim from his father then from his grand father that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said : “Allah -Azza wa Jall- does not accept any deed from an idolater after he becomes a Muslim, until he departs from the idolaters and joins the Muslims.” (An Nasaaii, Ibn Majah)

An Nassaii has reported on the authority of  Jareer that he said, I pledged to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), to perform the Salah, pay the Zakah, be sincere toward every Muslim and forsake the idolaters.

And in Sahih Muslim, from the hadeeth of Buraidah that the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), if dispatch a commander from an expedition or an army he used to advise them with few matters and from them, call them to migrate from their lands to the land of Al Muhajireen.

So taking their citizenship can make a person fall into these prohibited matters, may be directly from the person who takes the citizenship or from those whom  he left behind after his death.

And taking the citizenship make him to be a citizen of that country and he has to obey their constitution and their laws. And that person becomes one of the citizens of that country and what applies to them applies to him and he have to follow their personal laws, and he cannot control his children -both males and females- if they reach a particular age as per their laws. So because of this seeking the citizenship of countries of disbelievers is prohibited.

And the advantage (ease in traveling around the world) that was mentioned is not from the necessities that make the prohibited matters permissible and this is whether taking their citizenship involves submitting to their constitution and to their laws or not because it is prohibited to increase their numbers.

And from the evils of this :

The fear on the children that they will be wasted. Taking of their citizenship may result them (the children) being citizens of the country of disbelievers so they will be wasted. And one might prevent his children from taking the disbeliever’s citizenship while he is alive, but it is not sure that they will not search for that citizenship (because of worldly desires) after his death.

And in this, imitating the disbelievers, it is established in the hadeeth that “whoever imitates a people then he is from them”.

Shaykh-ul-Islam told in Iqtida Siratul Mustaqeem, “Imitating in outward appearance will result a kind of love, affection and loyalty inside, as the love inside result imitation in outward appearance. And this is something witnessed by what we sense and experience”.

Source :

Translated by : AbdunNoor Al Hindi