Becoming a citizen of Australia
Fatwa No: 82552

Question

I am currently a resident of Australia and I would like to apply for a citizenship. It is not a necessity for me to become a citizen, but it has many advantages. However, one of the things that is required from a person who wants to become a citizen of Australia is to affirm allegiance to the Queen of Ustralia and affirm to obey the laws of the country. To affirm means to declare positively or to make a formal statement but NOT under oath. When I say such a statement, I shall say it to the authorities to get the citizenship, but my intention is to obey the laws of Australia and defend the country AS LONG AS I AM NOT ASKED TO DO ANYTHING THAT IS AGAINST ISLAMIC LAWS. And I do not feel any allegiance to their Queen, but my allegiance first is to ALLAH and after that I may have allegiance to anything that is not haram (such as a country or family).My question is, if I apply for citizenship and make the affirmation that I mentioned, does this make my citizenship of Australia Haram? Also when I become a citizen I shall have the right to work in the country and to study based on the fact that I am a citizen. Does saying the affirmation to get the citizenship make my working in Australia Haram? and studying in Australia Haram?I hope that my question is not too long but I wanted to be accurate. And may Allah reward you for your efforts.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

Dear brother, First of all you should know that, in principle, living in a non-Muslim country is forbidden. Imaam Abu Daawood  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him  narrated on the authority of Jareer Ibn Abdullaah, may Allaah pleased with him, he said that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )  said: "I am free from a Muslim who lives among polytheists". This is a sound narration.

So, living among them is forbidden as a general rule, because it has many negative effects on the religion of a Muslim. Those persons who face trials in their own countries or who fear that they may be imprisoned or killed in their countries, at that critical moment they may live in non-Muslim countries and Allaah will forgive them. The evidence for this rule is the migration of the weak Muslims from Makkah to Abyssinia because its king was a good and fair ruler who was not unjust to anyone.
Living in a non-Muslim country or migration to it is permissible only if a person cannot find a Muslim country where he can earn a livelihood and can practice his religion freely.

It is also permissible for Muslim scholars to live in non-Muslim countries for the purpose of Da'wah i.e., calling non-Muslims to Islam and teaching Muslims Sharee'ah rules, provided they they can do so freely and would not be subjected to trials or would have to compromise or leave their religion.

All the above mentioned details are related to the rule of Muslims living in non-Muslim countries. But the rule for applying and accepting citizenship of those countries is much restricted. A Muslim is not permitted to apply for citizenship of non-Muslim countries except in a dire need, such as not being able to practice his religion in his own country or fear of oppression or being in danger for his life or the threat of imprisonment or torture in his homeland and there is no Islamic country where he can live. In such circumstances one can apply for citizenship of a non-Muslim country. If he is obliged to take an oath for getting citizenship, at that moment one should try to allude to the words of oath as much as possible to escape their intended point.

However, if he is able to live harmlessly in the non-Muslim country without taking the citizenship then applying for citizenship is not permissible for him. It is forbidden for him to apply for citizenship of a non-Muslim country if he is simply aspiring to material comforts or financial gain.

Allaah Says (what means): {And never will Allaah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers.} [Quran 4: 141].

No doubt, the believer who accepts the nationality of a non-Muslim country gives non-believers an advantage over him to force him to follow their rules and regulations.
Allaah knows best.

 

 

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