O great and knowing Ryan, master of the blog, doer of assignments and reader of readings, I have this to ask of you:
You may have seen of the recent terrorist attacks happening in my home country of France and I now live with an eternal worry about what faces me the next day. I faced the atrocities with as much apprehension and fear at the next man yet I now experience living without the same respect and value from my fellow Frenchman.
Before this we were already subject to rulings that limited our expression of religion (even if many of us chose not to exercise this before it’s restriction). I am not sure as to whether I can stay as an honest Muslim by fears of me not being able to practice my religion. Is my assimilation into this culture angering Allah?
What is your guidance O one-time issuer of a Fatwa?
You have done the right thing Chris in seeking out education to follow our sacred religion. I commend you on this example to our brothers and hope it may be emulated such that the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
Your instinct is right. The entire crux of this matter is whether your ability to practice Islam is prevented by the ruling government and our law demands that you adhere to our rulings regardless of time and space.
The issues you have correctly brought up are the following: restriction of religious expression through the burqa and hijab as well as fear of harm through repercussions from the recent events in Paris.
After consulting the Book I hope to provide you with the proof and fiq that demonstrates why you are allowed and even obligated to stay in your home country of France.
I begin by asking what you mean by assimilation? For while new developments and the advent of minority jurisprudence allows concessions through necessity to be made in order for a sort of modern aman to be maintained amongst us all. This flexibility is not overly tested by the French restrictions on expression through dress or symbols shown in schools. I maintain that you will be able to practice Islam within France under the Sharia that is accepted today. Throughout the Hadith you will find examples of our brothers living in foreign land to promote the cause of Islam. This is why you will find it permissible to stay.
Now many ask me: Is keeping our followers safe from harm not the very reason our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) left Mecca? Does this precedent not demand that our brothers leave the lands of disbelief to assure we avoid the backlash of such terror?
There are many variations of the following argument and there are many precedents that the ignorant may take from the Qur’an. Yet these miss the vital point that analogy between the two situations does not exist. Indeed there shall not be a slaughter of brothers abroad such is the nature of these lands. Nevertheless we do face a sinister backlash that endangers our people as much.
In order to explain this I must first reprimand the acts of terror perpetrated by those claiming to follow Islam. I shall not talk more of this but the clerics may obtain you sufficient literature to admonish such activities. Islam faces a new world that it needs to interact with differently to the past. We have seen that the militant extremists accomplish nothing when compared to those who have become politicised. We are seen in a negative light in yet a strong international presence provides the influence to help our brothers around the world.
How can we accomplish this? Through the majority hardworking and kind Muslims like Chris being the counter to minorities that instil fear. They have seen a perverted Islam so I ask you now to show what we truly stand for. Through the day-to-day examples our teachings demonstrate something the Western world does not understand yet.
Chris, I cannot allow you to endanger your life or religion. If you ever feel as if these are threatened Hijra remains a duty. Yet if you are able to teach those around you of the true version of Islam, there remains an obligation to spread this truth.
Allah Almighty knows best.