22 نوفمبر, 2017 - 4 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

Refugees living off the welfare system in non-Muslim countries

Refugees living off the welfare system in non-Muslim countries

Question

I am asking about Muslim refugees in non-Muslim countries, is the money received from governments lawful? I heard that existing, living and staying in Europe is unlawful for Muslim refugees. What is the Islamic stance on that?

Answer

The formulation of your question entails in its fold that Muslims ought to be staying in their native Muslim countries without being integrated, exposed or interactive with others. This methodology of understanding the Islamic Shari’ah is endangering and threatening to the Islamic Shari’ah itself and its ultimate purpose. First of all Islam does not command us to crawl up in our own little cocoons or isolate ourselves into our ivory towers and dismiss any relationships with people who happen to be different from us religiously, culturally or ethnically under the false premise of following the Islamic Shariah.

God recommended and sometimes commanded Muslims to tour the world and to visit different places to gain experience, increase knowledge and interact with different people. God stated that the wisdom behind having people belonging to different nations and tribes is to get to know one another, exchange different human experiences and enriching our lives. Since the dawn of history, Muslims travelled across the globe and exchanged trade, met different people and exposed to some various cultures. They went to Persia and wore Persian costumes and local outfits and prayed in these clothes. Muslims during the Ummayad period went to Andalusia and created a remarkable civilization based on coexistence. Many non-Muslim historians refer to this period in medieval Europe as “the golden age of Andalusia”. Part of the greatness of the Islamic civilization in Spain is that it was largely based on the principle of coexistence or La Convivenica through which Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in total harmony and utter peace. Both Jews and Christians enjoyed religious freedom and their synagogues and churches were left intact. Before the advent of Muslims to Spain, the Jews living in the Iberian Peninsula were suffering from severe persecution under the rulership of the visigothic Christians. In 613, the Visigothic King Sisebut issued a decree which forced Jews to convert to Christianity or be exiled and have their property confiscated. It comes as no surprise that many Jews welcomed their Muslim rulers and saw the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula as deliverance.

History proves that Muslims who emigrated to non-Muslim countries and the second Muslim generation which was born and raised there have their loyalties and priorities to the country in which they were born and raised. Islam came to eliminate the geographical barriers as it is not confined to only one land in exclusion of others. Loving one’s country and being loyal to it is an article of faith as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said when he was forced to leave, “O Makkah you are the dearest place to my heart and lest your people have forced me out, I would not have left”

According to Shari'ah (Islamic Law), there is no objection to reside in European and non-Muslim countries. As for benefiting from the financial grants in these countries, it is subject to what has been approved by rules and regulations there and is not a matter of a legal dispute in Islamic law.