Is it permissible to migrate to a non-Muslim country?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
The ruling on migrating from an Islamic country to a non-Muslim country varies from situation to situation. The various situations and their rulings are summarised below:
a) If a person without having committed any crime is persecuted in his Islamic motherland or his wealth is seized from him and he has no way of protecting himself from such acts of oppression besides migrating to a non-Muslim country, it will be permissible for him to migrate to a non-Muslim country with the condition that he safeguards his religious obligations and keeps away from the things which are prohibited in Islam.
b) If a person, in his motherland, is having extreme difficulty in earning sufficient livelihood (i.e. livelihood that is sufficient for his needs) and he can only earn sufficient livelihood in a non-Muslim country, it will be permissible for him to migrate to a non-Muslim country.
c) If a person migrates to a non-Muslim country with the intention of da’wah (i.e. to call the people to Islam) or to teach the Muslims already there about Islam or to encourage them to act upon the teachings of Islam, it will not only be permissible but praiseworthy to migrate to a non-Muslim country in such a case.
d) If a person is earning livelihood in his motherland that is sufficient for him to lead a standard of life comparable to that of the people of his motherland and he intends to migrate to a non-Muslim country in order to earn more money and to raise his standard of living, it will be makrooh (reprehensible) for him to migrate to a non-Muslim country in such a case.
e) If a person intends to migrate to a non-Muslim country in order to become respectable in the society or in order to prove himself superior to the other Muslims or he does it thinking that holding citizenship of a non-Muslim country is better than holding citizenship of a Muslim country or he does it in order to emulate the lifestyle of the non-Muslims then in all these cases it will be haram (prohibited) to migrate to a non-Muslim country.
(Buhooth Fi Qadaya Fiqhiya Mu'asara: 1/328)
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Faizal Riza
Darul Ifta Australia