Duties of Muslims Living in the West

Question

As-Salamu `alaykum. Could you please give me a detailed response concerning the duties of Muslims who live in the West? Your earliest response will be very much appreciated. Jazakum Allahu Khayran . 

Answer

Wa`alaykum As-Salaamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, thank you very much for having confidence in us, and we implore Allah, from the depth of our hearts, to guide the baffled Muslim Ummah to the best, and to gather Muslims together to work for the common weal of Muslims every where.

Muslims all over the world especially those living in majority non-Muslim countries in the west should try their best to give non-Muslims a positive view about Islam and the real traits of Muslims. Muslims in those parts of the world are ordered to be law-abiding citizens and they should work for the wellbeing of their respective communities.

Responding to the question, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states the following:

There are many religious duties for a Muslim who lives in the West. Some of those religious duties may be classified as follows:

The Duty to Keep One’s Muslim Identity:

This can be achieved by sticking to Islamic commands, trying to understand the tenets of faith, showing keenness on performing daily prayers in the masjid, cooperating with fellow Muslim brothers on that which is good and righteous, and seeking religious knowledge from reliable scholars regarding new problematic issues.

The Duty Towards One’s Family:

Although every Muslim is obliged to take care of his family, such an obligation is stressed in the West because when the Muslim lacks the watchful eye, this rings alarm for family disintegration that may ensue, in addition to children lacking the proper Islamic care.

In more than one occasion, I told brothers and sisters living in the west that if they find it extremely difficult to bring up their children Islamically, they should go back to their countries of origin, as staying in the west in this case will cause an irreparable harm to the whole family. It will be of no avail to amass worldly riches and neglect religious ordinances.

Duty of Muslims Towards One Another:

With Muslims being a minority in those non-Muslim countries, they ought to unite together as one man. Referring to this, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “A believer to his fellow believing brother is like a building whose bricks cement each other.”

Hence, Muslims in those countries have to unite and to reject any form of division that is capable of turning them to an easy prey for others.

Duty of Muslims Towards the Society Where They Reside:

Muslims in the west ought to be sincere callers to their religion. They should keep in mind that calling others to Islam is not only restricted to scholars and Sheikhs, but it goes far to encompass every committed Muslim. As we see scholars and Sheikhs delivering khutbas and lectures, writing books to defend Islam, it is no wonder to find lay Muslims practicing da`wah while employing wisdom and fair exhortation.

Duty to Adopt and Champion the Rights of the Muslim Ummah:

Such kind of duty involves championing the Cause of Palestine, Iraq,Kosova, Chechnya (and other places where Muslims are facing great ordeals), with the sincere intention to return back the usurped rights to their legitimate owners.

Nowadays, we see the Jews, from the four corners of the world, championing and backing Israel, and we call on all Muslims in all parts of the world saying that it is high time to champion the rights of their Muslim Ummah.

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