Is it obligatory for him to migrate from the West when his mother and family need him?
But my mother is ill with fourth stage cancer and my father travels a great deal for his work. I have younger brothers and a sister, but they are very young and cannot help my mother and meet her needs. My mother loves my wife and my child and she wants to be always near them, but my mother does not want to live in Saudi Arabia; she wants to complete her treatment here in the USA, and she hates “the Arab race”! I do not want to live in the USA more than that, because I fear for my religious commitment. If I stay I will work in a mixed high school which is a source of fitnah (temptation). I am very anxious because they could prevent me from praying Jumu‘ah. There is a Muslim community very near my family (Masjid at-Tawheed in Atlanta), but I do not want to live in the West any more. I also have a debt (student loan) that I have repay and I know that it will be impossible to pay it in this country, but in Saudi Arabia I may be able to save money in sha Allah.
What should I do?.
We ask Allah to make you and your family steadfast in adhering to Islam and to enable you to obey Him. The one who is able to adhere to his religion in these days – especially in the West – is like one who is holding onto a hot coal. You have to fear Allah in secret and in public, and hasten to do good. Ask Allah a great deal to make you steadfast and Allah will help you and protect you.
The Muslim has to migrate for the sake of his religion from the lands of kufr and shirk. This life is very short and no one knows when his time will be up and death will come to him.
It was narrated that Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “I have nothing to do with any Muslim who settled among the mushrikeen.”
Narrated by at-Tirmidhi, 1604; Abu Dawood, 2645. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi.
For more information on this topic, please see the answer to question no. 27211.
What appears to be the case is that there is nothing wrong with you remaining in that country, at least during this period, until your mother’s treatment is over or you convince her to move with you, or she no longer needs to have you beside her. That will fulfil a number of purposes, in sha Allah, namely:
1.Pleasing your mother, which is in accordance with Islamic teachings to treat one’s mother kindly, take care of her and honour her. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small” [al-Isra’ 17:23-24].
2.Being in charge of treatment for your mother. Perhaps you will not be able to find anyone who could take care of her and look after her affairs except yourself, and perhaps your absence would make her grief, pain and sickness even worse. This action is a kind of jihad. It was narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr said: A man came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and asked him for permission to go for jihad. He said: “Are your parents alive?” He said: Yes. He said: “Then your jihad is with them.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2842; Muslim, 2549.
3.Your staying is also in the best interests of your younger brothers and sisters, because they need constant care and advice. They are far removed from temptation at present, and they need someone to teach them to adhere to righteousness and chastity.
With regard to what you said about the debts that you owe, whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will compensate him with something better than it. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).
3. And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him”
What matters is not the amount of money; rather it is the barakah [blessing] that Allah instils in it. If Allah blesses a small amount, it will suffice you, but if He takes the barakah away from a large amount, you will be poor.
You do not have to work in a place in which there is mixing; rather try to find work in an Islamic centre, for example, or serving the Muslim community, or other types of work that free of things that are not allowed.
You should move to the Muslim community that is close to your family, as you mentioned. That will be good for you and for your family.
All of this applies if it is too difficult for you to convince your mother and father to migrate. If you can do that, then do not hesitate to leave and migrate, so as to protect your religious commitment, yourself and your honour.
There is nothing wrong with your taking them for ‘Umrah or Hajj; this may open the door to good for you and for them. It may make them change their minds about living in the country and it may change their opinion about “the Arab race.” We ask Allah to choose good for you and to help you to attain it.
And Allah knows best.
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