Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
When someone decides to settle with their husband in another country to be able to live their religion better and that this person has difficulties of adaptation due to missing his relatives (parents especially), can this person decide to return?
Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. I pray you’re well insha’Allah. May Allah reward you for striving to migrate for the purpose of preserving your faith and the practice of your family.
The basic ruling is that if a person is prevented from practising their religion in a non-Muslim land, then it is obligatory for them to migrate to a land in which they can practice their religion openly, on the condition that they are able to migrate.
If they are able to practice their religion in their city/country, but migrating to another place offers more opportunities to strengthen and practice one’s faith, then hijra is recommended but not obligatory. [Mughni al Muhtaj]
However, the issue of emigration for the sake of Allah is not so clear cut or simple in today’s world since geographical and political circumstances, as well as the situation of many Muslim countries, make the practical realities of Hijra difficult.
Emigrating for the sake of Allah from one’s homeland will almost always entail hardship, so this is to be expected. One of the biggest hardships is not being around one’s family and friends. This is part of the sacrifice as well as the reward.
It takes time getting used to a new place and usually one never begins to appreciate a place until after the first year has passed, at least. Of course, it is also true that one may never really feel settled in some places.
If the distance becomes overbearing and you find that instead of strengthening your religion and being productive in it, you feel down and negative, or unable to progress, then perhaps it is a good idea to look at your options.
Perhaps the following suggestions will help:
1. For now, try speaking to your family back home regularly, either on the phone or on video Skype.
2. Try taking regularly trips back home for the first years, if affordable and practical. After a few years, you may find you can space the trips further apart.
3. If none of the above work or are possible, then consider relocating to another country closer to your home country where you can visit your family or them visit you regularly . If this is not possible, and the reason why you left your country was because you were unable to practice your religion, then perhaps consider moving to a different city in your home country if it is more tolerant.
4. If you were able to practice in your home country, then there is no harm or blame on you for going back home.
If you really were prevented from practicing your religion openly and freely in your home city, then please do consider moving to somewhere where you can, even if another more tolerant non-Muslim country, or nearby city.
If you do have to go back home, then make the intention that a) you are going to go back and strive to establish a Muslim identity in that place, and hopfeully guide others, and b) you are going back to maintain the ties of kinship.
Lastly, do not forget to make du’a and make use of praying Salatul Istikhara.
I pray the above offers some guidance and advise.
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.