Pledging Allegiance to Gain Citizenship

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasatis asked if pledging allegiance to a non-Muslim country in order to gain citizenship is a form of shirk.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have a question regarding the pledging allegiance to US to get a citizenship. I live in US with my parents. My dad wanted me to get a citizenship after he got his. I did not want to get the US citizenship since I assumed it to be shirk. Today I got my citizenship.

Now my question is it shirk to pledge allegiance to non-Muslim state, to bear arms to protect it, etc? I would like to know the Hanafi view if possible. If yes, is there any hope for my tawbah to be accepted?

Jazak Allah khayr.


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

It is not shirk to pledge allegiance to the US. Rather it could a praiseworthy act of worship with the right intention.

What Is Shirk?

Shirk, in short, is:

    1. 1. affirming the existence of multiple gods;


    1. 2. saying Allah is made up of multiple gods (like the concept of the Trinity in Christianity);


    1. 3. worshiping another with the intention of getting something from Allah though him;


    1. 4. thinking that causes bring about effects independent of Allah;


    5. showing off in acts of worship.

The first four take one outside of the fold of Islam, and the last one is an enormity from which one must repent, and not something that takes one out of Islam. Please take the time to study the Essentials of Islamic Belief when the course next opens. Having a solid foundation of what Muslims believe will save you from confusion on matters such as this.

Living in Non-Musim Countries

Merely living in a non-Muslim country, bearing its nationality, or eating its national dish does not entail shirk – nor does voting, whilst we are on the matter. All of these matters are permissible provided one is able to perform one’s obligatory religious duties, and that there is no real, palpable danger to one’s faith or that of dependents. Millions of Muslims live in non-Muslim countries, and despite the recognized challenges, many not only survive — they thrive in their faith.

Defending your home country from an aggressor would be obligatory wherever you lived if the need arose. Pledging to do this does not take one out of Islam.

Making a firm intention to live Islam and show its beauty to Muslims and non-Muslims is one of the ways to making your living in a non-music country an act of worship. Do so, and take the steps to make it happen in your own life and community.

(Kafawi, al-Kulliyat; Sanusi, al-Muqaddimat; Quduri, al-Mukhtasar; Abdul-Karim Zaydan; Buhuth Fiqhiyya Muʿasira).

May Allah allow us to thrive in our belief and practice wherever we are. Amin.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.