Praise be to Allaah.
It is permissible to
travel to Muslim countries that are ruled by sharee’ah if they are free of
evils and immorality. If the people of a country are Muslim but it is not
ruled by sharee’ah, then we should not travel there for fun. It is even more
haraam to go to countries whose people are kaafirs, and it is not
permissible to travel to these countries except in case of need, such as a
sick person who travels for treatment or with a sound purpose such as going
for business or da’wah.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) was asked
about the ruling on travelling to a country whose religion is something
other than Islam, whether it is Christian or has no religion. Is there any
difference between travelling for fun or travelling for medical treatment or
study and so on?
It is not permissible to travel to the lands of kufr, because
this poses a threat to one’s ‘aqeedah and morals and because it involves
mixing with the kuffaar and living among them. But if there is a need for
travelling to their countries, such as seeking medical treatment for one who
is sick that is not available anywhere else, or travelling for the purpose
of study that is not available in a Muslim country, or travelling for
business, these are valid purposes for which it is permissible to travel to
kaafir countries, so long as one is able to adhere to Islamic practices and
establish Islam in their lands. That should also be done only to the extent
that it is necessary, then you should go back to the Muslim lands.
Travelling for the sake of tourism is not permissible,
because the Muslim has no need for that and it does not serve any interest
that matches or outweighs the harm and danger that it poses to his religious
commitment and ‘aqeedah.
He was also asked:
What is the ruling on travelling to Islamic lands in which
there are a great deal of evils and major sins, such as zina and alcohol,
and the like?
What is meant by Islamic lands is those which are ruled
according to Islamic sharee’ah, not the lands in which there are Muslims but
they are not ruled according to sharee’ah. These are not Islamic. If there
is corruption and evil in the lands that are Islamic in the former sense,
then we should not travel to them, lest we be affected by the evil that
exists there. As for the other type of lands – i.e., non-Islamic (not
governed by sharee’ah), we have explained the ruling on travelling to them
in the first question.
And he was asked:
What is your advice to fathers who send their children abroad
during the summer to study English or for tourism? What is your advice to
those who travel abroad?
My advice to those fathers is that they should fear Allaah
with regard to their children, for they are a trust concerning which they
will be asked on the Day of Resurrection. It is not permissible for them to
put their children at risk by sending them to the lands of kufr and
corruption, lest they go astray. As for learning English – if it is really
necessary – they can be taught it in their own country, without travelling
to a kaafir country. Even more serious than that is sending them for the
sake of tourism. Travelling for this purpose is haraam as stated in the
My advice to those who travel abroad for whom it is
Islamically permissible to travel, is that they should fear Allaah and
adhere to their religion, practising it openly, feeling proud of it, calling
people to it and conveying it to the people. They should be a good example,
representing the Muslims well. And they should not stay in the kaafir land
any longer than is necessary. And Allaah knows best.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn
‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about families
travelling abroad, i.e., to other Muslim countries, knowing that there are
passports involved and they look at the pictures of the women, and a man may
ask a woman to uncover her face in order to prove her identity. Is that
permissible other than in cases of necessity?
We do not think that anyone should travel abroad except in
cases of necessity or for a valid purpose, because travelling abroad causes
a great deal of unnecessary expense, so it is a waste of money and the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade wasting
Secondly: this travelling may distract them from doing things
that they could be doing in their own country, such as upholding the ties of
kinship, seeking knowledge, etc. Undoubtedly being distracted from something
beneficial is to be regarded as a loss.
Thirdly: The land to which they travel may be a land that has
been influenced greatly by colonialism with regard to morality and ideas,
which may affect his morals and way of thinking. This is the worst thing
that is to be feared from travelling abroad.
Hence I say to this
questioner and to others: Praise be to Allaah, we have summer resorts in our
country and there is no need to go abroad; that is also cheaper and benefits