A Question from Canada posed to al-Allaamah , Ash-Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin al-Abbaad, may Allah preserve him,

The Questioner: “This is a question from muslims brothers who reside in Canada. First Question: Is it permissible to obtain a canadian citizenship in order to use it for things that benefit the person in his religion, such as making it easier for him to enter most of the gulf countries and to be able to work there, in addition to making it easier for him to travel with his Canadian passport for business purposes?”

The Shaykh interrupts by saying: “Is this is a religious purpose!? I mean the act of him entering the gulf countries for business, is this a religious purpose!? Rather, it is merely for worldly goals. As for if he intends to call to Allah there or if there is a benefit in his presence there, while it doesn’t have any harmful consequences  (i.e. then that is a religious purpose). However, as for the act of a person obtaining a citizenship in the land of the kufaar while he is not in a state of daroorah (i.e. a dire need) for it, then it is not appropriate that he does so and these reasons which was previously read (in the question) have nothing of that sort (to indicate so); it is merely for worldly purposes so that he goes to the gulf countries so that he can work and for him to start a business. All of these reasons are for worldly purposes.”

The Questioner: “So it is not permissible for him to obtain the citizenship?”

The Shaykh: “As I said: that he cannot resort to that (obtaining the citizenship) except in a state of a daroorah (i.e. a dire need)”

The Questioner (goes on to the read the rest of the question):“Bearing in mind that it will be possible to obtain it after legally residing in their country for a (long) period of time and also bearing in mind that it will be possible to obtain it without making an oath or a covenant (i.e. a pledge) in regards to respecting their law system and without making a covenant (i.e. a pledge) in regards to being their (the kuffaar’s) allies in any war or similar to that of such covenants?”

The Shaykh: “In all cases, the fact that a person is in a dire need, then it is a must that he is capable of preserving all of the affairs of his religion there, and while there doesn’t occur from him any form of cooperation or resigning (from something of the religion) or leniency or entry in a matter which is not permissible. Or embarking upon a matter that is unlawful in order to obtain the citizenship. So along with the matter of it being a daroorah, it is a must that these conditions be met.”

The Source of Reference: Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin’s Sharh of Sunan Abi Daawud, tape 370, On Min 16:44 to 18:44.

A Side Note: After making a comparison between the audio of the Shaykh and the transcription of this fatwa that is found on some sites, I realized that the transcription contains some deficiency, rather many vital parts of the words of the Shaykh’s speech was removed and altered. However, with the aid of Allah, I added above some of that which was removed from the speech of the Shaykh walhamdulilaah.

~ Abu Fajr AbdulFattaah bin Uthman