It is said that verses 97-100 of Surah Al-Nisa make migration in the way of Allah obligatory on every Muslim living in a non-Muslim country except when one is living to preach Islam or is in great disgust finding no way out of it. I am a Pakistani living in Europe. What course should I adopt?
A simple translation of the verse 97 follow:
Surely (as for) those whom the angels cause to die while they have been unjust to their souls (for they have been not openly declared their faith fearing the powerful persecutors), they shall say: In what state were you? They shall say: We were weak in the earth. They shall say: Was not Allah's earth spacious, so that you should have migrated therein? So these it is whose abode is hell, and it is an evil resort. (4:97)
We need to determine the addressees. Consider the following part of their response:
Kunnah mustazhafeena (we were weak and helpless). This shows the groups was in a state where they could not act upon their religion openly. Therefore, they were not able to discharge basic religious obligation in that society. They could migrate from the place and settle in Madinah where Muslims state had been established.
Therefore, we understand that this severe retribution can only be extended to those who act similarly these days. If in the state one has settled does not allow him to keep his faith known and discharge the religious obligations then he must leave that state for the Muslim community unless he has no means to do so. Merely living in a non Muslim state under any reasonable excuse cannot be connected with the situation depicted in the verse. Therefore we understand that Islam has not held it forbidden the believers to settle in any non-Muslims state. Any Muslim can decide on living any of the non-Muslim states unless such a state does not allow him fulfill his obligations towards God. In this case he must try to settle in a country where he can freely act upon the divine directives.