Praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the worlds; peace and blessings be upon our master, Muhammad, and his good and pure Progeny, and may the curse of Allah be on all their enemies until Resurrection Day.
Allah Almighty has decreed and destined that many believers from various nations and countries are suddenly forced, during successive periods, to part with their peoples and societies, migrate from their homelands, leaving them behind. Many of them have settled in foreign lands which they made home and lived among societies that differ from their religion and creed, ideals and ethics, norms of conduct and companionship, methods of life and of making a living.
It is only natural that their problems and difficulties were renewed with which they were never familiar so that they would be able to come out of them and get over them. But the reality imposes itself on many of them, forcing them to treatments and solutions which they loved or hated and which they had to accept and to which they surrender in order to acclimate with the societies in which they live and the conditions in which they found themselves.
The most complex and serious of these problems are those of creed, religion, principles, ethics, norms of conduct and companionship which are the greatest assets a believer has and the most precious thing earned by man because in them lie his worldly happiness and salvation from eternal perdition in the Hereafter. They are, after all, the foundations of his humanity and the perfection of his character. If he is stripped of them, he will be counted among freely grazing animals whose concern is their feed and their business is to look for it in the garbage. Nay! He may be lower than them and more beastly.
The longer the period lasts and the more their number grows, the more the problems aggravate, becoming complicated in serious repercussions, the extent of which is known only by Allah Almighty; so, we belong to Allah, and to Him shall we return. Praise to Allah, which nobody besides whom is praised for what we disliked; surely He is the most Merciful of those who show mercy, the Master of the faithful.
Leaving matters to the reality that exists there, to the nature of interaction between it and the incoming belief-based presence, may lead in the end to the believers being assimilated into these societies, getting lost in them, their identity and personality diminishing, by being stripped off their religion, principles and ethics, which all result in a great calamity equivalent to none at all, one which requires all efforts to repel and to take precautions against.
Then complaints, pleas for help, questions and inquiries about edicts started reaching us in order to treat these problems and to come out with suitable solutions for them in order to safeguard the religious measures, and to cling to the honorable principles and lofty morals, which all make up the mission of Islam – actually of all divinely-revealed creeds – and what they care for greatly and emphasize.
We had sent a written message to our believing expatriate brothers in which we dealt with some of these problems, and the message was published at the time, then we followed it with issuing a number of edicts related to expatriates and to the reality in which they live, explaining the ruling of the Sharia relevant to those realities.
But the matter seems to be more serious and complicated than what the above suffices for, and a wider effort and more comprehensive work became a necessity due to those problems branching out and getting all the time more and more complicated, because of the passing of much time, the seriousness of repercussions and the negative outcomes of the sharp contrast between non-Muslim societies [on one hand] and the believer's concern about religious teachings and the Sharia laws which incorporate all aspects of life, the lofty concepts in morals, ethics and conduct [on the other].
The said effort is represented in collecting a greater number of edicts and issues that concern expatriates, limiting the answers to explaining what the Sharia rules in their regard, or providing guidance and a direction as the situation demanded then, classifying them into the various areas of Islamic law, and some general chapters that are suitable for the environment surrounding expatriates. All this is to be presented through addressing the expatriates, providing them with pieces of advice and general directions that suit their situation in an attempt to prevent perils from reaching them, to safeguard their character and entity when it comes to creed and religion, to lofty principles, ethics and exemplary conduct. In doing so, we have sometimes followed the same outlines which we had stated in our message to the expatriates to which we referred above.