Greetings from Dubai, UAE. I wanted to write and congratulate you on a most informative and easy to use web-site, with sympathetically written, accessible copy that will hopefully attract more converts and re-educate born Muslims in the way of Allah.
I have a general question for you - which I appreciate you may not wish to answer. As a new convert I find that this country does little - apparently - to follow the way of Allah, and I am seriuosly considering emigrating to another country. May I please have your assessment of what Canada would be like for a Muslim?
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Thank you for your compliments and encouragement for the way we manage both the presentation and contents of our website.
Islam is a universal religion. The word 'religion' in the Islamic context connotes an all-comprehensive meaning which signifies that Islam is a complete way of life. Consequently the word 'religion' cannot be understood in the ordinary sense of the word commonly used in the West. It almost seems like the world is shrinking due to the proliferation of the Internet and other communication techniques and now more than 1/3 of the total of the world's Muslim population live in non-Muslim countries as minorities. Most non-Muslim countries seem to have adopted the more the secular way of life in preference to the religious way of life.
Thus reconciling the Islamic way of life with secular way of life becomes a difficult balancing act. Consequently Muslim minorities have to do the best they can and follow the Islamic Law (Shariah) to the extent that they can adhere to it.
This same principle, namely, to do the best one can in order to adhere to the Islamic Law, also applies to Muslims who live in Muslim countries as well, regardless of how those Muslim countries interpret Islamic Law in their practical life. To put it simply - you must follow what you feel is correct, sensible, rational, and practical in your approach to the beautiful precepts of Islam. This is usually done by choosing a particular school of law (Madhab) to follow (for instance the Sunni-Hanafi School of law) and to not be bothered if the rest of the community chooses to follow other schools of law and if they do not follow the Islamic injunctions in as conscientious a manner as they ought to. Because, in the final analysis, every individual Muslim has to go by his own conscience. Islam does not have a pope or an institutionalized 'church' to force people to obey their commands rather than the commands of Allah s.w.t. and His Prophet p.b.u.h. in accordance with one's own conscience.
So you see that no matter where in the world you choose to live - it does not really matter! One thing that can be said about living in a Muslim country is that at least in a Muslim country, you will have an Islamic environment which would obviously be more conducive in following the Islamic way of life as opposed to general foreign, (even hostile) environments of non-Muslim countries.