'Dual citizenship - only in life or death cases'

Muslims barred from living in, visiting non-Muslim countries, Saudi scholar insists.

Tova Dvorin ,

Sheikh Muhammad Al-Habdan
Sheikh Muhammad Al-Habdan

Muslims are only allowed to acquire citizenship in non-Muslim countries in "life or death" situations, a Saudi scholar insisted last month - and even banned visiting the Western world.

Saudi scholar Sheikh Muhammad Al-Habdan, a member of the Muslim Scholars Association, preached Muslim isolationism in the Ahwaz TV interview. 

"The principle is that a Muslim is not allowed to obtain citizenship of an infidel state, unless it is essential, as in cases of life or death," Al-Habdan stated. His comments were translated into English by the Middle Eastern Media Research Institute (MEMRI).  

Saudi Cleric Muhammad Al-Habdan: Citizenship of Infidel Countries Only in Cases of Life and Death

He added that the same held true for visiting infidel countries, which is allowed only when necessary – for trade or medical treatment, for example – but not for mere tourism. 

Conditions include being well-versed in Islam, to "protect him from doubts" and from "lust"; "legitimate" reasons for going, including "to conduct trade, to study, or from fear of being killed"; and to stay only as long as the reasons persist to be a necessity.