We have decided to buy a new house to live in, in Baghdad. But my father refuses to live anywhere except the area in which he grew up, which is a Shi‘i area where rituals of shirk are done every year and the people whip themselves with chains in mourning for al-Husayn, or so they say. Now we, the sons, are confused: should we go against our father and prevent him from buying a house in this area, or should we give in to what he wants out of obedience to him even though we are able to stop him from doing that?
Does this come under the heading of moving away from places of shirk? What are its conditions and obligations? Please note that my father is a religiously committed man, but he is influenced by the place where he grew up.
Parents have to understand that Allah, may He be exalted, has made them shepherds of their families and they will be responsible for them on the Day of Resurrection, as it was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler of the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his household and is responsible for his flock…” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 853; Muslim, 1829.
Allah, may He be exalted, has instructed the believers to protect themselves and their families from the Fire of Hell, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe…”
Hence we can say to the good father that staying among people of extreme innovation and corrupt beliefs poses a danger to you and your family in terms being influenced by their beliefs. If the father is religiously committed and feels safe, in sha Allah, against their misguidance and innovations, and if you are likewise, the danger still exists for your offspring and children.
Because we know that those innovators are the Raafidis, then our warning to you is further emphasized because there is the fear for you and your family that they may cause you real harm, and real life events in your country testify to that. So you should not let emotion take precedence over reason and religious commitment; rather you should reconsider the idea of your staying among those who carry out rituals of shirk and revile the best of this ummah, namely the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). The scholars have stated that if the believer does not feel that he or his family are safe from fitnah or that he cannot openly practice his religion, then he has to leave his home and migrate, and it makes no difference whether his land is a land of evildoing, innovation or shirk. If the Muslim is in such a land, then he has to leave it, so how about if he chooses to go and live in the land and among those people who openly practise shirk in the name of Islam and revile the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) and denounce Ahl al-Sunnah as disbelievers?!
Ibn al-‘Arabi al-Maaliki (may Allah have mercy on him) said, describing the types of migration:
… The second is migration from the land of innovation. Ibn al-Qaasim said: I heard Maalik say: It is not permissible for anyone to stay in a land in which the salaf (early generations of Muslims) are reviled.
And this is true. If the one who objects to evil is not able to change it then he should keep away from it. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And when you (Muhammad) see those who engage in a false conversation about Our Verses (of the Qur'ân) by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Shaitân (Satan) causes you to forget, then after the remembrance sit not you in the company of those people who are the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers)”
End quote from Ahkaam al-Qur’aan, 2/412, 413
What we think is that your father should avoid living among the people of that deviant sect, for the reasons mentioned above.
If your father insists on living in that place, after you have tried to advise him in the best way, that you have to beware of the plots and the evil of the Raafidis and take precautions to protect your religious commitment against the fitnah of their religious practices; try to ensure that your closest neighbours are Sunnis who live in that area.
What we suggest to you is do not buy a house or land in that place; rather try to make your stay there temporary in the hope that Allah will guide your father and he will become convinced to keep away from that place and choose somewhere better than it.
See also the answer to question no. 116607.
For more information on matters of migration and the conditions thereof, see the answer to question no. 72955, in which there are more details.
And Allah knows best.