Please tell me about the ruling on one who works for the army, which is the source of his provision, but the military system and laws oblige him to shave his beard and some of them have to respect others, as the foreigners do. We have to greet others in a manner different from that enjoined upon us by Allaah and His Messenger, we have to salute the flag and we are governed by and have to refer differences amongst ourselves to laws other than those of Allaah (military law). If I fight to defend my country, but it is not under the banner of Laa ilaah ill-Allaah Muhammad Rasool Allaah [There is no god but Allaah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah], and by the will of Allaah I am killed, what is the ruling on me according to the Qur’aan and Sunnah?
Can I fight with an intention that is different to that of the army in whose ranks I am fighting? If I do the things mentioned above so as to avoid any negative consequences, am I sinning by doing that? Can a Muslim work in the army with the intention of learning fighting skills which he cannot learn anywhere else under current circumstances?
Please tell me about obedience to parents in this matter, when points of view differ in a case where the parents do not follow the Qur’aan and Sunnah, but they follow the traditions of society and whatever people are agreed upon. They think that religion is just prayer and fasting, and that anything beyond that is extremism. May Allaah help you to do that which pleases Him, correct your mistakes and protect you.
Praise be to Allaah.
Firstly: it is haraam to shave the beard; it is obligatory (waajib) to leave it to grow.
Secondly: it is not permissible to salute the flag.
Thirdly: it is obligatory (waajib) to govern by the sharee’ah of Islam, and to refer to it for judgement. It is not permissible for a Muslim to greet colleagues or superiors with the greeting of the foreigners, because of the reports which state that it is forbidden to imitate them and because this represents exaggerated respect for them.
Fourthly: Whoever fights to make the word of Allaah supreme and to protect the Muslims and their lands from the enemy, is fighting for the sake of Allaah, and if he is killed he is a shaheed (martyr). What counts is the aim and intention. You can have an intention which is different from the intention of the army, such as intending to make the word of Allaah supreme in your jihaad (so long as it is permissible, according to sharee’ah, to fight the group against whom you are fighting), even if others have different intentions, such as fighting for their country.
Fifthly: it is obligatory (waajib) to obey your parents so long as this does not entail disobeying Allaah, because there should be no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience of the Creator.
And Allaah is the source of strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.
Fataawaa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 12/22