Nationalism in Islam
Asalamu Alaykum Waramatullahe Wabarakatuh.
Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Raheem.
Asabiyyah (nationalism/tribalism) what an evil thing indeed.
Some people believe there will be a paradise for each nation.
What? How is it that people react to their nation? Are they not the slaves of Allah?
Why do we see tribes in Pakistan, fighting each others because of their tribe?
Why do we see kurds and turks, fight each others? (Bozkurtlar, PKK etc.)
Why do arabs think they are better than others?
Why is it that people see their own nation and tribe, better than rest of the humanity?
It is all wrong, no one is right in these matters. No nation is better than others, and no people has higher rank than others. A black man, is not less than a white man. What makes a man good and bad, is only his deeds and imaan (faith in God and his Prophets).
So what exactly does Islam say about this matter?
In Sunan Abu Dawud it is narrated by Abu Hurayra, that the messenger of God (pbuh) never accepted nationalism, and it is explained how evil act this is:
Narrated Abu Hurayra: The Prophet (pbuh) said: Allah, Most High, has removed from you the pride of the pre-Islamic period and its boasting in ancestors. One is only a pious beliver or a miserable sinner. You are sons of Adam, and Adam came from dust. Let the people cease to boast about their ancestors. They are merely fuel in Jahannam; or they will certainly be of less account with Allah than the beetle which rolls dung with its nose. (Abu Dawood, Book #41, Hadith #5097)
Why is it, that people apart from their brothers and sisters, eventhough they are all but one singe body?
Nu’man b. Bashir reported that Muslims are like one body of a person; if the eye is sore, the whole body aches, and if the head aches, the whole body aches. (Muslim, Book #032, Hadith #6261)
Further in Sahih Muslim, is an example of how a muslim is to another muslim.
Nu’man b. Bashir reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever. (Muslim, Book #032, Hadith #6258)
We do not only see this subject in the Sahih Ahadith, but Allah also sent revelation on this subject, in his Quran. We see some examples in Surah Hujuraat about this matter:
“O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former…” (Sura Al-Hujuraat # 49, ayah #11)
“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has taqwa (i.e. is one of the muttaqeen – the pious). Verily Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Sura Al-Hujuraat # 49, ayah #13)
This ayat means that the tribes were made only so that you can know each others, and not so that you can fight.
Of course there are many more hadith about this subject, and it was and is a big topic, even in the time of the Sahaba. But these ayats and hadith should be more than enough, to explain you this concept.
Today we sing national anthems, and celebrate indepence days, and many more national activities. But what nations are we celebrating? Take a second to think of who is ruling your country, and what Allah Almighty and his Messengers has said about this matter.
Now, what was the prophetic solution for this? A country which rules justly, and according to the sharia. Let’s take a look at this hadith:
Hudhaifah bin Al-Yaman reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“Prophethood (meaning himself) will remain with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain, then Allah will raise it up wherever he wills to raise it up. Afterwards, there will be a Caliphate that follows the guidance of Prophethood remaining with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, He will raise it up whenever He wills to raise it up. Afterwards, there will be a reign of violently oppressive [The reign of Muslim kings who are partially unjust] rule and it will remain with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, there will be a reign of tyrannical rule and it will remain for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, Allah will raise it up whenever He wills to raise it up. Then, there will be a Caliphate that follows the guidance of Prophethood.” – [As-Silsilah As-Sahihah, vol. 1, no. 5]
1. The reign of the Prophet Muhammad
2. A Caliphate that rules according to the guidance revealed to the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam. This period was ruled by great Caliphs, from Abu Bakr, then Umar, then Uthman and ending with death of Ali bin Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased withthem all. These people ruled for 30 years, and this can be refered to this hadith:
“The Prophet (pbuh) said: The Caliphate will remain in my nation after me for thirty years. Then, it will be a monarchy after that.” [Ahmad and Tirmidhi].
3. The reign of unjust rule. This reign started after Al-Hasan bin Ali and includes the Umayyad, Abbasid, Mamluks and then it fell at the Ottoman Empire at year 1922. Though it includes many great muslim leaders.
4. The reign of the tyrannical rule. This period started in the end of the Ottoman state and continues. We ask Allah that He saves us from the evils of this period and that we witness its end soon. It is highly believed to be the “democratic” tyranny which is the rulings of many countries world-wide.
So this is the prophecy of our messenger. But what now? What are we supposed to do? Fight for Kurdistan? Fight for Pakistan? Fight for Iraq? May Allah forgive us.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Therefore, hold fast to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs, hold it between your front teeth! And beware of innovations (in the religion), for every innovation is a bid’ah, and every bid’ah is a deviation, and every deviation is in the Fire.” [Sahih Al-Jami ‘ As-Saghir, no. 2549]
The Prophet wanted us to strive for a Caliphate (Kalifat), ruled by the laws of Hadith and Quran (sharia). A Caliphate is a ruling of which a man gets elected by the muslims to rule over them. This person then selects Guvernors (rulers) to help him rule in some of his countries, because it is hard to take care of many places alone. Then the Chief of the Believers, rules justly, and united. All muslims must live in harmony with each others.
This is what a Caliphate is, and it is obligated for every muslim, to strive for one. And Insha’Allah, the Caliph will come soon.
Asalamu Alaykum Waramatullahe Wabarakatuh.