Islam And Nationalism

In the postmodern era of human civilization, nationalism has gradually evolved as a concept to reckon with. Of late it has assumed such menacing proposition, that no one can even think of questioning let alone debating it’s merits lest he be labeled as an anti national or a traitor by people who have monopolized patriotism.

In fact, nationalism has become an extremely dangerous tool in the hands of vested interests masquerading patriotism and nationalism all around the world.

Love for the country of one’s own birth and her person is a natural tendency and has been ingrained in human psyche. Islam being a natural religion, it never denounces nor it comes in the way of national spirit and its development.

It always exhorts its followers to be good citizens and to follow the law of the land of their domicile. But at the same time, it doesn’t allow nationalism to be equated with “worship of mother land”. For none is worth the worship except God alone; and Islam does not compromise an inch on this most critical issue.

Islam is first and foremost committed to humanity and the well being of human society at large. Anything in the name of caste, creed, language, race or place of birth that goes against the interest of human society is outright rejected by Islam.

The honour and value of the life of a human being is considered more sacred than the Holy Kaaba (the holy mosque in Makkah) by the Prophet of Islam. And hence Islam prohibits blood shed, slaying of innocents, malafide land grabs, exploitation of weaker sections of the society, hoarding of essential commodities, inflationary profiteering, concentration of wealth and all that which creates ‘imbalance’ or ‘disorder’ in the land and all these are as treated as one of the biggest sins.

These are the stumbling blocks in the way of prosperity of people and Islam’s goal of dignified standard of living for all, which it envisages to accomplish. Such noble goals cannot be achieved without universal brotherhood and equitable social justice. That’s why Islam rejects the narrow basis of birth as the element of solidarity. The love and attachment to parentage or to the soil of birth is no doubt natural, yet the very interest of human race demands a certain tolerance and consideration towards other similar groups world over.

The distribution of natural wealth and resources, in different parts of the world in varying quantities renders the world interdependent. Inevitably one is forced to live and let live; otherwise an interminable succession of vendettas will destroy all. Land just like air, rainwater, rivers, sun and moon are part of God’s bounties, made subservient to serve human beings.

There is absolutely no semblance of sanctity or reverence about them from Islamic point of view. The political boundaries are man made and our own internal arrangement to administer and manage our affairs more effectively and efficiently. It doesn’t necessarily and should not definitely; result in inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities among human beings who all have one common origin.

The concept of nationality on the basis of race, colour, language or birthplace is too primitive; there in is a fatality, an impasse - something in which man has no choice. It goes without saying that it will make the problem foreigners and strangers exist perpetually, and such a nationality will be too narrow to embrace the inhabitants of the entire world, and if the foreigners are not assimilated, there will always be the risk of conflicts and wars.

The excesses and atrocities committed by tyrant nationalist leaders like Hitler,is very well documented in the History and a case in point. The Islamic notion is progressive and is based solely on the choice of individual.

For it proposes the unity of all those who believe in the same ideology without distinction of race, colour, language or place of abode. Since extermination or subjugation of others is excluded; the only valid possibility is assimilation. And which means can serve better such assimilation, if not belief in the same ideology. The past has shown that Muslims have assimilated this supra-racial and supra regional ideal of brotherhood; and this sentiment is still a living force among them to this day. Here, in this ideology lies the panacea of all the ills of the human society today.

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