Beliefs & Methodology

Islam has forbidden the calls of jahiliyyah (the pre-Islamic days of ignorance) and there are many textual evidences which forbid all of the characteristics and manners of jahiliyyah and their actions, except those (good and decent) practices which Islam agreed to. And there is no doubt that the call to nationalism is from these calls of jahiliyyah, since nationalism is a call to other than Islam and an aiding of other than the truth. And how many ills, evils and serious wars has such calls of jahiliyyah caused to their people, causing great harm to their souls, their wealth and their possessions. The consequences of such calls (for the Muslims) was a splitting-up of their unity and a planting of enmity and hatred of each other in their hearts and a fragmentation and splitting between tribes and nations.

Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) - rahimahullah - said:{qluetip title=[1]}Majmu' al-Fatawa (3/456){/qluetip}

"Everything which is outside the call of Islam and the Qur'an, with regards to lineage, land, nationality, schools of thoughts and ways, it is from the calls of jahiliyyah." Indeed, even when the Muhajirun (those Companions who migrated from Makkah to Madinah) and the Ansar (those Companions who aided and supported those who migrated) argued, such that one of the Muhajirun said: 'O Muhajirun! (implying; rally to my aid).' And one of the Ansar said: 'O Ansar!' The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, upon hearing this, said: 'Is it with the calls of jahiliyyah that you call, and I am still amongst you!' And he became very angry at that.{qluetip title=[2]}Related by Al-Bukhari (8/137){/qluetip}"

And from the textual evidences pertaining to this issue is Allah - the Most High's - saying:

"And stay in your homes and do not display yourselves, like the display of the times of jahiliyyah (pre-lslamic ignorance). But establish the Prayer, give the Zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger."
Al-Qur'an 33:33
"When those who disbelieved placed in their hearts pride and arrogance - the pride and arrogance of jahiliyyah - then Allah sent down His tranquility upon His Messenger and upon the Believers ..."
Al-Qur'an 48:26

The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"Whosoever leaves off obedience and separates from the Jama'ah and dies, he dies a death of jahiliyyah. Whoever fights under the banner of the blind, becoming angry for 'asabiyyah (partisanship and party-spirit), or calling to 'asabiyyah, or assisting 'asabiyyah, then dies, he dies a death of jahiliyyah."
Related by Muslim in his Sahih (6/21), from Abu Hurayrah radhiallahu 'anhu

Also in Sahih Muslim (8/120) the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"Indeed Allah has revealed to me that you should have humility, and that no one should act proudly and oppressively over anyone else, nor should anyone boast over anyone else."

And there is no doubt that the call to nationalism is a call to 'asabiyyah (partisanship and party-spirit) and it is a call to becoming angry for the sake of 'asabiyyah and fighting for 'asabiyyah. And there is no doubt also, that the call to nationalism is a call to transgression, pride and arrogance, since nationalism is not a divinely-revealed way of life which prevents its people from oppression and proud-boasting. Rather it is an ideology from the time of jahiliyyah which leads it people to boasting about it and having 'asabiyyah for it - even if they are the oppressors and the others are the oppressed! So - noble reader - consider this and the truth will be clear to you.

And from the textual evidences connected with this is what At-Tirmidhi relates from Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam that he said:

"Let people stop boasting about their forefathers who have died, who are merely fire for the Hellfire; or they will certainly be more insignificant with Allah than the beetle which roles dung with its nose. Allah has removed from you the party-spirit of the days of jahiliyyah and the boasting about one's forefathers. Indeed a person is either a pious Believer or a wretched sinner. All of mankind are the children of Adam, and Adam was created from clay."
Hasan: Related by Abu Dawud (no. 5116) and At-Tirmidhi (no. 4233) from Abu Hurayrah radhiallahu 'anhu. It was authenticated by Ibn Taymiyyah in Kitabu'l-Iqtida (p. 35)

The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam also said:

"Indeed there is no excellence for an arab over a non-arab, nor a non-arab over an arab, nor a white person over a black one, nor a black person over a white one, except through taqwa (piety and obedience to Allah)."
Sahih: Related by Ahmad (5/411) and it was authenticated by Ibn Taymiyyah in Kitabu'l-Iqtida (p. 69)

And this accords with Allah - the Most High's - saying:

"O mankind! We have created you from male and female and have made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Indeed the most noble of you with Allah is the one who has the most taqwa."
Al-Qur'an 49:13

So Allah - the One free from all defects - made clear in this noble ayah (verse) that people have been made into nations and tribes so that they may come to know each other, not that they should boast and have pride over one another. And Allah - the Most High - considered the most noblest of them to be the one with the most piety and taqwa. Likewise, the previously mentioned narration shows the same meaning, and guides to the fact that it is from the ways of jahiliyyah to vainly boast and to have false pride for one's fore fathers and ancestry. This is what the calls of jahiliyyah lead to, whereas Islam is in opposition to this. Rather Islam calls to modesty, humility, taqwa and to having love for the sake of Allah, and that the true and sincere Muslims are merely one of the categories of the children of Adam 'alayhis-salam, and that the Muslims are a single body and a single structure; each part supporting the other and each part feeling the pain that the other parts are suffering - as occurs in an authentic hadith (narration) from the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, that he said: "The Believer to the Believer is like a solid building, one part supports the other." And he interlaced his fingers to demonstrate this.{qluetip title=[3]}Related by Al-Bukhari (no. 481) and Muslim (no. 2585) from Abu Hurayrah radhiallahu 'anhu{/qluetip}

The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam also said:

"The example of the Believer in their mutual love and mercy is like the example of a body, if one part of the body feels pain, then all the body suffers in sleeplessness and fever."
Related by Al-Bukhari (no. 6011) and Muslim (no. 2586) from An-Nu'man ibn Bashir radhiallahu 'anhu

O people! I call to you in the name of Allah. Does your nationalism call you to these noble manners of mercy and kindness to the Muslims - the arabs and the non-arabs - and of having mutual sympathy and concern for them, and feeling pain at their pain? No by Allah! Rather it calls you to having allegiance with those who have evil character and it calls you to cultivating enmity and hatred for those who deny this false creed of nationalism. So beware, O Muslim who desires safety and salvation, and consider the reality of the affair with a fair consideration, without being prejudiced with party-spirit and desires. Only then you will see the reality as it truly is. So may Allah guide me and you to the means of safety and salvation.

And it is related by Imam Al-Bukhari in his Sahih (8/137), that a young man from the Muhajirun and a young man from the Ansar quarreled. So the Muhajir said: "O Muhajirun! (meaning: rally to my help)" And the Ansari said: "O Ansar!" So the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam heard this and said: "Is it with the call of jahiliyyah that you are calling out, and I am present amongst you!"

Even though the term Muhajr and Ansar are two ascriptions which are beloved to Allah - the One free from all defects - and He has praised these two groups with a very great praise, in His - the Most High's - saying:

"And the first to embrace Islam from the Muhajirun and the Ansar, and those who followed them in goodness, beliefs and actions. Allah is well-pleased with them, and they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens of Paradise, beneath which rivers flow, to live therein forever. That is the supreme achievement."
Al-Qur'an 9:100

Yet in the above incident, this ascription to the Muhajirun and seeking the help from them, and the Ansar and seeking the help from them, when the likes of this was considered to be from the calls of jahiliyyah, what about those who claim allegiance to nationalism and seek help through that and become angry for that? Will this not be more fitting to be considered one of the calls from the days of jahiliyyah? This is a matter in which there is no doubt, and it is one of the dearest of all matters.

And this is what has been established in the authentic hadith (narration), from Al-Harith al-Ash'ari radhiallahu 'anhu that the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "I order you with five things which Allah ordered me with: The Jama'ah, hearing, obeying, hijrah (migration) and jihad in the way of Allah - the Mighty and Majestic. So whosoever separates from the Jama'ah by a hand span, throws the yoke of Islam from his neck, unless he repents. And whosoever calls with the call of jahiliyyah (the days of ignorance), then he is from the hoarded-heap of Hellfire." It was said: Even if he fasts and prays? He said: "Even if he fasts and prays. So call with the call of Allah which Allah gave: The Muslims, the Believers, Worshippers of Allah." {qluetip title=[4]}Sahih: Related by At-Tirmidhi (no. 2863) and At-Tiyalasi (no. 1161) and others. It was authenticated by Shaykh Al-Albani in his checking to Ibn Abi 'Asim's As-Sunnah (no. 1036){/qluetip}

This hadith is absolutely clear with regards to rendering futile the calls to nationalism. Its callers deserve that they should be from the heap of Hellfire, even if they fast and they pray and claim that they are Muslims. So what a severe threat and severe warning is given here; warning every Muslim from the calls of jahiliyyah and warning them from entering into this - even is such calls are adorned with false talks and enchanting speeches. Rather is a deception and a blind-following which leads its people to the worst and most despicable of ends. And we ask Allah for safety and freedom from that.

From Nuqdu'l-Qawmiyyatu'l-'Arabiyyah (pp. 39-44), slightly edited. This translation is from Al-Istiqaamah Magazine, Issue No.2 - Safar 1417H / July 1996CE.


Be Mindful O Mankind!

One of the worst sins is a person taking his sin lightly.
- Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (d. 13H), Commander of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with him