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In the Name of God بسم الله

Cancer of Patriotism

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بسم الله الرحمم الرحيم

اللهم صلى وسلم على سيدنا ومولانا محمد

وبارك وسلم وصلى عليه

Throughout the world Muslims are being pressured to demonstrate patriotism. This is particularly true in India, where Muslims are already perceived as “anti-national” with divided loyalties. But it is also true in other parts of the world where we are a significant minority. Ironically, Muslims are facing this dilemma in Muslim majority countries themselves.

It’s the last one I would like to discuss a bit further.

The modern nation state more or less originates in the 20th century. Before the 20th century, Muslims did not have the same kind of patriotic or nationalist sentiments they are expected to have today. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم described tribalism/nationalism or any kind of factionalism on the basis of things other than Religion as ignorant barbarism (Jahiliyyah) and bigotry, fanaticism (Asabiyyah).

I believe Muslims ought to avoid rituals that are meant to display patriotism, such as standing for the national anthem, saluting the flag, joining the national army, and having any kind of emotional attachment to their nation or state.

Muslims in India have often been taunted that they are followers of a foreign Religion, therefore, they can never truly be Indian. They sing naats and qasidahs in praise of Madinah. They seek to offer pilgrimages to sites in the Middle East (Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem) but have no regard for the “sanctity” or “holiness” of “Mother” India.

But this is perfectly true. We have to be open and transparent about it. We should empty our hearts of any emotional attachment to our nations and states, because our hearts are meant to belong to the holy places of Islam.

Contemporary Muslim majority states are likewise anxious about the apparent contradiction between being a Muslim and having loyalty to Allah and His Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم above everything else, and the nature of the modern state which demands absolute and unconditional loyalty to the state above everything else, including God Himself.

Muslim majority states have adapted various strategies to resolve this dilemma. Some have taken an active stance against Religion, or “too much” Religion, because they realize Religion will always be a disintegrating factor for the project of nationalism and patriotism. Egypt is probably a good example of this policy.

Other states are in the process of distorting (read “reforming”) Islam to strip it of those concepts that are contrary to the State’s narrative. They seek to create a State version of Islam which is founded on the foundation that obedience and attachment to the State is what Islam itself calls us. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are probably good examples of this.

Some states are going further and in fact identify the cause and policy of the State as identical to the cause of Islam itself. The most notable example of this are the two “Islamic Republics” Pakistan and Iran.

Those Muslims who subscribe to an apocalyptic narrative are in the best position to be inoculated from this great tribulation and danger to the Faith. I’ve had the opportunity to ask Muslims who are patriots or nationalists what their position will be when the promised Mahdi عليه السلام comes and potentially goes to war with the state they are so loyal to. Whose side will they be on when the Mahdi and Messiah comes? The prophecies indicate that Muslim states and governments themselves will be the initial opponents of the promised Mahdi. Obviously, they will not recognize him as being the Mahdi, they will likely pump out propaganda aggressively that the individual that has emerged from Mecca, who was given the bay’ah in the shade of the Ka’bah, is an “imposter”, a “terrorist” or a “foreign agent”.

In 1979 when Juhayman and his brother-in-law, the alleged Mahdi, seized control of Masjid al-Haram, the Saudi government’s knee jerk reaction of attacking Masjid al-Haram with full force clearly demonstrates what their attitude is to any such claimant, genuine or not. It’s not hard to imagine that when the real Mahdi appears, and if the Saudi custody of Haramain is still in place at that time, what their reaction will be.

Likewise, it’s not difficult to conceive of what Pakistan’s reaction will be. Pakistan has made it a fundamental foreign policy to dedicate its armed forces to the priority of defending the Haramain. In the name of defending the sacred Shrine, the Pakistani military will deploy its forces and engage in armed combat with anyone who challenges the Saudi custody over the Haramain, or anyone whom the Saudi government declares a threat to the sanctity of the Haramain.

Although Pakistan’s government previously declined the Saudi invitation to participate in the conflict in Yemen against the Houthi extremists, it did reaffirm that if the situation on the ground changes to the extent that the Houthis come in reach of taking over the Haramain they will definitely intervene in such a scenario.

I am a Pakistani myself, but if the real Mahdi appears in my lifetime, emerging from the shade of the Ka’bah, I will obviously not support my own country’s armed forces if they seek to intervene against him. Neither should any other committed Sunni Muslim, Pakistani or otherwise.

In order to psychologically prepare for that very real possibility, we have to remove Pakistani nationalism and patriotism from our hearts at once.

Edited by Cherub786
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On 9/27/2020 at 7:43 PM, Cherub786 said:

بسم الله الرحمم الرحيم

اللهم صلى وسلم على سيدنا ومولانا محمد

وبارك وسلم وصلى عليه

Throughout the world Muslims are being pressured to demonstrate patriotism. This is particularly true in India, where Muslims are already perceived as “anti-national” with divided loyalties. But it is also true in other parts of the world where we are a significant minority. Ironically, Muslims are facing this dilemma in Muslim majority countries themselves.

It’s the last one I would like to discuss a bit further.

The modern nation state more or less originates in the 20th century. Before the 20th century, Muslims did not have the same kind of patriotic or nationalist sentiments they are expected to have today. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم described tribalism/nationalism or any kind of factionalism on the basis of things other than Religion as ignorant barbarism (Jahiliyyah) and bigotry, fanaticism (Asabiyyah).

I believe Muslims ought to avoid rituals that are meant to display patriotism, such as standing for the national anthem, saluting the flag, joining the national army, and having any kind of emotional attachment to their nation or state.

Muslims in India have often been taunted that they are followers of a foreign Religion, therefore, they can never truly be Indian. They sing naats and qasidahs in praise of Madinah. They seek to offer pilgrimages to sites in the Middle East (Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem) but have no regard for the “sanctity” or “holiness” of “Mother” India.

But this is perfectly true. We have to be open and transparent about it. We should empty our hearts of any emotional attachment to our nations and states, because our hearts are meant to belong to the holy places of Islam.

Contemporary Muslim majority states are likewise anxious about the apparent contradiction between being a Muslim and having loyalty to Allah and His Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم above everything else, and the nature of the modern state which demands absolute and unconditional loyalty to the state above everything else, including God Himself.

Muslim majority states have adapted various strategies to resolve this dilemma. Some have taken an active stance against Religion, or “too much” Religion, because they realize Religion will always be a disintegrating factor for the project of nationalism and patriotism. Egypt is probably a good example of this policy.

Other states are in the process of distorting (read “reforming”) Islam to strip it of those concepts that are contrary to the State’s narrative. They seek to create a State version of Islam which is founded on the foundation that obedience and attachment to the State is what Islam itself calls us. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are probably good examples of this.

Some states are going further and in fact identify the cause and policy of the State as identical to the cause of Islam itself. The most notable example of this are the two “Islamic Republics” Pakistan and Iran.

Those Muslims who subscribe to an apocalyptic narrative are in the best position to be inoculated from this great tribulation and danger to the Faith. I’ve had the opportunity to ask Muslims who are patriots or nationalists what their position will be when the promised Mahdi عليه السلام comes and potentially goes to war with the state they are so loyal to. Whose side will they be on when the Mahdi and Messiah comes? The prophecies indicate that Muslim states and governments themselves will be the initial opponents of the promised Mahdi. Obviously, they will not recognize him as being the Mahdi, they will likely pump out propaganda aggressively that the individual that has emerged from Mecca, who was given the bay’ah in the shade of the Ka’bah, is an “imposter”, a “terrorist” or a “foreign agent”.

In 1979 when Juhayman and his brother-in-law, the alleged Mahdi, seized control of Masjid al-Haram, the Saudi government’s knee jerk reaction of attacking Masjid al-Haram with full force clearly demonstrates what their attitude is to any such claimant, genuine or not. It’s not hard to imagine that when the real Mahdi appears, and if the Saudi custody of Haramain is still in place at that time, what their reaction will be.

Likewise, it’s not difficult to conceive of what Pakistan’s reaction will be. Pakistan has made it a fundamental foreign policy to dedicate its armed forces to the priority of defending the Haramain. In the name of defending the sacred Shrine, the Pakistani military will deploy its forces and engage in armed combat with anyone who challenges the Saudi custody over the Haramain, or anyone whom the Saudi government declares a threat to the sanctity of the Haramain.

Although Pakistan’s government previously declined the Saudi invitation to participate in the conflict in Yemen against the Houthi extremists, it did reaffirm that if the situation on the ground changes to the extent that the Houthis come in reach of taking over the Haramain they will definitely intervene in such a scenario.

I am a Pakistani myself, but if the real Mahdi appears in my lifetime, emerging from the shade of the Ka’bah, I will obviously not support my own country’s armed forces if they seek to intervene against him. Neither should any other committed Sunni Muslim, Pakistani or otherwise.

In order to psychologically prepare for that very real possibility, we have to remove Pakistani nationalism and patriotism from our hearts at once.

Salam.

Have a look at this video, It's only two minutes and makes some good points:

"Throughout the world Muslims are being pressured to demonstrate patriotism. This is particularly true in India, where Muslims are already perceived as “anti-national” with divided loyalties. But it is also true in other parts of the world where we are a significant minority." -> This is also true for Pakistan where Pakistani Sunni discriminate against Shi'a and claim they have dual loyalties one for Iran and one for Pakistan. I know you'll launch some kind of Anti-Shia tirade about how Shi'as are to blame for everything that happens to them and the Sunnis are completely justified in every way. Save it. 

This is also why the natives/inhabitants of the countries you go to call you "Parasites" because you want to settle in their country, take advantage of the safety and freedoms, take advantage of the economic options and any oppurtunity. Then go on and say these sort of meaning-less things. I agree that there we shouldn't go as far in Nationalism where a person forgets his religion and defends Injustice as long as it's committed by his homeland but as the lecturer says that loving your homeland is a part of faith. 

Edited by El Cid
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People sometimes confuse between country and government. We should be patriotic and love the country but not the government. Loving one's country is loving the land we live on, it's the sense of belonging towards nation. 

Government is not same as country. 

Unfortunately, few people does propaganda against Muslims in India as OP mentioned but most of the Hindus are not like that. These propaganda are from ruling party and their organizations because it polarizes their vote bank. As a matter of fact, some Muslims helped them to validate their propaganda by statements and violence. eg: Muslim mob ransacked Police station and vandalized public property in Bangalore city when a politician posted something about Prophet Muhammad (sawa) or a sunni Maulana's statement that it is easy to convert Hindu by luring or terrorizing.

 

If Imam-e-Zamana (عجّل الله تعالى فرجه الشريف) reappears, we have to go with Imam (عجّل الله تعالى فرجه الشريف) rather than our country without a doubt. 

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13 hours ago, El Cid said:

Salam.

Have a look at this video, It's only two minutes and makes some good points:

I saw the short clip, there was nothing particularly interesting that would persuade me to change my view. Just repeating the mantra “love your land” is meaningless. A piece of land is inanimate. Sure, there’s a natural love someone might have for many things, but how does that mean Islam mandates such love. Someone might love a certain food, a certain climate, a certain color, or a certain land. What does such love have to do with Islam? It’s nothing but individual preference.

13 hours ago, El Cid said:

This is also why the natives/inhabitants of the countries you go to call you "Parasites" because you want to settle in their country, take advantage of the safety and freedoms, take advantage of the economic options and any oppurtunity. Then go on and say these sort of meaning-less things.

Firstly, on what basis does a country belong to certain people and not belong to others? For example, in India Muslims are just as Indian as Hindus. They are racially Indian and even Indian by citizenship. Their forefathers were Hindus who converted to Islam. Now if an Indian Muslim says he has no attachment to India, it’s nothing more than a territory to him – dirt and rock – why and how is he a “parasite”?

I’m a third generation Canadian. I’m a born Canadian citizen, but I have no attachment, loyalty or love for a country, an inanimate object. Likewise, I have no loyalty or feeling of patriotism for the state. How am I a parasite?

This term “parasite” is originally an anti-Semitic trope to describe the Jews of Europe. Because they had no roots in the soil of Europe, but came from the Middle East, they were viewed as perpetual foreigners, and because they primarily adapted professions related to commerce, they were called “parasites”, unlike the typical European peasant who lived off the land and manual labor.

I see the same kind of attitude from many Western people toward Muslims like me who have no roots in the soil and no feeling of loyalty to the country or the state.

Samuel Johnson famously said “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”.

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13 hours ago, Sirius_Bright said:

People sometimes confuse between country and government. We should be patriotic and love the country but not the government. Loving one's country is loving the land we live on, it's the sense of belonging towards nation. 

Why should we love a country? It’s just a territory. Sure, someone might personally prefer one territory over another because the climate is nice or the scenery is beautiful. But beyond that, what is the rationale in loving and having some extraordinary emotional attachment to a piece of land? Why are people expected to love a country just because they were born in it or because they are a citizen of it?

And why do we have to have a sense of belonging? Shouldn’t a sense of belonging come natural to a person, why should have have to make some sort of mental effort to that end?

Muslims are radically different from the rest of the world. Our Religion and values insulates us from the trends of the rest of the population.

Edited by Cherub786
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4 minutes ago, Cherub786 said:

Why should we love a country? It’s just a territory. Sure, someone might personally prefer one territory over another because the climate is nice or the scenery is beautiful. But beyond that, what is the rationale in loving and having some extraordinary emotional attachment to a piece of land? Why are people expected to love a country just because they were born in it or because they are a citizen of it?

And why do we have to have a sense of belonging? Shouldn’t a sense of belonging come natural to a person, why should have have to make some sort of mental effort to that end?

Muslims are radically different from the rest of the world. Our Religion and values insulates us from the trends of the rest of the population.

  • From Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) spoke to Mecca:

مَا أَطْيَبَكِ مِنْ بَلَدٍ، وَأَحَبَّكِ إِلَيَّ، وَلَوْلَا أَنَّ قَوْمِي أَخْرَجُونِي مِنْكِ مَا سَكَنْتُ غَيْرَكِ

"How sweet of a land you are and how dear you are to me, and if it were not that my people expelled me from you, I would not have lived in other than you."

Abdullah ibn ‘Adi reported: I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, while he was standing near Mecca and saying, “By Allah, you are the best and most beloved land to Allah. Had I not been driven away from you, I would not have left you.”

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22 minutes ago, El Cid said:
  • From Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) spoke to Mecca:

مَا أَطْيَبَكِ مِنْ بَلَدٍ، وَأَحَبَّكِ إِلَيَّ، وَلَوْلَا أَنَّ قَوْمِي أَخْرَجُونِي مِنْكِ مَا سَكَنْتُ غَيْرَكِ

"How sweet of a land you are and how dear you are to me, and if it were not that my people expelled me from you, I would not have lived in other than you."

Abdullah ibn ‘Adi reported: I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, while he was standing near Mecca and saying, “By Allah, you are the best and most beloved land to Allah. Had I not been driven away from you, I would not have left you.”

There are two points in answering this:

  1. Mecca is holy land. It’s part of what I’m saying that as Muslims we should have greater attachment to our holy and sacred places (Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem) than to our own countries. Now if a Muslim is actually from Mecca, Medina or Jerusalem, he should definitely love those places not because it is his homeland but because they are holy places.

  2. It is natural to have some love for your homeland, just like you love your house, your garden, etc. But that natural love isn’t mandated by Islam, it’s individual preference.

Edited by Cherub786
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16 minutes ago, Cherub786 said:

There are two points in answering this:

  1. Mecca is holy land. It’s part of what I’m saying that as Muslims we should have greater attachment to our holy and sacred places (Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem) than to our own countries. Now if a Muslim is actually from Mecca, Medina or Jerusalem, he should definitely love those places not because it is his homeland but because they are holy places.

  2. It is natural to have some love for your homeland, just like you love your house, your garden, etc. But that natural love isn’t mandated by Islam, it’s individual preference.

But why is love for your home-land a negative trait in your eyes if it does not involve supporting oppression/following corrupt governments blindly and excusing their actions/Ethnocentrism? The Imam Mahdi((عليه السلام)) scenario makes more sense if you're involved with the aforementioned actions above. As the video said, Loving your home land means wanting to see it prosper in terms of social justice. It also means apperciating the various freedoms and liberty you are enjoying in that country whilst being grateful to Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). 

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4 minutes ago, El Cid said:

But why is love for your home-land a negative trait in your eyes if it does not involve supporting oppression/following corrupt governments blindly and excusing their actions/Ethnocentrism? The Imam Mahdi((عليه السلام)) scenario makes more sense if you're involved with the aforementioned actions above. As the video said, Loving your home land means wanting to see it prosper in terms of social justice. It also means apperciating the various freedoms and liberty you are enjoying in that country whilst being grateful to Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). 

I don’t consider such love negative, but I don’t think it is necessary either. Personally, I find it hard to “love” some soil and rocks. But if you love that, more power to you.

What I consider negative is going to a whole new level in love, going overboard, known as patriotism and nationalism, where people start saying “I will die for my country” “I will fight for my land” etc.

I also make a distinction between civic nationalism and ethnic nationalism. The latter is absolutely stupid and ignorance. As for civic nationalism, where you are proud of your state and loyal to it, I only consider that good if it is conditional and not absolute. As you mentioned, we should be grateful to a government that gives us freedom and justice. But the moment that government changes and our freedom and justice is affected, why should we continue to love or appreciate that government?

Edited by Cherub786
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1 minute ago, Cherub786 said:

But the moment that government changes and our freedom and justice is affected, why should we continue to love or appreciate that government?

You can love a country without loving its government.

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5 minutes ago, Cherub786 said:

 

What I consider negative is going to a whole new level in love, going overboard, known as patriotism and nationalism, where people start saying “I will die for my country” “I will fight for my land” etc.

Islam is already against such thoughts.

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1 minute ago, musa shakr said:

You can love a country without loving its government.

Sure. By country you obviously mean the inanimate territory. I have no problem with natural love someone might have for a piece of territory, maybe because it is beautiful, has a nice climate, or you just feel happy being there. Maybe you are just used to it because you lived there all your life. To me that is individual preference and has nothing to do with Islam.

Someone could even hate their own country because they think it’s ugly, the climate is rotten, and so forth. That is fine too. It’s normal.

Patriotism and nationalism are not normal or natural. They are a result of social conditioning that begins at a young age.

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8 minutes ago, Cherub786 said:

Personally, I find it hard to “love” some soil and rocks. But if you love that, more power to you.

Loving your home-land isn't about loving soil and rocks. It's also about the community you belong to and the people you see around you. And like I said also apperciating all the economic growth chances/securitythat you've been given. I'm sure people in Africa or Middle East would kill to be in some western country where they could enjoy security and peace which in turn would cause them to develop some sort of love for the place.

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3 minutes ago, El Cid said:

Loving your home-land isn't about loving soil and rocks. It's also about the community you belong to and the people you see around you. And like I said also apperciating all the economic growth chances/securitythat you've been given. I'm sure people in Africa or Middle East would kill to be in some western country where they could enjoy security and peace which in turn would cause them to develop some sort of love for the place.

Well now you are talking about loving your society and your qawm (people).

I believe the Hadith you quoted earlier was not about that. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did not say he loved his qawm (people), but he said he loved his Bilad (land).

I do indeed value security, peace and economic prosperity. These things are definitely present in the Western world, especially Canada. Firstly, I am grateful to God that I have such security, peace and prosperity, then I am grateful to the Canadian government.

As for Canadian society, I have no respect for it whatsoever. I don’t consider myself part of the society either. I don’t respect the people, let alone love them. Firstly, they aren’t my people. They are totally foreign and alien to me. I avoid them as much as possible and do my best to restrict myself to my own Muslim community.

Neither do I believe Islam teaches us to love our own people. If they merit love, fine and good, but if they are corrupt and evil why should we love them just because they are our people or because we live among them?

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