Some of my colleagues have started having discussions on the topic of nationality in islam. I am, therefore, putting the following questions before you.
Please be kind enough to reply them in the light of shariah.
1- Talking about an independent country in the world where Muslims are in majority, if they celebrate the independence day then what is the status of this celebrations according to Islamic Shariah ?
2-Is it Asabiyah ? or Jahilia ? or Haram?
3- Whats the true definition of Asabiyah according to our Shariat?
4- As a Muslim how should we feel about the land/Country where we are born and brought up and get education and job ? Can we have feelings of love with this land? Does it means Asabiyah ? Can we have national celebrations which does not contradicts with Islamic teachings? What types of national celebrations are prohibited and which types of them are allowed ??
5- How about using the passport of a country if attachment and affiliation with any country is considered as Jahilia and Asabiyah ??
6- What examples are present in history of Sahaba (R.A) the Companions of PROPHET HAZRAT MUHAMMAD (PBUH) regarding the love of their land where they lived?
Praise be to Allaah. Firstly:
It is not permissible to celebrate independence day or any similar occasions, because that entails imitation of the kuffaar. From another angle it is also a kind of innovation. So these celebrations combine sin and bid’ah (innovation).
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
The word Eid is used to refer to something that is repeated, in the sense of both place and time. With regard to time, this is like saying the Day of ‘Arafah, the day of Sacrifice and the days of Mina are Eids for us Muslims. This was narrated by Abu Dawood and others. With regard to place, this is like the report narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan
, that a man said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I have vowed to sacrifice a camel in Bawaanah.” He said, “Is there one of the idols of the mushrikeen there, or one of their places of festivity?” He said, “No.” He said, “Then fulfil your vow.” And he said, “Do not take my grave as a place of festivity (which you visit repeatedly).”
The word Eid is taken from the same root as the words mu’aawadah (repeating) and i’tiyaad (doing a thing repeatedly). If it refers to a place, then it means a place where people gather regularly for the purpose of worship or other purposes, as Allaah made al-Masjid al-Haraam [the Sacred Mosque, in Makkah], Mina, Muzdalifah, ‘Arafah and al-Mashaa’ir places of gathering and worship for those who believed in Him alone, and a focal point, and as He made the days of worshipping in those places an Eid. The mushrikeen had Eids in the sense of time and place (gathering in certain places on certain days), but when Islam came it abolished them and replaced them for the monotheists with Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and the days of Mina. And it replaced the places where they used to gather for festivals with the Ka’bah, the Sacred House, and ‘Arafah, Mina and al-Mashaa’ir.
One of the things that is forbidden for Muslims is to imitate the kuffaar, especially with regard to their festivals. This issue of festivals and innovated celebrations is one of the things that the Muslims became most careless about after the best generations. Many of them hastened to imitate other nations in their festivals and celebrations. Some of them introduced the innovation of celebrating the Prophet’s birthday, and celebrating the night of the Isra’ and Mi’raaj (Prophet’s night journey and ascent into heaven), and these national festivals which are increasing day after day among the Muslims.
We have quoted in our answer to question no. 10070
a fatwa from the Standing Committee concerning national holidays and other celebrations. Please refer to this fatwa.
These forbidden and innovated celebrations stir up tribalism and racism, and imply approval of what the colonialists did by dividing the Muslims’ land and making it into scattered states and peoples.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“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 Allaah is that (believer) who has At‑Taqwa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqoon (the pious)]. Verily, Allaah is All‑Knowing, All‑Aware”
Allaah created Adam and Hawwa’ [Eve], and made their offspring into peoples, tribes, races and colours. All people come from Adam and Hawwa’, and no colour or race is superior to another. Rather all of them are equal before Allaah with regard to their origins, and the one who fears his Lord the most is the best and most honourable before Allaah.
However people split after this into nations, countries and races, is only like the splitting of a single family, brothers from one father and one mother.
This ‘asabiyyah (tribalism) that is appearing nowadays in most countries, where people form factions on the basis of race, colour or homeland, is akin to the ancient tribalism that existed between the tribes of Aws and Khazraj; it is one of the leftovers of jaahiliyyah [ignorance].
There had been many wars between Aws and Khazraj during the Jaahiliyyah, with a great deal of enmity and hatred, and intense fighting, until Islam came and they entered therein, and became brothers by the grace of Allaah.
After Islam had set their affairs straight and they had become united, a Jewish man passed by a gathering of Aws and Khazraj, and he was bothered by their friendship and unity. So he sent a man who was with him to sit amongst them and remind them of the wars that used to be waged between them. He did that and kept doing it until they were provoked and became angry with one another, and they got riled up and started shouting their slogans and calling for their weapons, and threatening to go out to the Harrah (a place in Madeenah) to fight. News of this reached the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), so he came to them and started to calm them down, and said, “Are you issuing the calls of the jaahiliyyah when I am still among you?” Then he recited to them the following verse (Interpretation of the meaning):
“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allaah (i.e. this Qur’aan), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allaah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allaah makes His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:103]
When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited this verse to them, they regretted what they had done, and they reconciled and put aside their weapons.
Islam does not forbid a Muslim to love his homeland or the country in which he lives or grew up. What is reprehensible is basing one’s feelings of loyalty and disavowal on that, and loving and hating on that basis. A person who belongs to the same country as you is not closer to you than a Muslim from another land, and the reason for your loving or hating others should not be whether or not they come from the same country as you. Rather loyalty and disavowal, or love and hatred, should all be based on Islam and piety.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to love Makkah because it was the most beloved land to Allaah, but he did not love the kaafirs who lived there, rather he fought them because they fought against Islam and killed Muslims. Neither he nor his companions ever gave precedence to their love of Makkah over the laws of Allaah, so when Allaah forbade those who had migrated from Makkah to go back to it, except for Hajj and three days after it, they adhered to that and did not stay there for longer than that period. Their love for Makkah did not make them disobey Allaah, let alone do anything that was worse than that.
Today you see that tribalism and devotion to one's country has gone to such extremes that places of shirk are venerated just because they are in one’s country; the flag is venerated because it represents the country, so the people stand and salute it with a reverence that is absent in their prayers when they stand before their Lord.
Using passports is not regarded as a kind of ‘asabiyyah (tribalism) or jaahiliyyah (ignorance) because the purpose is simply to identify a person and the country of which he is a citizen. If it so happens that some people use them for the purpose of boasting and acting superior to others, or to express tribalistic pride in his country, this is something blameworthy.
We have mentioned that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) loved Makkah and that he gave precedence to obeying his Lord over his love for Makkah.
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Makkah, “What a good land you are, and how dear you are to me. Were it not that my people drove me out from you, I would never have lived anywhere else.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3926; classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi and by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’
You can also find similar stories of the Sahaabah and those who came after them, by reading their biographies. It seems that the love of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Sahaabah for Makkah was because it was the most beloved land to Allaah, as it says in another report narrated by al-Tirmidhi, no. 3925: “You are the best land of Allaah and the most beloved of the land of Allaah to Allaah.” Classed as saheeh by Ibn Hajar.
But the natural love that a person feels for the place where he grew up is something that is not regarded as blameworthy by sharee’ah, so long as that does not distract you from acts of worship and obedience which are more important. Hence we see that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), Muhaajireen and Ansaar alike, left their homelands and went out to other lands, spreading the call of Islam throughout other countries. They went out for purposes that were nobler than their attachment to land and buildings.
And Allaah knows best.