There are many national societies as part of our student union e.g. Arab Society, Pakistan Society, India Society, Iraq, Malaysian, Brazilian and so on.
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I have read many of your answers to questions and they continue to be a source of enlightenment and discussion for myself. May Allah reward you for your efforts.
My question is regarding a dispute which has recently arisen at my university. There are many national societies as part of our student union e.g. Arab Society, Pakistan Society, India Society, Iraq, Malaysian, Brazilian and so on. The role of these societies is in general to promote the culture and traditions of their part of the world and to provide students from overseas a means to meet others from a similar background so that they do not feel isolated in a new environment and still have the opportunity to do cultural things. They are open to anyone who wishes to join or participate.
The dispute is that several people claim that this is not Islamic, as these societies promote tribalism and nationalism which is forbidden in Islam. I read the article on the following link and was further confused: http://website.lineone.net/~davidmyatt/islam_race.html While we are indeed one Ummah, and submit ultimately to Allah as brothers and sisters in Islam, is it then indeed a transgression to also promote our separate cultures and traditions which we were brought up with as muslims, and do not clash with what is lawful in Islam? Can this point of tribalism not also be extended to supporting a sports team or being part of another type of club, where alliegence is given to another authority by definition? Or alligence to one`s family or friends over others?
The article and those who raised this point state that no alligences or loyalties can be given to any other than Allah, but alligence to Allah is given in the context of a singular God, which is in my opinion different from the alligence one gives to a country, club or say a sports team. Surely if one conducts his or herself in a manner deemed lawful in Islam there is no clash with also educating or helping others experience the ways of another part the world, providing they are not haram?
I eagerly anticiipate your answer,
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Loyalty to nation or language
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 49 Surah Hujuraat verse 13:
13 O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily, the most honored of you in the Sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 30 Surah Rome verse 22:
22 And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors: verily in that are Signs for those who know.
The Lord Most High has created all mankind from a single pair of parents, and divided mankind into nations and tribes and bestowed the variations of languages and colors amongst human beings only as a form and manifestation of recognizing each other.
Islam does not at all guide that one who believes should leave their bonds that bind them to their families, or tribes, or nation.....but Islam demands and commands that each bond be given its due and full rights as long as those rights do not compromise the rights due to Allah Subhanah and His Deen.
If in your university there are some organizations created which allow one to interact with people of their own language, or culture, or nationthere is absolutely no harm or restriction in Islam in being a part of such communities in the doing of good.
Right or wrong, good or evil, permissible or forbidden will only and always be based upon the Criterion of the guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws). To determine right or wrong or good or evil, based or because of ones language, or nation or tribe or color or organization would be against the guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws).
For example, if one rallies behind or supports a person who promotes evil only because that person happens to belong to his family, or his tribe, or his nationor only because he is of the same color or speaks the same language or has the same culture, etc.then indeed such a stand will be absolutely against the guidance of Islam.
Islam guides that the one who does good, regardless of his tribe or nation, regardless of his language or color, regardless of his culture or bond to an organizationthat good will be regarded as good and the believers must proclaim the good as good, and if they can, they should participate in promoting that good.
But if one does or promotes evil, regardless of the tribe or nation, and regardless of the language or color of the one who promotes that evil, that evil must be recognized as evil.and the believers must abstain from participating or promoting that evil.
Thus regardless of what family, or neighborhood, or tribe, or nation a believer belongs toregardless of the color of his skin or the language he speaks or the people or culture or organization he associates himself with.his loyalty and allegiance will always be towards good, justice, and the Truth.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chatper 4 Surah Nisaa verse 135:
135 O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice as witnesses to Allah even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts) lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.
Even at the time of the Noble Messenger of Allah (saws), the believing army was divided into battalions of the Ansaars (the believers of Madinah), the battalions of the Muhajirs (the believers who migrated from Makkah), etc. each battalion having their own flags, formations, etc.
Thus there is absolutely no harm or restriction in Islam in joining or being part of an organization or group or society as a form or manifestation of recognition in the doing of good; but to determine right or wrong, good or evil, or rally behind or support an evil only because the evil doer happens to belong to ones nation or tribe or language or color, etc. would constitute a manifest act of misguidance and ignorance.
Sahih Muslim Hadith 6254 Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah
Two young men, one from the Muhajirs (emigrants) and the other one from the Ansar (helpers) fell into dispute and the Muhajir called his fellow Muhajirs, and the Ansari (the helper) called the Ansars (for help). In the meanwhile, Allah's Messenger (saws) came there and said: What is this? The proclamation of the Days of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance)? They said: O Messenger of Allah (saws) there is nothing serious. The two young men fell into dispute and the one struck at the back of the other. Thereupon he (the Prophet (saws)) said: Well, a person should help his brother whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed. If he is the oppressor he should prevent him from doing it, for that is his help; and if he is the oppressed he should be helped (against oppression).
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 6.428 Narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah
We were in a Ghazwa (battle) and a man from the emigrants (Muhajir) kicked a helper ( Ansar) on the buttocks with his foot. The Ansari man said, "O the Ansar! (Help!)" and the emigrant said, "O the emigrants! (Help!)" Allah's Messenger (saws) heard that and said, "What is this call?; It is a characteristic of the Period of Ignorance?" They said, "O Allah's Messenger (saws)! A man from the emigrants kicked one of the Ansar (on the buttocks with his foot)." Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Leave it (that call) as it is a detestable thing."
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,