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Islam and Nationalism

The contents of this article are listed below:

1. Understanding the bonds with which humans identify and relate to each other in Society
2. Characteristics of Nationalism
3. Secularism and Nationalism are twin brothers
4. History of Nationalism
5. How nationalism made inroads into Muslim world
6. Rise of Nationalism as a creed and a pseudo-religion
7. Illogical Basis of Nationalism
7.1 Territory and country
7.2 Language
7.3 History, culture and civilization
7.4 Race
7.5 Political organization and economic factors:
8. Nationalism defeats its own objectives
9. Dangers of Nationalism
9.1 Tribal prejudice
9.2 Nationalism culminates in racism
9.3 Nationalism results in a desire to colonize
9.4 Narrowing man’s mental horizon
10. Islam and nationalism are two opposite poles
11. The Prohibition of Nationalism in Islam

1. Understanding the bonds with which humans identify and relate to each other in Society

The concept of nationalism cannot be understood without studying the way humans identify and relate to each other in society.

This study will enable a differentiation to be made between various forms of grouping and nationalism. Human beings can identify or group together on the basis of:

• Love of a particular land or a country – patriotism

• Tribe, lineage or race – nationalism

• Religion – spiritual bond

• A particular issue – bond of interest

• A creed – ideological bond

Patriotism arises when people come together due to the love of a country. It is a form of  unity that comes about when that particular country is under external threat e.g. military conflicts with other nations. The effect of this bond results in people of different backgrounds setting their differences aside to form a common front in support of the
government. A classical example of patriotism was found during the so-called invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina. Public opinion in the United Kingdom was
mobilised against Argentina through the media machinery, uniting political parties of  all shades in the process. The message was simple: “We are fighting for Queen and country.” This unity, based on patriotism, soon evaporated after the Falkland Islands were captured from Argentina.

The inherent weakness of patriotism, as a basis of uniting people, is that it unites people temporarily, and only then if an external threat is looming in the horizon. Hence, patriotism has no role to play during peace time, and it cannot, therefore, be a basis of a
permanent unity.

Nationalism is a bond between people that is based upon family, clan or tribal ties.

Nationalism arises among people when the predominant thought they carry is that of  achieving domination. It starts from the family, where one member asserts his authority to achieve leadership in the affairs of the family. Once this is achieved, the individual extends his leadership to the wider family. In this way, the families would also try to achieve leadership in the community they reside in. The next stage is that of tribes competing with each other, all trying to dominate others in order to enjoy the privileges and the prestige that comes with this authority.

Nationalism cannot unite the people because it is based on quest for leadership. This quest for leadership creates a power struggle between the people and this leads to conflicts among various strata of society. Examples of power struggles can be clearly seen in many Muslim countries, such as in Saudi Arabia where the Saud family has achieved leadership over others by force, and in Sind, Pakistan, where the Bhutto’s have secured massive influence through feudalism.

Another drawback of nationalism is that it gives arise to racism. This is expected if people are allowed to compete with each other on the basis of their race. Some whites, for example, may see themselves as superior to the blacks, or vice-versa, leading to
polarisation of the races and a divided society.

The spiritual bond is a grouping of people based on their ‘religious belief’ which is not a comprehensive belief covering every aspect of life. An example of a spiritual bond is when people identify with each other on the basis of being a Christian, a Hindu or a Jew. Spiritual bond does not unite people on issues other than matters of belief and worships,
hence it is limited and cannot be the basis of any lasting unity.

Another way people group together is on the basis of some common interest. Pressure
groups are an example of such groupings, where people unite over a particular issue which affects their life. Examples of such groups are the Suffragettes from the past and, more recently, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Anti-Nazi League, Farm Animal Welfare Council and so on. Normally, once the issue has been resolved this type of grouping disappears.

Uniting over common interest does not serve to unite people permanently because when
the issue is resolved, people will disperse. Besides, people can hold different opinions over the same issue, thus leading to a clash. For example, some people may support the deployment of nuclear weapons as a means of security whilst others, like members of
CND, will call for nuclear disarmament. Hence, common issues do not provide the basis of a permanent unity.

The final way in which people can group together is on the basis of an ideology. An  ideology is a creed that provides a set of rules and regulations according to which man lives and which he refers to in order to solve his problems . This is commonly known as an ideological bond. It only takes into account the creed and nothing but the creed.
Colour, race and gender are irrelevant. This type of bond is found amongst Muslims,
Capitalists and Communists.

Ideological bond is a permanent bond because it arises from a creed, which is an intellectual conviction pertaining to the meaning of life. The creed is never influence by colour, race, language, love of a land or local issues. Hence, it is the only basis for
permanent unity. Islam calls for this type of unity, as it will be seen later in this essay.

2. Characteristics of Nationalism

The school of nationalism is built upon two animal instincts of man which he has in common with other creatures, namely the ‘group instinct’ and the ‘love of home’.

Nationalism begins with these two instincts, eventually ending in a pseudo-religion which causes these relatively innocent sentiments to become dangerously fanatical. It is similar to tribal system. In the tribal system, wars and peace were made for the tribe’s sake. A person was proud of his membership in the tribe and very often looked with scorn upon others. The tribe was an organization under whose umbrella, the members felt secure. Nationalism also gives rise to similar sentiments.

Giving authenticity to territory, blood or language is the basis of nationalism. It bases unity on language, territory and race. Homeland and nationality become the axis of patriotism. All the loyalty is centred upon the homeland. All other loyalties such as loyalty to God, religion, belief and ideology are subordinated to loyalty to the country and nation. No loyalty should check patriotism, and when religious sentiments come in opposition with patriotic sentiments, the latter must prevail. This is a principle which no nationalist can ignore. Man lives for his country and offers his life for it, and not for anything else. It is attachment to nationality that gives direction to one’s individual and social postures, not attachment to ideology. A human being takes pride in his national achievements and feels dependent on its cultural heritage.

A nationalist believes deeply that nation and country are superior to all others, attributing all the good things to them. It considers sovereignty as a tool to protect the country and its citizens, not one for enforcing a particular ideology and system.

Economy, too, is based on national interest and welfare, not on what is legitimate or illegitimate. Culture, art, poetry and literature are the means for depicting national pride and greatness and creation of solidarity and inspiring racial sentiments.

To nationalism, the strongest factors directing individual and social life, determining intellectual and political postures, are the country and nation. Some of the other characteristics of nationalism are:

1) Belief that one should defend a compatriot against a foreigner, whether the former is in the right or not.

2) Eulogizing and almost worship of national personalities and historical heroes of one’s country.

3) Revival of past traditions such as ancient idolatry. Neo-nationalism too, in this connection, relies on myths, ancient and dead customs.

4) A tendency to distort historical facts to glorify one’s country, and to invent stories and create models to show one’s nation at its best.

5) Like old Totemism, there are special emblems in nationalism which are given sanctity. The flag, national emblem, and national anthem are considered sacred, for each of which a human being has the duty of self-sacrifice.

3. Secularism and Nationalism are twin brothers

Nationalism is closely linked with secularism, in view of the necessity of separation between government and religion, and politics from creed. One of the basic principles of nationalism is a rejection of religious bonds and an acceptance of a secularist order.

Secularism means that religion is something subjective that must be confined to an individual’s private and family life, and religious feelings and ideas should not interfere in the socio-politico set-up, be the concern of nationalism only. So the socio-politico roots of religion should be severed from politics.

Nationalism leads directly to secularism. The belief that national unity must be based on a common land, race or language, necessitates that religion be kept apart from politics. Thus, secularism paves the way for the domination of nationalism, since according to this school of thought, religion and nationalism cannot rule at the same time in the same realm.

Secularism is the twin brother of nationalism and it changes the meaning of minorities. In a government founded on religion, the followers of other creeds and schools are regarded as minorities, but with nationalism and secularism, there are only racial, political and regional minorities. Nationalism claims that religious beliefs prevent national unity and religious minorities feel themselves alienated. The only proper basis is geographical, racial or lingual nationality. The main duty of everyone is the patriotic duty, and religious duty is subordinate to it, and confined to personal belief. The patriotic duty of everyone is to sacrifice everything, even religion, for the nation and country and serve and fight for them.

4. History of Nationalism

While some of the characteristics of nationalism may be witnessed in the tribal system of the Greek city-state many thousand years ago, nationalism as a political, social and ideological school of thought took birth in the West following the French Revolution.

The main fabric of the school of nationalism was laid by the French Revolution, where it was first put to practice. It was then that the stimulation of emotions towards the flag and country, the glorification and worship of national heroes, the composition of the national anthem, the emphasis on the sanctity of the French language and race, the creation of great national festivals and ceremonies in the style of religious rites, a pride in the history of France and a belief in the great mission of the French nation, emerged and displayed themselves one after another in the course of the Revolution.

The 19th century is called ‘the golden age’ of nationalism. It was in that century that Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine set up the foundations for American nationalism. In England, Jeremy Bentham gave nationalism a new scope. With William Gladstone, British nationalism reached its height. Nationalism spread as an intellectual movement and school in the whole of central and Western Europe. Mazzini, who rose in Italy is regarded as one of the greatest theoreticians of the school of nationalism of the 19th century. Other great propounders and banner-bearers of nationalism in that century were Giuseppe Garibaldi in Italy, Victor Hugo in France and Otto Bismarck in Germany.

The history of nationalism in the 20th century can be divided into two periods:

A- Nationalism in the first half of the 20th century.

B- Nationalism in its second half.

In the first half of the 20th century, up to the Second World War, the clearest manifestation of nationalism was seen in Europe and Japan resulting in a universal war. It revived in them the dream of colonizing the whole world, and led them to start two calamitous wars. Most scholars admit that the main cause for the First and Second World Wars was nationalistic sentiments. In this period, the true off-springs of nationalism who elevated this school to its highest position and gave it its severest form were Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Germany, Peron in Argentina, Franco in Spain and Salazar in Portugal. This was the wicked product that nationalism gave to mankind and this way is still continued. Nationalism is still looked upon as a formal religion by international aggressors such as the U.S.

In the contemporary world, colonization having become a thing of the past, and the colonies having secured their independence, nationalism has come to be used by colonization and imperialism in another form, and its role is somewhat changed.

Neo-colonization uses nationalism to prevent the union of former colonies, so as to keep them weak and dependent on stronger powers.

The imperialists on realizing that they could no longer keep eastern nations under their direct yoke, and that their union would be a serious threat to their interests, started exporting nationalism to the East in a bid to weaken them and encourage conflicts among the newly independent nations of Asia and Africa. This way, they aimed at sowing the seed of hostility and dispersion among them to check their unity and solidarity. This is why we see that wherever colonization has made an exit, the rein of affairs is held by an evil westernized educated minority, and nationalistic forces are encouraged to stand against Islamic forces.

5. How nationalism made inroads into Muslim world

After failing to defeat the Muslims in the Crusades, Britain and France along with the United States focused their attention to separate Muslims from Islam. One of these means was to inject nationalism into the Muslim Ummah.

Using Missionaries who operated in the Uthmani Khilafah (Ottomans), there were many attempts (and failures) to try and establish associations and organizations of members belonging exclusively to one ethnicity (tribe) – such as “Arab” or “Turk”. In 1857, the missionaries were successful in establishing the Syrian Scientific Association and in 1875 the Secret Association was established in Beruit. These organizations, would promote “Arabism” and its related pre-Islamic culture while criticizing the Uthmani Khilafah and accusing the “Turks” of stealing the Khilafah from the “Arabs”. In this manner, Arab nationalism was re-introduced into the Muslim Ummah. By the turn of the 20th century, the fever of nationalism had spread to all corners of the Islamic regions of the Middle East.

When the Colonialists occupied various parts of the Islamic regions, by dividing it into nation states, patriotism (the temporary bond between people of a geographical location against an external threat) emerged among the Muslims as a reaction to the political and economic oppression by the Colonialists. By the time the Islamic Ottoman Caliphate was abolished Muslims were no longer bound solely by the Islamic Aqeedah. Rather, there were additional ties of race, ethnicity, tribe and geographical location.

The important question that arises is why the idea of nationalism which penetrated Islamic lands through Western ideas and colonial plots, was welcomed by some sections of the Muslim masses and how did it expand??

Firstly, the masses could not see the difference between ‘patriotism’ and ‘nationalism’ and to their unconscious mind, both concepts seemed to denote the same idea as that of Islamic ‘Ummahism‘. From the beginning, Islam had created a strong feeling of the ‘Ummah‘ and had divided the world into the “House of Islam” and the “House of War”. The masses believed nationalism to be the same as ‘Ummahism‘ and therefore welcomed it.

Secondly, contrary to the main pioneers of nationalism, who propagated it as a result of their dependence on colonial powers and the West, the masses manifested nationalistic sentiments in opposition to social tyranny or to the colonial influence of Britain and France. To the masses, nationalism was a sentiment, not a school, but to the Western, so-called ‘enlightened class’ and politicians, it was an ideology and a political creed.

6. Rise of Nationalism as a creed and a pseudo-religion

Man cannot live without a faith, an ideology, to which he can show affection and love. In the Middle Ages in the West, this faith, ideology, were found in Christianity and the religion of the Church. But Christianity was an unrealistic, imperfect and one dimensional religion, and since it had an unscientific and anti-intellectual basis, it could not last as a permanent and universal religion and ideology.

The Renaissance and subsequent changes dealt the church a heavy blow, and Christianity could no longer make its presence felt as a living faith in Europe, and soon became a dead creed.

In the absence of an inspiring force that would revive them, the westerners were left in the dark. Christianity was dead. Since man cannot live in a vacuum (of belief) and needs an ideology to follow, to inspire and love, ‘Aazar, the idol-maker’ of Western ideas hewed the idol of nationalism, and offered it to the West as a new religion and a new god to fill the vacuum and that was welcomed by thirsty devotees. This vacuum was later on filled by Marxism, and both these schools owed their creation to the weakness and failure of Christianity in satisfying the religious longing of Westerners.

7. Illogical Basis of Nationalism

Herbert Luthy says: “Nationalism is a creed based on a handful of dogmas that cannot be accounted for from a scientific and intellectual point of view, and have authenticity only in the minds of their followers.”

Nationalists have been unable to explain explicitly how their principles can be applied universally, and what are the factors which build up the independent identity of a nation and what is the distinction of a nation which naturally or psychologically sets it apart from other nations, so that these qualities cannot be found in any other nation. The works of the nationalist propounders give us no indication in this connection, but a show of such disharmonious ideas which are not logically acceptable.

Nationalist theoreticians rely on geographical, lingual, racial, political, economic, cultural and historical factors, and regard the territory, country, blood and history as the factors that build up a nation’s separate identity.

Now we will analyze the validity and logic of each of the above factors as a so-called unifying factor and as a yardstick for measuring the independent identity of a society.

7.1 Territory and country

These words are rather conventional, than natural. A human being feels at home to be in his town, village and locality as a result of persistent suggestion from outside.

If one is to consider more than the above, why should he regard himself an Egyptian and not an Arab?? And if he is a member of the Arab world, why not be an Asiatic?? This is something conventional and personal, not logical. Why should a man, born in Ireland, consider his country to be Britain and not Ireland?? The frontiers of many countries are imaginary demarcations. Nationalists want the people to show attachment to these crooked lines that colonial powers have drawn on the maps of Asia and Africa, and turn this affection into an ideology. They drew these lines, made them look real and forced people on this side of the line to consider themselves as belonging to that country, and those outside that line as foreigners, without giving a logical reason for it. The attachment of a person to his land is natural, not logical. When it is suggested constantly to a person that a country is his homeland, he comes to believe it, and to consider others as aliens. From a geographical viewpoint, ‘homeland’ is constantly changing. What Afghanistan is today, was considered Iran yesterday. Why then should an Afghan regard himself an Afghan and not an Iranian? This is only a matter of suggestion.

7.2 Language

The German school of nationalism with Herbert Luthy (1744-1803) and Johan Fichte (1762-1814), particularly, who had been its greatest representatives in the 18th and 19th centuries considers language and history to be the most important factors behind the national identity of a people. They regard language as being especially significant in the creation of a national spirit and identity. Following them are some nationalists of the Islamic world like Namegh Kamal of Turkey and Nadim of Egypt who attach the greatest importance to language as a basis of nationality. But the fact is that the language and common history of a people have not been sufficient in themselves to kindle a national awareness.

The Americans of George Washington’s time had the same language and history as those of England, and yet they segregated from Britain and became an independent nation. Switzerland has three different languages in three regions, and yet the feeling of nationality is strong there. If language is a determining factor of unity and independent national solidarity, why did not England and North America form a single nation in spite of their common language?? Why did not the Latin American countries (except Brazil) which have a common language like Spain, Brazil or Portugal become united??

We do not want to deny the role of a common language in accelerating the process of unity and solidarity, since it is evident that language is a means of direct communication, offering a nation a common literature. What we mean is that language is not the principal factor in shaping nationality, even if it speeds the process. Many nations have become nations in spite of differences in languages (like Switzerland), while there are many nations which are remote from one another in spite of a common language. Thus language cannot be regarded as a firm basis for nationality. Nasser and other Arab nationalists tried to set up a united Arab nation on the basis of a common language but they failed. The Maronite Christians and Muslims of Lebanon speak the same language but they have been fighting each other for the last six years, and these Christians feel closer to the Europeans than to the Muslims.

Moreover, in every country, we come across several languages, not one. What is called a dialect is in fact a different language. Is it easier for a Persian-speaking individual to understand the Afghani Dari or the Azari of Tabriz?? The people of Arabia do not understand even ten percent of the Arabic of Libya. All these facts show that language is a weak factor and basis of nationality and any reasoning opposing this assertion will be illogical and defective.

7.3 History, culture and civilization

It is true that the history and culture of a people create a feeling of unity and of communal interests, but nationalists forget the fact that in the East, especially in the world of Islam, the unity of history, culture and civilization is based on belief, not on geographical factors. Culture and civilization-wise, post-Islamic Iran is more close to Arab countries and Pakistan, than to the ancient Zoroastrian culture. Similarly, Egypt in its culture and civilization is closer to post-Islamic Iran than was the Pharaonic civilization. Our history and culture are based on ideology and belief. All the Muslims after the rise of Islam have the same history and culture. The past civilization of Iranians, Arabs, Turks, Pakistanis and Indian Muslims is nothing but an Islamic one. Nationalism tries in vain to call this civilization an Iranian or Arab civilization in order to rouse the national sentiments or unearth the decayed bones of pre-Islamic history and culture which has nothing to do with our present culture and civilization. That is why the relics of those civilizations cannot warm the hearts of the people in comparison with Islamic history and civilization, and lead them towards unity and victory.

Nationalists do not only try to revive the memory of the ancient civilization through exaggerations, suppositions, bombasts, self-Praise and fallacious reasonings, but they also resort to a scorn of Islamic history and civilization in order to elevate the racial greatness of Iranians, Arabs or Turks, and, try to ignore Islam altogether. But this is wrong and prejudiced and it defeats the objective. As a teacher  has pointed out: “During the whole course of history, the Iranian race (and the Turks, Arabs and other Muslim nations) has never found a better opportunity than the brilliant Islamic centuries to show its talent and ability.

Contrary to the nationalists, since the seventh century A.D., Iran, Turkey and the Middle East embraced Islam, so strongly that their history is the same as that of Islam, and their course has been the same with the course of Islamic history, culture and civilization. The greatness and honor of these nations lie in their share in promoting Islam and in their creation of a magnificent Islamic culture and civilization. They are the achievements of these Islamic nations whose past history is not in any way comparable with their religion, and if Islamic countries wish to be proud of their past, they have no basis but Islam.

Moreover, the choice of history as a factor in building up a man’s identity is a feeble and illogical one, since the frontiers of countries have not been the same throughout history. Afghanistan was once part of Iran. How then can history be considered as the basis of independent nationality??

7.4 Race

Most nationalists regard race as a factor which determines nationality. But a careful analysis of it shows the weakness and illogicality of it, like other factors based on prejudice, illusion and superstition.

What is racism?? It is a feeling of unity based on kinship. The first line of this attachment is an objective reality, namely the bond with one’s father and mother. When this is extended, it reaches one’s family, tribe and lastly one’s race. But extending it to race, the bond becomes so remote from common ancestors that the racial root cannot be scientifically and logically proved. Has there ever existed in history a thing called the Aryan or Semitic race?? Moreover, who can prove that a man is an Aryan?? For example half of the Iranians are Sayeds, who are descendants of the Prophet of Islam who was not himself an Aryan. Can those non-Sayeds claim that during these thousands of years, their blood has not been blended with non-Aryan blood??

Belief in the race and racial unity has no objective and scientific reality; it is only a subjective illusion on which nationalism wishes to base its social-political relations. How comical and illogical!

Thirdly, if we were to adopt blood as a basis, as racism and nationalism do, why should we not have our first ancestors, namely Adam and Eve, as the basis of human generation. In such a case, instead of racism, we may turn to humanism, and instead of nationalism to internationalism. This would be a more logical and convincing idea than the question of race which cannot be proved. Even if the Aryan, Semitic and other races have a historical authenticity, if we do not stop at this point and go far back in history, all these races end In common ancestors. Then why should we not adopt this as a basis?

7.5 Political organization and economic factors:

Some nationalistic schools consider political organization and economic factors as the basis of nationality. From apolitical angle, the Irish form part of Britain, and yet they consider themselves independent. There are many similar cases in the present and past history.

Economics has sometimes acted as a factor of unity like the union of the customs among the various German provinces between 1819 and 1952, which was a prelude to their political union. But such cases are only exceptions to the rule. Economic harmony and collaboration of various groups are not the requisites of national unity.

It is thus clear that the main foundations of nationalism are weak, invalid and illogical, even though they may help occasionally in rousing nationalistic sentiments. They are not determining the fundamental factors behind unity and solidarity. An effort to create unity on the above basis leads to greater differences and conflicts among human beings. A unity based on geographical boundaries, race or language cannot include all human beings. It is more like walls set up between them, separating them, and intensifying their division. Ideological boundaries can expand without force or imposition with the free acceptance of that school by individuals and nations, and intellectually it is not impossible for it to end with the unity of all mankind.

Nationalism creates division among mankind and thus, it cannot lead to universal unity. In such a unit, the questions of minorities and aliens, too, become insoluble. But an Ummah founded on belief is an ‘open unit’ and it can admit people from every race, color, language and territory who accept that belief. This unity can, therefore, expand and lead to man’s universal brotherhood.

In fact the only proper, scientific and logical basis for nationality and unity is belief and ideology. Other factors as compared to these are insignificant.

Thus we see that none of the principles that nationalists rely on are universal and logical. But the nationality based on belief and ideology which Islam upholds has an intellectual authenticity and is justifiable. Those who have the same ideology possess the same world vision, religious belief, culture, objective and destination, form thus a single Ummah.

8. Nationalism defeats its own objectives

The aim of nationalism is the creation of unity, but its result is the reverse and it defeats its own objective. The means adopted by nationalism to realize its objectives of creating unity is to kindle sharp sentiments of solidarity on the basis of race, language or nationality.

But in every country, there exist racial and lingual minorities. When these minorities come to face nationalistic sentiments incited by the propaganda of the majority, they may lose their own independent identity within the majority and react. It is often seen that such propaganda directed at inciting nationalistic sentiments by the majority rouses a regional, racial or lingual nationalism among the minorities and results in the dispersion and disunion of the country.

Logically there is no reason why the majority’s nationalism should be considered right and the minority’s one wrong. Why should British nationalism be regarded as right and laudable, while the Irish one, as blameworthy and condemnable. If Iraqi Baathists have the right to speak of Arab nationalism all day and night, why shouldn’t an Iraqi Kurd have the right to turn to Kurdish nationalism. If territorial, racial and lingual prejudice is good, then it is good for both sides, and if it is bad, it is so for both. We cannot judge by two different criteria. If the nationalism of America’s whites is good, why should that of its blacks be bad??

We see, then, that nationalism has no logical basis, and it defeats its own purpose, and has to establish solidarity by force. It secures what is contrary to its goal, namely division and dispersion.

Contrary to the nationalists’ claim, it is not ideological beliefs, but nationalistic feelings which check unity and produce division in the country. The result of half a century of the nationalistic propaganda of Reza Khan and Muhammad Reza was rebellion in Kurdestan and Turkeman Sahara.

Nationalism has at no time been able to solve the question of racial, lingual and regional minorities. On the, contrary it has intensified oppositions and made them perpetual.

As the criterion is race, language or territory, and as race and language and the like are not changeable, therefore those not belonging to a certain race or having a certain language are always regarded and live as a minority group and cannot share the sentiments of the majority. Those who through emigration or change of geographical boundaries or invasions become nationals of a country, even after many generations and centuries, feel themselves to be a segregated and alienated group, and others feel the same towards them. Armenians in Turkey, Syria and Iran, and Kurds, Scots, Irish and American negroes are the clearest examples of this.

9. Dangers of Nationalism

To glorify itself, nationalism generally resorts to suppositions, exaggerations, fallacious reasoning, scorn and inadmissible self-praise, and worst of all, it engages in the distortion of history, model-making and fable-writing. Historical facts are twisted to imaginary myths as it fears historical and social realism.

Misinterpretation of history is one of the greatest harms of nationalism. It may be argued that the case is so where an extreme form of nationalism exists. But that is not the case. Any kind of nationalism by essence inclines towards self-pride and scorn of others, for so long as it does not rouse in people a false sense of pride in their nation, how can it turn national prejudice in favor of itself and against others??

9.1  Tribal prejudice

As nationalism is based on man’s animal instincts, not on belief and intelligence, therefore, tribal prejudice is its foundation and one of its peculiarities.

The accidental birth of a person in a certain country gives him the wrong baseless idea that he may scorn others and consider them as enemies. Having been born in Europe and having a white skin for example, he gives himself the right to plunder the blacks and refuse to employ towards others criteria he uses towards his own compatriots. Even a genius like Einstein is disliked by a German because he is a Jew. Taking birth in Germany or France, both a matter of accidental birth in a certain land and not one of conscious choice, is no reason to dislike other, be prejudiced and evaluate human beings with two different criteria.

Can anything be more inhuman and unreasonable that to prefer a wicked, corrupt and incompetent compatriot of the same race or language to an honest, benevolent and competent person who is born beyond one’s frontiers??

A person is judged on the basis of his race, language, country and considered a compatriot or alien, without the least consideration of his deeds, virtues or views. Human honor and good deeds are disregarded simply because one is born in a certain land. The yardstick for evaluating the individual becomes territory and blood, not action, faith, chastity or obligation.

The more popular nationalism becomes, the more intense will fanatical ignorance and racial prejudice become, and the more limited will be one’s vision. A nationalist defends everything related to his country solely through intellect or reflection. He considers everything outside his country as alien and ignominious. Right and wrong become meaningless concepts.

This is fanatical ignorance which is strongly condemned in Islam, it is inherited from the inhuman tribal system, but with a more dangerous dimension.

9.2  Nationalism culminates in racism

Nationalism inevitably ends in racism and racial prejudice. In any land where it attempts to base unity on the co-existence of a particular group so as to create fanaticism and make that group an independent, separate unit, it must attribute a certain name to that group like Iranian, Turk or some other name; it must brainwash those in that group into believing that they are superior to other on the basis of their race, blood etc. Without attention to the criteria of virtue, belief and action. Eventually, other neighboring countries come to manifest similar feelings, leading to perpetual clashes, rivalry and racial hostilities.

History bears witness to the fact that nationalistic sentiments have always ended in racism. The Greeks at the height of their civilization called non-Greeks as ‘barbarians.’

Aristotle said:

It is nature’s will that barbarians be the slaves of the Greeks.” The Jews who were a national unit before being a religious unit, regarded themselves as God’s selected people. The Romans at the height of their civilization believed that there were only three nations on earth, the Romans, their confederates and the ‘barbarians’ (non-Romans).

9.3   Nationalism results in a desire to colonize

Nationalism results in a desire to dominate and colonize seeking domination due to three factors:

1- Strong prejudice

2- Superiority complex

3- Self-interest (and disregard of others interests)

Nationalism relies on all these three factors and that is why it eventually leads to domination and colonization. Nationalism has been the cause of clashes, aggressions, and constant rivalry between nations, causing much riot and bloodshed the world over. When a country thinks only in terms of its own interests and gives itself the right to dominate others, the result will obviously be conflicts, aggressions and colonization. Some think that this is only true of extreme nationalism. But history has taught us that there are no such things as healthy or unhealthy nationalism, since nationalism in whatever form ultimately ends in chauvinism and racism.

As mentioned in the previous chapters, the savage colonialism of the West in the 19th century which spread over the Third World was caused by nationalistic sentiments. The calamitous World Wars and the Nagasaki and Hiroshima disasters and hundreds of other wars which have tainted man’s history with blood, are living proofs of nationalism as a dominating evil force.

Nationalism is a factor of expansionism and a basis of injustice and aggression. It has been the source of imperialism and it cruelly transgresses over weak nations, imposing its illegitimate ambition on others in the name of national desires and national expediencies.

9.4  Narrowing man’s mental horizon

Nationalism narrows man’s mental horizon in two ways: Firstly, it discourages man to think of the whole of mankind and of ways to help and guide the latter. It encourages him to consider his compatriots only and limit the radius of his vision within the framework of frontiers. Secondly, it encourages man to reject belief, the spirituality, the intellect, and to focus on land, blood, country and race, thereby narrowing down his mental horizon.

Nationalists are the slaves of emotions, and have no regard for the intellect and intelligence. Ideology, on the other hand, relies extensively on reflection and by creating a sense of obligation and responsibility, the intellect comes to dominate over emotions and not the other way round as is the case with nationalism.

10.  Islam and nationalism are two opposite poles

Simple patriotic sentiments, so long as they do not contravene the higher conviction of man is permissible in Islam, like the affection one feels towards one’s father, son and family. But nationalism does not stop at simple sentiments. It is a socio-political creed and an actual way of life which aims at controlling man’s individual and social conduct. Islam, too, being a school having its own independent, spiritual, practical, political and social system and comprising a particular set of beliefs, it naturally comes into conflict with the school of nationalism.

Unlike other religions such as Christianity, Buddhism etc, Islam is not confined to religious rites and metaphysical convictions. Had Islam been only a religion of devotions, it might have agreed with nationalism. But Islam is a religion with a social and philosophical worldview, and provides for economic and political principles. Nationalism, too, has its own social and political principles based however on different beliefs and criteria. Therefore, conflict between Islam and nationalism is inevitable. The Islamic ideology is not compatible with any other ideology on the question of sovereignty over the private and social life of Muslims. A Muslim cannot at the same time be a Muslim and a polytheist, or a Muslim and communist. In Islam, there is no room for one to be a loyal and genuine nationalist. It is a question of identity, and one negates the other.

Nationalism is incompatible with Islam, both schools having two opposite ideologies. These two assume two totally opposite poles in their spirit, essence, direction and goal.

Nationalism attaches value only to the historical traditions, culture, civilization, ideas and historical figures of its own nation, but Islam’s vision goes beyond the frontier, race, tribe and nation.  Musa (alayhissalaam) (Moses), Nabi ‘Eesa (alayhissalaam) (Jesus) , and Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are considered as belonging to all mankind. Islam wishes all nations to regard the Qur’an as their Book, and the Ka’aba as their Qibla.

It is very hard for nationalism to accept this view. According to its limited vision, it considers the entry of Islam as a transgression or as something dangerous. It associates the nation to Cyrus and Darius, not to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). It intends to revive its ancient past which Islam calls paganism. Islam curses the Pharaoh, but Egyptian nationalism makes him a national hero to be worshipped.

The logical result of this attitude is to revive national creeds. It is not surprising that during the nationalistic regime of Pahlavi, the creeds of Zoroastrianism and Baha’ism which were regarded as Iranian faiths, were encouraged by the regime. In the time of Hitler’s domination over Germany, Nazi thinkers belonged to one of the two following groups: one group considered Christ as a Palestinian Jewish descendant and thus rejected Christianity, and the other group turned to Christianity and wanted to prove that Christ was not Palestinian, but of the Nordic race.

Islam says that all the Muslims in the world are members of the same body and all Arab, non-Arab, Turk, Afghan, Indian, black, white and yellow belong to one ummah in their belief. But nationalism considers the religious solidarity of a country with other nations as a danger for national and tribal identity.

Thus, nationalism’s vision about society and politics is quite opposite to that of Islam, and these two cannot go together. That’s why the nationalists of other Islamic lands regard separation from Islam a condition for nationalism to succeed, even if they do not utter it. Their acts reveal their hatred towards those who seek Islam.

Nationalism is based on giving authenticity to racial and national units. It divides human society into limited and independent units according to geographical boundaries or factors of race, language, history, political organization etc., and considers all others outside these units as aliens, and very often encourages hostility between them. Nationalism does not address the whole of humanity, but restricts itself to national units, and its goal is the establishment of national states, not a universal society.

But Islam addresses all of mankind as a single unit. Its system is not for a nation, a race, a special region, but for the whole human society. Those who accept this system are regarded as equals and brothers, and have equal rights and duties in devotion, politics, economy and social life. The ultimate goal of Islam is to establish a universal monotheistic society which goes beyond geographical, racial, lingual and cultural boundaries, and joins them all in one community. Islam condemns the division of mankind on the basis of blood and territory in national and racial units, and grants no authenticity to national and racial differences. Its only test of individual worth is chastity, belief, faith and good deeds. The Quran emphasizes the universal unity of mankind:

 “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women.” (Qur’an 4:1)

Differences in race, tribe, nation and family have no legal authenticity and they are not the basis of unity or criteria of superiority and inferiority. They are only the means of facilitating human relations:

 “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 Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa” (Qur’an 49:13)

Thus, divisions into tribes and groups is for the purpose of knowing one another better, not for taking pride, showing love or hate, seeking superiority or engaging in disputes. The only criteria are faith, belief and chastity.

There is not a single verse in the Qur’an concerning the authenticity of nationality and division of mankind on the basis of land and blood. The Qur’an calls all men to kindness and happiness, not to national and racial privileges.

Nationalism believes the country to be the focus of loyalty while Islam believes God and His religion should be this focus. As the Quran says:

“The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allâh. He has commanded that you worship none but Him;” (Qur’an 12:40)

In nationalism, deep affection to’ one’s country is a basis, whereas in Islam, the basis is belief in God and absolute loyalty to Him.

“You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help” (Qur’an 1:5)

Nationalism aims at having man given the greatest share of his loyalty and affection to the country, and to even subordinate the loyalty to God to the love of the nation. This in itself is a kind of polytheism.
To nationalism, what matters the most is national interests, whether from an individual or social point of view, but in Islam it is love of God and divine injunctions. Love and hate, friendship and enmity, war and peace are all for the sake of God and His religion. No other factor is of importance.

“Say (O Muhammad Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): “Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists) ;” (Qur’an 6:162)

In nationalism, sovereignty belongs to the nation and the criterion is national interests. But in Islam, God is the sovereign, and no other factor is of significance before His laws.
“So the judgement is only with Allâh, the Most High, the Most Great!” (Qur’an 40:12)

Nationalism considers all people in a country as compatriots and those of other nations even if they are Muslims as foreigners. Islam believes in the contrary: All relationships, even that of a son, father, wife, husband, are subordinated to belief, and those who do not believe in the school are aliens in spite of their close relationships:

“O you who believe! Take not for Auliyâ’ (supporters and helpers) your fathers and your brothers if they prefer disbelief to Belief. And whoever of you does so, then he is one of the Zâlimûn (wrong-doers).” (Qur’an 9:23)

11.  The Prohibition of Nationalism in Islam

Nationalism is a concept alien to Islam because it calls for unity based on family and tribalistic ties, whereas Islam binds people together on the ‘aqeedah, that is, belief in

Allah and His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In other words, Islam calls for the ideological bond.

Grouping together on tribalistic lines is clearly forbidden. It is narrated by Abu Dawud  that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

He is not one of us who calls for ‘asabiyyah, (nationalism) or who fights for ‘asabiyyah or who dies for ‘asabiyyah.

And in another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) describes the one who calls for  nationalism as being like the worm that crawls in the bottom of the dung, and in the hadith recorded in Mishkat al-Masabih, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

He who calls for ‘asabiyyah is as if he bit his father’s genitals

There are many examples in the seerah where the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had rebuked those who upheld nationalism. On one occasion a party of Jews conspired to bring about disunity in the ranks of the Muslims after seeing the ‘Aus and Khazraj within Islam. A youth from amongst them was sent to incite remembrance of the battle of Bu’ath where the ‘Aus had been victorious over the Khazraj, and he recited poetry to bring about division between them. As a result there was a call to arms. When the news reached the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), he said:

O Muslims, remember Allah, remember Allah. Will you act as pagans while I am present with you after Allah has guided you to Islam, and honoured you thereby and made a clean break with paganism; delivered you thereby from disbelief; made you friends thereby?

When they heard this they wept, and embraced each other. This incident clearly highlights how the messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) rebuked any forms of tribalism. Allah  then revealed,

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam. And hold fast together all of you to the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favours on you; for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace you became brothers; and you were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah make His signs clear to you that you may be guided.” [Qur’an 3:102-103]

It is transmitted by at-Tabarani and al-Hakim that in one incident some people spoke very lowly about Salman al-Farsi (radhiyallahu anhu). They spoke of the inferiority of the Persian in relation to the Arabs, and upon hearing this the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasalla ) declared, “Salman belongs to ahl al-bayt (the Prophet’s family).” This statement of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) disassociates all links based on lineage and tribal considerations.

It is also transmitted, in two different versions, by Ibn al-Mubarak (rahimahullah) in his two books, Al- Birr and As-Salah, that some disagreement occurred between Abu Dharr and Bilal (radhiyallahu anhum) and Abu Dharr (radhiyallahu anhi) said to Bilal (radhiyallahu anhu), “You son of a black woman.” The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was extremely upset by Abu Dharr’s (radhiyallahu anhu) comment, so he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) rebuked him by saying, “That is too much, Abu Dharr. He who has a white mother has no advantage which makes him better than the son of a black mother.” This rebuke had a profound effect on Abu Dharr (radhiyallahu anhu), who then put his head on the ground swearing that he would not raise it until Bilal (radhiyallahu anhu) had put his foot over it.

The incidents above demonstrate that tribal ties have no place in Islam. Muslims are commanded to stick together and not to disassociate themselves from each other just because they comes from different tribes. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also said,

The Muslims are like a body, if one part of the body hurts, the rest of the body will also suffer

meaning that the Muslims, whether they are of Chinese, African, European or Asian origin, are one Ummah and they cannot be separated from each other. No tribalistic ties should ever break their unity.

Some people claim that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) approved of nationalism because during the migration to Madinah, he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said about Makkah with tears in his mubarak eyes, “You are the most beloved land of Allah to me.” However, this saying has nothing to do with nationalism, and this can be seen from the full saying which people often do not quote, “You are the most beloved land of Allah to me because you are the most beloved land of Allah to Allah.” The Messenger of Allah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) love for Makkah was based on the noble status that Allah has given to Makkah, and not because he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was born there. All Muslims should have this love and affection for Makkah because it is the most beloved land in the sight of Allah. After all, the Muslims pray towards Makkah and go there to perform hajj there as it houses the Ka’ba. The above saying of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) therefore has nothing to do with nationalism.

Not only does Islam forbid people from grouping on nationalistic ties, but it also prohibits the establishment of more than one state, whether these states are based on nationalism or otherwise. The only state that is allowed for the Muslims is the state of Islamic Shari’ah, which is a state that is governed exclusively by Islam. Allah addressed the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),

“And rule between them by that which Allah revealed to you, and do not follow their vain desires away from the truth which came to you” [Qur’an 5:48]

and,

“And rule between them by that which Allah revealed to you and do not follow their whims, and beware (be on the alert) that they may deviate you away from even some part of what Allah revealed to you.” [Qur’an 5:49]

The speech of Allah  to the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhu wasallam) is a speech to his  Ummah unless specific evidence comes to restrict this. In this case, there is no such restriction, and so it becomes obligatory for the Muslims to rule according to Islam. And ruling according to Islam leaves no room for nationalistic constitutions whatsoever because what is applied, and what forms the criteria for judgement, is the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallan).

Ruling according to Islam can only be achieved in one state, with Islamic Shariah. It is reported in Sahih Muslim that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that he heard the

Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhu wasallam) say,

He who gave the bay‘ah to an Imam, giving him the clasp of his hand and the fruit of his heart has to obey him as long as he can. If another comes to dispute with him (his authority) strike the neck of that person.”

Abu Said al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said,

If a bay‘ah is taken for two Khaleefahs, kill the latter one.”

And ‘Arafaja (radhiyallahu anhu) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say,

If someone comes to you when you are united over one man and wants to break your strength and divide your unity, kill him.

This unity of the Muslims was clearly highlighted in the document that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) wrote when he established the Islamic Statw in Madinah. In this document, which was to regulate the relationships of Muslims and non-Muslims in the Islamic State, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said regarding the Muslims, “Allah’s covenant amongst them is one” and “Believers are brothers to the exclusion of others” and “The peace of the believers is indivisible. No separate peace shall be made when believers are fighting in the way of Allah.” These statements serve to indicate that Muslims are one body and they are not to be treated separately.

Furthermore, the obligation for having one state, and not many nationalistic states, also comes from the Ijma’ of the Sahabah. When the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left this world, the Sahabah convened to discuss the appointment of the Khaleefah in the courtyard of Bani Sa‘ida. One person had proposed that the Ansar should elect their own amir and the Muhajireen their own, but Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated the hadith that forbids the Ummah from having more then one leader. So the Sahabah never allowed more than one ruler and their consensus is a legitimate evidence for us.

Islam therefore leaves no room for the Saudi state, an Egyptian state, or a Pakistani state. Islam calls for one state with one ruler where all Muslims are tied together by the ‘aqeedah of Islam. And this is a matter decided by Islam to which we must submit to, for Allah says,

  “It is not for a believer (male or female) that when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter that they should have any choice in the matter.” [Qur’an 33:36]

And those who still uphold nationalism, remember what Allah  says,

“Those who oppose Allah’s order have to be warned that a calamity may strike them or a painful doom may fall upon them.” [Qur’an 24:63]

Islam needs a Restoration, not a Reformation

[Abdullah al-Andalusi]

The desire for the reformation of Islam tends to typically come as a demand made upon the Muslim world by external factors or influences

Having been invited to speak in many debates and lectures about the question of whether there should be a reformation of Islam, I’ve observed that it is not a question that I or most Muslims raise, but one that is thrust upon us by others.

Generally, Muslims are well aware that there is no problem with Islam. Muslims understand that Islam defines human purpose in the cosmos, and offers a complete and consistent way of life that is designed to lead to human happiness and justice in this life and the hereafter. For Muslims, the author of the Qur’an, being also the author of mankind, knows humans better than anyone, and understands how humans should be organised and guided – therefore Islamic laws and solutions are perfectly balanced for implementation by mankind.

The desire for the reformation of Islam then, tends to typically come as a demand made upon the Muslim world by external actors or influences – typically by Westerners and those influenced by Western civilisation, i.e. “secular reformists”. Their demand for reform is based upon the false assumption that religion must be separate from state, and that Islam is comparable to Christianity’s problems with politics. However, there are a number of other fallacies and assumptions they make that quickly come undone under simple scrutiny.

Non-liberal government does not cause technological backwardness

Christianity never caused the Dark Ages, nor did it bring about backwardness. This may come as a surprise to anyone unfamiliar with the relevant history, but the Dark Ages occurred because of the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476AD and being overrun by Germanic barbarian migrations entering the empire. Meanwhile, the devoutly Christian Eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantines), experienced no fall, and no Dark Ages, and ancient Greek Philosophy and Roman technological know-how continued to be taught in numerous academies and schools throughout the Eastern Roman Empire.

In fact, if anything, the Catholic Church created the modern West, since after encountering the Islamic civilisation through either trade or war, they began translating Arabic and Greek intellectual works and setting up universities, triggering the European renaissance in the 1100s. The Roman Catholic Church was a patron of science and education, causing European science and technology to progress for 600 years under non-secular Christian governments. Modern secular liberal governments did not arise until around the 1780s.

Europe’s famous “Scientific revolution” started around the 1500s and is said to have reached its completion by the 1700s all under non-secular Christian governments. By the time secular liberalism first arose in state systems, Europe had already invented the steam engine 80 years before.

The industrial revolution in 1760-1840 began while most of Europe still was not secular liberal. Even the few Liberal regimes existing at the time had not yet adopted most of the laws we associate today with Liberal government.

Europe never progressed technologically or economically due to Secularism, but rather due to the beginning of curiosity, thought and inquiry that was kick-started by encounters with the Islamic civilisation’s level of advancement. The creation of secular liberalism (called “The Enlightenment”) was actually an unintended by-product of the Renaissance, and not the cause of it.

Modern Chinese political philosophers have already remarked that secular liberal democracy is not a prerequisite for technological, economic and scientific development, nor good government, and the meteoric rise of China demonstrates that there are other ways to progress and to achieve prosperity. Indeed, democracy is an older system than Islam, yet is considered “modern”. Islamic laws therefore are not obsolete, but rather they only require re-implementation, with the wisdom and mercy that the Prophet Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) demonstrated should accompany them.

The Muslim world is already the product of previous colonial reform attempts

It is argued that the Muslim world is in its current predicament because Islam has not been reformed, but this is ignorant of the fact that the Muslim world has already been “reformed”. Through colonialism, the European powers aimed to reform Islam, and removed Islam from political life in Muslim lands and altered or abolished the teaching of classical Islamic education in law and government, replacing it with a secular and pragmatic understanding for the people, leaving Muslims today illiterate in Islamic political laws. However, the process of changing the masses would take a long time so, in the meanwhile, the colonial occupiers selected and educated a new secular elite from the indigenous peoples to take power after “independence” – and guard the new status quo.

The public activities of Islamic scholarship and its institutions in almost every Muslim country are tightly controlled by their governments. The reality today is that secular elites hold Islam hostage, censoring Islamic education to apolitical aspects of Islam and commissioning bogus legal rulings from client scholars to exhort people to be politically passive, while simultaneously using these same scholars to give Islamic rulings ‘justifying’ allowing the government to perpetrate suppression, torture and arbitrary killing of their enemies (especially against peaceful political Islamic groups – which the West quietly condones).

Militant violence is not caused by Islam

Secular reformists like to claim that terrorist violence is caused by Islam, or an interpretation of it (e.g. Salafism), and not political factors. However, their claims have been disproven by numerous Western academic studies, and even classical secular philosophers, like John Locke, refuted the connection between religion and anti-state violence.

The reality reformists attempt to obscure is that terrorism doesn’t emerge from traditional education of Islam. Most political Islamic education is censored in secular Muslim countries, and a tightly controlled “spiritual-only” education is allowed. Each state teaches its own controlled version, from state-controlled Sufism in Uzbekistan, to Saudi-controlled “Salafism”. Each version is designed to keep the people passive and focusing only on theological disputes or spiritual self-development.

However, the control by secular elites over Islamic education does not always keep the people politically or militarily passive.

The continual extreme oppression and subjugation of peaceful political dissent by these secular elites eventually led to armed revolutionary movements, and in response, a brutal suppression by the elites. This caused some to unfortunately react to the extremism of the secular elites in a reciprocal manner, copying the horrific tactics of the elites they were fighting and, in some cases, attacking other groups suspected of also being used by the West against the Muslim world – tragically including non-Muslim minorities.

The Islamic belief of universal Muslim solidarity and sympathy to the plight of the global Muslim community led to further groups arising from around the Muslim world in response to constant military invasions or occupations of Muslim countries by the West.

Unfortunately, this again saw some using strategies that copy the horrific historical tactics of Western armies used against enemy populations, like “strategic bombing,” where in WWII civilians were first targeted by US/UK as part of a “defensive strategy” to demoralise an aggressive enemy and get them to stop their warring. It then becomes curious how Islam being “reformed” to secular liberalism would stop this, when mainstream Secular Liberal philosophers justify these tactics for the defence of liberalism, and many groups used terrorism in their fight for the liberal ruling system of secular democracy.

In fact, the main argument of terror groups for their tactics is not an interpretation or Islamic text, nor the denial of the Islamic prohibition against targeting civilians. These groups argue that the prohibition is “not set in stone” and that “in today’s world” they can copy modern Western tactics to fight the West.

The problem here is not a classical understanding of Islam (which would prohibit these actions), but that these groups arose from post-colonial Muslim populations who were deeply affected by Western thinking, clearly causing militant groups to arise afflicted with the same Western-imitating logic as the populations they arose from.

Although secular Muslim rulers have been known to use Islam to bolster their support when they feel threatened, this tactic caused strange things to start to happen. Secular elites that were deposed by the West, due to being no longer useful to the West, began cynically transforming themselves into the very Islamic groups they used to violently suppress, but keeping the same tactics they once used against their populations – one such example is the so-called Islamic State (IS).

In modern times, the 20th Century was dominated by terror attacks by secular groups. In Lebanon, during the 1970s, the Christian militia known as “The Phalange” (Phalanx) – in alliance with Israel – massacred thousands of civilians in Palestinian refugee camps and committed numerous war crimes against Muslim populations in Lebanon. Communist Kurdish groups have waged a decades-long terror and insurgency campaign against Turkey, killing thousands. Recently, Communist Kurdish groups detonated deadly car bombs and suicide bombs in crowded civilians areas in Turkey (which noticeably did not receive as much attention in Western media as “Islamist” terror attacks).

Therefore, it is not ideology that causes terror violence, but rather political and social circumstances connected to oppression and invasion which historically have arisen under the same conditions, whether in South America, Africa or Europe itself.

However, secular reformists like to cynically take advantage of IS’s propaganda and public facade of “Islam” to strengthen their case for “Islamic reform,” leading to a shockingly strange and unholy agreement between reformists, Islamophobes and IS for its (bogus) claim to be Islamic. Such reformists have even been known to describe IS as a “blessing in disguise,” with others making similar comments, ironically making reformists some of the biggest apologists for IS.

As demonstrated above, Islamic law does not sanction the actions of extreme groups, despite the invocation of Islamic history and warfare by these groups. These groups use Islamic text merely to seek support for themselves in a region where religion carries weight. These groups arose from a region where everyone does the same, even secular dictators like (Shaitan Jew) President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, who uses religion to justify his authority and commission “religious” justifications to perpetrate the killing of dissidents, despite the fact that all these actions actually contradict the details and conditions contained in those texts.

The logic of terror groups and secular dictators in the Muslim world are no different to far-right American terror groups who misquote the passages of the American constitution and declaration of independence discussing use of force to justify violent revolution against the current American government (which they believe has overstepped its limits) and violence against immigrants and minorities (including Muslims).

Of course, American law courts (like most American laypeople) reject these spurious citations as false and ignorant “legal” arguments. However, in the Muslim world, in the absence of the once widely established Islamic court systems under a Caliphate, post-colonial Muslim populations have a difficult time debunking bogus Islamic legal arguments in the political aspects of a law they simply have not been educated in.

What is the solution to this – less Islamic education on a holistic Islam, or more of it?

“Wahhabism” is not the ‘root of all evil’

Some Western secular reformists claim that the main root of most of the problems in the Muslim world is “Wahhabism” or “puritanical Islam”. They then point to the 1744-1818 Wahhabi-Saudi uprising against the Ottoman Caliphate and the sectarian violence that ensued.

However, what they forget to mention, is that like the decline of the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Caliphate’s military and intellectual decline in the 18th-19th centuries saw the rise of armed insurrections and civil unrest throughout its lands. Some were led by religious reformist movements who saw the Ottoman state as corrupt due to what must be spiritual defects, others fought for the new ideology of nationalism, and others for power. Sectarian violence affected all citizens, not just “Wahhabis”.

The Ottoman Caliphate saw a religious uprising from a Sufi movement that was far more sectarian and more deadly than the “Wahhabis” – the Mahdist movement of the Sufi Samaniyya order in Sudan, led by Mohammed Ahmad. Ahmad claimed he was the awaited “Mahdi” and believed the Ottoman Caliphate to be corrupt collaborators with “infidels”. Ahmad declared all Turks to be disbelievers, and ordered that they should be killed. His movement was also noted for attacking the followers and shrines of rival Sufi groups who rejected him, like the Khatmiyyah, forcing many to flee for their life. Like the Wahhabis, the Mahdists were condemned by the Islamic scholars of their region, and found support mainly from tribal fighters living in the outer frontier areas of the Muslim world. Unlike the Sufi Mahdists, the Wahhabis never declared Ottoman Turks to be disbelievers.

However, most armed uprisings that arose afterward continued to be mostly from Sufi-led insurgencies responding to colonial occupation of Muslim lands in the 19th to early 20th century.

Even non-Muslim communities in the Middle East fell into sectarianism amongst themselves. For example, the Christian and Druze communities of the Levant fell into fighting each other in 1860 leading to the deaths of over 60,000 people (many of them civilians).

Some Western secularists point to sectarian intolerance and violence as evidence of the effect of fundamentalist religion. However, the problems that effect different parts of the Muslim world are not due to Islam or an interpretation of Islam – but rather the declined thinking of the people and un-Islamic cultural practices that arose either after the intellectual decline of Islamic civilisation and/or after colonialism. Consequently, we see the same deteriorating social and intellectual phenomena amongst not just Muslims, but secularists and non-Muslims in the Muslim world, and many other countries outside.

In Jordan, it was reported that a Christian father killed his daughter because she had allegedly converted to Islam. In 2007, a Yazidi father gathered members of the local Yazidi community to stone to death his daughter for wanting to marry a Muslim man. Outside the Muslim world, Indian Sikh father in the UK was alleged to have killed his daughter for being “Westernised” and for not following “Sikhism or Indian traditions”.

In the Secular majority non-Muslim India, there is an acknowledged, out of control rape crisis brought about by the clash of Secular and traditional values. This is mirrored in Egypt by reports of sexual harassment and rape reported in the 2013 pro-secular protests in Tahrir square (notably, none were reported in the “Islamist” counter-protests in Rabia al Adhwiyyah square). Furthermore, the secular Egyptian regime under  (Zionist Butcher) Sisi has been documented to use rape as a weapon against female protestors.

Were these problems caused by Wahhabist interpretations of Islam?? Will reforming Islam affect the secular Kurds, secular Egyptians, secular Indians and Yazidis in those examples? The answer is no. It is therefore clear that the problem that afflicts the Muslim world does not only afflict the Muslim world, and is related to sociological factors that affect both Muslims, secular Muslims and non-Muslims in the region – not an interpretation of Islam. Even the British colonialists noticed that Egyptian Christians were no different to Egyptian Muslims, and were just as sectarian, maybe more so.

Secular reformists exploit sectarian divides in the Muslim world and use the label “Wahhabism” to divide and conquer Muslim resistance to reformation. Wahhabism was a movement, not a school of thought. If you examine the aspects of Islam that the reformists call “Wahhabism” – e.g. hudud (penal) laws in the Qur’an and traditions of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), the prohibition of interest etc – you will find that they are generally shared by all the classical scholars of Islam, and not just of the four Sunni schools of thought, but also the three Shia schools, the Dhahiri (apparentist) school of Ibn Hazm, and the Mutazilite school. The differences between the schools are only in the details of these Islamic laws, not the fundamental concepts themselves.

The use of the word “Wahhabi” (a word taken from European history) therefore, is merely a cover by reformists to attack all of classical Islamic thought – Sunni, Sufi and Shia alike.

The way forward is a restoration of Islam

As demonstrated above, the arguments of secular reformists lack accuracy on the reality of the Muslim world, and its solutions. Their demand for reformation, therefore, is not to initiate something original, but merely to call to complete the re-indoctrination process of the Muslim world that was begun 150 years ago by the predecessors of the secular reformists – the European colonialists.

Muslims that lived after the Prophet Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), from their birth to their death, attempted to continuously change themselves toward the state of perfect obedience of their creator described in the Qur’an – both in their hearts, minds and actions. This is called “islah,” and means to reform the individual to be better than they were before, or in an improved position.

But if the Muslim world is not living up to the values and objectives that Islam prescribes, Muslims generally understand that this is the result of the failure of the Muslim community itself, not of Islam. When such cases occur, Islam calls for “tajdeed,” which means revival in the sense of the restoration of something. In this case, it is the restoration of Islam in the community, bringing it back to the mental and behavioural state it was in, before it declined.

Ironically, the claim that countries whose policies are influenced by Islam become backward is refuted by examples in the Muslim world today. Amazingly, the so-called “Islamic Republic” of Iran – although only a hybrid regime with some Islamic policies – is just one of only nine countries in the world that has a fully independent space programme which independently builds and launches its own satellites into orbit. Likewise, the late leader of the “Islamic Republic” of Pakistan, General Zia ul Haq, initiated work on Pakistan’s first independently built space satellite, Badr 1, as well as developing nuclear power reactors and weapons to match India’s developments.

Arguably, the more Islam influences a government’s policies, the more likely it is to invest in an independent capacity for science and technology, even though those governments currently implement only a few Islamic policies. These examples raise an interesting question: if Muslims established a fully Islamic political system, how much more progress could be possible?

The above examples clearly show the Islamic world has great potential, but to fully achieve this it must strive to return to a full intellectual awakening, re-opening of inquiry, creative thought and ingenuity – like it had achieved in its past. This cannot be achieved by an Islamic Reformation, which simply continues to ape the West and continues to turn Muslims into blind imitators, with no original thought or authenticity based upon the Islamic worldview.

What the Muslim world needs is an Islamic restoration (tajdeed), re-establishing the enlightened, plural and just Caliphate that Islam prescribes. That would be a patron of industry, research and defend the citizens of the Muslim world, both Muslim and non-Muslim, from oppression and incursions. It is only then that the Muslim world can progress beyond militancy, secular dictators, invasions and oppression, and become an example of justice and Islam for all mankind – for Islam came to try to change the wrongs of the world, not be changed by them.

The Role of Madrasas- (Hope that BBC morons read it!)

Media plays crucial role either for bottlenecking or widening the rifts between the civilizations. Any biased or maneuvered attempt of media against a particular system or group of persons or organization causes serious damages and mutilation of the facts leads towards a mayhem. 

Unfortunately, Islamic institutions associated with Islam or any organization apart from its nature are acrimoniously attacked by the Western media mostly after 9/11  attacks in the United States. The Islamic seminaries or ‘Madrasas’ in Indian subcontinent have come under strident criticism by the engineered reporting of the print as well as electronic media. I have been surprised on a documentary done by B.B.C on April 6, 2016 titled “The Deobandis” because of scant understanding of the subject. 

There is no doubt, the US foreign and defense policies are being hijacked by the strong Jewish lobbyists who are dreaming for a ‘greater Israel’ and ‘New World Order’ (read this: The Hidden evil plan for the New World Order [The Secret World] ). For achieving the desired goals of the Zionists, the US military might is being exploited in their interests. This is a conspicuous fact that the hindrance between Israeli dreams and bringing them in reality, the biggest challenge comes from the Islamic world and their strongest ideological powers. The seminaries, which had been founded in a series after the failure of revolution in 1857 against the British occupiers, had the aim to retain the Muslim identity based on religion, belief, and strong ideology of the supremacy of God within the belief of absolute monotheism. The seminaries in the entire movement of independence in Indian subcontinent continued to play a crucial role for uprising the Muslim morale, thus, they were the epicenters of the Muslim revolt against the British Imperialist regime. Therefore, in the inaugurating period of the freedom struggle, the leadership of Indian freedom fighters was in the hand of Islamic clergies (ulama). These seminaries proved an axis of political as well as religious guidance for the Muslims. 

Despite explicitly emerging challenges on material and economic fronts from non Islamic countries the Western powers are deliberately ignoring them. The West is continuously targeting materialistically and militarily dead Islamic world. Though ahead are several challenges on the fronts of economy, military and diplomacy from the non-Islamic world; but the West believes that the ideological as well as spiritual powers of the Islamic world are much powerful than any challenge from the non-Islamic world. They know that the spiritually and ideologically dead Indian, Chinese and other non-Islamic communities despite their strong material and military infrastructure may be tackled with easy tasks on any of the fronts; but the ideologically and spiritually enthusiastic and ambitious Muslim community cannot be brought down on the knees unless they lose their link with their spirit and ideology. These ideological and spiritual powers rest in the faith of Islamic religion and the seminaries are the best preservers and promoters of these ideologies and spirit. Therefore, as one of the conspiracies to cut off the Muslim masses from their spiritual resources the seminaries/madrasas have been attacked by the Evil Western Media with the slogan of reforms and a harboring place of ‘terrorists’. A state of suspicion is trying to be created even amongst the huge general masses of Muslims against the ‘Madrasas’. The Western media is trying to prove their uselessness in the 21st century without the inclusion of the so-called modern scientific knowledge. According to these Satanic Western media, these seminaries are not giving anything creative to the Muslim communities. These seminaries are cutting off the students from the main stream because of their very old educational system, which is outdated and incapable for handling the sophisticated and modern world. The students after educating from these madrasas feel themselves  isolated from rest of the world because of the lack of the appropriate modern knowledge; they finally choose the path of fundamentalism and extremism because of their frustration and become a warrior for ending their lives ‘in the path of God’. 

Of course the above mentioned allegations against the madrasas are absolutely absurd and one sided without the appropriate and fair analysis. The madrasa system which was ‘systematically’ introduced in the last 19th century had the intentions of preserving and defending the Islamic faith and each religious community has the right to do so. Secondly, even in the modern educational system the frustration lies amongst the students after getting graduated. The numbers of the suicide attempts are in ample numbers only amongst the graduates of the modern educational system, conversely none of the suicide example could be presented amongst the ‘frustrated’ madrasa students. Speaking with The Times of India in October 2001 on the issue of employment the deputy Rector of Darul Uloom Deoband Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi said:

“Like the modern University graduates the Madrasa graduates at least do not become a burden on the government for providing them employment in government enterprises where the severe scarcities and uncertainties prevail. Thus we make capable and self responsible graduates who adjust successfully in the mainstream society, who make later an ideal community.”

Certainly, in these poor countries the madrasas are the basic sources of lifting the ratio or percentage of the literacy rate where they serve free those who even are incapable to sustain themselves and their families twice in a day. Finally, after graduating in madrasas the importance of education clearly reflects in their lives and we see them striving hard for a good future of their progenies. 

Secondly, about the issue of so-called modernization of Madrasas, it is quite embarrassing to target them, The western Satanic media should be ashamed of themselves. The system of Madrasa education since their emergence was drafted for the Islamic religious sciences for preserving the Islamic identity of Muslims. Several modern institutions like Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University etc. are the subject for fulfilling the needs of modern education to the Muslim community. The same rhetoric may be raised against such modern institutes, why do they not include pure Islamic religious sciences in their modern educational curriculum?? Of course, we systematically have the rational answer; the two are the basic needs of Muslims. For elevating Muslim social status in the field of science and technology, we need modern institutes with their ultra-modern infrastructure. As well as to protect the faith and religious identity, we need pure Islamic religious sciences taught in the pure fundamental environment. This fact is patent that the Muslim community in Indian subcontinent emerged as one of the most successful Muslim communities amongst the entire Islamic world because of the madrasa movement in the last 19th century a separate Muslim identity is established. This sense never could be established without the strong ideological as well as spiritual bases. Further the worst experience of Balkans and Central Asian Islamic world, we had witnessed, what had happened to them?? Because of the alienation with their spiritual and ideological bases the Muslim community either was eliminated or was being deprived of religious rights, a dark age in the lands of Bukhari, Ghazali, Tirmizi, Minghinani etc. (the statesmen of Islamic jurisprudence) prevailed until the fall of USSR. The right reason behind this decline of strong Islamic civilization was the decline of pure Islamic religious sciences from the then educational curriculum of those Muslim societies. 

From the perspective of the Western media rhetoric, I would like to conclude; the need is not for the reformation or reviving madrasa system except some infrastructural developments. Despite declaring them inferior or outdated, a parallel approach of understanding is immense need for the sake of our successful attachment with the religion and our spiritual sources. The only need is to propagate and implement the concept of Islamization of the modern institutes prescribed by several Islamic-cum-modern scholars. It will help Islamize the modern rational scientific education amongst Muslims. 

Why the West is Behind Islam??

When one examines the West’s fear of Islam, and tries to relate it to the reasons usually given — Muslim fundamentalism, militancy, radicalism, terrorism, totalitarianism — it is difficult, if not impossible, to justify this fear on the basis of reasons given. One has to believe, however, given all the facts and expertise available to the West, that the fear has to be rational. What is this fear that causes enemies of the Muslim world to play subtly on the theme of the Crusades in order to demonize Islam and Muslims?? Let us first examine what it is not, before we draw our conclusion as to the real reason why the West fears Islam.

The fear of Islamic fundamentalism, militancy, radicalism, terrorism, totalitarianism, and the West’s discovery of the “rogue states,” appeared quite conveniently with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Former Defense Secretary McNamara, in his 1989 testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, said U.S. defense spending could safely be cut in half. It became clear that the U.S. had to either undergo massive shifts in spending, a painful and unwelcome prospect for the defense establishment, or find new justification for continuing high levels of military expenditures. To provide this justification the Pentagon manufactured the threat of “rogue states and nuclear outlaws.” The Gulf War (read this: How the World has been cunningly hijacked and controlled by the Zionists’ Free Masonic scum ) was a contrived opportunity to sell this justification to the American people, to protect oil company profits, and to control the flow of oil to Europe and Japan which need it much more than does the U.S.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies calculates that the $262 billion U.S. defense budget accounts for about 37 percent of global military expenditures. Russia, Japan, and China each will spend about $80 billion, $42 billion, and $7 billion. The six “rogue states” — Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, North Korea — have a combined annual military budget of $15 billion. The U.S. budget for covert operations (U.S. terrorism?) alone is double this amount. Given the paltry defense expenditures of all the “rogue states” combined, even after correcting for differences in costs, one has to believe that the “rogue states” are no match, militarily, for the West.

And, leaving aside the morality of U.S. covert operations which invite retaliation, Muslim terrorists should not be a major fear , according to government statistics, Far more acts of terrorism and violent crime in the U.S, are committed by non-Muslims than Muslims. And if Muslims do pose a terrorist threat to the U.S., one hears little discussion of what it is that the ‘terrorists’ really want. Perhaps, all they want is for the West to stop interfering in their countries interests, looting its wealth, Cheating its currencies (i.e Read The Paper Currency Fraud) utilizing its strengths in ways that we would never tolerate in the U.S.

Islamic totalitarianism, an oxymoron to anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of Islam, should not be a Western concern. A Muslim ruler may be totalitarian, but then her rule would not be Islamic. Furthermore, the Western record on supporting totalitarian Muslim regimes — Iran under the Shah, Iraq before the Gulf War — and doing business with non democratic regimes — China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco — speaks for itself.

As for fundamentalism, Islam has no parallel to the U.S. Protestant Christian movement which opposed modern scientific theory, and which coined the term in 1920 to designate those “doing battle royal for the fundamentals.” Rather Islam has from its birth stressed the use of reason and logic.

Islamic law is based upon the Qur’an, examples and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), analogical deduction, consensus among the learned 4 Imam’s, and individual reasoning. When the Prophet’s contemporaries heard the words islam and muslim, they understood them as denoting man’s “self-surrender to God” and “one who surrenders himself to God,” without limiting himself to any specific community or denomination, eg. in the Qur’an, 3:67, where Abraham (Ibraheem alayhissalaam) is spoken of as having “surrendered himself unto God” (kana musliman), or in 3:52 where the disciples of Jesus say, “Bear thou witness that we have surrendered ourselves unto God (bianna musliman).” In Arabic, this original meaning has remained unimpaired.

Absent a generally accepted definition, the label Islamic fundamentalism serves only to obscure issues, rather than to resolve them. Meanwhile, the Christian Coalition, and the Zionists and their biblical claim to Palestine appear fundamentalist to many, yet both are courted by U.S. politicians, and not viewed as a threat! see the double standards, yet many people never realize it why?? Because of Blind-following whatever satanic western media prints or reports!.

One can go on eliminating Western arguments against Islam and Muslims. Eventually, one has to ask, what then is the source of the West’s fear of Islam and Muslims??

The late Marshall G. S. Hodgson, in Rethinking World History, states:

“[Islam’s] conscious hopes for a godly world order represent one of the most remarkable undertakings in world history and because its less self-conscious general cultural heritage is laden with human values.”

Muslims see the West beset with broken families, violent crime, drugs. They see a society divided by race, religion, and huge disparities in income. They long for a peaceful life in which they may provide for the basic needs of their families, and enjoy the respect due to all mankind regardless of their race, religion, position, or wealth.

These Muslims see their goals for a more just and compassionate society thwarted by a corrupt Muslim elite who pursue wealth and power regardless of the cost to their fellow human beings. They see these elites, who govern not by consensus as Islam prescribes, permitting outside powers to exploit their country while they derive few benefits, and find themselves subordinated by Western influences driving them down the troubled road taken by the West. They see few opportunities to earn a living because most opportunities are withheld for the elites and their sycophants. And they see these elites remaining silent when their faith, which offers solutions to the many social problems that plague the West, is denigrated in the propaganda which serves to maintain these elites.

The Muslim elites’ allies are the defense establishment and the neo-imperialists. Islam’s mandate for justice and compassion opposes the primary objective of these neo-imperialists who seek to follow policies outlined in 1948 by “the leading dove and peace prize winner” Mr. George Kennan, for the U.S. Department of State. In his top secret Policy Planning Study 23 Mr. Kennan stated in part:

“. . .we have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population . . . Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity . . . To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality . . . We should cease to talk about vague and . . . unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization.”

To avoid exposure these neo-imperialists and their allies in the U.S. defense establishment, spurred by the enemy within, divert attention by demonizing Islam and Muslims, thereby fanning the fires of bigotry and raising unrealistic fears among the people of the West.

The Shari’i Prohibition on Playing Chess

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Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) narrated from Abdul Kareem that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

He who plays chess is as if he washes his hands with the flesh (blood) of a pig.” (Kitaabul Aathaar)

    In Vol. 1, page 483 of Al-Jaamius Sagheer, it is mentioned: “It is unanimously Makrooh (i.e. Makrooh Tahrimi) to play backgammon because Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever plays nard (backgammon) is as if he has dyed his hands in the flesh and blood of a pig.”

    According to the Ahnaaf (Hanafis), playing with chess is also Makrooh Tahrimi (sinful and prohibited). Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that once when Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) passed by a group of people playing shatranj (chess),he commented: Allah curses one who plays with this (i.e. chess).”

    In Badaaius Sanaa’i it is mentioned: “It is narrated from our Sayyid, Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) that he said: ‘Shatranj (chess) is the gambling of the Ajamis (non-Arabs). It is narrated that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Everything which diverts you from the thikr of Allah is gambling.”

    The following appears in Sharh Fathul Qadeer: “According to us (i.e. Ahnaaf) chess is not permissible., and so is it according to Imaam Ahmad (Bin Hanbal). Verily it has been said that (the game of) nardasheer is in fact shatranj (chess).”

    In Tabyeenul Haqaaiq it appears as follows: “Playing with chess, backgammon and every sport is not permissible because Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Every sport of man is haraam except three: a man’s play with his wife, his training his horse and practising with his bow.” Once Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) passed by a group playing chess. He did not make Salaam to them, and he commented: ‘What are these idols to which you are so devoted?’ “(It is prohibited also) because it generally prevents one from Jamaa’t Salaat and from the thikr of Allah Azza Wa Jal, hence it is haraam just like nardsheer (backgammon). And about nard, Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: He who plays with nardsheer is as if he has dyed his hand in the flesh (blood) of a pig.Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Daawood and Abu Musa narrated it. Maalik, Ahmad and others besides them narrated: ‘Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: He who plays with backgammon , verily he has sinned against Allah and His Rasool.

    Rejecting the conditional permissibility on the basis of benefit, which some Fuqaha have contended, it is mentioned in Tabyeenul Haqaaiq: With regard to its benefit which has been mentioned (by some), it is overshadowed. Consideration is for the dominant element in the matter of haraam. What, are you not aware of Allah’s statement (in the Qur’aan): ‘Their (i.e. liquor and gambing’s) sin is greater than their benefit. Thus, consideration has been accorded to the dominant element with regard to it being haraam……..Permitting it (chess) is in fact aiding shaitaan over Islam and the Muslimeen……..It has been narrated that once Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) passed by a group playing chess. He did not make salaam. When he was asked for the reason, he said: ‘How can I make salaam to people who are devoted to idols?’ It has also been narrated that Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) struck them on their heads.”

    In Al-Bahrur Raa-iq it appears as follows: “Playing chess, backgammon and every sport are not permissible by virtue of the statement of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)Every sport of the son of Aadam is haraam except three – a man’s play with his wife; training his horse and practising with his bow.’ Imaam Shaafi (rahimahullah) has said that chess is permissible without gambling, and if it does not interfere with any incumbent obligation……However, the proofs against him are the numerous mash-hoor Ahaadith. We have omitted narration of these Ahaadith here because they are so well-known. In Al-Muheet is mentioned that it is Makrooh (i.e. Makrooh Tahrimi) to play with chess and backgammon….”

    In Majmaul Anhaar it is mentioned: “It is haraam to play with backgammon or chess.” In Ad-Durrul Mukhtaar it is mentioned: “It is Makrooh Tahrimi to play backgammon. Similarly (it is Makrooh Tahrimi) to play chess.”

                    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CHESS – THE CORRECT SHAAFI’ AND MAALIKI VIEW

Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) who is among the most prominent authorities of the Shaafi’ Math-hab states in his Sharhul Muslim (Commentary of Muslim Shareef): Our Math-hab regarding chess is that it is Makrooh.” Makrooh here means Makrooh Tahrimi which refers to a forbidden and sinful act. In practice it is just as haraam. However, there is a technical difference between Makrooh  and Haraam as far as belief is concerned. But for all practical purposes they are the same.

    Imaam Nawawi further says:“Imaam Maalik and Imaam Ahmad said thatchess is Haraam. And, Imaam Maalik said that it is worse than nard (backgammon).

    In the Maaliki kitaab, Al-Istithkaar, the prohibition is stated as follows:

Hasan said that nard (backgammon) is the gambling of the Ajamis. With regard to shatranj (chess), the Ulama have unanimously proclaimed that playing with it is qimaar (gambling), hence not permissible To accept wealth and to consume it is (in fact) gambling with it. It is not halaal. Imaam Maalik and his As-haab (the Maaliki Fuqaha) have unanimously said that playing with backgammon is not permissible and also with chess. The shahaadat (testimony) of a habitual player of chess is not permissible.Imaam Abu Hanifah and his Ashaab said that playing with chess and backgammon is Makrooh (i.e.Makrooh Tahrimi). Imaam Shaafi’ said: ‘I regard as Makrooh playingbackgammon because of the Hadith.Regarding playing chess, although we abhor it (i.e.regard it Makrooh), its condition is lighter than playing with backgammon. …..Ishaaq Bin Raahwiyah said: ‘When one plays with backgammon or chess withoutqimaar(i.e. gambling with money) and with the intention of sharpening the wits, then (too) it is Makrooh. However, in this situation his testimony will not be refuted. But, Laith Bin Sa’d said that chess is more evil than backgammon. There is no goodness whatsoever in it. One who plays with chess, his shahaadat (testimony) is not permissible.’

    Although Ibn Shuhaab disagrees with Laith Bin Sa’d on the inadmissibility of testimony issue, Imaam Maalik’s (rahmatullah alayh) ruling is absolute on prohibition and the evil of chess. In Al-Istikhaar this prohibition is mentioned as follows: “Yahya said: ‘I heard Imaam Maalik saying: ‘There is no goodness whatsoever in chess and in other games besides it. I have heard him (Imaam Maalik) stating that playing with chess is Makrooh, and he enumerated it amongthe things which are baatil. (In support) he recited the Qur’aanic verse:“Besides Haqq what is there other than Baatil?

    It should now be abundantly clear that despite the technical differences of the Fuqaha all Four Math-habs unanimously abhor chess and brand it unlawful.

                    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

THE PROHIBITION OF CHESS

BY Hadrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

“Some claim that chess is permissible according to Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh), hence those who indulge in chess will be following the ruling of Imaam Shaafi’. Know that it is not permissible to abandon the Math-hab of your Imaam, which is based on the Qur’aan and Hadith, and to act in terms of the Math-hab of another Imaam. To follow the Math-hab of another Imaam without dire need is to follow the desire of one’s nafs. This is not permissible. If there had to be such permission (i.e. to flit from Math-hab to Math-hab on the basis of whim and fancy), the Deen will become a great sporting event.

    Regarding the claim that Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh) permitted chess, this was his first view. Even for its permissibility he had stipulated several conditions, e.g. indulgence in the game should not interfere with any duty or with Salaat; it should not become a habitual occupation; there should be no abuse, taking oaths, etc. Today these conditions are not observed.

    Besides this, is the fact of Imaam Shaafi’s retraction of his view of conditional permissibility. It is mentioned in Nisaabul Ihtisaab that Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh) had retracted his earlier view. It is therefore not permissible for anyone to perpetuate his first view of permissibility and utilize it as a shield for indulgence in chess. In his Sharah Muslim, Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) says that according to Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh) playing chess is Makrooh (i.e. Makrooh Tahrimi).

    In his Sharhul Muslim Imaam Nawawi states: “Imaam Maalik and Imaam Ahmad say that chess is haraam. In fact, Imaam Maalik said that it is worse than the game of nard (backgammon) and more destructive than gambling. Whoever plays chess and backgammon has immersed his hands in the blood of swine.”

    Imaam Ahmad said: “The similitude of a person who performs Salaat after having played backgammon is like a man who makes wudhu with pus and the blood of swine, then performs Salaat.”

    Hadhrat Abu Musa Ash’ari (radhiyallahu anhu) said: ‘Only a sinner plays chess.” “Chess is falsehood, and Allah does not love falsehood.” (Baihqi in Shu’bul Imaan)

    Playing chess is haraam. If it is accompanied by gambling, it is unanimously haraam according to all Math-habs. If unaccompanied by gambling, the prohibition is with some difference of opinion. However, according to the Ahnaaf it is haraam even without gambling. According to others it is Makrooh. Makrooh here means Makrooh Tahrimi which is a prohibited practice.

    Everyone is aware of the degree of absorption in these games. Indulgence in these games leads to neglect in worldly duties and Salaat. Disputes, abuse and even fighting are consequences of these games. There is no doubt that these games are haraam.

 Chess is Makrooh (prohibited and sinful) – Hanafi Math-hab

Chess is Haraam– Hambali Math-hab

Chess is Haraam – Maaliki Math-hab

Chess is Makrooh – Shaafi’ Math-hab

“Chess even without gambling is idle sport (futility), and this is haraam on the basis of Allah’s statement (in the Qur’aan): ‘What, do you think that We have created you in idle sport?” (It is also haraam) because Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Every sport of the Mu’min is baatil.” (Nisaabul Ihtisaab)

Playing chess is haraam by virtue of the narrations of the Sahaabah and on the basis of correct qiyaas.”(Nisaabul Ihtisaab)

He who plays backgammon is as if he has dyed his hand with the blood of swine.”(Hadith)

Chess is worse than backgammon.” (Imaam Maalik)

Chess is Makrooh (prohibited) according to Imaam Shaafi.” (Imaam Ghazaali)

Legalizing chess is to aid Shaitaan over Islam and the Muslimeen.” (Tabyeenul Haqaaiq)

The Irrationality of Western Ideology and the Blind Faith of Muslim Modernists

By Abdullah Al Andalusi

The most important thing for a person who seeks truth is to remain objective and be skeptical of so-called ‘given truths’ – especially ideas that are in fashion in his/her day and age. In every age and time, there were always ideas that were fashionable, accepted as given, and taken for granted that they were true – but later rejected as false – even laughed at.

The best approach for the rational mind, is to withdraw oneself from the society and time period one inhabits and look at the ideas around oneself for what they are. Many thinkers and philosophers have done this and have written great books whose content mostly remains timeless. The reason for this, is that they have successfully removed themselves from their times and cultures and used their minds to assess the ideas based purely on their evidence and merit, and come to conclusions of truth, no matter how unpopular or odd they seem to their society at the time.

However, the one thing I’ve noticed, is that most people claim to be skeptical only to ideas they don’t like, or which is not in line with the accepted culture or fashion of their times. Many such people even claim that they are ‘rational’ and want people to ‘think for themselves’, but really they just want people to ‘think’ their way into conformity with popular trends and the dominant fashions.

I’ve always urged Muslims to be skeptical, even of their own beliefs, in order that they can reach certainty and depart from blindly following their parents religion and culture. But unfortunately there is another culture that influences some Muslims and is blindly followed by many of them due to their inability to detach themselves from their society and time and look at the world from a rational and detached perspective – the culture of Western Civilisation.

It is taken as ‘accepted’ in this day and age that religion is a retrograde force, and that only Secularism or Liberalism can bring progress. It is also accepted ‘wisdom’ that the development and technological progression of the West is due to their democratic systems of ruling, and their liberal secular values. The concept of ‘democracy’, ‘nationalism’, ‘feminism’, ‘secularism’ and [the Liberal conception of] ‘human rights’ is taken as given ‘truths’ to the degree that they have attained the level of an unquestioned religious dogma. Most people don’t know how to philosophically justify these ideas, or how they came about – all that people know is, ‘it’s the MODERN way to do things’.

However, just like the proverbial big elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring, these ideas lack any rational justification or intellectual basis. For example, Democracy is impossible, people will always be ruled by one leader or small group of leaders – usually the elites of their society. This was something both Plato, and the classical Muslim philosopher Al Farabi realised and wrote about.

Nationalism cannot be justified, as there is no clear way to delineate one nation from another [is it common language? Then is USA, Australia and South Africa all one nation?]. Secondly, why should humans be separated and discriminated into categories that should hold no moral difference or division??

Feminism cannot be rationally justified either, as basing rights on gender is either arbitrary and unholistic at best, or elitist and sectarian at worst (if men are not also considered equally in the equation). If men and women should be exactly equal in everything, as Feminism claims, then why not egalitarianism instead of feminism??

Secularism cannot be rationally justified, because in essence it posits the absurd notion that man’s purpose in life should be separate from man’s affairs in life. Secularism then results in a materialistic re-interpretation of man’s purpose of life, and the imposition of this purpose in place of a former non-materialistic purpose – with no conclusive reason why one is superior to another. Secularism then naturally ends up being non-neutral to this central question of human purpose, while fooling the people as pretending to be neutral!

‘Human rights’ [as understood by Liberalism] are arbitrary, prone to change depending on society’s current tastes at any given point in time, and lacks any rational justification for where rights even come from in the first place. The irony of Liberalism is, while pretending to be materialistic, it borrowed a lot of its rights from Christianity and theology (which is where the term ‘God given rights’ comes from) then quietly divorced from it later on when it wanted to claim ‘universality’ to the world. Consequently, ‘rights’ can’t be justified. For example, if humans have rights merely for being human, then why are criminals denied the ‘right to freedom’ when they are put in jails?? Surely they are still human, and therefore deserving of their full ‘human rights’? Apparently not.

However, the Modernist ‘Muslims’ doesn’t question these Western imports. They are perfectly happy to be skeptical against all Islamic laws, beliefs and traditions, but never to be skeptical on the Western ideas they blindly follow and adore. Modernists can only defend these borrowed Western ideas with emotional arguments, usually either brushing off the criticism as ‘just wrong’ or ‘out of kilter’ or claim the criticism is just ‘a strawman’ of their beliefs – without providing any evidence to show why its a strawman. I’ve yet to hear a rational argument from a modernist other than merely playing down criticism of Western ideas as merely ‘the ramblings of Islamist fundamentalism’ – which is the equivalent of the dismissive saying ‘you are just haters’.

This reveals something very interesting about the Modernist mindset. As the saying goes ‘you can’t reason someone out of something they weren’t reasoned into’, and the Modernist ‘Muslim’s’ blind faith in Western ideas is just that, an irrational dogma they’ve adopted blindly. But this leads us to the question ‘what made them believe these ideas in the first place??, why are they so alluring??’. The answer is quite simple, ‘might makes right’. The West, though declining, still retains a degree of cultural, technological, economic and military superiority over the Muslim world. The Muslim world, for reasons of social and historical circumstances is currently in a ignorant and declined state – it’s simply human nature for the weak to look up to the strong, just like the Barbarian tribes of europe looked up to Roman culture before and adopted their habits and language.

The are two main problems with this modernist logic. They have made two faulty assumptions, and this leads them to their error.

The first assumption is that Muslim decline is due to the ‘traditional Muslim understanding of Islam. This is easily refuted when we consider that during the first 500 years of ‘traditional Islam’ Muslims were technologically, militarily and economically the most advanced in the world – innovating many new technologies and expanding the boundaries of human knowledge. The fact that Muslims believed in hudud punishments, the traditional family, or wearing turbans and having beards didn’t limit their cultural advancement in the slightest. This demonstrates that the spirit of technological progress and knowledge development has NOTHING to do with the ‘traditional’ Islamic law system, and everything to do with the Muslim state of mind. Consequently, the main problem of the Muslim world is not getting rid of ‘medieval laws’ but to rediscover of the same spirit and state of mind that motivated our ancestors to advance in all spheres of life. The Islamic political system is not limited to only being implemented using medieval technology, but can be implemented using modern technology! Systems don’t change, technology changes. Democracy is 1000 years older than Islam, yet no one believes that implementing it will send people back to the age of wearing togas and worshipping Zeus! Political systems are timeless, because they merely describe a set of relationships between humans, not a technological tool or piece of equipment.

The second biggest assumption made by modernists, is that religion is a retrograde force, and that Western advancement , political stability and economic success is the result of leaving religion and implementation of democracy, liberalism, secularism and nationalism. However history begs to differ.

Christianity was never the reason for the European dark ages, but rather the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of barbarian tribes is the most glaringly obvious reason. Historians are generally agreed that the last great ancient, or classical period philosopher before the fall into the dark ages was the Christian thinker St Augustine! However, since Christianity can only exist in the minds of humans, if the humans carrying it are ignorant, shallow thinkers, then their understanding and practice of Christianity will also be ignorant and shallow. To believe the dark ages was the cause of the Catholic clergy’s behaviour during this period is to confuse the symptom with the problem.

For most of the last 500 years, technological advancement in the West started, and has mostly occurred, under highly religious non-democratic European monarchies and empires. The Liberal Democratic Europe we see today mostly emerged only in the last century! [1900-1999]. The vast majority of pioneering Western scientists were not Atheists, nor did they live under Secularism, but rather they were devout Catholics and even clergy (e.g. Roger Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Copernicus, Descartes, Pascal, Boyle and even the recent George Lemaitre, discoverer of the ‘big bang theory’…) or protestant Church (e.g. Newton) – and much scientific literature and almost ALL institutes of higher education and research were under patronage by the Catholic [and later Anglican] Church!

Economic success in the West started with colonialism (and continued with neo-colonialism to this day)- but now is seriously declining COINCIDENTALLY with the rise of countries powerful enough to be outside Western control (e.g. india, china, Iran, brazil etc).

As for political stability, it is mostly due to wealth – but even then people should check their history. Many Liberal and Secular countries today are not the result of an unbroken continued implementation of Liberalism, but rather many currently Liberal countries are the results of a second attempt to re-impose Liberalism after a previous attempt failed, which led to civil wars and the collapse into fascist or autocratic regimes (e.g. Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Japan, Greece etc…over the last 150 years). And the future looks like Liberalism is collapsing again in a number of Western countries, with fascism rising again ‘coincidentally’ as these same countries get poorer [recent example, Greece, Ukraine!].

What took the West out of the Dark Ages, was the change induced by their interaction with the medieval Islamic civilisation which developed a spirit and state of mind that led to the beginning of technological development and the advancement of human knowledge LONG before Liberalism, Secularism, Nationalism were invented [and Democracy re-implemented since Ancient Greek times]. These ideas did not begin the Western intellectual renaissance, but were rather the RECENT PRODUCTS of it [along with Communism and Fascism]. Oh how human memory is short to believe those ideas have existed since the beginning of Western development! If you could take a time machine and go back 100 years, you’d see a europe mostly NOT LIBERAL and 150 years back mostly not secular. Technically, UK is still not a Secular country! The head of state is the head of the national Church – a relic of the not-so-distant past).

In the end, Western development came from a state of mind and spirit, not from an ideology or set of ideas (just look at the modern example of China, a country fast outpacing USA in inventions and industry, despite being not Liberal and not Democratic!).

In contrast, the Arabs developed and advanced not when they removed religion from their life’s affairs (like the pagan Quraysh had been doing for centuries) but change only happened after they CONNECTED religion with their life’s affairs – Islam. It was only then that the Arabs then rose at an intellectually and technologically alarming rate, eventually surpassing all the empires around them in achievements.

What changed the Arabs was not contact with another civilisation, but rather the introduction of Islam – which spread beyond the Arabs, creating a new ‘nation’ (the Muslim Ummah) and assimilation different races and cultures into itself. The ideal that spurred the early Muslims to excel in civilisation, and to expand human knowledge and condition, was the ideal of ihsan – the attainment of the perfection of the Worship of Allah Almighty. Unlike the secular understanding of this in the current Muslim dark age, the classical understanding of Ihsan was the perfection not just of praying, and dhikr, nor just morals and conduct, but the perfection of wisdom, knowledge of God’s creation [the universe] and the worship of him through the highest degree of philanthropy to our fellow human beings – creating hospitals, medicines, mental therapies, sewage systems, health care and technologies that provide ease. The obligation to prayer alone, viewed today as a purely private spiritual affair, created in the medieval Islamic world, the material and knowledge advancements in city planning, street lighting, acoustics, astronomy, navigation, water provision to cities, even domestic plumbing [yes, all that from just the Islamic obligation of the Salah!].

The task of the Muslim today, is not to change Islam in the hope of imitating the West’s current intellectual follies, but rather to recapture the state of mind and spirit that made our medieval ancestors excel in civilisation.

And to our Modernist friends, with the decline of the West, and the social, economic and political problems rising in its societies, perhaps we should ask them this searching question ‘why do you want to imitate the most recent ideas produced by a declining civilisation?’

Perhaps because love is blind…

Nowruz-The Zoroastrian Festival is a “Holy Day” to the Shia Majoos!

Nowruz is here! The Pre-Islamic, Persian-Majoosi (Zoroastrian) holiday and of course anything pagan, especially pre-Islamic Persian customs do have their deep connections with the religion of the Twelver Shias. Nowruz is the holiest day according to Zoroastrianism (Majoosism) of the year for them out of seven major holidays (the seven motif is straight from their beliefs, with Ahura Mazda co-existing with six other gods who in turn form a unity of seven, so no surprise the holiday centres now with setting out a table of seven things also called haft seen).

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What many don’t know (even many Shias, heck even many Persian Shias) is that Nowruz, the ancient Zoroastrian holiday is not just some traditional holiday celebrated mostly by Iranians and Kurds (and some Afghans, even among the very secular Sunni ones), no, rather it is an ESSENTIAL part of Shiism and the biggest Shia scholars who ever lived have not just sanctified it, rather they declared it as the best day ever and ascribed loads of rubbish, fabricated an disturbing narrations to the Ahl Al-Bayt who all happen (as usual) to attack the Sahabah and the Ummah and to praise pre-Islamic Persian customs!

The first people to accept the A’maal or Fazail were the representatives of Hawzah Ilmiyyah Najaf Al-Ashraf, meaning personalities like Shaykh Tusi, then Seyed Ibnay Taus and Mohaqqiq Tusi, Syed Sharif, Allama Bahauddin Amili, Allama Faiz Kashani, and from Allama Majlisi to Shaykh Abbas Qummi (author of Mafatih Al-Jinan).

all agree on this day of celebration. Seyed Mohsin Al-Amin Amili in his Miftahal Jannat, Vol 3, pg 573, depicts a hadith from Mu’ala Bin Khanees on the Fazael of Nowruz, and has confirmed it with high authority. It’s the following:

Al-Mu’alla narrates from Imam Al-Sadiq : “Nowruz is no other day but the one we [the Ahl Al-Bayt] are awaiting the reappearance [of Al-Mahdi], for it  is one of our days that was protected by the Persians and carelessly lost by you.

Mullah Baqir Al-Majlisi (major Shia scholar of the Safavid era) mentions a narration from Musa Al-Kadhim (son of Jafar Al-Sadiq) which says: `In Nowruz Allah made a covenant with His servants to worship Him and not to allow any partner for Him. To welcome, His messengers and obey their rulings. This day is the first day that the fertile wind blow and the flowers on the earth appeared. The archangel Gabriel (a) appeared to the Prophet, and it is the day that Abraham (as) broke the idols. The day Prophet Muhammad held Ali a.s on his shoulders to destroy the Quraishies’ idols in the house of God, the Kaaba.`[…]

Their “Mahdi” (in fact the Dajjaal) will emerge on the ZOROASTRIAN holiday of Nowruz!

[Narration attributed to Imam Al-Sadiq (rahimahullah) who is free of Majoosite Rafidhism]: ‘The day of Nowruz is the day when our Qa’im of Ahl Al-Bayt (Mahdi) and the commanders [of his army] will rise. On that day Allah will make the Dajjaal appear and he will be crucified on the church of Kufa (Iraq)’. (Bihar Al-Anwar by Mulla Baqir Al-Majlisi, vol. 52, p. 308)

Kufa?? Crucifixion?? NOWRUZ???! We all know that JESUS (‘Eesa alayhissalaam) will kill the Dajjaal, not on the holy day of Shiism though, which is NOWRUZ!

So the Sahabah, their students and their students (i.e. Salaf Al-Saleh) have missed to ‘protect’ the holy (!) day of Nowruz, but the Persians managed to protect this so called holy day. Look at their audacity! How dare they ascribe a Zoroastrian holiday to Islam and the Ahl Al-Bayt! Not even the most wicked Islamic sects has ever dared to ascribe any pre-Islamic pagan Arabic holiday (there were some) to Islam!

This is how portray the Ahl Al-Bayt i.e. Imam Al-Sadiq (rahimahullah) in the Hadith above! He literally blames the Arabs for having forgotten the Majoosi holiday of Nowruz! A holiday that was never ever sanctified in Islam! Look how much Sassanian-Pre-Islamic-Persian customs have infiltrated Shiism, then they wonder why they are being called Majoos!

So Shias out there, we know it’s a shame to be a Shia, but come on, you have no choice, get up and celebrate Nowruz you pagans, and don’t forget to recite certain prayers on that day, and to take Ghusl on that day … all in the name of ‘following the Ahl Al-Bayt and the true Sunnah’ (true Sunnah!!!):

“The Islamic Centre of England” (Shias) states on its website:

[…] But Alameh Majlesi in his book Zad al Maad mentions the existence of some reports in some less known sources. One of which is the following invocation that is highly recommended to be recited repeatedly. O Moulder of the hearts and vision, O Master of the night and day, O He who changes stratagem and status, Transform our situation to the best condition The above invocation at the time of Safavids was a regular prayer for the New Year. The fact that recitation of supplications or Qur’an and performing of prayer for the coming of a new year actually did happen, itself, is a sign of the Islamisation of this festivity. […]

[…]  Islamic rituals of Nowruz In Mafatih al Jinan, which in the past decades has been one of the greatest books for religious recommended acts of worship, we read that the Prayer of Nowruz is a prayer combined of recitation of Al -Fatiha, Al-Qadr, Al-Kaferoon, Al-Tawhid, Al-Falagh, Al-Nass and many other chapters of the Holy Qur’an. It is similar to a prayer which not only has the forms of Friday prayer but also the attributes of the prayers of Ghadeer Khum. Mafatih Al Jinan narrates from Imam Jafar Al Sadiq(as): `When Nowruz comes, make Ghusl (ceremonial wash) , put on your clean clothes, and fragrant yourself with best perfumes, so when you are free of all other prayers, perform a four- rakaat prayer, each rakaat one Salam and in the first rakaat after Sura Al- Fateha ten times Sura Al-Qadr, and in the second rakaat after Al-Fateha ten times Al-Kaferoon. In the thried rakaat after Al-Feteheh ten times Al-Nass and Al-Falaq. After prayer prostrate in gratification.`  […]

they even give lectures about Nowruz and Shi’ism and they celebrate it in their wasteful golden shrines, all in the name of ‘the Islam of the Ahl Al-Bayt’

Iranian pilgrims in Iraq (which is basically occupied by Iran with the help of the Americans and Iraqi Shia puppets) celebrate NOWRUZ next to the shrine of Al-Hussein Ibn Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) in Karbala’. That’s what these heretics call ‘the Islam of the Ahl Al-Bayt, the true followers of the Sunnah’!

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Education in Islam

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By Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi

Education, in present age, being the most important and necessary thing for people, is considered to be a gift of this modern age whereas eventually it is only the Glorious Qur’an to which goes the credit of education’s foundation and its boundless advancement.

It is an established truth that Islam has attached much emphasis on education. It is only Islam, which occupies this distinguished position of being the messenger of knowledge and leader of an educational revolution. According to Islamic viewpoint, the humanity set out for its journey in the light of knowledge, not in the darkness of ignorance as many civilized people say that man is a developed form of animals. Other systems have put education in the category of necessities of life but Islam has regarded it the utmost necessity of human life. 

There is neither a religion nor a civilization that has termed education as basic right of every individual in the society. Nations such as Greece and China have made extraordinary progress in the field of education and art but they also did not favour the education for all. Plato has also dreamt of democracy and equality, but he also could not go beyond education for some particular segments of the society. In India, which once was the center of education and art, a lower caste person was not even allowed to hear the Vedic scriptures. If sometimes a lower caste person happened to gain a hearing by steal he used to be put melted lead in his ears. As if it was a heinous crime for him to listen the Vedic verses.[1] None can deny the glory of Nalanda and Taxila universities, but after all, the fact is that the common people were always deprived of education in Hindu periods. Education was only the monopoly of higher classes of the society. 

When the sun of Islam was enlightening the world, Europe was passing through dark ages of history. The scientists, artists and men of learning were tortured and sometimes even they were torched to death. The Churches were rulers where life was a second name of wildness. Similarly, ignorance was prevailing all over Arabia. There was neither a school nor a college and a library. Not only that the entire tribes were illiterate but also some of them used to feel proud of being unlettered. Allama Bilazari has written that Quraish, the head of all tribes in Arabia, had only 17 persons who knew writing. Those who were assigned to write the revelation they also were 43 out of all Ansar and Muhajireen (the companions of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In this situation, imagine, whatever Islam has done is nothing short of a miracle.[2]

In 570 A.D, when the sun of Islam rose from the horizon of Arabian Peninsula in its fullest blaze the entire world was shrouded by darkness and steeped in ignorance and long slumber. The first slogan that Islam chanted in this horrible atmosphere was about ‘education’. The earliest verses that revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) invited people to education:

“Read in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher who created. Created man out of a (mere clot of congealed blood. Read and thy Lord is Most Bountiful. He, Who taught (the use of) the pen. Taught man that which he knew not”.[3] 

These five verses of the holy Qur’an along with many others are considered to be fountain head of education in post-Islamic history. They created a remarkable eagerness towards education and filled the followers of Islam with a tremendous spirit that carved a new history. 

Education has always received great weight age in the Islam religion. The religion emerged in the barren Arabian lands that were both culturally and socially backward. Thus education was put forward as the lamp to illumine darkness. The main theological text is the Koran, where the word ‘Ilam’ is used, which means knowledge. It is the second largest word used in the Koran.” [4]

The Glorious Qur’an and Hadith encouraged this spirit and gave it a good push by repeated mentioning of education’s virtues and greatness like:

“Allah will raise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you believe and who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is well acquainted with all ye do”[5]·

“Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?” [6]·

Ulama are the heirs of the prophets” [7]·

An ‘Alim is the trustee of Allah on this earth” [8]·

One who covers a way in search of knowledge Allah will lead him to the paradise[9]

The Glorious Qur’an has laid much importance to ‘education’, that is why it regarded the education as the main purpose of the Prophet’s advent in this world. As it says at numerous places, such as in Sura Jumu’ah:

It He Who has sent amongst the unlettered an apostle from among themselves to rehearse to them His signs, to sanctify them and to instruct them in scripture and wisdom, although they had been, before, in manifest error” [10]

This is the reason that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself said, “I was sent down as a ‘teacher’. Once upon a time the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) saw some of his companions sitting in to two circles. One circle was busy chanting the glory of Allah and the other was busy in learning and teaching. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I was sent as teacher” and sat among them. [11]

The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), on one hand, described education as obligatory on every individual while on the other hand he asked each Muslim to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong according to the instructions of the Qur’an:

You are the best of the people evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah” [12]

In this way he proclaimed that every believer should be a teacher of his brothers. 

The above-mentioned verses of the holy Qur’an have laid down such a natural, easy and cheaper system that had made, unconsciously, the education free and compulsory. Every Muslim family turned in to a primary school and each person became its teacher. The first school of a child is a mother’s lap where it is inculcated manners, habits and mental approach. That is why one finds the companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and their successors strived hard to get education, travelled over mountains and deserts and exposed them to countless hazards and hardships. Whenever they went engaged themselves in learning and teaching the people. They sat in a corner of a mosque or in a part of a house teaching wisdom and good behaviour. Due to these valuable efforts, in a short period of time the Arabs turned in to the most civilized nation, and wherever they went left their deep impressions on life, culture and language. 

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Footnotes:

[1] Islami Nizami Zindagi 241

[2] Islami Nizami-e-Zindagi 240

[3] Sura Alaq 96/1,2,3,4,5

[4] Madrasa Education: Present Scenario & The Muslim Community, Moinul Hassan, Feature, Kolkata 25, March 2002,www.ganashakti.com

[5]  Sura Mujadila 58/11

[6] Sura Zumur 39/9

[7] Abu dawud & Tirmizi, referred by Ihya-ul-uloom Urdu translation, 30

[8] Ihya-ul-Uloom 34, Ibn-e-Abdulbarr

[9] Muslim, Ihya-ul-Uloom 35

[10] The Quran, Sura Juma 66/2

[11] Ibn-e-Maja, Bab-u-Fazl-il-Ulama 

[12] Sura Aal-e-Imran 3/110

[An extract from: Madrasa Education: Its Strength & Weakness by Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi]