For true Muslims, Islam and patriotism are not clashing entities

Story by  Amir Suhail Wani | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 05-03-2024
Muslim children enjoying the celebration on a national day
Muslim children enjoying the celebration on a national day


Amir Suhail Wani

Patriotism and love for one’s land are deep human instincts. It is natural for men and women to love the place of their birth, to be attached to the land that nourishes them, and to have deep feelings of love and reverence for their homeland. Everything that is associated with our motherland moves us and creates in us feelings of joy and vigorous passion.

Some people have made unimaginable sacrifices for their country and dedicated each breath of their life to the cause of the nation. In India, great patriots like Bhagat Singh, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and others lived and died for the honour and betterment of their country and played an instrumental role in making India the great country that it is.

In this long and arduous journey, Muslims have also played a seminal role and their contribution to the construction of India has been immense. From the time, Muslims set their feet on the soil of India, they took it as their motherland and loved it like nothing else. There are Muslims who lost their lives while defending the honour of India and there are others who made India rich in arts and crafts, learning, and wisdom and like Dara Shikoh, dedicated their lives to spreading the Indian wisdom to the rest of the world. In this process of nation-building and patriotic spirit, Muslims were greatly driven by the Islamic instructions on Nationalism, Patriotism, and nation-building. In this article, we will explore the Islamic teachings on patriotism and see how Muslims have contributed to the rise of patriotism and nation-building in India.

Love for the motherland is evident from the various incidents in the Prophet’s life. When the Prophet was forced by his enemies to migrate from his motherland of Mecca to the nearby city of Medinah, he grieved, “O Mecca! How holy you are and how dear you are to me. Had my countrymen not forced me to migrate, I would have loved to live nowhere else except here”.

It is said that after reaching Medina, the Prophet used to open his shirt and face towards Mecca to symbolically show his attachment to his motherland. Imam Suhaili wrote an entire treatise titled “Hubbur Rasooli Wattanuhu” (Prophet’s love for his motherland) in which he collected various anecdotes and incidents of the Prophet’s love for his motherland. The Prophet of Islam went on to place patriotism on par with one’s faith and counted the love for one’s motherland as a part of one’s faith.

It is in the light of these teachings and Prophetic examples that Muslims across the globe particularly in India showed deep love for their country and contributed immensely to its progress and prosperity. The Muslim love for their country can be illustrated by a few examples which are testimony to Muslim patriotism. The person who coined “Quit India” and “Simon, Go Back”, the two significant slogans of the Freedom Movement, was a Muslim named Yusuf Meherally.

The slogan “Jai Hind” which was widely used by Netaji Subash Chandra Bose was coined by a Muslim named Zain-ul Abideen Hasan. Hasan was also a commander of the Indian National Army (INA) founded by Netaji Subash Chandra Bose. The person who coined the slogan “Inquilab Zindabad”, which inspired Shaheed Bhagat Singh, was a Muslim named Maulana Hasrat Mohani. The song “Sare Jahan se acha, Hindustan Hamara”, sung by one and all during the Freedom Movement was written by Muhammad Iqbal.

Islam doesn’t emphasize hollow and idle patriotism. It doesn’t only advocate the theory of patriotism without placing any responsibilities on Muslims. It rather instructs and prepares us to work actively and in a state of cohesion with fellow countrymen for the progress and welfare of our nation. The first lesson that patriotism teaches us is to love our fellow countrymen irrespective of their religion, creed, and caste. It is not possible that we love our country and do not love our countrymen.

This love for countrymen places on us the moral responsibility of wishing good for everyone and abstaining from all activities that may harm our nation or our countrymen. The Prophet of Islam said that the best among you are those who are beneficial to fellow humans. Thus we must strive for the betterment of our fellow humans and work for their welfare and uplift. In the recent past, Muslims like APJ Abdul Kalam, Waheed Ud Din Khan, AR Rehman, Amir Khan, and others have made immense contributions to the fields of science, learning, music, cinema, and others. The dialogue writer of the serial Mahabharat is Rahi Masoom Raza, which is unbelievable to many. Muslims need to draw inspiration from such ideals and icons and place the welfare, dignity, and honour of our country ahead of everything else.

To contribute positively and actively to the cause of nation-building, the first important task ahead of Muslims is to equip themselves with the highest possible level of education. In the absence of education, Muslims can contribute neither to their welfare nor to the welfare of the community and country. In the absence of education, people are easily misguided as is happening with some of the Muslims who are being lured to anti-social and anti-national activities.

Second, some naive and half-baked scholars are teaching Muslims that Islam and patriotism are at odds with one another, and by this fool play, they are causing chaos and confusion in the minds of people and weaning them away from the national mainstream. It is the responsibility of Muslims to boycott these hate mongers foster the spirit of patriotism and defeat the forces of hatred. Media has an important and sensitive role to play in this narrative and nation-building and it must not give space to the elements of dissent and the voice of discord which aim to disrupt the normalcy of the land and create a reign of anarchy.

ALSO READViolinist Ustad Asghar Hussain’s unforgettable moments with PM Modi, Putin

o say it succinctly, Muslims have contributed to India immensely in the past and their patriotism has been exemplary. What is needed from the present-day Muslims is loyalty to their land and an active participation in the process of nation-building.