The Homeland in Islam: Between Shari’a and the Claims of Extremists

The Homeland in Islam: Between Shari’a and the Claims of Extremists

  • 23 June 2015

Prof. Hassan Mohammed Al-Marzouqi:

As a belief and a faith, Islam is one religion, revealed collectively over time by God to all of His messengers and prophets. Islam is not limited to the message, beliefs, rules and laws revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

While the homeland represents the individual’s place of residence, as defined by Ibn Manzoor in his dictionary Lisan Al-Arab (“The Arab Tongue”), it may also be referred to as one’s “home” or “country.” God has given this “home,” “country,” or “homeland” special significance in the holy Quran and the honorable Sunna. If we carefully examine Arabic language dictionaries we not only find a linguistic definition but also reference to the instinctive love one feels towards one’s homeland, as Al-Zamakhshari said: “everyone loves their homelands and dwellings.” Humans are attached to their homelands, whether their relationship to it is ethnic or geographic. Since Islam comprises a comprehensive guide, it emphasizes the importance of the concept of a homeland as the basis for the establishment and expansion of the land of Islam, and recognizes a sense of national belonging as a characteristic of a Muslim’s affiliation to Islam and the mark of a noble and loyal individual.

These views are consistent with a sound understanding of Islam, and are far removed from those of extremists who refute the very notion of the homeland. Indeed, such views have damaged and distorted Islam through an erroneous understanding of its principles and values, sowing the seeds of sedition and destructive desire, and straying from the true path.

Prof. Nasr Mohammed Arif:

One of the most problematic issues for Muslim intellectuals in the post-colonial era has been in the realm of government and politics, and associated regulations. Muslims have found themselves in a new world that is notably different from their romanticized conception of Islamic heritage and history. The newfound realities on the ground were seen as conflicting with Islam, its history and Sharia. Muslims have not participated in the creation of this reality, but have in fact inherited it from Western colonizers. Within this context many have embraced flawed perspectives including accusations of Western bias against Islam, as seen in the writings of Anwar Al-Jundi and Muhammad Amara, and calls for the takfir (excommunication) of society-as claimed by Sayyid Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood and various jihadist groups.

These perspectives are particularly flawed with regard to their interpretation of the concept of the nation-state constructed on the foundations of sovereignty, clearly demarcated boundaries, and a sense of national belonging.

They have only known the abstract concept of the Umma, which has never legally or politically materialized. They have not studied jurisprudence or the political history of Muslim societies in sufficient depth to understand that the concept of the Umma has never offered a legal framework for the activities of individuals and groups. Instead, it was, and remains a conceptual bond that unites all Muslims.

As early as the end of the first century (AH) and the beginning of the second century (AH), Muslim jurists and scholars set clear legal frameworks for the concept of the “homeland.” For example, the great Imam Abu Haneefa Al-Nu’man advocated the concept of regional law that would apply to the homeland in its entirety. The successive practices of the Umma have further entrenched the concept of the homeland and its adoption as a political framework for governing the life of individuals and society.

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Tuesday 23 June 2015

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Tuesday 23 June 2015

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