Third Matter: It is an answer given to those who try to include the idea of nationalism in Islam in a negative way.
The idea of nationalism has greatly advanced this century. The cunning European tyrants in particular awaken this among Muslims in negative fashion, so that they may divide them and devour them.
Furthermore, in nationalism is a thrill of the soul, a heedless pleasure, an inauspicious power. For this reason those occupied with social life at this time cannot be told to give up the idea of nationalism. However, nationalism is of two kinds. One is negative, inauspicious, and harmful; it is nourished by devouring others, persists through hostility to others, and is aware of what it is doing. It is the cause of enmity and disturbance. It is because of this that the Hadith states: Islam has abrogated what preceded it, and put an end to the tribalism of Ignorance.1 And the Qur’an decrees:
While the unbelievers got up in their hearts, heat and cant -the heat and cant of Ignorance- Allah sent down His tranquillity to His Messenger and to the believers, and made them stick close to the command of self-restraint; and well were they entitled to it and worthy of it. And Allah has full knowledge of all things.2
The above Hadith and verse reject in definite terms any negative nationalism and racialism. For positive, sacred Islamic nationhood leave no need for them.
What race is there that has three hundred and fifty million members? And which racialism can gain for those who subscribe to it so many brothers -and eternal brothers- in place of Islam? Negative nationalism has caused untold harm in history.
I n S h o r t : Due to their combining some ideas of nationalism with their politics, the Umayyads vexed the World of Islam, and in addition drew many calamities on themselves. Also, the European nations have greatly advanced the idea of racialism this century; the ghastly events of the Great War showed how harmful for mankind is negative nationalism, as well as the perpetual and ill-omened enmity of the French and Germans. And with us, in the Second Constitutional Period, -like the “many tongues” at the destruction of the Tower of Babel, known as the “ramification of peoples,” which resulted in their being divided and scattered- various refugee societies known as “clubs” were formed, chiefly by the Armenians and Greeks, due to the idea of negative nationalism, which were the cause of division. And from that time to now, the state of those who have been devoured by the Europeans due to those clubs, and of those made wretched by them, has again demonstrated the harm of negative nationalism.
As for the present, when the peoples and tribes of Islam are most in need of one another, and each is more oppressed and more poverty-stricken than the others, and they are crushed beneath European domination, to regard one another as strangers due to the idea of nationalism and to consider one another to be enemies, is such a calamity that it cannot be described. It is quite simply a lunacy like turning one’s back on dreadful serpents so as not to be bitten by a mosquito and struggling with the mosquito-due to the idea of nationalism-to attach no importance to the European nations, which are like huge dragons, at a time when with their insatiable greed their grasping hands are open, indeed, to in effect help them and to nurture enmity against fellow-citizens in the Eastern Provinces or brother Muslims to the South, and to take up positions opposed to them, is extremely detrimental and dangerous. In any event there are no enemies among those to the South so that they should be confronted. What comes from the South is the light of the Qur’an; the light of Islam came from there; it is present among us, and is found everywhere.
Thus, to be hostile towards those fellow Muslims is indirectly harmful to Islam and the Qur’an. And hostility towards Islam and the Qur’an is hostility of a sort towards the lives in this world and in the hereafter of all those fellow-citizens. To think one can serve their social life in the name of patriotism while destroying the foundations of their two lives, is not patriotism but stupidity!
1. See page 76, fn. 4.
2. Qur’an, 48:26.
- Sixth Matter: It addresses those who go to excess in negative nationalism and mentions the importance of the patriotism of Islam.
- Fourth Satanic Stratagem: Nationalist feelings.
- Addendum to the Sixth Section, which is the Sixth Booklet: It was written to avoid the hatred and insults that can target us in the future.
- Second Radiance: The continuing youth of the Qur'an in every age; its rules and laws are ageless; a comparison between the civilization of the Qur'an and human civilization.
- Third Topic: It consists of seven matters about nationality and solidarity in the community.
- The character of Muhammed pbuh and his attitudes
- Gleams: Flowers from the Seeds of Reality. A short ‘Mathnawi’ and collection on the subject of belief for the Risale-i Nur students.
- What are the harms of racism?
- Foreword (About Racism)
- Seventh Matter: A call to those who show too much patriotism in negative nationalism.