Friday, October 3, 2008



...................continued from part 27

Is it wrong then to be proud of one's race and country and to love them? Burhanuddin Al Helmy (Kamarudin Jaafar, 1980, pp. 91) argued that nationalism is acceptable in Islam because Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) peace be upon him loved Makkah by forwarding his supplication to Allah:

رَبِّ ٱجۡعَلۡ هَـٰذَا بَلَدًا ءَامِنً۬ا
My Lord, make this city
of Peace (2:126)
which, according to Al Helmy is a clear indication of the royalty of the love of one's country. Others argued that prophets prior to Muhammad s.a.w. preached ya qaumi (o my people). In the Al Qur'an, there are many instances where words like ummah, iman, qaum, qabail, syuub are used. These, to the nationalists are indications of permissibility of nationalism in Islam.
El- Muhammady (op.cit.; pp.19) wrote that the basis of Indonesian nationalsim was the verse from Al Qur'an:
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ۬ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰكُمۡ شُعُوبً۬ا وَقَبَآٮِٕلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓاْ‌ۚ
O mankind, We created
You From single (pair)
of male and female
and made you into
Nations and tribes, that
Ye may know each other
(not that ye may despise each other) (49:13)
This ayat or verse was also the basis of Malay Nationalism of Burhanuddin Al Helmy (op. cit.; pp.94). The nationalists thrust in this verse is solely on the word شُعُوب(syu 'u ban:nations) and وَقَبَآٮِٕلَ( wa qabaa il : and tribes)
These words must not be misinterpreted as a blank cheque to polarise along the axes of nations and tribes, because before these two words, Allah said وَجَعَلۡنَـٰكُمۡ wa ja'al na kum (and We made you into) . Therefore should man wish for some reason to unite along the axes of nations and tribes, the Creator must be the criterion for unity. The word لِتَعَارَفُوٓاْ‌ۚ li ta'aa rafu (that you may know each other) is a clear indication that Islam prefers its adherents to interact horizontally, cutting across the axes of nations and tribes. be continued