Patriotism, the love for one’s country and devotion to its betterment, is a noble trait that every body nurtures. The sense of belonging to a country and community is the basis upon which nationalism and patriotism flourish.
It is the responsibility of Muslims to cultivate love for their country and for the people of their country. It is a misconception that Muslims do not have an allegiance towards their country of birth or towards their adopted country. Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) urged Muslims to love their country and its people and said, “Love of your country (patriotism) is a part of your faith”. In Islam, faith, spirituality, politics and government are not regarded as separate entities but are closely intertwined. One of the traits of a good Muslim is that he or she is patriotic, is involved in the growth and progress of the community and has a strong sense of civic duty.
Islam does not forbid Muslims from loving their homeland. However, Muslims are forbidden to love or hate on the basis of national boundaries. This means that people are not allowed to hate someone just because he or she belongs to a different country or region and love someone because they come from the same country. This is regarded as another form of racism and discrimination, which is not permitted in Islam.
Citizenship is more than receiving a certificate of naturalization or being a passport holder of a particular country. Citizenship is to be part of a whole greater than oneself and to regard the larger society as a macrocosm of one’s immediate family or social circle. The troubles and issues facing one’s country cannot be seen as a distant matter for someone else to resolve.
At a time when Muslims are regarded with suspicion and hatred, it is imperative that we unite and send a clear message that being Muslim does not equal being unpatriotic. We need to stress that as Muslims, the security of the country, our society, our communities and our families, are both our responsibility and our right. And to that end, we condemn what is wrong and support what is right.