Islam and the Question of Nationalism [1]


April 18, 2011 at 11:31 pm


The nation-state, which involves wedding a specific people to a sovereign territorial entity, is a modern phenomenon. For example, the unity of the Italian city-states into a coherent modern nation-state did not occur until the late 1850s. The unification of Germany under Prussia did not occur until 1871. Even though there were many French kingdoms, and even a French empire under Napoleon, it could be argued that the emergence of France as a viable, modern nation-state did not occur before Jules Ferry established universal public education during the 19th Century. Outside of Europe, excluding European settler states such as America, and with the notable exception of Japan, one can not meaningfully discuss the existence of viable nation-states until the 20th Century.

Nationalism, the movement of a people to establish an autonomous state, a phenomenon instrumental in the creation of the contemporary international system, is also strictly modern. It can be seen as part a 19th Century European reaction, a political offspring of Romanticism, to the universalizing and anti-authoritarian tendencies of the earlier Enlightenment. There are, however, elements of nationalist thought, which are extremely ancient. Most of these, such as an exclusivist, chauvinistic attachment to a particular group, and the sacrificing of universal human concerns on the altar of particular national interests, are strongly rejected by Islam. It is from this point of departure that we can develop a credible Islamic critique of nationalism.

Islam, the last of the Abrahamic religions, has been defined as, “submission to the will of God”, also, “the state of peace resulting from submitting to the will of God”, and, “acknowledging, then being led by everything brought by Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him”. One of the distinguishing features of Islam, emphasized in the last definition, is its comprehensiveness. The way of life it informs has been viewed as touching on every aspect of human existence.

This comprehensiveness can be gleamed from a cursory view of most expansive Islamic law manuals. For example, in the introduction to a contemporary work on the jurisprudence of the Shafi’i school, the authors mention the seven basic areas covered by Islamic Law:

1) Worship (al-Ibadah): prayer, fasting, etc.
2) Family Matters (al-Ahwal al-Shakhsiyya): marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc.
3) Interpersonal Relations (al-Mu’amalat): buying, selling, legal claims, etc.
4) Duties and Responsibilities of the Political Governors and the Governed (al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyya): establishing justice, preventing oppression, rights of obedience, etc.
5) Criminal Justice and Maintaining Public Order (al-Hudud): punishing thieves, adulterers, eradicating threats to public safety, etc.
6) International Relations (al-Siyar): war, peace, truces, etc.
7) Character Reformation and Good Manners (al-Akhlaq w’al-Adab): abstention, patience, humility, courage, etc. [2]

Since nationalism, as stated, is a modern phenomenon, it has not been explicitly dealt with in any of the above-mentioned areas. However, as we will attempt to show, Islam contains teachings which clearly argue against elements of nationalist thought. It also argues against the chauvinism and exclusiveness which the nationalist project engenders. These phenomena are a major part of what we will call the nationalist question. In this article, we will attempt to critically examine the nationalist question in light of fundamental Islamic teachings. That examination will begin with a section which examines Islamic teachings of relevance in examining that question, followed by a section which defines nationalism more rigorously than above, and then analyzes it in the light Islamic teachings. Although this arrangement will involve a degree of redundancy, it will hopefully make the overall discussion more meaningful for those not familiar with the Islamic concepts we introduce initially. Finally, I will conclude the article with some reflections on the role Islam can play in our efforts to move beyond nationalism.

Nationalist Concepts in the Light of Islam

Islam posits that humanity shares a common ancestry. God says in the Quran, “O Humankind! We have created you from a single pair, a male and female, then made you into nations and tribes in order that you come to know one another [not that you may despise one another]. The most honored of you with God is the most pious. And God is Well Informed, Knowledgeable [49:13].” God also says, “O humankind! Be mindful of your Lord who has created you from a single soul, and created from that soul its mate, and has brought forth from them multitudes of men and women [4:1].” Humanity, as these verses emphasize, has a common ancestry, which creates inseparable bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood between us. Islam, in this regard, does not sanction any scheme that negates or trivializes those bonds, as occurs with conflicting nationalisms.

Islam advocates the essential equality, human worth, and dignity of all people. God says, “We have ennobled the human being [17:70].” Similarly, “And their Lord accepted their prayer, and answered them, I will never allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female, you are from one another [3:195].” These, and similar verses, emphasize that the fundamental worth of all humans transcends race and gender divisions. Understanding this equality is central if we are to gain a true understanding of how Islam approaches the issue of nationalism. While recognizing the validity of national, racial, tribal, ethnic, and cultural differences, Islam views them as signs of God’s creative power, not as the basis for the creation of mutually destructive political agendas.

As for culture and race, God says, “And among His Signs is the creation of Heaven and Earth, and the variation of your languages and your colors. Surely, in this are signs for those endowed with knowledge. [30:22].” We mention this verse here because of our belief that language is the most important element in any cultural system. Hence, it is one of the strongest bases of national identity.

Islam also acknowledges that distinct people, nations, and tribes can be vested with unique historical missions. God says, “The Romans have been defeated, in a nearby land. However, despite this defeat of theirs, they will soon be victorious, within a few years. And with God is the Command, in the past and the future. And on that day, the believers will rejoice [30: 2-4].” The point here is that God decreed this victory for the Romans as a people. Their historical destiny as a people was to defeat the Persians. Conversely, the Persians, after their initial triumph, were destined to be defeated by the Romans in the end. He also says concerning the idea of distinct nations, “Every nation has a fixed term. When that term expires, they can neither delay nor hasten [their inevitable demise].” [7:34]

This idea of distinct historical missions is further born out by the fact that nations, prior to the advent of the prophecy of Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him, were addressed by prophets sent specifically to them. Noah was sent specifically to his people. [2] Hud was sent specifically to the people of ‘Ad. [3] Salih was sent to the people of Thamud. [4] The message of these and other Prophets, Peace of God be upon them all, was directed towards their respective peoples, constituting a divine affirmation of their distinct national identities.

However, one should not be led to believe that the specificity of those prophetic missions, which preceded that of Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him, can be used as a justification for pursuing narrow nationalistic agendas. That is because the specificity of those messages was abrogated by the universality of the message of Muhammad, Peace and Blessings of God upon Him. God says, describing that message, “Say to them, [O Muhammad!], “I am the messenger of God to you all!” [7:158]

This verse is especially significant in that it occurs after a lengthy description, in Sura al-Araf, of the earlier Prophets and their messages. Consider the previous four citations in that regard. It is as if God is especially emphasizing the universality of the mission of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God upon him, by presenting it in contradistinction to the earlier messages. It is significant that this transition from specific messages to a universal one occurred at the advent of an era when the overland trade routes which would be created by the vast, functionally unified Islamic Empire would integrate the entirety of the known world to an extent unprecedented in history. That is to say, it came just when the world was prepared to receive such a message.

The universality of that message counters the idea that the division of humans into their respective nations, tribes, cultural and ethnic identity groups, possessors of distinct historical missions, or any other groupings, should constitute the basis for the creation of destructive, mutually exclusive, potentially belligerent agendas. It also rejects the idea of these distinctions being the basis for any claims of superiority. God reminds us that these differences are rooted in the accident of birth. They exist as a means for our mutual recognition of the creative power of God, and as a means for us to come to know and appreciate each other. [5] Any claim of superiority can only be based on superior devotion and ethics, bases which transcend the accident of birth. God says in that regard, “The most honored of you with God is the most pious [49:13].”

Assessing Nationalism

In this part of our article many of the concepts outlined above will be revisited in the context of a more rigorous assessment of nationalism from an Islamic perspective. This assessment will be structured around the following definition of nationalism, namely, “The belief that each nation has both the right and duty to constitute itself as a state.” [6] According to this, and most other definitions, the essence of nationalism involves the wedding of a nation to a state. However, if we are to understand the dynamics involved in the formation of national identity, the organizational impetus which moves a nation to seek statehood, we need to understand six terms, some of which we have previously mentioned in this article: 1. nation, 2. culture, 3. state, 4. fear, 5. anger, 6. and victimization.


A nation has been defined by as “an historical concept founded on a cultural identity shared by a single people.” [7] As mentioned earlier, Islam does not reject the idea of a nation. All of the Prophets, before Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him, were sent to specific nations. However, if that shared identity leads to a scheme where the rights or humanity of other groups are denied by an exclusive quest for sovereignty, the ensuing nationalist enterprise is questioned by Islam. The reason for that will be clarified towards the end of this article.


Culture, defined anthropologically and sociologically, “denotes indifferently all manifestations of social life which are not concerned with the reproduction and sustenance of human beings. Thus customs, habits of association, religious observances, even specific beliefs, may be spoken of as part of a culture.”[8] Culture is the glue which holds a nation together, for it provides the basis for the tangible distinctions that differentiate one group of people from another. The basic elements of cultural distinction are compatible with Islamic beliefs. This is illustrated by the following verse in the Quran, “And among His Signs is the creation of Heaven and Earth, and the variation of your languages and your colors. Surely, in this are signs for those endowed with knowledge [30:22].” This verse, which has been previously referenced, articulates the Islamic ethos concerning cultural diversity. Diverse cultures, symbolized by varying languages, contribute to the beauty of human society. This diversity is also reflected in the attitude of Islam towards religious diversity, another cultural manifestation. Although Islam can be interpreted as asserting the possession of ultimate truth, it has never negated the right to other forms of religious expression, neither in creed, nor in practice. There are many well-known examples of religious and cultural tolerance in Islamic history. Perhaps the most frequently cited are the Golden Age of Islamic Spain, [9] and the Ottoman Millet system. [10]


The state is a political unit defined in terms of a population, demarcated borders, and an autonomous government. [11] The creation of a state is the ultimate objective of a nationalist movement, in the case of most stateless nations. The potential destructiveness of nationalism is rooted in the fact that most states are nationally heterogeneous, and most nations are stateless. If the nationalist aspirations of all people were enthusiastically pursued, a state of perpetual war and severe persecution would probably ensue. Islam anticipates this eventuality and warns against it in unequivocal terms. As we have mentioned earlier in this article, the Quran states that national and ethnic diversity exists, “in order that you come to know one another, [not that you despise each other] [49:13].”


Nationalism involves the effort of a nation to create or maintain an identity with a state. Here our last three terms: fear, anger, and victimization; become relevant. Fear is one of the principle factors motivating a nation to consolidate its control over a particular territory and create a state. Such fear revolves around a real or imagined enemy that is seen as a threat to the existence or interests of a particular nation. Although one of the positive benefits of group solidarity has often been security, when the promise of security is manipulated for political purposes the consequences can be extremely destructive. Such manipulation has inevitably been part of the formula that led to most modern-day genocides.

This security/genocide consanguinity is perhaps best illustrated in the horrific slaughter of Rwanda’s Tutsis by the majority Hutus in 1994. Commenting on the propaganda campaign, which preceded and accompanied that genocidal episode, Samantha Power notes, “As genocidal perpetrators so often do as a prelude to summoning the masses, they began claiming the Tutsi were out to exterminate Hutu and appealing for preemptive self-defense.” [12] That appeal was answered, resulting in one of the most brutal and intense massacres in modern history.

Islam strives to remove this motivation from human society. We read in the Quran, “Thus does Satan attempt to instill the fear of his dupes into you. Do not fear them. Rather, fear Me, if indeed you are believers [3:175].” In this verse, God tells the believers not to fear their enemies, rather, to fear Him. And perhaps more importantly, when they establish their political community, to establish it on the fear of God, not on the fear of a real or imagined human adversary, often described in contemporary discourse as the “other.” Believers are encouraged to understand that they are united in a human family, and that there are fundamental rights accruing to members of that family regardless of their religious affiliations. As mentioned earlier, God has ennobled the human being. This ennoblement precedes the division of humanity into religions, nations, tribes, and other identity groups. At this level of supra-historical existence, all of humanity belongs to a single tribe, the tribe of Adam (Bani Adam).

It is interesting to note, that in Islamic teachings, Satan, who attempts to instill fear of the “other” into human beings, also attempts to base superiority on accidental physical differences. God mentions in the Quran, What prevented you from prostrating yourself to Adam when I ordered you to do so? He (Satan) said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire, and you created him from clay [7:12].” This prototypical racist attitude is reflected in the rhetoric of many bigots, past and present. Satan, blinded by his arrogance, apparently forgot that Adam’s distinction lay in the fact that his supposedly low physical origin was augmented by the life spirit (Ruh), which was breathed into him, and by the fact that God had ennobled him.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God upon Him, emphasized the fact that physical distinctions are irrelevant in the sight of God. He said, “God does not look at your physical forms, or your wealth. Rather, He looks at your deeds and your hearts.” [13] This prophetic tradition argues against using physical distinctions arising from the accident of birth as the basis for any claims of superiority, or as the focal point for the creation of chauvinistic movements or states.

Anger and Victimization

Anger is the actualization of fear. In other words, anger is one of the greatest factors urging people to act against the source of their fear. One of the greatest sources of such anger is a feeling of victimization. Ernest Gellner, one of the foremost writers on nationalism, explains the role of victimization in contemporary nationalist thought, thus:

As the tidal wave of modernization sweeps the world, it makes sure that almost everyone, at some time or another, has cause to feel unjustly treated, and that he can identify the culprits as being of another “nation”. If he can also identify enough of the victims as being of the same “nation” as himself, a nationalism is born. If it succeeds, and not all of them can, a nation is born. [15]

As is the case with fear, Islam condemns anger as a motivation for political action. Commenting on the Quranic verse, When the unbelievers had set up in their hearts the zealotry [for battle] which they had demonstrated during the days of pre-Islamic ignorance, God sent calm and tranquility upon the Messenger and the believers… [48:26] Imam Ghazali says, at the beginning of the introduction to a chapter on the condemnation of anger in his famous Quickening the Religious Sciences, “The unbelievers are condemned for the unjustified zealotry they manifested due to their anger [16].”

One of the keys to beneficial political decisions, or decisions of any type, is a firm intellectual command. For this reason, Islam expressly forbids a judge from issuing a decision in a state of anger. [17] The above verse extends this principle into the realm of political action. It was revealed concerning the critical negotiations between the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God upon him, and his Mekkan enemies over the terms of the treaty which was struck at Hudaybiyya. The followers of the Prophet, are praised for not letting their anger over the apparently humiliating terms of the treaty distort their better judgment, thereby preventing them from accepting what the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God upon him, deemed acceptable. Hence, anger is rejected as a motivation for political action.

Islam also argues against appeals to a sense of victimization as a basis for political action. As opposed to seeking an external culprit or scapegoat to blame one’s problems on, Islam encourages individual and group responsibility. God says, in a revealed prophetic tradition:

Rather it is your actions which I reckon for you. Then I reward you fully for them. Therefore, whoever finds good, let him praise God, and whoever finds other than that, let him blame no one but himself. [18]

The Prophet himself, peace and blessings of God upon him, said, “Everyone of you is a guardian, and each of you will be asked concerning his/her wards.” [19] This cultivation of individual responsibility is so essential in Islam that the person who lacks any wards or possessions, is to be reminded of his/her guardianship over his/her very body, and to do those divinely sanctioned things which are best for the preservation of that body. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani mentions, commenting on the above tradition:

The single person, who lacks a wife, servant, or child, is responsible for his very limbs, to insure that they implement the commandments, and avoid those things which are forbidden in speech, action, and belief. Therefore, his limbs, faculties, and senses are his wards. [20]

These, and similar proof texts, make it clear that Islam wants each individual to take responsibility for his or her actions, and to begin to address undesirable situations by seeing how he or she has fallen short in meeting the conditions God has established for the attainment of favorable outcomes in this life. A similar analysis could be made for groups and their collective fates. In a worldly sense, they are responsible for their own uplifting or debasement. God says clearly in this regard, “God does not change the condition of a people until they change the state of their souls [13:11].”

From the above discussion, it should be clear that Islam is against exploiting fear and anger, or cultivating a sense of victimization in order to create the zealousness which pushes a nationalist agenda. It should be noted that this zealousness, which is closely described by what we will term zealous tribal fealty (‘Asabiyya), has been specifically condemned by Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of God upon him. The Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him, was asked about zealous tribal fealty. He replied, “It is aiding your folk in [their] oppression.” [21] He also said, “One who is killed under the banner of zealous tribal fealty, or raises the banner of zealous tribal fealty, or aids a party on the basis of zealous tribal fealty, [he/she has died] a death of pre-Islamic ignorance.” [22]

These condemnations by the Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him, are aimed at cutting off a dangerous source of disunity and discord in the Muslim ranks. For example, before accepting Islam, the Madinan tribes of al-Aws and al-Khazraj were engaged in long and destructive internecine warfare. Islam united their hearts and joined them politically under one banner. However, on one occasion, their unity was threatened by the effort of a third party to stir up zealous tribal fealty among them. That effort was staved off by the direct intervention of the Prophet, peace and blessings of God upon him. [23]

It should be noted here, that the Arabic term, Jahiliyya, refers to more than the ignorance of the pre-Islamic Arabs. It also refers to their social, cultural, and political condition. Hence, it includes their practice of burying female newborns alive, their revenge motivated wars, and other practices. Ibn Mandhur says, explaining this term:

It is the state which the Arabs were in prior to Islam. [It refers to] their ignorance of God, be He exalted, His Messenger, the laws of the religion, their boasting over their lineage, their arrogance and haughtiness, and other characteristics. [24]

Again, these narrations should make it clear that Islam in no way endorses the idea of mobilizing to pursue an exclusivist political agenda based on tribal or national bonds. Such mobilization, which lies at the heart of the nationalist venture, not only runs counter to clear Islamic teachings, as we have attempted to show, it has also been the source of many of the most brutal and costly wars in recent history, and has manifested itself in all of the genocides that occurred during the 1990s.

The defenders of nationalism, while acknowledging its latent danger, point to its great triumphs, specifically, its role in stopping the advance of the twin totalitarian menaces of Nazism and Stalinist Communism. However, even here, nationalism does not stand above indictment, if we view Nazism and Stalinist communism as grotesque manifestations of German and Russian nationalism, respectively.

In the lands of Islam, as has been the case in other parts of the developing world, nationalism has had its most profound impact on western-educated elites. Those elites were instrumental in articulating a post-colonial national consensus. That consensus, as to the meaning, purpose, and direction of the post-colonial state, was initially greeted with significant mass support throughout the Muslim world. However, the systematic and oftentimes cynical negation of any meaningful mass participation in the political process has led to a widespread view of the nation-state as a foil for self-serving autocratic rule. This perception, coupled with the developmental and strategic failures of the nation-state in the Muslim world, have left many Muslims begging for new forms of political identity, and a new basis for political action.


Humanity will not be able to move towards a harmonious state where the actualization of true human unity and our collective security are realities, if we do not move beyond the nation-state. Improved means of communications and transportation continue to “shrink” the world. Continuous improvements in weapons technology, conventional and non-conventional, greatly enhance the efficacy of our ability to kill each other. Global problems, such as AIDS, SARS, pollution, and increasingly disastrous economic inequalities defy unilateral solutions. In light of these and many other pressing facts, we can no longer accept a scheme where, in the words of William Pfaff,... “a nation conceives itself licensed to validate itself by the victimization of another society.” [25] Mutual victimization, an unfortunate result of conflicting national interests, creates conditions which could well lead to our mutual destruction.

That said, nationalism is an reality, which lies at the heart of the contemporary global order. Therefore, transcending it will require more than a mere understanding of its inherent dangers. New ways of thinking about the meaning of life, humanity, and human civilization will have to be developed, and new institutions will have to be constructed. Many daunting problems relating to the meaning of national sovereignty, self determination, and citizenship will have to be resolved.

Fortunately, many contemporary developments have already started that process. International finance markets and the real time operations of the largest multinational corporations have already transcended the effective control of individual states. Although these developments currently facilitate oftentimes exploitative and irresponsible corporate behavior, they are part of an evolving global system which could potentially render the nation-state an irrelevant institution.

At the level of the individual citizen, the concept of human rights, and the associated phenomenon of humanitarian intervention present additional challenges to the idea of state sovereignty. Human rights imply that the rights owed to individuals supersede the rights that are owed to states. The idea of humanitarian intervention accentuates that conclusion, as in the interest of assisting affected individuals, the sovereignty of the state where intervention occurs is oftentimes completely bypassed.

These and related developments are forcing a reevaluation of the meaning of national sovereignty in the postmodern world. A similar reevaluation is occurring around the meaning of citizenship in the context of the nation-state. One of the greatest issues in that regard revolves around resolving the challenge of multiculturalism. Of issue here is the political role of collective identities. In other words, how can a privileged majority, in whose interest the state was founded, meaningfully accommodate excluded, disenfranchised, or marginalized minorities. If a meaningful resolution to this issue can be affected within the legal and constitutional framework of individual states, then replicating that solution within the framework of international law should be within the realm of possibility. Both developments, once achieved, will eventually translate into new social and political institutions.

Just as the institutions which facilitated the rise, consolidation, and entrenchment of both nationalism and the nation-state occurred in a distinctive social, cultural, and political milieu, a milieu that was in turn fostered by a distinctive social psychology, a new institutional reality, rooted in its distinctive socio-political culture, will require its own distinctive social psychology. Herein lays the contemporary relevance of Islam. As we have endeavored to demonstrate above, Islam provides a set of beliefs and principals that simultaneously foster cultural distinction and universalism. Accommodating these twin developments in an equitable fashion is one of the greatest challenges to be overcome by the emerging globalization of our times.

At the height of its civilization, Islam was able to meet and overcome this challenge, by creating a culturally diverse, politically decentralized, but functionally integrated “global” realm which extended from Spain unto China. The fact that an individual such as Ibn Battuta, the great Moroccan traveler, could go from one end of that realm to another, communicate in a single language, Arabic, and be accepted as a judge in the distant Maldives, testifies to the globalization fostered by Islam during that period. [26]

One of the greatest keys to the emergence of that realm was the social psychology fostered by Islam. Perhaps the most important fruit of that social psychology was the creation of a political culture which generally discouraged the development of nationalist thinking. Such a political culture is desperately needed today as many people are beginning to struggle with new forms of transnational organization. If Islam is allowed, by both its enemies and advocates, to contribute to a new global socio-political consensus by helping to resolve the nationalist question, humanity will be well served.

This article is reprinted from my book, Scattered Pictures: Reflections of an American Muslim


[1] The article is based on a lecture by the same title given by the author at the University of California, Berkeley, in September 2003.
[2] Dr. Mustafa al-Bugha, et al., Al-Fiqh al-Manhaji (Damascus, Syria: Dar al-‘Ulum al-Insaniyya, 1989), 12-13.
[3] Al-Qur’an 7:59.
[4] Al-Qur’an 7:65.
[5] Al-Qur’an 7:73.
[6] Al-Qur’an 49:13.
[7] Adam and Jessica Kuper, eds., The Social Science Encyclopedia (London, New York: Routledge, 1985), 551.
[8] Theodore Couloumbis and James H. Wolfe, Introduction to International Relations: Power and Justice (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1978), 37.
[9] Roger Scruton, A Dictionary of Political Thought (New York, NY: Hill and Wang), 109-110.
[10] An excellent study of the culture of tolerance that existed at the height of Islamic rule in Spain can be found in Maria Menocal’s, Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain (Boston, New York, London: Little, Brown, and Company, 2002).
[11] For a concise, balanced assessment of the nature of the Millet system, see Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 33-34.
[12] Columbis and Wolfe, 37.
[13] Samantha Power, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (New York: Harper Collins, 2003), 340. Although Powers writes convincingly as a theorist, politically she is a strong advocate of humanitarian intervention. Hence, she supports using the US war machine to selectively invade countries, such as Libya, whose government are viewed as threatening civilian life.
[14] Muslim bin al-Hajjaj, Sahih Muslim, ‘Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, trans. (Lahore, Pakistan: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, 1976), 4:1362, no. 6221; Ibn Majah, al-Sunan (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Dar al-Salaam, 1999), 604, no. 4143.
[15] Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca, London: Cornell University Press, 1983), 112.
[16] Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din, 3:244.
[17] See Shihab al-Din b. Abi ad-Dimashqi-Shafi’i, Kitab Adab al-Qada’, Muhammad az-Zuhayli, ed. (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr al-Mu’asir, 1982/1402), 111.
[18] Sahih Muslim, 4:1365-1366, no. 6246.
[19] Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, The Meanings of Sahih al-Bukhari (Chicago, Ill: Kazi Publications, 1979), 7:81-82, no. 116.
[20] Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari: Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari (Riyadh: Dar al-Salaam; Damascus: Dar al-Fayha’, 1997), 13:141.
[21] Abu Dawud as-Sajistani, Sunan Abu Dawud (Riyadh: Dar al-Salaam, 1999), 720, no. 5119.
[22] Sahih Muslim, 3:1030, no. 4561
[23] This incident is mentioned in the Qur’an, 3:100-101. The text of this verse reads, “O Believers! If you obey a party from those previously given the scripture, they will return you to disbelief after your faith. How could you ever revert to disbelief while the Scripture of God is yet being revealed and His Messenger is yet with you. Whoever holds fast to the [Religion of] God will be guided to a straight path. ”
[24] See Ibn Mandhur, Lisan al-‘Arab (Beirut: Dar al-Sadir, 2000), 3:229.
[25] William Pfaff, The Wrath of Nations: Civilization and the Furies of Nationalism (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993), 238.
[26] For an excellent and concise account of Ibn Battuta’s travels, see, Douglas Bullis, “The Longest Hajj: The Jouneys of Ibn Battuta,” Aramco World, 51:4 (July/August, 2000) 3-39.