All these things being one and the same necessitates brotherhood, love, and unity. That is to say, being divided into groups and tribes should lead to mutual acquaintance and mutual assistance, not to antipathy and mutual hostility.
The idea of nationalism has greatly advanced this century. The cunning European tyrants in particular awaken this among Muslims in negative fashion so they may divide them up and devour them.
Furthermore, in the idea of nationalism is a thrill of the soul, a heedless pleasure, an inauspicious power. For this reason people involved in social life at this time cannot be told to give it up. 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. This is the reason the Hadith states that 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 – God 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 God has full knowledge of all things.(48:26)
The above Hadith and verse reject in definite terms negative nationalism and racialism. For positive, sacred Islamic nationhood leaves no need for them.
What race has three hundred and fifty million members? Which racialism can gain for those who subscribe to it so many brothers – and eternal brothers at that – in place of Islam? Negative nationalism has caused untold harm in history.
I n S h o r t : The Umayyads combined some nationalistic ideas with their politics, and vexed the World of Islam. They also brought down many calamities on themselves. Also, the European nations have promoted the idea of racialism enormously this century; the ghastly events of the Great War demonstrated just how harmful negative nationalism is, in addition to the perpetual, ill-omened enmity of the French and Germans. And with us, in the Second Constitutional Period, – like the myriad tongues at the destruction of the Tower of Babel, known as the “ramification of peoples,”
See, Bukhari, Ahkam, 4; ‘Imara, 36, 37; Abu Da’ud, Sunna, 5; Tirmidhi, Jihad, 28; ‘Ilm, 16; Nasa’i, Bay’a, 26; Ibn Maja, Jihad, 39; Musnad, iv, 69, 70, 199, 204, 205; v, 381; vi, 402, 403.