Loyalty to country in Islam: Understanding Citizenship (Amendment) Act and promoting inclusivity

Islam encourages Muslims to actively contribute to promote peace, and work towards the betterment of society. True love for God and Islam also entails exhibiting loyalty, respect, and devotion to one’s country.

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Courtesy: Top Indian News

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) passed in India in 2019 has been a subject of debate, particularly among Indian Muslims, who perceive it as potentially discriminatory towards their community. Nobody has forgotten the large scale protests (and associated violence) attached to it which makes it crucial to address this misconception and delve into what the teachings of Islam, as laid out by Allah and exemplified by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), say about the importance of loyalty to one’s country and its laws.

Islam, as a religion, emphasises the importance of being faithful to both God and one’s country. The Quran teaches that Muslims should obey those in authority, as stated in Surah An-Nisa (4:60): “O ye who believe, obey God, obey the Prophet, and obey those in authority.” This verse serves as a reminder for Muslims to respect and comply with the laws and authorities of the land in which they reside. 

Prophet Muhammad further emphasised the significance of love for one’s nation, teaching that genuine patriotism is a fundamental aspect of faith. The Prophet stated, “Love for one’s nation is a part of faith.” This teaching demonstrates that a Muslim’s love for God and his commitment to his nation are not conflicting concepts but rather complementary expressions of his faith. 

Islam encourages Muslims to actively contribute to promote peace, and work towards the betterment of society. True love for God and Islam also entails exhibiting loyalty, respect, and devotion to one’s country. Muslims are called upon to be responsible and law-abiding citizens, upholding the principles of justice and fairness in their actions. It is crucial to clarify that Islam strictly prohibits taking the law into one’s own hands or engaging in any schemes or conspiracies against one’s nation. The religion advocates peace, justice, and the rule of law. Any grievances or concerns should be addressed through legal and peaceful means within the framework of the country’s laws and institutions. 

Islam teaches that individuals should strive to be law-abiding citizens, promoting harmony and contributing positively to their societies. In light of this understanding, it is important for Indian Muslims to recognise that the CAA should not be viewed as a law against their community. The legislation aims to provide a pathway to Indian citizenship for religious minorities facing persecution in neighbouring countries without affecting the status or rights of Indian Muslims. By embracing the teachings of Islam, Indian Muslims can appreciate the significance of loyalty to their nation and actively participate in fostering a harmonious and inclusive society.

It is important for Indian Muslims to understand that the CAA is not intended to target their community but rather to provide a legal framework for assisting persecuted religious minorities. By dispelling misconceptions and embracing the teachings of Islam, Indian Muslims can cultivate a deeper sense of loyalty and actively contribute to the progress, unity, and well-being of their country while upholding the principles of justice, peace, and the rule of law that Islam advocates. 

Through dialogue, understanding, and cooperation, Indian Muslims can play a crucial role in building a harmonious society that upholds the values of inclusivity, religious freedom, and equal treatment for all its citizens.

INSHA WARSI,
Francophone and Journalism Studies,
Jamia Millia Islamia

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