The Concept of Love for One’s Homeland in Islam12 min read

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The Concept of Love for One’s Homeland in Islam

Whether human or animal, any creature born in a land naturally develops affection and attachment to it. Be it a small or large creature, like ants, birds, or even a lion, each one carries in its heart a sense of belonging and love for its dwelling place and homeland. Every living being, upon waking in the morning, searches for sustenance on the land and returns to its own habitat as evening falls. Who taught these instinct-driven animals that they have a home, parents, and offspring? It is not only humans but also animals that develop affection and love for their surroundings, homes, and environment.

Just as unconscious animals naturally develop love for their land, humans, at a higher level of consciousness, also feel a connection and love for the land, country, and homeland where they reside. In this regard, there exists a spectrum of emotions and attitudes among humans. Some do not show any regard for their homeland at all, while others exhibit the utmost love for their country.

The Love for One’s Homeland in Light of the Quran

Gratitude to Allah Subhanahoo Wata’ala upon Receiving an Independent Homeland

Regardless of the circumstances, it is a commandment for humans to express gratitude to Allah at all times. However, in the Quran, Allah specifically encourages people to thank Him upon receiving a homeland as a special favor. Therefore, regardless of the circumstances, people are obliged to express gratitude to Allah for the gift of an independent homeland. Allah’s commandment in this regard is as follows:

وَٱذْكُرُوٓا۟ إِذْ أَنتُمْ قَلِيلٌۭ مُّسْتَضْعَفُونَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ تَخَافُونَ أَن يَتَخَطَّفَكُمُ ٱلنَّاسُ فَـَٔاوَىٰكُمْ وَأَيَّدَكُم بِنَصْرِهِۦ وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ٢٦

Recall when you were few in number, oppressed on the earth, fearing that the people would snatch you away. Then, He gave you shelter and fortified you with His support and provided you with good things, so that you may be grateful. (8:26)

Because love for one’s homeland and one’s region is a natural affection, it is for this reason that even the Muhajirun (the emigrant companions) did not abandon their love for their homeland. They left their homeland to join the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in Medina, but their love for their homeland remained strong. Allah acknowledged and praised their sacrifice in the Quran.

لِلْفُقَرَآءِ ٱلْمُهَـٰجِرِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا۟ مِن دِيَـٰرِهِمْ وَأَمْوَٰلِهِمْ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًۭا مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضْوَٰنًۭا وَيَنصُرُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥٓ ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلصَّـٰدِقُونَ ٨

(And fai’ is especially) for the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and properties, while they were seeking Allah’s grace and pleasure, and were helping (the religion of) Allah and His Messenger. They are the truthful. (59:8)

The Quranic Mention of Sacrifice for One’s Life and Homeland Together

Loving and cherishing one’s homeland and its soil is a natural inclination, and Islam has upheld this natural inclination. This can be inferred from several verses and passages in the Quran. In the holy Quran, Allah has intertwined the love of one’s homeland with the love of one’s own life, emphasizing that just as a person loves their own life, they should also love their homeland. Allah’s guidance is as follows:

أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُ ٱللَّهُ مَا فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ وَعِظْهُمْ وَقُل لَّهُمْ فِىٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ قَوْلًۢا بَلِيغًۭا ٦٣

Those are the ones Allah knows what is in their hearts. So, ignore them, and give them good counsel, and speak to them about themselves in appealing words. (4:63)

Human’s Love for Their Homeland

In the Quran, Allah Almighty has guided:

قُلْ إِن كَانَ ءَابَآؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَآؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَٰنُكُمْ وَأَزْوَٰجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَٰلٌ ٱقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَـٰرَةٌۭ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَـٰكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَآ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَجِهَادٍۢ فِى سَبِيلِهِۦ فَتَرَبَّصُوا۟ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِىَ ٱللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِۦ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلْفَـٰسِقِينَ ٢٤

Say, “If your fathers and your sons and your brothers and your spouses and your clan and the wealth you have earned and the trade you apprehend will recede and the homes you like are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and Jihād in His way, then, wait until Allah comes with His command. Allah does not lead the sinning people to the right path.” (9:24)

Saving One’s Homeland from Oppressive Usurpers through Jihad

Loving and having attachment to one’s country is also a sign of this love that if unjust oppressors seize our land, it is obligatory to engage in Jihad to reclaim our homeland from them. This is why Prophet Moses, peace be upon him, instructed his people, the Children of Israel, to enter their occupied land and command them to liberate their homeland from the oppressive usurpers, stating:

يَـٰقَوْمِ ٱدْخُلُوا۟ ٱلْأَرْضَ ٱلْمُقَدَّسَةَ ٱلَّتِى كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَرْتَدُّوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ أَدْبَارِكُمْ فَتَنقَلِبُوا۟ خَـٰسِرِينَ ٢١

O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has destined for you, and do not turn back, lest you should turn losers.” (5:21)

Leaving His Beloved City for the Settlement of Mecca

Indeed, Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, leaving his offspring in the sacred city of Mecca also had the purpose of populating and nurturing his beloved city. He supplicated in the precincts of the House of Allah, saying:

رَّبَّنَآ إِنِّىٓ أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِى بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِى زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ ٱلْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ فَٱجْعَلْ أَفْـِٔدَةًۭ مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ تَهْوِىٓ إِلَيْهِمْ وَٱرْزُقْهُم مِّنَ ٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ ٣٧

Our Lord, I have settled some of my children in a valley of no vegetation, close to Your sanctified House, so that, Our Lord, they may establish Salāh. So, make hearts of people yearn towards them, and provide them with fruits, so that they may be grateful. (14:37)

Praying for Peace and Security while Loving One’s Homeland

When a person resides in a particular country, they develop a deep attachment to that country, which is why they continually pray to Allah for its safety and security. The supplication of Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, to make the city of Mecca a sanctuary of peace is indeed a symbol of his love for that sacred city. The Quran states:

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَٰهِيمُ رَبِّ ٱجْعَلْ هَـٰذَا ٱلْبَلَدَ ءَامِنًۭا وَٱجْنُبْنِى وَبَنِىَّ أَن نَّعْبُدَ ٱلْأَصْنَامَ ٣٥

(Recall) when Ibrāhīm said, “My Lord, make this city peaceful, and keep me and my children away from worshiping idols. (14:35)

Love for One’s Homeland in the Light of Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

The blessed Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also provide clear examples of love for one’s homeland, further emphasizing the legitimacy and importance of this love.

A Homeland with Peace and Security is a Divine Blessing

It is a great blessing for a person to live in their homeland with comfort, tranquility, and peace. As the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, said:

حَدَّثَنَا سُوَيْدُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، وَمُجَاهِدُ بْنُ مُوسَى، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا مَرْوَانُ بْنُ مُعَاوِيَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ أَبِي شُمَيْلَةَ، عَنْ سَلَمَةَ بْنِ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مِحْصَنٍ الأَنْصَارِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ مَنْ أَصْبَحَ مِنْكُمْ مُعَافًى فِي جَسَدِهِ آمِنًا فِي سِرْبِهِ عِنْدَهُ قُوتُ يَوْمِهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا حِيزَتْ لَهُ الدُّنْيَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated from Salamah bin ‘Ubaidullah bin Mihsan Al-Ansari that his father said: “The Messenger of Allah () said: ‘Whoever among you wakes up physically healthy, feeling safe and secure within himself, with food for the day, it is as if he acquired the whole world.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah 4141)

According to this tradition, Imam Sahili writes

فَفِي هَذَا دَلِيلٌ عَلَى حُبِّ الْوَطَنِ وَشِدَّةِ مُفَارَقَتِهِ عَلَى النَّفْسِ

In this, there is clear evidence of your deep love for your homeland, and how much you were devoted to your leader despite being separated from your homeland. (Al-Rawd Al-Anaf by Al-Sahili 414413:1)

Makkah! If my people did not force me to leave from here, I would never stay anywhere else.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself had a deep love for Makkah Mukarramah, and this is a significant example of love for one’s homeland. This is why when you were compelled to migrate from Makkah, you, O leader of the Leah tribe, expressed that your heart did not wish to leave Makkah. Hence, it is narrated by Sayyidna Ibn Abbas in a reliable tradition that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said about Makkah Mukarramah:

وَعَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِمَكَّةَ: «مَا أَطْيَبَكِ مِنْ بَلَدٍ وَأَحَبَّكِ إِلَيَّ وَلَوْلَا أَنَّ قَوْمِي أَخْرَجُونِي مِنْكِ مَا سَكَنْتُ غَيْرَكِ» . رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ وَقَالَ: هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ غَرِيب إِسْنَادًا

Ibn ‘Abbas reported God’s messenger as saying to Mecca, “What a fine town you are, and how dear you are to me! Were it not that my people expelled me from you, I would live nowhere else.”
Tirmidhi transmitted it, saying this is a hasan sahih tradition whose isnad is gharlb. (Mishkat al-Masabih 2724)

The Prophet of Allah, may peace be upon him, hastening his mount to return to Medina

The Prophet of Allah, may peace be upon him, hastening his mount upon returning from a journey to enter his homeland is indeed an excellent example of love for one’s homeland. It seems that the Prophet of Allah, may peace be upon him, was so overflowing with love for his homeland that he would quicken his pace to enter it, as described by Sayyidna Anas (may Allah be pleased with him):

وَعَنْ أَنَسٍ: أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ إِذَا قَدِمَ مِنْ سَفَرٍ فَنَظَرَ إِلى جُدُراتِ الْمَدِينَةِ أَوْضَعَ رَاحِلَتَهُ وَإِنْ كَانَ عَلَى دَابَّةٍ حركها من حبها. رَوَاهُ البُخَارِيّ

Anas said that when the Prophet returned from a journey and looked at the walls of Medina he made his camel hasten, and if he was on a horse (Dabba. This word is used for either a horse or a mule, and although it is feminine it is used for either male or female) he urged it on through love of Medina.
Bukhari transmitted it. (Mishkat al-Masabih 2744)

The reason for your hastening on the mount towards the love of Medina is that it was your homeland, where your family and loved ones resided, and where you were the most beloved among the people. Natural affection for one’s homeland and happiness upon returning from a journey are inherent traits, and in this matter, you are the best example. After completing the journey, you have taught the Ummah to return quickly to their loved ones.

The Prophet of Allah, may peace be upon him, used to supplicate to Allah for his homeland.

Sayyidna Anas bin Malik narrates: “I set out with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, towards Khaybar to serve him. When the Prophet, peace be upon him, returned from Khaybar and approached Al-Harrat, he said:

هَذَا جَبَلٌ يُحِبُّنَا وَتُحِبُّهُThis mountain loves us, and we also love it.

After that, he pointed towards Medina with his blessed hand and said:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ أَبِي عَمْرٍو، مَوْلَى الْمُطَّلِبِ بْنِ حَنْطَبٍ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ يَقُولُ خَرَجْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِلَى خَيْبَرَ أَخْدُمُهُ، فَلَمَّا قَدِمَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَاجِعًا، وَبَدَا لَهُ أُحُدٌ قَالَ ‏”‏ هَذَا جَبَلٌ يُحِبُّنَا وَنُحِبُّهُ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ أَشَارَ بِيَدِهِ إِلَى الْمَدِينَةِ قَالَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أُحَرِّمُ مَا بَيْنَ لاَبَتَيْهَا كَتَحْرِيمِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مَكَّةَ ‏”‏ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي صَاعِنَا وَمُدِّنَا ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Anas bin Malik: I went along with the Prophet (ﷺ) to Khaibar so as to serve him. (Later on) when the Prophet (ﷺ) returned he, on seeing the Uhud mountain, said, “This is a mountain that loves us and is loved by us.” Then he pointed to Medina with his hand saying, “O Allah! I make the area which is in between Medina’s two mountains a sanctuary, as Abraham made Mecca a sanctuary. O Allah! Bless us in our Sa` and Mudd (i.e. units of measuring).” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2889)

Sayed Na Bilal Habshi (may Allah be pleased with him) used to remember his homeland and recite poetry

The love for their homeland is inherited from many noble companions, just as Sayedna Bilal would remember his original homeland, Mecca, and recite poetry when he arrived in Madinah Munawwarah.

أَلا لَيْتَ شِعْرِي هَلْ أَبيتَن لَيْلَةٌ … بِوَادٍ وَحَوْلِي إِذْخِرٌ وَجَلِيلُ وَهَلْ أَرِدَتْ يَوْمًا مِيَاهَ مَجَنَّةٍ … وَهَلْ يَبْدُونْ لي شَامَةٌ وَطَفِيلُ

Oh, I wish! Will I spend nights in the valleys of Mecca, adorned with its heights and noble gorges? Will I someday be able to reach the flowing waters near Mecca? Will the Shamah and Tafil mountains in Mecca once again be splendid for me?”

Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates that when I informed the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about Bilal’s qualities, he prayed to Allah, saying

وَعَنْ عَائِشَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا قَالَتْ: لَمَّا قَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْمَدِينَةَ وُعِكَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ وَبِلَالٌ فَجِئْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَأَخْبَرْتُهُ فَقَالَ: «اللَّهُمَّ حَبِّبْ إِلَيْنَا الْمَدِينَةَ كَحُبِّنَا مَكَّةَ أَوْ أَشَدَّ وَصَحِّحْهَا وَبَارِكْ لَنَا فِي صاعها ومدها وانقل حماها فاجعلها بِالْجُحْفَةِ»

‘A’isha said: When God’s messenger came to Medina Abu Bakr and Bilal were prostrated with fever and when I went to God’s messenger and told him he said, “O God, make Medina as dear to us as Mecca, or more so, make it healthy, bless us in its sa’ and its mudd, and transfer its fever and put it in al-Juhfa.”
Bukhari and Muslim. (Mishkat al-Masabih 2734)

Practical Demands of Patriotism

Loving one’s homeland is a natural act; it grows within the heart, and it is not a sinful matter. However, the sin lies in equating the love for one’s homeland to encompassing everything. Love for one’s homeland should surpass not only Islam but also the people of Islam. Some have started committing obscenities in the name of patriotism, such as listening to music, organizing dance parties, and transgressing the limits of Allah, all while expressing their love for their country. If we truly love our homeland, we should express this love through the following actions:

Gratitude to the Almighty

The demand for patriotism is not to engage in dance and music gatherings on August 14th, present women immodestly on the streets, and perform actions that displease Allah. Instead, it is the responsibility of a believer to thank Allah for the blessings of this homeland, as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did at the occasion of the conquest of Mecca.

يُكَبِّرُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَرَفٍ ثَلاَثَ تَكْبِيرَاتٍ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ: لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ، وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ، آيِبُونَ، تَائِبُونَ، عَابِدُونَ، لِرَبِّنا حَامِدُونَ، صَدَقَ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ، وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ، وَهَزَمَ الْأَحْزابَ وَحْدَهُ

From every elevated point say Allāhu Akbar (three times), and then recite: Lā ilāha illallāh waḥdahu lā sharīka lah, lahu ‘l-mulku, walahu ‘l-ḥamd, wa Huwa `alā kulli shay’in Qadīr, ā’ibūna, tā’ibūna,`ābidūn, li Rabbinā ḥāmidūn, sadaqallāhu wa`dah, wa nasara `abdah, wa hazama ‘l-‘aḥzāba waḥdah.
From every elevated point say Allāhu Akbar (Allah is the Most Great) three times and then recite:
None has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone, Who has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the praise, and He is Able to do all things. We return repentant to our Lord, worshipping our Lord, and praising our Lord. He fulfilled His Promise, He aided His slave, and He alone defeated the Confederates.
Reference: Bukhari 7/163, Muslim 2/980. The Prophet (ﷺ) used to say this when returning from a campaign or from Hajj. (Hisn al-Muslim 217)

Defending the Laws of the Homeland

Another demand of patriotism is that we uphold all the laws of the country that are not in opposition to our religion, respect the authorities, and continuously pray to Allah for the progress, prosperity, and longevity of our nation. We must also make efforts and work for the betterment of the country. We should especially pray for the soldiers and personnel of our armed forces who tirelessly protect our borders in all seasons, without caring for their own safety. Similarly, we should pray specifically for the reformation of our leaders.

Show Love for Fellow Countrymen

One way to express our love for the homeland is by loving all Muslims residing in the country, considering them as our brothers and sisters, showing affection and love towards each other, and especially helping the poor and needy individuals of the country.

Always Pray for the Safety of the Nation and the People

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has also taught us to continuously pray before Allah for our homeland. We should pray for the martyrs of our country, who have made this nation possible through their sacrifices. We should pray for the growth and guidance of all the people, including the rulers, of our country.

May God bless my pure land,

May it bear fruitful seasons without the fear of decline.

وطن سے محبت کا اسلام کا تصور

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