Religious Nationalism in Muslims



It was chaos everywhere, curiosity was growing deeper and deeper, and restlessness had made lives living hell. Unrest, demonstrations, protests, chants and slogans were observed now and then. Faces were tensed, suffering had reached immeasurable heights, patience was slipping away but there was hope. A delicate ray of light, happiness, freedom, joy and peace existed in the eyes of the Muslims of the Sub-Continent. Dream of a separate homeland; Pakistan, was firmer than never before. Islam had united every breathing Muslim in India. There were two things in common among the Muslims, Pakistan and Islam. This was the spring of 1947.

Religion influences a being like no other thing in this world. It is a binding and a driving force among humans. When two people have nothing in common, alike religion works its magic. The sense of brotherhood, fraternity comes with common religion which ultimately connects our hearts. For this reason every Muslim, living no matter in which part of this planet calls other Muslim his brother.

A country is usually referred as one’s mother. As a mother looks after her children, clothes and feeds them, brings them up and provides everything necessary for a better life. In short, the life you live is based on the care and attention provided by the mother. We inherit the feeling of patriotism, love and affection for country from our mothers. These feeling are not only natural but compulsory as every single person owes his country. And this feeling of nationalism incites the passion of sacrifice.

Religious nationalism is the combination of two most deep and stern sentiments. It is defined as nationalism on the basis of same religion. Basically religion is the factor that works as the unifying force for the citizens of a nation. This can be best achieved in the situation when religious pluralism is at its minimum. Religion in this case describes the social aspects of a country like conduct, law & order, ideology, culture, morals etc. Religious nationalism is the strongest and most powerful. It works like no other thing. When two most personal things like religion and nationalism come together, they immensely affect a human.

There are a number of examples of religious nationalism. The fight between Catholic and Protestant in Ireland, the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and the formation of Bosnia. Similarly before the advent of Islam, the Arabs did not even consider themselves as a nation. It was the blessing of Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that united the Arabs and aroused the religious feelings in their hearts.

The dream of a separate land in Subcontinent and the campaign to achieve that began in the name of Islam which assembled all the Muslims of India under one flag. All other reasons for a separate land could have been  ignored at some point, but  the fact that their religious freedom  was at risk did not let them rest before achieving a free state where they can practice Islam and run the government of state according to the principals of Islam.

Religion remained the main source of protection throughout the history of mankind. When everything appears grim and gloomy, its religion that provides the light. No matter how distant you become from it but when you turn towards it, it will always hear your cry and Allah always helps you. Islamic world on the whole and Muslim countries within are in crisis and the only way out of crisis is to follow the golden path of Islam to solve their national and religious issues.

Zahabia is an aspiring journalist pursuing a degree in Mass Communication from the University of Karachi. She tweets @zkmotorwala and can be reached at

Discussion1 Comment

  1. Hi there The politics of Pakistan is not ralley very confusing. There are 6 to 7 main stream parties. Two of them are religious rest of them are called themselves moderate and pro-west. Never in the Pakistan history, a religious party came into the power in the central government, though they became a part of the government on many occasion. As it is now a days. The largest religious party is Jamiat Ulamai Islam (JUI) whose leader is Maulana Fazal ur Rehman. This party is in coalition with Pakistan People Party which is a moderate party. PML (N), PML (Q), ANP, MQM, are other parties which are moderate. PPP, ANP, JUI, MQM are in coalition in the government. While PML (N) is playing the role of opposition. Jamat-i-Islami (Islamic Party) the other religious party which is well organized whose ameer is Mr. Munawar Hasan. 95% of Pakistani population are Muslim but only 20% of them vote for religious parties. That show their mind. But do remember, they love Islam.

Leave A Reply