The Islamic Ruling on Celebrating Canada Day and Independence Day

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

With July 1st [and July 4th] quickly approaching, it is important for us to discuss the Islāmic view on participating in the Canada Day and Independence Day activities that will take place in Canada and the US respectively. This essay focuses on Canada Day, but the same applies to July 4th Independence Day in the US.

So, What Is Canada Day?

In order to discuss this matter, it is imperative to clarify what Canada Day is. This is based upon the well-known rule amongst the Fuqahā’ (Jurists): “Al-Ḥukmu `Alash-Shay’ Far`un `An Taṣawwurihi (Ruling upon something is based upon understanding its reality).” [1]

This is also referred to as and/or tied to: “Taḥqīq Manāṭ al-Ḥukm (Verification of the Focus of the Ruling).” [2]

What this means is that if someone misunderstands the issue they are ruling on, they cannot be expected to issue a correct ruling on it.

The Department of Canadian Heritage [3] explains Canada Day as follows:

“On June 20, 1868, a proclamation signed by the Governor General, Lord Monck, called upon all Her Majesty’s loving subjects throughout Canada to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada on July 1st.

The July 1 holiday was established by statute in 1879, under the name Dominion Day.

There is no record of organized ceremonies after this first anniversary, except for the 50th anniversary of Confederation in 1917, at which time the new Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings, under construction, was dedicated as a memorial to the Fathers of Confederation and to the valour of Canadians fighting in the First World War in Europe.

The next celebration was held in 1927 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation. It was highlighted by the laying of the cornerstone by the Governor General of the Confederation Building on Wellington Street and the inauguration of the Carillon in the Peace Tower.”

It then states: “On October 27, 1982, July 1st which was known as “Dominion Day” became “Canada Day”.”

Other important issues regarding Canada day is that the act it is commemorating is called the British North America Act, and is often referred to as the Constitution Act of 1867. [4] This was the act that essentially formed Canada, as well as gave the Queen and the rest of the legislative assemblies the right to legislate on matters of criminal law, marriage and divorce, banking and interest, and licensing of taverns and saloons.

This act also obligated an oath of allegiance to the sitting monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain with the following phrase: “I do swear, That I will be faithful and bear true Allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria.”

Based on the preceding, we can see that Canada Day is a recurring yearly celebration in commemoration of the independence and/or establishment of a federation/union of provinces. These were made up of disbelievers under a constitution that was not based upon the Islāmic Sharī`ah. This celebration was also established by request of the governor general addressed to “…all Her Majesty’s loving subjects…”

Also, Canada Day needs to be discussed from a number of aspects; some relating to celebrations in general, and others related to Canada day in particular. I will begin with the matters related to Canada day in particular.

Canada Day in Particular

As mentioned above, Canada day is a commemoration of the passing of the British North America Act. The British North America Act gave the right of legislation to human beings, legalized the forbidding and permitting of that which Allāh did not approve of, and obligated a pledge of allegiance to a non-Muslim monarch.

Allāh, تَعَالَى, stated:

إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ أَمَرَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

The judgement is for none but Allāh. He has commanded that you worship none but Him, that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not. [5]

And He stated:

وَلَا يُشْرِكُ فِي حُكْمِهِ أَحَداً

And He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule. [6]

And according to the recitation of Imām `Abdullāh Ibn `Āmir al-Yuḥṣabī ash-Shāmī [7] (from amongst the seven types of recitation):

وَلَا تُشْرِكْ فِي حُكْمِهِ أَحَداً

And do not associate anyone as a partner in His Decision and His Rule. [8]

So Allāh, تَعَالَى, forbid the associating of anyone else with Him in His Rule just as He forbid the association of anyone with Him in His worship, as He said:

وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَداً

And let him associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord. [9]

So, we see that, in reality, when someone celebrates Canada Day, they are actually commemorating a day on which the right to legislate was given to other than Allāh.

Also, they are commemorating allegiance being given to other than Allāh, His Messenger and the Believers, despite the fact that Allāh, تَعَالَى, stated:

إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ

Verily, your Walī (ally) is none but Allāh, His Messenger, and the believers, – those who perform Aṣ-Ṣalāt, and give Az-Zakāt, and they bow down (in prayer). [10]

These matters should be sufficient enough for a Muslim to want to abstain from anything related to this day.

Issues Related to non-Islāmic `Īds in General

The first issue concerning non-Islāmic `Īds in general:

Celebrations are matters which are legislated as an act of worship, not a matter of worldly customs. This is evident in the Ḥadīth of `Ā’ishah, رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهَا, in which the Prophet, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said about the Day of Fiṭr or Al-Aḍḥā:

“إِنَّ لِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ عِيداً وَإِنَّ عِيدَنَا هَذَا الْيَوْمُ.”

“Verily, every people has its celebration and verily our celebration is this day.” [11]

Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 H.) stated in his explanation of this Ḥadīth: “This is evidence in a number of ways: One of them is that his, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ,’s statement: “Verily, every people has its celebration and verily this is our celebration.” Indeed this necessitates each people being unique in their specific `Īd. As Alllah, سُبْحَانَهُ, says:

وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا

And for every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers). [12]

And He, تَعَالَى, says:

لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجاً

“To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way.” [13]

This necessitates each people being unique in their specific direction to face as well as their prescribed law. So, if the Jews have an `Īd and the Christians have an `Īd which is specific to them, we do not share it with them just as we do not share their direction of facing in prayer nor their prescribed law. And based upon this as well, we would not allow them to share our `Īd with us.” [14]

Also, it has come on the authority of Anas Ibn Mālik, رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ, who said: The Messenger of Allāh, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

“قَدِمْتُ المَدِينَةَ وَلِأهْلِ المَدِينَةِ يَوْمَانِ يَلعَبُونَ فِيهِمَا فِي الجَاهِلِيَّةِ.” فَقَالَ: “قَدِمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَكُمْ يَوْمَانِ تَلعَبُونَ فِيهِمَا إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أبْدَلَكُمْ بِهِمَا خَيْراً مِنْهُما يَوْمَ الفِطْرِ وَيَوْمَ النَّحْرِ.”

“I came to Al-Madīnah and the People of Al-Madīnah had two days during which they would play.” Then he said: “I came to you and you had two days in which you would play, and indeed, Allāh, عّزَّ وَجَلَّ, has given you instead of them two days that are better than them: the Day of al-Fiṭr and the Day of An-Naḥr.” [15]

Ibn Taymiyyah stated in his explanation of this Ḥadīth: “The way this is used as evidence is that the two days in Jāhilyyah were not upheld by the Prophet, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, nor did he leave them to play during them as they customarily did. Instead he said: ‘He has given you two different days in their place.’ And something replacing something else necessitates abandoning what has been replaced. This is because it is not possible for the replacement and the replaced to be joined together at once.” [16]

Ibn Taymiyyah, رحمه الله, also said: “Celebrations are part of the Sharī`ah, the clear way and the ritual acts of worship about which Allāh, سُبْحَانَهُ, said:

لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجاً

“To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way” [17]

And He said:

لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنسَكاً هُمْ نَاسِكُوهُ

“For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies which they must follow” [18]

…like the Qiblah, Ṣalāt and fasting. So there is no difference between their participation in the celebrations and their participation in all other rituals. So conforming in full with a celebration is conforming to kufr, and conforming to some of its branches is conforming in with some of the branches of kufr.

Indeed, celebrations are one of the most unique features that distinguish various legislations and among their most prominent symbols, so conforming to them is conforming to the most characteristic legislations of kufr and most prominent of its symbols. And there is no doubt that conforming to this may lead to complete kufr.

As for its most basic ruling, then at the very least, it is a disobedience. This was indicated by the Prophet, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, when he said: ‘Verily, every people has its celebration and verily this is our celebration.’ [19] And this is worse than participating with them in wearing the Zinār [20] and its likes from their symbols, as those are manmade symbols which are not from the religion, rather the purpose behind them is simply to distinguish between the Muslim and the kāfir. As for the celebrations and (religious) rituals, this is part of the religion which is cursed along with its followers, so joining in with it is joining in with something that is a cause of incurring the wrath and punishment of Allāh.” [21]

So we see that the same address was used for `Īds as was used for the Qiblah of the Muslims.

And in his treatise regarding celebrating national days/holidays, Muḥammad Ibn Ibrāhīm Āl ash-Shaykh (d. 1389 H.), stated: “Verily, specifying a day from the days of the year with a particular practice as opposed to the other days (of the year); through that, that day becomes an `Īd. On top of the fact that it is a Bid`ah in and of itself, forbidden and (a form of) legislation which Allāh did not grant permission. And reality is the most truthful of witnesses, and the testimony of the Pure Shar`a is above that and more truthful. This is because an `Īd is a noun for something that the arrival of which returns and repeats. This is the case whether it is something that returns yearly, monthly or weekly, as was stated by Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah.’

“And since people have fondness for celebrations – the likes of which is not hidden – there is no group of people except that they have an `Īd or `Īds in which they openly show their happiness, joy and (meet) their personal needs through religious legislation and natural behaviours such as worship and the like. And due to this, when Abū Bakr aṣ-Ṣiddīq, رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ, rebuked, in front of the Messenger of Allāh, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, the two young girls for singing on the Day of the ‘Īd, the Messenger of Allāh, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said: “Leave them O Abū Bakr, for verily every people has its celebration, and this is our `Īd; the People of Islām.” [22]

So we see that `Īds are at the same level of the Qiblah, in that we cannot add, subtract or change anything regarding them within our religion.

The Second Issue Concerning Non-Islāmic `Īds

It is a clear form of imitating non-Muslims in their actions that they themselves are known for.

Allāh Stated:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَقَالُوا لِإِخْوَانِهِمْ إِذَا ضَرَبُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ أَوْ كَانُوا غُزًّى لَّوْ كَانُوا عِندَنَا مَا مَاتُوا وَمَا قُتِلُوا لِيَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ ذَٰلِكَ حَسْرَةً فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

O you who have believed, do not be like those who disbelieved and said about their brothers when they traveled through the land or went out to fight, “If they had been with us, they would not have died or have been killed,” so Allāh makes that (misconception) a regret within their hearts. And it is Allāh who gives life and causes death, and Allāh is Seeing of what you do.

Abū Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allāh, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

غَيِّرُوا الشَّيْبَ وَلَا تَشَبَّهُوا بِاليَهُودِ وَلَا بِالنَّصَارَى

“Change the gray hair, and do not resemble the Jews.” [23]

And he narrated that the Messenger of Allāh, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

“جُزُّوا الشَّوَارِبَ وَأعْفُوا اللِّحَى وَخَالِفُوا المَجُوْسَ.”

“Trim closely the moustache and grow beard; and thus contradict the Zoroastrians.” [24]

And he also narrated that the Messenger of Allāh, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

“إِنَّ اليَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى لَا يَصْبُغُونَ فَخَالِفُوهُمْ.”

“Indeed, the Jews and the Christians do not dye (their hair), so contradict them.” [25]

It has also come from `Abdullāh Ibn `Amr:

أَنَّ رَسُولَ الله صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ رَأَى عَلَيْهِ ثَوْبَيْنِ مُعَصْفَرَيْنِ قَال: “هَذِهِ ثِيَابُ الكُفَّارِ لَا تَلبَسْهَا.”

That the Messenger of Allāh, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, saw me wearing two clothes dyed in saffron so he said: “These are the clothes of the disbelievers, so do not wear them.” [26]

`Abdullāh Ibn ‘Umar Ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا, narrated that the Messenger of Allāh, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said:

“وَمَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ.”

“And whoever imitates a people, then he is from them.” [27]

And `Abdullāh Ibn `Amr Ibn al-`Āṣ, رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا, said:

“مَنْ بَنَى بِبِلَادِ الْأَعَاجِمِ فَصَنَعَ نَيْرُوزَهُمْ وَمَهْرَجَانَهُمْ وَتَشَبَّهَ بِهِمْ حَتَّى يَمُوتَ وَهُوَ كَذَلِكَ حُشِرَ مَعَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.”

“Whoever lives in the land of the non-Arabs, participates in their Nayrūz (Persian New Year) and their Mahrajān (Vernal equinox), and imitates them until he dies while in that state, he will be resurrected with them on the Day of Resurrection.” [28]

So here it is clear that imitating the disbelievers in aspects that are specific to them makes one deserving of being with them; in the worldly life, the Hereafter, or both, depending on what they have imitated.

And there are many Texts in the Sharī`ah which prove that being different from disbelievers is a general rule in the Sharī`ah.

The Third Issue Concerning Non-Islāmic `Īds

Allāh, تَعَالَى, stated:

وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَاماً

“And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass it by with dignity” [29]

It has been narrated from `Abdullāh Ibn `Abbās, Mujāhid, Abul-`Āliyah, Ṭāwūs, Muḥammad Ibn Sīrīn, Aḍ-Ḍaḥḥāk, Ar-Rabī` Ibn Anas and others that what is meant by the falsehood in this Verse is the `Īds of the mushrikīn. [30]

This was also used as evidence by Imām Aḥmad Ibn Ḥanbal for the prohibition of participating in the `Īds of the Christians and the Jews. [31]

And this understanding is clearly seen in the narration from Sa`īd Ibn Salamah who heard his father who heard from `Umar Ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ, that he said:

” اجْتَنِبُوا أَعْدَاءَ اللَّهِ فِي عِيدِهِمْ.”

“Avoid the enemies of Allāh during their `Īd.” [32]

Misconceptions Regarding This Issue

Despite the preceding, many people within our community take part in Canada Day activities, and they do so based upon a number of arguments, assumptions and beliefs. Below I will discuss the most prominent ones.

We are not saying that Canada Day is an Islāmic holiday or that we are participating in it with the intention of worship so this ruling does not apply.

From Muḥammad Ibn Sīrīn who said:

أُتِيَ عَلِيٌّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ بِهَدِيَّةِ النَّيْرُوزِ فَقَالَ: “مَا هَذِهِ؟” قَالُوا: “يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ هَذَا يَوْمُ النَّيْرُوزِ.” قَالَ: “فَاصْنَعُوا كُلَّ يَوْمٍ فَيْرُوز.” قَالَ أَبُو أُسَامَةَ : “كَرِهَ أَنْ يَقُولَ نَيْرُوزَ.”

“`Alī, رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ, was brought a gift for Nayrūz, so he asked: “What is this?” They said: “O Amīr al-Mu’minīn, this is the day of Nayrūz.” He said: “Then make everyday a Fayrūz.” Abū Usāmah (the narrator three below Muḥammad Ibn Sīrīn) said: “He hated to (even) say (the word) Nayrūz.” – meaning he said “Fayrūz” instead of “Nayrūz”. The explanation of this narration continues: “And in this there is the likes of disapproval of specifying a day for that, which the Shar`a did not specify.” [33]

So here we see that the mere performance of something on a specific day because it is that day makes it disapproved of. This is a clear refutation of those who may claim: “We aren’t celebrating when we have specific activities on Canada Day, we are only doing activities, so it is fine.”

Ibn Taymiyyah also stated: “It is not allowed for the Muslims to emulate them in anything that is uniquely a part of their `Īds; not in food, nor in clothing, bathing, lighting fires, abstaining from a usual routine, performing acts of worship or other than that. And it is not allowed to give a feast or to give gifts, nor to sell anything that will help them to do that for that reason, nor to allow children and their likes to play games that are part of the `Īds, nor to adorn one’s self.’

“And in general, it is not for them (i.e. the Muslims) to specifically perform any of their rituals during their `Īds; rather the day of their `Īd should be like any other day for the Muslims. The Muslims should not do anything specific on it that is from their characteristics.” [34]

And as mentioned earlier, Muḥammad Ibn Ibrāhīm Āl ash-Shaykh stated: “Verily, specifying a day from the days of the year with a particular practice as opposed to the other days (of the year); through that, that day becomes an `Īd.” [35]

“Love for one’s nation is from Īmān.”

This is a statement that people use to prove that one must love their country, support it, etc. This is mentioned by people in the form of a Ḥadīth, however this is not the case.

The reality is that this is not even a Ḥadīth but rather it is a lie against the Prophet, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ. Aṣ-Ṣag̣ānī (d. 650 H.) stated that this is a Mawḍū` (fabricated) Ḥadīth. [36] Also, As-Sakhāwī (d. 902 H.) [37] and As-Suyuṭī (d. 911 H.) [38] mentioned that they had never come across it as an actual Ḥadīth.

However, even if one were to, for the sake of argument, say that his was a Ḥadīth: In this case we would say that love for one’s nation would need to be restricted by the other Islāmic principles such as not creating division between Muslims, not creating love for people of the same nation regardless of whether or not they were Muslims or kuffār, etc.

And again, I remind you that this is not even a Ḥadīth, let alone a weak one.

The intention is for Da’wah not to celebrate in and of itself

Here we need to understand that sins do not stop being sinful due to the intention of the one who commits them. Abū Ḥāmid al-G̣azālī said, “The sins; they do not change their nature by the intention. So the ignorant one must understand that from the generality of his saying, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ:

إِنَّمَا الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ

“Actions are only according to intentions”

then thinks that a sin can be turned into an obedience by (a good) intention, such as the person who backbites a man to please the heart of someone else, feeds a needy person with someone else’s money or builds a school, a Masjid or a military camp with unlawful money, while his intention is to do good. This is all ignorance, and the intention has no effect in ruling out its being a transgression, a wrongdoing and a sin. In fact, his intending to do good by an evil means – which opposes the requirement of the Sharī`ah – is another evil. So if he is aware of this (evil means), then he is stubborn in regards to the Sharī`ah. But if he ignores it, then he is sinful for being ignorant, because seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim. In addition, since good things can only be known as such by the Sharī`ah, how can an evil be good, then? That is very unlikely. As a matter of fact, the things which cause this in the heart are the hidden pleasure and the inner desire…”

Then he went on to say, “What is implied is that whoever ignorantly intends to do good by means of a sin, he will not be excused, unless he is new in Islām and does not have the time wherein he can acquire the knowledge, and Allāh, تَعَالَى, indeed said:

فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

So ask of those who know the Scripture if you know not.” [39]

And he (i.e. Al-G̣azālī) further said – “Therefore his, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ,’s saying: ‘Actions are based on intentions’ is restricted, as far as the three categories are concerned, to acts of obedience and permitted matters (i.e. Mubāḥāt), but not to sins. This is because an obedience can be turned into a sin by the (the wrong) intention. Also, the permitted action (i.e. Mubāḥ) can be turned into a sin or an obedience by the intention. In contrast, a sin can never be turned into an (act of) obedience by the (good) intention. Yes, the intention could have an interference in it (i.e. the sin); and that is when (other) evil intentions are added to it, and which would increase its burden and its great evil result – as we have mentioned in the Book of Repentance.” [40]

We are all Canadian, so this is our holiday too

Islām has come with descriptors, characteristics and categories upon which rulings are based. From these rulings are connections of allegiance, love and shared rituals.

Allāh, تَعَالَى, divided the people of the Earth into two categories and based His Rulings on these categories. These are the main categories that we take into account, and other categories are either irrelevant (such as nationality) or less important and subject to Islāmic rulings pertaining to them (familial ties).

Allāh, تَعَالَى, said:

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَمِنكُم مُّؤْمِنٌ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

He it is the One Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers. And Allāh is All-Seer of what you do. [41]

And He said:

أَفَمَن كَانَ مُؤْمِناً كَمَن كَانَ فَاسِقاً لَّا يَسْتَوُونَ أَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَلَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ الْمَأْوَى نُزُلاً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فَسَقُوا فَمَأْوَاهُمُ النَّارُ كُلَّمَا أَرَادُوا أَن يَخْرُجُوا مِنْهَا أُعِيدُوا فِيهَا وَقِيلَ لَهُمْ ذُوقُوا عَذَابَ النَّارِ الَّذِي كُنتُم بِهِ تُكَذِّبُونَ

Is then he who is a believer like him who is Fāsiq (disobedient to Allāh)? Not equal are they. As for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them are Gardens as an entertainment, for what they used to do. And as for those who are Fāsiqūn (disobedient to Allāh), their abode will be the Fire, every time they wish to get away there from, they will be put back thereto, and it will be said to them: “Taste you the torment of the Fire which you used to deny.” [42]

And He said:

أًمْ حَسِبَ الَّذِينَ اجْتَرَحُوا السَّيِّئَاتِ أّن نَّجْعَلَهُمْ كَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ سَوَاء مَّحْيَاهُم وَمَمَاتُهُمْ سَاء مَا يَحْكُمُونَ

Or do those who earn evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous good deeds, in their present life and after their death? Worst is the judgement that they make. [43]

What are ties really based upon in the Dunyā?

As mentioned earlier, there is a claim that being Canadian and/or living in Canada is a tie upon which some rulings in Islām are based upon. However, as is evident from the following evidences, Islām has already clarified the ties upon which rulings are based.

Allāh, تَعَالَى, stated:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

The believers are nothing else than brothers. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allāh, that you may receive mercy. [44]

And He said:

قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَاء مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاء أَبَداً حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ

Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrāhīm and those with him, when they said to their people: “Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allāh, we have rejected you, and there has become apparent between us and you, enmity and hatred forever, until you believe in Allāh Alone.” [45]

So Ibrāhīm and those with him disavowed themselves from their peoples until they believed in Allāh alone (i.e. entered into Islām).

And He said:

فَإِن تَابُواْ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتَوُاْ الزَّكَاةَ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَنُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

But if they repent, perform Aṣ-Ṣalāt and give Az-Zakāt, then they are your brethren in religion. And We explain the Āyāt in detail for a people who know. [46]

So, Allāh, تَعَالَى, made the tie between us and them contingent upon repentance, performing Aṣ-Ṣalāt and giving Az-Zakāt.

And He said:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعاً وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ وَاذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاء فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَاناً

And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allāh, and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allāh’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren. [47]

The Issue of Nationalism and National ties

Allāh, تَعَالَى, said:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوباً وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allāh is that (believer) who has the most Taqwā (piety). Verily, Allāh is All-Knowing, All-Aware. [48]

So He explained to us the only relevance nationality and tribe affiliation really has.

Yet, after discussing the numerous Prophets and numerous Muslim nations of the past, He, تَعَالَى, stated:

إِنَّ هَذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُونِ

Truly! This, your Ummah is one religion, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me. [49]

So despite being in different areas of the world, from different raises at different times, Allāh, تَعَالَى, affirmed that we are the same nation.

And on the authority of Jābir Ibn `Abdillāh, رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ, who said:

كُنَّا مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي غَزَاةٍ فَكَسَعَ رَجُلٌ مِنَ المُهَاجِرِينَ رَجُلاً مِنَ الأنْصَارِ فَقَالَ الأنْصَارِيُّ: “يَا لَلأنْصَارِ.” وَقَالَ المُهَاجِرِيُّ: “يَا لَلمُهَاجِرِينَ.” قَالَ: فَسَمِعَهَا رَسُولُ الله صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ: “مَا هَذَا؟” فَقَالُوا: “رَجُلٌ مِنَ المُهَاجِرِينَ كَسَعَ رَجُلاً مِنَ الأنْصَارِ فَقَالَ الأنْصَارِيُّ: يَا لَلأنْصَارِ. وَقَالَ المُهاجِرِيُّ: يَا لَلمُهَاجِرِينَ.” فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “مَا بَالُ دَعْوَى الجَاهِلِيَّةٍ دَعُوهَا فَإنَّها مُنْتِنَةٌ.”

“We were out in battle with the Prophet, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, when a man from the Muhājirīn struck a man from the Anṣār from behind, so the Anṣārī said: ‘O Anṣār!’ and the Muhājirī said: ‘O Muhājirīn!’” He (i.e. the narrator) said: “So the Messenger of Allāh, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, heard that and said: ‘What is this?’ They said: ‘A man from the Muhājirīn struck a man from the Anṣār from behind. So the Anṣārī said: ‘O Anṣār!’ and the Muhājirī said: ‘O Muhājirīn!’ So the Prophet, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, said: ‘What is with the call of Jāhiliyyah? Abandon it, as it is putrid.’” [50]

So here, even though these labels the Ṣaḥābah used are actually approved of in the Book and the Sunnah

وَالسَّابِقُونَ الأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَداً ذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

And the first to embrace Islām of the Muhājirīn and the Anṣār and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allāh is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success. [51]

لَقَد تَّابَ الله عَلَى النَّبِيِّ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالأَنصَارِ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ فِي سَاعَةِ الْعُسْرَةِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا كَادَ يَزِيغُ قُلُوبُ فَرِيقٍ مِّنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّهُ بِهِمْ رَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Allāh has forgiven the Prophet, the Muhājirīn and the Anṣār; those who followed him in the time of distress, after the hearts of a party of them had nearly deviated, but He accepted their repentance. Certainly, He is unto them full of Kindness, Most Merciful. [52]

…when they divided the Muslims and gave more undue rights to some than to others, the Prophet, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, forbade this.

What are ties based upon in the Hereafter?

And in the Hereafter, where everything is judged, and reality sets in, we see which ties in the Dunyā were beneficial and which were not. Allāh, تَعَالَى, said:

إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُواْ مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ وَرَأَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الأَسْبَابُ

When those who were followed, declare themselves free from those who followed (them), and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them. [53]

And He said:

الْأَخِلَّاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ

The closest friends on that Day will be foes one to another except Al-Muttaqīn. [54]

And Allāh Knows Best, and may the Blessings and Peace of Allāh be upon our Prophet Muḥammad, his family, his Companions and all of those who follow them on the Correct Path until the Day of Resurrection.

Abū Ṭālūt Haytham Āl Sayfaddīn

Follow Shaykh Haytham: Facebook and Twitter

End Notes

  1. Refer to “Talbīs Iblīs” by Ibn al-Jawzī, pg. 295, “Ḥaqīqat al-Qawlayn Fī Tawjīh Takhrīj al-Imām ash-Shāfi’ī Li-Ba’ḍ al-Masā’ili `Alā Qawlayn” by Al-G̣azālī, pg. 64-65 and elsewhere
  2. Refer to “Al-Muwāfaqāt” by Ash-Shāṭibī, 4/95, “Minhāj as-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah Fī Naqḍ Kalām ash-Shī`ah al-Qadariyyah” by Ibn Taymiyyah, 2/287 and elsewhere
  3. http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/ceem-cced/jfa-ha/canada-eng.cfm
  4. http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/const/const1867.html
  5. Sūrat Yūsuf, 40
  6. Sūrat al-Kahf, 26
  7. Refer to “Aḍwā’ al-Bayān Fī Īḍāḥ al-Qur’āni Bil-Qur’ān” by Muḥammad al-Amīn ash-Shinqīṭī, 4/107
  8. Sūrat al-Kahf, 26
  9. Sūrat al-Kahf, 110
  10. Sūrat al-Mā’idah, 55
  11. Collected by Isḥāq Ibn Rāhwayh (#779), Aḥmad (#25,189), Al-Bukhārī (#952), Muslim (#2,016), Ibn Mājah (#1,898), An-Nasā’ī (#1,808) and Abū Ya`lā (#50)
  12. Sūrat al-Baqarah, 148
  13. Sūrat al-Mā’idah, 48
  14. Iqtiḍā’ aṣ-Ṣirāt al-Mustaqīm Mukhālafati Ahl al-Jaḥīm” by Ibn Taymiyyah, pg. 227. 
  15. Collected by Aḥmad, (13,657), `Abd Ibn Ḥumayd (#1,393), Abū Dāwūd (#1,134), An-Nasā’ī (#1767) and Abū Ya`lā (#3820). It was declared “Ṣaḥīḥ” by An-Nawawī in “Khulāṣat al-Aḥkām Fī Muhimmāt as-Sunani Wa Qawā’id al-Islām”, 2/819, Ibn Ḥajar al-`Asqalānī in “Bulūg̣ al-Marām Min Adillat al-Aḥkām”, (#138) and elsewhere, and Aṣ-Ṣan`ānī in “Al-`Uddah”, 2/540. Ibn Taymiyyah also declared it authentic according to the conditions of Muslim in “Iqtiḍā’ as-Sirāt al-Mustaqīm Mukhālafati Ahl al-Jaḥīm” by Ibn Taymiyyah, pg. 219. 
  16. Iqtiḍā’ aṣ-Ṣirāt al-Mustaqīm Mukhālafati Ahl al-Jaḥīm” by Ibn Taymiyyah, pg. 219. 
  17. Sūrat al-Mā’idah, 48
  18. Sūrat al-Ḥajj, 67
  19. Collected by Isḥāq Ibn Rāhwayh (#779), Aḥmad (#25,189), Al-Bukhārī (#952), Muslim (#2,016), Ibn Mājah (#1,898), An-Nasā’ī (#1,808) and Abū Ya`lā (#50)
  20. This was a type of clothing that was specified as only to be worn by Ahl ath-Thimmah
  21. Iqtiḍā’ aṣ-Ṣirāt al-Mustaqīm Mukhālafati Ahl al-Jaḥīm” by Ibn Taymiyyah, pg. 241
  22. Ḥukm al-Iḥtifāl Bil-`Īd al-Waṭanī” by Muḥammad Ibn Ibrāhīm Āl ash-Shaykh, pg. 1
  23. Collected by Aḥmad (#8,657), At-Tirmithī (1,752) and Abū Ya`lā (#5,977), and At-Tirmithī declared it “Ḥasan Ṣaḥīḥ”.
  24. Collected by Aḥmad (#8764) and Muslim (#524)
  25. Collected by Al-Ḥumaydī (#1,139), Ibn Abī Shaybah (#25,501), Aḥmad (#7,272), Al-Bukhārī (#5,899), Muslim (#5,561), Ibn Mājah (#3,621), Abū Dāwūd (#4,203), An-Nasā’ī (#9,290) and Abū Ya`lā (#5,957)
  26. Collected by Aṭ-Ṭayālisī (#2,392), Ibn Abī Shaybah (#25,223), Aḥmad (#6,513), Muslim (#5,485) and An-Nasā’ī (#9,569)
  27. Collected by Ibn Abī Shaybah (#19,747), Aḥmad in (#5,114), ‘Abd Ibn Ḥumayd (#848) and Abū Dāwūd (#4,031). I do not view this as authentic from the Prophet, صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ, as some early Ḥadīth Scholars rejected it. However, it was declared “Ṣaḥīḥ” by Ibn Ḥibbān as mentioned in “Bulūg̣ al-Marām Min Adillat al-Aḥkām”, (#437), Ath-Thahabī in “Siyar A`lām an-Nubalā’” 15/509, Al-`Irāqī in his Takhrīj of “Iḥyā’ `Ulūm ad-Dīn”, 1/359, Al-Bahūtī in “Kashāf al-Qinā` `An Matn al-Iqnā`”, 1/286 and others. It was also declared “Jayyid” by Ibn Taymiyyah in “Majmū` al-Fatāwā”, 25/331 and “Ḥasan” by Ibn Ḥajar al-`Asqalānī in “Fatḥ al-Bārī Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī”, 10/282 and As-Suyūṭī in “Al-Jāmi` aṣ-Ṣag̣īr”, (#8,593).
  28. Collected by Al-Bayhaqī in “As-Sunan al-Kubrā”, (#18,642). Some, such as Shaykh `Adul-`Azīz Ibn Marzūq aṭ-Ṭarīfī, weakened it due to the narrator from `Abdullāh Ibn ‘Amr, who is Abul-Mug̣īrah, being Majhūl (Unknown). However, it was declared “Ṣaḥīḥ” by Ibn Taymiyyah in “Iqtiḍā’ aṣ-Ṣirāt al-Mustaqīm Mukhālafati Ahl alJaḥīm”, pg. 233 as well as Ibn al-Qayyim in “Aḥkām Ahl ath-Thimmah”, 3/1248.
  29. Sūrat al-Furqān, 72
  30. Look to “Tafsīr al-Qur’ān al-`Aṭḥīm” by Ibn Kathīr 10/331, “Al-Jāmi` Li-Aḥkām al-Qur’ān” by Al-Qurṭubī 13/78, “Ma`ālim at-Tanzīl” by Al-Bag̣awī, 1/98 and elsewhere
  31. Iqtiḍā’ aṣ-Ṣirāt al-Mustaqīm Mukhālafati Ahl al-Jaḥīm” by Ibn Taymiyyah, pg. 234-235
  32. Collected by Al-Bayahqī in “As-Sunan al-Kubrā”, (#18,641). I asked the Muḥaddith, Shaykh `Abdul-`Azīz Ibn Marzūq aṭ-Ṭarīfī, حفظه الله, about the authenticity of this narration and he stated that it is “Ṣaḥīḥ.”
  33. Collected by Al-Bayhaqī in “As-Sunan al-Kubrā”, (#18,644). I asked the Muḥaddith, Shaykh `Abdul-`Azīz Ibn Marzūq aṭ-Ṭarīfī, حفظه الله, about this narration and he weakened it, as the chain of narration has a break in it. However its meaning is correct and has been used by scholars since the early generations as a supporting evidence for the rules mentioned above.
  34. Majmū` Fatāwā by Ibn Taymiyyah”, 25/175
  35. Ḥukm al-`Īd al-Waṭanī” by Muḥammad Ibn Ibrāhīm Āl ash-Shaykh, pg. 1
  36. Al-Mawḍū`āt” by Aṣ-Ṣag̣ānī, pg. 53
  37. Al-Maqāsid al-Ḥasanah Fī Bayān Kathīr Min al-Aḥādīth al-Mushtaharah `Alal-Alsun” by As-Sakhāwī, 218
  38. Ad-Durar al-Muntatharah Fil-Aḥādīth al-Mushtaharah” by As-Suyūṭī, 65
  39. Sūrat an-Naḥl, 43
  40. Iḥyā’ `Ulūm ad-Dīn” by Al-G̣azālī, 4/388-391
  41. Sūrat At-Tag̣ābun, 2
  42. Sūrat as-Sajdah, 18-20
  43. Sūrat al-Jāthiyah, 21
  44. Sūrat al-Ḥujurāt, 10
  45. Sūrat al-Mumtaḥinah, 4.
  46. Sūrat at-Tawbah, 11
  47. Sūrat Āli ‘Imrān, 103
  48. Sūrat al-Ḥujurāt, 13
  49. Sūrat al-Anbiyā’, 92
  50. Collected by `Abdur-Razzāq (#18,041), Al-Ḥumaydī (#1,275), Aḥmad (#14,686), Al-Bukhārī (#4,907), Muslim (#6,675), At-Tirmithī (#3,315), An-Nasā’ī (#8,812) and Abū Ya`lā (#1,824)
  51. Sūrat at-Tawbah, 100
  52. Sūrat at-Tawbah, 117
  53. Sūrat al-Baqarah, 166
  54. Sūrat az-Zukhruf, 67
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