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Muslim nationalism in South Asia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Muslim nationalism in South Asia is the political and cultural expression of nationalism, founded upon the religious tenets and identity of Islam, of the Muslims of South Asia.

From a historical perspective, Professor Ishtiaq Ahmed of the University of Stockholm and Professor Shamsul Islam of the University of Delhi classified the Muslims of South Asia into two categories during the era of the Indian independence movement: nationalist Muslims (individuals who opposed the partition of India) and Muslim nationalists (individuals who desired to create a separate country for Indian Muslims).[1] The All India Azad Muslim Conference represented nationalist Muslims, while the All-India Muslim League represented the Muslim nationalists.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Prophet Muhammad Was a Muslim Nationalist (David Wood)
  • ✪ "Muslim Nationalism" In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh ?!! (Malay Sub)
  • ✪ Krishna Menon - Feminist Exlorations of Contemporary South Asia: Possibilities and Challenges
  • ✪ Julia Stephens: Governing Islam: Law and Secularism in Colonial South Asia
  • ✪ Islam and Democracy in East Asia


The Christchurch mosque shooter was a white nationalist. I’ve stated on numerous occasions that I regard white nationalism as a silly position. I’ve been condemned by white nationalists for polluting the white bloodline, because my wife is half Asian, which makes our five sons a quarter Asian. What I find most interesting in this discussion, however, is how so many people who condemn various forms of nationalism will praise Muhammad, who was a Muslim nationalist and an ethno-nationalist. I want to keep this video short, so let’s look at two passages. If you’d like to go into more depth about Muhammad’s ethno-nationalism and even ethno-supremacy, according to which, his language, and culture, and religion would dominate the entire world, let me know. But for now, we’ll focus on Muhammad’s Muslim nationalism. Sahih Muslim 4594: Jabir bin Abdullah said: Umar bin al-Khattab said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “I shall certainly expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula, until I leave only Muslims there.” What kind of nation did Muhammad want? He wanted a nation made up exclusively of Muslims. Jews and Christians had to be expelled. Let’s read another. This is from a section on wills. When Muhammad was on his deathbed, after being poisoned by a Jewish woman, he issued his final commands. So we get to see what was most important to Muhammad. Sahih Muslim 4232: It was narrated that Sa’eed bin Jubair said: “Ibn Abbas said: ‘Thursday and what a Thursday!’ Then he wept until his tears wet the pebbles. I said: ‘O Abu Abbas, what about Thursday?’ He said: ‘The Messenger of Allah took a turn for the worse, and he said: “Come to me and I will dictate for you a document, so you will not go astray after I am gone.” But they argued (about that), and it is not appropriate to argue in the presence of a prophet. They said: “What is the matter with him? Is he delirious? Try to find out what he means.” He said: “Let me be. The state in which I am now is better. I urge you to do three things: Expel the idolators from the Arabian Peninsula, and reward the delegations as I used to do.” Then he remained silent about the third, or he said it, and I was caused to forget it.’” So, one of Muhammad’s dying wishes was for his followers to expel non-Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula. Again, what kind of nation did he want? He wanted a nation made up exclusively of Muslims. Everyone else had to be expelled. Christians, Jews, and polytheists had been living in Arabia for centuries. But they all had to convert, or flee, or be executed. Now imagine a politician today saying, “We must expel Muslims from our country and leave only non-Muslims.” He would be condemned as a racist, and a bigot, and an Islamophobe. But Muhammad, who is the pattern of conduct for all Muslims, demanded, as his dying wish, that his followers expel all non-Muslims from his nation. What does that make him? It doesn’t make him anything, because Muhammad always gets a free pass. Not only is Muhammad not a racist or a bigot or a Christianophobe or a Jewophobe for demanding that Christians and Jews be expelled from Arabia, but also, you’ll be called a racist and a bigot for so much as questioning or drawing attention to what he said. The hypocrisy here is astounding. But let’s see if we can figure this out. Those of you who gladly condemn people for saying, “This nation is for my group only,” but have no objection whatsoever to Muhammad saying, “This nation is for my group only,” why the inconsistency? Why the double standards? I think I know why. There are two different categories of hypocrites here, with two different reasons for their hypocrisy. First, there are Muslims who are blasting white nationalists and other kinds of nationalists for their bigotry or xenophobia. These same Muslims wouldn’t dream of condemning Muhammad for being a Muslim nationalist, and an ethno-nationalist, and an Islamic supremacist. Why? Because Islamic supremacy is built into the fabric of Islam. They just don’t see the inconsistency as a problem. A white nationalist is wrong for claiming that white people should control a nation, because a white nationalist has no basis for making this claim. But a Muslim nationalist isn’t wrong for claiming that Muslims should control a nation, because Muslims have been ordered to expel non-Muslims by their prophet, who has a stamp of approval from Allah. So the inconsistency is part of Islam. Second, there are non-Muslim leftists who are blasting white nationalists and other kinds of nationalists for their bigotry or xenophobia. Like Muslims, these leftists wouldn’t dream of condemning Muhammad for being a Muslim nationalist, or an ethno-nationalist, or an Islamic supremacist. But their reasons for the inconsistency are different. The main reason leftists don’t apply the same standards to Muhammad that they apply to any random white nationalist is that leftists are undercover white supremacists. They’re white supremacists who don’t realize that they’re white supremacists. They don’t apply the same standards to Muhammad or to other Muslims that they apply to white Westerners because they believe that Muhammad, and Arabs, and Pakistanis, and Afghanis are inferior to white westerners and that they’re completely incapable of living up to the moral standards of white westerners. So they give Muhammad, Arabs, Pakistanis, and Afghanis a free pass when they break the rules. Leftists view non-whites as their pets. You don’t hold your pets to the same standards that you hold human beings to. Now think about the clash here. There are Islamic supremacists, and white nationalists, and white supremacist leftists, and all kinds of other groups. People from all of these camps are demanding action against the other camps. How does this not end in a bloodbath? We hope that Islamic supremacists will realize that they’re following the most obvious false prophet in history. We hope that white supremacist leftists will drop their racism and start applying the same moral standards to everyone. We hope that white nationalists will stop listening to the morons who are telling them that they should be obsessed with skin color. We hope. In the mean time, since consistency is what always seems to be missing when accusations of bigotry and racism and Islamophobia are flying back and forth, I think we need to keep drawing attention to hypocrisy. A good place to start is to ask white supremacist leftists and Islamic supremacists why they have absolutely no problem with Muhammad, history’s whitest prophet, demanding that Christians and Jews be expelled from his Muslim nation. Take a screenshot of one of the hadiths I quoted in this video, share it with people, and, in the comments section, tell us what happens.


Historical foundations

During the Delhi Sultanate era, the Muslim kingdoms were among powerful military groups in India, and an Islamic society that descended from the Middle East and Central Asia and from areas which became modern day Afghanistan spread the religion amongst Indians.

Ideological foundations

The first organized expressions began with Muslim scholars and reformers like Syed Ahmed Khan, Syed Ameer Ali and the Aga Khan who had an influential major hand in the Indian independence movement.

Expression of Muslim separatism and nationhood emerged from modern Islam's pre-eminent poet and philosopher, Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal and political activists like Choudhary Rahmat Ali.

In politics

Some prominent Muslims politically sought a base for themselves, separate from Hindus and other Indian nationalists, who espoused the Indian National Congress. Muslim scholars, religious leaders and politicians founded the All India Muslim League in 1906.

Muslims comprised 25% to 30% of pre-independence India's collective population. Some Muslim leaders felt that their cultural and economic contributions to India's heritage and life merited a significant role for Muslims in a future independent India's governance and politics.

A movement led by Allama Iqbal and ultimately Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who originally fought for Muslim rights within India, later felt a separate homeland must be obtained for India's Muslims in order to achieve prosperity. They espoused the Two-Nation Theory, that India was in fact home to the Muslim and Hindu nations, who were distinct in every way.

Another section of Muslim society, led by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari and Maulana Azad felt that participation in the Indian Independence Movement and the Indian National Congress was a patriotic duty of all Muslims.

The Deobandi strain of Islamic theology also advocated a notion of composite nationalism in which Hindus and Muslims were seen as one nation united in the struggle against British colonial rule in undivided India.[2] In 1919, a large group of Deobandi scholars formed the political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and it maintained a position of opposing the partition of India.[2] Deobandi Islamic scholar Maulana Syed Husain Ahmad Madani helped to spread these ideas through his text Muttahida Qaumiyat Aur Islam.[2]

Independence of Pakistan

Muhammad Ali Jinnah led the Muslim League's call for Pakistan. As time went on, communal tensions rose and so partition won increasing support among many Muslims in Muslim-majority areas of the British India.[3]

On 14 August 1947, Pakistan was created out of the Muslim majority provinces of British India, Sindh, the west of Punjab, Balochistan and the North West Frontier Province, and in formerly in the east with Bengal. Communal violence broke out and millions of people were forced to flee their homes and many lost their lives. Hindus and Sikhs fled from Pakistan to India and Muslims fled from India to Pakistan.

However, because Muslim communities existed throughout the South Asia, independence actually left tens of millions of Muslims within the boundaries of the secular Indian state. Currently, approximately 14.2% of the population of India is Muslim.

The Muslim League idea of a Muslim Nationalism encompassing all the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent seemed to lose out to ethnic nationalism in 1971, when East Pakistan, a Bengali dominated province, fought with support and the subsequent war with India helped them win their independence from Pakistan, and became the independent country of Bangladesh.

Pakistani nationalism

Pakistani nationalism refers to the political, cultural, linguistic, historical, religious and geographical expression of patriotism by the people of Pakistan, of pride in the history, culture, identity, heritage and religious identity of Pakistan, and visions for its future. Pakistan nationalism is the direct outcome of Muslim nationalism, which emerged in India in the 19th century. Its intellectual pioneer was Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Unlike the secular nationalism of other countries, Pakistani nationalism and the religion of Islam are not mutually exclusive and religion is a part of the Pakistani nationalist narrative. During the late years of British rule and leading up to independence, it had three distinct supporters:

  1. Idealists, such as majority of Muslim students and intellectuals, inspired by the Aligarh Movement and Allama Iqbal, driven by a fear of being engulfed in "false secularism" that would assimilate their beliefs, culture and heritage and Islamic ideology into a common system that defied Islamic civic tenets and ideals while hoping to create a state where their higher education, reformist Islamist ideology and wealth would keep them in power over the other Muslims of India.
  2. Realists, driven by political inflexibility demonstrated by the Indian National Congress, feared a systematic disenfranchisement of Muslims. This also included many members of the Parsi, and Nizari Ismaili communities.
  3. Traditionalists, primarily lower Orthodoxy (Barelvi), that feared the dominative power of the upper Orthodoxy (Deoband) and saw Pakistan as a safe haven to prevent their domination by State-controlled propaganda. Although many upper Orthodoxy (such as Shabbir Ahmad Usmani and Ashraf Ali Thanwi) also supported the state in the interests of an Islamic Republic.

Muslim nationalism in India

According to official government statistics, the overwhelming Hindu-majority India has almost 14% Muslim population spread across all states with significant concentrations in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Assam, West Bengal, Gujarat, Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir. It is the third-largest home to Muslims after Pakistan and Indonesia and the third-largest home to Shia Muslims.

Since independence, there has been a great deal of conflict within the various Muslim communities as to how to best function within the complex political and cultural mosaic that defines Indian politics in India today.

All in all, Muslim perseverance in sustaining their continued advancement along with Government efforts to focus on Pakistan as the primary problem for Indian Muslims in achieving true minority rights has created a sometimes extreme support for Indian nationalism, giving the Indian State much-needed credibility in projecting a strong secular image throughout the rest of the world.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, a leading Indian Islamic organization has propounded a theological basis for Indian Muslims' nationalistic philosophy. Their thesis is that Muslims and non-Muslims have entered upon a mutual contract in India since independence, to establish a secular state. The Constitution of India represents this contract. This is known in Urdu as a mu'ahadah. Accordingly, as the Muslim community's elected representatives supported and swore allegiance to this mu'ahadah so the specific duty of Muslims is to keep loyalty to the Constitution. This mu'ahadah is similar to a previous similar contract signed between the Muslims and the Jews in Medina.[4]

South Asian Muslim leaders


Syed Ahmed Khan, Maulana Mohammad Ali, Maulana Shaukat Ali, Begum of Bhopal

Freedom Fighters (primarily against the British)

Badruddin Tyabji, Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, Maulana Azad, Saifuddin Kitchlew, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Abbas Tyabji, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Maulana Mehmud Hasan, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Hussain Ahmad Madani .

Pakistan Movement

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Iqbal, Liaquat Ali Khan, Abdur Rab Nishtar, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, A.K. Fazlul Huq, Begum Jahanara Shahnawaz, Syed Ahmed Khan, Shamsul Haque Faridpuri .


Qazi Syed Rafi Mohammad, Maulana Syed Maudoodi, Ahmad Raza Khan, Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Hazarvi, Ashraf Ali Thanvi .

See also


  1. ^ a b Ahmed, Ishtiaq (27 May 2016). "The dissenters". The Friday Times.
  2. ^ a b c Ali, Asghar (9 April 2011). "Islamic identity in secular India". The Milli Gazette. The Ulama of Deoband opposed partition and stood by united nationalism. Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, then chief of Jami’at-ul-Ulama-i-Hind, wrote a tract Muttahida Qaumiyyat aur Islam i.e., the Composite Nationalism and Islam justifying composite nationalism in the light of Qur’an and hadith and opposing Muslim League’s separate nationalism. While the educated elite were aspiring for power and hence wanted their exclusive domain; the Ulama’s priority was an independent India where they could practice Islam without fear or hindrance.
  3. ^ Raja, Masood Ashraf. Constructing Pakistan: Foundational Texts and the Rise of Muslim National Identity, 1857–1947, Oxford 2010, ISBN 978-0-19-547811-2
  4. ^ Islam in Modern History. By Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Pg 285.
This page was last edited on 16 November 2019, at 07:58
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