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in category Hadith

What does the hadith "love of the homeland is from iman" mean?

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The answer is that this Tradition is almost certainly fabricated. But even if it is fabricated, its meaning is valid. To love one's homeland (watan) means to be content with the place one is living right now, regardless of where one was born.

Nationalism is alien to the Muslim spirit and has no place in the Islamic glossary of terms. Homeland (watan) does not mean 'nation state': there is no such thing as the 'nation state' in Islam. 'Watan' means homeland and homeland means wherever you have made your home, however temporary it is. Love of homeland means not only being content with where you live, but also striving to make it better, not just for yourself but also for everyone else that lives there.

Often the verse "We have created you in tribes and cultures so you may get to know each other" is misconstrued to hold onto tribal identity and national pride. However, it's the opposite. The idea behind it was never to isolate, divide and segregate ourselves behind borders.

I'm reminded of a quote by Michael Ontaaje's book the English patient.

"We die. We die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we've entered and swum up like rivers. Fears we've hidden in - like this wretched cave. I want all this marked on my body. We are the real countries. Not boundaries drawn on maps with the names of powerful men. I know you'll come carry me out to the Palace of Winds. That's what I've wanted: to walk in such a place with you. With friends, on an earth without maps. The lamp has gone out and I'm writing in the darkness."


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