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Tribes and Tribalism, Nations and Nationalism

Shaykh Ḥasan al-Ṣumālī

My people are the best people! My tribe is the most prestigious tribe – better than those other tribes! My country, my beloved country! A look at Sūrah al-Ḥujarāt, verse 13. A disease which is passed on generation by generation is the excessive love of one’s tribe or nation, preferring them over others and building loyalty upon nationalism and tribalism. A lecture by Ḥasan al-Ṣumālī during a visit to Toronto, Canada (June 2012). He spoke during the seminar entitled, The Sickness and the Cure on issues of disease and rectification (of the heart).

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 At-Taqwá [i.e. one of the Muttaqun (pious – see V.2:2). Verily, Allāh is All-Knowing, All-Aware.
[Al-Ḥujarāt, 49:13]

Points of Benefit:

  • Can we reject our tribe, lineage etc? Is it important to know one’s lineage?
  • Did the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) come from a tribe?
  • What are the benefits of knowing one’s tribe/clan?
  • Is one tribe better than another? The place of al-Taqwá́
  • What role did tribalism play in the time of Jāhiliyyah?
  • Did tribalism play a role in uniting the Arabs?
  • What role did the banner of Lā  Ilāha IllAllāh (Islām) play in uniting the people?
  • Islām is a brotherhood built upon dīn not tribes
  • Is it permissible to call to tribalism, nationalism etc.?
  • How did the Muslims become “one body,” united
  • Should I go to the “masjid of my people” or the masjid upon the Sunnah?

[Q]: “Why don’t all the mosques come together and agree to solve the problems of the Muslim youth?”


Published: July 22, 2013
Edited: April 21, 2022


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