fa ar en az

Western Nationalism and Islamic Nationhood

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Brief introduction

This article is an introduction that Martyr Murtada Mutahhari wrote for his book "The Mutual Services of Islam and Iran" -(Khadamat-e mutaqabil-e Islam wa Iran)- detailing the difference between the concept of Nationalism in the West and the Islamic Nationhood. First published in 1349 H.Sh. /1960 . And it is published recently by Ahlul Bayt World Assembly.

Contents in brief

The relations, conflicts and clashes between various nations have in the present age become a daily issue which has acquired much greater significance than in any other epoch of human history. One of the problems related to it, or perhaps one of the most fundamental of them, is the problem of nationalism, its constructive elements, its scope and limits.

During the last two or three decades many new nations, whose number exceeds fifty, have come into existence, or have acquired a new shape and name. In some cases, a country or a nation was divided into two or more parts, each pursuing a different path. In some cases nations with specific ideological, religious and geographical characteristics have completely changed their philosophical and religious conditions to replace them by a totally different system of ideas and social institutions. All these changes and the birth of new nations accompanying them, were preceded by years of struggle, resistance, endeavour and bloodshed, which consumed immeasurable time, energy and talents of peoples and called for many sacrifices, small and great.

Did the nations that emerged during recent times have no existence in the past? Did the nations that were separated and divided not form a real, stable social unit in their previous state? Those nations that changed their system while preserving most of their specific traits such as language, race, ecological conditions and geographical boundaries, are they still what they were in the past? Moreover, all the main political, social, and military problems of our age are formulated in terms of nations and national interests. Nationalism is the most current and popular of all ideologies at present. Even those social and political ideologies that are opposed to nationalist tendencies, on initiating a movement, present themselves in nationalist garb and fall back upon nationalist slogans.

From a different point of view, for us Iranians, too, the issue of nationalism has contemporary relevance, in spite of the fact that our nation and homeland have not been attacked or occupied by any foreign power, and we see much difference and many contradictions between interpretations given by various individuals to nationalism. At present two factors are at work:

first, there is the racial and hereditary factor which is related to our history preceding the last fourteen centuries; the second factor relates to the ideological, religious, social and cultural traditions formed and developed during the last fourteen centuries.

As for our physical and racial roots, we belong to the Aryan race, and with regard to our ideological and cultural constitution, traditions and social institutions we are linked to Islam, which came to our land through a non-Aryan race. If we give basic importance to the factors of race and heredity in our definition of 'nation', it will, under the present circumstances, take our nation on a particular course in the future. However, if the social institutions and the ideological structure prevailing for the last fourteen centuries are considered to be of basic importance in defining our nationality, our policy and our future course will be something different.

If we give priority to the Aryan factor in determining and defining Iranian nationality, its consequence in the last analysis will be to make us closely related to the Western world. And this affinity and relation to the West would influence our national and political policy, whose main result would be to break our relationship with our neighbours and non-Aryan Muslim nations and incline us towards Europe and the West. In this case, the imperialist West becomes our kin and Muslim Arabs will become strangers.

On the contrary, if the ideological system, religion, and social institutions of the last fourteen centuries are regarded as the deciding factor in identifying our nationality, it will lead us to adopt a different course and policy whose basis is faith. In that case Arab, Turk, Indian, Indonesian and Chinese Muslims will be our own kinsmen, and the non-Muslim West will be alien to us.

Hence the issue of nationality is not a purely academic issue; it is a real issue of vital importance which determines the course of action and policy, the future and the destiny of a social and political unit known today as the Iranian nation. Hence it deserves to be taken up seriously and understood clearly.

The author argues about the following main subjects:

The Historical Background

The Classical Criteria




The Role of Intellectuals

The Real Lines of Demarcation

Common Sufferings

Factors of Unity

The Birth of a New Nationality

Click to view book and download

Authors and publishers' rights

All multimedia contents (like book, audio book, picture book, magazine, newspaper, article, thesis) which are available on Ghaemiyeh digital book market are set through written agreements whereby the publishers and authors all allowed  free publishing of their works.


Book market social Medias

بازار کتاب اولین و بزرگترین سامانه دانلود کتاب الکترونیکی رایگان بر خط با هدف در دسترس قرار دادن متون و کتب شیعه راه‌اندازی شده است. به کمک کتابخانه دیجیتالی بازار کتاب به هزاران عنوان کتاب به زبان های مختلف : فارسی ، عربی ، انگلیسی و آذری و غیره .... دسترسی خواهید داشت.

همین حالا اپ بازار کتاب را نصب کنید و کتابخانه خود را با دانلود کتاب های برتر پربار کنید.

با کلیک بر روی این لینک عضو کانال تلگرام ما شوید.