Is loving one’s country part of faith?


Someone wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa that some non-Ahmadi scholars argued that the phrase:

 حُبُّ‭ ‬الْوَطَنِ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الإِيمَانِ 

[“Love for one’s country is part of faith”], which is attributed to the Holy Prophetsa, was in fact not uttered by him and they asked for a reference. They further wrote, “I tried to find a reference but was unable to find any. What should I say to non-Ahmadi scholars?”

In a letter dated 14 April 2021, Huzooraa provided the following reply to the question:

“This hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa has been narrated in various books. For example Allamah Mulla Ali al-Qari has recorded it in his book Al-Mawdu‘aat al-Kabir, Hafiz Shams al-Din Abi al-Khair Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Sakhawi has mentioned it in his book Al-Maqasid al-Hasanah fi Bayani Kathirin min al-Ahadith al-Mushtahirah ala al-Alsinah, and Allamah Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti has included it in his book Al-Durar al-Muntathirah fi al-Ahadith al-Mushtahirah

“Some of the classical scholars have rejected this hadith of the Holy Prophetsa on futile grounds and through peculiar arguments, instead attributing it to some of the Islamic predecessors [salaf]. However, all of this critique and reasoning by those scholars is invalid in light of the other ahadith and in view of the teachings laid out in the Holy Quran. Therefore, one cannot deny that this hadith is the saying of the Holy Prophetsa merely on the basis of the views of these scholars. 

“They argue that there was no connection between one’s love for their country and one’s love for their faith since disbelievers and hypocrites also loved their country despite not having even an ounce of faith. They ask, how could one’s love for one’s country be a part of faith?

“This argument of the classical scholars is not acceptable because there are several ahadith of the Holy Prophetsa in the authentic books of hadith, the subject matter of which is equally applicable to Muslims as well as disbelievers and hypocrites just like the subject matter of the aforementioned hadith. In Sahih Bukhari, for instance, the following hadith has been recorded: 

“Hazrat Anasra bin Malik narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said: 

لَا‭ ‬يُؤْمِنُ‭ ‬أَحَدُكُمْ‭ ‬حَتَّى‭ ‬يُحِبَّ‭ ‬لِأَخِيهِ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬يُحِبُّ‭ ‬لِنَفْسِهِ

“‘None of you can be a (true) believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.’ (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Iman)

“Similarly, Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra narrates:

أَنَّ‭ ‬رَسُولَ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬صَلَّى‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬عَلَيْهِ‭ ‬وَسَلَّمَ‭ ‬مَرَّ‭ ‬عَلَى‭ ‬رَجُلٍ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬الْأَنْصَارِ‭ ‬وَهُوَ‭ ‬يَعِظُ‭ ‬أَخَاهُ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الْحَيَاءِ‭ ‬فَقَالَ‭ ‬رَسُوْلُ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬صَلَّى‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬عَلَيْهِ‭ ‬وَسَلَّمَ‭ ‬دَعْهُ‭ ‬فَإِنَّ‭ ‬الْحَيَاءَ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬الْإِيمَانِ

“‘Once, Allah’s Messengersa passed by an Ansari man who was admonishing his brother [against] modesty [haya]. Upon that, Allah’s Messengersa said, ‘Leave him […] for haya is a part of faith.’’

“Now the question arises whether liking for one’s brother what one likes for himself or adopting the attribute of haya is only for believers and disbelievers or hypocrites cannot acquire these morals? That is, if a disbeliever or a hypocrite likes for his brother what he likes for himself, or if a disbeliever or a hypocrite inculcates haya, can it be said on this basis that because these morals are also adopted by disbelievers and hypocrites, hence these ahadith cannot, God-forbid, be the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa?

“Moreover, in the Holy Quran and the ahadith there is great emphasis on the fulfilment of covenants and it has been considered a good attribute. Now, if a disbeliever or hypocrite fulfils his pledge or covenant, will we be right in saying that the act of fulfilling one’s covenant was not a Quranic command or the saying of the Holy Prophetsa, considering that even disbelievers or hypocrites abide by it?

“Therefore, we shall certainly not accept that this hadith with the most insightful and wise words of:

 حُبُّ‭ ‬الْوَطَنِ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الإِيمَانِ 

was not the saying of the Holy Prophetsa merely on this premise of the classical scholars. These are certainly the blessed words uttered by the Holy Prophetsa which are recorded in the abovementioned books. I have listed below the full references from these books for your knowledge: 

1. Al-Maqasid al-Hasanah fi Bayani Kathirin min al-Ahadith al-Mushtahirah ‘ala l-Alsinah (Kitab al-Iman) by the critic and historian al-Imam al-Hafiz Shams al-Din Abi al-Khair Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Sakhawi (d. 902 AH)

2. Al-Durar al-Muntathirah fi al-Ahadith al-Mushtahirah (the letter ha, part 1, p. 9) by ‘Allamah Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti [d. 911 AH]

3. Al-Mawdu‘aat al-Kabir (Urdu Bazar Karachi: Quran Mahal, pp. 193 to 197) by Mulla Ali al-Qari [d. 1014 AH]” 

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