What is our primary identity, Muslim or Bangladeshi?

Fatwa ID: 02794

Answered by: Maulana Tahsin Alam​

Question:

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

Sheikh, we are from Bangladesh and we are confused about something we want to draw your attention to. Present-day some public figure here advocating that 'We are Bangladeshi first and then Muslim' or 'We are first a human being than Muslim'. In the most popular newspaper here, a criticism was published that, 'They want to be Muslim not human being' and in some talk show, it was stated that 'It is one of our backwardnesses that, our biggest identity is our religious identity… ' along with others.

To keep the question concise we are not adding more. These lines were not some stand-alone lines but reflect their whole speech. Now our question to the honoured Sheikh, In contradictory aspects, is it vital to prioritize the Islamic conscience? Did they make a mistake? If so, what is the extent of their error? And finally is it damaging their Imaan?

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

As a Muslim, one must prioritize their Islāmic identity first above all other identities or traits. Allāh Ta’ala says, “And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you "Muslims" before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give zakah and hold fast to Allah. He is your protector, and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper.”[1]

One should consider this verse as the directive motive in their lives, as other definitions such as ‘Bangladeshi’ etc. are subject to change at the hands of the masses, which may or may not contradict with the teachings of Islām later on.  As for being ‘human beings’ that is very much already understood, unless someone claims otherwise, therefore making its mention of no real meaning. The aspect of humanity is already a vital part within Islāmic teachings.

 

Only Allah Ta’ala knows best

 

Written by Maulana Tahsin Alam

Checked and approved by Ustadha Sabrina

Darul Ifta Birmingham

 

 


[1] Quran 22:78

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