There has been an increasing focus on what it means to be a citizen in society in recent years; the nature of responsibilities, rights and how different aspects of our identity contribute towards shaping our sense of belonging. In this debate, the Islamic perspective becomes even more complex. Muslims in Britain often pose many questions: Who am I? Where do I belong? Where do my loyalties lie? Am I a British Muslim or a Muslim living in Britain? Am I part of an Islamic umma ‘Nations’? What are my responsibilities towards my umma? All these questions are important and deserve thorough consideration; but “is there indeed a Muslim identity and, if so, is it of a religious or a cultural context?” In essence, is it permitted for Muslims to be a citizen of a non-Muslim state? From an Islamic point of view, citizenship is wholly religious, and this is based on the principles “enshrined in the revealed word of Allah in the Holy Qur’an and on the action, judgment and conduct of His Prophet [Muhammad]”. The Qur’an tells us that God created Adam to be his vice-regent on Earth. The late Prof. Zaki Badawi, who worked tirelessly toward integrating Muslim […]
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