Quranocracy: Nationalism – Internationalism and Universalim – Dr. Sayed Abdul Wadud

The political objective In this world, as laid down by the Quran for humanity, Is Universalism which shall be achieved by adopting a common code of life, obtainable from the Quranic Injunctions, laws and permanent values.

Tribal instinct persisted in all forms of living, from families and tribes to the present national states. Each social group promotes friendship between its members and hostility towards other group, in order to maintain its own interests. Thus hostility to the outer groups is as characteristic of nations as it was of tribes. Every nation has feelings of ill-will and hatred towards its neighbor. Nationalism is a feeling which is born out of hatred and lives on enmity. It does not form merely a political grouping, it has developed in to a cult which arouses in the Individual passionate devotion to his nation and violent antipathy to other nations. Aldous Huxley says: “Nationalism leads to moral ruin. because it denies universality, denies the existence of a single God, denies the value of the human being as a human being: and because at the same time It affirms exclusiveness, encourages variety, pride and self satisfaction, stimulates hatred and proclaims the necessity and rightness of war.”

Cavour has said: “If we did for ourselves what we do for our country, what rascals we should be. 14

He said further that:

the creed of Nationalism has had three unfortunate results­

  1. Humanity has been divided into a number of nation states with conflicting interests.
  2. A powerful nation has tempted to exploit the -weaker nations on the pretext of safeguarding its interests.

The absence of moral restraint turned the world “into an arena of beasts” as Wakeman rightly observed, with only one principle in view, that is, might is right” 15

Politicians who follow Michiavelli believe that moral rules are not binding on them. They reject moral considerations as Irrelevant to political affairs.

Emery Reves in his book “Anatomy of Peace” says: Nothing can distort the true picture of conditions and events in this world more than to regard one’s own country as the center of the universe, and to view all things solely In this relationship to this fixed point. It is inevitable that such a method of observation should create an entirely false perspective. Yet this is the only method admitted and used by all the national governments of our world, by our legislators and diplomats, by our press and radio. All the conclusions, principles and policies of the people are necessarily drawn from this warped picture of the world obtained by so primitive a method of observation.

Within such a contorted system of assumed fixed points it Is easy to demonstrate that the view taken from each point corresponds to reality. If we admit and apply this method, the viewpoint of every single nation appears indisputably correct and wholly justified. But we arrive at a hopelessly confused and grotesque overall picture of the world.”

Then in order to prove this assertion the author describes fully how the international events between the two world wars look from some of the major national vantage points. He produced a vivid picture of the disaster which resulted from the mutual conflict of the nation states between the two world wars and the disaster that lies ahead, after the production of Atomic Bomb.


What step the nations of the world have taken to avoid further disaster that hangs on the horizon, as a result of the concept of Nationalism? They have invented Internationalism. There is no going away from the fact that none of the dominant conception of political thought is more abused, more discredited, more prostituted than Internationalism. It has been given a trial in different fields, in its association with the Catholic Church. Socialism, big business, communism, Jewry, Cartels, Freemasonry, Fascism, Pacifism, armament Industry and other movements and organizations with complete failure. Also Internationalism is an utterly misleading term: from its inception it has retarded political and social progress by half a century. Rather early in the industrial age, people of various classes and professions, within the various nation states, began to feel restrained and hindered by their national barriers. Efforts were made to try to overcome these barriers, by establishing contacts and working out common programmes, common movements, common organisations between groups with similar interests in different countries. In a certain time these organisations no doubt strengthened the position and Influence of those who took part in them. But far from overcoming the difficulties which induced their creation, such International organisations stabilized and perpetuated the condition responsible for the difficulties.

Internationalism does not and never has opposed nationalism and the evil effects of nation-state structure. It merely tries to alleviate particular symptoms of our sick world without treating the disease itself. Paradox it may be – but nothing has added more to the strength of national Institutions, nothing has fanned nationalism more than internationalism.

As for instance, the founders of the modem socialism assumed that the working classes ruthlessly exploited as they believed, by the capitalist states, could feel no loyalty towards their particular nations. The interest of the labouring masses in every country were thought to be in opposing and combating capitalist states. Consequently the proletariat was organized on an International basis in the belief that the loyalty and allegiance of the workers would be the exclusive appanage of the internationally organized socialist party. But allegiance and loyalty to a nation state has little, if any thing to do with the economic and social position of the individuals in that state. They made no attempt to weaken or destroy the nation state as such. Their aim was to overthrow the capitalist class and transfer political power to the proletariat within each nation state. They thought that such independent, heterogeneous national resolutions taking place in many countries through coordinated action, either simultaneously, or following each other, would solve the social problem; abolish war between nations, create world peace.

It was soon obvious that these “International working class organizations changed nothing in the worldwide trend towards nationalism. The socialist workers in the various countries had to choose between loyalty to their comrades in the Internationally organized class warfare within nations, and loyalty to their compatriots in the nationally organized warfare between nations, they Invariably chose the latter. Never in any country did organized labour withdraw its support from the nation-state in waging war against another nation-state, even though the latter had a labouring class with the same resentments, the same ideals and the same alms as its own. This failure was the result of the contradiction that lay in the discrepancy between the socialist political Ideal of Internationalism and the socialist economic Ideal of nationalism’ of the means of production. The socialist and communist leaders never called the attention of their followers to the fact that nationalism of the land and of industries cannot be reconciled with the political ideal of Internationalism.

The greater the extent of nationalism, the more power is vested in the nation-state, the more impregnable becomes nationalism. The stronger the nation-states, the more inevitable and the more imminent is the danger of conflict between them. The consistence of a large number of sovereign nation-states with all economic power In the hands of each nation is unthinkable without frequent and violent conflicts. The socialist and communist parties must realise that through their programme of nationalization they have done more to strengthen and buttress the modern totalitarian nation states than have the aristocracy or any feudal or capitalist ruling class.

Internationalism among the Capitalist forces was exactly similar in its development. Industrialists, traders, bankers, also began to feel hampered by the business of nation-states and began to form originations reaching beyond national boundaries. By and large they succeeded in arriving at agreements which excluded competition in their respective domestic markets, in fixing minimum prices and in regulating competition in world market.

Most of these measures were detrimental to the consumers the world over. Their greatest drawback was that they failed to solve satisfactorily or for any length of time the problems they were supposed to solve. Far from leading to a reconciliation of divergent national Interests, such International financial and cartel agreements served only to intensify nationalism among industrialists and bankers, all anxious to strengthen their own positions as national units, against other national units.

The national contingents of these international producing and financing Corporation bodies completely identified with the Interests of their nation-states and in every country governments were backing them by economic policies designed to strengthen the national representative in these International organizations. The direct results of these attempts to Internationalize big business led to an acceleration of economic nationalism, higher tariffs, Irrational subsidies, currency manipulations, and all other devices of government control repugnant to the principles of free enterprise.

League of Nations-

After the ravages of the first world war, the representatives of the nation-states, the national governments themselves, felt that something had to be done to bridge the constantly widening abyss between nations and to prevent a repetition of such devastating wars between them.

From this necessity, the covenant of the League of nations was born. According to the covenant peace was supposed to be maintained through regular meetings and discussions of representatives of sovereign nations having equal rights in an assembly of all nations and In a council comprised of representatives of great powers, as permanent members, and a limited number of smaller powers elected as temporary members by the Assembly. No decision was possible over the veto of any nation. Any national government could withdraw from the League, the moment it did not like the atmosphere.

The League had some success in the non-political fields. It did some excellent research work, and even settled from minor political clashes between smaller nations. But never in its entire history was the League able to settle a conflict in which one of the major powers was involved. After a few short years the construction began to totter and crack. The historical fact remains that never on any occasion was the League of Nations capable of acting when action would have involved the use of force against any of the leading military powers. The League of Nations failed because it was based on the false notion of internationalism, on the Idea that peace between national units, between sovereign nation-states, can be maintained simply by bringing their representatives together to debate their differences, without making fundamental changes in their relations to each other. One of the main reasons for League’s failure was the international disequilibrium brought about by economic, political and social forces In the post war period.

The United Nations Organisation is no better either. U.N.O. Is a complete failure as far as the solution of political and economic problems of humanity are concerned. It is no more than a medium to perpetuate exploitation of one nation by the other. Take for instance, the forcible, treacherous and unlawful usurpation of Kashmir territory by India and the forcible occupation of Palestine by Jews. The Issues lie unsolved with the U.N.O. from the last over forty years. Yet the big powers are reluctant to solve them, on account of their own selfish motives.

There are old Jealousies and ideological differences between Big Five’ and this we witness every day in the proceedings of the Genera Assembly.

The world outlook expressed by the word Internationalism, embodies the greatest misconception and the greatest error of our time.

As already said. Nationalism is the herd instinct. It is one of many manifestations of that tribal Instinct which is one of the deepest am most constant characteristics of man as a social creature. It is collective inferiority complex, as Emery Reves describes, that give conforting reactions to individual fear, loneliness, weakness, inability insecurity, helplessness, seeking refuge in exaggerated consciousness and pride of belonging to a certain group of people. Internationalism, 0i the other hand encourages Nationalism; it implies that various   nationalities can be bridged. Yet it recognizes as supreme the sovereign nation-states institutions and prevents integration of peoples in to super national society. Thus the only way of escape from the miserable plight of mankind is the elimination of nation states from the maps of the world.

The world has played enough with the toy of internationalism. The problem we are facing is not a problem between nationalisms. It is a problem of crisis of human society caused by Nationalism and which consequently nationalism or Internationalism can never solve. What I needed is Universalism; a creed and a movement, clearly proclaiming that its purpose is to create peace by a legal order between men beyond and above the existing nation-state structure. (Extracts from “Principle of Political Science” by A.C. Kapoor and “Anatomy of peace” by Emery Reves.)

The holy Quran and Universalism­

The Quran Says:

“Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent messengers with glad tidings and warnings and with them He sent the Book In Truth, to Judge between people in matters wherein they differed. But the people of the Book, after the clear signs came to them, did not differ among themselves, except through mutual contumacy. Allah (by His grace) guided the believers to the truth, concerning that wherein they differed. For Allah guides whom He wills, to a path that is straight.”

The above verse explains that to begin with mankind was one single nation, Differences amongst them arose later on. Messengers of God came to them in succession, giving them the glad tidings of following the right path of union and warning them of the wrong path of disunion, and thus resolved their differences by means of the divine message that was revealed to each of them successively. The object of this resolution of differences was a step towards making mankind again, a one united nation. After the death of each successive messenger of God, people polluted the divine message by their own whims and wishes, resulting in to the reappearance of differences amongst them. The differences arose because their religious leades fell in to schisms and mutual envy.

This process of alternate belief and unbelief in the divine message, with the resultant resolution and recurrence of differences amongst men, continued until Allah revealed a Book the message of which could not be altered. It was not possible to make any change in it. By this message the last messenger of God (p.b.u.h.) laid down the foundations of “One Single Nation.” It was beyond the power of religious leaders to alter the message. Thus they invented a new approach to achieve their heinous design. They Introduced the idea that the entire message revealed to Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) Is not contained inside the Quran. A large portion of it lies outside. Thus putting the Quran into the background they gave the status of revelation to that which is outside the Quran I.e. to Ahadis. This resulted into the appearance of religious sects. Now with the close of the process of Nabuwwat, no new messenger of God shall come to resolve the differences so created. On the other hand, the Quran Is present with us in its original and unadulterated form. The only way to abolish Sectarianism Is to accept the Quran as our guide and accept it as the only book which contains the message revealed to the last messenger (p.b.u.h.) of God.

All other differences which arose amongst mankind, with the passage of time, such as those of race, caste, colour, creed, language etc. can also be Illuminated by means of subservience to the final, complete and the only message of God now present on the face of earth.

One God, one and the final code of life laid down by Him shall result into the formation of one world government.

The concept of a nation-state and of Internationalism is incompatible with the concept of Quranic Social Order. The former concerns the people living within geographical boundaries, while the latter promotes Universalism.

The holy Quran clarifies this point further by saying:

“Mankind was but one single nation, but differed (later). Had it not been for a divine wisdom that went forth, from Thy Rabb, their differences would have been solved long ago.”

This verse makes it clear that mankind, to begin with, was one single nation with one creed. Later, differences arose on account of their self interests which divided them and made them enemies of one another. It was not difficult, for the Creator of mankind, to remove their differences and make them follow one way of life, as in the case of all other animal species. But Allah had bestowed upon man the faculty of “freedom of choice” and will’: and at the same time had provided them guidance by means of revelation; so that humanity may be able to choose the right path, without loosing its freedom of choice. The revelation provides the solution to differences, so as to make humanity a one single nation again. Self interested persons provide obstacles in the way of this divine programme, but they are ultimately bound to fail and surely the humanity shall emerge as a single nation with one code of life provided by the Quran.

The holy Quran, when It addresses the believers, uses the words () and when it addresses humanity, the words used are() In the last chapter of the holy Quran it is said: (114:1-3)

“Say I seek refuge. with the One Who provides nourishment to mankind from its Initial stage to the stage of its final destination; with the One Who Is the Ruler (Sovereign) of mankind and: with the One to Whom subservience is due by the entire mankind.”

But whereas Allah is ()Sustainer of humanity () Sovereign of humanity and () the One to Whom subservience Is due by the humanity, the Quran is () (45:20) a clear guidance to humanity, a guidance beyond the boundries of time and space. a light which makes things clear and makes the ultimate goal of humanity visible.

Thus the object of the final revealed message of Allah, the safety of which Allah has taken upon Himself, is to bring humanity again to live under a Universal Order.

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