An email has been making the rounds for the last few years. It is entitled “Can A Good Muslim Be A Good American” and insinuates that the answer is no. It appears to be gaining a new life and turned up on the Stop the ACLU site today.
Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina answered the questions raised in this email from the perspective of an American Muslim
Can a devout Muslim be an American patriot and a loyal citizen? Consider this:
Theologically, no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.
In the Qur’an, we read that the earth in its entirety belongs to God, and humans can settle anywhere as long as they do not encroach on the rights of others to that piece of land where they will settle. As such, wherever Muslims live, they have the responsibility to defend the community and take care of the environment and other related matters for the good of all. “Patriotism”, in the sense of “love for a place where one lives and has a home and family” is part of one’s faith in Islam. Hence, “loyalty” and “patriotism” to one’s country of residence is an obligation that stems from one’s faith commitment. “Allegiance” to God means allegiance to the betterment of this earth and its inhabitants without the extremes of negative nationalism and patriotism.
Scripturally, no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran). Geographically, no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
In Islam there is no concept of Promised Land to which one day all Muslims must return before the Final Days. There is no allegiance to any part of the earth, not even to Mecca. Allegiance is only to God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. No Muslim has “allegiance” to the Five Pillars. The Five Pillars are nothing more than the means to show one’s obedience to God. Mecca is important simply because it has one of the holiest places of worship – mosques – built by Prophet Abraham and his son Ismael. No Muslim ever dreams of returning to Mecca for permanent residence. There is always a desire to visit and to worship God in the sanctuary.