Is there any concept of nationalism in Islam? This question is in relation to Jihad. I mean Jihad is when we fight in the way of Allah would it be jihad since most of us are in the armed forces but they serve a particular country. Do the men dying like that be regarded as shaheeds or not? Does God have any mercy and rewards for those who fight in defense of their Islamic motherland?
Only a war fought against injustice, oppression and persecution can be termed as Jihad, provided that it also meets all the other requirements and satisfies all the conditions that the Shari`ah imposes upon Jihad.
Defending one’s state or nation against injustice, oppression and persecution is most certainly an admirable act and shall, insha’Allah, be greatly rewarded in the hereafter, provided that such an intention is not materialized through immoral, unethical or any other such means, which the Shari`ah does not allow.
Nevertheless, whether or not a particular individual fighting such a war would be considered a Shaheed in the hereafter would depend upon some other factors, besides the purpose of the war, which are known only to God. Thus, in view of our limited knowledge, we cannot decide about whether or not a particular personal sacrifice shall be given the status of Shahadah in the hereafter or not.
I hope this helps.
March 25, 2002