Q404 -Does Islam believe in nationalism? If a Muslim serves in the army of his non-Muslim country, and a war breaks out between his country and a Muslim state, will he be considered a martyr if he fights and dies for his country?

A404 : A Muslim only believes in Islam and owes all his allegiance to the community which implements Islam as a faith and a code of living. This does not mean that a Muslim who belongs to a minority in a country where the majority are non-Muslims may act in a way which is detrimental to his country. If his minority Muslim community enjoys the freedom to practice its faith and the protection of the law against persecution, then he has no reason to act against the authority in his country. All that Islam requires of non-Muslims generally is the right to address people in a free atmosphere. A Muslim minority in an overwhelmingly non-Muslim country should always try to maintain a peaceful relationship with the majority population, as indeed is the case with a Muslim majority in a country which includes non-Muslim minorities. A Muslim may not fight another Muslim except in one case. If two Muslim groups or communities fight against each other, we are required to try to establish peace between them. If one of them launches aggression against the other, we all must try to help the victim of aggression against the aggressors until the aggression stops when all Muslims are required to re-establish peace between them. In a case where we are fighting an aggressor, those who die may be considered by Allah as martyrs. If a war breaks out, like many of the wars we have seen in this century, both combatants may be in the wrong. In such a war, it is more appropriate for Muslim soldiers to refrain from fighting. Generally speaking, it is not we who describe those who die in battle as martyrs. It is Allah who considers them martyrs and rewards them accordingly. He judges them according to His knowledge of them. All we know is that a Muslim must only fight to serve Allah's cause. It is only a person who is killed fighting for Allah's cause that is a martyr.