Young Muslim citizens should be helped to balance their duties and responsibilities towards themselves and others

Mainstream Muslim literature on citizenship recognizes that Muslims have multiple responsibilities towards themselves and their fellow human beings. (‘The best one of us is the one that is most helpful to others’ – Hadith.) Six of the most important of these responsibilities are towards:

  • oneself, for example one’s health and well-being – physical, emotional, mental/intellectual and spiritual
  • one’s family - immediate and extended
  • one’s neighbours, friends, colleagues and contacts – the people one meets and interacts with on a day-to-day basis
  • the nation state or political entity where one happens to live, and in which one has citizenship rights – the state’s laws, decision-making culture, expectations and customs
  • other Muslims – the world-wide Ummah
  • the world community as a whole, and issues such as climate change, war and poverty which require international action.

All of these are important, and none takes precedence over the others. There is a tendency amongst some young British Muslims, however, to acknowledge fully only some of these responsibilities – those concerning their family and the world-wide Ummah, for example. They may even be inclined to suppose that activities relating to their immediate neighbourhood and to wider British society (for example voting at local or national elections) are haram.

This pack is about the full range of responsibilities which Muslims have towards themselves and their fellow human beings.



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