The Quran about nations, tribes and genus

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.

In the realization of self-determination, people tend to either cosmopolitanism or patriotism. Each of the “projects” once used this or that ideology, not excluding religious ideas. Cosmopolitan ideas moved the Roman Empire, Genghis Khan and the Communists.

Today, the financial elites of the earth are obsessed with this idea.

Each “project” in its existence is determined by economic activity and economic conditions. For cosmopolitan people, it is important to have no obstacles and barriers, but for patriots, sovereignty is important. Without going into this struggle of opposites, let us consider what idea corresponds to the divine structure of the society on the example of the Quran


The Quran often uses the word “kaumun“, derived from the root “kaama“, meaning – to arise, to originate, to exist. In this case, we are talking about a society of people existing in a certain place. Therefore, it is translated as “nation”, which means – the totality of people living in the country, the state. This word (concept) does not give place to cosmopolitanism, but determines the natural existence of people.

If we take Kazakhstan, then all citizens of our country are a single nation


Any nation consists of people who once emerged from smaller societies:

O mankind! Indeed We have created you from male and female and made you tribes (shu,uban) and genes (kabaa,ilya) that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of God is the most circumspect of you. Indeed, God is Knowing and Acquainted. (49:13)


We will focus on the terms used in this passage.

The first term used “shu,uban” (in pl.) comes from the root “sha,abu“, meaning – to branch, divide, subdivide. These meanings may well correspond to the term “tribe” or “ethnos“.

The “tribe” in our modern world can be understood as an ethnic community of people connected by family relations, culture and language. On the example of Kazakhstan, a tribe or an ethnos can be called: Kazakhs, Russians, Uighurs, Tatars, etc. Those are all ethical communities of our people.

The second term “kabaa,ilya” (in plural) comes from the root of the “kabilya“, meaning – to take a baby at birth. It is obvious that this word is unambiguously understood as a “genus“.

Let us note that “ethnos” is connected by generic relations, and “genus” is the totality of all generations of people originating from one ancestor. If we pay attention to the tradition of the nation-forming “tribe” of the Kazakhs, they remember their genus (ruu). As already mentioned, the genus comes from one ancestor. It is by the name of this ancestor that they take their name of the Kazakh genus. For example: Argyn, Naiman, Kypchak, Zhalayyr, Dulat, Kereit, Aday, etc.

In society there is a definition – a circle of intimates. It can be a kindred/genus environment, but the main thing that unites them is one-sidedness/agreement of opinion.

In the Quran, the word “aalya” is used to define this phenomenon, meaning a kindred affinity, closeness by spirit:

We saved your forefathers from the intimates (aalya) of pharaoh, who afflicted you with the worst torment, slaughtering your sons and keeping your females alive. And in that was a great trial from your Lord. We parted the sea for you and saved you and drowned the intimates (aalya) of pharaoh while you were looking on. (2:49-50)

Indeed, God chose Adam and Nuh (Noah) and the intimates (aalya) of Ibrahim (Abraham) and the intimates (aalya) of ‘Imran over the nations. Some of them were the descendants of the others. And God is Hearing and Knowing! (3:33-34)


This is a vivid example of the fact that the opponents of the divine truth, which is embodied by the messengers of God and their followers, can be close not only by kinship/genus, but also by the idea that is shown by the example of the pharaoh.

From the whole text of the Quran we will not find an example of cosmopolitanism.

Nations, tribes and genus are God’s plan!

The sovereignty of every nation is the plan of God!

The protection of the nation and sovereignty is a pleasing thing!

The calls of marginal religious radicals to create a single unified theocratic state have no divine basis. As the desire of one state to violate the sovereignty of another state has no basis from God.

If all the tribes and ethnic groups identify themselves as one nation and strive to preserve the sovereignty of the state in which they live, then this is also a pious deed!