Is Standing for a National Anthem Shirk?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Is standing for national anthem shirk? If yes, then if a student stands for the national anthem because it is the rule of the school and hates to do so would he or she be out of the fold of Islam what should a student do in such a case?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

No, standing for the national anthem is not shirk.

What is Shirk?

Shirk would be to:
a. Say there is another independent god besides Allah.
b. Say that Allah is part of another god – like the trinity.
c. Say that someone else is worshipped because he can make you closer to Allah.
d. Worship others besides Allah due to following another person.
e. Affirm that conventional causes bring about their effects independently of Allah.

For more details on this please take one of our Courses on Theology. (Sanusi, al Muqaddimat).

So, clearly, standing for the national anthem is none of the above, therefore it is not shirk. It is a mark of respect, which is not impermissible.

If, however, the anthem has any lyrics which clash with belief or values of the din then the ruling would change accordingly. In this situation, it would be best to speak to the school and clarify that you mean no disrespect, but there are elements that are problematic, and you would like to be excused from it.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with erudite scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish, and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic with teachers such as Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr. Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr. Mansur Abu Zina, and others. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabir and Shaykh Yahya Qandil. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.