A state that encompasses the territory inhabited by an identifiable nation, or people with traditional cultural, linguistic, economic, or political ties. Nation-states as independent entities arose as an answer to states governed by an external religious leader, the format of international politics in Europe that gave rise to the Thirty Years War, resulting in the death of one third of the European populace.
Before the idea of a nation state arose, many countries were defined as being the lands that belonged to a particular ruler or rulers, won either by conquest, treaty or inheritance, regardless of the people who inhabited those lands. With the nation state came the idea that people of a particular cultural background have a right to self-determination. This same concept is still relevant to the modern world, as it forms the basis of recent independence movements such as those in East Timor and Kosovo.
The modern state of Israel is another example of a nation state. Although it was founded in the twentieth century, the state has its roots in the Old Testament of the Bible; so as an idea, it predates the modern concept of the nation state by thousands of years. This could be considered an example of biblical foreknowledge.
Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1969 wrote, "The nation state as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force. International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation state."
Islam categorically rejects the concept of nation state and views entities such as the Arab League or Organisation of Islamic Cooperation as tyrannical extensions of Western dominance and imperialism. A citizen of Islam, for instance, should not be required to furnish a passport to fulfill his religious obligation - a journey to Mecca (the Fifth Pilar of Islam) - when entering Saudi Arabia or journeying across other so-called 'Islamic Republics'.