Racism and Islam

Racism is a innate belief in superiority in oneself over another. This mainly occurs in groups who have difference in colour. Discrimination also arises with difference in traditions also. However intolerance develops the most in colour alterations between communities. Although science has already proved the fact about everyone leading up to the same parents, Adam and Eve, the ideology still exists within many communities, tribes, and in generation until the truth is displayed and made manifest before them.

When Allah’s (SWT) Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, was raised as a Prophet, the same kind of racism, under the name of tribalism, was prevalent in Makkah. The Quraish considered themselves in particular, and Arabs in general, superior to all the other peoples of the world. Allah’s (SWT) Messenger came with the Divine Message and proclaimed that no Arab is superior over a non-Arab, and no white is superior over black and superiority is by righteousness and God-fearing alone (Surat Al-Hujurat, 49:13). He also declared that even if an Abyssinian Black Muslim were to rule over Muslims, he should be obeyed.

Allah’s (SWT) Messenger eradicated the problem of racial or colour discrimination so successfully that superiority is not by birth or colour or blood, but by God-fearing and righteousness.The message of Islam is for the entire human race.

Allah (SWT) says in Surat Al-Hujurat, “O Mankind! We have created you from a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you in the sight of Allah is he who has most Taqwa among of you. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” Noble Qur’an (49:13)

Islam stresses the absolute unity in variety of the human race. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“God does not look at your shapes or your colors but He looks at your hearts (intentions) and your deeds. Creatures are the dependents of God and the closest among them to God are indeed the most useful to His dependents.” 

 In the holy land where the annual Hajj pilgrimage and the Umrah is performed, the equality is even clearer and stronger that is because during prayer people may differ in their clothes but during Hajj pilgrimage and Umrah the Ihram situation oblige every one to only wear simple white clothes which equates the rich and the poor, the governor and governed, all walking around the Holy Kaaba asking one lord.

Also, another practical application of equality in Islam, is the equality among people in front of the law and regulations. What is allowed is for all people and what is forbidden as well upon all people. The obligations are upon everyone, and whoever deserved punishment gets it, regardless.

An example of such was when some of the companions (Sahaba) talked to Osama Bin Zaid, the favorite of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), to intervene for the sake of the well reputed woman from Quraish tribe who deserved punishment for stealing (that is cutting her hand), Osama Bin Zaid talked to the Prophet Muhammad (saw), the Prophet Muhammad (saw) got angry and said, “Those before you were districted, that is because the renowned is untouched when he steals, and the poor is punished, verily if Fatimah daughter of Muhammad stole, I would have cut her hand.”

This is Islam: emphasizing the equality and applying it in the society since 1400 years ago, when during that time mankind used to suffer the worst distinction among people and individuals in society and readied the enslaving of the human to his brother the human. The eradication of racism consciousness is one of the outstanding moral achievements of Islam.

Muslims must spread the message of Islam to the peoples of the earth who still suffer from racism and tribal bigotry. Even among some Muslims, the scourge of racism exists and causes harm among communities. The only way to completely eradicate racism is to embrace the oneness of Allah (tawheed) and to accept its logical conclusion, the oneness of humanity.

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