In today’s world, racism has integrated itself into the core fabric of social structures that govern our modern day societies. Do you know the place of racism in Islam?
In today’s world, racism has integrated itself into the core fabric of social structures that govern our modern day societies. It has manifested into one of the most prevalent diseases plaguing human communities today. Not one day goes by where you pick up a newspaper or put on a news channel or tune into the radio, and you are not bombarded with news of racial discrimination, violence, war and terror. One cannot help but wonder about the triggers of such tragic instances prevailing across the globe.
Contrary to popular Western belief, Islam strictly rejects the whole notion of racism and condemns it to its very core. The religion of Islam stands on a solid foundation based on the concept of mutual love and brotherhood, which in essence, out rightly rejects discrimination based on color, race, ethnicity, blood, power or any man-made distinctions, for that matter.
All were created equal in the eyes of Allah (SWT). Islam out rightly rejects favoritism be it in terms of monetary privileges or biological differences. The only distinguishing factors among individuals is their level of faith and piety.
“O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female and have made you into nations and tribes for you to know one another. Truly, the noblest of you with God is the most pious. Truly, God is All-Knowing, All-Aware” (Quran, 49:13)
Equality and justice in Islam leaves no room for injustice and racism to exist. During the Prophet’s (PBUH) time, the problem of racism was purposefully eliminated so the concept of superiority was only valid when it came to a person’s level of fear of Allah (SWT) and his righteousness. Islam places great emphasis on the concept of brotherhood among humans, irrespective of their characteristics and position. Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) highlighted this matter in his last sermon as well, where he said:
“O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety” (Musnad Ahmad, 22978)
The religion of Islam is not confined to any nation, race or ethnicity; it is for the entire human race. It is universal. It brings together the entire human race under one umbrella of equality and unites them in their ultimate purpose of worshipping Allah (SWT) and Allah (SWT) alone. This equality is also practically demonstrated through Islamic practices of worship like Hajj, the annual pilgrimage, where people from all around the globe gather in Makkah with the sole purpose of worshipping Allah (SWT). And they do so, wearing the same piece of cloth, carrying out the same acts of worship and speaking the same words- to further emphasize the fact that at the end of the day, everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah (SWT).
Another point of equality visible in the Islamic realm is the rules and laws governing humans. The laws of prohibition and allowance are directed towards each and every living individual, it is not limited to any group or characteristic. What is lawful for one person is also lawful for the other, and whatever is prohibited for one individual is prohibited for the other as well. All rules and their consequences are applicable upon every human depending on what each individual deserves based on their deeds.
This speaks volumes about the anti-racism sentiment prevalent in the religion that is so dear to us. In truth, racism and any other kinds of man-made discrimination categories, are completely alien to the essence of Islam and what it means to be a true Muslim. Therefore, it is our duty to instill these fundamental beliefs in the coming generations and curb the negativity that is emanated through the practice of racism. No one is higher in rank in front of Allah (SWT) except according to our level of faith and devotion to Allah (SWT).
If you want to raise your rank in comparison to your fellow believers, increase your piety and work towards building a stronger bond with Allah (SWT) instead of running after temporary materialistic gains and monitory benefits. Instead of hatred and injustice, practice love and equality, for Allah (SWT) loves those who love His creation. Condemn racism and promote acceptance and tolerance, for it is our duty as Muslims to play our part, however little, in making this world a better one.
by Amna Anwaar Monday March 13, 2017