It has been almost two months now since Donald Trump won the US presidential elections. He is the first president to show out how biased he is to the “White” Americans, and by Americans I mean only Americans! He is refusing people with other nationalities as Arabs, Asians and Africans as he sees them second class humans who don’t deserve to have the same privileges of the American citizens or to live in the land of the great America.
As a Muslim who is proud to be one, I looked through the provisions of my religion and said to myself that there is no racism at all in Islam and this specific point made people at the time of the first reveal of the message of Islam feel quickly convinced of it.
Why did that happen?
Because back then, at the time of the early Arabs, there was slavery, and of course slaves were treated cruelly. They had almost no rights, and served their lords all the time. There were even slavery markets, where slaves were been bought and sold.
It was a privilege to have an Arabic nationality. Arabs were considered as the noble masters, and everyone else was of a second class. Islam came out to solve this problem and make everyone equal before the hands of Allah.
Allah the Almighty says:
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Quran.com/49/13)
Scenes from the acts of worship of Muslims
The wisdom behind the acts of worship in Islam are countless. But the most common among them all is the concept of detachment. The idea of letting go of the materialism is highly embodied in most of the worshiping acts.
Look at the prayers of Muslims, how they line up together, shoulder to shoulder and foot to foot, ignoring any titles, skin colors, or positions since the first footstep inside the mosque. It is this union which makes them feel they are connected together like a building, and which is extended after their prayers to their actions.
Another example is in the pilgrimage. Muslims travel for long distances wrapped in simple white pieces of cotton cloth for many days. All of them in one dress code, a dress that mostly reminds them of death!
No labels, no discrimination. Both the poor and the rich are there before the hands of their lord. And the only thing that differentiates between them and gives them privilege over each other is the purity of their hearts, and how piety they are!
Scenes from Sunnah
(i.e acts and sayings of the prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him):
- After the opening of Makkah, at the absolute power of the nation of Islam, a Muslim woman who just converted to Islam stole. This woman was from Bani Makhzum. That was an honorable and elite tribe. And that time was really crucial because prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was doing his best to soften the hearts of the members of that tribe to accept Islam. Back then, it was a very huge issue to punish someone with such high social status. But the Prophet (pbuh) made his mind.Narrated ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) :
The people of Quraish worried about the lady from Bani Makhzum who had committed theft. They asked, “Who will intercede for her with Allah’s Apostle?” Some said, “No one dares to do so except Usama bin Zaid the beloved one to Allah’s Apostle.”
When Usama spoke about that to Allah’s Apostle (pbuh), Allah’s Apostle (pbuh) said to him, “Do you try to intercede for somebody in a case connected with Allah’s Prescribed Punishments?” Then he got up and delivered a sermon saying, “What destroyed the nations preceding you, was that if a noble amongst them stole, they would forgive him, and if a poor person amongst them stole, they would inflict Allah’s Legal punishment on him.
By Allah, if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad stole, I would cut off her hand.” Bukhari Vol. 4 : No. 681.
- Bilal (may Allah bless him) this black companion who tipped the scales:He was a slave born to two slave parents. When he accepted Islam, he was unbearably tortured, and although he was physically weak, his faith gave him the strength to face whatever happened to him, but not to let go of his belief. He was then set free by Abu bakr (may Allah bless him).
Let’s take a look at how he was distinguished among other companions despite his skin color:
After the prophet (pbuh) ordered all idols to be destroyed, he stood at the door of the Ka’bah and said,There is no god but Allah alone. He has no associate … O Quraysh, Allah has taken you from the haughtiness of jahiliyyah and its veneration of ancestors. Man springs from Adam and Adam sprang from dust,” then he recited verses from the Qur’an until he said, “Verily the most noble of you in Allah’s sight is the most pious.” [Al-Qur’an 49:13],
He then ordered Bilal to make Adhan (i.e calling to prayer) on the rooftop of the Ka’bah. Hearing his voice, a disbeliever exclaimed, “Look at that black man!” His friend replied, “When Allah hates someone he turns him into the worst figure.” History however assures that Bilal enjoyed a privileged position among the Prophet’s Companions. ‘Umar often said, “Abu Bakr is our master and he freed our master.” Meaning Bilal. But Bilal used to say, “I am only a man who used to be a slave.” Look at this spirit among them!
No differences, no hatred feelings, no racism, but just absolute love and care.
How the prophet (pbuh) reacted when discrimination happened at his time:
- Abu Dharr, the leader of Ghifar tribe, who accepted Islam in its early days, narrated: Once I was conversing with Bilal. Our conversation gave way to a dispute. Angry with him, the following insult burst from my mouth: ‘You cannot comprehend this, O son of a black woman!’As Islam expressly forbade all kinds of racial, tribal and color discrimination, Bilal was both upset and greatly angered.
A while later a man came and told me that the Messenger of God, upon him be peace and blessings, summoned me. I went to him immediately. He said to me:
‘I have been informed that you addressed Bilal as the son of a black woman.’
I was deeply ashamed and could say nothing. God’s Messenger continued his reprimand: ‘This means you still retain the standards and judgments of the pre-Islamic days of ignorance. Islam has eradicated all those false standards or measures judging people by blood, fame, color or wealth. It has established that the best and most honorable of men is he who is the most pious and upright in conduct. Is it right to defame a believer just because he is black?’
Abu Dharr felt profound remorse. He went straight to Bilal’s house and, putting his head on the threshold, said: ‘This head will not rise from here until the blessed feet of Bilal tread on the face of foolish, impolite Abu Dharr.’
Bilal responded: ‘That face deserves to be kissed, not trodden upon’, and forgave Abu Dharr.
- Zayd ibn Haritha was one of the first four people to accept Islam. Slave traders kidnapped him from his parents and sold him in the Makkan market. Khadijah, the future wife of the Prophet Muhammad upon him be peace and blessings, bought him and after her marriage, she gave him to her husband as a present. The future Prophet emancipated Zayd and adopted him. After years of search, Zayd’s parents found him in Makkah but Zayd preferred to stay with the Prophet.
Zayd was also a black man. The Messenger loved him very much. He recommended and blessed his marriage to Zaynab bint Jahsh, who was famous for her beauty and nobility. He made Zayd the commander of the Muslim army in the battle of Mu’tah, the first encounter of Muslims with the Romans, in which Zayd was martyred.
In Islam there are no labels! People are not categorized based on their dress codes, skin colors, their nationalities or what they do for a living. They are only preferred over each other by the piety they have inside their hearts and that is known only by Allah the Almighty.