Guilty is the fruit of Godly sorrow

The Concept of Racism in Islam

One individual who is higher in piousness, more conscious of his Creator and is staying away from the bad and doing the good is better, no matter what nation, country or caste he is part of. Individual piety is the only thing that makes a person better and greater than the other one. We should leave even this criterion to God to decide instead of human beings judging each other. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

“O people, We have created you male and female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the noblest of you to Allah is the most righteous of you. Verily, Allah is knowing and aware.” (Surat al-Hujurat 49:13)

True Religion can only serve as a source of peace. It doesn’t cause society’s problems, it cures them. Allah (SWT) has based the superiority of an individual over others solely on taqwa i.e. piety, and not on race, creed or colour. On the contrary, it is only achieved through piety. The more one is God-fearing, the more beloved they are to God. Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَىٰ كَثِيرٍ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا

We have certainly honoured the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided good things for them, and We favoured them over much of what We created, with decisive preference.” (Surat al-Isra 17:70)

Islam is known as a faith for all people and for all times. Muslims come from all continents and backgrounds. The issue of equality between all human beings, opposition to any type of racial, ancestral and class discrimination, fairness between all the children of Adam about human rights and that no person is better than another due to his skin colour, language, lineage or race. Allah says:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنشَأَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ فَمُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمُسْتَوْدَعٌ قَدْ فَصَّلْنَا الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَفْقَهُونَ

“And He (is) the One Who (has) produced you from a single soul, so (there is) a place of dwell and a resting place. Certainly, We have made clear the Signs for a people (who) understand.” (Surah Al-An’am 6:98)

The Qur’an explains this issue with simple logic and by explaining the origin and creation of man, clearly demonstrates that such an imaginary belief that one’s race or colour is what makes him superior to others is false. Islam is against all forms of racism and bigotry, based on both revelation and reason.

Here are some tips on how we can launch our personal Jihad against Racism:

  1. Racism denied equal access to services and education
  2. Racism never goes against the silly and hurtful people
  3. Racism is sweating, trembling and muscle tension
  4. Racism creates a society where people don’t trust
  5. Racism makes headaches, increased heart rate
  6. Racism also affects people’s general wellbeing
  7. Racism is a feeling of anger and depression 
  8. Racism is a constant fear of being verbally
  9. Racism had huge mental health impacts
  10. Racism ongoing feelings of sadness
  11. Racism never respect each other
  12. Racism becomes a term of hate
  13. Racism call other people bad names
  14. Racism offer made to curb useless talk
  15. Racism call people with bad nicknames
  16. Racism does not promote human rights
  17. Racism makes a difference in combatting
  18. Racism having little or no trust in anybody
  19. Racism is a sin in Islam to ridicule or laugh
  20. Take a stand against racism in your community
  21. Stand up against injustice to discourage the evil
  22. We leave worse things and slander of individuals
  23. We should feel comfortable in pointing out the unfairness

Racism is defined as the belief that one ethnicity is superior to another, one colour of the skin is superior to another, or the people of one country are superior to another. It is a type of prejudice, to pre-judge some demographics of people based upon their benign and arbitrary physical characteristics. Allah says:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ وَالدَّوَابِّ وَالْأَنْعَامِ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ كَذَٰلِكَ إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ

“And among men and moving creatures and the cattle (are) various [their] colours likewise. Only fear Allah among His slaves those who know. Indeed, Allah (is) All-Mighty, Oft-Forgiving.” (Surah Fatir 35:28)

Allah created different skin colours and languages as a sign of His creative power. Just as flowers come in many different colours, all as different divine signs in Allah’s creation, so do human beings come in different colours. Allah says:

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالِمِينَ

“Among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colours. Verily, in that are signs for people of knowledge. ” (Surah Al-Rum 30:22)

One of the key characteristics of the Message of Islam is that it instructs people to seek education and to cast aside all vile acts. Racial supremacy – in all of its forms – was extinguished, for all people stand equal before God Almighty. Superiority, according to Islam, is not achieved by one’s colour, race, or ethnic origin.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

  • “And they (will) say, “All praises (be) to Allah the One Who (has) removed from us the sorrow. Indeed, our Lord (is) surely Oft-Forgiving, Most Appreciative.” (Surah Fatir 35:34)
  • “Not is Muhammad (the) father (of) any one of your men but (he is the) Messenger (of) Allah and Seal (of) the Prophets. And Allah is of everything All-Knower.” (Ahzab 33:40 )
  • “O people, observe your Lord; the One who created you from one being, and created from it its mate, then spread from the two many men and women. You shall regard God, by whom you swear, and regard the parents. God is watching over you.” (Quran 4:1)
  • “Do not you see that Allah sends down from the sky water, then We bring forth therewith fruits (of) various [their] colours? And in the mountains (are) tracts, white and red (of) various [their] colours, and intensely black.” (Surah Fatir 35:27)

Allah has dignified the children of Adam, all human beings in the world, with blessed provisions such as reason, intelligence, and empathy. Allah created different races and tribes so that people would recognize each other and learn from each other, not so that the races would fight each other. Ethnic diversity is part of the divine plan, a means of enrichment. Allah says:

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّـهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّـهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

“And hold firmly to (the) rope (of) Allah all together and (do) not be divided. And remember (the) Favor (of) Allah on you when you were enemies then He made friendship between your hearts you became by His Favor brothers. And you were on (the) brink (of) pit of the Fire then He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes clear for you His Verses so that you may (be) guided.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:103)

Righteousness is the only quality that makes someone virtuous in the sight of Allah, not a race, skin colour, lineage, social status, or country of origin. This message against racism and tribalism was delivered by the Prophet (ṣ) during his farewell sermon, demonstrating to us how important it is in Islam. Allah says:

وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْلَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُنذِرٌ وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ

“And say those who disbelieved, “Why not has been sent down to him a sign from his Lord?” Only you (are) a warner and for every people (is) a guide.” (Surah Ar-Ra`d 13:7)

Sadly, racism is so prevalent among Muslims that it is disheartening. Muslims must spread this message of Islam to the peoples of the earth, who still hold onto the sicknesses of racism and tribalism. Even among some Muslims, the scourge of racism exists and persisted, despite the Prophet’s (ṣ) clear guidance. The only way to completely eradicate racism is to embrace the authentic understanding of the oneness of Allah (tawhid) and then arrive at its logical conclusion, the oneness of humanity.