What did the Prophet say about racism

Category: Featured, World Affairs Topics: Prophet Muhammad (S), Racism Views: 22542

Religion and scripture have long been blamed for many of society's ills.

You've probably heard these rants before:

"Religion causes bloodshed!"
"Religion causes war!"

It's not religion but the misinterpretation of religion that contributes to the social evils we see today.

True Religion can only serve as a source of peace. It doesn't cause society's problems, it cures them.

The election of President Obama when compared to the legacy of slavery and segregation in our country is a living testimony to how far we've evolved and matured as a nation.

Nevertheless, in certain pockets of the world racism still lives. It exists as a modern evil - a mental disease caused by a corrupted mindset.

Its cure by the way is nothing new, in fact it's fourteen hundred years old.

Islamic tradition known as Hadith states that in his final sermon the Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Blessings and Peace be upon him, said:

"There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a non-Arab over an Arab. Neither is the white superior over the black, nor is the black superior over the white -- except by piety."

 

Yusuf Khan resides in the Washington DC area and writes for the Examiner. He speaks frequently at various Islamic centers.


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  18 Comments   Comment

  1. Rina from USA

    Sadly, racism is so prevelant among Muslims that it is absolutely disheartening. As a Bosnian born Muslim, living in the States I am often told by Arab friends that 'Bosnians are lesser Muslims'. Who decided whose faith is stronger, why are we so full of judgments and yet scream how great of Muslims we are? Yet, Muslims are not allowing their children to marry people who are not the same skin color? Muslims today are in desperate need of soul searching and finding the right path. Being born into a culture that is overwhelmingly Muslim, does not make one Muslim but our faith and piety does.

    Sallams to all.

  2. Muslim from UK

    It is strange that many "Muslim" websites are so apologetic that they rarely take the point about anti-racism to its logical conclusion. Islam came to be a guide to an ailing humanity, not to create venal poltroons cravenly APPEASING modern Pharoahs & Nimrods in their hubris. "Modern" Westphalian nationalism is just a variant of the antediluvian tribalism of the past. The worship of this idol is still strong & the resultant machiavellian Realpolitik is harming billions.

  3. Ravshanbek from Uzbekistan

    In "Hujurat"Allah said. Humans,certainly we have created you one mother and father and have distihguished you trible and nations.

    In Allah,s opinion among yours the greatest are religious people.

    Our prophet Muhammad (s.a.v.) said. There is no difference between arabs and foreigners that is other common.They are distihguished by their religion

  4. Ravshanbek from Uzbekistan

    In "Hujurat"Allah said. Humans,certainly we have created you one mother and father and have distihguished you trible and nations.

    In Allah,s opinion among yours the greatest are religious people.

    Our prophet Muhammad (s.a.v.) said. There is no difference between arabs and foreigners that is other common.They are distihguished by their religion.

  5. MS from USA

    The thing is that ofcourse being a human being by necessity comes with its colorful personalities. So Islam teaches us to look deeper for the good, as I understand it, not for the skin color or language or place of birth or brought up. ISLAM IS A TEACHING TOOL. Now it's up to the individual human how much he or she learnt from this vast ocean of knowledge and how much effort each put in to educate our souls, minds, hearts. And still being imperferect, we will make silly or serious mistakes and then here comes our chance to forgive one another and be patient. Now PATIENCE in itself is a big topic and I read a well known modern scholar recently who said the elements of patience, justice, courage, temperance (ability to control oneself) and prudence (practical wisdom) all need to be in harmony and balance, and be present in our lives in a very conscious way. Educate ourselves. Practice these qualities everyday. Force ourselves despite our lazy impulses to be PATIENT, JUST/HONEST, PRUDENT, FORGIVING/IGNORING SOMEBODY'S FAULT,CONTROLLING OUR ANGER & RESPONSE TO AN ADVERSE SITUATION. THINK,and USE GOODS WORDS even when we are angry.

    Why do all this? For the love of Allah. Period.

    So the list is endless and by constant self-education and reminders we can keep raising our spiritual ranks. Allah directs us to recognise that even within the good believers there are ranks. Ofcourse Allah alone can compute somebody's rank and we should not go around judging other people's spiritual ranks, except to better ourselves. Allah even commended competition in doing good deeds. That's the only healthy rivalry; and we know that a materialistic and base rivalry can only burn us out. So brothers and sisters join hands and hearts to serve Allah and mutually gain Allah's love. We MUST practice forgiving one another, otherwise we will all be in trouble in this world and in the next. These good characteristics must be practiced not just once or twice but thousands and millions of ti

  6. Abubakar Sadiq from Nigeria

    Assalam! Yes, agreed. Because Islam represent unity in diversity just as Allah has stated in His Noble QUR'AN: "...and We have made you (mankind) into tribes and nations, so that you may know one another. But the best amongst you is the most God fearing"

  7. MAMA SHEHU from Nigeria

    It is unfortunate but RACISM is alive and well in

    our religion. As an African American my visits to

    the HOLY SHRINES have been awash in racism from

    other Muslims of the land and of european

    abstraction owing to their overall ignorance, lack

    of Faith and just plain bigotry.If we truly in our

    hearts follow our religion then RACISM will come

    to an end amongst the entire UMMAH...A good muslim

    WISHES FOR HIS BROTHER WHAT HE WISHESS FOR

    HIMSELF...we should ponder over this and know that

    this statement is a double edged sword...let os

    follow the sunnah of our beloved PROPHET(pbuh) TO

    RID OUR RELIGION OF THIS CANCER OF HATING A FELLOW

    HUMAN BEING. Charity begins at home and then

    spreads abroad. May ALLAH(swt) guide us to the

    right path...ameen.

  8. jamal abdur-rahim from usa

    I,agree with nour and d adik,some brothers r difficult to be around them, jamal

  9. shammy shahoo from qatar

    Allah advices mankind not to fight each other and hold allah's 'rope' tightly. He has made the mankind into nations, tribes and various races...only wth purpose of 'knowing each other'It is unfortunate to see the fight between muslim groups...which may lead to our own destruction. we muslims can unite.....even if there r some minor differences in opinions. May Allah bless us to b broad minded and love each other fr the sake of Allah

  10. kato from Australia

    I have never witnessed Real Muslims that value Islam as being racist.

    However I have been a target for racism from brothers that only pop up in the Masjid now and than and generally live a life of kufarr.

  11. Axel from Australia

    ....and what is written in the Quran about people of different tribes, with different languages, what is written about getting to know the differences, the education process of it all?

    I don't have a problem with most Hadith, but to me Quran comes first.

    I just got back from Indonesia, where the greeting of Assalamualaikum is not returned by many because it comes out of the mouth of a white guy who is believed to be none-Muslim.

    Racism? Yes, absolutely, combined with ignorant idiots a real bizarre cocktail of Indo Muslims.

    Such societies follow Islam? My mind wonders.

    Wassalam, Axel MJ Cremer

  12. Nuraini from Malaysia

    i think people become racist quite easily, because of a tendency to visually identify with others, and we believe easily in negative things about 'other' groups, and generalise it to the whole group, even without evidence.

    religion is supposed to push back against this tendency, just as it is meant to be a barrier against human weaknesses of pride, lust, and so forth. so long as there is racism and major sins, that means the society needs *more* religion, not less, even if its outward image is 'pious'; in fact, it probably needs to place less emphasis on the appearance of religion, and more on the fundamentals.

  13. Muslim from UK

    The quote is taken out of context with regard to either the US electorate or Obama. What has the entire quote got to do with Obama or the small majority by which the US electorate voted got to with piety? Furthermore, isn't it a bit histrionic, selective & reductionist to imply that the election of a half-white Obama was to do primarily with race, instead of other factors such as the failing economy, civil disunity in wartime, or disenchantment with arguably one of the greatest series of foreign policy disasters by the opposing party in US history?

  14. Quincy McBride from USA

    Asalaamu alaikum, I have been around many different ethnic muslims and I have not personally experienced racism,alhumdullilah, butI know it's very prevailing within the ummaah hence the Arab slave trade.Also the white-washing and arabicizing of African culture has also greatly caused a rift between muslims in the form of false hadiths such as the one that claims the Prophet to have been white or fair skinned when obviously he was not. For example, his Grandfather was reportedly "Black as midnight!" And the Prophet's ancestry can be traced back to Black Africa and the original Arabs are from Yemen and Oman and they are very dark people.Aslo most of the Biblical patriarchs and prophet were of African stock(Ethiopia, Egypt,etc..)and the Prophet is genetically related to Isa(puh).Even the term "middle east" is a subjective one because North Africa and the Arabia are not seperated.It's all North African hence Arbs are really African people as we all are.The hue-man race is the Adamic race.So I think the Prophet(pbuh) realized that al-Islam was the final message to all of mankind whereas mostly all the prophets before him were mainly for their respective people. Arabs as a people are no more important to Islam than the French muslims but I think the Arab-Oil Monarchy and the tribe of Ibn Saud is responsible for most modern day prejudices that we find because technically a monarchy in Islam is haram but htey hold the key to Islam's holiest place which is Mecca.So their sense of entitlement greatly marginnalized other people. But I live in the Southern States of the US and I see muslims that one would call "rednecks" embracing Islam and to me that is more powerful that the cases of racism because like the Prophet said we are all children of Adam.When you die ur skin color is not going to get you in hell or heaven.But racism originated in Europe as we know it and it has rotted many of society and it's people!

  15. Tasneem from USA

    How abt all Arabs being against shia ummah ?? For

    this they are able to let Israel or western force to

    attack and put Iran just like Iraq and all the muslim countries behind 100 year than the rest of the world without the basic needs and we are okay with it and all these articles about how we

    are not treated right is our fault and we have

    a thinking of a slave. I went for Haj this year

    and Saudi's are worse of all Muslims as they treat you in their country not as their guest but

    they are doing us a favor for having us when we

    pay them more than they deserve and they should

    be the one who should feel honoured that we are there.

  16. d adik from nigeria

    subahanallah,even in the Holy land of mecca,i experience racism.not good from the ummah.

  17. Nour from USA

    Any muslim who claims there is no racism within the Muslim Ummah is either blind or naive. I have been a victim of racism in the masjid, and it is a sad commentary on the muslim ummah. How can we expect non-Muslims to accept us when we can't even accept ourselves? None of us is any better than the other, except by piety. Thanks for sharing this article.