Islam & Racism

Islams view on racism with reference to the Quran
The last prophets declaration to eradicating discrimination in race
Scientific approach defining change in colour
Compulsory acts in Islam justifying unity

see also:
The humbleness of Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam
Pride and Arrogance
Causes of Disunity
A Muslim's Character
Virtues of Salaam

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.

In the early nineteenth century racism was an open act made evident before the world. In U.S.A a group known as the K.K.K (Ku. Klux Klan) arose with objectives such as wiping out the black community. The majority of this suppressed community looked forward as the many states in America gathered together and supported the group of K.K.K who  fought against the black community trying to eradicate them from the face of the earth. In many states, the black community were compelled to separating from the white people. Each community had their own facilities. The living standards of the black community was made poor due to the lack of assistance in improving the facilities of this restrained group. However the final outcome was that the white community were far better treated than the black. One could almost call it "The days of ignorance in United States of America".

America was not the only country to accept this ideology, places such as South  Africa also suffered the same fate where racial discrimination was practised openly. There are many countries still present in this world in which many tribes and nations still have to put up with this inhumane torture. The above mentioned is a lot less than a brief account of the results in which any type of discrimination takes place. Many peoples lives are made difficult and the rate of suicide events increase due to suffering too many hardships in life from the oppressing group.

Islams view on racism with reference to the Quran (The word of Allah)

Racism whether upon open or hidden, is an evil aspect of life which Islams seeks to eradicate. It is clear from the versus of the Quran, the book of the muslims, and many sayings of our final prophet which have narrated by his companions, that differences in colour, tribes, races, or traditions are not to be excuses for unjust behaviour or treatment. The Quran rehearses the words of the almighty Allah which reasons against racial discrimination and puts an end to it in Islam.

"O Mankind, we created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you in to tribes and nations so that you may know each other (not that you despise each other). Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who is most righteous of you." (Al-Quran, Chapter 49, Verse 13)

Allah explains the reason behind why he created mankind and then put them in to alternative tribes and nations. It is made clear and all doubts are seized when the most merciful Allah states:

"that you may know each other".
This statement is made unquestionable if comprehended and looked at one step further. In one tribe, there are many generations and families in which one name resembles another. To pinpoint the exact individual the family name will be called out within a tribe so that no one else is puzzled with the one who is demanded. However in a governing country, the tribe name will also be used so that the one demanded is not puzzled in between nations and tribes. Nevertheless, if a person looks for someone world wide, than one can imagine himself how difficult a task would it have been to find someone if tribes, nations, generations and families were not made separate. This is why the most generous Allah has made us in to alternative tribes so that we may recognize each other.
"and made you in to tribes and nations so that you may know each other"
Allah the most generous, has in the above verse of the Quran withdrawn racism and expressed a golden point. This golden point is unity and equality in each and every human being existing upon the earth. Allah (S.T) has made apparent and shone light upon the fact that everyone has been created from the same mother and father. We are all brothers and sisters. The relationship has been illuminated in the very same verse:
"We created you from a single pair of male and a female"
The above sentence in the Quran also expresses one more aspect which is supposed to evolve around the human life.  Although the aspect of  racism is totally wiped out, Allah (S.T) has encouraged us to exercise one attribute. This attribute is righteousness.  Glory be to Allah (S.T) who mentions that the honoured is he who has the quality of righteousness in life. Allah (S.T) in the Quran has emphasized that in place of racism, righteousness should be practised, if you would like to be honoured in my sight.

Almighty Allah has acknowledged in another verse in the Quran referring to why he created man in different colours:

"And amongst his signs is the creation of heaven and the earth, and variation in your language and colours; Verily, in there are signs for those who know" (Al-Quran, Chapter 30, Verse 22)
The above verse also identifies one of Allah (S.T) magnificent performance in separating the human kind in to groups. Allah (S.T) has first mentioned the heavens (the sky) which changes in many colours during the day as his first sign. After the sky Allah then informs us of the earth which also varies in colour. The earth can be green with grass like in rain forests, yellow in desserts and many other colours depending upon the environment. At the end of the verse, Allah (S.T) talks about people and variation in the language and colour. The all knowing Allah (S.T) then enlightens his reasoning to why he made variation in the surroundings of a person, variation in skin colour. The reason is that these are signs of Allah (S.T) for the believers, and also those who are intelligent. Allah (S.T) has cared and thought about his people so much that if they are to think about doing a sin, they will look around and by his signs they will return and repent to him for their mistakes and wrong practises.

The last prophets declaration to eradicating discrimination in race

In Islam we believe that approximately 124000 prophets were sent down by Allah (S.T) to teach the people the word of god. Allah (S.T) sent some prophets, messengers, to only a certain group, some to a whole nation. However Allah (S.T) did not send a prophet to teach the whole world his word except the final prophet, Mohammed(). His teachings were to last until the end. This is why Mohammed () is known as a "guidance to Mankind". His actions, practises and traditions are Islam itself.

At the age of forty, Allah (S.T) blessed Mohammed () with prophet hood after which Mohammed () understood his objectives profoundly. During the era of his prophet hood, Mohammed () informed and emphasized to his people on the eradication of the traditions of ignorance. Within this category fell racial discrimination. This was an open act willingly practised at the time of our prophet Mohammed ().

Mohammed () had many companions who preached his word to the people living in the outskirts of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and around the world when they entered the country for trade. Amongst his accomplice was Hazrat Abu Zar. He remained with the prophet and watched his actions, noted his sayings, and preached his commands. Hazrat Abu Zar reports that before the prophet Mohammed () demise from this world, he stressed strongly the equality of each being before Allah (S.T) and his honoured before him. Mohammed () mentions to the believers:

"You are no better than a red skinned person nor a black but he who has fear of Allah (S.T) in his/her heart"
In the above statement a law has been passed by Mohammed () to the muslims. This order is of equality. It is clear from the above that in Islam, the colour, beauty, wealth of a person does not make him more superior to anyone else, but his fear of Allah (S.T) and having faith in him gives him a higher status and elevates him in the eyes of Allah (S.T).

Mohammed () only spoke of the red skinned and black skinned. The reason behind this is that the holy prophet included slaves amongst the liberated in his speech. The red being the one in liberty and the black skinned being the slaves, so that mistakes are not made in giving oneself priority over the labouring class too.

Mohammed () expresses his need to a group of his eminent companions about annihilating pride in oneself over another. However the main aim of mentioning the statement was that his associates could realize that self conceit and egotism have no value in Islam. The importance of sincerity in over these qualities is all that matters in the court of Allah (S.T). Mohammed () speech is recorded and narrated by Hazrat Abu Hurairah:

"Allah does not look at your appearances or wealth but looks at your actions"
It is understood from the above racism or any type of discrimination does not exist in Islam. Righteousness, sincerity, modesty is what all that is needed to gain honour and become loved in the sight of Allah (S.T), no matter if you are black, white, red or brown, everyone is equal. One is not superior to another. We are all the same.

Scientific approach defining change in colour

The phenomena of the physical change in the human skin has been defined by biology which branches of the systematic study, science. Science has clearly explained and concluded correctly about the alteration of skin colour in different parts of the globe. The factor causing the change is the sun. Different concentrations of  light can defy the skin colour. In regions which have high concentrations of light, the probability of acquiring a dark complexion is at its peak. In regions where there is a low concentration of light such as the Antarctica where the sun shines very less, the probability of acquiring white skin is high. The final decision depends upon the sun.

The human body is always protecting itself from any harm which can be caused to it from the surroundings around it. The epidermis of the body is very sensitive and delicate. It reacts instantly to any affect caused to it from the outside. This is why when the skin is cut, the epidermis tries its utmost to try and heal itself before any further harm can be caused to the human body. Similar to this is the role of the sun on the skin. High concentration of sunlight is very harmful to the body because the chance of acquiring skin cancer increases enormously. The body counteracts this affect by darkening the skin. This allows the body to absorb the sun rays and with help of other substances in the body, together with a series of actions and changes produces vitamin D which is important in the every day diet.

The protein molecule allowing the above process possible is known as melanin. Melanin is what causes variation in colour. This is why people living near the equator have very dark skin colour and people living near the Arctic or the Antarctic have white skin. The final outcome is having Melanin in the skin which causes dark complexion on the body is a benefiting factor to the human.

Although nobody is to blame for the skin colour, many people believe that being white is a symbol of being unique over other people or being black is proof of their group being more superior. However both sides are wrong as proof of this is shown above. This ideology is full of deviation and to be prejudice or biased is clearly an act of ignorance.

Compulsory acts in Islam justifying Unity

The Hajj- the annual pilgrimage to Makkah is the prime example of the multi-racial aspect of Islam: muslims of all races gather with one common purpose to worship Allah. This is a compulsory act which should be done by all those muslims with the strength and ability to do it. During this act, it is also very important to wear two white pieces of cloth to cover the body. People of all nations, countries gather together with one purpose, to worship Allah (S.T). Each and everybody appear the same, do the same actions, speak identical words, so much to say that everyone is Equal. This is why Allah (S.T) states in the Quran:

"Only believers are brothers" (Al-Quran, Chapter 49, Verse 10)
Mohammed () has also commented about excessive unity in Islam to the muslims and Mohammed () also commentates on the above Quranic verse. It is reported by that the holy prophet Mohammed () stated and which was later narrated by Abu Hurairah that:
"A muslim believer is a mirror reflection of another muslim, A believer is a brother to another believer, he safeguards him from destruction and prevents his annihilation during his absence"
In the above statement of the holy prophet Mohammed (), the example of a believer is like a mirror reflection to another. The reason being is that a believer is he who cares about another believer as much as he cares about himself or his brother in reality; i.e. he safeguards him from destruction and prevents his annihilation during his absence. This is one of the foundation laws of a believer. To wish and desire for another believer that which is loved by you.

The phrase "a mirror reflection" can also be notified as the actions of a believer. A believers actions are almost identical to another. The proof to this is the five time daily prayer performed by every muslim in its fixed times. The gathering of them and together bowing, supplicating and prostrating to the same lord is evidence of similarity and equality. The obligatory act of Hajj concerns around wearing a white cloth around the body. The shaving of the head after the completion of Hajj makes everyone performing pilgrimage a reflection of another. This is why the prophet Mohammed () has also been heard saying:

"The entire muslim group is like one single body, if the eye aches, then the whole body is in pain, and if the head aches, then the whole body is in pain"
The prophet Mohammed () explains to the muslims about the relation between one of them in comparison to another. The holy prophet Mohammed () informs the muslim community that if a group of muslims is taunted or suppressed, then consider those actions and feelings flowing through you, and if you cannot feel the pain, then you can be considered to be a  incomplete muslim.

The Question of racism cannot be argued about in Islam and amongst the believers. As shown by the above versus of the Quran and the words of Mohammed () racism is such an aspect which cannot be manifested in the mind of a believer. The Quran clearly prohibits racial discrimination and the words of the prophet Mohammed () prohibits all type of discrimination or being prejudicial in Islam. The quality of human being in all matters is the same except piety (which we are encouraged to try and increase) is clear. Under no circumstance can a person be ill treated or abused simply because they happen to be of different race. In Islam, we are all brothers and sisters.

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