Racism in Islam: For many years, people around the world have struggled against injustice and violation of fundamental human rights, and it is difficult to predict when this battle will end. But the religion that put an end to this concept of racism was Islam. The religion of Islam originated as a way of life committed to the elimination of all kinds of differences, no matter how or where they occur.
Islam eliminated all avenues for supremacy based on caste, gender, and other trivial considerations by abolishing the highest foundation of injustice, the worship of deities, false gods and instead allowing the religion of the one true God to be accepted.
What Does Islam Say About Racism & Discrimination?
In today’s article, we will try to look at racism from an Islamic perspective, especially in the light of Quran and hadith.
But first, it is important to define:
What is Racism?
Racism is the concept that a particular race is better than another or worse than another, based on biological traits. Such an attitude is highly condemned in Islam.
10. The First-Ever Act of Racism & Its Punishment
Do you know that the very first act of racism recorded in history was between Iblis (Shaitan) and the prophet Adam (AS)? When Allah asked him (Iblis) to bow down to prophet Adam, he denied claiming that he is superior to Adam as he (Iblis) is made of fire while Adam (as) is made of clay.
As a punishment for his arrogance Allah banished Iblis from heaven and condemned him to hell. This shows that racism of any type is not tolerated in Islam from the very start even when it comes from an angel; our scholars believe that any act of bigotry has a satanic basis, and it is highly punishable.
The Prophet Adam’s (AS) name is attributed to his complexion, which comes from the Arabic word “Aadam,” which means “topsoil black and dark-complexioned,” very much like his better half Hawwa. This shows that even the first Human creation (Prophet Adam) of Almighty Allah was Dark complexioned which falsifies the concept of racism based on the skin tone of a person.
9. Everyone Was Created Equally by Allah
8. The Concept of Ummah in Islam
The concept of Ummah and brotherhood in Islam is an exemplary one where every Muslim is connected to the other through a special bond which defies distance, race or color.
7. Hajj is an Example of Racial Harmony
When it comes to any Islamic ritual, be it prayer, umra or hajj, there is no discrimination amongst people on any basis. Every Muslim must stand shoulder to shoulder as all are equal in the eyes of Allah.
Malcolm X (1925-1965) was an African American Muslim who was highly impressed by Islam after his hajj experience where he realised that all colors and ranks were treated equally in Islam.
Here’s what he had to say about his hajj experience:
5. Rejection of Racism in the Quran
The Qur’an often emphasizes the rejection of Racism and the recognition of Allah’s diversity in creation.
In the above-mentioned verse, Allah in Quran stated that He is the one who created heaven and earth and He created different languages and most importantly different skin colors. Thus rewarding all his creation with distinct attributes which makes them unique as a person.
4. Equality for All
Prophet Muhammad (SA) presented the fundamental theological and ethical principles of Islam, which he started preaching in the early seventh century, in this address known as the Farewell Speech. In his sermon, Prophet Muhammad emphasized specifically the fact that no Arab has superiority over a non-Arab and no black has superiority over white and vice versa.
5. Most Beautiful Hadith on Racism
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (SA), said,
The message in this hadith is no doubt perceptive as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) made it clear that your skin color, wealth, and caste are not the attributes Allah considers but the clarity of your heart and purity of your actions.
4. The Tale of Hazrat Bilal
The renowned Ethiopian companion Bilal ibn Rabah (RA) was a freed slave with dark skin and a melodious voice and Prophet’s first Mu’adhin (caller to prayer) in Medina. This is often considered as very clear evidence of Islam’s condemnation of Racism.
Bilal’s tale is a living demonstration of Islam’s deep belief in human dignity, which has led it to stand against discrimination and other types of racism.
3. Arrogance is Not Acceptable in Muslims
This verse from chapter 31 of Surah Luqman Condemns an individual to have a high opinion of himself and claim his dominance over others. When a man is puffed up with ego and expects others to feel his dominance, he becomes haughty, proud, and arrogant in his attitude. In other words, we can say that a person grows racist in his attitude toward others, which is not acceptable in Islam. You should also go through these Quotes About Arrogance And Pride In The Light Of Islam.
2. Be Tolerant to All
On a contrary Islam teaches the Muslim community to be tolerant towards non-Muslims in Islamic societies, as it says in Quran:
1. Justice for All, Irrespective of Race
Teachings of Islam about justice are that equal justice applies for all mankind despite his social status, caste, skin tone or tribe as Quran says:
Social justice is a major topic in the Qur’an and the Prophet’s (SAW)teachings. ‘It is Allah Who has sent down the Book in Truth, and the Meezan (the balance),’ Allah says, using the analogy between the Meezan, the balance between justice and right and wrong. We will only become a balanced Nation if we give each soul its due rights and Shield each one from harm. For more on this topic, do go through these Inspirational Islamic Quotes on Justice.
Discrimination and prejudice based on race, wealth, or social status are behavior and acts that lead individuals to be treated differently. Racism has resurfaced once more, resulting in continuing discrimination against black people in America and other countries. Despite this, Islam addressed the issue over 1,400 years ago, outlawing all forms of racism, nationalism, and tribalism. Islam is one true religion that has punished racism and any act of superiority at the very beginning of the human race and still preaches the same lesson that Racism is a Shaitanic act and highly punishable.