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Are Arabs Nobler Than Non-Arabs?

17 January, 2017
Q Since the Prophet (PBUH) was an Arab, does that mean that Arabs are superior to others?


Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:


Aisha Khaja: Dr. Shabir, the question today is: do Arabs have a special status in Islam. And, a bit of background, the viewer is saying justifications are based on a mixture of opinions and hadith about the Prophet’s lineage.

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So are Muslim Arabs more noble Muslim than non-Arabs even though Allah explicitly states the equality of races in the Quran.

Dr. Shabir Ally: So, we should say right off the bat, no. The Arabs do not have any inherent or special privilege over the rest of Muslims here or people of other nations more generally.

And the questioner was right. In the 49th chapter of the Quran it is very clear that [quoting Quran in Arabic] inna akramakum AAinda Allahi atqakum: the most noble among you are the ones who are most pious.

Aisha Khaja: So, I’ll just add the viewer said they’ve come across discussions regarding some classical Muslim scholars’ opinions were they’ve come across this.

Dr. Shabir Ally: Yes, and why they said that seems to be an inference. That, you see, the classical scholars made an inference that they’re thinking about God choosing a prophet.

So, God is looking at the human race. And then, he favors the, this people, the Quraysh in particular. And then among the Quraysh people, this particular family of the Prophet (peace be upon him). And then from among that family, God chose this particular individual.

So, they’re looking from the top down like this. But if we think more broadly it is clear that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported, in the last sermon, to have said there is no superiority of Arab over non-Arab.

So, this is very clear. There’s no superiority of an Arab over non-Arab. And tie that in with what the Quran says: that all human beings, before God, the most honorable among us is the one who is most god-fearing, and so, or are more aware of their duty towards God.

Well, this is what we go by rather than this inference that the Muslim scholars, some of them, have made over time. And then, the egalitarian nature of the Islamic teachings is very clear from many other aspects of our teachings.

We don’t have, for example, we [don’t] line up for the prayer [with a] a special line for the Arabs, you know, versus non-Arab. So, our mosques are not separated between Arab and non-Arab mosques.

Our pilgrimage to Makkah have us all dressed the same way, whirling around the Kaaba in the same stream, and so on, so that there’s no distinction, and all is leveled and the human population is shown to be one.

I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.

Walaikum Asalam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

I Am Muslim! Why Do People Think I Am Arab?

Is Islam A Religion, Culture, or Ethnicity?

An Arab Religion, Right?

Were All Prophets From Arabia?