Islamic Prescription for Racial Discrimination

(Part 1/2)

A Change of Beliefs and a Cure for the Intellect

The Quran is a cure to that which is in the heart. As Allah said,

{Mankind! Now there has come to you an exhortation from your Lord, a healing for the ailments of the hearts, and a guidance and mercy for those who believe} (Yunus 10:57).

The first step towards fighting discrimination was to touch the hearts, change beliefs, and re-orient the intellect.

Islam built the spiritual and intellectual foundation of the believers through the divine words of the Quran and the eloquent tradition of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). It was quite miraculous to see how the rock of discrimination began to crack when exposed to small drops of understanding.

Although simple, the ideas presented in the Quran and the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) were extremely effective. An example of that is the brief speech the Prophet delivered during his last year while performing the Hajj (pilgrimage). He eloquently and concisely delivered a strong message against discrimination and racism:

O People! Listen to my words and pay attention to them, for I may not meet you again after this year.

O People! Your Lord is One. Your father is one. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab nor for a white person over a black person except by piety.

You all belong to Adam and Adam is from dust.

Your individual wealth, blood, and honor are as sacred to you as this day of yours in this land of yours in this month of yours.

In the following few sections, we will reflect on a list of simple, yet strong messages that constitute the spiritual and intellectual foundations of curing racism.

Your Lord is One and Your Father is One

Monotheism is the fundamental message of Islam: “Your Lord is One.” He is the one who created all humans and created them equal. He created them from a single male and female.

{O Mankind! Be conscious of your Lord who created you from one soul and created from it its mate…} (An-Nisa’ 4:1)

The idea is repeated in the Quran and the words of the Prophet. The Prophet said,

O People, Allah has elevated from you the arrogance of the era of ignorance and taking pride in family and clan… Humans are the children of Adam and Adam is from dust.” (At-tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)

Then he recited,

{O People, We have created you from a male and a female and we made you into tribes and nation to know one another, the best of you is the most conscious of Allah …} (Al-Hujurat 49:13)

Although a simple message, it was foundational for fighting racism.

Pages: 1 2 3