Allah created human beings in the most beautiful way and with an amazing diversity. He created men and women from different ethnic groups and tribes. And He wants us to learn from this variety, from different shapes and colors so we can get to know one another (Quran 49: 13).
Diversity is From Allah’s Mercy
This variety is Allah’s mercy for us because through this variety He helps us to learn to be open minded, to be tolerant and to get rid of our prejudices and biases.
There are not many possibilities to experience the different vibrant colors of our Muslim community. For those fortunate ones whom Allah has granted the pleasure to visit His holy house in Makkah, they might have experienced the amazing diversity Allah has put in His Muslim community. People from all over the world, from all corners of this earth follow His call.
However, Allah makes all His visitors wear the same white clothes. He wants all His visitors to look the same and erases all worldly differences.
Islam is for Everybody
Our different Islamic celebrations are good chance to see the beautiful colors and astonishing diversity of our community. Different to the clothes worn for the pilgrimage to Makkah, people wear their festive and often ethnic attire during celebration days. Women wear beautiful colorful or black festive dresses and headscarves, yet modest in all their beauty. They reflect what the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said about Allah.
Allah is beautiful and loves beauty.
The men as well usually dress in their best clothes and proudly show the love for their home-country, tribe or ethnic group. For example, I observed men from Africa wearing unique embroidered hats.
Men from Afghanistan wear wide brown head coverings. Yemeni men wear long coats with leather belts and symbols of their traditional swords. Some choose to wear modern style suits. However, all of them have in common that they want to honor Allah by wearing the best clothes they have.
Allah Looks at Our Hearts
Allah loves all of them because He says in His amazing book that He loves the believers. He does not look at a person’s skin or hair color.
What matters to Allah is how much we obey Him, how much we follow the rules He laid out for us. Allah looks at our hearts and what is inside. He looks at our pure intentions and how much we are of benefits to others.
One of the first Muslims was Bilal. He accepted Islam when he was still a slave. But Allah raised him because Bilal loved Islam and loved Allah. His footsteps in Paradise could be heard by our beloved Prophet (may Allah shower peace and blessings on him) in this world.
Allah did not look at Bilal’s skin color. He did not look at his status as a freed slave. Allah accepted Bilal’s love and obedience and made him the first one to call His beautiful call for prayer.
Another companion of our beloved Prophet was Salman al-Farsi who was not an Arab but from Persia. Again, it did not matter to Allah where he was from. Salman as well was a slave when he accepted Islam.
These are just two examples from the earliest time of Islam that show that Allah made His religion for all of humanity. And that diversity is an important part of our religion.
Islam has spread all over the world. Working at the International Islamic University in Malaysia, I am fortunate to see the amazing diversity of our Muslim community everyday and it makes me ponder about Allah’s wisdom.
This diversity illustrates to us that Islam is colorful and diverse. It is not the strict and stringent religion as some people like to interpret and portray it.
People in Afghanistan live differently from people in Gambia. People in Russia have a different tradition to the people in Malaysia. People from Syria have different views on life compared to people in Germany. And still!
All of them find the truth in Allah’s religion. All of them accept Islam as their religion. All of them accepted Islam as their way of life. All of them feel Allah’s immense, indescribable love, might and power. They have not given up their unique identity. Islam is not black and white. It is full with beautiful shades and colors. And it gives room to different shades and colors.
Our Amazing Creator
It is up to us to accept and tolerate the different shades and colors in our Muslim community. They are a blessing and as such they can help us to try to understand some little, tiny aspect of our Creator. He is that amazing Being that creates endlessly.
No human being is similar to another. All of us are unique. And if we look further, reflect on the diversity Allah creates in the world of animals and plants, we cannot stop wondering. Wondering who this amazing Allah is. May He grant us more understanding and appreciation of Him.
If you can take some useful information from this article, this comes from Allah SWT. Alhamdulilah. And if there is anything unclear or wrongly expressed, I ask Allah SWT for His forgiveness.