Let’s finish up systemic racism with these beautiful words.
All humankind is from Adam and Eve; an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any power over an Arab. Also, a white has no advantage over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over a white except piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing should be legitimate to a Muslim who belongs to a fellow Muslim unless he gave it freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
Remember, one day, you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
Last Sermon of Prophet (PBUH):
Every Muslim knows these words of the Prophet (PBUH). They were spoken by him (PBUH) in his last sermon. If you have a chance, read the entire sermon. It is indeed inspiring and provides a concise summary of what is most important. The sermon begins with the Prophet (PBUH) saying,
“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.”
So one can gather from this introduction that the following words will carry significant meaning and apply to Muslims all of the time. Indeed, the Prophet of Allah (PBUH) saw it fit that he (PBUH) mention Islam on racism so that future generations of Muslims could refer to this hadith to protect themselves from falling into its ugly trap.
Bother Hood in Madinah to avoid Systemic Racism:
Before the advent of Islam, like many other evils, racism too was rampant. When the Prophet (PBUH) went to Madinah, he established brotherhood between two tribes who had been at war for years (i.e., Aws and Khazraj). Indeed, in the example of the Sunnah, we have several great Companions (May Allah Be Please with them) who were non-Arab such as, Bilal ibn Rabah (RA), Salman Al-Farsi (RA), and many others. Both the Companions (RA) mentioned held essential posts. Bilal (RA) was the muezzin, and Salman Al-Farsi’s (RA) gave the idea of digging a trench to the Prophet (PBUH) during the Battle of the Trench/Battle of the Confederates (Al-Khandaq or Al-Ahzaab).
The race is not in Islam:
Islam prohibits systemic racism. These two small examples demonstrate to us that race plays no part in Islam. These Companions are known for their deen and their relationship to the Prophet (PBUH). Islam on racism is quite clear when it says,
“Oh men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware” (Quran 49:13).
Ideas of superiority:
Today, many Muslims will know this last sermon hadith, and non-Arab Companions (RA) lives but unfortunately will fail to practice. It has ultimately led to single nation mosques, where all the congregants are from the same geographic region, and the disapproval of mixed-race marriages—what a disservice to both ourselves and Islam when we limit its diversity and growth. The only difference between one Muslim and the other is in piety and good action. Why do we define ourselves or our children as mediocre individuals in their practice of Islam by socially constructed ideas of superiority? Become friends with and marry those who excel in their piety and good action regardless of their race. These are the people who will help you advance in your deen as well.
Let us not forget that the first sin committed against Allah (SWT) was that of Iblees’ arrogance. Iblees was commanded to prostrate Adam by Allah (SWT), but he refused. Why?
“He said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay” (38:76).
Racism stems from arrogance, and our sworn enemy, Iblees, first demonstrated disdain. Islam on racism is quite clear; it does not accept nor tolerate it. When will we take heed?
May Allah (SWT) protect us from projecting racism onto our fellow brothers and sisters.