What is racism?
The definition of this term in Webster’s New World Dictionary is: ‘A doctrine or teaching without scientific support, that claims to find racial differences in character, intelligence, etc., that asserts the superiority of one race over another or others, and that seeks to maintain the supposed purity of a race or races. It also includes any program or practice of racial discrimination or segregation based on such beliefs.’
Racism is basically what one feels toward another who is of different ethnicity, skin color, physical features etc.
How does Islam view racism?
The Qur’an has this to say on it.
”O Mankind! Most certainly, it is we (God Almighty) who has created you all from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and it is we who have made you into nations and tribes, that you may recognize each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you.” (Qur’an 49:13)
“Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your tribe, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving hard in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision. And Allah guides not a rebellious people“. (Qur’an, 9:24)
“And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the (wonderful) difference of your languages and colours. Verily, in that are indeed signs for people of sound knowledge.” (Qur’an, 30:22)
The Prophet (pbuh) himself had said:
“God does not look at your shapes or your colors but He looks at your hearts (intentions) and your deeds. Creatures are the dependents of God and the closest among them to God are indeed the most useful to His dependents.”
Amongst the closest companions of the Prophet (pbuh) were Salman the Persian, Suhaib the Roman, and Bilal the Ethiopian.
Bilal, who was of black complexion, was chosen by the Prophet (pbuh) as the first muezzin to sound the call to prayer, a position that was coveted by many. When a companion, Abu Dharr, called Bilal ‘son of the black woman’, the Prophet (pbuh) got angry and told him: ‘You are a man who has ignorance in him.’
And the Prophet (pbuh) on another occasion had said:
“Oh Bilal, I hear your footsteps in Jannat (paradise)” .
On another occasion, a man once saw a group of people sitting and discussing their faith in the Prophet’s mosque in Madinah. Among them were Salman (the Persian), Suhayb (regarded as a Greek), and Bilal (the African). The man then said:
“If the (Madinan) tribes of Aws and Khazraj support Muhammad, they are his people (that is, Arabs like him). But what are these people doing here?”
The Prophet became very angry when this was reported to him. Straightaway, he went to the mosque and summoned people to a Salat (prayer). He then addressed them saying:
“O people, know that the Lord and Sustainer is One. Your ancestor is one, your faith is one. The Arabism of anyone of you is not from your mother or father. It is no more than a tongue (language). Whoever speaks Arabic is an Arab.”
UMNO and Mahathir, are you unaware that Hajira was a dark skinned woman through whom Allah has ennobled the area between Safa and Marwa as “The Symbol of Allah?”
Statement of the universal brotherhood in the last Sermon:
“O people, Remember that your Lord is One. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a black has no superiority over white, nor a white has any superiority over black, except by piety and good action (Taqwa). Indeed the best among you is the one with the best character (Taqwa). Listen to me. Did I convey this to you properly? People responded, Yes. O messenger of God, The Prophet then said, then each one of you who is there must convey this to everyone not present.”
The Prophet had also said:
“Let people stop boasting about their ancestors. One is only a pious believer or a miserable sinner. All men are sons of Adam, and Adam came from dust.” (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi).
The root of racism is attributed to the Devil. When Man was created and Iblis or the devil was commanded by Allah swt to bow down to Man, Iblis refused claiming he was superior to Man. Thus began the origins of racism, as explained by Islam, borne out of Iblis’ or the devil’s arrogance and pride. Iblis’ contention that he is superior was that he was made of fire and Man was of clay.
This Islamic explanation helps us to understand the reality of racism. Pride and arrogance leads to people thinking that they are better than others, simply because of their physical makeup. Such pride and arrogance is merely following in the footsteps of Iblis.
As promised by the devil, he will lead as many as he can astray.
Innumerable instances of Mankind falling prey to the devil’s deceit in the direction of racism abound. Hitler and his Aryan race fell for it.So did the Whites in South Africa under Apartheid. Likewise the Jews in Zionist Israel the Ku Klux Klan in America.
UMNO and Mahathir, you are no better than any of them. Indeed you walk in the path of the devil. It is high time you rid yourselves of your racist, un-Islamic ways.