One of the defining traits, which is intrinsic with Islam is the universal message that was revealed unto the Holy prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) whom was sent to all of creation. As Allah Almighty states in the Quran: “And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to all the worlds.” (21:07)
It is a sad state of affairs then when the very same community of the Prophet has succumbed to the illness of racism, nationalism, sectarianism and all other forms of ‘-isms’ which tear the unity of the Muslims apart and weaken them exponentially. The blame is only with us, we have strayed far from the message of equality the Prophet came with.
The Quran beckons us to become one community: “The believers are but brothers.” (49:10) and the best of all creation also said : “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He does not wrong him and he does not surrender him” (Bukhari:2442, Muslim:2559) the books of Hadith are indeed replete with similar narrations which run in the same vein. The prophet put much emphasis in destroying the barriers of Race between the Sahaba (Allah be pleased with them) to such an extent that ex-slaves would be side to side with the Rulers of the Muslims. But how far we have fallen!
It is no secret that racism is even prevalent in the Houses of Allah, many of which are named after those very same freed slaves. It seems as though people who are born a certain shade lighter than Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) are better than him because of his ebony skin. Is melanin the litmus test for proximity to Allah? No Allah categorically denies this by saying: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.” (49:13)
It is incumbent upon the Muslims that they eradicate this disease, do not stand idle while one of your brothers or sisters are being vilified because of their race, it is upon you to defend them the Prophet states: “Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or is being oppressed.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, we help the one being oppressed but how do we help an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By seizing his hand.” (Bukhari:2312, Sahih Muslim:2584)
May Allah purify our hearts from the filth of racism, may he make us true brothers and sisters in Islam, may he give us the ability to stop racism wherever we may come across it. Ameen.