Equality among Humankind | Bilal the Abyssinian

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BILAL-THE ABYSSINIAN-ONE LIGHT, MANY COLORS Equality in Islam Part 2

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BILAL-THE ABYSSINIAN-ONE LIGHT, MANY COLORS Equality in Islam

https://racisminislam.com/pdf/bilal_abyssinian_english.pdf

People are equal in terms of law. There is no differentiation on account of ethnicity, color or sex

All of humankind have been created to worship Allah y alone and to live on this Earth and to earn their livelihoods therein. Allah has made people of different social levels so that they would benefit from others in terms of earning their livelihoods. Allah, the Exalted, says:

“Do they distribute the mercy of your Lord? It is We who have apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of this world and have raised some of them above others in degrees [of rank] that they may make use of one another for service. But the mercy of your Lord is better than whatever they accumulate.” (43:32)

Based on this, to Muslims, all among humankind are equal in the following:

1. Protection of common rights regardless of one’s race, ethnicity or color.

Every human is to enjoy freedom as is outlined in the religion. This form of freedom is distant from animalistic desires. When a person opens himself up to all base desires, he would actually lower his status beneath that of the animals, if not worse!

2. People are equal in terms of law.

There is no differentiation on account of ethnicity, color, or sex. Allah says:

“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. (The deceased man’s heirs have no rights of marriage or otherwise over his widow) And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them (At the time of marriage as mahr (dowry)) unless they commit a clear obscenity. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them, perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah y makes therein much good.” (4:58)

The Prophet ﷺ said:

“O people, one of the things that destroyed the previous nations is that when the rich would steal, they would leave that person alone, but when a poor stole, they would make sure to get their full right from him (to punish him to the full extent of the law). By Allah, if Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, stole something, I would have cut off her hand as well.” (Muslim)

3. People are equal in terms of responsibilities, reward and punishment.

Allah, the Exalted, says: “So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it. And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (99:7-8)

4. People are equal in human honor

A person is not to be harmed on account of their color, sex, or belief.

Allah, the Exalted, says: “And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.”(6:108)

5. People are equal in the sanctity of their blood, properties and belongings

The Prophet ﷺ said:

“Indeed your blood, wealth, and honor are sacred as this day is sacred, as this month is sacred, as this city is sacred. Let those who are present inform those who are not.” (Bukhari)

6. People are equal in terms of seeking public office

It has been said:

“Whoever uses an individual and appoints him over a group, and in the group there are those who are more qualified, he has indeed been treacherous to Allah, the Messenger ﷺ and the believers.” (Haakim)

Adi Bin Amira Al-Kindi said:

“I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say: ‘Whoso of you is appointed by us to a position of authority and he conceals from us a needle or something smaller than that, it will be considered as a misappropriation (of the public funds) and he will be required to produce it on the Day of Requital.’”

Adi said: “A dark-complexioned man from the Ansar stood up and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, take back the duty you have given to me.’ He said: ‘What has happened to you?’ The man said: ‘I have heard you say what you have said!’ He ﷺ said: ‘I say that (even) now whoso from you is appointed by us to a position of authority, he should bring everything, be it something big or small, and whatever he is given (by us) he may take, and what he is not given he should refrain from taking it.’” (Muslim)

The Prophet s considered the loss of trust a sign of the end of societies, and a sign of the closeness of the Final Hour.

Abu Hurairah said:

“While the Prophet was sitting in a session teaching people, a Bedouin came to him saying: ‘When will the Final Hour be established?’ The Prophet continued talking to the people, and after he finished, he asked: ‘Where is the one who asked about the Hour?’ The Bedouin said: ‘I am here O Messenger of Allah ﷺ!’ The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘When trust is lost, the Final Hour will be established.’

He asked, ‘How would it be lost?’ He said: ‘When public matters are put under the responsibility of people who are not qualified, wait for the hour to be established!’” (Bukhari)

7. People are equal in terms of using what has been placed at our disposal by the Creator

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed he is, to you, a clear enemy.” (2:168)

8. People are equal in terms of worshiping Allah alone

Everyone is a slave to Allah regardless of their race, ethnicity, skin color or language. Allah, the Exalted, says:

“O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous.” (2:21)

The religion of Islam has come to eradicate all forms of racism. It is mentioned in the narration of Abu Uqbah, who was a freed slave from the people of Persia:

“I was present with the Prophets on the Day of Uhud. I struck a man from among the idolaters and said: ‘Take that! And I am a former Persian slave!’ News of that reached the Prophet ﷺ and he said: ‘Why did you not say: ‘Take that! And I am a freed Ansari slave.’” (Ibn Majah – da’eef)

The Prophet considered the loss of trust a sign of the end of societies, and a sign of the closeness of the Final Hour.

The Quran also informs us of Luqman, the Wise. He was from an African background, and had great wisdom. An entire chapter in the Quran bears his name.

The Prophet  ﷺ herein encouraged him to tie his roots back to the Ansar, as it was more beloved to him then saying that he was a “Persian”. Although the Companion was a Persian by ethnicity, the Prophet ﷺ was very keen that one’s love, hate, and alliance be with the religion of Islam, far from ethnic ties.

The Prophet ﷺ showed great love and affection towards Bilal the Abyssinian and Suhaib the Roman. He even said about Bilal that he was from the people of Jannah (Heavenly Abode)(Bukhari). He also gave the glad tidings of Jannah to Abdullah Bin Salam, who was a Jewish convert to Islam.

We also see that the Prophet himself was not immune. When people from his own family did not believe, he distanced himself from them. Look at his uncle, Abu Lahab, who, when he showed open enmity towards Prophet Muhammads , the following chapter of the Quran was revealed concerning him:

“May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined, and ruined is he. His wealth will not avail him or that which he gained. He will [enter to] burn in a Fire of [blazing] flame, his wife [as well] – the carrier of firewood. Around her neck is a rope of [twisted] fiber.” (Chapter 111)

Abu Lahab was highly revered in his tribe and was among the most noble of people in terms of lineage. But this lineage meant nothing as he denied the worship of Allah.

The Quran also informs us of Luqman, the Wise. He was from an African background, and had great wisdom. An entire chapter in the Quran bears his name.

In it, his virtue and merit are mentioned. There are other chapters in the Quran that have been named after Prophets and Messengers, such as Noah, Joseph, Jonah, Muhammad and Abraham. And there is also a chapter named after a woman, Mary. Muslims recite these chapters in their prayers. This serves to reaffirm that we are all equal before Allah.

The Prophet s moreover spoke of a pious king who lived in Abyssinia, the Negus. He said about him, “No one is wronged by him.” When he died, the Prophet ﷺ performed prayers for him. Some said, “Shall we perform prayers on that Abyssinian?” At this, the following words of Allah were revealed:

,“Indeed, among the People of the Scripture are those who believe in Allah and what was revealed to you and what was revealed to them, [being] humbly submissive to Allah. They do not exchange the verses of Allah for a small price. Those will have their reward with their Lord. Indeed, Allah is swift in account.” (3:199)

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Ask Allah to forgive your brother, and he stood with the Companions, prayed for him, and he said ‘Allah hu Akbar’ four times.” (Bukhari)

The issue of equality in Islam is not just a written matter that is not applied

Whatever the Prophet s preached, he would apply. Look at Osama B. Zaid, who was dark in complexion. The Prophet ﷺ would take him along with al-Hasan and say: “O Allah love them, for I love them.” (This is the manner of praying the funeral prayer (janazah)) (Bukhari)

A’ishah, the wife of the Prophet ﷺ said:

“It is not befitting for a person to dislike Osama, for I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘Whoever loves Allah and His Messenger, let them love Osama.’” (Muslim)

Indeed, the Prophet s appointed Osama over the army that was to attack the Byzantines. Under his command were a number of the Companions. Some of the companions felt that Osama was unfit to lead the expedition due to his young age and they spoke amongst themselves. When the Prophet ﷺ heard this, he addressed the people saying: “If you speak ill of him, you would have spoken ill of his father before him. He is indeed worthy of this position and he is among the most beloved of people to me.” (Agreed Upon) (This means the narration is both in Bukhari and Muslim)

Before the expedition headed out, the Prophet ﷺ died, and when they (the Companions) were ready to go, Umar came to Abu Bakr, who was appointed Caliph, and conveyed to him some of the concerns he had heard. He said to Abu Bakr, “Some Companions think that someone who is older and more skilled should lead the expedition.” At this Abu Bakr said: “[I am disappointed to hear this from you], O Umar! The Prophets appointed him and you want me to remove him? By Allah, O Umar, if the wild animals would come upon me to eat me I would still send the army with Osama as its head.”

The young commander then took his troops, and Abu Bakr was walking beside Osama. He felt uncomfortable, and said to Abu Bakr, “O Caliph of the Muslims! Either you ride alongside of me or I will come down to walk beside you!” Abu Bakr said, “By Allah, you will not come down, nor will I ride, what is the problem if I make my feet dusty for the sake of Allah?” He then took the permission of Osama to let Umar remain behind with him to take care of the affairs of Madinah.

The Prophet ﷺ was the most honorable of all people in terms of lineage as his tribe was the most honorable of the region. Yet the Prophet said to his companions:

“Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians exaggerated in their praise of Jesus, the son of Marry,I am only the servant of Allah and His Messenger.” (Bukhari)

The Prophet married Osama to his relative, Zainab, the daughter of Jahsh. The Prophet s said:

“If someone comes seeking marriage, and you are content with his manners and religion, then get him married; if you do not, there will be great evil and corruption upon the earth.” (Tirmidthi)

Additionally, he ﷺ would always ask about his companions. Abu Hurairah said that there was a black woman who would clean the Masjid. The Prophet ﷺ once asked about her as he hadn’t seen her that day. They told him that she had died in the night and they didn’t want to disturb him so late to inform him.

The Prophet ﷺ said to them, “You should have informed me!” They belittled the affair of that person thinking she was not that important. He said: “Show me the grave!” They showed it to him, and he prayed for her. (Bukhari)

He ﷺ would also give out many gifts. Hakeem B. Hizaam said, “Muhammad ﷺ was the most beloved of people to me before the advent of Islam. When he became a Prophet and left to Madinah, a garment was found that belonged to Dhi Yazen (Dhi Yazen was a king before the advent of Islam) valued at 50 Dirham, so I bought it to give it as a gift to the Prophet  ﷺ but the Prophet refused to take it from him and he said: ‘We do not take gifts from polytheists. If they insist on giving something, we take it only after paying for it.’” (Haakim)

When he came to Madinah, I saw him wearing it. He then gave it to Osama, and Hakeem, upon seeing it with Osama, said to him, “Are you wearing the garment of Dhi Yazen?” He said, “I am better than Dhi Yazen, and my father and mother are better than his father and mother (because of Islam)!”

It is indeed Islam that made him think with this mindset. Every Muslim realizes that they are all equal before Allah, regardless of their color, language, or ethnicity

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