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Saturday, August 28, 2004

Al-Hujurat (The Dwellings)
Chapter 49: Verse 13

Universal Brotherhood
"O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you"

There are several principles, which this verse presents:

This message is not just for Muslims only because Allah is addressing all of humanity. While Muslims are one brotherhood, this is part of a larger brotherhood of humanity.
Allah is telling us that He has created us. Therefore He knows the best about us.
He says that He created us from one man and one woman meaning that all humanity is from the same origin.
It also means that all human beings are created through the same process, not in a manner in which some are created with a better mechanism than others.
Allah is the One who made human beings into different groups and people.
These differences are not wrong, rather a sign from Allah ("And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colors. Verily, in that are indeed signs for those who know" [Quran 30:22]).
Note that no word equivalent to race is used in this ayah or any other verse of the Quran.
Islam, however, limits the purpose of these distinctions to differentiation and knowing each other. This is not meant to be a source of beating each other down with an attitude of ‘my group is better than your group' or false pride as is the case with tribalism, nationalism, colonialism, and racism.
The only source of preference or greatness among human beings is not on a national or group level, but it is at the individual level.

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