When Allah's (SWT) Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, was raised as a Prophet, the same kind of racism, under the name of tribalism, was prevalent in Makkah. The Quraish considered themselves in particular, and Arabs in general, superior to all the other peoples of the world. Allah's (SWT) Messenger came with the Divine Message and proclaimed that no Arab is superior over a non-Arab, and no white is superior over black and superiority is by righteousness and God-fearing alone (Surat Al-Hujurat, 49:13). He also declared that even if an Abyssinian Black Muslim were to rule over Muslims, he should be obeyed.
Allah's (SWT) Messenger eradicated the problem of racial or colour discrimination so successfully that superiority is not by birth or colour or blood, but by God-fearing and righteousness.
The message of Islam is for the entire human race. According to Islam, Allah (SWT) is the God of the entire world and the Prophet Muhammad (saw) is a messenger for the whole of mankind. Islam unites the entire human race under one banner without any kind of discrimination.
Allah (SWT) says in Surat Al-Hujurat, "O Mankind! We have created you from a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you in the sight of Allah is he who has most Taqwa among of you. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware." Noble Qur'an (49:13)
With this verse, Islam declares equality among people as one human race, one humanity, that is because Islam respect a human for being a human not for any other reason; Islam does not distinguish between two races, or two groups of people, or between two colors, and the Prophet Muhammad (saw) addressed the people signifying that concept during the last Hajj pilgrimage, saying: "O People! Your God is one; your father is one; no preference of an Arab neither over non-Arab nor of a non-Arab over an Arab or red over black or black over red except for the most righteous. Verily the most honored of you is the most righteous."
Not only did Islam emphasize the equality principle theoretically, but did it practically in some of the worship acts that translated this principle into a sensible fact that does not escape people minds, thus: in the mosques where Friday prayer is held once every week, as well as the five daily prayers; equality is exercised practically and all the differences vanishes among people. That is, whoever came to the Mosque first, took his place in the front rows despite his financial states or position, and whoever come late, his place is late and if you look at any row among the prayer's rows, you would find in that row the rich and poor, the knowledgeable and the one with no knowledge, the Arab and the non Arab, no differences all the same in sight of Allah (SWT), their direction during prayer, as well as their reveled book, as their Lord is one and also their movements during the prayer following one Imam.
Also in the holy land where the annual Hajj pilgrimage and the Umrah is performed, the equality is even clearer and stronger that is because during prayer people may differ in their clothes but during Hajj pilgrimage and Umrah the Ihram situation oblige every one to only wear simple white clothes which equates the rich and the poor, the governor and governed, all walking around the Holy Kaaba asking one lord.
Also, another practical application of equality in Islam, is the equality among people in front of the law and regulations. What is allowed is for all people and what is forbidden as well upon all people. The obligations are upon everyone, and whoever deserved punishment gets it, regardless.
An example of such was when some of the companions (Sahaba) talked to Osama Bin Zaid, the favorite of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), to intervene for the sake of the well reputed woman from Quraish tribe who deserved punishment for stealing (that is cutting her hand), Osama Bin Zaid talked to the Prophet Muhammad (saw), the Prophet Muhammad (saw) got angry and said, "Those before you were districted, that is because the renowned is untouched when he steals, and the poor is punished, verily if Fatimah daughter of Muhammad stole, I would have cut her hand."
This is Islam: emphasizing the equality and applying it in the society since 1400 years ago, when during that time mankind used to suffer the worst distinction among people and individuals in society and readied the enslaving of the human to his brother the human. The eradication of racism consciousness is one of the outstanding moral achievements of Islam.
This is the secrete that made Islam and Muslims prevail nations in the past. It is a mistake to think that Islam prevailed only because Muslims like dying in the battles as other like to live. Islam did not prevail through battles only, but because Islam is a complete unique guidance for life, unique in it's rituals, beliefs, dealings and morals and from all with all that the religion of Allah is comprised, and with all that Muslims won and prevailed in the past, and with it Muslims can prevail and rule these days or any other time.
Islam and Discrimination: Wedding of Jowaibir and Zalfa (Equality in Islam, Racism and Islam)
"How beautiful it were if you could marry and establish a family, ending this forlorn and isolated life? You could fulfill your natural urges and also she could help you in your temporal and spiritual needs and goals."
"O Messenger of Allah, I have neither wealth nor beauty; nor I have a noble descent or lineage. Who will marry me? And which woman likes to be wife of a poor, short, black and ugly man like me?"
"O Jowaibir! God has changed the individual's worth through Islam. Many people were high-placed in the pre-Islamic society and Islam brought them down. Many were despised non-entities and Islam bestowed them with honor and high rank and brought them up. Islam abolished the un-Islamic discrimination and pride of lineage. Now all people irrespective of their color and origin are equal. Nobody has superiority over others but through piety and obedience to Allah. Among the Muslims, only that person would be higher than YOU whose virtues and deeds are better than you. Now do as I tell you."
These words were exchanged one day between the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Jowaibir when the Prophet Muhammad (saw) came to see the Companions of the Suffa (Ashab al-Suffa).
Jowaibir was a native of "Yamamah" where he came to know about the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the advent of Islam. He was poor, black and short, but at the same time intelligent truth seeking and a man of determination. He came to Medina to look at Islam from near; in a short time he embraced Islam. Since he had neither money, house nor any friends, he temporarily was accommodated along with other poor Muslims in the Mosque by permission of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). When it was revealed unto the Prophet Muhammad (saw) that the Mosque was not a place of habitation, it became necessary to shift them elsewhere. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) selected a site outside the Mosque and erected a shed for them. The place was named as "Suffa" and the residents were known as "Ashab al-Suffa" - all of them poor from places far away from Medina.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) came to visit them one day. Noticing Jowaibir among them he decided to bring him out of this forlorn life. It was beyond the fancy of Jowaibir to own a house and have a wife in his condition. And that was why he replied to the Prophet Muhammad (saw) as to how it was possible for anyone to accept him in matrimony when the Prophet Muhammad (saw) advised him to marry. But the Prophet Muhammad (saw) removing his doubts explained to him the changes brought about in the social outlook of the people by Islam.
After bringing Jowaibir out of his inferiority complex, he directed him to the house of Ziad ibn Lubaid to request him for his daughter's hand in marriage.
Ziad ibn Lubaid was one of the wealthiest persons of Medina and commanded high respect among his tribes. When Jowaibir entered his house, he was surrounded by his relatives and some of his tribes-men. Jowaibir took a seat, paused for a moment and then raising his head said, "I have brought a message from the Prophet Muhammad (saw). Do you like to hear it confidentially or openly?"
Ziad ibn Lubaid: "A message from the Prophet Muhammad (saw) is an honour to me, better you tell it openly."
"The Prophet Muhammad (saw) has sent me to request you for your daughter for myself".
Ziad ibn Lubaid asked: "Did he himself make this suggestion to you?"
Jowaibir replied: "I don't speak on my own accord. Everybody knows me, I am not a liar"
Ziad ibn Lubaid said: "Strange! We don't give our daughters to persons of unequal status nor outside our tribe. You go back I shall go to the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and have a talk with him myself."
Jowaibir left the house murmuring, "By Allah (SWT), whatever the Noble Qur'an teaches and whatever is the purpose of the prophethood of Muhammad (saw) is totally against what Ziad ibn Lubaid says."
Those nearby heard the murmurings of Jowaibir. Zalfa, the lovely daughter of Ziad ibn Lubaid, and the beauty queen of Medina, heard these words of Jowaibir. She came to her father and asked: "Father, what was that man who just went out saying? And what did he mean?"
Ziad ibn Lubaid said: "He had come to ask for your hand in marriage and was claiming that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) had sent him for this purpose".
"Isn't it possible that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) had really sent him, and thus your rejection may amount to disobedience of the Prophet Muhammad's (saw) order?"
Ziad ibn Lubaid asked: "What do you feel about it?"
Zalfa said: "I feel you should bring him back before he reaches to the Prophet Muhammad (saw), and then go yourself to find out the truth."
Ziad ibn Lubaid brought Jowaibir back to his house with due respect, and then himself hurried up to the Prophet Muhammad (saw). When he saw him he said:
"O Messenger of Allah, Jowaibir came to my house and brought such and such a message from you, I would like to inform you that our custom is to give our daughters to persons of equal status and belonging to our tribe, who are all your helpers and companions."
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "O Ziad, Jowaibir is a faithful man. That dignity and honor which you are talking about has now been abrogated. Every believer man is equal (for marriage purpose) to every believer woman."
Ziad ibn Lubaid returned to his house and explained the matter to his daughter, Zalfa. She said, "Please do not reject the proposal put by the Prophet Muhammad (saw). This matter concerns me. I accept Jowaibir whatever his condition may be. If the Prophet Muhammad (saw) is pleased with it, I am also pleased."
The wedding was duly solemnized; Ziad ibn Lubaid paid "Mahr" (dowry) from his own wealth and offered good articles to the newly married. They asked the bridegroom, "Have you got a house where to take the bride?" Jowaibir said, "No, I had never thought that I would get a wife and settle in domestic life. It was the Prophet Muhammad (saw) who came suddenly and had a talk with me and sent me to Ziad ibn Lubaid's house".
Ziad ibn Lubaid arranged for him a house equipped with complete household equipments, and transferred the bride superbly adorned with ornaments and perfumes.
Night came. Jowaibir did not know where the house was meant for him. He was guided to the house and led to the bridal-chamber. When he saw the house and its equipments and looked at the dazzling bride, his past came to his mind and he said to himself, "How poor I was when I entered this city. I had nothing - neither money nor beauty, neither any lineage nor family - now Allah (SAW) made these affluences available to me through Islam. Indeed it is Islam that has brought such changes in the social outlook of the people beyond any imagination. How grateful I am to Allah (SAW) for bestowing upon me all these Blessings!"
In spiritual ecstasy he went to a corner of the room; spent the night in recitation of the Noble Qur'an and prayer. It was dawn when he came to himself and then decided to fast in gratitude to Allah (SAW).
When women came to see bride Zalfa in the morning they found her untouched. They kept the matter secret from Ziad ibn Lubaid. Two nights and days passed in the same manner. Jowaibir was fasting during days and praying during nights. The women of the family of the bride were worried. They thought perhaps Jowaibir was impotent and had no need for a woman. At last, they put the matter before Ziad ibn Lubaid. He informed the Prophet Muhammad (saw).
The Prophet Muhammad (saw); called Jowaibir and asked, "Don't you have any desire for woman?"
Jowaibir replied: "Incidentally, I have very intense desire of that kind".
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said; "Then why didn't you go near your bride?"
"O Messenger of Allah, when I entered the house I found myself amidst that affluence. A state of gratitude and devotion took me over. I thought it necessary to offer thanks and prayers to Allah (SWT) before doing anything. Tonight I shall go near my wife."
Jowaibir and Zalfa lived a most happy life. When the call for a Jihad (Holy war) came, he participated in it with the enthusiasm typical of a brave Muslim, and achieved martyrdom under the banner of Islam. After his martyrdom, Zalfa was the most sought after woman for a wife and people were eager to pay the greatest Mahr for her.
Islam and Discrimination: A white has no superiority over a black (Equality in Islam)
The following scene took place on a BA flight between Johannesburg and London.
A white woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a black man. Obviously disturbed by this, white woman called the air Hostess.
Madam, what is the matter, the air hostess asked?
You obviously do not see it then? White woman responded.
You placed me next to a black man. I do not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat.
Be calm please, the air hostess replied.
Almost all the places on this flight are taken. I will go to see if another place is available. The air Hostess went away and then came back a few minutes later. Madam, just as I thought, there are no other available seats in the economy class. I spoke to the captain and he informed me that there is also no seat in the business class. All the same, we still have one place in the first class.
Before the white woman could say anything, the air hostess continued. It is not usual for our company to permit someone from the economy class to sit in the first class However, given the circumstances; the captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting. Air Hostess turned to the black man, and said. Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please take your hand luggage because a seat awaits you in the first class. At the moment, the other passengers who were shocked by what they had just witnessed stood up and applauded.
This is a true story which is not usually told. If you are against racism, please send this message to all your friends. According to the teachings of Islam, all mankind is from Adam and Eve; an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim, and that Muslims constitute one brotherhood and one humanity