Reflections on Racism
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 honored of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you" (49:13).
These are the deeply embedded ideals of Islam which magnetizes many people to this way of life despite Muslims are not in the best level of Imaan today. This is what brought key individuals to Islam such as Malcolm X when he performed Hajj (pilgrimage) and Muhammad Ali.
Racism is an inner belief of believing one race is superior to the other. Although Islam have stated that we have come from Adam and Eve alayhuma salam; the ideology still exists within many communities, tribes, and in generation until the truth is displayed and made manifest before them.
Once a man visited the Prophet peace be upon him’s masjid in Madinah. He saw a group of people talking about their faith. Amongst them were Bilal who was African, Suhaib who was from Eastern Roman empire and Salman from Persia. The man then asked:
"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 incident was reported to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. He then went to the Masjid and gathered people for Salah and then said:
"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."
(Source: Islam The Natural Way by Abdul Wahid Hamid p. 125)
In addition, Our Beloved Prophet peace be upon him said in his 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.’
If you have experienced racism one way or another turn to Allah. My Lord. After my Salah, I ask Allah subhanahu wa taala to strengthen me during this trial and not lose hope. We all were created from dust. We are all servants of Allah. Allah is the Al-Jabbar. The Ultimate Healer. He does not care about what you look like. He designed you in the state He thought was best. He is the Creator. He only looks at my heart. My deeds. Our Beloved Prophet peace be upon him said:
"Allah does not look at your appearances or your financial status, but He looks at your hearts and your actions." (Al-Bukhari)
So my dear brothers and sisters, always recite this dua every time you look in the mirror:
اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ حَسَّنْتَ خَلْقِي فَحَسِّنْ خُلُقِي
"O Allah, just as You have made my external features beautiful, make my character beautiful as well".
We have no control on our characteristics but we do have control on the decisions we make. How and what we do with our time. How we treat others. In front of Allah subhanahu wa taala, it is what lies in our hearts and the actions that result from our decisions that differentiate between us. My purpose in this world is to please Him and do deeds for His Sake to ultimately reach my goal; Jannah.
Allah knows. Allah sees. Allah hears. Isn’t that sufficient? Allah knows at times that trials can be unbearable. Allah knows it can be difficult. But I and you should also know that Allah will never put you in the situation that you cannot handle. This is what kept me going through a decade and more. As Allah subhanahu wa taala said in the Quran:
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. "Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people." [2:286]
So when you feel the world is against you. When you feel lonely. When people judge you. Pray. Supplicate. Remember your Lord. Below are jewels of supplications to recite when facing any type of injustice:
Ayub alayhi salam
أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِين )
annee massaniya alddurru waanta arhamu alrrahimeena
"Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy."
(Surah Al-Anbiya [The Prophets] 21:83)
Duas of the people of the Cave:
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا)
rabbana atina min ladunka rahmatan wahayyi lana min amrina rashadan
"Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!"
(Surah Al-Kahf [The Cave] 18:10)
Dua of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him who he consistently repeated:
Allahumma inni a'udhu bika minal-hammi wal-Ḥuzni wal-'ajazi wal-kasli wal-bukhli wal-jubni wa ḍalaEid-dayni wa ghalabatir-rijal.
O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men.
Your sister in humanity and Islam
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