Its Meaning and Roots in Islam


By Abdul-Rahman Al Sheha

Men and ladies are created equal of their fundamental humanity, and have all of the shared linage and dignity of Allah’s creation and privilege of man over the opposite creatures of His creation. What does Islam say about equality?

Discrimination resulting from race, intercourse, shade, lineage, class, area or language is vehemently prohibited in Islam to keep away from the synthetic boundaries between the privileged and underprivileged.

Equality doesn’t imply that each one are precisely alike since there isn’t a denial about pure variations. The two genders complement and full one another. Allah says within the Qur’an:

O mankind! Fear and revere your Lord, Who created you from a single particular person, created from it its mate, and from them scattered (like seeds) numerous women and men; so worry Allah, by means of Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (that bore you): for Allah ever watches over you. (An-Nisaa’ 4:1)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) mentioned:

“O Mankind! Your Lord is One. Your father is one. All of you belong to Adam (peace be upon him). And Adam is created of soil. Truly, the most honorable person in the Sight of Your Lord, the Almighty Allah, is the most pious among you. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab. There is no superiority for a non-Arab over an Arab. There is no superiority for a red (race) person over a white person. Likewise, there is no superiority of a white over a red (race) person, except for the piety and God consciousness.” (Ahmad)


All humanity, in accordance with Islam, with all its races, has one unique supply, so how can some exploit others claiming superiority or particular privilege? Islam doesn’t tolerate false pleasure in lineage and social standing. The Messenger of Allah mentioned:

“The Almighty Allah has removed the false pride which was practiced in the pre-Islamic period wherein individuals took false pride in their ancestors. All mankind belongs to Adam. And Adam is created of soil.” (Abu Dawud)

Pride of race and sophistication are rampant in some societies. For instance, some Jews and Christians have thought of themselves of a better standing, breed, race or class of individuals.

Allah the Exalted and Almighty has uncovered the reality of this vanity, as He states within the Qur’an:

The Jews and the Christians say: “We are sons of Allah, and His beloved.”  Say: “Why then does He punish you on your sins? Nay, you might be however males, of the boys He has created: He forgives whom He pleases, and He punishes whom He pleases: and to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that’s between: and unto Him is the return (of all). (Al-Ma’idah 5:18)

Islam & Racism

The legal guidelines of Islam eradicate any misguided foundation of racism. For occasion, Abu Dharr (might Allah be happy with him) as soon as mentioned to a black slave “O the son of a black lady!” Upon listening to this, the Messenger of Allah turned to Abu Dharr, and mentioned to him:

“Are you insulting this man with his mother? Truly you possess some of the qualities of the era of Ignorance (pre-Islamic times). That time is finished and over. There is no virtue or merit for the son of a white woman over the son of a black woman, except through piety and righteousness, or by good deeds and actions.” (Ahmad)

It is reported that Abu Dharr upon listening to the remark of the Prophet, put his head down on the bottom in humility for the slave to return and step on his head together with his foot, as an expiation for his misdeed, though the Prophet didn’t command him to take action. Abu Dharr needed to self-discipline himself by self-humiliation in order that he would by no means repeat such a sin sooner or later.

In the Sight of Allah

All folks in Islam are utterly alike and equal when it comes to the duty to carry out varied acts of worship to Allah. The wealthy and the poor, the chief and the peasant, the white and the black, the one in every of dignified means and the one in every of decrease means, all are alike and equal as people earlier than Allah; essentially the most noble is essentially the most righteous and most honest and steadfast in worship and good deeds. As the Prophet mentioned:

Allah doesn’t have a look at your our bodies and your colours however at your acts and your hearts (i.e. outward deeds and inward intentions and sincerity.” (Muslim)

All instructions of obligation and prohibition are relevant to all with none distinction due to class, social standing or race:

Whoever works righteousness advantages his personal soul; whoever works evil, it’s in opposition to his personal soul: neither is Your Lord ever unjust (within the least) to His slaves. (Fussilat 41:46)

The differentiation between people within the Sight of Allah relies on their ranges of piety, righteousness, and compliance to the Commands of Allah, the Most Beneficent:

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a feminine, and made you into nations and tribes, that you could be know one another (not that you could be despise one another). Verily essentially the most honored of you within the Sight of Allah is (he who’s) essentially the most righteous of you. In addition, Allah has full Knowledge and is properly acquainted (with all issues). (Al-Hujurat 49:13)

All people are equal earlier than the Islamic code of legislation and the appointed Muslim decide. The penalties, judgments and authorized sentences are relevant to all races and courses of individuals with none distinction and with none privileged particular person buying immunity.

Equality in Punishment

One excellent instance will likely be cited reported that the Quraysh have been deeply involved when a noble girl of the Makhzum clan stole, and Allah’s Messenger needed to use the due punishment in her case by amputating her hand. The Quraysh consulted amongst themselves and mentioned: ‘the best person to talk to the Prophet about the Makhzumi woman thief is his beloved Companion (and the son of his beloved Companion) Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him).’

Therefore they despatched Usamah to talk to the Prophet to intercede on behalf of this Makhzumi girl. Upon listening to Usamah, the Prophet  mentioned:

“O Usamah! Are you coming to intercede concerning a punishment set by Allah?” Allah’s Messenger  stood up, as quickly as he completed his dialog with Usamah and delivered a speech saying: “The people (or nations) before you were destroyed due to the fact that when a noble person among them would steal, they let him go unpunished, but if a poor, weak and insignificant person among them stole, they would apply the punishment on him. By Allah! If Fatimah ; the daughter of Muhammad stole, I shall cut off her hand.”

None has the best to monopolize, abuse or act for his private Interest on nationwide assets. All members of the nation have the best to learn from the nationwide assets, every in accordance with simply and equitable rights and obligations.

However, they won’t be equal when it comes to the work and the profit they current for the general public good. The Islamic authorities should exert each effort to safe job alternatives for its constituents and manage the utilization of nationwide assets.

Islam declares all folks equal when it comes to human values but each particular person is rewarded in accordance with what he presents to his society and group. The solely distinction between folks is on the premise of service that they provide. For occasion, it doesn’t have a look at a hardworking particular person and a sluggish particular person on equal footing when it comes to pay and monetary rewards:

To all are levels (or ranks) in accordance with their deeds: for Your Lord isn’t unmindful of something that they do. (Al-An`am 6:132)


Source: The article is an excerpt from the creator’s ebook “Human Rights in Islam and Common Misconceptions”.



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