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Faith

The Equality of Humankind

195
Faith

The Equality of Humankind

If we have to compete with each other, we should compete on the basis of virtues and noble values, considering oneself superior to others because of any other criterion is an act of ignorance.

195

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If we have to compete with each other, we should compete on the basis of virtues and noble values, considering oneself superior to others because of any other criterion is an act of ignorance.

The Holy Qur’an has been guiding everyone since the last 1440 years, teaching us to treat fellow human beings with equality and dignity. The equality of humankind is a big social issue around the world today, and the Quran offers an incredible view on this subject – even if an ordinary person contemplates on this advice he/she will soon realize the futility of prejudice and arrogance. The counsel given by the Prophet Muhammad on this subject is also very persuasive.

God Almighty says in Chapter 49 verse 13 of the Quran:

O people! We have created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most honorable of you in the sight of Allah is that [one] who fears Allah. Indeed, Allah is Omniscient (All Knowing), and All-Aware.”

This verse addresses the entire human race with the opening remarks, “O people”, so it is clear that this verse is for the entirety of mankind, in fact this guideline is for all people on the earth and for every to whom this message reaches.

The verse further says, “We have created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another”. This line has three important points:

  • Firstly, that God created us and we are not here simply by an accident or by a chance only.
  • Secondly, that Allah says “We made you into tribes and nations”, so this social system of different tribes, different races, different regions, different languages, is all created by Allah.
  • Finally, that God established this system of different nations and tribes for specific reasons, one of them so that we identify each other, deal with each other, and develop a better appreciation of each other through our differences.

The verse further says – and this is a very important point – that the most noble among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most God fearing (those who act as per His guidelines).

We normally see people take pride in their race, language, nation, or culture and consider themselves superior based on these elements. The Quran rejected this approach, and says that God does not approve of these thoughts or arbitrary rules. We all are from one male and female so all are from same root, and created equal. The noblest amongst you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most righteous and most God fearing.

If we have to compete with each other, we should compete on the basis of virtues and noble values, considering oneself superior to others because of any other criterion is an act of ignorance.

By this verse, the Quran has established norms of equity and established that no one can claim superiority just because of their race, language, nation, culture, color of skin, or anything similar to that.

In the last portion of this verse, Allah says He is giving this benchmark based on His knowledge which is most superior and all encompassing, so the verse ends with a reminder: “Indeed, Allah is all knowing”. All-Aware means He has complete knowledge, awareness, and understanding of all His creations.

He knows their inner side; He knows their qualities. By the virtue of this verse the Quran has firmly established a system of equality and dignity for all humans, and defied the fanaticism of false superiority in all forms and shapes.

In addition to this Quranic verse, the holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also emphasized this value of equity. The Prophet once said to his companions: “all of you are descendants of Adam and Adam was created out of clay. Those who seek pride in ancestry should desist.”

On the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet Muhammad also addressed the gathering, and said: “O people, be aware: your God is One. No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, and no non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab, and no white has any superiority over a black, and no black any superiority over a white, except on the basis of piety. The most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is the most pious and righteous of you.”

This world will be a much better place if this equality is practiced by the entirety of humanity. Let us hope both the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad continue to teach us what really is important in life.

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