“Allah said: ‘What prevented you (O Satan) that you did not prostrate when I commanded you?’ Iblees (the Satan) replied: ‘I am better than him (Adam). You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.”
So begins the history of racism. Satan thought himself superior to Adam on account of his origins. Since that day, Satan has misled many of Adam’s descendants into also believing themselves superior to others, causing them to persecute and exploit their fellow man. Quite often, religion has been used to justify racism. Judaism, for example, despite its Middle-Eastern origins, is readily passed off as a Western religion; but the entry of Jews into all levels of Western society actually betrays Judaism’s elitist reality. A pious reading of the bible verse:
“There is no God in all the world but in Israel.” (2 Kings 5:15)
…would be to suggest that in those days God, or God, was not worshipped except by Israelites. However, Judaism today remains centered around its boast of ‘chosen’ racial superiority.
“Say: ‘O Jews! If you pretend that you are the beloved slaves of God to the exclusion of the rest of humanity, then long for death if you are really truthful.’”
Conversely, while most Christians are overwhelmingly non-Jew, Jesus, as the last of the Israelite Prophets, was sent to none but the Jews.
“And (remember) when Jesus, son of Mary, said: ‘O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of God sent unto you, confirming the Torah before me and bearing glad tidings of a Messenger after me whose name shall be Ahmad…’”
And likewise every Prophet was sent exclusively to his own people, every Prophet, that is, except Muhammad (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘O People! I am the Messenger of God sent to you all…’”
As Muhammad (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is Allah’s final Prophet and Messenger, his mission was a universal one, intended for not only his own nation, the Arabs, but all the peoples of the world. The Prophet said:
“Every other Prophet was sent to his nation exclusively, while I have been sent to all of humanity.”
“And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a bearer of glad tidings and a Warner to all mankind, but most of people know not.”
BILAL THE ABYSSINIAN
One of the first to accept Islam was an Abyssinian slave named Bilal. Traditionally, black Africans were a lowly people in the sight of Arabs who thought them to be of little use beyond entertainment and slavery. When Bilal (RadiAllahu Anhu) embraced Islam, his pagan master had him brutally tortured in the scorching desert heat until Abu Bakr (RadiAllahu Anhu), the Prophet’s closest friend, rescued him by buying his freedom.
The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) appointed Bilal (RadiAllahu Anhu) to call the believers to prayer.
The athan heard from minarets in every corner of the world since, echoes the exact same words recited by Bilal (RadiAllahu Anhu). Thus, a onetime lowly slave won a unique honor as Islam’s first muezzin.
“And indeed We have honored the Children of Adam…”
Western romantics hail ancient Greece as being the birthplace of democracy. The reality was that, as slaves and women, the vast majority of Athenians were denied the right to elect their rulers. Yet, Islam ordained that a slave could himself be ruler! The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) ordered:
“Obey your ruler even if he be an Abyssinian slave.”