Islam is against all forms of racism, bigotry, and injustice. We learn this both from the words of Allah mentioned in the Quran and in the messages of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The following are some of those messages.
Quran Verses on Injustice
- “O mankind, indeed we have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Aware.” — (Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:13)
- “And among His wonders is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colors. For in this, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are possessed of innate knowledge!” — (Surah Ar-Rum, 30:22)
- “We have already sent Our messengers with clear pieces of evidence and sent down with them the Scripture and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] with justice.” — (Surah Hadid, 57:25)
- “Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.” — (Surah An-Nahl, 16:90)
- “O You who believe! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for God alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, God is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or turn away, God is aware of what you do.” — (Surah An-Nisa, 4:135)
- “Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.” — (Surah An-Nisa, 4:58)
- “Verily, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and He forbids immorality and bad conduct and transgression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.” (Quran 16:90)
- “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” — (Surah Al-Maidah,5:8)
- “… Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” — (Surah Al-Mumtahanah, 60:8)
- “And approach not the property of the orphan except in the fairest way, until he [or she] attains the age of full strength, and give measurement and weight with justice…” — (Surah Al-Anaam, 6:152)
Prophet Muhammad’s Sayings on Injustice, Oppression, and Racism
- The Prophet told us that Allah says, “O My slaves, I have forbidden zulm (injustice, wrongdoing, unfairness) to Myself and I have made it haraam (illegal) among you, so do not wrong one another.” (Source: Hadith Qudsi — Narrated by Muslim, 2577)
- Prophet Muhammad said, “Allah, Most High, has removed from you the pride of the pre-Islamic period and its boasting in ancestors. One is only a pious believer or a miserable sinner. You are sons of Adam, and Adam came from dust. Let the people cease to boast about their ancestors. They are merely fuel in hell-fire (Jahannam), or they will certainly be of less account with Allah than the beetle which rolls dung with its nose.” [Source: Sunan Abi Dawud — Narrated by Abu Hurairah]
- Prophet Muhammad said, “Whoever has arrogance in his heart equal to an atom’s weight shall not enter Paradise.” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith 65)
- Among the traits of Jahiliya (Days of Ignorance) that the Prophet strictly warned us about, one of them is about defaming others on the basis of their lineage. (Sahih Muslim)
- Prophet Muhammad said, “Beware of injustice, for injustice will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection. Beware of obscenity, for Allah does not love obscenity and immorality. Beware of greed, for it tempted those before you and caused them to make lawful what is unlawful, to shed blood and sever their family ties.” (Source: Musnad Aḥmad 9361- Narrated by Abu Hurairah)
- Prophet Muhammad said, “There is no wrong action which Allah is swifter to punish in this world — in addition to the punishment which He has stored up for the wrongdoer in the Next World — than cutting off ties of kinship and injustice.” (Source: Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, Book 2, Hadith 21)
- Prophet Muhammad said, “Whoever has wronged his brother with regard to his blood, his wealth or his honor, let him come and set matters straight (with the one he wronged) before there comes a Day (Day of Judgement on the Last Day) on which there will be no dirhams and no dinars (no material possessions), only good deeds and bad deeds, and if he has good deeds (they will be taken and given to the one whom he wronged), otherwise some of the bad deeds of the one whom he wronged will be taken and added to his burden, then he will be thrown into the Fire.” (Source: Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) — Majmoo’ al-Fatawa.)
- Prophet Muhammad said, “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.” (Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 4090)
- One of the Prophet’s Hadith narrates: “There are seven categories of people whom God will shelter under the shade of His throne on the Day when there will be no shade except this.” [One of them mentioned is] the just leader. (Source: Sahih Muslim)
Islamic Scholars on the Topic of Justice
- Imam Ibn Taymiya, the great teacher of Islam, while explaining prophetic sayings on the issues of justice and injustice, wrote the following: “God upholds the just state even if it is unbelieving, but does not uphold the unjust state even if it is Muslim.” [Source: Public Duties in Islam, Trans: Muhtar Holland, Islamic foundation, 1987, p.95]
- Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “In its entirety, it (Islam) is justice, mercy, benefit, and wisdom. Every matter which abandons justice for tyranny, mercy for cruelty, benefit for corruption, and wisdom for foolishness is not a part of (Islam) even if it was introduced therein by an interpretation.” (Source: I’lām al-Muwaqqi’īn 3/11)
- About verse 35 in Surah An-Nisa, Ibn al Qayyim said: “This verse carries great meanings that should be emphasized because of people’s dire need for them. Allah commands the believers to establish equity and justice. it should be rendered towards everyone, whether enemy or friend.” [Source: p. 29 The Magnificent Journey (The Message from Tabuk: Ar-Risalat Ut-Tabukiyyah)].
In conclusion, read below about Malcolm X’s experience and observations after his visit to Makkah.
“On April 13, 1964, Malcolm X left the United States on a personal and spiritual journey through the Middle East and West Africa. By the time he returned on May 21, he’d visited Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, and Algeria. When he was in Makkah, AlHajj Malik El-Shabazz wrote a letter to his loyal assistants in Harlem… from his heart:
“Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this Ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other Prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors.” He further wrote, “America needs to understand Islam because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white — but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their color.”
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