“O ye people! Fear your Lord Who created you from a single soul and of its kind created its mate, and from them twain spread many men and women…”
Holy Qur’an, 4:2
The Qur’an teaches that all people are equal in the sight of Allah. It says that all humans are descendants from the same original soul, and are therefore spiritually equal. True Islam does not consider God only to be the God of the Muslims, or the Arabs, or any particular people — rather it says that He is the ‘Lord of all peoples’ (1:2). It therefore cuts at the root of all racism, and brings all nations together in universal brotherhood and sisterhood.
All values affecting man are based upon the concept that every human being is capable of achieving the highest stage of moral and spiritual development and that his personality must be respected. The Quran takes note of diversities of race, colour, language, wealth, etc., which serve their own useful purpose in the social scheme, and describes them as Signs of God for those who hear and possess knowledge (30:23). But none of these confers any privilege or imposes any disability. The Quran says that God has divided mankind into tribes and nations for greater facility of intercourse. Neither membership of a tribe nor citizenship of a State confers any privilege, nor are they sources of honour. The true source of honour in the sight of God is a righteous life (49:14). In his Farewell Address, the Prophet said:
“You are all brothers and are all equal. None of you can claim any privilege or any superiority over any other. An Arab is not to be preferred to a non-Arab, nor is a non Arab to be preferred to an Arab; nor is a white man to be preferred to a coloured one, or a coloured one to a white, except on the basis of righteousness”.(Hanbal V, pg. 411)
Islam has established a universal brotherhood. It is stressed that true brotherhood can be established only by virtue of our relationship with one another through God. Other factors — common interests, common pursuits, common occupations-may help to foster friendship and brotherhood to a degree, but the very same factors may also engender jealousy and hostility. It is only the consciousness that mankind are all equally creatures and servants of God and that they must all constantly seek the pleasure of God, that can bring about the realization of true brotherhood, which can stand the test of all the contingencies to which life is subject.
“Hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah, and be not divided; and remember the favour of Allah, which He bestowed upon you when you were enemies and He united your hearts in love, so that by His grace you became as brethren; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah explain to you His commandments, that you may be rightly guided”(Holy Qur’an, 3:104).