Islam Is the Cure for Racism

Khutbah by Siraj Wahaj delivered on July 18th at MCA in San Francisco.

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61 responses to “Islam Is the Cure for Racism”

  1. anonymous says:

    Great Khutbah masha’Allah!

    Isn’t MCA in Santa Clara though?

  2. Derelict of Dialect says:

    How can someone give a khutbah warning against racism while simultaneously being a member of the MANA organization which is an umbrella organization including the Nation of Islam? The Nation of Islam is racist organization just as the KKK is, however, the dominence of all things African American over Islam in America distinguishes between the two, praising the former while, rightly, dispraising the latter.

  3. Amad says:

    Derelict, this sort of “guilt by association” charge is exactly what the islamophobes use to discredit Muslims. MANA is a very respectable organization that is promoting action and uplifting within the black Muslim communities. There is a real opportunity to bring Nation people slowly into the mainstream Islam. And I feel that is why Imam Siraj doesn’t want to exclude them for fear of missing that opportunity.

    Regardless, many times we bring people of various methodologies under an umbrella that is tasked with specific goals where the underlying interests are shared. So, it doesn’t mean that all agree with each other on everything. Strategy is important.

  4. MR says:

    @Derelict of Dialect – you are clearly racist.

  5. Mezba says:

    “Islam is the solution to racism”.

    What does that mean?

    Clearly one has to travel to the middle east just to see how racists Muslims can be.

    The solution to racism is top down legislation from the government and a change of attitude… the likes of which has now slowly happened in the West (Canada is the best example). It is not perfect but it’s there.

    Islam says no the racism. But Muslims don’t follow it. Just saying “Islam is the solution” is not the solution.

  6. Derelict of Dialect,

    What are you even talking about? You obviously do not even know what MANA is? There is no one from the Nation of Islam on MANA’s shura or in its leadership. Are there any NOI members who have become members of MANA…I don’t know but if so nothing could be better than to have members of the NOI joining an unabashedly Sunni organization of Muslims and standing behind and promoting its goals.

  7. Mezba,

    Did you even listen to the khutba? Or are you just critiquing the title?

  8. Mezba says:

    I am criticising the “Islam is the solution to X” mentality – so you could say I am criticizing the title.

    If Islam was the solution to racism then the Middle East would have been a racism-free region for centuries. Fighting racism means dealing with some real issues, being educated, living with people who are different, learning to deal with uncomfortable issues and having an open mind. It’s a change of attitude and driven by change of legislation.

  9. Amad says:

    Mezba, Islam is a solution for many problems, in family life and social life. The problem is not Islam, but Muslims who don’t practice it.

  10. Mezba,

    I have to disagree with you one million percent. In any event, the title of the lecture (I don’t know if it was changed) is “Islam is the Cure for Racism” not solution. Just because Muslims in the Middle East or anywhere else do not follow what Islam teaches does not mean that Islam is not the “cure” or the “solution.” As Imam Siraj HafidhuAllah discusses in the lecture following the guidance of Islam is the cure for racism. Calling yourself a Muslim and not following Islam at all will not change anything, that is correct.

    No one is arguing against any possible anti-racism legislation, however I have to say that the most profound changes in attitude are driven by eemaan and Allaah (swt) is Muqallab al-Quloob. Allaah (swt) is the One Who Changes Hearts.

    Allaah knows best.

  11. Mezba,

    Just to be clear I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with you that there are Muslims who have a problem with Racism….

    JazzakAllaahu Khayr for raising such an important issue. When I say I disagree with you , I just think that Islam is the cure or solution for the racism of the Muslims too!

  12. patb says:

    Christianity would be the cure for racism too if everyone followed the tenets of Christ, sadly, they do not.

    I’ve read, on other posts, that ethnic Arabs are the chosen people of Allah and Islam. They are the ‘royalty’ per se of Islam, the reason the Qur’an should only be in Arabic, prayed in Arabic.

    Are Arabs then of an elevated ‘class’?

  13. I’ve read, on other posts, that ethnic Arabs are the chosen people of Allah and Islam.

    Assalaamu alyakum, patb,

    I don’t believe any such statement exists anywhere on MuslimMatters… can you please tell us exactly which post you are talking about? In any case, what you stated is incorrect. Muslims believe that only piety and God-conciousness (taqwa) causes a person to be more noble before Allah than another person.

    you said:

    They are the ‘royalty’ per se of Islam, the reason the Qur’an should only be in Arabic, prayed in Arabic.

    This is absolutely not correct. There is not concept of ‘royalty’ in Islam, as you describe it. We believe that God’s chosen people are any and every person who submits to God by following the religion of Islam wholeheartedly. So, being ‘chosen’ by God, is completely based on one’s creed and actions, and has nothing to do with one’s lineage.

  14. Mb says:

    Can’t you put this on the podcast?

  15. patb says:

    Ahmad,
    I did not read that here but on “Islamic Awakenings” in the forum section. There was/is a long and heated debate with many supporting the notion of Arab “specialty”, and I used their term of ‘royalty’, with some Hadith/Qur’anic quotations as reference.
    Almost a mirror image of the Jews as a chosen people in the Old Testiment…Arabs as the chosen people of Allah.
    It is not the first time I’ve seen/read this type of thread and it is a very common perception in the ME’ ern Arabic ethnic/speaking countries which I believe leads to the racism I’ve noted in those countries for other than Arabs regardless of religious affiliation.

  16. Aboo Haatim says:

    @ patb

    There is a belief amongst many Muslims that Arabs are “special” or “superior” because the best city is in the land of the Arabs, the best of humanity was chosen from amongst them and the Qur’an was revealed in their language. These are the proofs used to state that the Arabs are better than non-Arabs. There is a difference of opinion, but the majority are of the opinion that the Arabs are better

  17. Br. Aboo Haatim,

    Perhaps it would be prudent to properly qualify a subtle point of fiqh before making such a statement that could be understood quite recklessly!

    Before Allah, how are we judged? Not based on race, but based on taqwa, based on our beliefs and our deeds. We need to properly contextualize what some scholars might have said about the “virtues” (fadaa’il) of Arab lineage. Yes, as Muslims, we believe that the family of Rasoolullaah is a noble lineage, and we have respect for his family, and for his tribe, and it can be understood that we see an extra virtue in the Arabic language, the language or the Qur’aan, as well as that we see a special virtue in the people that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala chose to be the first to receive the final revelation. But that virtue, if anything, adds an extra level of responsibility to the one who carries it.

    To simply take a subtle fiqhi opinion out-of-context, by, without qualification stating that “Arabs are better” is extremely reckless. Such a statement, taken at face value, without qualification, implies that a sinful Arab is better than a pious non-Arab, and that is simply not true.

    Allah tells us in the Qur’an “Inna akramakum inda Allahi atqaakum” (verily the most noble of you before Allah are those of you with the most piety/God-conciousness). So, despite the virtue of the Arabic language and the virtue of the Arabs (that Allah chose the final Prophet SAWS to be from amongst them), the most noble before Allah are those with the most taqwa. So we cannot simply say, “Arabs are better”, and I firmly believe no scholar of Islam ever meant that when mentioning the fadeelah of the Arabs.

  18. amad says:

    There is a simpler way to understand this.
    Anyone who knows Arabic is considered an Arab. So, yes knowing Arabic gives you some superiority because it is the language of the Quran. That is how I have understood it in the past.

  19. anon says:

    “Anyone who knows Arabic is considered an Arab.”

    So if an Indian or a Mexican dude knew Arabic they would be considered an Arab? That’s quite possibly one of the dumbest things I’ve heard in a while. Talk about apologetics

  20. Aboo Haatim says:

    @ Ahmad Al-Farsi,

    We should not adopt these egalitarian rules invented by the West and let it taint our aqeedah. It may seem “reckless” to the eyes of a Westerner, but this is the way that Allah revealed our deen and we have no shame in saying what it is. No, a sinful Arab is not more virtuous than a pious Ajamee (non-Arab) and Allah knows best. But that does not change the reality that the Arabs are better in this deen. We do not care what the blamers say

    This is an important aqeedah point that many need to understand and accept. The Arabs do have qualities that make them “special”/”superior” to other peoples. For example, the leadership of the Muslims is supposed to always be held by the Quraish, who are the most noble tribe of the Arabs. There are also other issues such as whether or not it is permissible or advisable for an Arab woman to marry an Ajamee. Who leads the salaah if you have a hafidh that is Arab and another that is Ajamee and so on. Just as the Family of the Prophet (sal Allahu alahi wa salam) have special rights and virtues, the Arabs do as well. Additionally many ulamaa of the past have listed other qualities of the Arabs (such as superior strength and memory) that make them better than other humans and the reason that they were CHOSEN by Allah to carry the message of Islam to the world. This is the opinion of the majority of the ulamaa

  21. Amad says:

    Yeah “anon”

    So this propagator of Arab nationalism must also be dumb:

    An Arab is whoever speaks Arabic, wishes to be an Arab and calls himself an Arab. – Sati Husri

  22. Aboo Haatim says:

    Anyone who knows Arabic is considered an Arab. So, yes knowing Arabic gives you some superiority because it is the language of the Quran. That is how I have understood it in the past.

    This is a very weak opinion. This has always been understood by lineage and tribe. The Arabs are better than the Ajamees. The Quraish are better than the non-Quraish. The Banu Hashim are better than those not from Banu Hashim. And Ahl Al Bait are better than those not from Ahl Al Bait. How can one “become” an Arab with that understanding. One can not “become” Quraishee or Banu Hashim. Likewise one can not “become” Arab

  23. Aboo Haatim says:

    Bilal and Salman Al-Farsi both knew Arabic but were NOT considered to be Arabs. This was the understanding of the salaf of this ummah

  24. “Anyone who knows Arabic is considered an Arab.” … I think this is actually a weak or fabricated hadeeth, but many are not aware of that. But I need to double check inshaAllah.

    Br. Aboo Haatim, my point nothing to do with the west… it has everything to do with: Inna akramakum indaAllaahi atqaakum.

    The point i am trying to make is well summarized in my last comment, and no mention of any external philosophy was made.

  25. Aboo Haatim says:

    Ikhwaan,

    Why did you all remove my posts? We should not be ashamed of this affair of ours

  26. Aboo Haatim says:

    The point i am trying to make is well summarized in my last comment, and no mention of any external philosophy was made.

    And I am saying that we should not be ashamed of what we believe just because Westerners may find it to be distasteful from their invented deen

  27. According to IslamToday.com, the hadeeth is “very weak and unreliable”, wa Allahu a’lam.

    http://www.islamtoday.com/show_detail_section.cfm?q_id=266&main_cat_id=11

    Question: There is a hadîth that whoever speaks Arabic is an Arab. It this hadîth authentic?

    Answered by the Fatwa Department Research Committee – chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî

    The text you refer to is: “Being an Arab is not because of your father or mother, but being an Arab is on account of your tongue. Whoever learns Arabic is an Arab.”

    This hadîth is related by Ibn`Asâkir in Târîkh Dimashq. It is a very weak hadîth. Ibn `Asâkir, al-Dhahabî and al-Nasâ’î declared its narrator, Salmân b. `Abd Allah to be extremely weak and unreliable.

    In any event, I stick to my original explanation :)

  28. And I am saying that we should not be ashamed of what we believe just because Westerners may find it to be distasteful from their invented deen

    I am not ashamed, akhi, of any of my beliefs. However, taking something out of context is worthy of shame.

    Furthermore, while we have no reason to be ashamed of anything, when giving da’wah, special attention to detail and context must be given to those aspects of our deen that, when misunderstood, could be seen as more problematic to those to whom the da’wah is being given. The principle of the virtue of the Arabic language and people is not problematic in the least… but taking it out of context by saying “Arabs are better than non-Arabs” without any qualification nor contextualization is not only problematic to a Westerner, but the “out of context meaning” itself goes against tenants of Islam.

  29. Aboo Haatim says:

    “Arabs are better than non-Arabs” without any qualification nor contextualization is not only problematic to a Westerner, but the “out of context meaning” itself goes against tenants of Islam

    Firstly, akhee, I wish that you would put my posts back before I am taken out of context. I want to know what I said that went against the tenents of Islam? Many scholars will state outright that the “Arabs are better” and have even written books on the matter. And note that we are not just talking about the language here, but the people in themselves and their position in this deen

  30. Yasir Qadhi says:

    Salaam Alaikum

    There is so much misinformation over this topic that it would actually be funny were it not for its ramifications.

    No scholar of our religion (to the best of my knowledge) states that an Arab is superior in the eyes of Allah over a non-Arab merely because of his ethnicity. Such a belief clearly contravenes the very basic message of Islam: that it is through piety and one’s deeds that we rise in the sight of Allah. It goes against the hadith that was said in front of the largest gathering of Companions ever, on the Day of Arafah, in the Farewell Pilgrimage, in which our beloved Arab prophet said, “There is no fadl (superiority, rank, status) of an Arab over a non-Arab except because of piety.” When some of the early noblemen of Quraysh offered to accept Islam if the Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wa salaam) got rid of the lowly and ignoble Companions, all of whom were non-Arab or non-Qurashis (such as Bilal and Suhayb), Allah revealed such strong warnings in the Quran that it became impossible to even contemplate that: “…if you repel them, you would be from the losers.” Hence, such unconditional statements, coming from overzealous brothers, than ‘Arabs are superior to non-Arabs’, are grossly inaccurate.

    Those who misquote scholars of the past in this regard simply lose the point of what those scholars are talking about. Yes, it is true that famous scholars of our tradition advocated that the Arabs have certain privileges non-Arabs don’t have, but none of them, and I repeat, NONE OF THEM, advocated that the Arabs are somehow a ‘master race’ or that these privileges in and of themselves have anything to do with their status in Jannah. Rather, what they are referring to is the fact that the Quran is in their language, that the Prophet was from their ethnicity, and that the land chosen to be the bastion of Islam was their land. Surely this is worthy of being proud over; surely this is a matter that would make any nation happy: that the best human being ever sent was from their ethnicity! But this ‘status’ has absolutely no legal or spiritual implications in this world or the next. It is merely something that is worthy of (legitimate) pride, as long as it does not lead to racism or condescension. Feeling proud that Allah chose the Book to be revealed in your languages should not translate into looking down at other languages and cultures.

    In the times that we live in, and in the aftermath of many incidents of blatant racism (such as the Nazi belief of a ‘pure master race’, and the discrimination suffered for centuries by African-Americans), to merely bring up such a topic is very uncomfortable. It automatically leads many people to take this innocent principle to tangents and heights that were never intended. What these Muslim theologians were writing about and discussing in academic works has absolutely nothing to do with the racism that our world has seen over and over again! In fact, many of those theologians who were writing this were actually non-Arabs; and even those that were, they own teachers and students were Arabs and non-Arabs. Never in our religious history has racism been theologically tolerated; the MAJORITY of our scholars throughout the centuries have actually been non-Arabs, in hadith, fiqh, Quran, tafsir, and even in Arabic grammar! Thus, all of this needs to be taken into context.

    I believe that such discussion don’t gain much in our times; as usual we have a group of overzealous youth who think they need to ‘spread the Haqq’ at all costs, and they don’t realize, firstly, what the ‘Haqq’ is, and secondly, the wisdom needed in speaking about sensitive issues.

    When the Prophet salla Allah alayhi wa sallam clearly said that there is NO fadl of an Arab over a non-Arab, THAT is what needs to be emphasized.That is the message that HE wanted to impress upon the multitudes of people, so much so that he even commanded them to pass on this message to others. If certain later theologians, in their love for their Prophet, the Quran, and the land of revelation, made some claims that might have an element of truth in them, surely these claims cannot take the status of a hadith, much less contradict the very message of our Prophet!!

    There is not one single explicit verse or authentic hadith that talks about any ‘superior’ race, Arab or otherwise. Surely Allah and His Messenger know best what to tell us and believe in. Let’s leave it at that….

    Yasir

  31. Amad says:

    jazakAllahkhair Shaykh Yasir… these sort of clear thoughts is what puts things in perspective mashallah.

    I should add that this sort of non-contextual stuff feeds tribal mentalities, and only fans the flames of distrust between Muslim communities, as I referred to in my post on internet tribalism.

  32. JazakAllahu khayran shaykh for taking the time to respond.

  33. Aboo Haatim says:

    @ Yasir Qadhi

    With all respect, you mixed many issues. No one said that this position of AHLUS SUNNAH is “racism” and the fact that many scholars were not Arab does not change the fact that this is an aqeedah point. The actions of Nazis and blacks in America is of no consequence to us and our beautiful deen. We love this deen and we are not ashamed of our belief. Why should we hide this as if we are ashamed because of THEIR misunderstanding based on their evil ideology?

    Our shayookh have taught us that we should BELIEVE that the Arabs are better and this is the position that I hold and the position of Ahlus Sunnah for centuries. We should be proud because this is our deen and this ‘fadilah’ is because of them in and of themselves. The MAJORITY of scholars held this opinion. The MAJORITY held the opinion that the imarah should remain in the hands of the Quraish.

    Ibn Taymiyyah for one brought many proofs of the superiority of the Arabs and mentioned their superior mental abilities, bravery and strength. Imaaam Barbahaaree has this as an AQEEDAH POINT in his book. Secondly, we can not believe that Allah CHOSE the Arabs accidentally to carry this deen to the world. He CHOSE them because they were the best of humanity. We should not mix Western egalitarian “ideals” and become embarrassed and judge Islam by them and try to twist Islam to fit their way of thinking. If our scholars have stated this, then we should go with this and throw the “ideals” against the wall.

    Further if you notice, the Arabs’ culture is generally closer to deen and they show more love for this deen than any others. This in itself should be proof in front of our eyes

    @ Amad

    The fact that some black brothers have a problem with the AQEEDAH of Ahlus Sunnah is THEIR problem and not ours

  34. inexplicabletimelessness says:

    Jazakallahu khairan shaykh Siraj for the lecture and shaykh Yasir for the comment.

    Man… Racism is such a disease. You know, I think of it this way: our bodies are like boxes! They are shells, they are superficial, they are only the outer level. When we die, do you think the ants will care if they are eating the Arab or non-Arab, black or white, fat or thin, tall or short, ugly or beautiful, man or woman? Moreover and more importantly, who cares about the ants when Allah (swt) has promised justice and equity based on believing in His Oneness and doing good deeds, regardless of race?

    SubhanAllah. May Allah cure the world of superficiality and help us all ponder on our true purpose, our true identities (ie. the state of our souls) and guide everyone to His Straight Path, the path of all the Prophets Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

  35. patb says:

    An interesting exchange and one I’ve seen repeated many times before. I’ve also read Shayks supporting the position that the Arabs are a chosen people and that they do have an elevated status. At the very least there is a question within the Muslim community as to this issue and this begs the question as to the authenticity of the articles premise, at least in practice.
    My second question/observation also relates (indirectly) to this issue and again originates in the ME. The status of Muslim/non Muslim also seems to feed the racism I’ve noted in certain ME countries (and womens status).
    Take SA for example and the payment of Diyya.
    For a Muslim Man 100,000 Riyals for a Christian man 50,000 Riyals, Muslima 50,000 non Muslima 25K etc. This again is supposedly supported by Sharia (their interpretation) and would not be a far reach to support a racist/class system that could culturally bleed over into other areas.
    Anon, as to the speaking/reading Arabic and being Arab, get a grip. Now if you could read pre classic Arabic and Koine rather than modern standard maybe we’d give you some points.

  36. Yasir Qadhi,

    As Salaamu Alaikum my dear brother,

    With all do respect to your immense learning, almost everything you’ve said sounds so much like psycho-babble and spin, devoid of any meaning whatsoever. Either it is or it isn’t. Either the Arabs are superior to everyone else or they’re not. Firstly let me agree with you that this racist tenet, despite its being cloaked in the language of religion, is nothing more than a philosophical construct foisted upon the ummah during the Ummayyid period. This idea was an accepted belief among them which any student of Muslim history can easily look up and study. In fact, during their reign one was even prohibited from taking shahadah unless he/she had an Arab “maula”! This is an ugly fact which we Muslims refuse to bring up

    As you have accurately mentioned toward the close of your comment, the true belief given to the Muslims makes taqwa (God consciousness) the defining quality of superiority (fadeelah), not any genetic makeup, Arab or otherwise. The reason that this alleged “principal” (as you call it) is so “sensitive” is because it clearly contradicts, if not completely vitiates, the divine teaching sent down to us by our Lord! I will never accept it and I suspect that most thinking American converts (especially those with college educations) will not either. The other reason its so “sensitive” is that humanity has learned through bitter experience where this obnoxious philosophy leads. Those of us whose ancestors were slaves find this “teaching” especially nauseating. However much you try to spin it brother, it is a “master race” philosophy and there is no getting around that.

    You’ve very cleverly presented this issue as a simple matter of “Arab pride”, or rather, what the Arabs believe about themselves , but that is clearly NOT what this is about! This is about the alleged “superiority” of a race being propounded as a RELIGIOUS DOGMA, one which affects a Muslim’s life both in this world and in the hereafter. As I have documented on my blog,

    http://singularvoice.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/salafi-imam-we-must-believe-arabs-are-master-race/

    there are religious leaders branding Muslims who don’t accept this “belief” as deviants! This belies your claim that it

    “has absolutely no legal or spiritual implications in this world or the next”

    Finally brother Yasir, you also say,

    There is not one single explicit verse or authentic hadith that talks about any ’superior’ race, Arab or otherwise. Surely Allah and His Messenger know best what to tell us and believe in. Let’s leave it at that…..

    I fully agree with you, but are we to “leave it at that” because of our inability to explain an embarrassing, medieval, contraditory, confusing, flat out racist teaching which we should still like to retain, only out of the public eye? Or should we, as you say, “leave it at that” because the belief is obviously false and deserves to be done away with forever? In other words, it seems that you want your cake and eat it too. You say in one breath that the belief is baseless, yet in another you continue to argue in its favor. The irrationality involved here is simply breathtaking.

    Brother Yasir I respect both your learning and good character, but here I think you’ve become a victim of all that Saudi training. Advocating this kind of thing is below your high intelligence and I pray you reconsider your position.

  37. Jaysh says:

    As-Salam Alaykum.

    Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, may Allah [swt] reward you with the best in this life and the next.

    I pray that one day I may meet you in person. You are my absolute favorite daiee. Forgive my flattery; I know it’s not considered good to give a lot of praise, but really, you have always been the voice of reason.

    This debate about race has really disturbed me. Please do visit this thread here on Islamic Awakening:

    http://forums.islamicawakening.com/showthread.php?t=13926

    And you may also visit this thread on the same topic at Multaqa:

    http://www.ahlalhdeeth.com/vbe/showthread.php?t=1149

    Brothers like Abu az-Zubayr are saying that the one who does not believe that Arabs are superior in fadl that they are not Sunnis! And he even says that it might be kufr!

    Please do address this issue in depth insha-Allah, because it is causing a LOT of distress to people.

  38. Jaysh says:

    By the way, does anyone know if Shaykh Yasir will come to ISNA this year in Ohio?

  39. Ibrahim says:

    Shaykh Yasir Qadhi

    I agree that people should know the priorities, but the filth people like Abdur Rahman speak needs to be dealt with. You should read his blog. He is a racist and is calling others racist. I’m not an Arab by the way as people who have read my comments might know.

    Secondly, Arabs have fadl and this has wordly implications. Quraysh have fadl over other Arabs and so the fact that Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Muawiyah, Umar bin Abdul Aziz were all from Quraysh is a worldly fact. Mahdi is to be a Qurshi and that has worldly implications. That scholars from Indo-Pak, my land, have their differences published in Arabic to make their point clear to the scholars of Arab land (al-Hijaaz in particular) has worldly implications. The kafir Ahmed Raza Khan Bralwi went to scholars in al-Hijaaz and lied about the Deobandis and Deobandis responded to make things clear to the scholars of al-Hijaaz. This is just one example.

    Note I’m a very dignified person and come from a dignified family and hence I do not take any discrimination sitting down. Despite this, I have stated my views above because there is no discrimination. If an Arab has misbehaved with me I have let him know what I think of him not because he was an Arab but because I don’t take arrogance from anybody.

    Ibn Taymiyyah is explicit about the tafdil of Arabs and he also says that once an Arab thinks he is better or is more noble, that very moment he has lost this tafdil.

    We shouldn’t talk on this topic in light of what Arabs do today. Muslims, Arabs or non-Arabs, are all suffering from lack of emaan today so how they use this concept doesn’t define the reality of this tafdil. If we detach ourselves with how many Arabs are generally precieved to act today, we can come to easiliy appreciate this concept.

    But, yes, you are right: In the eyes of Allah…it’s only taqwa as we all know.

    Jaysh, I don’t exactly know what Abu Zubayr has to say but clearly ibn Taymiyyah calls this concept a part of aqeeda. As far as kufr, I’m not sure. Yes, if you deny that Banu Ismaeel have no tafdil over others than that could be kufr (you have to ask a scholar) because then one would be denying the explicit hadith in sahih Muslim (I believe).

    Moreover, it’s also necessary to not make one liners like Aboo Haatim has done by just saying “Arabs are better than non-Arabs”, which could be taken to mean that they are more likely to enter Jannah, and this is a wrong concept, and if he thinks that then he needs to change his opinion and bring it according to the correct aqeeda.

    There are two extremes in this discussion: Those who deny any tafdil and then those who make outright statements and try to abuse this concept, and I think we see both of them here. Allah knows best

  40. Ibrahim says:

    I fully agree with you, but are we to “leave it at that” because of our inability to explain an embarrassing, medieval, contraditory, confusing, flat out racist teaching which we should still like to retain, only out of the public eye? Or should we, as you say, “leave it at that” because the belief is obviously false and deserves to be done away with forever? In other words, it seems that you want your cake and eat it too. You say in one breath that the belief is baseless, yet in another you continue to argue in its favor. The irrationality involved here is simply breathtaking.

    Have some shame Abdur Rahman. What choices you have given the shaykh! So, he can say yes this is a medieval concept or he can say it’s false! If you could be a little less racist, you will find that actually the shaykh is supporting your views mostly. After reading your blog I say you shouldn’t talking about this matter. You are a clear racist and insincere in seeking the truth. I know Abu Usamah didn’t put his best foot foward while talking about this issues but you take his comments out of context. I mean you had the audacity to inject the term “Master Race” in this discussion. Shame on you.

    Brother Yasir I respect both your learning and good character, but here I think you’ve become a victim of all that Saudi training. Advocating this kind of thing is below your high intelligence and I pray you reconsider your position.

    Don’t try to fool him by patronizing him.

  41. Aboo Haatim says:

    @ Moderator(s)

    Ikhwan, I would like to know what I am saying that is getting my posts temporarily removed? I hope it is not because of shame

    @ Jaysh

    I don’t know this Abu az-Zubayr you mention, but what you mention of him on this issue is correct akhee. This is deen and what is upon us is to accept it. We hear and we obey.

    You mentioned people having distress with this point and this is very unfortunate. These people have accepted the Western “egalitarian” aqeedah and projected it upon Islaam. This is a disease of the heart and we need to tell them to make du’aa to make it acceptable in their hearts and cure the disease in it. Many non-Arabs (like me) have accepted this point wholeheartedly and I see that it makes perfect sense. I suggest that you all read on this issue and see the special characteristics of the Arabs that indeed do make them better to carry this deen to the world

    @ Ibrahim

    Extreme? Come on akhee I did not say that the Arabs will enter Jannah first or anything like that. But Allaah knows best who will enter first. Everyone who made such a claim put words in my mouth and brought that issue themselves. I too am speaking of the dunya implications and there is no doubt that they are indeed BETTER. My point is that it seems that some on this board because they are affected by Western thought (even if only slightly) seem to be ashamed to mention this point less it be “misunderstood” by people like patb who has shown in subsequent posts that hates this deen anyway. If they want to call it “racist” according to their deen, then whatever. We have the truth on our side and they do not. Why do we care what they think?

    There are several implications. One example I heard brought was that Umar (radi Allahu anhu) used to distribute the zakaa to the Arabs first, THEN to the non-Arabs. Another is Imaam Ash-Shafi’ee’s opinion that an Arab woman should not marry an Ajamee because of the difference in STATUS. Also, the FACT that the leadership of the Muslims is to be held by the Quraish. This can even be taken to the point that given to EQUALLY qualified Imaams for a masjid, the Arab should be chosen. There is no doubt that the status of that masjid will be raised. I don’t mean this in a racist sense whatsoever, but the fact is that the entire Ummah looks up to the Arabs

    The likes of Abdur-Rahman are jealous of the Arabs because his own people have accomplished nothing and so he resorts to attacking tenets of this deen to put his people up to a status that they do not deserve in our religion. As Aisha (Radi Allahu anha) said “We put the people in their proper status”

    We pray for the guidance of such individuals

    Sometimes comments get stuck in spam box or are put into hold for review. None of your comments were edited or deleted. -Editor

  42. Abu Bakr says:

    The Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم will enter Jannah first, along with his Ummah, no mystery there.

  43. Confused says:

    So let me get this straight, when the Prophet (Sallalahu alayhi wa sallam) said that an Arab has no fadl over a non arab nor vice versa, except by taqwa, it meant that Arabs are superior?

    Can some provide some evidence from the Qur’an or Sunnah for this? I’ve never ever heard this before.

    And I can say that in my experiences, Arabs have generally been LESS deserving of any respect than most non-Arabs, based on their actions. Their blatant racism is kinda legendary. I don’t mean every single Arab I’ve encountered has been a racist, but I can safely say that the majority has been. I might be able to understand a sense of superiority if it was founded on something, superior knowledge of the deen etc, but the Arabs who give off this racism are usually the least religious people I’ve met.

    It amazes me that at many of the Masajid I have visited, few second generation Arabs can properly read the Quran and yet those same Arabs still look down at non-Arabs who recite beautifully with correct tajweed and pronunciation. When I lived in Houston, during Ramadan, most of the taraweeh prayers were led by Indo-Pak huffadh, not Arabs. And the non-Arab huffadh were more often second generation while the Arabs huffadh were more often immigrants.

    I ran across this on the other thread, and it was actually pretty accurate, about how most Arabs divide others:

    1. Sunni Saudi
    2. Western Kaafirs (native westerners i.e. whites – excludes Filipinos)
    3. Western Muslims (who hold passports)
    4. Other Arabs (eg. Syrians, Lebos, Misris etc.)
    5. Rafidhi Saudi
    6. Pakistanis, Indians, Fillipinos
    7. Animals
    8. Bengalis

    Again, don’t get me wrong, I don’t meant that every Arabs is a bad Muslim or a racist, but from my own experiences, the most religious Muslims I’ve met are African-American reverts and second generation Indo-Paks.

  44. Aboo Haatim says:

    @ Confused

    Nothing you said has anything to do with the discussion. There are Muslims all over the world that would love to be in Saudi Arabia. Those that complain can leave and for each one complaining, there are thousands of others waiting to take their place

  45. Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî says:

    @ Confused:

    Most Arabs? I think you mean most Saudis and besides the fact that that is both inaccurate and a poor attempt at satire, it’s racist.

  46. Gohar says:

    If there is any racism between any communities within our ummah then this should be adressed. But poeple shouldn’t be allowed to use this to enourage HATRED towards that group back in return.

    I’m from Pakistan, but i will NEVER hate my Saudi (or Bangal or Nigerian etc) brother EVEN IF he were to look down at me. Muslims should rise above such feelings – those who are so ardently criticising Saudi (or those in America who so ardently criticize indo-pak) are no betterfor the ummah than those who they criticize.

  47. Gohar says:

    We need to forget where our fellow muslims come from even if they do not forget where we come from.

  48. IbnAbbas says:

    Jazakallahu khair Shaykh Yasir Qadhi for taking the time in writing here… what you have stated is clear haqq.
    Even the most illiterate person in the world would understand that the sayings of Muhammad sallallahu a’laihe wasallam “There is no fadl (superiority, rank, status) of an Arab over a non-Arab except because of piety.” doesn’t make arabs superior in any way. How much more perceptible statement you want than that? There is no place for qiyas on this statement of Rasool Allah or compare this to the action of Imam Shafiee, is it?

    Brother Abdur Rahman Muhammad – I find it hard to understand what you’re talking about and I can smell some racism in your post. you disagree and yet you accuse Shaykh Yasir by having “Saudi Training”. whats that about?

  49. Amad says:

    It is important to know the players in this discussion.

    There are two types of conspiracy theorist Muslims in the world: ones who blames all of the world’s problems upon a grand conspiracy caused by Jews and the “kuffar”. And the other who believe that all other Muslims are plotting conspiracies against them! Our Br. Abdur Rahman (AR) falls in the latter…

    I have discussed some of his conspiracy theories in the post on Internet tribalism. Instead of absorbing the spirit of brotherhood that I wanted to evoke in this post, AR was more interested in my “Pakistani identity”, by virtue of which, my words (whetted by other BAM Muslims by the way) became “immigrant paternalism”.

    According to AR, all non-black Muslims and many black Muslims (who AR plugs as Uncle Toms including our beloved Imam Siraj) are part of the grand “Immigrant Syndicate” (yes even desis are “arabs” in this regard) whose only soul goal in life is to debase and keep the BAMs down. CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, Sami Arian, Ismail Royer, etc., etc. are/were all agents of this secret movement. Unfortunately, our brother Abdur Rahman took legitimate concerns and blew them into kooky conspiracies, and lost some of the goodwill and momentum he had gained in bringing real issues to light. Worse, the goodwill for his false propaganda instead coming from Islamophobic websites like LGF, etc.

    To be honest, I feel that those who bring up this stuff about Arab superiority, etc. don’t really have a practical purpose except to sow seeds of discord. Really, what is the practical purpose? Regardless of which side is right or wrong, how will this change the way we run our lives, how we practice our deen? Seriously, my Arab, desi, black, x, y,z friends were all fine without the need for getting to the bottom of it. There are a lot bigger fish to fry.

    I reiterate what Shaykh Yasir said,

    I believe that such discussion don’t gain much in our times; as usual we have a group of overzealous youth who think they need to ’spread the Haqq’ at all costs, and they don’t realize, firstly, what the ‘Haqq’ is, and secondly, the wisdom needed in speaking about sensitive issues.

  50. Aboo Haatim says:

    @ IbnAbbas

    With all respect to our brother Yasir Qadhi, why is it that vast majority of scholars of the past and PRESENT hold the position that the Arabs are superior? Should we go with the statements of the ulamaa or Yasir Qadhi?

  51. Aboo Haatim says:

    To be honest, I feel that those who bring up this stuff about Arab superiority, etc. don’t really have a practical purpose except to sow seeds of discord. Really, what is the practical purpose?

    Br. Amad

    Our beloved brother Abu Usamah Ath-Thahabi brought this issue because it is an AQEEDAH point and something that the people need to BELIEVE in. You talk about conspiracy theories, then all but accuse Abu Usamah of “sowing seeds of discord”. This was not the case. It should be noted that Abu Usamah himself is black and fully accepts his position as well as the position of the Arabs in this deen with no problem

  52. MR says:

    I CAN’T BELIEVE THERE ARE MUSLIMS WHO ACTUALLY BELIEVE THIS **** ABOUT HOW ARABS ARE SUPERIOR!

    The Prophet (pbuh) said: ” All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action”

  53. Aboo Haatim says:

    @ MR

    We understand this deen based upon what the ulamaa say and not upon us (laymen) looking at the text and taking our own understanding and projecting alien values upon the deen

  54. Amad says:

    And I can bet, Aboo hatim, that there are a million nuances of Aqeedah that you have no idea about! There is a difference between required/practical knowledge, and knowledge that is for the ulama to understand and delve into. There are also other aspects of knowledge… including weighing the harms and benefits of the dissemination of anything, even if a subtle part of the deen. I am not even that concerned about the veracity of the claim (besides the fact that there is no clear textual evidence on it). My point speaks more to “what’s the point”. Not everything that is one’s stomach needs to be talked about. And, finally, you still haven’t given me one good and beneficial reason why I or any other common Muslim needs to know about this to go about everyday life.

    On a side-note, we all know that Allah favored the tribes of Israel as a favored nation for much of history until the Ummah of Mohammad (S). Was that racism too?

  55. Yasir Qadhi says:

    Salaam Alaikum

    @ Aboo Hatim

    I would rather go with the authentic, unambiguous, muttawatir statement of our Rasul salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam: ‘There is no fadl of an Arab over a non-Arab’. As for later theological points, with all due respect to you, not everything coming from respected ulama takes the status of the ‘Six Pillars’ of our faith, even if it has elements of truth in it. This is what I meant when I said it appears those who push these issues in our times lack wisdom. There is a time, place and methodology to talk about anything – how much more the case if the issue can lead to great misunderstanding (such as this one issue?!)

    @ Ibrahim
    The blessings of Quraysh and/or Banu Hashim (e.,g they cannot be given zakat) cannot be extrapolated to say that Arabs have a different legal status in our religion. Yes the Quraysh are Arabs, but merely because the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam said something about them does not imply that ALL Arabs are like that. I stand by my statement that there is no explicit, authentic hadith that paints the entire Arab race as somehow being better than non-Arabs. All such hadiths that are used are either fabricated or not explicit.

    @ patb
    You raise some very deep points, but they don’t apply in our discussion. In Saudi, the rules that they apply in diyah differ with regards to RELIGION, not ETHNICITY. And so it is irrelevant what the color of your skin or ethnicity is, what is relevant is the conscious decision you made whether you want to worship Allah or not. Such a differentiation has a basis, not only in our religion but in common sense as well. But that is another topic, not related to this post at all.

    @ Abd al-Rahmaan

    I have read your blog in the past and was really surprised and disappointed at some of your views. I think it is a serious mistake to label pretty much all of our American Islamic movements as having a certain agenda.
    Also, with all due respect to you (and I really mean that – I am assuming you are much older than me and have gone through experiences in life that I have not), I do not think it is possible for you to understand the position of Ibn Taymiyyah and other scholars (here I must point out that Ibn Taymiyyah and those scholars who advocated such positions were not ‘Saudi’, nor were they influenced by oil-money!) Because such positions, found in some medieval theological works, are so easily misunderstood, and because we have explicit statements of our Rasul sall aAllah Alahi wa sallam on the topic, I really think it is a serious mistake for students of knowledge to spread such doctrines amongst the people, simply because what the people will inevitably understand (due to their own historical experiences) is radically different that what these ulama intended.

    You claim that ‘I wish to have my cake and eat it as well’, and that ‘Either Arabs are superior or they are not’. This simplistic duality does not typically exist in the world (Does ‘You’re either with us or against us’ sound familiar?).

    When our Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam denied any fadl of an Arab over a non-Arab, he was blessed with the most concise speech, and he knew best the implications of what he was talking about. Hence that is what we should always say and quote, SIMPLY BECAUSE that is the prophetic speech.

    But later scholars, who were fully ware of this speech, merely tried to point out that the very fact the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam comes from a certain ethnicity has certain logical ramifications. What they wrote can be read (even in English) on various websites. They were not attempting to contradict the prophetic speech, but merely explaining one facet of it. All of these scholars have quite explicit disclaimers that they are not advocating a ‘master race’ or racism or an E-Z pass to Jannah for one race.

    Let me give you an example that we in America can all understand. Please don’t take this example as being equivalent to our one; just one that will help us understand what is being referred to. Here in America, belonging to a certain family can have its ‘privileges’. These privileges are not legal (they won’t hold in a court of law or change any verdicts) or spiritual (doesn’t make them better Christians just because of their lineage). Nonetheless, these family names do invoke some time of respect IF AND ONLY IF members of that family acted properly and held up the family name. Examples of such families in America are the Rockefellers and the Kennedys. Belonging to such a family automatically brings about some honor in our (American) society. You can talk all you want about how you personally might think this is unfair, but it won’t change the status quo that our media and society has already bestowed upon them. Now, if a person of such a family were to flaunt that privilege and act in a arrogant manner, even this worldly respect given to him would be taken away. But if such a family member were to ‘live up to the family name’ there is no doubt that our society would show such a person respect (too much if you ask me: admittance to Ivy League universities would be guaranteed; job opportunities; political life, etc… and no scholar ever advocated such for Arabs over non-Arabs!!!). But again, no matter how much we personally might be opposed to such ‘privileges’, it is a fact that our society will grant them such privileges merely because of their paternal affiliation.

    Again, I’m not comparing the Kennedys to the Arabs (!!!) but there is an element of that in what these medieval theologians were talking about. None of them were claiming that an Arab is inherently better than a non-Arab, they were merely pointing out that having the best human being from amongst a certain ethnicity has its connotations. Let me ask you bluntly: wouldn’t you be proud if you belonged to the family of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam? (Again, a type of pride where you thank Allah for that, and not go and brag and boast to people about it)

    I’d also like to mention another point, and one that has actually gotten me into a lot more trouble than these previous comments ever could! Remember that an Arab (by ethnicity) is a person who is of the descendants of Adnan, who in turn is one of the descendants of Ismail. (There are also linguistic and political ways of defining Arabs, but what these medieval theologians were talking about was the ethnic term ‘Arab’). With that point in mind, it is fair to say that the majority of those who call themselves ‘Arab’ today are not, in fact, genealogically so, meaning they are not descendants of Adnan. Due to the Muslim conquests of Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, N. Africa, etc., and their subsequent Arabization, these peoples then began to speak in the language of the Arabs and adopted much of their culture, but that did not make them of the same background as our Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam!! Also, with the Ottomonization of the Arabian peninsula in the 18th and 19th centuries, many non-Arabs began to live in Arabia and become ‘Arabicized’ as well, and their descendants continue to live in those same regions, talking (and acting!) like people of Arabia, even though their roots are not from there.

    So, for a modern ‘Arab’ to somehow use this arcane theological controversy to boost his own image would, firstly, contradict the whole premise of this issue (i.e., it cannot be used to prove superiority over other people, as that would be arrogance), and, secondly, such an Arab in all likelihood is a political Arab, and not a descendant of Adnan, hence no closer to the ethnicity of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam than any other race.

    I’d like to conclude my participation in this thread by stating that, as is typical with any issue, you always have extremes. I feel that both extremes have manifested themselves on the internet, and on this forum. I believe that the average Muslim has no need, nor really any benefit, to get involved with the finer details of such arcane, mediaeval theological controversies, and that those who talk about these issues do so at the peril of much fitnah and little benefit, and at the expense of talking about much more practical and tangible issues. Those people who wish to stress this point (no matter how passionately they believe in it!) will lose credibility when talking about far more important points. I would like to ask these brothers who stress this issue: do you really think this issue will be of practical benefit to the Ummah in our times, or do you think it will actually cause more controversy and splitting? Are you not satisfied in saying with the Quran and Sunnah says, and leave it at that?! You are so passionate about spreading the beliefs of certain scholars (and I love them as well), but why are you not just as passionate to spread the statements of our Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam about this issue and leave it at that?

    I believe that the words of our Sacred Texts are the best and the most precise, and if the Muslims stick with them and cling to them, that will be safest for their deen and dunya. Whatever Ibn Taymiyyah said (and everyone who knows me knows how much I admire him), or whatever any scholar said, it can never talk the place of the Quran and Sunnah. And the words of the Quran and Sunnah in this regard are the purest.

    Wa salaam

    Yasir

    PS – I really don’t wish to sound as if this controversy is trivial, but in all honesty I don’t have the time right now to get involved in a debate over an issue that I’m not even interested in! Both sides, in my opinion, have fallen overboard… let them debate it out amongst themselves! I have more important things that I’m busy with (such as preparing for IlmSummit!!)

  56. Aboo Haatim says:

    And, finally, you still haven’t given me one good and beneficial reason why I or any other common Muslim needs to know about this to go about everyday life.

    That is like asking what practical benefit is there in knowing about the angels or jinn.

    On a side-note, we all know that Allah favored the tribes of Israel as a favored nation for much of history until the Ummah of Mohammad (S). Was that racism too?

    Who said anything about racism? Why do you all keep trying to put words in my mouth? I said the Arabs are better…full stop

  57. Aboo Haatim says:

    how much more the case if the issue can lead to great misunderstanding (such as this one issue?!)

    That is why we should attach ourselves to the ulamaa and know the rights and how to apply this. Whoever misunderstands then that is their loss

  58. Aboo Haatim says:

    @ Yasir

    It is my understanding from what I have heard from the ulamaa and reading that the Arabs do indeed have special characteristics and rights in this deen that would be from the deen and not from special “privileges” such as in the Kennedy example you gave. If we take the explicit ayah of Qur’an about Jews and Christians, then we would think that they would be in Jannah as some of the deviant groups do. But we take from the understanding of the salaf and our ulamaa to understand this issue and clarify it for us. This is why we have the scholars. Sh. Muqbil said that we MUST BELIEVE that the Arabs are better. This is far different than the analogy you gave.

    The people need to hear and obey on this issue whether or not they understand it.

    We BELIEVE that the Salaf were the best generation. We BELIEVE that Makkah is the best city. We have no problems with these concepts. Why do we have such a problem with the concept that the Arabs are the best? I don’t understand what the problem is

  59. Muhamad says:

    Abu Haatim, are you one of those black american reverts?

    Why do you guys all ways have to prove that you are salafier than salafi.

    Is someone going to kick you off the “Salafi Manhaj” if you dont believe this superiority thing?

    Secondly can you even read arabic? do you understand arabic my friend?.

    I find you guys talk about soo many things that are way over your heads, all in the name of “speaking the Haqq”

  60. Amad says:

    Comments are being closed for now (they may be opened later after shura discussion). Everyone has had an opportunity to speak their mind, and it seems people are now talking past each each other instead of talking to the points mentioned.

    Until someone can convince most of us (I think and hope that I speak for many) that there is a real, practical and tangible benefit to Muslims in understanding all the nuances of this issue, there is no need to go on. It is just become a matter of ego and asserting one’s pointless point. Please feel free to contact us using the button on the left.

    May Allah guide and forgive all of us: Arabs and non-Arabs :)

  61. […] I find it interesting that these murderous zealots (like Zawahari and gang) don’t have any problem using racial epithets. It is truly ironic that those who claim to sometimes be the staunchest in defending the purity of our deen are the ones who resort to using offensive race-based slurs – a violation of even the most basic teachings of manners in our religion. Where is the Islam in racism and racist terms, Dr. Doom? In fact, Islam is the cure for this disease. […]