rainbow

”Buzz off nigga, go back to Africa!!!”

“Don’t be so jealous and get some tan, you white-looser!”

You’re probably grinning or rolling your eyes now, we’ve all heard something similar before. I’m not too good with the things people comment about each other’s colour, the exact phrases they use or whatever. I don’t even wanna know. I’ve seen and heard enough in my lifetime.

Maybe you’re thinking this is something many non-Muslims like to do, hate us all because of our colour, race or because they think Muslims are all “terrorist Arabs” from the far away East. Aladdins and Jasmines, some monkey Abus too. But they got to admit; we’d all need a Genie in the bottle, right?

Well, back to my actual topic…Firstly, I wouldn’t like to break your fantasy thinking brother/sister, but I’m not known to keep quite about reality. There is a lot of racism going on between Muslims. It sounds almost ridiculous, even in my ears, because I’m positive most of you have heard this:

“And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens
And the earth, and the variations in your languages
And your colours; verily in that are Signs
For those who know.” Holy Qu’ran 30:22

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). [Qur’an Hujuraat 49: 13]

For some who do still not believe racism is bad, listen to the Prophet (salallahu alehy wa’selam):

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said to a companion:
“You are not better than people (of other races) unless you excel them in piety.”
– Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1361

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said in his final sermon:
“No one has superiority over another except by piety and good action.”

I just hate racism; you could say I’m racist against racism. Or anti-racist.

Those who do not know much about Islam often come to me and start talking something about how they’ve seen Pakistanis or Indians (?) saying each other things that if my mother would have heard, she would have given them some good old spanking.
The people who told me about this, were Christian missionaries with their eyes wide open in shock and I swear, when hearing them say what my “peaceful” brothers and sisters in Islam had done, I thought I was seeing halos above their heads and myself as the guilty puppy-dog, who had attacked the innocent kitty-cat.

In the most patient way, I started explaining to them, what Islam says about racism and that what they had just experienced, was a cultural thing, how they were wrong and that they should be careful with what kind of people they relate Islam with. Because just as in every religion, there are those who carry the name of their religion, with none what so ever respect.

Afterwards I made sure next Friday when I went to the masjid, I’d be standing in the hallway of the building, some minutes before the Imam would come. You see the doors to each room are closed; only the Imam has the key to open them. With some papers with me, I gathered some sisters in a corner, including those I had heard slander about. A bit away I saw brothers, including those brothers mentioned earlier.

With a clear voice I said:

“I hate Somalians.”

Silence.

The Somalians, who are the majority of Muslims in my community, started wide-eyed at me, never had such words come out of my mouth. The fact I drew the attention of the brothers, was something I avoid often, alhamdulillah, but this concerned them too.

“Ayla! Have you gone mad?!”
“She’s taken drugs!”

The sisters were so mad at me, then one of them said,

“The Imam is Somalian!”

Perfect timing. I began talking and the others stood silent.

“The Imam is Somalian you say. Yes I do know that. Listen… A few days ago, my sisters, some Christian missionaries came to me, telling me how Pakistanis and Indians hate each other because they are from Pakistan or India and the horrible things they said about each other.
I had to explain to them; ISLAM IS AGAINST RACISM!”

I shouted the last part, may Allah forgive me!

“What is going on? Are you Muslims or what? Don’t YOU know Islam is against racism?? Pakistani, Indian, Somalian, Arab, Afghan, Albanian… Whatever!!! We’re all the same in the sight of Allah Almighty! Listen carefully what Muhammad (salallahu alehy wa’selam) has said:

O people, Remember that your Lord is One. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a black has no superiority over white, nor a white has any superiority over black, except by piety and good action (Taqwa). Indeed the best among you is the one with the best character (Taqwa). Listen to me. Did I convey this to you properly? People responded, yes. O messenger of Allah, The Prophet then said, then each one of you who is there must convey this to everyone not present. (Excerpt from the Prophet’s Last Sermon as in Baihiqi)

“There are at least 2 or 3 fights in one month here between people of different races! What’s the matter with you all? You pray the 5 prayers; you give to charity; learn about Islam; observe the hijab or the beard; call yourselves Muslims! And yet, you hate the other Muslim? I’m not perfect; don’t think I’m saying that, astagfirullah! But I respect ya’ll so much, so much, that I can’t believe some of yours attitude! Muslims are meant to love the other Muslim, no matter what race he or she is! Have you heard about this?”

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “There are people from the servants of God who are neither prophets nor martyrs, (but) the prophets and martyrs will envy them on the Day of Resurrection . . .They are those who love one another for the spirit of God. . . I swear by God, their faces will glow and they will be (sitting) in (pulpits of) light. They will have no fear (on the day) when the people will have fear, and they will not grieve when the people will grieve.” He then recited the verse: “Behold! Verily for the friends of God, there is no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (Qur’an, 10:62) – Sunan of Abu Dawood, Hadith 1563

“Come on! Quit the fighting. If there is a problem, please act as Muslims and clear it with patience or come here to the masjid and talk with the Imams! You all know Muhammed Ali, he famous World Champion boxer? And Malcolm X, you know?”

The sisters and brothers nodded.

“Listen what they have said about Hajj (pilgrim to Mecca):

“(The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca) was an exhilarating experience to see people belonging to different colours, races and nationalities, kings, heads of states and ordinary men from very poor countries all clad in two simple white sheets praying to God without any sense of either pride or inferiority. It was a practical manifestation of the concept of equally in Islam.
– Cassius Clay, now Muhammed Ali.

“Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and the overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practised by people of all colours and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammed, 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 colours.”
– Malcolm X

I continued…

“Hajj is something so beautiful and every Muslim should do Hajj even if just to see how close we Muslims are, if he or she has the possibility to do it, do it! And you know what? If Allah granted me the money to send all of you to Hajj, I wouldn’t hesitate a second and get you all to the next plane!”

The sisters laughed, some of them were tearful. I was myself crying a bit and I hugged them all. The brothers had just been listening and looked down, a bit ashamed and some of them were laughing, I mean, this was kinda dramatic.

Suddenly I heard others laughing and saying bless them all. A long “Ameen” came from senior Muslim men and women.

An Imam quoted this hadith, the same day:

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“You will not believe as long as you do not love one another.”
– Sahih Muslim, Hadith 19

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