Islam and Respect of Humanity (2/2) [Archives:2005/891/Opinion]

November 3 2005

Equality among people in Islam is highly respected. The rich and the poor, the leaders and the workers, the men and the women, the whit and the black are treated equally in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad PBUH said [All of you are from Adam and Adam was created out of dust. There is neither credit for Arabs over Non-Arabs nor for Non-Arabs over Arabs except in Taqwa] (i.e. piety, righteousness, and fear of Allah). Islam holds no discrimination of color, wealth, sex, origin, or language. It is only the piety or righteousness that makes people different in the sight of Allah in this life and in the hereafter. Allah states in Qura'n [Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed Allah is Knowing and Acquainted] (Qura'n 49:13). But all people are equal in humanity; Muslims gather in mosques to perform prayers five times a day in lines, where the rich stands besides the poor and the white stands besides the black and the leaders stands besides the workers. When the poor and black people come to mosques first, they take the first lines and when the rich and white people come last, they stay in the last lines. Also when Muslims from different nationalities with different colors and wealth gather during pilgrimage in Makkah wearing the same clothes, they reflect the superior equality in Islam. Such daily and yearly environment of equality does not exist in other places in the world today except in Islam.

Respect of Human Freedom

Islam respects and maintains human freedom as long as it does not violate the principles of Islam and it does not bring any harm to people or to life in general. Also truth is the condition of practicing freedom. Almighty Allah states in Qura'n [And do not overlay the truth with falsehood, and do not knowingly suppress the truth] (2:42). For example Freedom of religion and freedom of expression and information are practiced in Islam. Allah ordered Muhammad PBUH in the Holly Qura'n to call people in to Islam with kindness: [Invite unto the way of your Lord (to the religion of Allah) with wisdom and good advice]. But he did not force people to embrace Islam because there is no compulsion in religion. Allah states in the Holly Qura'n [No compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path] [Indeed the prophets and messenger were sent to clarify the truth from the false]. The next step is up to the people to accept or not. Allah states in the Holly Qura'n [And we sent not messengers except as givers of glad tidings and warners. But those who disbelieve, dispute with false argument in order to refute the truth thereby.] The best example is that when Christians and Jews lived within the Islamic Empire with peace and practice their religions under the protection of Islamic Law. However, many of them embraced Islam willingly because they found Islam the true religion of Allah.

Freedom of expression and information is highly respected as long as people direct it toward the benefit of the society. Islam teaches Muslims to tell the truth when they express their opinion or when they report. Almighty Allah states in Qura'n [O you have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice] (33:70) [And tell My servants to say that which is best.] (17″53). And Prophet Muhammad PBUH said [Whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment he should say goodness or stay silent.] Freedom of expression and information should not bring any harm to individuals or groups or nations without any legal justification. For example backbiting is prohibited in Islam because it causes harm to people without any legal justification. All in respect of the human.