Islam is a divine religion and guides his followers about all fields of individual and social life. The essence of Islamic teachings is that all human beings are equal to Allah Almighty and there is no distinction among anyone. According to Islam, one particular race is not superior to other for example Whites are not better than Blacks and Arabs are not higher in degree than Non Arabs. Furthermore no one is preferable to God on the basis of his or her color, nation, sex, wealth and social status. Only such person is admired by God who is pious and obeys His teachings and instructions whit zeal and zest.
Foundations of Equality in Islam:
In fact Islamic concepts of brotherhood and equality are based on two important principles. Firstly Muslims believe in one God and also believe that he is the master of whole universe and all the creatures dwelling in this universe. Therefore, all the humans were created equal be Allah and enjoy the same status in His magnificent court.
Secondly Muslims also believe that all the humans are the children of Hazrat Adam (A.S.) and therefore they share the same pedigree. Therefore, if all people are from same father and mother, how can they be superior from others in terms of language or location?
Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Islamic brotherhood:
The early days of Islam presents glorious examples of brotherhood among Muslims. Ansars of Madinah cordially welcome the emigrants from Mecca after the Holy Prophet (PBUH)’s migration from Mecca to Madinah. They not only provided them shelter but also made them partners in their homes and property. Furthermore, Hazrat Bilal (R.A.) was a Negro slave but he embraced Islam and attained a very high status in Islamic society in those days when Negros were looked down upon and persecuted throughout the world. He has the distinction to be the first Moazen in Islam and achieved everything because of his piety and stern belief in Allah and Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Quran and Equality:
During Holy Quran reading, one comes across many verses that explain the equality of all the humans. In one such Ayah Allah denounces racism as Allah describes in Holy Quran,
“O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female and have made you into nations and tribes for you to know one another. Truly, the noblest of you with God is the most pious. Truly, God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Quran, 49:13)
Furthermore Islam is a religion of Justice and peace as proclaimed by Allah,
“And act justly. Truly, God loves those who are just”. (Quran, 49:9)
Modern World and basic Islamic beliefs:
Despite of being the religion of blessings and virtues, Islam is the subject of excessive criticism not only by Non Muslims but by some so called “liberal” Muslims as well. Some of the basic beliefs of Islam that are under fierce censure are,
Islam being religion of peace and mercy believes in tit for tat, that is eye for eye and life for life. Allah orders to amputate the hand of a thief and announces capital punishment for a murderer unless the relatives of the victim forgive the murderer. These Islamic punishments are explained as harsh and cruel by the Western scholars. They are unaware of the fact that if implemented properly, these punishments can really eliminate crimes from the society which are on the rise especially in western societies where death punishment has been abolished.
The basic principle of Islam that is Jihad (the Holy War) has been most widely reproached owing to the activities of fundamentalists and radicals. Non Muslims associate Jihad with terrorism and violence. This is factually incorrect because Islam in no case supports acts of terrorism including killing of children and women and plundering the cities. The Holy War can be fought only against those miscreants who try to eliminate Islam from map of the world or those forces or countries that persecute or oppress Muslims in any part of the world.
The activities of current militants do not represent Islam and Jihad correctly and Non Muslims should examine the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Holy Quran. Only the leader of any religion and its scriptures portray the true picture of any religion not what the misguided followers of that religion are doing. For that matter life of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Quran learning can immensely help non Muslims to understand the concept of Jihad properly.
Islam is another name of peace, justice, emancipation, mercy and compassion. Islam is the religion that eliminated the oppressions and aggravations from the earth and gave equal rights to everyone regardless of their religion, race, color or gender. Furthermore, Islam is the last and true divine religion and its teachings are for entire humanity and for all ages till judgment day.