Is Islam Arabian? (Part III)- What about Racist Muslims?
Well, first, let’s not pretend they’re not out there, nor try to excuse them.
Here are a few principles of logic we can use to deal with them (and see if they’re right or wrong.)
- Just because someone is a Muslim does not mean they are a spokesman or spokeswoman for Islam. (That person may be ignorant, misguided, or treacherous.)
- By extension, just because someone is a spokesman or spokeswoman for Muslims does not mean they are a spokesman for Islam. (Those people may be ignorant, misguided or treacherous.)
- A Muslim scholar is any Muslim who is educated on any subject. By contrast, an Islamic scholar is a Muslim with a sound and thorough education in the Islamic Sciences. (You wouldn’t accept a Computer Science major as an authority on Literature just because they also happen to speak English, would you?)
- A person, Muslim or non-Muslim, can be mistaken in one or many of their opinions of Islam even if they are knowledgeable. Even the greatest scholars are known to have changed or revised their opinions.
- An Islamic reference does not equal an Islamic ruling. (Like any other science, Islamic scholars cross-reference Qur-anic ayat and authentic narrations to produce opinions. Taking a verse or narration (or a part thereof) out of its context is a common mistake of Muslims, and a favorite trick of people who slander Islam.)
- Fatwa means “opinion”. They are taken (and are to be taken) as such.
- Finally, to Muslims, the only binding statements are those from Allah and His Messenger. Any thing, no matter whom or where it comes from, that contradicts those is simply neither Islam, nor Islamic. (This doesn’t negate, automatically the speaker’s status as a Muslim.)
So let’s look at WikiIslam.com, for example, to test our little methodology on what is written there.
WikiIslam report Ibn Khaldun as saying “Therefore, the Negro nation are, as a rule, submissive to slavery, because [Negroes] have little [that is essentially] human and have attributes that are quite similar to those of dumb animals, as we have stated.” (http://www.wikiislam.net/wiki/Qur’an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Muhammad_the_Racist#cite_note-Islamic_Racism-0, from http://www.colorq.org/Articles/article.aspx?d=2002&x=arabviews)
Who is Ibn Khaldun? To many, he is the father of Sociology. He was a well-traveled North African Scholar whose Muqaddimah is considered Sociology’s foundational text, and he is credited for founding the social sciences in general. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Khaldun) He is, then, a widely-renowned Muslim scholar.
So, by most accounts, he was a person who was knowledgeable about Islam, and many other things.
BUT, did you notice something about the above quote?
It has no references.
He was a Muslim, but this is not an Islamic opinion.
It’s HIS opinion. His PERSONAL opinion.
So what should we do? Assume or pretend that every single word that every single Muslim from 1445 years ago until today has spoken as scripture? Let’s see how that would work…
“You, Khalid. You’re a Muslim. Is this glass half-empty or half-full?”
“Uh, it’s half-full.”
“There you see, world. In Islam the glass is half-full.”
“Hey Fatimah, you’re a Muslim, right?”
“So, is this glass half-empty or half-full?”
“Well, it looks half-empty, I guess.”
Headline: Fatimah Fatwa Says Glass Half-Empty. Doubters to Be Beheaded.
Ridiculous, right? That’s exactly what many who slander Islam are insulting your intelligence by doing.
Specimen number two: Again on WikiIslam, under the heading “Racism against Infidel Arab Tribes” is the following verse:
The Arabs of the desert are the worst in Unbelief and hypocrisy, and most fitted to be in ignorance of the command which Allah hath sent down to His Messenger: But Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise. (Qur-an 9.97) (http://www.wikiislam.net/wiki/Qur’an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Muhammad_the_Racist#cite_note-Islamic_Racism-0)
Too bad they forgot to read two verses further to where it says:
“But some of the desert Arabs believe in Allah and the Last Day, and look on their payments as pious gifts bringing them nearer to Allah and obtaining the prayers of the Messenger. Aye, indeed they bring them nearer (to Him): soon will Allah admit them to His Mercy: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”
– Qur-an 9.99
Or did they forget?
This intentional removal of verses and narrations from their context is a textbook trick of people who want to slander Islam, or convince people of something about it which somehow suits them. Muslims are among those with such agendas.
Most people think they know, now you know that most people only think.
I’ve met Muslims of all races named Bilal, the name of the Ethiopian companion of Prophet Muhammad who stood with his bare black feet on the Ka’aba (the black cube Muslims prayed towards, which the Meccan pagans took pride in patronizing) and called out the first call to prayer. I’ve met Muslims of all races named Salman, the name of a Persian companion of Prophet Muhammad. There are Muslims of all races, including Arabs, named Luqman, an Ethiopian sage who has a chapter of the Qur-an named after him. Have you ever met a Muslim named Yahya, or Isa, or Yusuf, or Idrees, or Ilyas, or Yunus, or Ya’qoob, or Ishaq, or Ismail, or Dawood, or Sulaiman, or Talut, or Sarah, or Maryam? These are all names of people who submitted in Islam from the Children of Israel (Hebrews). Did you know that Muhammad’s wife Marya was a Copt? Did you know another of his wives was Jewish?
Did you know that last year, a Saudi of African descent led the prayers at Masjid al-Haram, Islam’s holiest mosque?
What about Barakah or (a/k/a Umm Ayman), an African woman whom Muhammad reportedly described as his “mother after my own mother. She is the rest of my family”? She was the first person in whose arms he was ever held and one of the few Muslims he ever assured of Paradise. When she was in about her 50s, the Prophet, when speaking to his companions said, “Should one of you desire to marry a woman from the people of Paradise, let him marry Umm Ayman.” He once called out to her “Ya Umm Ayman! Ya Ummi! (O Umm Ayman! O my mother!) Indeed for you is a place in Paradise!” (http://www.soundvision.com/Info/history/bkayman.asp)
Did you know these things? Or were you only thinking before- thinking what you were being (mis)led to think?
Most people think they know, but now you KNOW that most people only think…