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To Dhimmi: Is Islam the religion of Arabs only?

Reader comment on item: Did Michael Jackson Convert to Islam?
in response to reader comment: Linguistic chauvinism? But islam is the religion of the Hijazi Arabs only and you ain't one

Submitted by Mahfooz-ur Rahman (Bangladesh), Sep 26, 2007 at 16:01

"Oh I forgot and the Qur'an says that Islam is the religion of the arabs[sic] only yopu[sic] ain't [sic]no Arab"

I shall let an expert from whose scholarly exposition on the subject, I proffer excerpts, with some comments by me in parenthesis, to answer to this vexing question by Dhimmi:

Dhimmi in his/her usual poor and slangy English insinuated, as he/she does at every opportunity:

Islam is the universal religion addressing all mankind.

*{Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;}*(Al-Fatihah 1:2)

He never defines himself as the God of all Arabs or even the God of all Muslims only, but He is God of all things, including all mankind:

*{God is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs.}*(Az-Zumar 39:62 )

On the other hand, Islam regards any person who submits to the Creator and who calls to this submission as a true Muslim. According to the Qur'an, all prophets who called to the idea of submitting to God, throughout the history of humanity, are true Muslims:

*{Say: "We believe in God, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to God do we bow our will (in Islam)."}*(Aal `Imran 3:84)

Accordingly, prophets and messengers sent by God to call mankind to Islam were not mostly Arabs, but they were from different nations, backgrounds and races. Among the Arab ones were Prophet Salih and Messenger Muhammad, the last of all prophets (peace be upon them all).

Thus, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is considered God's final messenger to all mankind, not to Arabs or people of the Prophet's time only. God has declared this repetitively and explicitly in the Qur'an, when He addressed or mentioned Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):

*{We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.}* (Al-Anbiyaa' 21:107)

*{We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to mankind, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not.}*(Saba' 34:28)

*{Say: "O mankind! I am sent unto you all, as the Apostle of God, to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He That giveth both life and death. So believe in God and His Apostle, the Unlettered Prophet, who believeth in God and His words: follow him that (so) ye may be guided."}*(Al-A`raf 7:158)

*{Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures;}*(Al-Furqan 25:1)

Islam emphasizes that the criterion that ranks one person higher than another is never his race, color, kind, nationality or wealth, but rather, it is his devotion, piety, and strength of faith. For Allah, there is no distinction between an Arab and a non-Arab except according to the piety of the believer. In addition, the Qur'an also confirms this principle:

*{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 God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).}*(Al-Hujurat 49:13)

This principle was always fulfilled and proved throughout the history of Islam.

Numerous non-Arab figures played fundamental roles in supporting the foundation of the Islamic civilization throughout its history. Worth mentioning are the great companions of the Prophet like Salman the Persian, Sohaib the Roman and Bilal the African, along with others. Those great companions played fundamental roles in spreading Islam when it was still in its early ages. They were also known to be of great devotion and piety among the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Later, in the history of the Islamic civilization, among the greatest scholars specialized in the different disciplines of Islamic studies, were many non-Arab figures. Among the numerous great Islamic empires, there were many non-Arab rulers. An important example is the Ottoman Empire. It was a powerful Muslim Turkish empire, that dominated the Muslim world since the mid of the 16th century till the beginning of the 20th century.

The criterion of bondage between the individuals of the Muslim nation is not their race, but rather, it is their sincere belief and submission to the One and Only God. Yes, it is a fact that Arabs played a major role in the history of Islam, especially in its early ages, for they served as a means for communicating this great religion to all mankind. This is due to more than one reason, among which is that God's final messenger was an Arab. If he was not so, and if he was from any other race, his people would have played the same role carried out by the Arabs. Actually, statistics prove that Islam has spread enormously among non-Arabs and that Arabs make up only 20% of the Muslim nation today.

[The largest Muslim nation in the world today is Indonesia, next to Pakistan, Bangladesh. The Muslims of India constitute 15% of the current population of about 1 BILLION people, exceeding in number of many, many Arab countries put together! Minority Muslims are scattered in almost ALL countries of the world today, exemplifying the universal nature of Islam.}

Yusuf Islam. is the former famous singer Cat Stevens. In one of his speeches, after he converted to Islam, he said that he was shocked and surprised when he first read the Qur'an. This was because he has always thought, like you, that Islam is some kind of religion related to Arabs or Turks. He thought that in reading the Qur'an, he would find it to be a book that glorifies the history of Arabs or Turks.

On the contrary, he found that it was a book that admitted the divine messages of all the previous prophets, whom he read about before in the Bible. He found nothing that glorified Arabs, Turks or any other race! It was a book that glorified only Allah, God, the Creator, and according to Yusuf Islam, the book didn't even glorify Muhammad, the man who conveyed it to humanity. May be you would like to visit his web site:
http://www.mountainoflight.co.uk/

You can also try these links, to follow and compare the life of a converted Muslim before and after choosing Islam as a religion. Cat Stevens, or Yusuf Islam, as he chose to call himself after he converted, is a non-Arab [Englishman]:

http://www.catstevens.com/features/ontheroadtofindout/
http://www.catstevens.co.uk/
http://www.catstevens.com/islam/index.html

http://english.islamway.com/

To conclude, Islam is the final message from our Beloved Great Creator, calling upon all mankind to submit peacefully to Him and to His divine doctrine. It is the divine message that teaches equality between mankind and that God judges any person only according to his honest sincerity and nothing else.

Best regards

Mahfooz

Submitting....

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