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Shamoun's Lowly Character

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Christian Missionaries and the Racism Allegation against Islam

There is a deceptive ploy on the internet which suggests Islam is racist against black people.

Those who propagate such a claim use the two narrations in Ash-Shifa of Qadi Iyad which highlights the opinion of Ahmad ibn Abi Sulayman concerning those who call the Prophet Muhammad (p) black. Ahmad ibn Abi Sulayman was of the opinion whoever does so should be put to death [1]




Sadly, these rabble rousers fail to mention this was the opinion of Ahmad ibn Abi Sulayman and NOT of the Prophet (p).

Their deception is worse still

However, their deception gets worse as the context of the statement is omitted (though it is in the SAME segment of the book) as this statement would have been made within the back-drop of ANYBODY who alters the description of the Prophet being considered a disbeliever and even liable to execution:

Habib ibn ar-Rabi’ said that it is disbelief to alter his description and its details. The one who does that openly is an unbeliever. He is asked to repent. The one who conceals it is a heretic and is killed without being asked to repent. [2]

So we see the problem was not racism but the problem could have been that of altering the description of the Prophet.

To highlight their deception further we can look at the quote they use:

Ahmad ibn Abi Sulayman, Sahnun's companion, said that whoever says that the Prophet was black is killed. The Prophet was not black [1]

However, they do not quote the paragraph immediately below which further shows the issue was not racism but the issue being, stating falsehoods which constitute denial:

Abu ‘Uthman al Haddad said something similar and said that if someone said that the Prophet died before his beard began to grow or that he was in Tahart (Morocco) and not Tihama, he is killed because this constitutes denial. [2]

Let’s be realistic

During such a time there may have been a racist undercurrent amongst the ignorant/hypocrites who used this as a slur (i.e. calling people “black”), thus Ahmad ibn Abi Sulayman would have recognised the INTENT was to disparage the Prophet (p) hence his calling for the death of such folk. It is not racist on the part of Ahmad ibn Abi Sulayman and it certainly has NO bearing upon Islam!

Sadly, the rabble rousers are not willing to scratch the surface or attempt to be intellectually honest – they work agendas to mud sling at Muslims and Islam.

I feel this attack against Islam is simply a devious design to stem the conversion to Islam amongst our brothers and sisters in African communities as Islam has resonated well amongst Afro-Caribbean communities in the West (and beyond) and many are leaving Christianity for the Truth of Islam.

Obviously Islam is against racism

Islam does not condone racism at all. In fact, the real criteria for judgement (in Islam) is that of conduct, NOT skin colour – this is learned through the holy Quran [3]

Muslims believe there were black Prophets (in fact Prophets of every skin colour) as Allah (God) sent warners to every nation. [4]

Muslims respect and love ALL Prophets (p). In addition, some companions of Prophet Muhammad (p) were indeed black in skin colour (the most well-known is Bilal), thus some of our saintly predecessors are indeed black!

Obviously Islam is not racist.

The Prophet considered racism as “ignorance”

When his Arab Companion Abu Dharr called Bilal 'son of the black woman', the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) got angry and told him: 'You are a man who has ignorance in him.' Abu Dharr felt such a great remorse that he put his cheek on the ground and asked Bilal to tread on his other cheek if he’d like to. [5]

Imam Shabir Ally on racism

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[1] The citations Islamophobic rabble rousers are using:
Ahmad ibn Abi Sulayman, the companion of Sahnun, said, "Anyone who says that the Prophet was black should be killed." (p. 375)

Ahmad ibn Abi Sulayman, Sahnun's companion, said that whoever says that the Prophet was black is killed. The Prophet was not black. (p 387)

[Both from Muhammad Messenger of Allah, Ash-Shifa of Qadi 'Iyad, Qadi 'Iyad Musa al-Yahsubi, translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley, Madinah Press Inverness, Scotland, 2004]

[2] Muhammad Messenger of Allah, Ash-Shifa of Qadi 'Iyad, Qadi 'Iyad Musa al-Yahsubi, translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley, Madinah Press Inverness, Scotland, 2004 p387.

[3] O mankind! Lo! We have created you from male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. [Pikthal’s English translation of Quran, 49:13]

[4] Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi writes:

Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an that He sent Messengers and guides among all people. Allah Almighty says: “ And verily We have raised in every nation a messenger, (proclaiming): Serve Allah and shun false gods. Then some of them (there were) whom Allah guided, and some of them (there were) upon whom error had just hold. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for the deniers!.” (An-Nahl: 36) He Almighty also says, There was not any community except a Warner who lived among them.” (Fatir :24).


In his Musnad, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal has stated that Allah sent 124, 000 Prophets, and from among them 315 were Messengers.

Read more: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503543348#ixzz1CzTlNmhX

[5] In his famous Farewell Pilgrimage sermon, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) declared: "O people! You are all to Adam and Adam was made of dust. No Arab is to be preferred over a non-Arab except by virtue of his piety." In another hadith, he (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Allah does not look at your images or your colors but He looks at your hearts (intentions) and your deeds. Creatures are the dependants of Allah and the closest among them to Allah are indeed the most useful to His dependants."

Read more: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503543240#ixzz1CzbfZQdL

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