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The Arabs Are Superior In Islam

August 27, 2012

Here is the original fatwa from Sunnipath. Those who are curious may go there and read it all (update 09/17/2014: The fine people at Sunnipath have removed their Arabs are superior fatwa. Afterall, we can’t have people knowing that such opinions are out there can we?? God thing I saved it here)

The fact that Allah Most High has chosen the Arabs over other nations is affirmed in rigorously authenticated hadiths of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace; related by Bukhari and Muslim in their “Sahih” in the beginning of the chapter of merits, # 5897, on the authority of Wathilah ibn al-Asqa` who said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘Verily Allah has chosen Kinanah from the son of Isma`il, and He has chosen Quraysh from among Kinanah and He has chosen Hashim from among Quraysh and He has chosen me from the Bani Hashim.'”

So this hadith is a primary text about the preference of Arabs over others and the preference of some Arabs over other Arabs. And this is what the Imams have chosen from the………of their books, and even in individual books such as the book of Qurb about the merit of Arabs, authored by the great Imam al-Hafiz Zayn al-din al-`Iraqi. And it was summarized by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami and others.

Therefore the preference of Arabs over other nations, and the preference of some Arabs over other Arabs is affirmed in the Sacred Law. Allah has even preferred some months over other months and some days and nights of over others, as well as places. So in the same way, Allah Glorious and Exalted is He, has chosen some men over others, such as the prophets over others and even some prophets over other prophets. Muslims should not have any objection to this, because all of this returns to the wisdom of the Most Wise, Glorious is He, who is not asked about what He does, but rather, they are the ones who are asked. So after a Muslim has believed in Allah as his Lord, the Truth, and that there is no God but Him, then he should know that this is from among His matters, Blessed and High is He, and there is nothing but magnificent wisdom in it that we might see or that we might not see. Either way, we are only responsible for submitting to His rule, Glorious is He. And among His rulings is that Arabs are preferred over others and that some Arabs are better than other Arabs, as the above hadith clearly explained. So it is not appropriate for anyone to disagree in this when the proof is perfectly valid.

And there should be no disagreement in what has just preceded nor any disagreement in what appears in the Magnificent Book and in the sunna where we find that the real source of Allah’s preference is God-fearingness (taqwa) which result in the good deeds that people earn and that they are accounted for. So whoever sends forth good for himself, Allah has preferred him over those who have sent forth evil. As for the preference of an Arab over a non-Arab, and the preference of some Arabs over others, this is not a deed that one can earn. Rather, it is a bounty that Allah gives to whom He wills. So he may will something for these people, and there is no objection to your Lord’s rule. This is like the preference of some days over others, because the mind reasons that all days are the same in and of themselves, and there is no distinction that might appear between them. However, the mind can understand why something is better if there is not ……….. So the Sacred law came and affirmed the preference of some over others, and for some of those things there were reasons and wisdoms, such as the preference of the night of Power over others because the Majestic Qur’an was revealed during it. And in some of these things, the wisdom is not apparent to us and so this falls into the chapter of absolute obedience, such as the number of cycles (rak`ahs) in the prayer.

It is obligatory on a Muslim to believe that Arabs are preferred over other nations because there is a proof for it. However, this is not one of the pillars of our religion such that if someone rejected this, they would be considered outside of Islam. But if one does reject this, one has sinned for not believing in it because it is an affirmed matter according to a clear rigorously authenticated hadith. Also, this issue is not something that is commonly known among most Muslims, so for this, one should not hasten to blame one who disagrees with it. It is necessary, rather, to tell him about the issue.

And the fact that Arabs are preferred over others does not mean that a non-Arab can not have a higher merit in the religion than an Arab, because a person earns the good deeds that Allah has recommended we compete for. This is the highest merit of God-fearingness and this will be the basis upon which things are decided in the hereafter. However, the merit of the Arabs will still remain, in terms of their respect and exaltation being higher than others. And from this some hadiths have come to us about the Quraysh being put first for the caliphate before others, such as the hadith in Bukhari (#3500) on the authority of Mu`awiyah, may Allah be well pleased with him who said, ” I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘This matter of government belongs to the Quraysh. Anyone who takes a hostile attitude to them will be thrown on his face, as long as they are true to the faith.” And Bukhari also related (#3501) on the authority of Ibn `Umar from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, that he said, “Government continues to belong to the Quraysh, even if they are (no more than) two.”

So I say that the merit of God-fearingness is what counts, according to the rigorously authenticated hadith, “And he who is slow in doing good deeds, his noble lineage will not quicken him (into entering Paradise).

So many Muslims hold this belief and even say that you are not a proper Muslim if you are not.

Abu Usamah, an American from the Salafi sect, even wrote the following to his followers admonishing them for not believing that Arabs are better than non-Arabs:

Sheikh-ul-Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah (ra) was of the opinion that Arabs ARE SUPERIOR (Afdal) than Non-Arabs and he claimed that this was the view that was held by the MAJORITY of the scholars – ‘Al-Jamhoor’- .

He wrote: “And the MAJORITY of scholars are of the opinion that the Arab species is better (Afdal) than the Non-Arab (species) just as the nation of Quraish is better (Afdal) than the Non-Quraish nations and (just as) the nation of Bani Haashim is better (Afdal) than the Non-Bani Haashim (nations).” Majm’u Al-Fataawa 19/29

Sheikh-ul-Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah (ra) wrote:

“Verily, what Ahlul Sunnah is upon: Is the BELIEF (I’tiqaad) that the Arab race is better (Afdal) then the Non-Arab race. Whether (the Non-Arabs) are Hebrews, Aramaic, Romans, Persians and other than them…”. Iqtidaa As-Siraatil-Mustaqeem 2/419

Abu Muhammad, Harb ibn Ismail ibn Khalaf Al-Kirmaany (died 280 – ra) who was one of the students and companions of Imaam Ahmed (ra) also mentioned this point when he wrote about the descriptions and BELIEFS of the PEOPLE OF THE SUNNAH.

Shiekh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (ra) said:

“Know that the Ahaadith (that show) the superiority of Quraish and then the superiority of Bani Haashim are numerous and this is not the place (to gather all of them) but they also prove this (superiority of the Arab over Non-Arabs).

And this is due to the fact that the relationship of Quraish to the Arabs is just like the relationship of the Arabs to the rest of the people (i.e. Quraish are superior to Non-Quraish and the Arabs are superior to Non-Arabs). Verily Allah the Most High has designated the Arabs and their language with ‘Ahkaam’ that are peculiar and unique.

And then He preferred Quraish over the rest of the Arabs in what He has given them of prophecy and other than that from the ‘Khasaais’ (unique and peculiar qualities)”. Iqtidaa As-Siraat-il-Mustaqeem 2/431

Sheikh-ul-Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah (ra) also said:

“…The superiority of the Arab race and then (the superiority of) Quraish and then (the superiority of) Bani Haashim, is not simply due to the fact the Prophet (peace be upon him) is from them – even though this is (a point) of superiority – but instead, they themselves are superior within themselves“. Iqtidaa As-Siraatil-Mustaqeem 2/420

To review:

– The Arab is better than the non-Arab; the Arab from the tribe of Quraish (the tribe of Muhammad) is better than the Arab that NOT from the Quraish; The Ahl-Bayt (Member of Muhammad’s family) is better than those members of Quraish that are not Ahl-Bayt. (Most Muslims note the “significance” of being a member of “Ahl-Bayt”).

– The Khalifah that jihadists always refer to is, according to Sunni texts, to always be a member of the Quraish (i.e., an Arab). So even if this Khilafah were to be established, then they would demand an Arab be the ruler at all times. A non-Arab can never hold that title.

– As both Sunni Path and Abu Usamah note, this is not a strange or solitary opinion as many of the medieval scholars, including famous ones such as Imam Ash-Shafii, Abu Hanifah, and Imam Ahmad held this belief, and many modern Muslim scholars and laymen maintain this belief today. Indeed Sunnipath and Abu Usamah adamantly argue that MOST scholars held this opinion, are proud of it and demand it of others. Also, the Muslim Brotherhood today staunchly holds this belief as well (explaining why all of their leaders are Arab). Many Muslim Brotherhood members will not even deny it if asked.

– No, not all Muslims (as Muslims are of many different types and beliefs) believe that Arabs are superior to them (many are unaware of these opinions) but the point here is that a very large segment of Muslims DO DOGGEDLY believe in the superiority of the Arabs but they hide this information from those they invite to Islam. This often comes as a shock to new Muslims because Islam is portrayed as egalitarian when in fact many scholars throughout Muslim history held this opinion. But this explains the haughty attitude of Arab Muslims toward non-Arabs.

– To those Muslims who do NOT believe the Arabs to be superior, consider the following points:

1) You pray (make salaat) in their language (and deem salaat unacceptable in any other language).

2) You turn toward their land (qibla) to perform your salaats five times a day.

3.) You feel that you are religiously obligated to travel to their land at least once in your lifetime.

4.) You greet other non-Arab Muslims in their language (as-salaam alaikum).

5.) And you even pepper your every day conversation in their language. (e.g. for an English speaker “alhamdulillah” instead of “praise God”; “insha Allah” instead of “God willing”, etc).

So considering the points above, why would a non-Arab Muslim not think that Arabs are better even on a subconscious level? And none of this is to mention that many non-Arab Muslims give themselves and their children Arabic names, dress in Arabic clothing, and generally take on Arab customs. Also, why is it that an Arab can walk into a predominantly non-Arab masjid and instantly be held in the highest respect and even become the imam if that is what he desires? And some of you even wonder why so many non-Arabs hold the Arabs in such high regard. Start by looking at your daily actions. I did and I’m glad I did.

  1. Nice point. I like it. I had not even considered this fact, staring me in the face, for two decades.

  2. Wtf? permalink

    Sounds very “Aryan” in concept and we all know how that story ended. Lol

  3. asim Raja permalink

    done spread rubbish and mislead islam clearly says all are equal kindly read prophet PBUH last speech and dont spread nonsense and twist words to get your preplaned ha
    tered message

    • @ Asim

      You need to tell that to your Muslim co-religionists. Those are THEIR words not mine. You can start by going to Abu Usamah or Sunnipath. Depending on which sect of Islam you follow, if you ask around, I bet you would be surprised at how many actually agree with the above.

      Besides, in what language do you say your salaat? Where do you face? How do you greet your Muslim family and friends?

      • Subframe permalink

        1. If the Arab is really superior, then during pilgrimage the Arab will occupy the first saf (line) during prayer. But this is not the case. Any race can go the first saf) line.

        2. You clearly didn’t know that the Muslims are facing Jerusalem before Allah instruct Prophet Muhammad pbuh to change to face Kaabah in Makkah? Does this means the Jews are superior than Arabs during that time?

        3. We have Arabs here and he is standing behind our imam which is not an Arab during prayer. There are no issue which race become imams.

        4. I have no issue greeting, praying and make supplication in Arabic. If you’re not English, but speak in English, thus that indicate the English is better than your race?
        If I met another Muslim from another race and I greet in my own language, will he understands it?
        The usage of Arabic in prayer, greeting, praising to Allah is a sign of unity between Muslim, something you don’t understand. The facing of qiblat in the same direction is also indicate our unity.

  4. Amazigh permalink

    Being a berber /amazigh mediterranean from algeria (northwestern africa),I totally relate to this.In my country,the berber language and the berber identity is considered inferior and uncivilized.Berbers deny their identity and call themselves arabs.They define algeria as an “arab-muslim” country and they see you as a traitor,a disbeliever or a racist if you say “i am not an arab,I am a berber north african”.Saying “Algeria is an arab country” is patriotic and saying “Algeria is amazigh (or berber) north african country” is unpatriotic and create “fitna”.These people believe that the arabs civilized them and saved them from ancient berber paganism by (peacefully) bringing islam to them.I know its the same thing in the neighboring Berber Morocco. And in other non berber and non arab muslim countries such as Somalia there’s similar issues.

  5. Mohammed permalink

    I totally disagree, because of the following statement by prophet peace be upon him,
    “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.”

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