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EQUALITY IN ISLAM


Equality according to dictionary means The state of being equal, especially in having the same rights, status and opportunities. [1]

One basic element in the value system of Islam is the principle of equality or equity. This value of equality is not to be mistaken for or confused with identicalness or stereotype. Islam teaches that in the sight of Allah Almighty, all people are equal, but they are not necessarily identical. There are differences of abilities, potentials, ambitions, wealth and so on. [2]

Table of Contents

Importance

The importance of equality is simply to ensure that all people have the same rights as each other person, that no person with any difference, no person with any disability, no race, no sex, no man, woman or child would be treated any different to any other man woman or child, in any country or anywhere in the world.

 

Islam does not differentiate any individual on basis of race, colour, or language whatsoever except in terms of “taqwa”. 

 

 

Qur’anic Reflections

“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.” (Qur’an.Surah Hujurat 49:13)

 

Islam is a religion of justice.  Allah has said: “Truly God commands you to give back trusts to those to whom they are due, and when you judge between people, to judge with justice....” (Quran 4:58) [3]

 

 

Hadith

Equality is also asserted in a tradition of Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace), which states; "0 Mankind, your lord is one and your father is one. You all descend from Adam, and Adam was created from earth. He is most honoured among you in the sight of God who is most upright. No Arab is superior to a non-Arab, no coloured person to a white person, or a white person to a coloured person except by Taqwa (piety)”. Narrated in Musnad Ahmad 22978 and Al-Tirmidhi.

 

In another tradition, the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace), was asked: "Who among men is most favoured by God?' He replied: "A man who does the most good to people."Al-Tabarani Al-Makasid Al-Hasanah, PP. 200-201.  [4]

 

Basic principles

The foundations of this Islamic value of equality are deeply rooted in the structure of Islam. It stems from basic principles such as the following:

(1) All men are created by One and the Same Eternal God, the Supreme Lord of all.

(2) All mankind belong to the human race and share equally in the common parentage of Aadam (Adam)  and Eve.

(3) Allah is Just and Kind to all His creatures. He is not partial to any race, age or religion. The whole Universe is His Dominion and all people are His creatures.

(4) All people are born equal, in the sense that no one brings any possession with him; and they die equal in the sense that they take back nothing of their worldly belongings.

(5) Allah judges every person on the basis of his own merits and according to his own deeds.

(6) Allah has conferred on man, a title of honor and dignity. [5]

 

 

References

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equality

[2] http://www.islamweb.net/eramadan/index.php?page=articles&id=109364

[3] [4] http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/245/

[5] http://www.islamweb.net/eramadan/index.php?page=articles&id=109364

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