Islam’s View of Racial Equality
Summary by Maryam Z., 9th Grade at Good Tree Academy
Ustadh Michael shares a personal story of when he had just become muslim. He really wanted to learn the Qur’an, understand it, and become connected with it. During that time he always wondered to himself “how is it that someone can be moved by the Qur’an?” He saw people at the masjid who would be so focused and sometimes would even cry. He was looking for the beauty of the Qur’an but instead he found the power of the Qur’an.
One morning, Ustadh Michael was meeting his friend to go jogging around a lake. Since he had just accepted Islam a few months earlier, he was using a CD wth the recitation of the surahs to help him learn them. While he was listening, when he got to Surah ‘Abasa (80 He Frowned), Sheikh Mishary recited it in a very low tone for about half the surah and then gradually his tone started going up. The beautiful sight of the river on that lovely day coupled with the warm tone of Sheikh Mishary created a spiritually uplifting environment. He was also paying attention to what Surah ‘Abasa was saying. It was saying “The day that the terrible day will happen and everyone is terrified and will run away from their family.” And tears started rolling down his face because he loved his family and he didn’t know how he was going to run away from his family. He got scared about what is going to happen on the Day of Judgement. And then Allah says “on that day there are some people that are going to be so happy that there will be light shining from their faces.” This was the first time Ustadh Michael realized how powerful the Qur’an is.
In the beginning of the surah, Allah talks about the story of the blind man. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was once giving dawaa to some rich, powerful and important people and a blind man came to him. He was eager to listen to the prophet (SAW) but the prophet was busy so he couldn’t pay attention to the blind man. So then Allah revealed Surah ‘Abasa to him. The ayah say: “He frowned and turned away, because there came to him the blind man (i.e. ‘Abdullah bin Umm-Maktum, who came to the Prophet (SAW) while he was preaching to one or some of the Quraish chiefs). But what could tell you that per chance he might become pure (from sins)? Or that he might receive admonition, and that the admonition might profit him? As for him (Quraysh) who thinks himself self-sufficient, To him you attend.” On his way home, the prophet ﷺ cried so much that he had to stop because he couldn’t see where he was going. And after that day, every time the prophet ﷺ would pass by the blind man, he would greet him with a smile and would announce to everyone that ‘through him my Master taught me a lesson.’
We learn four very important lessons from the blind man, whose name was Abdullah ibn Umm Makthum.
- Allah looks at the person whose heart wants to learn about Allah. That heart is more valuable to Allah than any treasure in this world. Allah cares about the heart that is eager to learn, not the one who is powerful and rich.
- Allah made the blind man one of the most famous people in history just because he came eagerly to learn more about Allah. So famous that Allah talks about him in the Qur’an.
- We should always be eager to learn about things that will bring us closer to Allah, just like the blind man.
- Allah is The Loving. We have to learn things that help us to love Allah more. And when we are learning, we have to come to the knowledge with love.