Shifting our perspective to see the beauty in all
Volunteer Blog by Mustafa H.
Reminiscing about the Golden Era
“Arab has no merit over non-Arab other than Godfearingness.” These are the blessed words of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH) made history in Arabia by doing away with the old polarizing and divisive tribal system. He made massive strides uniting the Arab people and insisted on unity rather than division.
One of my personal favorite stories of the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the story of how the blackstone was placed onto the Kaaba. Every Muslim understands the significance of the black stone and the Kaaba. It is the house of god built by Abraham and his descendants. Muslims pray toward it, and make pilgrimage to it. It is extremely important.
Social fabric beyond borders or cloth of unity
I will now recount a simplified version of the story. The Kaaba was being rebuilt during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and the most important piece, the black stone, needed to be refitted. All of the tribes wanted their leader to do it. The tribe/clan members agreed to have a third party help them decide. Muhammad (PBUH) became that third party. The Prophet (PBUH) had the ingenious idea to use a cloth distributed among them to lift the stone and then place it onto the Kaaba.
The Prophet (PBUH) continued his message of unity, despite different backgrounds, with the way he treated his companions, namely, Bilal (عنه االله رضي .(Bilal was one of the first Muslims, he happened to be a black African. Despite the rampant racism of Arabia at the time, the Prophet (PBUH) didn’t care. He still gave Bilal (عنه االله رضي (a high place in the Prophet’s nation. Bilal was the Muezzin who made the Adhan on top of the Kaaba after the conquest of Makkah. Bilal is a true example of how race, borders, ethnicity, etc, is irrelevant in Islam, and what unites us as an Ummah is our deen.
The Ummah is a lot bigger than we think. Our human brains cannot comprehend the sheer size of the Ummah. If we stick to helping or associating with our own little communities of Pakistanis, Americans, Texans, etc; we are missing out on a whole lot of diversity and beauty of the Ummah. Most of the time we unknowingly stick to our own community and unknowingly miss out on the diversity of the Ummah. We can work on this by knowingly and deliberately venturing outside of our community. If you’re Pakistani, talk to an Indonesian, if you’re Bengali, talk to a White Muslim, etc. A great place to start is donating to Islamic Relief.
Islamic Relief works on a great variety of humanitarian relief projects all over the world. By donating to Islamic Relief you can help our amazing and diverse ummah. You should try and donate to projects that help communities other than your own, but you can also donate to your own. Maybe even start volunteering and working with Islamic Relief yourself! Our Ummah is amazing and we should follow the example of the prophet (PBUH) and look outside our own community to unite as an Ummah.
Islamic Relief works on a truly diverse variety of projects to help the Ummah. In 2020, they worked in Bangladesh to help bring water to those who need it. IRUSA also worked to bring awareness about health inequality in countries like, Yemen, Bangladesh, and Lebanon. IRUSA helps outside of Muslim countries as well. Countries like Puerto Rico have also received help from IRUSA, showing the true mission of IRUSA, that Islam and humanitarian relief know no borders.
Islamic Relief is a true example of Islamic unity. By donating whatever you can, you are helping promote Islamic and humanitarian unity.