How is the ruling of Kafaah compatible with the saying of the Prophet that no Arab has superiority over a non-Arab

Fatwa ID: 01360

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

Could you please explain to me why Arabs are considered superior to non-Arabs? How is the ruling of Kafaah compatible with the saying of the Prophet that "no Arab has superiority over a non-Arab" and the Quranic statement that "the best of you is the one with most taqwā"?

Answer:

Bismillah

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Insha Allah your question will be answered in three parts.

  1. The virtues of the Arabs
  2. The virtues of the Non Arabs
  3. The reconciliation between the apparent contradiction.

Saaiduna Ibn Abbas  narrates that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Love the Arabs for three reasons: Because I am an Arab, the Quran is in Arabic and the language of the people of Paradise is Arabic (Imam Baihaqi in Shuabul Iman)

Saaiduna Abdullah bin Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “…Whoever has loved the Arabs has done so because of my love and whoever has hated the Arabs has done so because of having enmity for me” (Imam Baihaqi in his Kitabul Madkhal)

Saaiduna Abu Hurairah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “I take an oath in that Being in whose Hand is my life, Allah revealed to every Messenger in Arabic, after which he (the Messenger) used to convey the message to the nation in their language” (Majmuaz Zawaaid)

Saaiduna Abu Hurairah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that non-Arabs were mentioned to the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “My relation with them or with some of them is more firm to me than with you (Arabs) or with some of you.” (Sunan Tirmizi)

The way we can reconcile between that hadith where it says "No Arab is better than a non-Arab, and no non-Arab is better than an Arab except in taqwa" and with the virtues regarding the Arabs is that as a nation Allah has honoured them, but individually a non Arab who has Taqwa can be better than a Arab who does not have Taqwa.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an:

“…Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who has) the most Taqwa from among you.” (Surah Hujuraat v.13)

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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