Islaam’s Glory, Repute and Honour Are Not Dependent on the Power and Strength of the Arabs
The Muhaddith, Shaykh Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) said in Silsilatul-Ahadeeth ad-Da’eefah, commenting on a fabricated hadeeth that praises the Arabs:
“For Islaam’s glory, its repute and its honour are not dependent on the power and strength of the Arabs.
That can be achieved without them also,
as it happened during the Ottoman period, especially at the beginning of their reign when Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) gave glory to Islaam through them so that Islaam penetrated right up to the heart of Europe. But when the Ottomans began to leave Islaamic laws, replacing them with those of the European ones (exchanging the lofty for the lowly), their power and influence declined in those areas, until they lost political power in their own country.
Today all that remains is but a little of those appearances that show their Islaam of the past! With their fall, all of the Ummah suffered great humiliation.
The enemies of this Ummah entered into their lands and colonized them all,
except for small patches of lands here and there. Now the situation is that, although they have been able to get rid of the colonizers, they remain their slaves in many ways.
In any case, the point is that Islaam gains or loses its glory, repute and honour with that of its adherents, be they Arabs or non-Arabs;
and as a hadeeth states:
‘There is no superiority of the Arabs over the non-Arabs except by Taqwa.’
With that said, it might be pointed out that, as a people and nation, Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has preferred the Arabs over all other peoples
(by virtue of having raised His last Prophet among them). This is my opinion even though I am Albanian. This is also the opinion of Ahlus-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah. It has a basis in various ahadeeth reported on the subject.
One of them says,
‘From the sons of Ibraaheem, Allaah chose Ismaa’eel; from Ismaa’eel sons, Banu Kinaanah; from the sons of Banu Kinaanah, the Quraysh; from the Quraysh, Banu Haashim, and from them Allaah chose me.’
(The hadeeth has been recorded by Ahmad (4/107) and Tirmidhee (4/392), who declares it Saheeh, as it is also in Saheeh Muslim (7/84); Bukhaaree has also recorded it in his at-Tareekh as-Sagheer (p. 6) through Wathilah bin ‘Aqsa’. The hadeeth is strengthened by another related through a second chain of transmitters starting with ‘Abbaas bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib, which is to be found in Tirmidhee (who declared it Saheeh) as well as in Ahmad. Another version is to be found through Ibn ‘Umar as recorded by Haakim (4/84) who also confirms its authenticity.)
Nevertheless, this should not lead an Arab to have pride in his nationality. Such national pride belongs to the Jaahiliyyah days which the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) destroyed.
Nor should the Arabs forget the fact that it was their intelligence, language and character that led to their choice as the first bearers of the message of Islaam. If an Arab realizes this today, then he is more likely to guard those qualities and take it upon himself as a duty to spread the word of Islaam. But if he abandons them, then he has no superiority over anyone.
In fact, a non-Arab who bears the same qualities is, without any doubt whatsoever, superior to an Arab.
True superiority then comes from following the guidance which the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) brought, and can be gained by anyone who qualifies himself with the qualities approved by Islaam, such as Eemaan, virtue, righteous living, Ihsaan etc.
The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said,
‘He who was left behind by his actions will not be brought forward by his lineage.’
In short, true merit is in adorning oneself with certain qualities. When those qualities are lost, the merit is lost:
‘There is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab except by Taqwa.’
And this should show the fallacy of the one who calls to Arab nationalism
while he is devoid of those qualities that should go with it (being Arab). Rather, such a person is a Westerner both in appearance and in soul!”