Respect For Humans

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: " O people! Your Allah(God) is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a white person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a white person, except in piety."

When the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came to sitting in the mosque, he sat wherever there was an empty space, and he did not care whether it was the place of honour or otherwise. When he sat with his companions in the mosque or any other place, people sat in circle so that the sitting had no distinguished place of honour and all were equal.

If any stranger came to the sitting of the Prophet(pbuh), he could not know who was the Prophet(pbuh) because he did not occupy any place of honour; the new comer had to ask who among them was the Prophet(pbuh). The round tables which are now standard fixtures of political and other conferences in the world, are a sample of the sitting of the Prophet (pbuh).

If many people sat before the Prophet (pbuh), he in order to maintain the respect of all, used to look at all of them with equal frequency.

The Prophet (pbuh), with full moral force, was looking for the ways to root out the class distinctions and racial differences . He established the genuine and correct criterion of superiority based on spiritual and moral foundations. The respect, the Holy Prophet showed for others attracted and absorbed people in him.

During his reign, once Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib was travelling outside Kufah, a non-Muslim who did not recognize him became his travel companion from a place.
He asked: "Where are you going?"
Ali replied: "To Kufah"
At a junction where their paths parted, the non-Muslim proceeded to his way, but to his utter surprise, he saw Ali following him.
He questioned: "Are you not going to Kufah?"
Ali asked: "Why?"
The non-muslim said: "It is the other path which leads to Kufah."
Ali replied: "I know",
He asked: "Then why did you deviated from your route?"
Imam Ali said: "We have been companions for a while. Our Prophet (pbuh) said that when two are companions to each other on a journey they have obligations and duties towards each other. You gave me company and now it is my duty to follow You a few steps and then make a gentle departure ."

This affection and respect impressed the non-Muslim very much, and he asked: "Did your Prophet give you such code of conduct?" "Yes", replied Ali .

The non-Muslim said: "Those who accepted the Prophet of Islam and followed his footsteps, were enchanted by this moral teaching and nobility."

And then it so happened that once the same non-muslim entered Kufa. There he found that his muslim companion had been none other but a leader of his time, Ali ibn Abi Talib. He soon became a muslim and remained the most faithful of companion of the Imam. ( Biharu '1-anwar, vo1.74)

The people of a higher status should not cut off their relations with those of a lower status; they should rather behave like members of a large family in their different forms of subsistence, stay and movement. This creates mutual brotherhood, concern and love, removes the walls between the rich and the poor, the employer and the employee.

( pbuh = peace be upon him )

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