Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
A Comprehensive Principle
ACCORDING to Islam, all human beings have been created by one and the same God, and therefore belong to one great brotherhood. So far as their earthly origin is concerned, they are all descendants of the first pair of human beings ever created by God—Adam and Eve. In their subsequent spread over different parts of the world, variations in geographical conditions produced a diversity of stature, skin colors, languages and other racial characteristics.
The teaching of Islam in this regard is that despite differences of color, language, culture etc., people should harbor no ill-will towards those who are apparently unlike themselves, for differentiating between one man and another is not approved by God. They should rather promote fellow feeling towards others, even if at first glance they appear like total strangers to them. Bearing in mind that they are all traceable back to Adam and Eve, they should be each other’s well-wishers and willingly come to one another’s assistance, like members of the same large family.
The teaching of Islam with regard to universal brotherhood is that despite differences of color, language, culture etc., people should harbor no ill-will towards those who are apparently unlike themselves, for differentiating between one man and another is not approved by God.
Ideally, the relation between one man and another ought not to be one of strangeness but one of familiarity; not of distance but of nearness, not of hatred but of love. When all human beings are descendants of the same progenitors, all are equal, no one is superior or inferior. And before God, certainly, all human beings are equal; all are equally His creatures and His servants. For God does not discriminate between one and the other of His creations.
The message of universality of brotherhood calls for one to adopt a comprehensive principle in one’s dealings with others. It is the principle of treating others just as one would like to be treated by them. The Prophet observed, “No one can be a believer until and unless he begins to like for his brother what he likes for himself”.
All individuals are sure about their likes and dislikes. Now what is required is that they simply follow the principle that whatever behavior they want from others, they should themselves accord to others. Conversely, whatever behavior towards themselves they abhor in others should likewise be eschewed by them.
This is such a comprehensive principle that it is useful in every kind of relationship. It is needed between individuals, men and women and nations as well. If people were to adhere to this principle, their family life as well as their social life would improve.
National life as well as international life would run more smoothly. It is like a master key to human ethics; one single key which suffices to open all locked doors.
The Prophet said, “No one can be a believer until and unless he begins to like for his brother what he likes for himself”.
One who does not differentiate between his own people and others is a man of principle. His is a contradiction free personality. And the trait, when properly developed, will turn him into a character par excellence.