(Note: Wherever the word “you” or “your” is singular and refers to one human being, it is printed with an italic y, as in: you. Wherever such a word refers to God, the letter y is printed in capital, as in: You.)
For Fast 12
Topic: (H) Humanity
All humanity is one nation:
“Mankind is a single nation. So Allah raised prophets as bearers of good news and as warners, and He revealed with them the Book with truth, that it might judge between people in that in which they differed.” — 2:213
The oneness of humanity is a truth on which the Quran lays the greatest stress. They are sometimes told that they have all been “created of a single being” (4:1); again that they are all descended from the same parents (49:13); still again that they are as it were dwellers in one home, having the same earth as a resting-place and the same heaven as a canopy (2:22). Hence also the conclusion that prophets were raised among all nations. As all people are a single nation (umma), God, too, has been revealing Himself to all through prophets, to every one of whom a revealed Book was given to show them the right way.
“O people, keep your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind), and spread from these two many men and women.” — 4:1
The word for “people” means all humanity, who are addressed here. The word for “being” indicates “essence”. The statement “Who created you from a single being (or essence) and created its mate of the same” declares, firstly, the unity of the human race and secondly that the male and the female are created alike from the same thing. “Many men and women” spring from married pairs. The verse does not necessarily refer to any parent pair of the whole of mankind. It reminds people of the strength of the ties of relationship, an idea mentioned further on in the same verse.
“And (all) people are but a single nation, then they disagree. And if a word had not already gone forth from your Lord, the matter would have certainly been decided between them regarding that in which they disagree.” — 10:19
While being one nation or umma, mankind is divided into different religions. It is a law of God (a word already gone forth) that these differences will remain undecided until God sends His signs to establish the truth or until after one’s death.
Brotherhood of humanity:
“O mankind, surely We have created you from a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other. Surely the noblest of you with Allah is the most dutiful of you. Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.” — 49:13
The principle of the brotherhood of mankind laid down here is on the broadest basis. The address here is not to believers but to mankind in general, who are told that they are all, as it were, members of one family, and their divisions into nations, tribes and families should not lead to estrangement from, but to a better knowledge of, each other. Superiority of one over another in this vast brotherhood does not depend on nationality, wealth, or rank, but on the careful observance of duty, or moral greatness.
Diversity of mankind:
“And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colours. Surely there are signs in this for the learned.” — 30:22
The diversity of languages and colours of mankind is a matter to be studied by the learned, providing signs for the existence of the One Maker. The learned realise that this diversity does not indicate the superiority of some over others. Only the ignorant believe that.
“Do you not see that Allah sends down water from the clouds, then We bring forth with it fruits of various colours? And in the mountains are streaks, white and red, of various colours and (others) intensely black. And of mankind and beasts and cattle there are various colours likewise. Those of His servants only who are possessed of knowledge fear Allah. Surely Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.” — 35:27-28
Fruit and rocks are of different colours. So are animals and human beings. Difference of colour is everywhere. This serves a purpose in nature. Those who possess knowledge know that colour of a human being does not denote superiority or inferiority. They fear God from entertaining such ideas.