The two million Muslim pilgrims at the hajj displayed every colour of the human race. Those of us who watched live footage on TV saw the truth of God’s declaration in the Qur’an: “O mankind! We have created you from a single male and female and We have made you into nations and tribes so that you may recognize one another. Indeed the most honoured of you in the sight of God is the one who is most righteous. Indeed God is All-knowing, All-aware.” Black, brown and white; rich and poor; young and old; men and women all equal before God.
In the plains of Arafat they will have remembered the Messenger Muhammad’s sermon (peace be upon him): “O people, indeed your Lord and Sustainer is One and your ancestor is one. All of you descend from Adam and Adam was made of earth. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab nor for a non-Arab over an Arab; neither for a white person over a black person nor a black person over a white person except the superiority gained through righteousness. Indeed the noblest of you is the one who is most conscious of God.”
It was this reality that transformed Malcolm X, the black American activist on his hajj to Makkah. Having campaigned for black separation all his life he realized how every colour was equal before God and before each other. They were all dressed in simple white cloth, prayed at the same time in the same place, ate together, rested together and became dear to God together. Indeed there is only one race; the human race.
Dear God, give us the strength to be more righteous, to see all human beings as equals and to respect them all as part of your family, amin.