Read The Story 1 (Find Suitable Word Meanings in The Vocabulary List)

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A man once visited the Prophet’s [s] masjid in Madinah. There he saw a group of people sitting and talking about their faith together. Among them were Salman [r] who came from Persia, Suhayb [r] the Greek who grew up in the Roman Empire and Bilal [r] who was from Africa.

The man was very surprised and said, “I can understand if the (Arab) tribes of Madinah, the Aws and Khazraj, help and support Muhammad, because they are Arabs like him. But what are these foreign people doing here?”

The man had very little understanding of Islam and thought that it was an Arab religion as it was brought by an Arab Prophet.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad [s] became very angry when this was reported to him. Immediately he went to the masjid and summoned the people to a congregational salah.

As was his habit when something of great importance arose, when the prayer was over the Prophet [s] stood up on the mimbar and turned to the people, saying in a firm voice, “O people, know that the Creator and Sustainer, Allah, is One. Your forefather, Adam [a], is one, and your faith, Islam, is one. Your being an Arab is no more than a language. For whoever speaks Arabic is an Arab.”

Now Bilal [r], Suhayb [r] and Salman [r] were not only regarded by the ignorant people as non-Arabs but were former slaves too who were valued even less than beasts in those days. But they were close and beloved Companions of the blessed Prophet [s]. They possessed the strongest faith and served Allah with all their strength. They were the admiration of all the Muslims of their time and till today Muslims all over the world tell the tales of their great love for the Prophet of Allah.

It is therefore neither race, status nor wealth which makes a person a member of the Muslim Ummah. Rather it is the firm belief in the oneness of Allah and love for his dear Prophet Muhammad [s] that unites so many different people into one, single Ummah.

The color of your skin or the language you speak does not make you any better than the next human being in the sight of Allah. Rather it is piety and good action that makes one better than the next. And because the African, Bilal [r], the European, Suhayb [r], and the Persian, Salman [r], were so very pious and so good in their action, Allah chose them to be the Companions of His most dear and beloved Prophet [s]. They were true Muslims despite not belonging to one race, not being the same color nor speaking the same language.