Martin Luther King Jr

Portions of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s goals to eradicate racial inequality were echoed in the Quran some 1,300 years prior.

Martin Luther King, Jr. lived a life worth living. He worked diligently for racial equality for his fellow beings and he stood up to end racial segregation on public transportation. The influential American civil rights leader’s accomplishments and his dedication towards racial equality are celebrated every year on the third Monday of January. He was the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. King didn’t just stand up for what was right &emdash; he also made sure he did it peacefully.

There’s no doubt that Dr. King was a revolutionary activist of the nation during his time.

Islam has similar teachings on the subject of equality, published about 1,400 years ago. Islam teaches us that we are all equal. Our differences of color, race, and nationality don’t matter. On the other hand, what truly matters is the kind of heart we carry and what good deeds we do. God says in the Holy Qur’an, “O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Verily, the most honorable among you, in the sight of God, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, God is All-knowing, All-Aware” (49:14). This verse explains that in the sight of God the only thing which matters is how good we are at fulfilling the rights of mankind and of God. He further says, “Whoso acts righteously, whether male or female, and is a believer, We will surely grant him a pure life; and We will surely bestow on such their reward according to the best of their works” (16:98).

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) also emphasized this message all his life. He said “An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. The most honorable among you in the sight of God is the one who is the most righteous.”

So, if we only focus on how similar we are instead of finding differences, then we can make our lives beautiful, harmonious, and worth living. We should respect all no matter how different they look, act, or talk. We are all equally made for a purposeful life and by loving each other we can find paradise here in this world as well as in the hereafter.

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