Preserving the rights for the survival of human life in a society is very necessary which is not possible without serving justice. The real justice involves eliminating even the concept of discrimination between the rich and poor, master and slave, ruler and subject etc. While Islam has blessed us with a system of justice, it has also provided us with golden rules to maintain the equality. Equality is a peculiarity of Islam, it is such a unique attribute that in whatever society Islam was practically implemented, countless examples of preserving the rights related to life, finance, socialness and ethics etc., were set.
What is Islamic Masawaat?
Masawaat means equality. It means whoever acknowledges Tawheed and Risalat irrespective of what country he is from or what language he speaks, he will enjoy all the rights what other Muslims do. This is the Islamic equality. Our religion teaches us that all Muslims are equal in the blessed sight of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. No one has superiority over others on the basis of colour, race, lineage etc.
Along with establishing justice in this world, Islam also does not make elevation of ranks, success and attainment of closeness to Allah Almighty particular to any gender or society even in Hereafter but rather Islam, according to the principle of Islamic equality, declares them equal for everyone ‘man and woman’, ‘ruler and ruled’, ‘king and subject’ etc. In terms of deeds, each Muslim can excel others in attaining the closeness to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ by obeying Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and His Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ says:
وَ مَنْ یَّعْمَلْ مِنَ الصّٰلِحٰتِ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ اَوْ اُنْثٰى وَ هُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَاُولٰٓىٕكَ یَدْخُلُوْنَ الْجَنَّةَ وَ لَا یُظْلَمُوْنَ نَقِیْرًا(۱۲۴)
Translation from Kanz-ul-Iman: And whoever does some good deeds; be it a man or woman, and is a Muslim, will be admitted to Paradise and they will not be wronged even to the extent of a sesame seed. (Part 5, Surah An-Nisa, Ayah 124)
The blessed Ahadees and equality
1. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: All of the people are the children of Aadam (عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام), and Aadam (عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام) was created from clay. (Sunan-ut-Tirmizi, vol. 5, pp. 179, Hadees 3281)
2. O people! Your Sustainer is One and your father is one. An Arab has no superiority over an ‘Ajami [non-Arab] nor an ‘Ajami has any superiority over an Arab; a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white, superiority is on the basis of piety alone. (Musnad Imam Ahmad, vol. 9, pp. 127, Hadees 23548)
It is learnt that excellence and supremacy can be attained by virtue of piety alone.
Examples of equality
The blessed life of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is completely a practical role model. The sacred life-history of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is full of such examples which clearly show that each of his blessed acts is based on equality. On the occasion of the Ghazwah Badr, riders were more than the mounts; so, many blessed companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُم would get on a single mount one by one. If the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم willed, he would keep a separate mount exclusively for himself but he صَلَّى اللہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم shared his mount with two of his blessed companions and demonstrated that Islam is the religion which is the true promoter of equality; similarly, joining the blessed companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُم during digging ditch, collecting stones, bearing hunger and taking part in the Ghazwat are the striking examples.
The 5 times Salah with Jama’at (congregation) also give a practical interpretation of Islamic equality. So, the devotees of Rasool, coming from all parts of the world each year in Makkah on the occasion of Hajj, practically demonstrate Islamic equality by calling out ‘Sada`ay Labbayk’ unanimously dressed in the same clothing and eliminating all discrimination of colour, language, lineage, homeland etc.