The meaning of the Hadith reading 'There is no merit for an Arab over a non-Arab…”
Q: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) says,
"There is no merit for an Arab over a non-Arab nor for a white person over a black person except in terms of Taqwa (fearing Allah as He should be feared)."
If there were an Arab and a non-Arab Muslims who know and act according to the Sunnah, is the Arab preferred over the non-Arab because the Messenger (peace be upon him) was an Arab and the Qur'an was revealed in Arabic?
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says,
Verily, the most honourable of you with Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwâ [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqûn (the pious)].
(Part No. 26; Page No. 359) It is reported that
Abu Mas`ud `Uqbah ibn `Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) said, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
The best reciter of the Book of Allah should lead the people in Prayer. If people are equal in recitation, then the most knowledgeable of the Sunnah. If they are equal in knowledge of the Sunnah, then the one who migrated first. If they are equal in migration, the eldest. A man should not be led in Prayer in his place of authority and no one should sit to take of his generosity in his home, except with his permission.
In other wordings:
A man should not lead another man in Salah (prayer) while in his (the latter’s) house or place of authority.
It is also reported on the authority of
Ibn `Umar that when
the first Muhajirun (Emigrants from Makkah to Madinah) came to Madinah, they stayed in Al-`Usba, a district of
Quba', before the advent of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to Madinah,
Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hudhayfah used to lead them in Salah (Prayer), as he was the one who knew the most Qur’an.
`Umar ibn Al-Khattab and
Abu Salamah ibn `Abd Al-Asad were among the Muhajirun. (Related by
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.