But Will Muslims
Subject: How Do Muslims Feel About Others Coming to Islam?
My name is (deleted). I am an aboriginal from my country. I have not been raised in a traditional Aboriginal Cultural setting, however I am from my race and am proud to be what I am, I have been placed on this earth as what I am and accept myself as no other.
I have a dilemma though. I am not living a disciplined life. Islam has shown itself to me in my spiritual journey and I am interested to follow this further.
I guess my first question is, how do Arabs feel about other races converting to Islam?
Secondly, I look at the world and it's Indigenous people, I am an Indigenous person of my country. Where do I fit within the world of structured Religion?
Christianity, even though I was raised in a Christian setting, does not hold my heart.
Being an Aboriginal I believe in a Creator, and whenever I pray I pray to that Creator and my Ancestors.
There are so many things I could say but I will leave it here. I am eagerly awaiting a response.
The answer - #03-06-08 11:30 AM EST
(Bismillah Al hamdulilah was salat was Salam ala rasoolulah - Allahu 'Alim)
As far as we know, racism and ethnicity are shunned in Islam. Almighty Allah has revealed a beautiful Recitation over 1,400 years ago, telling all mankind that we are all created equal in His Sight, and the most beloved to Him are those who surrender and submit to His Will on His Terms.
In fact, the word "Islam" means, "surrender, submit, obey, in sincerity, and in peace." So, it is a verb or action and it is something that the person must do. It is implied by the meaning that this act is for Almighty Allah.
You might ask, "What does the word 'Allah' actually mean?"
This is a good question.
"Allah" is NOT the Arabic word for "god" as so many are given to say. The word for 'god' in Arabic is 'elah' and it is related to 'Allah' but not the same exact meaning. 'Elah' (in the New Testament it is misspelled -- 'Eloi') means 'god' or anything that is worshipped.
But when the letters "alief" and "laam" are added in front of it (this is the article 'the' in Arabic), it becomes, "The God." But there is more to it than just that. It also looses any possibility of being male or female, it cannot have gender at that stage. Additionally, it cannot be made plural, it is always singular.
From this we are able to better understand why the word "Allah" is so appropriate for the "Creator and Sustainer of the Universe" in Arabic language. It carries along with it the meaning, "The only One worthy of worship, without gender and without any partners."
You asked, "How do Moslems feel about other races converting to Islam?"
Another good question.
Let me state a few facts before explaining the status of humans in Islam:
* Islam is in every country on earth.
* Over 1.5 billion people are Muslims.
* Only 12% are Arabs.
* 88% are non-Arabs from around the entire earth.
* Most Muslims live in Indonesia.
* 3 to 5 million Blacks, Whites, Browns, Yellows and all colors of people make 'hajj' (pilgrimage) every year - from every country and race of people on earth.
Equality of Human Beings
Islam not only recognizes absolute equality between men irrespective of any distinction of color, race or nationality, but makes it an important and significant principle, a reality.
All Muslims must consider themselves as brothers and sisters in faith and make no distinction between color, race or cultural background. Absolutely, Muslims today are the most homogenous in ethnicity. I personally have prayed alongside people from so many different countries in the world that I cannot even begin to count them all. As regards color of the skin, there is no distinction here either. Allah tells us in His Beautiful Recitation (Quran 49:13):
O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has at-taqwah (God-Fearing and righteous). Verily, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.
"And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colors. Verily, in that are indeed signs for those who know".
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in his farewell address told us that,
"No Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab. Nor does a white man have any superiority over a black man, or the black man any superiority over the white man. You are all the children of Adam, and Adam was created from clay". 'O people, Remember that your Lord is One. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a black has no superiority over white, nor a white has any superiority over black, except by piety and righteousness. Indeed the best among you is the one with the best character in righteousness."
The prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, taught us that people must stop boasting about their ancestors and deceased relatives as though they might think that this makes them better than someone else. A person is only a believer or a rotten sinner. All humans are considered the sons of Adam, and he was brought up out of the dust.
A man once visited the Prophet's mosque in Madinah. There he saw a group of people sitting and discussing their faith together. Among them were Salman Al Farsi (a Christian who came from Persia), Suhayb who grew up in the Eastern Roman empire and was regarded as a Greek, and Bilal who was an African.
The man then said: "If the (Madinan) tribes of Aws and Khazraj support Muhammad, they are his people (that is, Arabs like him), but what are these people doing here?"
The Prophet became very angry when this was reported to him, he went to the mosque and summoned people and addressed them saying: "O people, know that the Lord and Sustainer is One. Your ancestor is one, your faith is one. The Arabism of any one of you is not from your mother or father. It is no more than a tongue (language). Whoever speaks Arabic is an Arab."
As regards our Muslims feelings and duty to regard their Muslim ancestors, it is our duty to pray for them (never to them, as only Allah accepts prayers).
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, also said,
"Whoever has pride in his heart equal to the weight of an ant shall not enter Paradise."
A man inquired about a person who likes to wear beautiful clothes and fine shoes (and he is proud of them).
The prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty."
Then he explained that "Pride means rejecting the truth, because of self-esteem and looking down on other people." 
And he said,
"You must listen and obey your ruler even if he is an Ethiopian salve. 
629 CE - Prophet, peace be upon him, gave the most honored position of victory to two black former slaves; Bilal & Zaid.
After years of persecution, and later war against the nonbelievers of Makkah, the Muslims were finally given the victory over their enemies and entered in Makkah as champions over the disbelieving tribe of Muhammad (the Quraysh).
The prophet, peace be upon him, went straight to the Kaaba.
This was the height of the victory of Islam. He brought some other Muslims with him. He could have chosen only Muslims from the Quraysh, people of his own ethnic and tribal background. He also could have chosen only Arabs or only those of the old noble classes.
But two of the people who entered the Kaba with the Prophet were Bilal ibn Rabah and Zaid ibn Haritha. Bilal, an African and a former slave. Zaid was also not of high status from the tribal Quraysh point of view.
Then entered a Quraysh, Abdullah bin Omar (may Allah be pleased with all of them). On this day of victory, success and happiness was for all Muslims, no matter who they were or where they came from.
634 CE - Muslims enter Egypt - under leadership of Ubaydah ibn Thamit, a black man.
Muslims conquered Egypt at the time when Omar ibn al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was Khalifa, a Muslim leader who happened to be a black man named Ubaydah ibn Thamit, took a party of the Muslims to meet Muqawqis, the Christian leader of Egypt.
When the Muslims came to Muqawqis, with Ubaydah in the lead, Muqawqis was frightened by the color of his skin.
'Get this black man away from me and bring someone else,’ he demanded.
The Muslims refused.
They insisted that Ubaydah was the best among them and was their leader who they obeyed and whose judgment they deferred to.
They told Muqawqis that the color of a person does not matter to them.
Finally Muqawqis had no choice but talk to the leader of that Muslim delegation.
These Muslims were practicing an Islamic principle that individual character is the base of preference not color of skin.
635 CE - Ruler of Muslims walked into Jerusalem while his servant was riding comfortably alongside him on his camel.
It was during the Caliphate of Omar ibn al-Khattab (634-635) that Muslims first gained leadership Jerusalem.
He walked in with not he, the Caliph, but his servant comfortably riding on a camel.
They had been taking turns walking and riding.
At one point, the Christians asked him to pray in their church but he declined.
He refused saying that he is afraid that in the future Muslims could use it as an excuse to take over the Church for building a masjid.
The Christians gave the key of the Church of Resurrection to Muslims to be responsible for its safety.
This key is still with the Muslims today.
National Muslim Chaplain
Washington, DC - USA