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28. Racism

In the reign of the first three Caliphs, many social boundaries were made. Arabs were given more importance than non-Arabs. The Muhajireen were given more importance than Ansar, and so on. This caused racism to spread in the Islamic society. In one incident during Imam Ali’s reign, a group of non-Arabs came to the Imam complaining about the Arabs who wouldn’t marry into them. Imam Ali went with them to propose, but the Arabs still did not accept. Then he left and told the non-Arabs: “These people have made you like the Christians and Jews, they marry into you, but don’t allow you to marry into them. They take from you, but don’t return to you. So become traders, may Allah bless you.”
In this incident, the Imam advised the people to become traders to gain a stronger role in society and respect. Only then will the racists realise that you are equal or better than them.