Writers' Articles

We are not all Equal


True.  We are all created by the Giver of Life as descendents of Adam and Eve and born into this world with pure souls having free will.  But in accordance with the All-Knowing's infinite wisdom, that is the extent of our equality.  Each and every one of us faces different surroundings and circumstances from the moment we are born.  Even children in the same family do not encounter everything in the same way or proportion.  Whether rich or poor, strong or weak, educated or uneducated each starting point and every moment thereafter is different.

We are all brothers and sisters in humanity, but even our roles within that vary.  Men and women, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, we each have our responsibilities.  That is where we are not equal.  In this inequality is there not also just expectations?  Don't those blessed with more by the Provider have a greater responsibility?  Whether it's more resources, more strength, more intellect, or more education doesn't having any one of these things oblige us to accountability in our use of these advantages?

And what of those who have the greatest advantage?  What about those endowed with wisdom and guidance, those who know the truth about what's right and wrong, just and unjust?  What about those who possess the greatest treasure of all, the ability to establish peace for all creation?  What about those who hold the benefit of mankind and the world in their hearts and minds?  Do they not have a heavier burden than those who are unaware or incapable of establishing such a possibility?  If one has this within their grasp, do they not have the obligation to strive to make it a reality?

That is an inequality.  But it is an inequality of choice because to achieve peace on earth, those with the ability to do so must choose to take on this greater burden for humanity.  They must choose to humble themselves before the Giver, the Guide.  They must choose to do His will.  They must struggle with their desires for only comfort and entertainment to bring themselves prostrate before the One Who can make it all come right.  They must commit themselves to servitude of Him thereby helping one's brothers and sisters in humankind.  In so doing, they are not equal.  Through this humility they are elevated in responsibility and honor, dignity and righteousness, and reward.

So there are those who will choose like Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him) to reflect and pursue social health by choosing the divine guidance of Islam over man-made efforts at just laws.  They will endeavor to be one from whose hands and tongue others are safe.  These believers are those "whom people trust with their lives and property."    They guard against a terrible loss as Ibn Majah reported the Prophet describing in this saying:

Among those who will be in the worst situation with regard to Allah on the Day of Resurrection will be a person who has wasted his life at the expense of someone else's worldly interests.

They make time for Allah and will be rewarded for it as Ahmad and Ibn Majah recorded in the Prophet's saying:

Almighty Allah says: "O son of Adam!  If you take time for my services, I shall fill your heart with contentment and I shall remove your poverty.  And if you have no time for my services, I shall keep your hands busy in work and I shall not remove your poverty.

In such knowledge and belief, there is distinction.  Although Allah guarantees us all the opportunity to attain that higher level, it is not by force or oppression of another but through a personal decision to submit to Him, the Creator, Sustainer, and Lord of the Worlds.  Those who make this choice and sincerely strive for it consequently ensure equal rights for all.  Thus, the choosing is ours.

As a native of Texas who converted to Islam at age nineteen, Najla Tammy Ilhan strives to share glimpses of the wisdom she has found in the seventeen years since


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