Is it true that Islam is a religion only for Arabs?
This idea can be easily be disproved, as only about 15 to 20 percent of Muslims in the world are Arabs. There are more Indian Muslims than Arab Muslims, and more Indonesian Muslims than Indian Muslims. This assumption is possibly based on the fact that most of the first generation of Muslims were Arabs, that the Qur’an is in Arabic and that the Prophet Muhammad (SA) was an Arab.
However, history testifies that the Prophet (SA), his followers and the early Muslims made every effort to spread the message of Islam to all nations, races and peoples. From the very beginning of the mission of Prophet Muhammad (SA) his followers came from a wide spectrum of countries and races. Among them was Bilal, the African slave; Suhaib, the Byzantine Roman; Abdullah bin Salam, the Jewish Rabbi; and Salman, the Persian.
Furthermore, it should be clarified that not all Muslims are Arabs and not all Arabs are Muslims. An Arab might be a Muslim, Christian, Jew, atheist or follower of any other religion or ideology. Additionally, some countries – such as Turkey and Iran (Persia) – that uninformed people consider to be “Arab” are not Arab at all. The people who live in those countries speak languages other than Arabic and are of a different ethnic heritage.
Since religious truth is eternal and unchanging, and humanity is considered one universal brotherhood, Islam teaches that ‘s revelations to humanity have always been consistent, clear and universal. The truth of Islam is meant for all people regardless of race, nationality, cultural or linguistic background. A brief look at the Muslim World, from Nigeria to Bosnia and from Malaysia to Afghanistan is sufficient proof that Islam offers a universal appeal; a message for all of mankind – not to mention the fact that significant numbers of Europeans and Americans of all races and ethnic backgrounds are finding and coming into Islam. The Qur’an clearly says,
(And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most men know not.) [34:28]
All religions basically teach their followers to do good deeds, so why should a person follow Islam?
In the Qur’an, says,
(This day, I have perfected for you your religion, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.) [5:3]
He also says,
(Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam.) [3:19]
And He says,
(And whosoever seeks a religion other than Islam never will it be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.) [3:85]
Islam is ‘s final message, and it offers a complete legal code for humankind. It eliminates and corrects the human errors that found their way into previous religions in the realm of both belief and practice. Just as any new revised law supersedes and nullifies what came before it, Islam naturally abrogates all earlier religions.
Without doubt, one will find in every religion, especially those of divine origins, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, noble teachings, good moral values, encouragement toward good deeds and warnings against evil. However, what distinguishes Islam from other faiths is that Islam goes beyond simply urging people to be upright and honest. Islam diagnoses illnesses and prescribes the treatment. It gives practical solutions to man’s problems and provides the means of achieving righteousness and eliminating evil from individual and collective lives. Islam is guidance for mankind from the Creator who knows what is best and most suitable for His creation. That is why Islam is called the natural religion of man.
A Final Word
We would now like our readers to ask themselves what they think are the reasons for all the propaganda and misinformation currently being perpetuated about Islam. If Islam was just another false religion that made no sense, would so many feel a need to invent so many falsehoods about it? The reason is merely that the ultimate truth of Islam stands on unshakeable ground, and that its basic fundamental belief in the oneness of is above reproach. Thomas Carlyle said:
A false man found a religion? Why, a false man cannot build a brick house! If he does not know and follow truly the properties of mortar, burnt clay and what else he works in, it is no house that he makes, but a rubbish-heap. It will not stand for twelve centuries, to lodge a hundred and eighty millions; it will fall straightway. A man must conform himself to Nature’s laws, be verily in communion with Nature and the truth of things, or Nature will answer him, No, not at all! Speciosities are specious – ah me! – a Cagliostro, many Cagliostros, prominent world-leaders, do prosper by their quackery, for a day. It is like a forged bank-note; they get it passed out of their worthless hands: others, not they, have to smart for it. Nature bursts up in fire-flames; French Revolutions and such like, proclaiming with terrible veracity that forged notes are forged. But of a Great Man especially, of him, I will venture to assert that it is incredible he should have been other than true. It seems to me the primary foundation of him, and of all that can lie in him, is this.
Finally, we must never rely on secondhand information to understand the religion of Islam. Rather, it needs to be studied from its authentic sources and by speaking to sincere, practicing Muslims. By rereading the introductory section of this book, one will surely find a different picture than what is commonly projected by the Western media. A person may even find that Islam provides the answers for all the questions and challenges in life.
May Allah guide us all to the truth.
 ‘Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History’