The Arab race

source: silsilat ul-ahādīth idh-dhaʽīfa ~ the series of weak narrations ~ hadīth no. 163

“If the Arabs are humiliated, Islām is also humiliated”
- grading of hadīth: mawdhūʽ (fabricated)

Shaykh al-Albānī comments:  

“The glory of Islām is not connected with Arabs only; rather Allāh may give it glory by other than them from the believers, as that happened during the time of the Ottoman Empire especially in its beginning. So Allāh had given glory to Islām through them until its authority spread to the middle of Europe. Then, when they started to abandon the Sharīʽah (Islamic Legislation) and incline toward the European laws - taking that which is lower in exchange for that which is better - their authority diminished from those countries and others until it had disappeared from their (own) countries as well! Hence, only something little remained there of the manifestations that could indicate their Islām! So by that, all of the Muslims were humiliated after their glory, and the disbelievers entered most of their countries and concentrated on humiliating them. And even if these (countries) were apparently freed from (the disbelievers’) colonization, they colonize them in secret under the screen of many projects such as the economy and the like! Therefore, it is established that Islām is given glory and humiliated by the glory and humiliation of its people whether they are Arabs or non-Arabs, and ‘there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab except by taqwā.’[1] So O Allāh! Give glory to the Muslims and inspire them to return to Your Book and the Sunnah of Your Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) until You give glory to Islām by them.
However, that does not negate the Arab race being better than the race of the rest of the nations; rather, this is what I believe in and consider as part of religion – even though I am Albanian but indeed I am Muslim, all praises and thanks are to Allāh – because the precedence of the Arab race that I have mentioned is that which ahl us-sunnah wal jamāʽah[2] are upon, and which a group of mentioned narrations about this matter indicates, such as (the Prophet’s) (صلى الله عليه وسلم) statement: ‘…Indeed Allāh chose Banī Kinānah from the offspring of Ismāʽīl, and chose Quraysh from Banī Kinānah, and chose Banī Hāshim from Quraysh, and chose me from Banī Hāshim.’[3]
But this should not cause the Arab to boast of his race – because it is from the affairs of jāhiliyyah[4] which our Prophet Muhammad the Arab (صلى الله عليه وسلم), had abolished, as clarified earlier – just as we should not be ignorant of the reason why the Arabs deserve precedence, which is what they were distinguished with in regard to their understanding, language, morals and works, and that qualified them to be the carriers of the Islamic daʽwah to the other nations. So indeed if the Arab knows this and follows it, it will enable him to be – like his predecessors – a righteous member in carrying the Islamic daʽwah. As for if he gives that up, then he doesn’t have any excellence at all; rather, the non-Arab who possesses the Islāmic morals is better than him no doubt, since the true excellence is only following the īmān (faith) and knowledge with which Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)  was sent. So whoever is stronger in it, he is better. And excellence is only by defined names in the Book and the Sunnah, such as Islām, īmān, birr (righteousness), taqwā, knowledge, righteous deeds, ihsān[5] and the like, and (it is) not by a person merely being an Arab or non-Arab, as Shaykh ul-Islām ibn Taimiyah (rahimahullāh) said, and this is what (the Prophet) (صلى الله عليه وسلم) pointed out with his saying: ‘Whoever’s deeds slow him down, his lineage will not make him go faster.’[6] Muslim narrated it. And this is why the Arab poet said: ‘Even if our descent is noble, there will never be a day when we will rely on it. So we build as our forefathers used to build, and we do as they used to do.’
In summary: indeed the precedence of the Arabs is only due to virtues that were realized amongst them, but if (these virtues) disappear because of their negligence of their Islām, their excellence will also disappear, and whoever from the non-Arabs adheres to (these virtues) will be better than them; ‘there is no superiority of the Arab over the non-Arab except by taqwā.’ Therefore, the going astray of the one who calls to Arabism becomes clear, (who calls to it) while he does not possess any of its excellent characteristics at all; rather, he is a European inwardly and outwardly!”
[1] piety and fear of Allāh
[2] those who adhere to that which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his Companions were upon with regard to ʽaqīdah (belief), manhaj (methodology) and all other matters of the religion
[3] Sahīh at-Tirmithī #3606
[4] the pre-Islamic days of ignorance
[5] worshiping Allāh as if you see Him; Sahīh al-Bukhārī #4777
[6] Sahīh Muslim #2699