Question: What does Arab mean?
Arab means “beautiful.” It does not mean “a Black.” Today, those who are called Arabs are in fact not Arabs. Most of them are fellahs, and some are Blacks. Interestingly enough, people who are from Zanzibar and Ethiopia have purposely been called Arabs.
Our Master the Prophet was an Arab. Arabs are white, light-complexioned. Especially the family of our Prophet was white and very beautiful. Today there are Sayyids, who have come from this blessed line. None of them are black. After our Prophet’s death, all of his companions and then his descendants moved out of Arabia in order to spread Islam all over the world. They spread far into Asia, Africa, Cyprus, Istanbul, and, in brief, everywhere. In order to introduce Allah’s religion to His human creatures, they sacrificed their lives. These vast lands are full of those blessed martyrs. Ayyub Sabri Pasha, one of the admirals of Sultan Abdulhamid Khan II, wrote in his book Mir’at-ul-Haramayn that in the entire city of Mecca there were only two Arab homes left. And today there are not any.
It is not right to desecrate the word Arab because of the misdeeds and heresy of those people who are incorrectly called Arabs today. Sayyids are Arabs. Generally, Arabs are criticized in order to criticize Islam, just like calling Islam’s commandments retrogression and bigotry in order to disparage Islam. We should not fall for this trick. In our religion, there is no superiority of one race over another. However, some nations may be more virtuous than the others. For this reason, our Master the Prophet says:
(Loving a Muslim Arab is from faith.) [Ibn Najjar]
It is also from faith not to love a disbelieving Arab like Abu Jahl.