Saleem recently emailed us asking;
Why are Muslims taught they they are the superior people?
Well Saleem this misconception arises because of the incorrect translation of a verse of the Holy Quran by Muslim commentators. They translate “umati wusta” as the superior nation or people. The expression actually means people who follow a middle course or those who are not extremists. This is to distinguish Islam from Judaism and Christianity. Judaism for its harshness e.g. stoning to death of an adulterer, killing all inhabitants of a town on conquering it including women, children and the elderly. And Christianity for its undue leniency e.g. there is no need for the law, turn the other cheek.
Islam taught that law is needed but appropriately for the prevailing circumstances. For example, during a famine Hazrat Umar (R) abolished any punishment for theft or stealing. The reason he gave was that a government which cannot satisfy the basic needs of its citizens (providing food) has no right to punish them.
The Holy Prophet said that a person does not have superiority over another because of who he is but because of what he is. So what makes a man superior are his actions and his morals and not the religion to which he belongs.