“If the Arabs are degraded, Islaam will too.”
-grading of hadeeth: mawdhoo` (fabricated)
“Islaam’s honor is not tied to just Arabs; rather Allaah may give it honor through other believers, like what happened during the time of the Ottoman Empire especially in its early stage as Allaah had given Islaam honor through them until its authority spread to the middle of Europe. Then, when they started to abandon the Sharee`ah (Islaamic Legislation) and incline toward 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! So only something little remained there to be seen that could indicate their Islaam! All of the Muslims were degraded thereby after their honor, and the disbelievers entered their countries and degraded them with the exception of a few. And these –despite having been safe from their colonization apparently– are colonized by them in secret under the guise of many projects, like (for) the economy and so on! Hence it is proven that Islaam is honored and degraded by the honor and degradation of its people whether they be Arabs or non-Arabs, and ‘there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab except by taqwaa (piety).’ So O Allaah! Grant the Muslims honor and inspire them to return to Your Book and the Sunnah of Your Prophet such that You give Islaam honor through them.
However, that does not negate the Arab race being better than the race of the remaining nations. In fact, this is what I believe in and worship Allaah with –even though I am Albanian but indeed I am Muslim, all praise is due to Allaah– because the precedence of the Arab race that I mentioned is what Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah are upon, and it is indicated by a group of narrations mentioned about this matter, such as the Prophet’s ﷺ statement: ‘…Indeed Allaah chose Bani Kinaanah from the offspring of Ismaa`eel, and chose Quraish from Bani Kinaanah, and chose Bani Haashim from Quraysh, and chose me from Bani Haashim.’
But this should not cause the Arab to boast of his race, because it is from the affairs of jaahiliyyah which our Prophet Muhammad the Arab ﷺ had abolished as clarified earlier, just as we should not be ignorant of the reason why the Arabs deserved precedence, which was their distinction in intellect, language, character and deeds, the thing that qualified them to be the conveyers of the Islamic da`wah to the other nations. So indeed if the Arab knows this and maintains it, he can be –like his predecessors– a righteous member in conveying the Islamic da`wah; but if he gives that up then he doesn’t have any excellence at all. Rather, the non-Arab who takes on the Islamic character is better than him no doubt, since true excellence is only following the faith and knowledge with which Muhammad ﷺ was sent. So whoever is more firmly grounded in it is better; and excellence is only according to certain terms in the Book and the Sunnah such as Islaam, eemaan, birr, taqwaa, `ilm, al-`amal as-saalih, ihsaan, etc., not due to a person merely being an Arab or non-Arab as Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah رحمه الله said; this is what the Prophet ﷺ pointed out by saying: ‘Whoever is slowed down by his deeds will not be hastened forward by his lineage.’ And this is why the Arab poet said: ‘We will not rely on our noble lineage, even if noble, for a single day. We will (rather) build just as our forefathers did, and do just as they did.’
In summary: the excellence of the Arabs is only due to virtues that they had, so if these virtues disappear due to them neglecting their Islaam, 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 an Arab over a non-Arab except by taqwaa.’ Therefore, the misguidance of the one who calls to Arabism is clear, who does not possess any of its excellent characteristics at all but is rather a European inwardly and outwardly!”
[silsilat ul-ahaadeeth idh-dha`eefah 163 / alalbaany.com]