It is related that 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Abi Layla said, "Sahl ibn Hunayf and Qays ibn Sa'd were sitting in al-Qadisiyya when a funeral procession passed by them and they stood up for it. They were told, 'It is for one of the people of the land,' i.e. one of thedhimmis. They said, 'A funeral procession passed by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he stood up. He was told that it was the funeral procession of a Jew and he said, "Is it not a soul?"'" (Sahih Bukhari)
It is with the example of the Prophet (SAW) that we pay tribute to the amazing human being that was Nelson Mandela. He was more than just a soul that we should acknowledge, he acted upon the commands of Allah:
“Allah commands you to uphold justice and to do good to others and to give to the relatives.” (16:90)
“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” Surat An Nisa 4: 135
His struggle, persistence and eventual triumph is an example for all. As Muslims we have many characters to look up to in history but in contemporary times Nelson Mandela is the most exemplary character we can look up to. Let us rise up as a people and learn to defend Justice as commanded by our Lord.
May Allah guide us all and give us hidaya. Ameen.