Question to Shaikh Ibn Bāz, may Allāh have mercy on him:
His ﷺ saying, “People are maʿādin [metals of various quality]”: is [that] specific to their lineages or their deeds?
[They are] maʿādin in [terms of] deeds and character traits. The best of them during [their] times of ignorance are the best of them when [they come] into Islam—if they gain understanding [of the religion].
Maʿādin: Among them are the cowardly and among them, the miserly; among them, the generous and noble of character; and among them, those who are strong about Allāh’s commands; and among them, those who are weak.
So the best of them during [their] times of ignorance: this is [regarding] people of generosity and noble character; of support to the oppressed and help to those in distress and poverty. These are the ones who are the best of people during [their] times of ignorance, and they are the best of people [when they come] into Islam, even if one used to be a black slave.