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Justice in Islam...Its Importance and Reality

Islamstory.com
9/25/2011
1120 views

 

Justice is one of the basic human values established by Islam and is one of the main pillars of individual, family and social lives.
The Quran made the establishment of “al-qist” (justice) among people the main objective of all the heavenly messages.
God says: 
 
{We sent aforetime our apostles with Clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of Right and Wrong), that men may stand forth in justice} (Al-Hadid 57: 25).
 
 
Nothing in the illustration of the high value of justice could be greater than making the establishment of justice the main and first objective of all God's apostles and books. Books were revealed with justice. Apostles were sent with justice. The heavens and the Earth were built with justice.
In a stark and direct statement of the importance of establishing justice even if we hate whom we judge, God says:
 
 
{O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin} (An-Nisa’ 4: 135)
 
 
And He says: {O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do} (Al-Ma’idah 5: 8).
 
 
Ibn Kathir, the Muslim scholar, said in his Tafseer (exegesis): “This means hatred of someone should not  be a motivation not to establish justice toward them. Rather, justice must be applied with all and anyone, be them friends or enemies."
 
 
Therefore, love and hatred do not mar the establishment of justice in Islam. Justice does not discriminate on the grounds of family and lineage, or authority and wealth. Justice also does not discriminate between Muslims and non-Muslims. Justice is the right of everyone living on an Islamic soil, be them Muslims or non-Muslims and whether or not those people like or dislike one another.
 
 
Situations on Justice in Islam
 
 
A situation illustrating the meaning mentioned above was Usama Ibn Zayd's story with a lady from Makhzum tribe. When Usama tried to intercede for the lady, who belongs to a high-class family, in order to prevent the punishment of cutting off her hand after she had committed theft, God's Apostle got angry, got up and delivered a well-spoken sermon to indicate the line and justice of Islam and its establishment of justice and equality among members of the society, be them rulers or ruled people. In his sermon, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "What destroyed the nations preceding you, was that if a noble amongst them stole, they would forgive him, and if a poor person amongst them stole, they would inflict Allah's Legal punishment on him. By Allah, if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad stole, I would cut off her hand." (Al-Bukhari)
Imam Ahmed quoted Jabir Ibn Abdullah as saying: Allah has given Khaybar as booty to His Apostle so the Prophet divided that booty between people and himself. The Prophet assigned Abdullah ibn Rawaha to calculate and estimate the size of the booty, and then Abdullah ibn Rawaha said: "Oh Jews, out of all the creation I hate you the most; you have killed Allah's prophets, may peace be upon them, and lied about Allah, and my hatred of you shall not cause me to be unfair with you. I have calculated twenty thousand bunches of dates so if you want to take them all, then take it, and if you refused, I will take them." They said: Thus the heavens and earth were built, we will take them.” (Ahmad)
 
 
Despite Abdullah ibn Rawaha's hatred of the Jewish, he was not unfair to them. But he announced that he does not do wrong to them and that they can take whatever they want to take from the distribution of dates.
 
 
Reality of Justice in Islam
 
 
The reality about justice in the Islamic religion is that justice is God's balance on Earth, with which the weak get their rights and the wronged take their rights from the unfair. Justice enables people to get their rights the simplest and easiest way. Justice is a part of the creed of Islam and under the umbrella of justice in the Muslim community; no one would be wronged.
 
 
If Islam orders the establishment of justice with people – all people as we see in the abovementioned verses – that kind of justice which is not motivated or moved emotionally; Islam commands justice with one’s self. Islam orders each Muslim to balance between his own rights, his God’s rights and other people’s rights. This was clear in God’s Apostle’s approval of Salman al Farisi’s comment on Abu Ad-Darda', who prejudiced his wife’s right by departing her, performing fast everyday and praying every night. This is the complete story:
 
 
The Prophet made a bond of brotherhood between Salman and Abu Ad-Darda'. Salman paid a visit to Abu Ad-Darda' and found Um Ad-Darda' dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state. She replied, "Your brother Abu Ad-Darda' is not interested in (the luxuries of) this world." In the meantime Abu Ad-Darda' came and prepared a meal for Salman. Salman requested Abu Ad-Darda' to eat (with him), but Abu Ad-Darda' said, "I am fasting." Salman said: "I am not going to eat unless you eat." So, Abu Ad-Darda' ate (with Salman).
 
 
When it was night and (a part of the night passed), Abu Ad-Darda' got up (to offer the night prayer), but Salman told him to sleep and Abu Ad-Darda' slept. After sometime, Abu Ad-Darda' again got up but Salman told him to sleep. When it was the last hours of the night, Salman told him to get up then, and both of them offered the prayer. Salman told Abu Ad-Darda': "Your Lord has a right on you, your soul has a right on you, and your family has a right on you; so you should give the rights of all those who have a right on you." (Al-Bukhari) Abu Ad-Darda' came to the Prophet and narrated the whole story. The Prophet said: "Salman has spoken the truth."
Islam has also ordered justice in speech. God says:
 
{Whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned} (Al-An’am 6: 152).
 
Islam also commands justice in judgment. God says: {Allah doth command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due; And when ye judge between man and man, that ye judge with justice} (An-Nisa’: 58).
 
 
Islam commands justice in peacemaking among people. God says:
{If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies then make peace between them with justice and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just)} (Al-Hujurat 49: 9)
 
 
Banning of Injustice in Islam
 
 
Islam commands justice and encourages its establishment. Identically, it prohibits injustice strictly and resists injustice strongly, either injustice toward oneself or toward others, particularly the strong people’s injustice toward the weak, the rich people’s injustice toward the poor and rulers’ injustice toward the people they rule. The weaker the person wronged is, the guiltier the unfair.
 
 
The sacred hadith reads: “O My servants, indeed I have prohibited injustice for myself, and I have prohibited it amongst you, so do not do injustices to each other” (Muslim) and the Prophet told Mu’az ibn Jabal: “Be afraid of the curse of an oppressed person as there is no screen between his invocation and Allah” (Al-Bukhari). The Prophet also said: “Three men whose supplications are never rejected (by Allah) are: The fasting person until he breaks his fast, the just ruler and the one who is oppressed, whose prayer is taken to heavens and heavens’ doors are opened for it and Allah says to it: I swear with My honor I will uphold you (the supplication) even after a while” (At-Tirmidhi)
 
 
Thus, this is justice…the heavenly balance in the Islamic community.
 

 






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