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Islam: A Perfect Setting for Social Justice

MIT
12/12/2013
17992 views

Social justice in a developed system is inevitable. Thus social justice and ‎development are indivisible integral wholesome. They compliment each other ‎for the healthy development of a morally just community. In such a model ideal ‎society, development is to lead to social justice where the most impoverished ‎and marginalized are reached, their basic needs are met and also have access ‎to resources as any other dignified, independent and free human being of same ‎society. Issue like social philanthropy where giving and volunteering are geared ‎to achieving social justice and social stability by reaching the most ‎marginalized and enabling them to enhance their status and depend on ‎themselves is necessary. It becomes more essential when policy changes and ‎shifting peoples' perception towards peoples' giving habits are involved. This is ‎exactly the kind of ideal model society Islam has come to put in place as ‎exemplified in the life time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the rightly guided caliphs after ‎him.‎

 

 

 

‎An Overview

 

The term 'social justice' is of recent terminology. It was first used in recent ‎times by some political thinkers in political debates like John Stuart Mill and has ‎since become widespread. Social justice connotes that the overall pattern of ‎distribution in a society is supposed to be brought into line with the principles ‎of justice itself. However, there seemed to have been two major conception of ‎this social justice. One goes for the notions of merit and desert, while the ‎second is of need and equality. The first maintains that each person’s social ‎position and material rewards should as far as possible correspond to their ‎place on a scale of Merit. This implies the ending of hereditary privilege and an ‎open society in which the chance to display desert is open to the people. The ‎second understanding entails that goods should be allocated according to each ‎person’s various needs. This in turn is in ally with the idea of equality, since a ‎program which successfully satisfies need makes people materially equal in one ‎important respect.‎

 

 

 

‎The Islamic Understanding

 

Islam is the religion of nature. It could not have deserved anything less to be ‎called "The Perfect Religion". Being this the nature of our religion Islam, it ‎understands the deepest innate of mankind. After all, the "Maker" is to know ‎the "made" better. This is the true position of the religion Islam. Thus, Islam ‎recognizes all the varying gifts human beings are granted with. As people differ ‎in their bodies and features, so they differ in their mental and other ‎endowments. Everything about them, their environment, circumstances, ‎hereditary gains etc all differ. In this case, the possibility of a balanced and ‎equal society is void and impossible. But Islam has provided absolutely at all ‎levels the necessary prerequisites for such a model balanced social justice. ‎These are the absolute freedom of conscience, the complete equality of all ‎men, and the social interdependence among members of the society. ‎

 

 

 

Looking at the first element, which is freedom of conscience, social justice can ‎no way be achieved except with a totally free human conscience that is ‎imbibed with that pristine believe that there is no superior authority over any ‎individual except God. Power is only in the hand of God, which He gives to ‎whomsoever He wishes; and nobody can mediate between Him and His ‎creatures, even if he is a prophet. So everyone keeps his secrets between him ‎and Allah, and in times of needs, just pick up your phone and dial the direct ‎uninterrupted line of your Creator. You need no mediator to reach Him.‎

 

 

 

Allah said concerning Prophet Mohamed "Say: 'It is not in my power to cause ‎you harm, or bring you benefit (or guidance)" [al-Jinn: 21] and also said, "Say ‎‎(O Muhammad) 'O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Come to a ‎word that is just between us and you, that we shall worship none but Allah‎‎ (Alone), and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall ‎take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: 'Bear witness ‎that we are Muslims. [Al Imran: 64].‎

 

 

 

With such a free soul, man lives with no fear of any other creature like himself, ‎since nobody but God can benefit or harm his life, livelihood, or position. ‎However, this attempt to totally free the man's soul from the fear of any object ‎or creature except God cannot be realized in totality since humans are still ‎bonded to basic instinctive needs, the most important of which is food. ‎Therefore, for this freedom to be realistic in life, Allah put a set of social rules ‎that provides mankind with his basic needs. It also, in turn, guarantees the ‎liberalization of the human soul.  This is an instance of the basic law of Islam ‎that complete equality is achieved among human beings. Nobody can assert his ‎superiority over the others by having blue or noble blood running in his veins ‎or by claiming that he is coming from the race of gods. This is why Islam ‎categorically taught the unity of the human race in origin and in history, in life ‎and in death, in privileges and in responsibilities, before the law and before ‎Allah, in this world and in the world to come. This is manifested in the Qur’an ‎when God said, "O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a ‎single soul (Adam), and from it created its mate (Eve), and from them both He ‎created multitude of men and women; and fear Allah through Whom you ‎demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs ‎‎(kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever All-Watcher over you" [an-Nisa: 1] He said: "O ‎mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into ‎nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most ‎honourable of you in the sight of Allah, is that who has taqwa (i.e. the fear of ‎Allah) . Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Acquainted (with all things)" [al-Hujyrat: ‎‎13]‎

 

 

 

Therefore, human dignity is preserved for every human being; the only ‎difference among them is in their fear of God that is displayed in their ways and ‎conducts, not their race nor their colors. He said: "And among His Signs is the ‎creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages ‎and colours. Verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge" [ar-‎Rum: 22]‎

 

 

 

The other important law that guarantees the human freedom is the social ‎interdependence. Social interdependence refers to the fact that none can live ‎in isolation. Thus the man's sense of duty and responsibility towards his ‎society becomes paramount here. It doesn't only mean the emotional ‎sympathy towards the others, but it also means taking pragmatic actions to ‎help the needy in the society to the degree that sufficiently covers their basic ‎needs. This is what the compulsory annual due for the rich(zakat) is meant for. ‎Being richer than others does not make one a superior being. In fact it is all ‎trials from Allah. He said: "Your wealth and your children are only trial, ‎whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise)". [at-Taghabun: 15]‎

 

 

 

If societies can be built on foundations of these kind, it will be of no doubt that ‎such society would reflect the best model for a social just society. These will be ‎stated in forms of example in the next post.‎






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