What does Islam teach about justice?

"JudgesTools" by Avjoska - Wikimedia Commons

Neither love nor hatred can be allowed to compromise justice

There is one word that captures the essence of all Islamic laws and all Islamic teachings; one word that describes the overriding value that permeates all Islamic values. Justice. The Qur'an says: "We sent aforetime our messengers with clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance, that men may stand forth in Justice." [Quran 57:25].

The sole purpose of sending the prophets was to establish Justice in the world and end injustice. Broadly speaking, doing justice means giving everyone his due. But this simple statement camouflages all the complexities of life in their myriad and ever-changing relations; all the temptations; all the apprehensions and concerns; all the conflicts and dilemmas. To guide the people, Allah sent down the prophets with clear signs, the Book, and the Balance. The Book contains the revelations that spell out what's fair and unfair or right and wrong. The Balance refers to our ability to measure and calculate so we can follow the path shown by the Book and explained by the Prophets.

Together these sources taught us what are the rights of Allah, of other people, and of our own persons on us and how to balance them. A life lived in obedience to Allah, then, is a continuous balancing act, both individually and collectively.

Under normal circumstances many people can be just. But Islam commands its followers to be just even in the face of strong conflicting emotions. In dealing with other human beings, two major impediments to justice are love and hatred. See how the Qur'an teaches us to overcome the first impediment when we are dealing with our closest relatives or even ourselves. "O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do." [Quran 4:135]

Here is the resolution from the Qur'an of the perennial conflict between self-interest and justice. Be just, even if it is against your narrowly defined self-interest or of those very close to you. Ignorant people think they are protecting their self-interest by being unjust to others. Their decision to be just or unjust may be based on a cold calculation of self-interest. But real faith in Allah elevates one beyond that narrow-mindedness. These verses remind us that the real protector of interests of all people is also Allah and He will protect us when we follow His command to be just. The justice demanded by Islam permits no favoritism.

The other equally potent impediment is hatred. Here again Qur'an commands: "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." [Quran 5:8]

In other words you cannot do injustice even when you are dealing with the enemy. The natural, uneducated, and uncivilized tendency is to treat the enemy as less than a human being; one who has no rights and deserves no justice or fairness. It was as true in the pre-Islamic tribal jahilya (based on ignorance) society as it is today. See how Islam directly curbs it. It is a command to the believers, with a reminder that Allah is watching you, that enmity of others cannot be used as an excuse for committing injustices against them.

Justice does require retribution and Islam does call for, "an eye for an eye." But it does not mean an innocent eye for an innocent eye; it means the eye of the perpetrator for the eye of the victim. It is amazing how those who call the latter as barbaric, actually rally for the former when a real crisis develops.

Fourteen hundred years ago these commands created a society where rich and poor, friend and foe, Muslim and non-Muslim, the ruler and the ruled, were all treated equally and all of them could count on receiving justice. The qazis (judges) were independent and no one, including the khalifah was above the law. If a dispute arose between the Khalifah and an ordinary person, both had to appear in court and provide their evidence. Islamic history is full of stories of this justice that filled the earth wherever Muslims ruled in their golden era.

Even during their period of decline, we find sporadic incidents that are just unparalleled. One example from recent history may suffice here. During the British Rule in India, once a dispute arose between Hindus and Muslims over a piece of land. Hindus claimed it belonged to a temple while Muslims claimed it to be mosque. Emotions were high on both sides and the possibility of a riot was real. The English judge could not find any means of ascertaining the truth. It was one group's words against the other's. Finally the Judge asked both groups if they could trust the testimony of any person. They could. It was a particular Muslim imam (religious leader) who was known for his piety. The person was requested to come to the court as a witness in a very charged atmosphere, with the entire community urging him to help them win the case through his testimony. His testimony was brief. "The Hindus are right," he said. "The Muslim case is baseless." He had not betrayed the community. He had once more affirmed its unflinching commitment to truth and justice above all else.

That is the justice the world needs today.

"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: verily how excellent is the teaching which He gives you! For Allah is He Who hears and sees all things." [Quran 4:58]

Taken from Al-Balagh online newsmagazine with permission.

Photo Attribution: "JudgesTools" by User:Avjoska - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JudgesTools.JPG#mediaviewer/File:JudgesTools.JPG

Comments

Mom let i explain u the verse 30:45 it says that the evil and mischief has come on land because of sins of man which shows that this is an act of disbelief .now this verse 2:98 this is a threat and rebuke to the enemies of jibril and is an announcement that enmity towards the same results in Allah enmity towards those who show it.surah 32:13 we could have given you such guidance even before.but God want to test us so he hide his reality and want to see whether we use our intellect to find it.now the verse 98:6 here is referring to polytheist and people of the book who refused to acknowledge Muhammed as messenger even though he recited hallowed and clear evidence that is they are worse than even animals for the animals do not possess reason and power but human possess but still reject the truth

Location

India

The natural, uneducated, and uncivilized tendency is to treat the enemy as less than a human being; one who has no rights and deserves no justice or fairness.30:45That He may reward those who have believed and did righteous deeds out of His bounty. Indeed, Allah does not love the disbelievers.2:98Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and His messengers and Gabriel and Michael - then indeed, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.32:13And if we had willed, We could have given every soul its guidance, but the word from Me will come into effect [that] "I will surely fill Hell with jinn and people all together.98:6Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures....and on and on ad nauseum. Apparently Allah treats the enemy as less than a human being; one who has no rights and deserves no justice or fairness. I

Location

Orlando

Mom let I give u explanation of the verse 30:45 it says that the mischief in the land and evil has aroused of because the sins of man which is an act of disbelief.now verse 2:98 this is a threat and rebuke to the enemies of jibril and is announcement that enmity towards those who show it.the enmity of slave of Allah is shown by his disobedience to Allah his failure to obey him and enmity towards his friends Allah's. now let's see verse 32:13 it says we could have given u such guidance as below but we wanted to test u by hiding reality so that u could find it through intellect.now let see verse 98:6 disbelieve refused to acknowledge the prophet Muhammed as messenger by polytheist and people of book and who is reciting to them hallowed pages containing sound and correct teachings they are worse than animals for the animals do not possess power and reason but humans possess these things.

Location

India

Mom let I give u the xplanation of these verse first the meaning of quran 30:45 this actually talks about the calamity which happened on land due to sin by man which is an act of disbelief.now verse 2:98 this is a threat and rebuke to the enemies of jibril and announcement that enmity towards same results in allah enmity towards who show it..the enmity of the slave of Allah is shown by his disobedience to Allah his failure to obey him,and enmity to the slave of Allah is shown .now verse 32:13 it says that we would not have brought up here after making you undergo this hard test in the world.but we had a different scheme from beginning .we wanted u to test the reality so that u could find it through intellect.now verse98:6,it says that those who refused to acknowledge the prophet Muhammed as Allah's messenger from polytheist as well as people of book even after he recited hallowed pages containing sound and correct evidence .that is why ,they are worst creature even then animals for the animals for the animals do not possess reason and power but these people reject the truth , in spite of having reason and authority.

Location

India

I think u need to know taster of this verses this may help u to understand pliz see the meaning of verse 30:45 is this this is a comprehensive sentence which encompasses all those harms which can afflict a disbelieve on account of his disbelief.no list of the harms could be so comprehensive as this now the second verse 2:98 it says that this is a threat and rebuke to the enemies of jibril and is an announcement that enmity towards who show it.and enmity to the slave of Allah is shown by his disobedience to Allah , and enmity towards his friend Allah 's enmity to the slaves is shown by punishing him and effects of enmity on him.now surah 32:13 it says we could have give u such guidance as before but we have a different scheme for you from the beginning .we wanted to test u by keeping the reality hidden from your eyes and senses in order to whether u could recognize by your intellect and now verse 98:6 the meaning is this disbelieve refused to acknowledge the prophet Muhammed as Allah messenger.the meaning is that the end of those from among the followers of the book who have not acknowledged the messenger whose emergence by itself is a clear evidence and who is reciting to them hallowed pages containing sound and correct teaching , will be as is being described below.that is ,they are worse than all creatures of God, even than animals for the animals do not possess reason and power but these people reject the truth in spite of having reason and authority. Don't say without knowledge and Allah himself al adl which means justice and he can even send disbeliever to heaven

Location

India

GREAT message and reminder for all of us.

Location

Richardson, TX

I have been working in the company from the last 5 years (Joining date 18-06-2006) at that time when Asif was not promoted as Regional Inventory Control Senior Specialist and I have been working very hard. In absence of Asif when he went to Dubai, Bahrain and Pakistan. I have been doing invoicing, Importing sales of all F&B shops, costing of foreign shipments, attending inventories, passing data in the system (Inter Transfers, Staff Meal, Wastages & Stock Adjustments), preparing COGS of all F&B Brands and plenty of reports sending to the Regional Dept. on time and to the Shop Managers. After 1 & ½ year in Nov-07 Asif was promoted as Regional Inventory Control Senior Specialist and Dec-07 Faisal was reallocated from Accounts Dept. to Inventory Dept. as a Inventory Control Specialist. I have been given training in the System to my colleagues. How to import sales, how to create an item on the POS, how to prepare purchase, sales reports and how to prepare COGS? This person got 3rd time benefit within 3 & 1/2 year in the department and the company did not promote me. I dont know it was justice or injustice.

Location

Kuwait

I want to know the result of the implementation of Sharia Law in the collective life from history of Islam. I heard a few cases were filed in court of Qazi during the time of Khilafat and early stage of Mulkiyat. Let me know of course with references.

Location

dhaka

first of all we must ask ourselves WHAT IS THE MEANING OF SHARIA LAW?
Sharia Means Law
The Media Scared People making it Sound some thing more Horrific

Location

london UK

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