Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake. May Allah reward you abundantly for your interest in knowing the teachings of your religion, Islam!
One of the main causes of today’s disorder is the absence of justice. When justice disappears, it becomes no wonder to see oppression, corruption, occupation and terrorism reigning. So, applying justice is a key factor and necessary step towards restoring peace and security in the world.
Islam gives special attention to this important principle. The Qur’an and Sunnah are abundant with provisions commanding Muslims to apply justice towards friends and enemies alike. Allah says “Allah does 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’ 4:58) He also says “Whenever you speak, speak justly, even if a relative is concerned.” (Al-An`am 6:152)
Further, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reports that Allah Almighty said: “O my servants! I have forbidden injustice for Myself and forbade it also for you. So avoid being unjust to one another” In addition, the Prophet tells us that among those shaded by Allah on the Day of Resurrection is “the just leader”.
Delving deeper in this issue, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America, stated in his Khutbah at ISOC – Dhul Qi`dah 18, 1422/ February 1, 2002:
Allah says in the Qur’an “We sent aforetime Our Messengers with Clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of Right and Wrong), that men may stand forth in justice; and We sent down Iron, in which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help, unseen, Him and His Messengers: for Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might (and able to enforce His Will).” (Al-Hadid 57:25)
Establishing justice was the main mission of the Prophets of Allah. Muslims are urged in the Qur’an to live with justice and to carry on this prophetic mission in the world. In many places in the Qur’an Allah reminded the Believers and urged them to uphold justice for all people and under all circumstances. Allah says: “O you 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 you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” (An-Nisa’ 4:135)
In the following Surah, the same order is given in another way: O you 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, for this is closest to Piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:8)
What is Justice?
Justice is described in the Qur’an with two important words: Al-`Adl and Al-Qist. Al-`Adl means “equity, balance.” It means doing things in a proportionate manner, avoiding extremes. Al-Qist means “share, portion, measure, allotment, amount.” It means that everyone and everything has a due. One who gives everyone and everything its due is “Muqsit” and the one who takes away others dues is called “Qasit”.
Allah says: “… and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just).” (Al-Hujurat 49:9) and “But those who swerve, they are (but) fuel for Hell-fire.” (Al-Jinn 72:15)
Justice thus means to maintain the balance and to give everyone and everything its proper due. It means living one’s own life in a balanced way maintaining the balance between the needs of the body, mind and soul. It also means recognizing:
1. Huquq Allah – rights of God,
2. Huquq Al-A`Ibad – rights of human beings, and
3. Huquq Al-Ashya’ – rights of things.
Islam teaches that we should be just in every aspect of our life, to all people and things and at all times.
The opposite of justice in Islam is not only injustice, but oppression and corruption. The opposite of`Adl is Zhulm, which means “disorder, wrong, oppression and evil.” Wherever there is injustice, it will lead to oppression, exploitation, evil and corruption. There is a very nice saying of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” When people do injustice or tolerate injustice in one place, sooner or later its terrible effects reach to other places. Injustice brings the downfall of mighty nations. Imam Ibn Taymiah (d. 1328) used to say: “The nations may live long in spite of their disbelief, but they cannot live long when they do oppression.”
Injustice in the world today
Today there is a lot of injustice in our world. There is social injustice, economic injustice and political injustice. There are problems of racism, religious prejudices and propaganda. The gap between the haves and have-nots is increasing. There are problems caused by poverty, hunger, malnutrition, death of children and diseases. There are problems caused by the denial of human rights, basic freedoms, occupation of lands, terrorism, wars, and weapons of mass destruction. We are living in a broken world. The hearts are broken, families are broken, relations are broken, homes are broken, cities and towns are broken.
We need to heal this brokenness and it can only come by bringing justice to the world. There cannot be any peace without justice and there cannot be any justice without reforming our thinking, our behavior and our policies. It is strange that there is so much talk today about seeking safety and security, but very little about how to bring justice to those who are suffering under deep oppression and occupation. The world cannot be safe unless it becomes more just and fair world.
The Role of Muslims
We Muslims should play an important role in bringing justice to the world. We have to live by the guidance of Allah, establish justice and fairness among ourselves and be a good example to others. We should not only work for ourselves but for the whole world. We must remember that injustice cannot be removed by another injustice. We must love for others what we love for ourselves. We need to work and cooperate with others.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.isna.net