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What Justice, Forgiveness, and Love in Islam Mean to Me

The time of ignorance, before the birth of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was filled with a great deal of injustice.

There was no morality. There was no sense of right or wrong, or belief in life after death.

A Light to Mankind

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) came as a light to Mankind. He was an orphan. His father died before he was born, and when he was older his mother died.

He had no place in tribal society. He proved to be a good merchant, and very fair with whom he dealt with.

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Before the age of forty, before he received the Quran, he went many days in seclusion, pondering the plight of the poor, and the unjust Makkan society. 

Even before the Quran was revealed, he felt deep empathy for the poor and orphans, and those considered the least in society.

Justice Based on Virtuous Behavior

Justice comes like a seed that is within our hearts, planted within us, when we were first created.  It’s nourished by the rain of divine generosity and mercy.  

Justice means like our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) did, to stand up for what you believe in and what is morally right, even if it’s a detriment to yourself.

 Justice is built on virtuous behavior, as well as being sensible, logical, compassionate, and responsible, like Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Quran says that if you give your word or oath, you have to keep it. Sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in either physically or what is in your heart, or the fight within yourself to become a virtuous person. 

Can You Forgive an Injustice?

Sometimes when we stand up for justice, we can bear hard consequences. Many of our Prophets (peace be upon them) were enslaved, abused, and tortured for what they believed in. Yet their hearts were so pure. They were able to forgive. 

How does one forgive when he has gone through some abuse, hurt in their lives?

It is the hardest thing to forgive. Sometimes it takes a whole lifetime to forgive, but our Prophets held nothing in their hearts, they were able to forgive.

Allah exists within our hearts. Sometimes the clouds of hurt and pain cover our hearts. Many times through Allah’s grace, we are able to forgive. Forgiveness brings inner peace and justice to oneself.

Repelling Injustice

How do you repel injustice?

The first thing we think is when we are driven out of our homes and persecuted for religious beliefs, we have to stand up for justice, but there are rules that we only fight combatants, but not innocent of vulnerable people. You do not provoke a fight, and when someone stops fighting with you, you stop fighting.

Many people die because of justice. If you cannot struggle physically, you can protest and speak out about injustice.

Many others write and protest through their writing, or through art. People die or are punished for what they believe in but they hope to bring about change.  These are martyrs for a cause.

Allah is Just

Allah is just, and Justice begins with Allah. Everything from the smallest atoms and sub particles to the largest galaxies, universe, follow His laws. The worlds were created out of justice. 

There is Heaven and Hell in the Quran. If we did not have reward or punishment, life on earth would be meaningless.  There has to be a moral code or ethics, or there would be rampant violence, and chaos.  We would destroy ourselves, and other living things unjustly. We are responsible for our earth, and for ourselves.

A God of Forgiveness

But Allah is compassionate and merciful. He did not set out to punish us. He loves all. And He forgives those who ask forgiveness. He forgives every thing except shirk, making partnership with Him.

We need justice, so that we can be rewarded for the good that we do, and rightly punished for the bad we do if we do not repent.

Many people desire to go to heaven; they practice prayer and charity to get there. We dread the idea of Hell, and fear Judgment Day. We should fear Allah; His punishment is just, on Judgment Day.  And we put our heads down and bow in humility, afraid. If we lived virtuous lives, Allah will take that into account.

We should love Allah more than ourselves and do what we should do in the eyes of Allah that we can be just to our families, to society, and to the world we live in.

Justice in Islam: An Act of Virtue

Our characters should be virtuous and have integrity, and one of the biggest virtues is the ability to forgive and forget the ill treatment of others.

It is probably the hardest thing on this earth to do.  Allah will forgive us, if we can forgive. We should be as merciful as Allah is merciful. We should be fair in our dealings with others, and not judging others as we will be judged.  And we should be empathetic, and good hearted for those who are less fortunate than us, and be willing to give in charity. 

Injustice, like abuse of others, brings injustice and can influence one generation to another. We should treat everyone as we would like to be treated, and with equality, the way that our beloved Prophet lived.

There is no caste, no segregation, and no racism in Islam.  Everyone is equal upon this spiritual path, except those who are more pious. We should behave compassionately as Allah and our Beloved Prophet  (peace be upon him).

Justice means to love everyone and to be fair to all.  We need also to be just to ourselves, and forgiving of ourselves. We need to love ourselves, the way that Allah loves us. You cannot love others, if you can’t love yourself

The Highest form of Justice and Love

Jihad is justice.  It can be physically struggling for a just cause, it can mean struggling your ego, and the injustice that is in yourself, and your selfishness. Empathy is the highest position along the spiritual path to love your brother as yourself. Even to write, or talk about justice is the highest form of jihad.

 Justice is the highest form of love, and Allah is love, and we should all love our neighbors, the other living beings on this planet, and stand for what Prophet Muhammad stood for.

We must love ourselves, so that the seed inside ourselves will flourish for others. This is what Justice in the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) means to me.