It is the one thing that all hearts of human being love regardless their different colors, religions, or races. It is every soul’s dream and every mind’s demand. Although most of us love justice and search for it, it is unfortunately not applied in our real life. In this article, we will stop for while and search deeply for the concept of justice according to Islamic teachings.
The first station
It is not for judges or presidents only:
Justice is always connected in people’s mind with judges in courts and presidents who rule. They have this narrow concept whenever they hear the words” justice”. In Islam, you can’t talk about justice and rules and you are unfair at your home with your family, unjust at your work and your opinions and evaluation of other are far away from being fair and objective.
Islam expands the concept of justice to a lot of dimensions. For example, it highlights the necessity of being fair with orphans. Allah says is the Holy Quran:
And test the orphans [in their abilities] until they reach marriageable age. Then if you perceive in them sound judgment, release their property to them. And do not consume it excessively and quickly, [anticipating] that they will grow up. And whoever, [when acting as guardian], is self-sufficient should refrain [from taking a fee]; and whoever is poor – let him take according to what is acceptable. Then when you release their property to them, bring witnesses upon them. And sufficient is Allah as Accountant.” (Quran.com/4/6)
It also puts emphasis on the importance of justice with partners and preserving their money in business dealings.
O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful” (Quran.com/4/29)
Moreover, it asserts being just between husband and wife in case of martial problems or conflicts.
And if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Acquainted [with all things].” (Quran.com/4/35)
So, we are all judges and responsible in our areas of responsibility and we must take care of our actions and decisions and check it objectivity .
The second station
Specifying the duties and rights … First step towards justice:
In order to reach justice in any community in general and in Islamic community in specific, there must be certain rights, duties, and rules for every one to follow. Nowadays, many are suffering because of ignorance of their rights and duties. One can find a man who deprives his wife and children from their owns rights. One can also see many examples of employers and companies who set unclear rules and laws for their employees and look only for the laws that support their personal interests.
Islam cares a lot to set specific rules in many relationships. let’s take the bond between husband and wife as an example:
Allah Almighty said,
Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.” (Quran.com/4/34)
The rights for parents, friends, relatives and the needy are also highlighted in many verses in the Quran
Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.“ (Quran.com/4/36)
Allah also preserves the right of the woman in case on divorce as God said,
But if you want to replace one wife with another and you have given one of them a great amount [in gifts], do not take [back] from it anything. Would you take it in injustice and manifest sin?” (Quran.com/4/20)
Even in wars, Islam gives a lot of direction to show how to deal with enemies. In Islam, enemies have and know their rights.
O you who have believed, when you go forth [to fight] in the cause of Allah , investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace “You are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before; then Allah conferred His favor upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” (Quran.com/4/94)
The reason of injustice:
The medicine should always taken to heal or treat the reasons of the illness not just the symptoms . The Holy Quran refers to one of the most important and famous reason of injustice to avoid it from the beginning. Allah said,
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” (Quran.com/4/135)
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. This Qur’an verse from An-Nisa (The Women) is recognized as one of ‘the greatest expressions of justice in history’ by Harvard Law School. Established in 1817, Harvard Law School is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions in the United States.
This quote, taken from the Holy Quran.com/4/135, has been posted at the entrance of the Harvard Law School faculty library as part of an art installation that aims to display ‘the greatest expressions of justice in history’. The exhibition, called The Words of Justice, features around two dozen quotes relating to law and justice from various periods of civilization. These are displayed at four areas of the library: the entrance wall, the east conference room wall, the end wall and the roof garden wall. The An-Nisa verse is one of the three most prominent displays on the entrance wall.
According to the exhibit’s official website: The words on these walls affirm the power and irrepressibility of the idea of justice. It reflects a hope that the aspirations and ideals expressed here will continue to inspire all who struggle for laws that are just.
Indeed, The sole purpose of sending the prophets was to establish Justice in the world and end injustice. There are much more example to elaborate justice in Islam. That is the justice the world needs today.
- Displayed at Harvard University :http://www.hadith.net/en/post/29738/an-nisa-verse-displayed-at-harvard-university
- Quran insights in troubled reality, by Motaz Abdelrahman.