2003-08-04 14:08:27 UTC
Justice... for Peace and Security
Justice is a concept that plays a pivotal role in Islamic theology,
for Islam the religion of submission revolves around justice. Justice
means a number of things, several key words can be attributed to the
concept of justice. If for example one consults the English
Dictionary, "justice" is defined as "Just conduct, fairness; exercise
of authority in maintenance of right, treat fairly". All these words
reflect the concept of equity, fair treatment that is part and parcel
of the Islamic school of thought.
Justice is a teaching, which reflects every aspect of Islamic
teachings. The Qur'an which is a constitution for mankind makes
constant references to social ills, and Allah, Most High, sets out
means of eradicating these problems; He in His infinite wisdom sets
out rules, regulations, prohibitions for His subjects but the key
component throughout is that every human being is treated on equal
par, s/he is treated fairly and justly.
Justice represents the rights of all people whatever their race, color
religion. It transcends all boundaries and as such is not limited to a
particular place or time. This is why the Qur'an seeks to address
issues effecting every aspect of human life, it prescribes rules on
conduct with neighbors, duties to parents, on Jihad, economic policy.
Justice is a concept that is receptive to the rational mind, as the
philosopher Burke once commented "It is not what a lawyer tells me I
may do; but what humanity reason and justice tells me I ought to do".
It is these three components humanity, reason and justice' which
appealed to two of the earliest Muslims and greatest Companions of the
Prophet, Bilal and `Ammar ibn Yasir (may Allah be pleased with them).
Both these men were slaves subjugated by their evil masters, they were
living lives of oppression and yet out of their lives of despair came
the voice of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, calling people
to morality, equality, justice, etc.
Delving deeper in this issue, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former
President of the Islamic Society 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: 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 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." (An-Nisa': 135)
In the following Surah, the same order is given in another way: "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." (Al-Ma'idah: 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 every one and
every thing has a due. One who gives every one 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: 9) and "But those who swerve, they are (but) fuel
for Hell-fire." (Al-Jinn: 15)
Justice thus means to maintain the balance and to give every one and
every thing 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 Zulm, 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
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, 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
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
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.isna.net
You can read also:
Aggression against Innocent People: What Islam Says
Is Jihad Synonymous with Aggression?
Bali Attacks: Juristic Approach
What Does Islam Say about Terrorism?
To Kill or Not to Kill Innocents?!
Allah Almighty knows best.
The shorter link is: