Establishing justice

Bismillah,ir-Rahman,ir-Rahim. Ashahadu An Laa illaaha illal llahu
Wa Ash Hadu Anna Muhammadan Abdu Hu Wa Rasooluhu

''I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah
who is without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) is the Rasool.''
"O Allah, Shower Your Peace come upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have brought peace to Ibrahim and his family.
Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious. O Allah, Shower your blessing upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious". Iam Satisfied with Allâh as My Rabb and Cherisher,Iam Satisfied With Islam as My Din(religion) and Iam satisfied with Muhammad as a Rasulallah (Messenger)sallallahu alaihi was salam . (This is the Statement of ALLAH in the Quran) ” Surah 60 - Al Mumtahinah - Ayat - 001 O ye who believe! Take not my enemies and yours as friends (or protectors),- offering them (your) love, even though they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, and have (on the contrary) driven out the Prophet and yourselves (from your homes), (simply) because ye believe in God your Lord! If ye have come out to strive in My Way and to seek My Good Pleasure, (take them not as friends), holding secret converse of love (and friendship) with them: for I know full well all that ye conceal and all that ye reveal. And any of you that does this has strayed from the Straight Path.

Surah 60 - Al Mumtahinah - Ayat - 002 If they were to get the better of you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you for evil: and they desire that ye should reject the Truth. I declare that ALLAH's Enemies as His Enemies, and I donot take His Enemies as Friends or protectors. (The Dajjal and his followers are the Enemies of ALLAH). And I also Declare that the Believers are the Friends of ALLAH, and I donot take them as enemies.

Quran: Surah:4.135 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.

Quran: Surah:5.8 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.
One of the greatest forms of mutual help in righteousness and piety is to help one another in the journey to Establishing justice thought the Shariah, This help should be done by hands, tongues and hearts - through teaching, advising, educating, guiding, and caring.

It is not possible for a person to take this way to (Establishing justice) unless one satisfies two matters:

First, as long as one is following the right way, one should never be concerned about the reproaches of those who like to find faults. Second, one's soul should be so worthless to him, for Allah's sake, that he would rush forward, fearless of any perils. The moment the soul becomes frightened, it retreats and turns away from facing dangers, preferring the lowliness of the earth.

These two matters cannot be further fulfilled without patience. The Means of Transportation

The means of transportation in this journey [Establishing justice ] is to take refuge in Allah ta'ala, and to turn to Him with one's whole being. It is to exhibit, by all means, full reliance on Him and true confidence in Him. It is to lie down before Him like a subdued and defeated person who possesses nothing - a person who looks up to his Master for dignity and security and for attaining some of His bounty, hoping that He would shelter him.

Such is the one whom, it is hoped, that Allah will guide and show what has been concealed from others concerning the way of Establishing justice . The Shariah is ALLAH’s justice among His servants, and His mercy among his creatures. It is ALLAH’s shadow on this earth. It is His wisdom which leads to Him in the most exact way and the most exact affirmation of the truthfulness of His Rasulallah(sallallahu alaihi was salam). It is His light which enlightens the seekers and His guidance for the rightly guided. It is the absolute cure of all ills and the straight path which if followed would lead to righteousness. It is life and nutrition, the medicine, the light, the cure and the safeguard. Every good in this life is derived from it and achieved through it, and every deficiency in existence results from its dissipation. [...] If ALLAH would wish to destroy the world and dissolve existence, He would void whatever remains of its injunctions. For the Shariah which was sent to His Rasulallah(sallallahu alaihi was salam) is the pillar of existence and the key to success in this world and the Hereafter.

Contemplating Allah's Ayaat

The pinnacle of the whole affair [of performing a successful journey toEstablishing justice] and its central pillar is the continued contemplation on Allah's ayaat - to such an extent that these ayaat would overpower the person's thoughts and fascinate his heart.

Once the meanings of the Qur'an replace the passing thoughts of the heart - once the Qur'an masters the person and controls his heart until it becomes his sole obeyed leader, then his journey goes smooth, and his course becomes manifest; and even when it appears to people that he is standing still, he would, in fact, be moving ahead so fast as to race with wind. [As Allah ta'ala said:]

"You see the mountains and think them firmly fixed. But they pass away as the clouds pass away. [Such is] the mastery of Allah who disposes of all things in perfect order. Indeed, He is well acquainted with all that you do" [an-Naml 27:88]

One might ask, "You have pointed to a great aspiration. Would you disclose the door which opens into it; and would you raise the curtain that conceals it? Would you reveal how to understand thoroughly the meanings of the Qura'n, and how to reflect upon its extraordinary delights and treasures? We have in our hands the books of tafsir 1 of various Imams; are there any additional interpretations to be offered beyond what they have already done?"

I shall then present (in the next chapter) some examples that may be followed and taken as guide in this endeavour.

Establishing Justice

It is surprising to find someone claiming closeness to the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and complete love for him while he strives to follow and establish someone else's opinions. He bases his anger, love, and satisfaction on such opinions; he referees them; and he compares the Messenger's statements to them - if they agree with those opinions then he accepts them, otherwise he applies all sorts of tricks and takes all measures to reject them and to turn away from them.

Allah ta'ala said:

"Believers! Stand out firmly for fair dealings, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin; be he rich or poor, Allah can best protect both. So follow not the lusts [of your hearts] lest you may avoid justice. If you distort your testimony or refuse to provide it, verily, Allah is ever Well-Acquainted with what you do" [an-Nisaa' 4:135]

This ayah carries great meanings that should be emphasized because of people's dire need for them.

Allah ta'ala commands the believers to establish equity and justice. It should be rendered toward everyone, whether enemy or friend.

It is even more important to establish justice in matters of ideas, opinions, and beliefs, because they relate to Allah's commands and teachings. Allowing whims and disobedience to influence one's opinions and beliefs conflicts with Allah's commands and with His Messenger's Message.

Establishing justice in ideas, opinions and beliefs is the mission of the successors to the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam in his Ummah (nation) - those who are worthy of carrying the trust among his followers. No one deserves such description of honesty except those who establish absolute justice in this, as an advice for Allah, His Book, His Messenger, and His worshipers. These are indeed the true inheritors [of the glorious Message].

Thus a person is not worthy of this description if he takes his company, ways, and opinions as measures and indicators of the truth - loathing or befriending people because of them.

How far is such a person from establishing the justice that Allah mandated on everyone, especially in these matters of belief where the obligation is higher!It is upon the one who speaks in this matter, or any other matter, that He should only do so based upon the knowledge and the truth: and that his objective should be sincerity to Allâh, to His Book, to His Messenger and the giving of sincere advice to his Muslim brothers. But if he makes the truth accord with his own whims and desires, then this will corrupt and ruin the hearts, the actions, and the state of affairs. Allâh, the Most High said, “And if the truth were to be in accordance with their desires, then indeed the heavens and the earth - and all that is therein -would be corrupted and ruined.” [Al-Mu’minûn (23): 71] Rasulallah(sallallahu alaihi wassalam) said,

“None of you truly believe until he makes desires accord with what I have been sent with.”[1]

So ‘ilm (knowledge) and ‘adl (justice) are the roots of every good, whereas zulm (oppression) and jahl (ignorance) are the roots of every evil. And ALLAH, the Most High, sent His Rasulallah(sallallahu alaihi wassalam)with the Guidance and the Religion of Truth, and he commanded the doing of justice between people and that none of them should follow their whims and desires. ALLAH, the Most High said,

“So call to Islâm and stand firm, and do not follow their whims and desires, but say: ‘I believe in whatever has been revealed by Allâh from the Book, and I have been commanded to do justice between you. Allâh is our Lord and your Lord, for us our deeds and for you your deeds. There is no dispute between you and us. Allâh will assemble us all, and to Him is the final return.’ ” [Ash-Shûrâ (42):15]
the Meaning of Justice. In the Islamic worldview, justice denotes placing things in their rightful place. It also means giving others equal treatment. In Islam, justice is also a moral virtue and an attribute of human personality, as it is in the Western tradition. Justice is close to equality in the sense that it creates a state of equilibrium in the distribution of rights and duties, but they are not identical. Sometimes, justice is achieved through inequality, like in unequal distribution of wealth. The Prophet of Islam declared:

“There are seven categories of people whom ALLAH will shelter under His shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His. [One is] the just leader.”(Saheeh Muslim)

God spoke to His Messenger in this manner:

“O My slaves, I have forbidden injustice for Myself and forbade it also for you. So avoid being unjust to one another.” (Saheeh Muslim)

Thus, justice represents moral rectitude and fairness, since it means things should be where they belong.

The Importance of Justice
The Quran, the sacred scripture of Islam, considers justice to be a supreme virtue. It is a basic objective of Islam to the degree that it stands next in order of priority to belief in God’s exclusive right to worship (Tawheed) and the truth of Muhammad’s prophethood. God declares in the Quran:

“God commands justice and fair dealing...” (Quran 16:90)

And in another passage:

“O you who believe, be upright for God, and (be) bearers of witness with justice!...” (Quran 5:8)

Therefore, one may conclude that justice is an obligation of Islam and injustice is forbidden. The centrality of justice to the Quranic value system is displayed by the following verse:

“We sent Our Messengers with clear signs and sent down with them the Book and the Measure in order to establish justice among the people…” (Quran 57:25)

The phrase ‘Our Messengers’ shows that justice has been the goal of all revelation and scriptures sent to humanity. The verse also shows that justice must be measured and implemented by the standards and guidelines set by revelation. Islam’s approach to justice is comprehensive and all-embracing. Any path that leads to justice is deemed to be in harmony with Islamic Law. God has demanded justice and, although He has not prescribed a specific route, has provided general guidelines, on how to achieve it. He has neither prescribed a fixed means by which it can be obtained, nor has He declared invalid any particular means or methods that can lead to justice. Therefore, all means, procedures, and methods that facilitate, refine, and advance the cause of justice, and do not violate the Islamic Law are valid.[1]

Equality in Justice
The Quranic standards of justice transcend considerations of race, religion, color, and creed, as Muslims are commanded to be just to their friends and foes alike, and to be just at all levels, as the Quran puts it:

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even if it be against yourselves, your parents, and your relatives, or whether it is against the rich or the poor...” (Quran 4:135)

According to another Quranic passage:

“Let not the hatred of a people swerve you away from justice. Be just, for this is closest to righteousness…” (Quran 5:8)

With regards to relations with non-Muslims, the Quran further states:

“God does not forbid you from doing good and being just to those who have neither fought you over your faith nor evicted you from your homes...” (Quran 60:8)

The scholars of the Quran have concluded that these rulings apply to all nations, followers of all faiths, as a matter of fact to all humanity.[2] In the view of the Quran, justice is an obligation. That is why the Prophet was told:

“…If you judge, judge between them with justice…” (Quran 5:42)

“We have revealed to you the scripture with the truth that you may judge between people by what God has taught you.” (Quran 4:105)

Furthermore, the Prophet was sent as a judge between peoples, and told:

“…Say: I believe in the Scripture, which God has sent down, and I am commanded to judge justly between you...” (Quran 42:15)

The Quran views itself as a scripture devoted mainly to laying down the principles of faith and justice. The Quran demands that justice be met for all, and that it is an inherent right of all human beings under Islamic Law.[3] The timeless commitment of the Quran to the basic standards of justice is found in its declaration:

“And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words.” (Quran 6:115)

To render justice is a trust that God has conferred on the human being and, like all other trusts, its fulfillment must be guided by a sense of responsibility beyond mere conformity to set rules. Thus, the Quran states:

“God commands you to render trusts to whom they are due, and when you judge between people, judge with justice…” (Quran 4:58)

The reference to justice which immediately follows a reference to fulfillment of trusts indicates that it is one of the most important of all trusts.[4]

Justice and the Self
The Quranic concept of justice also extends justice to being a personal virtue, and one of the standards of moral excellence that a believer is encouraged to attain as part of his God-consciousness. God says:

“…Be just, for it is closest to God-consciousness…” (Quran 5:8)

The Prophet himself instructed:

“Be conscious of God and be just to your children.”[5]

The Quran tells the believers:

“…When you speak, speak with justice, even if it is against someone close to you…” (Quran 6:152)

Specific Examples of Justice Encouraged in the Quran
The Quran also refers to particular instances and contexts of justice. One such instance is the requirement of just treatment of orphans. God says:

“And approach not the property of the orphan except in the fairest way, until he [or she] attains the age of full strength, and give measurement and weight with justice…” (Quran 6:152, also see 89:17, 93:9, and 107:2)

Fair dealings in measurements and weights, as mentioned in the above verse, is also mentioned in other passages where justice in the buying, selling, and by extension, to business transactions in general, is emphasized. There is an entire chapter of the Quran, Surah al-Mutaffifeen (‘The Detractors in Giving Weights,’ 83) where fraudulent dealers are threatened with divine wrath.

References to justice also occur in the context to polygamy. The Quran demands equitable treatment of all wives. The verse of polygamy begins by reference to orphaned girls who may be exposed to depravation and injustice. When they reach marriageable age, they should be married off, even if it be into a polygamous relationship, especially when there is inequality in the number of men and women, as was the case after the Battle of Uhud when this verse was revealed. But, as the Quran states:

“If you fear that you can not be just, then marry only one…” (Quran 4:3)

In conclusion, ‘to render justice’, in the words of Sarkhasi, a noted classical Islamic jurist, ‘ranks as the most noble of acts of devotion next to belief in God. It is the greatest of all the duties entrusted to the prophets…and it is the strongest justification for man’s stewardship of earth.’[6]

Fair Testimonies

The above ayah has,"... as witnesses to Allah ...". A witness is a reporter. If he reports truthfully then he is acceptable and just; if he reports falsehoods then he is a false witness.

In addition to establishing justice, Allah requires one to be a witness for Him alone. Thus the testimony should be: with justice and for Allah alone. In another ayah Allah ta'ala said:

"Believers! Stand out firmly for Allih as witnesses to fair dealing" [al-Maaidah 5:8]

Together, these two ayaat require four things: establishing justice, doing it for Allah, maintaining truthful testimonies, and doing this for Allah as well.

The ayah in surah an-Nisaa' emphasizes fairness and maintaining the testimonies for Allah, while that of surah al-Maaidah emphasizes standing out firmly for Allah and maintaining fair testimonies. This difference (between the two ayaat) has an important reason that cannot be dealt with here.

THE TEST OF FAIRNESS

The above ayah (an-Nisaa' 135) then says, "...even if it be against your own selves, your parents or your kin...".

Allah ta'ala commands to establish justice and to maintain fair testimony against everyone, including the most beloved ones. One is required to be fair against himself, his parents who are his roots, and his relatives who are usually closer and better supporters for him than other people.

A person's love for himself, his parents, and his kin, tends to prevent him from establishing the right and justice against them, especially when the right is for someone whom he hates and loathes. Thus, it is obvious that no one will establish this justice except he to whom Allah ta'ala and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam are more beloved than anything else.

One can use this to test the strength of Imaan in his heart, and his status of Imaan.

On the other end, one should be just toward his enemies and those whom he dislikes. His hatred should not cause him to be unjust to them, just as his love for himself and his kin should not prevent him from establishing justice against them. This hatred should not make him do wrong, just as that love should not stop him from doing right. One of the salaf 2 said:

"A just person is one whose anger does not cause him to do wrong, and whose pleasure does not prevent him from doing right."

Thus these two ayaat (of an-Nisaa' and al-Maaidah) together require two things: establishing justice, and maintaining fair testimony with friends and enemies.

WEALTH-BASED BIAS

The above aayah (an-Nisaa' 135) then says, "... be he rich or poor, Allah is closer to both of them ...".

[The meaning of this is that,] "Allah is the Lord and Master of both the rich and the poor; they are His 'abid (subjects), just as you are his 'abd. So, do not be prejudiced toward a rich man because of his wealth, nor toward a poor man because of his poverty; Allah ta'ala is closer than you to both of them."

A possibly better interpretation of this is the following: "People may be reluctant to establish justice and to testify against the rich or the poor; as for the rich, they fear to cause him a loss in wealth; and as for the poor, they tend to take the matter lightly with him because of his poverty and that he possesses nothing. So they are told, 'Allah is closer than you to both the rich and the poor; He is more knowledgeable of, and more merciful toward both; thus do not stop establishing truthful testimony against either of them.'" Only those who knows and believe in ALLAH's Names and His Attributes do not accuse Him or doubt any of His judgments but only those who do not know His Names and Attributes argue with Him about His judgments and doubt His Wisdom and fail to submit to His judgment. The Most Just among judges, the Most Merciful among those who are merciful, and the Most Knowledgeable among those who have knowledge, who is more merciful to His servants than they are to themselves, their fathers, and their mothers, if He allows them to be inflicted with evil, that will be better for them than not inflicting them. If they had the chance to choose for themselves, they would never be able to benefit by it. However, Allaah, the Exalted, manages their lives according to His knowledge, wisdom, and mercy. . .. The servant will be pleased with whatever happens to him because he knows that it has been chosen by Allaah and this is acceptance of Allaah as his Lord, Islaam as his religion, and Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) as his Messenger. The one who is not able to do this will never taste the sweetness of faith. This pleasure depends upon how much he comprehends the justice of Allaah, His Wisdom, Mercy and Good Choice. The more he knows, the more pleasure and satisfaction he will have. Allaah judges his servants according to justice, benefit, wisdom and mercy.