Saturday, May 2, 2009

Justice in Islam

"God enjoins justice and kindess, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbids indecency and abomination and wickedness."
[surah Nahl; 16:90]

Justice is perhaps the most important of the supreme values of Islam. In fact, it can be said that the main purpose of revelation and the tasks of Prophets (alayhum salam) has been to establish Justice.

Thus, one of the early scholars of Islam has said that "Where the signs of Justice appear and its face is shown in any way, that is where the Law of God and His religion are found."

Justice is the first principle of social life. It can be shown to govern all relations in life: between ruler and ruled, rich and poor, husband and wife, parents and children.

Even in the ordering of an individual's personal habits, justice must be done to the respective requirements of body, mind and spirit. As we have seen, it is unjust, for example, to neglect your body and its needs in search of spiritual development.

In all Islamic instituations, justice can be seen to be operating: in the lines of congregational salat where no one has precedence over another by virtue of power, wealth or rank; in the equality of all before the law such that no one, whether ruler or criminal turned "prosecution witness", can claim immunity; in the family where no preference should be shown by a parents to one child over others and so on.

In all your dealing, you are required to stand firmly for justice even if it be against yourself and your kith and kin, for love too can lead to injustice.

O you who believe! Be firm in justice as witnesses for God, even in cases against yourselves, your parents or your kin"
[surah Nisa; 4: 135]

And if you give your word, you must be just, even though it be against your kin, and fulfil the covenant of God. For that is what He has Commanded you that you may remember."
[surah An'am; 6: 152]

The fear of committing injustice may even prevent the doing of an act that is otherwise permissible. In fact one of the derived principles of the Shar'iah is that all permissible things are permissible provided that no damage or harm results to others from their practice and that in the event that such damage or harm is suspected or confirmed, the permissible shall be prohibited to avert such damage or harm.

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