Observing and doing justice is one of the key features of the Qur’aanic teachings. It has been specifically termed as akin to piety as Allah Almighty declares “Observe justice as it is closer to piety.”(Ch 5 : v 8). To render justice is a trust that Allah Almighty has conferred on the human being and, like all other trusts, its fulfilment must be guided by a sense of responsibility beyond mere conformity to set rules.
Thus, the Holy Quran states: “Indeed Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due, and when you judge between people, judge with justice…” (Ch 4 : v 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. Its importance and practice have been emphasised in several ways:
- One is when the Holy Qur’aan directly enjoins the Believers to do justice and refrain from doing injustice: “Verily Allah enjoins the doing of justice, serving Him sincerely and maintaining good relations with the next of kin and He forbids every form of immorality, that which is detested and (all forms of) injustice.” (Ch 16 : v 90).
- The other is when the Holy Qur’aan says that Allah Almighty loves those who do justice: “Indeed Allah loves those who act justly.” (Ch 5 : v 42) and warns those who carry the sins of inequities (injustices): “And definitely he who carries injustice will be disgraced.” (Ch 20 : v 111. The Holy Qur’aan also conveys a categorical declaration that for the unjust there will be no helpers.
- The third is when the Holy Qur’aan enjoins the Believers to be firm and foremost in doing justice for the sake of Allah Almighty: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice as witnesses to Allah…” (Ch 4 : v 135). Normally whatever the person does, he does for his own sake.
- But through this verse the Holy Qur’aan enjoins the Believers to do justice for the sake of The Almighty which shows the great importance of observing justice. Allah Almighty says “ And do not consume one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, deceiving, etc.), nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.( Ch 2 : v 188)The concept of justice is one of the essential pillars in the maintenance of both the natural and social orders. Allah Almighty has said that He has established the scale (of justice), therefore, “Do not transgress in the scale [of justice] and undertake the measuring with justice and do not cheat concerning the scale.” (Ch 55 : v 7-8)
Factors which have a negative effect
There are three factors that invariably take one away from the path of justice:
- Passion or lust ; 2. Affiliation, association or relationship and 3. Enmity.
He enjoins the Believers to do justice even if it may be harmful to themselves, or to their parents or to their relatives and irrespective of the fact that the party concerned is rich or poor, “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice as witnesses to Allah, even it be against your own selves, or parents or the next of kin. Whether they may be rich or poor…” (Ch 4 : v 135).
It means that they have to do justice uninfluenced by self-interest or any other affiliation or motive. (. . .to be continued)
- For further information on Islam or a free copy of the Holy Qur’aan, please contact:Majlisul Ulama Zimbabwe, Council of Islamic ScholarsPublications DepartmentP.O. Box W93, Waterfalls, HarareTel: 04-614078 / 614004, Fax: 04-614003e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org