Saturday 27 June 2020

Believers ! Uphold the Justice and Be upright bearers of witness for Allah

The idea of justice occupies centre stage both in ethics, and in legal and political philosophy. We apply it to individual actions, to laws, and to public policies, and we think in each case that if they are unjust this is a strong, maybe even conclusive, reason to reject them. [1]

But despite much emphasis on upholding the justice and administer it equally to all segments of society and individuals irrespective of their colour, position and power, this single word has always been and continuously being abused by those who can wield power through their position and wealth. 

Islam, which champions the upholding of justice has always advocated the sensitivity of the issue for its incorrect application can pollute a society and can cause unjust rule and cruelty, the victims of which are mostly the downtrodden and the have-nots. 

The demands that the Quran makes upon individuals to uphold justice and oaths is extraordinary, transcending all bonds of family and society. 
The Qur’an’s basis for justice is that societies do not need a separate theory of justice, but that compliance with rules of behavior handed down in the Qur’an assures the emergence of justice as a natural outcome of the practice of a rule-compliant society. [2]
In the Qur'an, Allah has commanded believers at many a places to uphold the justice and strictly forbidden witnesses to support injustice and give false evidence to support the demagogues. Herein under is one such verse from Surah 5. Al-Maida: Verse 8: 

يٰۤـاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا كُوۡنُوۡا قَوَّا امِيۡنَ لِلّٰهِ شُهَدَآءَ بِالۡقِسۡطِ​ وَلَا يَجۡرِمَنَّكُمۡ شَنَاٰنُ قَوۡمٍ عَلٰٓى اَ لَّا تَعۡدِلُوۡا​ ؕ اِعۡدِلُوۡا هُوَ اَقۡرَبُ لِلتَّقۡوٰى​ وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ​ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ خَبِيۡرٌۢ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ‏ 

Believers! Be upright bearers of witness for Allah, and do not let the enmity of any people move you to deviate from justice. Act justly, that is nearer to God-fearing. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is well aware of what you do.

The most common term for the word “justice” in Arabic is ʿadl, and related terms include qisṭ, istiqāmah, wasaṭ, naṣīb (share), and mīzān. The opposite meaning is injustice (jawr), and related terms are ẓulm (wrongdoing), ṭughyān (tyranny), and inḥirāf (deviation). These terms are used in the broadest sense to connote ethical and religious meanings. The Arabic word ʿadl (justice) comes from the root verb ‘a-d-l, which means to be equal to, just, straight, and temperate. These significations are contained in the following verses: 
“I am commanded to decide justly between you” (Q. 42:15); “And when you judge between people, judge with justice” (bi-al-ʿadli) (Q. 4:58); “One who commands to justice” (bi-al-ʿadli) (Q. 16:76); “Call two upright witnesses (ʿadlin) from among you” (Q.  65:2).
Thus there is one word that captures the essence of all Islamic laws and all Islamic teachings; one word that describes the overriding value that permeates all Islamic values. Justice. The Qur'an says: 
"We sent afore-time our messengers with clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance, that men may stand forth in Justice." [Quran 57:25].
It is not enough for believers to uphold justice themselves: they are expected to be its standard-bearers. They are supposed not merely to practice justice in their own dealings but to strive for its triumph. They have to do all within their power to ensure that injustice is eradicated and replaced by equity and justice. A true believer is required to be the pillar supporting the establishment of right and justice.

Allah further commands in Surah 4 An Nisa :135:

يٰۤـاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا كُوۡنُوۡا قَوَّامِيۡنَ بِالۡقِسۡطِ شُهَدَآءَ لِلّٰهِ وَلَوۡ عَلٰٓى اَنۡفُسِكُمۡ اَوِ الۡوَالِدَيۡنِ وَالۡاَقۡرَبِيۡنَ​ ؕ اِنۡ يَّكُنۡ غَنِيًّا اَوۡ فَقِيۡرًا فَاللّٰهُ اَوۡلٰى بِهِمَا​ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الۡهَوٰٓى اَنۡ تَعۡدِلُوۡا ​ۚ وَاِنۡ تَلۡوٗۤا اَوۡ تُعۡرِضُوۡا فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ خَبِيۡرًا‏ 

"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."

The testimony of the believers should be solely for the sake of God. Their testimony should not be biased in favour of any of the parties concerned, they should not use any opportunity for personal aggrandizement, and they should not seek to please anyone but God.

To do justice and act righteously in a favourable or neutral atmosphere is meritorious enough, but the real test comes when you have to do justice to people who hate you or to whom you have an aversion. But no less is required of you by the higher moral law.
Justice does require retribution and Islam does call for, "an eye for an eye." But it does not mean an innocent eye for an innocent eye; it means the eye of the perpetrator for the eye of the victim. It is amazing how those who call the latter as barbaric, actually rally for the former when a real crisis develops.
Man in this life can only see up to the horizon of this life. The highest rewards which his wishes or ambitions can conceive of are conceived in the terms of this life. But Allah can give him not only these but something infinitely higher, the rewards of the Hereafter, which it did not even enter his heart to ask for or his imagination to conceive.

If we look around, despite cautions and commandments of Allah, everyday false evidence is given in the courts as these witnesses are either inclined to favour the rich, because they expect something from them or are under pressure from the power wielding demagogues to give false evidence. and this the reason that justice is manipulated and despite clear and visible proofs, the criminals evade justice and poor suffer.

Sometimes, even people may be inclined to favour the poor because they are generally helpless. Partiality in either case is wrong. Be just, without fear of favour. Both the rich and the poor are under Allah's protection as far as their legitimate interests are concerned, but they cannot expect to be favoured at the expense of others. And He can protect their interests far better than any man.
For more information and detailed study of Justice in Islam, please consult the reference given below. May Allah help us understand Qur'an and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'an

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
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Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:

  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.

In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 

  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle

In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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Jalal Jazak Allah khair for so much of hard work n dedication in service to humanity n providing a great oppurtunity to understand Islam.
Loads of blessings!

Thank you Jamil. May Allah help us understand Quran and act upon it

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