Justice in Islam | Perspective from Quran and Sunnah

Justice refers to equality in giving rights and in enduring by obligations without discriminations for any reason, either for religion, race or color. As we know Islam comes from the word “Salam” meaning “Peace” and, since the religion, Islam is based on total submission to the will of Lord. We Muslims believe that we can get real peace only when we submit to our Lord the Creator of this world and everything in it.

Justice in Islam also means giving equal rights and treatment to others. Justice is a moral virtue and an attribute of human personality. 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. The Prophet (SAW) declared about Justice in Islam in a way: “There are seven categories of people whom God will shelter under His shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His. (One is) the just leader.”(Sahih Muslim)

Justice according to Quran

In Islam Justice is considered to be the supreme virtue. In Holy Quran Allah Almighty mentioned about Justice in many times that we are going to discuss below:

Allah Almighty said in Quran: “God commands justice and fair dealing…” (Quran 16:90).  From this verse, we can conclude that Allah commanded us to do justice and fair dealings in all aspects of life whether it’s small or big matter. In another verse of Quran related to Justice, Allah Almighty says: “O you, who believe, be upright for God, and (be) bearers of witness with justice!” (Quran 5:8). Therefore, we can conclude justice is an obligation of Islam and injustice is forbidden. The place or importance 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 one and only purpose of sending the prophets was to establish Justice in the world and end injustice. By doing justice means giving everyone his right. But this simple statement covers all the complexities of life in their endless and ever-changing relations; all the allurement; all the conflicts and problems. To guide the people, Allah sent down the Prophets with clear signs, the Book, and the Balance. The Book contains the revelations that spell out what’s fair and unfair or right and wrong. From Holy Book, we can understand what is right or wrong and what Allah has commanded us.

In another verse of Holy Quran Allah says: “… Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Quran 60:8).  From this verse, we can conclude that Quran spells out the distinction between good and bad through vivid commandants regarding justice. Allah has asked His worshippers to maintain the system of justice even if the conditions and circumstances are against family and kinship. Quran narrated it as: “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both….” (Quran 4:135).

While dealing with one’s enemy one is not strong enough to do justice because the hatred surpasses the sublime feelings of justice. Despite, Quran has asked to fear Allah and establish justice with an enemy as well. Allah is All-Watchful, observe everything, and will hold a person accountable for an inch of injustice if happened. In other words, you cannot do injustice even when you are dealing with the enemy.

The Quran also refers to particular instances and contexts of justice.  One such instance is the requirement of just treatment of orphans. In Holy Quran, Allah Almighty stated that: “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)

Justice according to Sunnah of Prophet (SAW)

The Prophet (SAW) asked to be just and kind. He (SAW) always had to deal with people and their affairs as a supreme judge, reformer, apostle, and leader of Muslims. In conducting Justice our beloved Prophet (SAW) made no distinction between believers and non-believers, friends and foes, high and low.

There are so many examples of Justice from the life of Prophet (SAW) from which we can get inspiration and can do justice in our all aspects of life. Here we will discuss some of them:

A woman of the Makhzoom family with good connections was found guilty of theft. For the prestige of the Quraish, some prominent people including Usaamah Ibn Zayd, may Allah be pleased with him, interceded to save her from punishment. The Prophet (SAW) refused to forgive the crime and expressed displeasure saying: “Many a community ruined itself in the past as they only punished the poor and ignored the offenses of the exalted. By Allah, if Muhammad’s (My) daughter Fatimah would have committed theft, her hand would have been severed.” (Bukhari)

Allah has commanded his messengers to establish justice and spoke to them in affirmative tone as quoted in Hadith: “O My slaves, I have forbidden injustice for Myself and forbade it also for you. So avoid being unjust to one another.” (Sahih Muslim)

Allah detests a ruler who has bestowed with supremacy yet is ignorant of justice. Allah will deprive him of His shade in His territory at the Day of estimation as Hadith narrates: “There are seven categories of people whom God will shelter under the shade of His throne on the Day when there will be no shade except this. [One is] the just leader.” (Sahih Muslim)

In another hadith Holy Prophet (SAW) stated that: “People, beware of injustice, for injustice shall be darkness on the Day of Judgment.”(Musnad Ahmed). So we can say we have to know about justice and injustice, if we know about it then we can act according to that. Justice has broad meanings that include unfair dealings, uttering words that can hurt the sentiments and biased feelings towards fellow being.

Justice is an essential part of Islamic teachings and should be part of every faith messenger. The foundation of a territory is justice that Allah has loved for His worshipper and commanded His messenger too. Those who will neglect justice will in the lowest steep of hell and the oppressed get their due rights.