By Umari Stambuli
Observing and doing justice is one of the key features of the Qur’aanic teachings.
It has been specifically termed as akin to piety (Ch5:v8) and its importance and the practice has been emphasised in several ways namely; the Holy Qur’aan directly enjoins the Believers to do justice and refrain from doing injustice (Ch16:v90), Allah Almighty loves those who do justice (Ch5:v42) and warns those who carry the sins of inequities (injustices) (Ch20:v111) with a categorical declaration that for the unjust there will be no helpers.
Also the Holy Qur’aan enjoins the Believers to be firm and foremost in doing justice for the sake of Allah (Ch4:v135).
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 Allah Almighty which shows how important doing justice is.
There are three factors that invariably take one away from the path of justice and these are Passion or lust, affiliation or relationships and Enmity.
Believers are expressly exhorted not to be influenced by these factors (Ch38:v26).
Believers are to observe justice even if it may be harmful to themselves, their parents or their relatives and irrespective of the fact that the party concerned is rich or poor (Ch4:v135).
This means that they have to do justice uninfluenced by self-interest or any other affiliation or motive.
The Holy Qur’aan goes on to exhort the Believers to be steadfast in doing justice that their enmity with some people should not turn them away from the path of justice (Ch5:v8).
In other words, they have to be just even to their enemies.
The Holy Qur’aan not only highlights the importance of justice but also tells us how to do justice when it says: “Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed to them the Scripture and Balance (justice) that mankind may keep up just.” (Ch57:v25).
The verse, in fact, tells us that Allah Almighty sent His Messengers and with them the books to enlighten the people, among other things, on the importance of balance so that they learn how to do justice.
The word “Balance” implies to the maintenance of equilibrium. In the sphere of human activities, when the norms of balance are applied in the exercise of discretion, whether in relation to one’s self or in relation to others, or in the exercise of authority or in the delivery of judgement or decision in regards to others in general and their rights and obligations in particular, it is called justice.
The doing of justice, whether in matters involving the rights and obligations of parties or the liabilities of persons, civil or criminal, largely depends on evidence.
It is because of this reason that the Holy Qur’aan lays special emphasis on the production of proper and relevant evidence as it says: “And mix not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth while you know.” (Ch2:v42).
It says again: “And conceal not the evidence, for he who hides it surely his heart is sinful . . . ” (Ch2:v238) and further “ . . . be staunch and firm in giving evidence.” (Ch4:v135).
For further information on Islam or a free copy of the Holy Qur’aan, please contact:MajlisulUlama Zimbabwe, Council of Islamic ScholarsPublications Department,P.O. Box W93, Waterfalls, Harare Tel: 04-614078 / 614004, Fax : 04-614003, e-mail: [email protected]
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