This is an essay on “Justice Vs. Injustice” for CSS, PMS, and Judiciary exams. So, this is a complete Essay on “Justice Vs. Injustice” for preparing for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary examinations.
Essay on “Justice Vs. Injustice”
The dehumanizing abuses at Abu Ghraib, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Israeli occupation of and aggression in the Palestinian territories, the loss of basic human and civil rights, foreign troops in the Holy Lands, unwanted foreign involvement in internal affairs, and the list goes on and on.
There’s no question that there’s more than enough to make Muslims really angry and seriously hurt. Naturally, people tend to react to anger in different ways.
Some are so furious that they want to wipe out entire nations oﬀ the face of the earth, while others want to exterminate their leaders. Others are content with whomsoever they can lay their raw hands-on, while others just resort to feisty and fiery verbal bursts. Many resorts to silent hope and prayer.
All these are very basic, human reactions, and any human, be it a Muslim or non-Muslim, can understandably react in such ways when in a super ticked oﬀ mood, as many Muslims find themselves these days.
However, as Muslims, it’s our duty to ensure that our actions are in line with the teachings of Islam – not only in good times but even when we find ourselves as victims and underdogs.
While many of the injustices that fuel the anger and outrage are undoubtedly appalling and abhorrent, we must not forget our sense of fairness and justice in our actions and responses.
Allah, the Highest, has said:
“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.” [Qur’an, 4:35]
Allah tells us to stand out for justice, even if it is against ourselves, our families, or against the rich or poor. Hence, we are expected to be just (and fair) all the time.
As the victim, we can naturally find ourselves hating the oppressor or the victimizer. But even that shouldn’t stop us from being just. Allah says:
“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” [Qur’an, 5:8]
Thus, we must be fair and just all the time, even in dealings with the enemy and the oppressor, which is. no easy task by any means. In fact, we must fight for justice, but without perpetuating injustices of our own.
Justice does mean making one pay for his/her actions, and Islam does agree with the concept of “an eye for an eye.” Yet, we must be careful not to take that to mean “an innocent eye for an innocent eye”, because if we do, there will be nothing to differentiate us (the victims) from the perpetrators. We must take into account the true meaning; the eye of the perpetrator for the eye of the victim.
As victims, the worst thing we can do is fight back against injustices of our own. Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Beware of injustice. Injustice will be darkness on the Day of Rising. Beware of avarice. Avarice destroyed those before you and prompted them to shed each other’s blood and make lawful what was unlawful.” [Reported by Muslim]
Things are gloomy enough for us these days. Let’s make sure we don’t end up making the Day of Resurrection dark for ourselves as well.
The Meaning of Justice
In the Islamic worldview, justice denotes placing something in its rightful place. It also means giving others equal treatment. In Islam, justice is also a moral virtue and an attribute of human personality, as it is in the Western tradition. 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.
Sometimes, justice is achieved through inequality, like in unequal distribution of wealth. The Prophet of Islam declared:
“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.” (Saheeh Muslim)
God spoke to His Messenger in this manner:
“O My servants, I have forbidden injustice for Myself and forbade it also for you. So avoid being unjust to one another.” (Saheeh Muslim)
Thus, justice represents moral rectitude and fairness, since it means things should be where they belong.
The Importance of Justice
The Qur’an, the sacred scripture of Islam, considers justice to be a supreme virtue. It is a basic objective of Islam to the degree that it stands next in order of priority to belief in God’s exclusive right to worship (Tawheed) and the truth of Muhammad’s prophethood. God declares in the Qur’an:
“God commands justice and fair dealing” (Qur’an 16:90)
And in another passage:
“O you who believe, be upright for God, and (be) bearers of witness with justice” (Qur’an 5:8)
Therefore, one may conclude that justice is an obligation of Islam and injustice is forbidden. The centrality 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” (Qur’an 57:25)
The phrase ‘Our Messengers’ shows that justice has been the goal of all revelation and scriptures sent to humanity. The verse also shows that justice must be measured and implemented by the standards and guidelines set by revelation. Islam’s approach to justice is comprehensive and all-embracing.
Any path that leads to justice is deemed to be in harmony with Islamic Law. God has demanded justice and, although He has not prescribed a specific route, has provided general guidelines,
on how to achieve it. He has neither prescribed a fixed means by which it can be obtained nor has He declared invalid any particular means or methods that can lead to justice. Theref9re, all means, procedures, and methods that facilitate, refine. and advance the cause of justice, and do not violate the Islamic Law are valid.
Equality in Justice
The Quranic .standards of justice transcend considerations of race, religion, color, and creed, as Muslims are commanded to be just to their friends and foes alike, and to be just at all levels, as the Qur’an puts it:
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even if it be against yourselves, your parents, and your relatives, or whether it is against the rich or the poor” (Qur’an 4:135)
According to another Quranic passage:
“Let not the hatred of a people swerve you away from justice. Be just, for this is closest to righteousness” (Qur’an 5:8)
With regards to relations with non-Muslims, the Qur’an further states:
“God does not forbid you from doing good and being just to those who have neither fought you over your faith nor evicted you from your homes” (Qur’an 60:8)
The scholars of the Qur’an have. concluded that these rulings apply to all nations, followers of _all faiths, as a matter of fact to all humanity. In the view of the Qur’an, justice is an obligation. That is why the Prophet was told:
“if you judge, judge between them with justice” (Qur’an 5:42)
“We have revealed to you the scripture with the truth that you may judge between people by what God has taught you.” (Qur’an 4:105)
Furthermore, the Prophet was sent as a judge between peoples and told:
“Say: I believe in the Scripture, which God has sent down, and I am commanded to judge justly between you” (Qur’an 42:15)
The Qur’an views itself as a scripture devoted mainly to laying down the principles of faith and justice. The Qur’an demands that justice be met for all and that it is an inherent right of all human beings under Islamic Law. The timeless commitment of the Qur’an to the basic standards of justice is found in its declaration:
“The Word of your Lord finds fulfillment in truth and justice. None can change His words.” (Qur’an 6:115)
To render justice is a trust that God has to confer on the human being and, like all other trusts, its fulfillment must be guided by a sense of responsibility beyond mere conformity to set rules. Thus, the Qur’an states:
“God commands you to render trusts to whom they are due, and when you judge between people, a judge with justice” (Qur’an 4:58)
The reference to justice which immediately follows a reference to the fulfillment of trusts indicates that it is one of the most important of all trusts.
Justice and the Self
The Quranic concept of justice also extends justice to being a personal virtue, and one of the standards of moral excellence that a believer is encouraged to attain as part of his God-consciousness. God says:
“Be Just, for it is closest to God-consciousness” (Qur’an 5:8)
The Prophet himself instructed:
“Be conscious of God and be just to your children.”
The Qur’an tells the believers:
“When you speak, speak with justice, even if it is against someone close to you” (Qur’an 6:152)
Specific Examples of Justice Encouraged in the Qur’an
The Qur’an also refers to particular instances and contexts of justice. One such instance is the requirement of just treatment of orphans. God says:
“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” (Qur’an 6:152, also see 89:17, 93:9, and 107:2)
Fair dealings in measurements and weights, as mentioned in the above verse, is also mentioned in other passages where justice in the buying, selling, and by extension, to business transactions in general, is emphasized. There is an entire chapter of the Qur’an, Surah al-Mutaffifeen (The Detractors in Giving Weights,’ 83) where fraudulent dealers are threatened with divine wrath.
References to justice also occur in the context of polygamy. The Qur’an demands the equitable treatment of all wives. The verse of polygamy begins by reference to orphaned girls who may be exposed to deprivation and injustice. When they reach marriageable age, they should be married off, even if it be into a polygamous relationship, especially when there is inequality in the number of men and women, as was the case after the Battle of Uhud when this verse was revealed. But, as the Qur’an states:
“If you fear that you can not be just, then marry only one…” (Qur’an 4:3)
In conclusion, ‘to render justice’, in the words of Sarkhasi, a noted classical Islamic jurist, ‘ranks as the noblest of acts of devotion next to believing God. It is the greatest of all the duties entrusted to the prophets and it is the strongest justification for man’s stewardship of the earth.
“God enjoins justice and kindness, 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 institutions, 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 parents to one child over others and so on.
In all your dealing, you are required to stand firmly for justice even if it is against yourself and your kith and kin, for love too can lead to injustice.
0 you who believe! Be firm in justice as witnesses for God, even in cases against yourselves, your parents or your kin” Essays fr Judiciary [Surah Nisa; 4: 135] and if you give your word, you must be just, even though it is against your kin, and fulfill 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 Shariah 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.