6. Islam Considers Justice the Prime Virtue

June 22, 2013 in The Final Divine Religion ISLAM

God has absolute justice. He does not conduct anything unjust. One of His beautiful names is al-Adl, the wielder of absolute justice.[1] For this reason, He expects from us, his subjects, complete justice and righteousness. Allah says in the Noble Quran:

“O you who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin…” (An-Nisa’ (Women), 4:135)

Islam commands Muslims to be just even to their enemies:

“O you 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 nearer to righteousness…” (Al-Ma`ida (The Table) 5:8)

Our master the Messenger of Allah advised to be just whether one is angry or tranquil, and promised many rewards to those who can obtain that trait.[2]

The basic dialectic or disagreement in Islam is between those who are oppressors or support oppression and those who are just and advocate justice.

The Noble Quran states, “Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression.”[3] It is possible for Muslims to live in the same society with someone who is respectful to human rights whether that person is a Muslim or not. However, if a Muslim oppresses and does not show respect to human rights, it is a duty to oppose him. Therefore, at the social level, the determining criterion between “us” and “the other” is oppression and justice.[4]

For this reason, Muslim nations paid high attention to justice. An example of this is as follows. Muslims had taken control of the city of Hims in Syria. Since they protected the inhabitants, they were levying a reasonable amount of tax. At that time, Heraclius the King of Byzantium marched with his army to attack the Muslims at Yarmuk. The Muslims worried when they learned that the approaching army was a very big one. They returned the taxes the people of Hims had given them and said: “Since we are under attack, we lack the resources to defend and guard you. Now you are free in your conduct and can act as you wish.” The people of Hims answered:

“We swear to God, your governance and justice is much preferable to our previous state of oppression and despotism. We will defend the city against Heraclius with your governor.” The Jews also said: “We swear on Torah that the governor of Heraclius cannot enter the city of Hims without defeating and devastating us first.” By locking the city doors, they defended the city from the enemy. The Christian or Jewish people of other cities with whom a peace agreement had been done did the same thing and said: “If the Romans and those who are subject to them defeat the Muslims, we return to the old era of oppression and despotism and will be faced with many difficulties. We wish the Muslims would win this war and we cooperate with them according to our previous agreement.”

When Allah decided defeat for the Romans and granted Muslims with victory, they opened their doors to the Muslims, called their players to perform shows of happiness, and paid their taxes.[5]



[1].     Tirmizî, Deavât, 82/3507.

 

[2].     Heysemî, I, 90; Ebû Nuaym, Hilye, II, 343; VI, 268-9.

 

[3].     Al-Baqara (The Cow), 2: 192.

 

[4].     Prof. Dr. Recep Şentürk, İnsan Hakları ve İslâm (Human Rights and Islam), p. 22.

 

[5].     Belâzurî, Fütûhu’l-büldân, Beirut 1987, p. 187.