By Hafsa Ahmed – Freelance writer, Saudi Arabia
Tasneem Vali – Architect and freelance writer, Canada
The Justice of Allah (swt)
Allah (swt) is Supremely Just, His actions and decisions are based on His Justice and Wisdom, even though we may not comprehend them as such with our limited knowledge.
Sometimes this world seems unjust to us. A murderer may walk free, and even if he is punished, the punishment may not do justice to the severity of the crime he committed. How can a person, who murdered a 100 people, be brought to complete justice in this world? He cannot be put to death a hundred times.
Similarly, an innocent person may get wrongly accused and serve a lifetime in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Bad people may seem to be leading a great life, while good people are suffering.
That is why we, Muslims, believe that a day is fixed, when complete justice will be meted out. Its duration will be 50,000 years, and not an atom of good or evil will be overlooked. So refined will the justice of Allah (swt) be that not only the visible actions but also the hidden evil intent behind apparently good actions will also be taken into account.
Even animals will be given justice: the animals without horns will be given horns and a chance to have a go at the horned ones. Then, both will be reduced to dust. It was narrated from the Prophet (sa) that he said: “Allah (swt) will judge between His creation, jinn, men and animals. On that Day, Allah (swt) will let the hornless animal settle its score with the horned until, when there is nothing left to be settled, Allah (swt) will say to them, ‘Be dust.’ At that point the Kafir will say, ‘Would that I were dust.’” (Classed as Saheeh by al-Albaani in “Al-SilsilatAl-Saheehah”, no. 1966)
The final culmination of Allah’s (swt) justice will be in the form of Paradise and Hellfire, where people will be rewarded or punished for their actions. However, Allah(swt) will forgive many and admit them eventually into His Mercy, as long as they believed in His oneness and His final Messenger (sa).
As His best creation, we must also uphold the quality of justice in our lives.
The Justice of the Prophet (sa)
Critics speak volumes about the multiple marriages of the Prophet (sa) but they forget to mention his unparalleled justice amongst his wives.
He would daily spend equal quality time with them, talking with each of them after AsarSalah. Even on his death bed, he took permission from all the other wives to spend his last days in Aisha’s (rtaf) house, because it had become nearly impossible for him to move from place to place.
The following story is a beautiful example of how the Prophet(sa) upheld justice.
Narrated by Anas(rtam): “While the Prophet (sa) was in the house of one of his wives, one of the mothers of the believers sent a meal in a dish. The wife, at whose house the Prophet (sa) was, struck the hand of the servant, causing the dish to fall and break. The Prophet (sa) gathered the broken pieces of the dish and then started collecting on them the food, which had been in the dish and said:‘Your mother (my wife) felt jealous.’ Then he detained the servant till a (sound) dish was brought from the wife at whose house he was. He gave the sound dish to the wife, whose dish had been broken, and kept the broken one at the house, where it had been broken.”(Bukhari)
When an influential woman from BaniMakhzum committed theft, the people of Quraish worried about her and asked Usama bin Zaid (rtam), who was beloved to the Prophet (sa), to intercede on her behalf. Aisha(rtaf) has narrated: “When Usama spoke about that to Allah’s Apostle, he said (to him):‘Do you try to intercede for somebody in a case connected with Allah’s prescribed punishments?’ Then he got up and delivered a sermon saying: ‘What destroyed the nations preceding youwas that if a noble amongst them stole, they would forgive him, and if a poor person amongst them stole, they would inflict Allah’s legal punishment on him. By Allah, if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad, stole, I would cut off her hand.’” (Bukhari)
The constitution of Madinah says: “To the Jew, who follows us, belong help and support. He will not be wronged, nor shall his enemies be aided.” The Prophet (sa) was fair in passing judgement, even if it was at the expense of the Muslims. When the people of Khaybar killed ‘Abdullah ibn Sahl (rtam), the Prophet (sa) did not rule that they had to pay the diyah (blood money), and he did not punish them for their crime, because there was no clear evidence against them. The Prophet even paid his blood money from the wealth of the Muslims. The story is in al-Bukhari (6769) and Muslim (1669).
When al-Ash‘ath ibn Qays and a Jewish man referred a dispute to the Prophet (sa) concerning some land in Yemen, and the Muslim did not have any proof, the Prophet (sa) ruled that the land belonged to the Jew, on the basis of his oath, as it says in al-Bukhari (2525) and Muslim (138).
The Prophet (sa) had even given the Jews the right to refer for judgement concerning matters amongst themselves to their own religious laws, and he did not oblige them to follow Islamic laws so long as both parties in the matter were Jewish, unless they referred the dispute to him and asked him to judge between them. In that case, he would judge between them according to the laws of Allah (swt) and the religion of the Muslims.
The Justice of our Pious Predecessors
We see that the companions of the Prophet (sa) and the pious generations that followed them implemented justice on themselves, before anyone else.
Ibn Shabbah narrated with his Isnad that Uthman ibn Affan (rtam) entered upon a slave of his, who was feeding his she-camel, and he saw something in the feed that he disliked, so he took hold of the slave’s ear and tweaked it. Then he regretted it and said to his slave: “Settle the score.” The slave refused, but he did not leave him alone, until he had taken hold of his ear and begun to tweak it.Uthman (rtam) said to him: “Pull hard,” until he thought that (the slave) had pulled as hard as he had done. Then Uthman(rtam) said: “How easy it is to settle a score, before it is settled in the Hereafter after.” (Akhbar al-Madinah by Ibn Shabbah, 3/236)