If you are following the world events, what is going on in many Western Countries, not excluding United States as well as in Europe, from Greece, to Italy to Spain to Britain, you can not help but see that there are tremendous financial corruption in the name of globalization and corporatization that is forming big tsunami to collapse financial stability of a number of countries around the world. This will generate (some signs are already visible in many countries) among others suffering of the poor (which mostly goes by untold and unheard), denial of rights of senior citizens, denying of human rights, forcing people to jobless and homeless status, pushing people under the poverty line. Looking at the degradation of human dignity while we have plenty on the earth for everyone - one can not help but realize that every other priorities become lesser in the face of such inequalities, corruption and injustice. The priority of this time, when it comes to spiritual discourse can not be anything higher than speaking out against such injustices, be it financial, political, social or otherwise because all of them are interconnected. The deep rooted values within religion and spirituality needs revisiting and need to be told in amplified fashion. And such timeless values include justice, equality, human rights and accountability both to the people and to God.
As people are encouraged to become atheist or agnostic through the corruption of religious values, people are forgetting some very basic principles such as Grand Accountability and Justice. As a result those who are in power are no longer inclined to be accountable to their sub-ordinate, they try to find every excuse to bend the laws to avoid accountability at any cost, will commit the highest degree of injustice, even if that means to throw people out of their home through illegal schemes. Under such scenario, our spiritual discourse, contemplation and activism must turn to restoring the truth of God, which in return restores the truth of the reality of Grand Accountability, the truth of Justice and Human Rights. If these matters are forgotten and made less priority then we will soon end up bankrupt not only financially but in what it means to be human.
Justice is one of the most important value but sadly something which is in short supply in our time. In our political, social, financial and ever other system this is very much apparent. Is the yet to be born human being getting justice? He is denied justice by committing crime in the name of abortion. The abortion rate is maddeningly high in our time. So commitment of injustice is happening even before a new comer entering the world.
There are political injustices and covering up of truth are being committed in the way democracy is hijacked in countries like United States where the candidates are bought by major corporations who sponsor the election, campaigns and in return it is their interest which is served instead of the very people who elect. Thus election is a grand mockery. Corrupt and evil corporations can buy the system with campaign contributions as they are doing now. The more money one candidate is backed with, the more coverage he or she gets and where does that funneling of money comes from? From big, greedy, corrupt corporations. Thus there is great injustice in the so called democratic system. The western democracy as it is, is not the best political system either. Democratic majorities can be constantly swayed like the wind. The corrupt in power love democracies because they can be so easily manipulated to do their will, but maintain the illusion of freedom.
The point is that the most important spiritual discourse of our time has to be contemporary issues of burning value of our time so that man may again become witness to the truth of God, not to the deception of the material worship. Christianity reminds, "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (Timothy 6:10). The Prophet of Islam reminded, "Love of the world is the root of all evil." If this root ailment is treated and cured, all other maladies flowing from it will also disappear. A man overwhelmed by Hubb-e-dunya (Love of the transitory world and all its deceptions) has no concern and time for the eternal life, Aakhirah. Such a person having no care for the Aakhirah will not be bothered about righteous deeds nor will he abstain from evil. The one in whom there is Hubb-e-dunya has very little Fikr for the Deen. Increase in the degree of Hubb-e-dunya brings about a corresponding decrease in Fikr (concern) for the Deen. Total Hubb-e-dunya entails total lack of Fikr for the Deen. This is manifest in the Kuffaar, covering up and denial of truth.
Dunya does not mean wealth and family. Dunya is the intentional and voluntary adoption of anything evil which causes one to become forgetful of Allah Ta'ala (God the Most High) irrespective of what that thing may be. Thus, acquisition of wealth and other material means is not evil, but Hubb-e-dunya (blind craving for such material objects) is evil. Wealth is like the water in the ocean and the heart of man is like the ship sailing in the ocean. Water, while it facilitates the movement of the ship can also bring about its sinking. As long as the water remains outside the ship, it aids its sailing. But entry of the water into the ship causes it to sink. Similar is the case of wealth. Wealth aids man as long as it remains outside his heart. However, of its love enters the heart it will bring about his destruction.
Justice \Jus"tice\ (j[u^]s"t[i^]s), n. [F., fr. L. justitia, fr. justus just. See Just, a.]
The quality of being just; conformity to the principles of
righteousness and rectitude in all things; strict
performance of moral obligations; practical conformity to
human or divine law; integrity in the dealings of men with
each other; rectitude; equity; uprightness.
Conformity to truth and reality in expressing opinions and
in conduct; fair representation of facts respecting merit
or demerit; honesty; fidelity; impartiality;
The rendering to every one his due or right; just
treatment; requital of desert; merited reward or
punishment; that which is due to one's conduct or motives.
Agreeableness to right; equity; justness; as, the justice
of a claim.
"O Allah! I seek refuge in You lest I stray or be led astray,
or slip or made to slip,
or cause injustice or suffer injustice,
or do wrong or have wrong done to me."
- Supplication of the Holy Prophet
Justice has many meanings; these include righteousness, fairness, equity, standards or law, etc. It is very important in the life of a person and a nation to avoid chaos and the spread of evil. Any individual or nation that does not practice justice is ruined. It is so important that Allah, the Exalted, relates it closely with piety.
Allah enjoins justice and kindness, and giving to kinfolk, and forbids indecency and abomination and wickedness. (The Qur'an,16:90)
... And act justly. Truly, God loves those who are just. (49:9)
Allah orders that you return trusts to their owners and that if you judge among people, you judge justly. (4:58)
And do not let hatred of any people dissuade you from dealing justly. Deal justly, for that closer to God-consciousness." (5:9)
O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice as witnesses to Allah even though it be 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 you swerve and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do. (4:135)
Allah commands justice, the doing of good and liberality to kith and kin and He forbids all shameful deeds and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you that you may receive admonition. (16:90)
And if you give your words, you must be just, even though it be against your kin, fulfill the covenant of God. For that is what he have commanded you that you may remember. (6:152)
The indictment shall be upon those who oppress people, and those who commit injustice and wrong-doing on earth shall be severely punished. (42:42)
And those who commit oppression shall know what kind of destiny they shall meet. (42:227)
We have sent our messenger with all evidence of truth, and though them we bestowed revelation from on high and (thus gave you) in the balance (to judge right and wrong) so that people maybe firm in justice; and we bestowed (on you) from on high (the ability to make of iron, in which there is awesome power as well as many benefits for mankind. and (all this was given to you) so that God shall know who would stand up for the cause of Allah and his Apostle... (57:25)
"Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds), but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from him according to his oppression which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him." (Sahih Al-Bukhari. Hadith 3.629. Narrated by Abu Huraira)
"Behold! The Dispensers of Justice will be seated on the pulpits of light beside God, on the right side of the Merciful, Exalted and Glorious. Either side of the Being is the right side both being equally meritorious. (The Dispensers of Justice are) those who do justice in their rules, in matters relating to their families and in all that they undertake to do." (Sahih Muslim Hadith 4493.Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar)
"The best fighting (jihad) in the path of Allah is (to speak) a word of justice to an oppressive ruler". (Sunan of Abu-Dawood. Hadith 4330. Narrated by AbuSa'id al-Khudri)
"Any man whom Allah has given the authority of ruling some people and he does not look after them in an honest manner, will never have even the smell of Paradise."(Al-Bukhari).
“If anyone takes a span of land unjustly, its extent taken from seven earths will be tied round his neck on the Day of Resurrection." (Bukhari and Muslim)
“If anyone deprives an heir of his inheritance, Allah (The Glorified and The Exalted) will deprive him of his inheritance in Paradise on the Day of Resurrection.” (Ibn Majah)
God declares: “O My servants, indeed I have prohibited injustice for myself, and I have prohibited it amongst you, so do not do injustices to each other” (Hadith Qudsi)
Modern Muslim scholar Charles Le Gai Eaton wrote a beautiful peace called "The Concept of Justice in Islam" which sheds light on the concept of Justice from Islamic perspective and why without Justice, there can be no Peace. Its a good read and you may read it here.
# Good Read:
* Forgiveness and Justice: meditations on some hadiths