Justice and Fairness in Islam

Statue of Scales of justice with Mosque in background
Scales of justice in Ras al Khaimah © Typhoonski | Dreamstime.com

Justice is very important in Islam. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“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.” (Sahih Muslim)

We learn from this how significant it is to be just in the way we manage situations in our daily lives. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says here that Allah will be most merciful with the leaders who are just. On that Day, we know that there will be no shade except for whom Allah decides to shade.

So, knowing that the just leader will be under Allah’s shade, we should all strive to ensure we are just whenever we are in a position of authority or leadership, whether in our jobs, our communities or any other role.

Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

“God commands justice and fair dealing…” (Qur’an 16:90)

This reminds us about the importance of fair dealings. For example, if we are in a situation at work in which we need to make a decision about something or someone, we must remember to be as just possible. We must assess the situation carefully and consider every aspect. Doing so will help us avoid taking actions which are not ultimately fair and therefore result in hurting others.

As Muslims, we must be fair and just even if that means going against the wishes of our family. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.” (Qur’an 4:135)

This means that we should not make decisions or do things just because we want to earn praise from others or members of your family. We should not be prioritising our concern about what they think above our concern about our Imaan (faith) and our relationship to our Lord.

There are times when all of us may struggle to do the right thing according to Islam, choosing what will please close ones around us. In those situations, we should remember that Allah can see everything we are going through and he will reward us for our patience and efforts in trying to do what is right according to Islam.

Islam teaches us that orphans in particular should be treated fairly and justly. We all know that for orphans, especially when they are younger, it can be difficult to avoid injustice, notably, an orphan may not have a guardian to look after them. Whatever the reason is, we must remember that Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

“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)

This emphasises how carefully we are instructed to deal with matters involving orphans in Islam. Ultimately, we should always keep in mind what our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said regarding injustice:

“People, beware of injustice, for injustice shall be darkness on the Day of Judgement.” (Musnad Ahmed)