By: Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)
Translated by: Ghassan RimlawiAllah, The Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book: And We desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs.
To establish a firm place for them in the land, and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their hosts, at their hands, the very things against which they were taking precautions.
Thus Allah, The Most Exalted, has talked about the downtrodden and the weakened as well as the oppressors and the arrogant. He refuses the weakening of the arrogant to the downtrodden by exploiting them and depriving them of their humanity. When Allah, The Most Exalted, created mankind, He wanted the people on earth to establish justice.
He even sent Prophets, and revealed books, and provided them with the balance of good and falsehood to ensure that the people will establish justice, for justice is road of peace and good, while injustice is the road of evil and hostility.
Allah, The Most Exalted, ordained that this life on earth will not end before the weakened have assumed their confiscated role. Thus, this Ayah says that God wants to bestow a favor upon the oppressed and make them leaders.
It will end such rules as that of Pharaoh and Haman who prosecuted the people. And this is, among others, what we are waiting for, as we await our Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hasten his return) who will establish justice among all mankind.
Moreover, we noticed that the traditions that talk about the appearance of Imam Al-Mahdi talk only about establishing justice, although he is the Imam of Islam who will call the people for the Message of Muhammad; the Message of unification that continues all what the Sharia has ordained to organize the relations of people. This is because justice is what embodies the religion of unification and all what Islam wants considering the relations between Allah and humans and between humans themselves.
This is what the Quran has asserted in its talk about justice in several Ayahs “Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good” “whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; “O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably; act equitably, that is nearer to piety thus you have to be just with your friends or relatives, by not giving him what is not rightfully his and with your enemy by not denying him his rights”.
The Quran also says: “O ye who believe! Be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both (them ye are). So follow not passion lest ye lapse (from truth) and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever Informed of what ye do”.
If the entire world is based on justice and if we are expecting that in the end that justice will be dominant in the entire world, we have to educate ourselves and act in a way that upholds justice and rejects persecution, whether in power or influential positions.
God will punish all those who wrong their subordinates. It has been narrated that One of our Imams narrated the following story: Allah the Great, the Almighty, enjoined one of His prophets living in a country under the rule of a tyrant: 'Go to this tyrant and tell him that I did not make use of you (grant authority) to shed the blood (of the people) and gather wealth. I made use of you to soothe the cries of the wronged, because you should not neglect their plight even if they were disbelievers'. Allah does not want us to wrong the unbeliever, just as he does not want us to wrong the Muslim. He wants us to give every human his rights whether close or not and whether weak or strong, and this is the meaning of justice.
Imam Ali has said: Know that injustice is of three kinds - one, the injustice that will not be forgiven, another, that will not be left unquestioned, and another that will be forgiven without being questioned. The injustice that will not be forgiven is duality of Allah. Allah has said: Verily Allah forgives not that (anything) be associated with Him. The injustice that will be forgiven is the injustice a man does to himself by committing small sins; and the injustice that will not be left unquestioned is the injustice of men against other men. The retribution in such a case is severe. It is not wounding with knives, nor striking with whips, but it is so severe that all these things are small against it.
The Messenger(p.) and our Imams have left a lot of Hadith about wronging. Imam As-Sadiq says: “Wronging someone who has no party on weapons to resort to, whether by letting his right or by persecuting him is the most sever kind of wronging”.
Imam Zein Al-Abidin advises his son Muhammad Al-Baqir saying: “I will advise you with what my father advised me when he was dying: Do not wrong those who will not find anyone to support them except Allah”.
Imam As-Sadiq says about he who lives the spirit of justice: who wakes up and does not intend to wrong anybody, Allah forgives him what he will sin on that day”, unless he spills the blood of an innocent man or usurps the money of an orphan.
Thus, a man who does not think about injustice and starts his day not intending to harm or wrong anyone Allah will forgive all his sins except killing another unlawfully, or usurping the wealth of an orphan.
The Messenger (p.) says: "stay away of wronging for it is the darkness of the Day of Judgment."
There are also some certain acts of injustice practiced by some members of the community whether by the government or by a third party. There are some people that are accepted by a part of the community saying that the wronged party deserves what happened to him. A case in point would be those who justified the atrocities of Yazid against Imam Hussein's family and companions. To those Imam As-Sadiq says: O those who justify the wronging of the wrong-doer. Allah will send him someone who will wrong him. And if they invoke Allah, He will not respond to them.
Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) says that those who wrong, support the wrongdoer or accept his act are partners. The Messenger says: He who is afraid of punishment should stop wronging the people.
Educating on justice
Two parties of litigation filed their case before Imam as-Sadiq (a.s). After he had listened to both of them, the Imam(a.s.) spoke: “It is quite true that he who seizes something by wrong means is not seizing goodness. Certainly, the oppressed party seizes from the religion of the wronging party more than that which the wronging party seizes from the oppressed party’s property. He who does evil to people should not show loathing towards the evil that is done to him. As a matter of fact, man will harvest nothing but that which he sowed. No one will harvest sweetness from the bitter, and no one will harvest bitterness from the sweet.”
These words of the Imam (a.s.) made the two parties settle their litigation before they left him, because when you open your heart and mind on good preaching, you will withdraw from anything that can put you in the position of wronging others.
We have to remember that we will stand before Allah, where the wronged will ask God to punish those who wronged them saying:
O most wise, and just, judge between him and me for he has wronged me
Therefore, we should not wrong anybody, not our wives, nor our children or those who work for us.
* The aforementioned is an edited Friday sermon.