Sunday, March 31, 2013

EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW IN ISLAM


Assalam oalaikum,

‘Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded’. (TMQ-16:90)

In this verse the Arabic word ‘adl’ has been used which commonly means to dispense justice. Allah (swt) has Commanded the Muslims to impart justice irrespective of the fact whether the litigants are one’s close relatives or strangers, rich or poor and influential or insignificant. A Muslim is not expected to pass an unfair judgment based on one’s own personal likes or dislikes. The judgment should be completely fair and not influenced by factors such as enmity, animosity; close bond with the litigant or love.


In another Quranic verse Allah (swt) says:
‘Indeed we have sent our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance (justice) that mankind can keep up justice..’(TMQ-57:25)

This verse throws light on the mission on which the Messengers of Allah (swt) were sent on earth. The objective has been to establish both individual and collective justice one earth. The Messengers had been equipped with clear signs, the Holy Scripture and the balance or justice in order to put to an end the oppression in the world and for the establishment of the high ideals of justice and peace. Their aim was to establish a society in which all the ranks are equalized and everyone is considered equal before law. So the law is the same for everyone in Islam and everyone is same before the law. The law does not change to suit the needs of the rich, the powerful or the influential people. The law does not become stricter while dealing with the poor and neither does it become lenient while dealing with the affluent. Prophet Mohammad (saw) did not consider even himself or his family above the law. This is evident by the following hadith:
Hazrat Ayesha (ra) narrated that Usama approached the Prophet (saw) on behalf of a woman, who had committed theft. Prophet Mohammad (saw) said, ‘Verily the people before you were destroyed because they used to inflict the legal punishments of the poor and pardon the rich amongst them. By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! If Fatima (the daughter of the Prophet) did that (i.e. stole) I would cut off her hand’. (Sahih Muslim vol-8,book 81, no.778)
The trained lawyers/attorneys who work in Islamic courts to dispense justice are well-versed with the Islamic principles of equality before law.  Therefore, if we as Muslims understand the importance of the Islamic laws then we will definitely avail it, whenever required.


Keep Me In Your Prayers.
Amel Soname
Amel_soname@yahoo.com

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