(5) Injustice of the Rulers

This sort of injustice is the gravest. Imam as-Sadiq (PBUH) narrated: Allah ordered, by revelation, one of the prophets to go to the absolute ruler of that kingdom and say to him: I have not appointed you for shedding their blood and seizing their property. I only appointed you for responding to the cries of the oppressed people. Even if they are atheists, I will not neglect the oppressions that the wronged people encounter.

Imam as-Sadiq (PBUH) related on the authority of his father that the Prophet (s) said: On the Day of Resurrection, Hell will speak to three categories of people: the rulers, the reciters, and the wealthy. It will say to the ruler: Almighty Allah gave you authority, but you did not rule justly. Hell, then, will swallow him in the same way as birds swallow grains of sesame. To the reciter, Hell will say: You adorned yourself before people but fought against Allah by committing the acts of disobedience to him. Hell, then, will swallow him.

To the wealthy, Hell will say: Allah showered you with abundant worldly wealth, but when He asked you for a loan, you refused out of your stinginess. Hell, then, will swallow him. The previous threat is not restricted only to the wrongdoers; it also includes those who join the oppressors, those who accede to their deeds, and those who contribute in their evildoings. All these are partners in the sin and the punishment: Imam as-Sadiq (PBUH) said: The wrongdoer, his supporter, and the one who accepts his deed are partners (of the same crime).

To stand by the oppressed people and protect them from inequity is one of the best acts of obedience to God that leave nice traces and good marks on the spiritual and material existence of humankind. Imam al-Kadhim (PBUH) said to Ibn Yaqttin: Guarantee for me one thing and I will guarantee for you three things: guarantee for me that you will settle the need of anyone of our adherents that you meet in the center of caliphate and I guarantee for you that you shall not encounter the strike of swords, you shall not be under the ceiling of any cell, and poverty shall never visit your house.

Abu al-Hasan (PBUH) said: There are certain disciples of Allah who accompany the rulers for guarding Allah’s disciples. (According to another report,) Those are the ones whom Allah will save from Hell. Imam as-Sadiq (PBUH) said: The expiration of holding governmental authorities is to settle the needs of the friends.

A man asked Imam as-Sadiq (PBUH) to write a message to an-Najashi, the treasury official of al-Ahwaz and Persia, to cancel the debts that he owed his office, since an-Najashi was Shiite. The Imam did, and the man carried that message to an-Najashi and handed it over to him when they were alone. In that message, the Imam (PBUH) wrote: In the Name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful. Please your brother and Allah will please you.

As he read the message, an-Najashi kissed and put it between his eyes and asked the man about his need. I owe your office ten thousand dirhams, said the man. An-Najashi asked his secretary to cancel the debt and record ten thousand dirhams that the man would have the next year. He then took out ten thousand dirhams and gave to the man and asked, Have I pleased you? Yes, you have, answered the man. An-Najashi took another bag of ten thousand dirhams and gave to the man and asked, Have I pleased you? Yes, you certainly have, said the man. An-Najashi went on giving that man everything, including a riding animal, a bond maiden, and a servant, and asking whether he had pleased him until it was the turn of the rug on which he was sitting. He also asked the man to provide all his needs so that he would settle them.

The man came to Imam as-Sadiq (PBUH) and told him of the whole story. The Imam was highly delighted. Son of Gods Messenger, asked the man, Are you pleased by that which an-Najashi had done to me? The Imam answered: Yes, indeed, by Allah. His deed has also pleased Allah and His Messenger.

Bad Consequences of Injustice

To deem ugly and deny injustice is a natural quality of humankind. The free spirits refute injustice and exert all efforts for fighting against it. Commonness of injustice is the most dangerous epidemic on societies, since it causes social collapse. To overlook acts of injustice encourages the oppressors to go beyond the limits in aggression and criminality. It also enjoins the oppressed people to revenge themselves upon others. Such being the case, disorder will be common. All this will certainly produce dissolution of nations as well as loss of security and luxury.

Treatment of Injustice

It is very difficult to treat from injustice and pull up its roots. At any rate, it may be possible to ease the sharpness of injustice by:

1. Keeping in mind the virtues of justice and nice influence, such as spread of peace, amicability, and comfort,

2. Learning lessons from the disadvantages and mental and material damages of injustice

3. Strengthening the religious restraint by means of educating the conscience and the feelings of the values and purposeful concepts of faith, and

4. Studying the examples of the despots who suffered the evilest consequences because of their tyranny and injustice.

It is narrated that a Kurdish celebrity, once, was invited to a banquet of a prince. As he noticed two grilled partridges on the banquet, he smiled. The prince asked him for a reason. He narrated: When I was in the vigor of my youth, I waylaid a merchant. When I was about to kill him, he begged me, but, uselessly. When he despaired, he turned to two partridges that were on a mountain and asked them to be the witnesses on that crime. Now, I remembered that situation when my eyes fell on these two grilled partridges. As the man finished, the prince said: Yes, the two partridges testified on your crime. He then ordered to behead that man.

It is also narrated that, one night, Abdul-Malik ibn Marwan “the Umayyad caliph- could not sleep; therefore, he summoned a storyteller who told the following story: An owl in Mosul asked the hand of the daughter of an owl in Basra for her son. The owl of Basra stipulated that the dowry should be one hundred ruined villages. ˜Well, answered the owl of Mosul, ˜I cannot do so now. But, if God perpetuates our governor for only one more year, I will easily do it. Abdul-Malik was highly affected by this story. Since early morning, he dedicated all his efforts to repealing the injustice that befell some people, judging justly between individuals, and inspecting his official’s deeds.