The Islamic System of Judiciary in the Qur'an 3

The Islamic System of Judiciary in the Qur'an 3

The Criterion for the Judiciary

He moves from one world to another and from one level to another and he is immortal and imperish­able. Since he moves from one abode to another, he must seek per­fection through a power that does not cease or perish, and which does not harm his world or his Hereafter. Obviously, determining such a power requires a comprehensive knowledge of the true nature of man and what makes him ascend to the highest stages or brings him down to the lowest levels. How does that knowledge compare with the little knowledge that has been given man, who does not have much understanding of what will benefit or harm him? The second point-the capacity of divine revelation in explaining the judicial system-is indicated by several Qur'anic verses.
Whoso judges not according to what Almighty Allah has sent down-they are the un­believers.(1)
Whoso judges not according to what Almighty Allah has sent down-they are the evil­doers. (2)
Whosoever judges not according to what Almighty Allah has sent down-they are the ungodly. (3)
The difference between unbelief (kufr) and the other contingent evils, as regards the judiciary, will be explained. Among them is the statement of Almighty Allah, the Exalted: Is it the judgment of pagandom then that they are seeking? Yet who is fairer in judgment than Almighty Allah, for a people having conviction?(4)

These verses suggest that judgment is either the judgment of Allah, determined by revelation, or the judgment of pagandom (jahiliyyah). The latter includes every judgment and law followed by men, whether it is described as civilized or not and whether it is accepted or rejected by all people or some of them. This is because there is nothing after truth except falsehood, and following that which is not from Allah, the Exalted, necessitates moving away from the straight path which leads to paradise. There are only two paths, whatever they may be called, and no third one: the path of Allah, guiding to the straightway, and the path of the false Almighty Allah (taghut) leading down into the deep abyss of perdition. Furthermore, Almighty Allah, the Exalted, says: And whatever you are at variance on, the judgment thereof belongs to Almighty Allah. That then is Almighty Allah, my Lord; in Him I have put my trust, and to Him I turn penitent. (5)

The verse indicates that the sole recourse for settling differences is judgment of Allah, and no other, whether these differences concern rights, property or some other matter. Almighty Allah, the Exalted, says: So judge between them according to what Almighty Allah has sent down, and do not follow their inclinations to forsake the truth that has come to thee. (6)

This judgment is none other than that which has been revealed by Allah. There are other verses which restrict the criterion for judiciary to divine revelation, indicating that everything besides that is ignorance and error, that anything other than the law (Din) of Allah is not accept­able and that any other path will not lead to the pleasure of Allah and paradise. On the contrary, it will lead to Allah's displeasure and "the abode of ruin-Gehenna, wherein they are roasted; an evil establish­ment!",(7) for it is not a path which guides to the right goal. That is why the Mighty and Sublime has addressed those who have turned away from the revelation and from the Messenger, saying: Where then are you going? It is naught but a Reminder unto all beings.(8)

The meaning of the term knowledge (`ilm) becomes clear when Almighty Allah the Exalted, urges that we should not say what we do not know and that we should not deny what we do not know. He emphasizes that affirma­tion and denial must be through knowledge, and confirmation and rejection through understanding. He says of those who disbelieve without knowledge: No; but they cried lies to that whereof they comprehended not the knowl­edge, and whose interpretation had not yet come to them. (9)
Has not the compact of the Book been taken touching them, that they should say concerning Almighty Allah nothing but the truth? (10)
This verse urges one to restrict oneself to speaking only through knowl­edge and affirming only through understanding. Similarly, Almighty Allah, the Exalted, also says: And pursue not that thou hast no knowledge of the hearing, the sight, the heart-all of those shall be questioned of (11) the knowledge mentioned in these and other similar verses refers to that which relates to happiness and a good life and is in keeping with the revelation of Almighty Allah, the Exalted, to His Messenger.

It is immune from the evils of ignorance, forgetfulness; and tyranny, and it is rightly the object of hope and the sole basis for judiciary. As for the intellect, it is independent in matters of doctrine (usul al-Din) and its guidance makes possible a knowledge of Allah, the Exalted, and faith in Him. Similarly, it facilitates a knowledge of the Messenger and the necessity of his infallibility and freedom from sin and error in delivering the message, and a knowledge of the doctrine of the Hereafter and man's resurrection with his soul and body for the Judgment. Despite this, however, the intellect is incapable of grasping many matters relating to these important principles, and is also incapable of understanding the benefits and harms latent in actions, laws, and customs. Therefore, it is always in need of the guidance of revelation in circumstances that come upon it and in need of its instructions on what it cannot attain by itself. Almighty Allah, the Exalted, says: ...and to teach you that you knew not. (12) To conclude, the criterion of the judiciary is the criterion which Allah has sent down through revelation and laid down for the people in order that they may establish justice and equity amongst themselves.

Continue in the next article: ( The Islamic System of Judiciary in the Qur'an 4 )

NOTES:

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1. (5:44)

2. (5:45)

3. (5:47)

4. (5:50)

5. (42:10)

6. (5:48)

7. (14:28-9)

8. (81:26-27)

9. (10:39)

10. (7:169)

11. (17: 36)

12. (2:151)