Justice 4

Justice 4

The Union of Justice and Moral Issues

It must be noted here that although the materialistic schools have accepted the relationship between legal and moral issues, this bond is considered to be confined to nature and material. However, in the Islamic thinking, this bond is firmer in the Hereafter. At any rate, in this part, we shall deal with the relationship between justice, love, equality. and charity.

Let us begin with the concept of love. Do love and feeling leave no room for justice? If the members of any society love each other, will there be any talk of justice? Those who give a negative answer to this question, have stated that any time there is any mention of love, the tyranny is not obliterated but everyone tries to give his rights to others. For instance in a family brimming with love and affection, everyone gives his financial benefit to others with utter enthusiasm and risks their own comfort for the comfort of others. In such a family, there is never any talk of justice. Now if we round our society on the basis of love and charity, we shall not need to talk about justice.

The answer is that love is a moral value which although and then to good works.

“Allah bids to justice and good-doing.” (1)

If we look at the relationship between love and justice from this angle, the status of each of them is clarified and there will be no room to bring up the it has union with rights, it has a different realm. On a longitudinal axis, rights come first and then morality. If someone succeeds in respecting the moral issues, he shall then step into the realm of moral affairs. The Holy Qur'an constantly reminds us of this sequence. Firstly, it bids us all to justice previously mentioned discussion.

Now it is the time to study the relationship between justice and equality.

This engaging slogan has long been common that the laws should be done equally towards people. This slogan has constantly drawn the oppressed people and has been used as an instrument by the policy makers and the tricksters. But the truth is that there is difference between justice and equality. To explain this difference, we had better choose a star from the sky of Imam ‘Ali’s words.

During his reign, a group went to him and said, “Why do you distribute the common wealth equally among people?” They thought that if the Imam gave more to the powerful group of the society, they would protect him. However, the great imam answered, “Do you want me to win victory at the price of tyranny?” (2)

To understand this, one must know that in the Islamic thinking properties are of different kinds to three of which we shall refer. One group of properties should be distributed equally among people. The second group should be distributed differently among people. The third group should be distributed among some people.

Equality runs in the society where everyone performs their duty shoulder by shoulder. For instance, the booty should be distributed equally among those who have fought side by side. However, if among them are some who have taken greater pains, they shall have more booty. Thus, if some people have shirked responsibility during the war, they will not benefit from the booty. As you see the three different type of distribution are seen in the three instances given above which include equality, difference and allocation.

With this explanation it becomes evident that Imam Ali believes the common wealth to belong to the first category and believes it to belong to all members of the society and considered equality in the distribution of it. Now once again observe his answer, “Do you want me to win victory at the price of tyranny?” This answer embodies some lessons.

The first lesson is that the end does not justify the means. To achieve victory - even if the victorious ruler is Imam Ali, one cannot choose an inappropriate path to violate the truth. Imam Husayn repeats the same thing when he says, “If someone tries to reach his goal through sin, he shall lose way before everyone else and plunge into pitfall.”(3)

Sin can never be a way towards victory but it is a bypass.

“But they will meet deception.(4)

The lesson we get from the sayings of Imam Ali. “Indeed it is not proper to bestow one’s wealth upon those who do not deserve it. This raises the status of the one who bestows but debases him in the Hereafter. That is, it endears him among people but puts him to shame before God. He who squanders his wealth and bestows it upon those who do not deserve, God will make them ungrateful and he will not win their friendship. Thus, if some day something awful happens to him and he happens to need them, they will be among the most censorious friends.”(5)

So in distributing properties, one does not have to be too extravagant or too generous. Tabdhir means spreading the seeds in a place like a heath from which there will be no fruit. Apart from this minor syllogism, he propounds the major syllogism. “He who puts wealth in an inappropriate place, he shall be endeared by people but will be humbled before God.”

From this syllogism, it is concluded that he who squanders his wealth will be put to shame before God. This is the outcome of the first lesson. The first lesson was this; that from tyranny one cannot attain his end. Now the manifestation of the same truth can be observed. A ruler might be held dear through tyranny by powerful people, but he will be humbled before God and if one day he takes recourse to these powerful people, he shall realize that they are the worst friends. And they will save him from solitude. The secret lies in this that the cosmos is governed by God and if God does not will, man will not be dear in the eyes of people even if he shows great generosity.

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NOTES:

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1. Surah an-Nahl 16:90

2. Nahj al-Balaghah, sermon 126, p.56

3. Kafi, Vol.2, p.373, narration no.3

4. Surah Maryam 19:59

5. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon 126, p.57