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Justice of God – eBook

justiceofgod

A short text on the nature of Allah’s attribute of `Adl (Justice) where the author discusses philosophical issues about its seeming incompatibility with events like natural disasters as well as with Allah’s own Divine Will.[divider]

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” width=”450px” ]NameJustice of God
Author: Ayatullah al-‘Uzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi
Translated by: Monir Shafiei[/box]

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Treating the Women with Justice

Treating the Women with Justice

[dropcap]An[/dropcap] unbeliever said to Abu Ja’far al- Ahwal: ” Tell me about the following Words of Allah, the Exalted:

Then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then marry only one.'(4:3)

and these Words of Him:

‘And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives, even though you may wish (it), but be not disinclined (from one) with total disinclination.'(4:129)

There is a difference between these two verses.” Abu Ja’far al- Ahwal said: “I had no answer. So, I went to Medina and came to Abu Abd Allah, peace be on him, and asked him about the difference between the two verses.

” Al- Sadiq said: “As for the verse: But if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then marry only one, He (Allah) has meant the expenses.

And as for the verse: And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives, even though you may wish (it), He (Allah) has meant love, for no one is able to do justice to two wives in love.

” Then Abu Ja’far came back to the unbeliever carrying the answer. But the unbeliever said: ‘You have brought this answer from Hijaz.

“‘(Bihar al- Anwar, v. 10, p.202)

All Curious Persons Ask Themselves

The-Most-Important-Question

1) Is peace, justice, security and freedom of people from the hands of any kind of oppression, injustice, discrimination and imperialism, the future destiny of humanity?

Or, as some people predict, chaos increases, distances become more, disharmonies and imbalances advance and finally a nuclear or super-nuclear world war destroys human civilization and if some humans remain on the earth then they will be retarded, handicapped, forlorn and helpless?

2) If the first opinion is correct and peace and justice is the destiny then why?

3) If the world should go to “justice”, “peace” and “brotherhood” then are they achievable without a revolution? And in other words, are “gradual corrections” and “reforms” capable of changing the general feature of the world with this much of conflicts?

4) If it is necessary for a revolution to happen then is it possible solely through material laws, or it isn’t possible without using immaterial principles and genuine human values?

5) And again, if we accept that it is possible to make such revolution, in any way, and then what should be the characteristics of the leader of this revolution?

6) Is the result of this revolution necessarily a “universal united government”?

7) Isn’t any preparation necessary in advance for such revolution?

8) Are these preparations available in the present world or not? And if they are not available then presently, is the world going toward these preparations or against them?

9) Are these matters, in any way, related to general belief of religions about the advent of a great divine peacemaker?

10) How is the general belief of Muslims about the advent of “Mahdi” and what is its relation with these future-maker issues?

11) Does believing in such advent draw us toward general reformation of the world through a multilateral revolution, or as some people assume, takes us far from that?

12) Is this general concept and belief of religions an objective reality and the result of logical reasons, or is it just an imagination for false saturation of repressed desires of humans in the general missing way which is “peace” and “justice’?

In this book, it is tried to answer these questions free of fanatical and extremist inclinations and free of illogical prejudices; answers which come from the depths of the soul, which are compatible with wisdom and answers which can satisfy the “wisdom”, “feelings”, “soul” and “spirit”.

It was a while that I was providing notes about the foresaid discussions, but congestion of the tasks in Qom didn’t permit me to “explain”, “organize” and “complete” them, and perpetual temptation which I have in writing a book prevented me to publish them in that form, and truly they were raw and incomplete.

But adventures and happenings took me to the place, which I did never believe.

The Port of Chabahar! … Which means the most far-off and insalubrious place of Iran, which is approximately 2300 km far from Tehran and has very limited facilities for living and its people are unbelievably deprived.

Fortunately, this forced journey happened in winter, a winter which was sometimes spring and sometimes summer with its water and ices and cooling equipment’s!

Since maybe 90 percent of the people were Sunnis, it was an opportunity to contact some of their educated ones, remembering the time when I was in Hejaz, and gatherings were made which were mostly formed by these religious brothers; fortunately, the result of these gatherings were interesting and considerable.

In this desert region, beside blue waters of Sea of Oman, under its sky full of stars, and in this corner of solitude, naturally there were more opportunities for studying; and by using this unexpected opportunity, one of the first discussions which I began to study was this discussion (and beside that, some jurisprudential studies which were not possible to be performed in this way in Qom); and totally I concluded that according to “عَسى أَنْ تَکْرَهُوا شَیئاً وَهُوَ خَیرٌ لَکُم” (maybe you dislike a thing but it is good for you) maybe spending these times of “exile” was necessary in different aspects.

I hope that the discussions of this book would be an answer to the request of educated persons who intend to study the issue of the advent of the great universal peacemaker as a research.

Also, I hope that reading this book gives us new visions for the fight which we have began against “oppression and corruption” and we continue this fight until the end of domination of tyrants over our society.

Albeit, certainly it is possible that the content of this book has deficiencies especially because few research books have been written in this subject.

The author will appreciate any opinion, correction and criticism of dear readers and experts to be sent directly to him (to Qom seminary).

Chabahar, Nasir Makarim Shirazi

Safar 1398 – Bahman 1356 – February 1978

What is Justice?

Justice

Justice contains two varying meanings. The extensive meaning of justice is “to put everything in its place,” or in other words, being in balance and equilibrium. This meaning or sense of justice rules over the entire created universe – in the galaxies, within an atom, in the structure of a human being’s existence and in all plants and animals. This is what the famous tradition of the Holy Prophet refers to when he says:

“It is by means of justice that all of the heavens and the earth exist.”

For example, if the powers of attraction and repulsion of the earth lose their sense of balance and one of these two is removed or destroyed, the earth will be drawn towards the sun, set on fire and destroyed or it will leave its orbit and wander in the endless space of the universe until it is destroyed.

Another meaning of justice is “following individual rights.” The opposite of justice, then, is oppression in the sense of taking the rights of some and giving them exclusively to others or to take away someone’s rights and give them to another, or to discriminate in the sense that some people are given their rights and others are not.

It is clear that the second meaning is a particular one and the first one is general. It should be noted that both meanings are truthful in relation to God, even though the second meaning will be more emphasized here.

The meaning of God’s Justice is to neither remove the rights of a person nor give the rights of one to another or to discriminate between people. He is Just in all senses of the word and the reasons or proof of His Justice will be mentioned in the next lesson.

Oppression whether it is by way of taking away a person’s rights or by way of giving the rights of one to another, or by waste and discrimination, does not exist in the pure Essence of God. He never punishes a person who does good and He never encourages a person who does evil. No one will be held responsible for the sins of another. He does not burn the wet and dry together.

If everyone is in error in a community except for one person, God separates the accounts of that one person from that of others and does not punish that person along with the sinners.

And the fact that the Ash’arites said, “Even if God sends all of the prophets to hell and all of the criminals and sinners to heaven, it is not oppression,” is vain babble and baseless. The intellect, which is never polluted with superstition and discrimination, will not listen to these ugly words.

What is Justice?

What is Justice?

1. Why was Justice selected among all of God’s Qualities, considered to be a principle of religion?

In this study, before anything else, this point must be made clear as to why the great ‘ulama consider justice, one of God’s Qualities, to be a principle among the five pillars of religion.

God is the Knower (Alim), Powerful (Qadir), Just (Adil), Wise (Hakim), Merciful (Rahman), Compassionate (Rahim), Primordial (Azali), Eternal (Abadi), Creator (Khaliq) and Sustainer (Razzaq). Why was only justice selected from among all of these and it became one of the five pillars of religion?

In response to this important question, several points should be noted:

a. Among God’s Qualities, justice is so important that many other Qualities return to it because justice in the general, extensive sense means ‘putting everything in its place’.

Here, then, Hakim, Razzaq, Rahman and Rahim, and similar Qualities, are all dependent upon it.

b. Resurrection — just as we have mentioned — is related to Divine Justice as well as the mission of the Prophet and the responsibility of the Imams.

c. At the beginning of Islam, a difference of Opinion arose over the issue of the justice of the Creator:

A group of the Sunni Muslims, who were called the Ash’arites, completely denied God’s justice. They said that justice and oppression make no sense in relation to God. He is the Ruler of the entire created universe. It belongs to Him and whatever He does is just.

They did not even believe in the intellect’s good and evil. They said, “Our intellect alone cannot distinguish between good and bad, even the goodness of doing good or the evil of oppression…” and many such similar errors.

Another group of the Sunnis, who were called the Mu’tazilites, and all of the Shi’ites, believe in the principle of justice in relation to the Creator and they believe that God never commits oppression.

In order to separate out those two groups from one another, they called the second group, the Adliyah, in which justice (adl), as a principle, was the sign of the school and the first group were called ‘qhayr adliyah’ (other than justice). Shi’ites were among the ‘Adliyah.

The Shi’ites, in order to distinguish their school from that of the other Adliyah, placed imamate as one of the principles as well. Thus, wherever there is a discussion of ‘justice’ and ‘imamate’, this is in reference to the Shi’ite Imami school.

d. As the fundamentals of religion are continuous rays of the principles of religion and as the ray of justice of the Creator is extremely effective in human society, and the most important base for human society is formed by ‘social justice’, the selection or choice of the principle of justice as one of the principles of religion is a means to establish justice in human society and to struggle against any kind of oppression.

Just as the unity of Essence, Qualities of the Creator, the unity of worship of Him, the light and unity of His Oneness, a solidification of human society and the unity of Qualities are strengthened, the leadership of the prophets and imams is also inspired by the issue of ‘real leadership’ in human society. Thus, this principle of justice of the Creator, Who rules over the entire world, is the sign of the necessity for justice in all areas of human society.

The great created universe is based upon Divine Justice. Human society will also not remain without it.

2. What is Justice?

Justice contains two varying meanings.

a. The extensive meaning of this word, just as we have said, is ‘to put everything in its place’. In other words, it is being in balance and equilibrium. This meaning or sense of justice rules over the entire created universe, in the galaxies, within an atom, in the structure of a human being’s existence and all plants and animals. This is what the famous Tradition of the Holy Prophet refers to when he says, “It is by means of justice that all of the heavens and the earth exist.”

For example, if the powers of ‘attraction’ and ‘repulsion’ of the earth lose their sense of balance and one of these two is removed or destroyed, the earth will be drawn towards the sun, set on fire and destroyed or it will leave its circuit and wander in the endless space of the universe until it is destroyed.

b. Another meaning of ‘justice’ is ‘the following of individual rights’ and the point opposite is ‘oppression’ in the sense of taking ‘the rights of someone’ and giving them exclusively to others or to take away someone’s rights arid give them to another, to discriminate in the sense that some people are given their rights and others are not.

It is clear that the second meaning is a ‘particular’ one and the first one is ‘general’. It should be noted that both meanings are truthful in relation to God, even though the second meaning will be more emphasized here.

The meaning of God’s justice is not to remove the rights of a person nor give the rights of one to another nor to discriminate between people. He is Just in all sense of the word and the reasons or proof of His Justice will be mentioned in the next lesson.

Oppression, whether it be the taking away of a person’s rights or by giving the rights of one to another, or wastage and discrimination, does not exist in the pure Essence of God. He never punishes a person who does good deeds. He never encourages a person who does evil, no one will be held responsible for the sins of another. He does not burn the wet and dry together.

Even if everyone is in error in a large society, other than one person, God separates the accounts of that one person from that of others and does not punish that person along with sinners.

And the fact that the Ash’arites said, “Even if God sends all of the prophets to hell and all of the criminals and sinners to heaven, it is not oppression,” is vain babble and baseless.
The intellect, which is never polluted with superstition and discrimination, will not listen to these ugly words.

3. The Difference between Justice and Equality

Another important point which should be pointed out in this lesson is that sometimes ‘justice’ is confused with ‘equality’ and it seems that the meaning of justice is that ‘equality should be maintained’ whereas this is not so.

Equality is not a condition for justice. Rather, rights and priorities must be considered.

As an example, justice in a classroom of students is not that they all receive equal grades and justice between two workers is not that they receive equal wages. Rather, justice is in this that each student to be graded according to his knowledge and ability and each worker to be judged according to his work and activity.

In the world of nature, also, justice in the extensive sense means just this. If the heart of a whale, which weighs one ton, be compared to the heart of a sparrow, which is perhaps not more than one gram in weight, if they were equal, there would be no justice and if the roots of a very tall tree were equal to the roots of a small plant, this is not justice and is equivalent to oppression.

Justice is that every creature receives its rights in proportion to its abilities.

Think and Answer

1. Why, among all of the Qualities of God, is Justice known to be or recognized as being one of the principles of religion?
2. Who were the Ash’arites? What do you know about their beliefs?
3. What reactions does belief in Divine Justice have in human society?
4. How many meanings does justice have? Explain them.
5. Does justice mean the same as equality?

What is meant by ‘justice’ with respect to polygamy?

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In verse 3 of SuratulNisa, we read:

فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً

“…but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one.”

Similarly, in verse 129 of this same chapter, we read:

وَ لَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَ لَوْ حَرَصْـتُمْ

“And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives, even though you may wish (it).”

The question that arises here is: What is meant by ‘justice’ with respect to multiple wives? Is this ‘justice’ associated with issues of life like sleeping together, gifting items and things, and providing ease and comfort, or is it associated with respect to the heart and human sentiments too?

Without any doubt justice, with respect to affections and sentiments of the heart, is something that is beyond the control of man. Who possesses the ability to exercise total control over his affection – a state, which is governed by factors external to himself? It is for this reason that Allah has not considered the observance of this kind of justice to be obligatory and in verse 129 of this chapter says:

وَ لَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَ لَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ

“And you have it not in your power to do justice between wives, (with respect to sentimental inclinations) even though you may wish (it).”

Thus, till such time that the internal sentiments do not result in granting preference to some of the spouses over the others in actions, it is not prohibited. What is obligatory upon a man is to maintain justice amongst the spouses with respect to issues that are practical and external in dimension.

From the above explanation it becomes plain that those, who have sought to correlate the above verse:

فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُوا فَوَاحِدَةً

with verse number 129:

وَ لَنْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسِاءِ وَ لَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ

and thus conclude that polygamy is totally forbidden in Islam, have made a grave error. – They have argued that the first verse places the condition of ‘justice’, while the second verse considers this justice to be an impossible task for the men.,

As has been referred to previously, the kind of justice, whose observance is beyond the ability of man, is that which is associated with the internal sentiments, and this is not one of the requirements for polygamy; the condition for polygamy is the justice which is associated with acts and deeds.

Testifying to this aspect is the latter part of the verse 129 of this same chapter, which says:

فَلا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوها كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ

“Now that you cannot observe justice with respect to your sentiments between your spouses, at least do not direct all your sentimental inclinations towards one, leaving the other in suspense.”

Consequently, people who have taken one part of this verse and abandoned the other part, have erred in the issue of polygamy and it is a cause for astonishment for every researcher.

Incidentally, according to Islamic traditions, it appears that the first person to raise this objection was Ibn Abi al-‘Auja – one of the materialists and a contemporary of Imam as-sadiq (a.s) – who argued over it with Hisham b. Hakam, the diligent Islamic scholar. Not finding the answer to it, Hisham started out from his city, Kufah, towards Madinah and approached Imam as-sadiq (a.s).

The Imam (a.s) was greatly astonished to see him in Madinah at a time when it was not the season for Hajj and ‘Umrah. Hisham presented his question, whereupon the Imam (a.s) said: “The justice intended in verse 3 of Suratul Nisa is the justice associated with the maintenance of the spouses (and observation of their rights, and the manner of conduct and behaviour) whereas the justice in verse 129, which has been regarded as an impossible task, is the justice associated with internal sentiments (thus, polygamy, with adherence to the Islamic conditions, is neither prohibited nor impossible).”

After returning from his journey, when Hisham presented Ibn Abi al-‘Auja with the answer he swore that it was not Hisham’s answer but somebody else’s.

It is quite evident that if we are interpreting the term ‘justice’ differently in the two verses it is because of the clear context that is present in both the verses. The verse under discussion clearly states: Do not direct all your inclinations towards one spouse, and has thus permitted the selection of two spouses, but on the condition that, despite the difference in internal inclinations, no injustice should be done to the other with respect to actions and deeds. Besides, the initial portion of verse 3 of this same chapter expressly permits polygamy.