Upholding justice isn’t limited to grand gestures or monumental decisions; it is embedded in the everyday choices we make.
Upholding Justice in Daily Life: A Quranic Perspective
The Quran places immense emphasis on justice. Numerous verses remind us of our responsibility to stand up for justice, even if it’s against our interests. One of the most compelling verses is: “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.” (Quran 4:135). This unwavering call for justice underscores the critical role every individual plays in creating a just society.
In today’s interconnected world, our actions and decisions, even seemingly small ones, have rippling effects on those around us. As a result, upholding justice isn’t limited to grand gestures or monumental decisions; it is embedded in the everyday choices we make.
Everyday Justice for Children
Children are incredibly perceptive, and from a young age, they begin to develop their understanding of right and wrong, often drawing from their surroundings, particularly their families. As caretakers and mentors, we can use everyday scenarios to instill in them the profound values of justice the Quran promotes:
Protecting a Peer from Bullying:
When a child witnesses a classmate being bullied, they face a moral choice. They can choose to stand by silently, join the oppressor, or stand up against the wrong. Encouraging them to support the victim not only halts oppression but also promotes a culture of empathy and justice.
Saying No to Cheating:
Children may come across opportunities to cheat in games or tests. Here, they have a decision: to gain an unfair advantage or to uphold truthfulness. It’s an early lesson that integrity and justice are more valuable than short-lived gains.
Speaking the Truth:
There will be instances where speaking the truth might bring about consequences. A broken vase, a lost item, or even a mistake at school. The Quran says, “…And cover not the truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth when you know (what it is).” (Quran 2:42). This can serve as a foundation to teach children that while truth might be challenging, it is always the just path.
The Soul’s Inclination Towards Justice
The human soul, in its purest form, inclines towards the truth and, by extension, justice. The Quran describes it as the tranquil soul, ‘Nafs al-Mutmainna’, which finds peace in the remembrance of Allah. Making choices that go against the principles of justice can create unrest within our souls, leading to spiritual discord. When we oppress, not only do we harm others, but we oppress our souls by distancing them from their inherent nature and their Creator. As Allah says, “…Indeed, oppression is darkness on the Day of Resurrection.” (Quran 39:60).
Standing with the Oppressed
When we consistently choose justice and truth, we automatically align ourselves with the oppressed. This alignment is not passive; it’s an active choice to stand against oppression in all its forms, be it social, economic, or political. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Beware! Whosoever oppresses a Muahid (i.e., non-Muslim living in Muslim land with an agreement of protection) or snatches (any of) his rights or causes him pain which he cannot bear, or takes anything from him without his permission, then I will fight against you on the Day of Judgment.” This hadith further underscores our duty to justice, not only among Muslims but for all of humanity.
Upholding Justice for a Better Tomorrow
The beautiful aspect of justice in Islam is its emphasis on intention and effort rather than the outcome. Our duty is to stand for justice; the results are in Allah’s hands. Every effort we make, every choice towards justice, adds to the collective effort in building a safer, more just world. As Allah says, “…And whoever does a speck of good will see it (returned), and whoever does a speck of evil will see it (returned).” (Quran 99:7-8).
Five Practical Points for Upholding Justice Daily:
Encourage your child to begin each day with a self-reflective question, “How can I uphold justice today?” As followers of the Ahlulbayt (AS) we are also encouraged to reflect at the end of each day on our actions and how they can be improved. We are all a work in progress but awareness and reflection are key.
Continuously educate yourself and your child about the principles of justice in Islam, drawing from the Quran and Hadith.
Actively seek to understand the struggles and perspectives of others, particularly the oppressed. Don’t shy away from reading about oppression or discussing painful topics with your child. Keep it age appropriate but don’t shield fully. People are living like this and we have a collective duty towards them. That starts with facing it and understanding it.
Engage in community initiatives that promote justice and equality. This will show your child Islam is not about individual comfort and ease but about safeguarding a better global community.
Always ask Allah for guidance to make just choices and to stand firm in the face of oppression. And teach your child to do the same.
In conclusion, our commitment to justice, as defined by the Quran, is a testament to our faith and our love for Allah. By making conscious choices daily, we pave the way for a world that resonates with the values we hold dear. Every step we take towards justice is a step closer to Allah, and in that journey lies immense reward and tranquility.