Justice in Islam

February 24, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“His Throne is upon the waters, and in His other hand is the balance (Justice), and He raises and lowers (whomever He will).” – a hadith of the Prophet (pbuh)

One of the Names of God is Al-Adl, the Just, and in Islam, Justice demands a balance, a fairness that is clearly seen and felt. And the best example may be the ‘best of creation’ himself:

When the Prophet (peace be unto him) was drawing near death, he availed himself of one last chance to practice justice:

He came to the mosque wrapped in a blanket, and there were those who saw signs of death in his face. “If there is any among you,” he said, “whom I have caused to be flogged unjustly, here is my back. Strike in your turn. If I have damaged the reputation of any among you, may he do likewise to mine. To any I have injured, here is my purse… It is better to blush in this world than in the hereafter.” A man claimed a debt of three dinars and was paid.

In Islam and on the Sufi path as well, the highest level of Justice is to do Justice without demanding it, recognizing that our own demands may be the cause of the imbalance itself. Thus, a story is told of Dhu’l Nun al Misri, the great Egyptian Sufi saint. There was a drought in Egypt, and the people implored him to pray to God for rain. He did so, and during his prayer, God informed him that he himself was the source of the drought. So he left Egypt, and the rains came.

And for the dictators in the world,  a reminder:

Beware of oppressing someone with no defense against you except God. – Hazrat Ali

- Edited from The Virtues of the Prophet, (Chapter IX) by Charles Upton.

Ya Haqq!


Creation is Love

June 28, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

You will never receive the love destined for you, or give the love you are destined to give, if you fail to realize the love you are.

You are a pure gift. At every breath you draw, your existence is breathed into you. It is Love; it is from Love. Love creates you, and Love is the substance of you. The pain of life hides this truth from you, but it is nonetheless true – truer than all the loss, truer than all the suffering. Existence itself – your very own existence – is pure Mercy.

Alhamdulillah!

- From Charles Upton’s excellent and insightful book, Reflections of Tasawwuf.

Ya Haqq!


Virtues of the Prophet (pbuh)

October 6, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Once when the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, was returning from battle, he told his companions: ‘Now we are returning from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad.’ ‘And what is the greater jihad?’ they asked. The Prophet answered: ‘The struggle against the self.’

                                                                – Prophetic Hadith

It has been said that ‘Islam is the meeting between God as such and man as such.’ For the nature of God, we have the first part of the shadaha: ‘I testify that there is no god but God.’ For the nature of man – for there can be no conception of Who God is without a corresponding idea of what man is – we have the second half: ‘And I testify that Muhammad is God’s Prophet.’ For Islam, the door to the true nature of man is the character of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. He is the Complete Man, al-Insan al-Kamil. He is the exemplar of our fitrah, of the human form in its original nature as God created it. The love Muslims feel for the person of the Prophet has to do with the fullness of his humanity – not in any sentimental sense, but rather because in him is revealed an unfailing and providential capacity to bring out the full humanity of any and every situation, and act upon it. Whichever way you turn, there is the face of God, says the Qur’an. But it would be almost equally true to say, ‘Whichever way you turn, there is the example of the Prophet.’

- From the Introduction to Virtues of the Prophet: A Young Muslim’s Guide to the Greater Jihad, the War against the Passions, by Charles Upton.

This is a wonderful book, with insightful writing into the Mercy, Spiritual Poverty, Detachment, Humility, Courtesy, Modesty, Discretion, Generosity, Hospitality, Trustworthiness, Veracity, Fear of God, Trust in God, Patience, Contentment, Courage, Justice, and Dignity which are the Synthesis of the blessed Prophet’s Virtues (pbuh).

These virtues are capitalized because they are the general chapter headings, each being a gem of understanding into the nature of the particular virtue as it is exemplified in the totality of the character of the Prophet (pbuh). It is an excellent book for a young Muslim man or woman. Inshallah, they will benefit from it.

Ya Haqq!


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