Social Justice in Islam
Ahmed Alzahrani is a graduate student at the University of Central Missouri, pursuing a Masters in Mass Communication. He is a guest blogging this week for the Show Me Justice Film Festival.
Did you know Islam embraces Social Justice and teaches the importance of implementing it in our daily lives? Social justice is the equal distribution of resources and opportunities, with no prejudice as pertains to gender, race, social class, religion, etc. However, there is no upper hand of a rich Muslim over a poor Muslim except in terms of righteousness. Islam calls for social justice for non-Muslims as well in terms of peace, treatment and rights.
In the Quran, God promises men and women equal reward if they have belief and are righteous: “Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.” [Noble Quran 16:97] Also, Islam teaches the importance of equality and gradually abolished slavery. Only belief and obedience to God is taken into account, not race, social classes, etc. Prophet Muhammad said, “O mankind, your Lord is One and your father is one. You all descended from Adam, and Adam was created from earth. He is most honored among you in the sight of God who is most upright. No Arab is superior to a non-Arab, no colored person to a white person, or a white person to a colored person except by Taqwa (piety).” the Quran said “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” [Noble Quran 49:13] And, Islam clearly mandates non-Muslims should enjoy fair rights as well. Prophet Muhammad stated, “Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, curtails their rights, burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad ) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” Although God has presented us with methods of how to lead our lives in a way that does good to us and the society in whole; there is still a lot of injustice due to bad choices made by those who choose to remain ignorant. However, finally on the day of Judgment, justice will prevail. God promises us that everyone will be dealt with justly and nothing – not even the weight of a mustard seed- shall be forgotten:
Islam is not only a religion, but a system of social justice pertaining to the needs of everyone. The goal is to bring harmony and cohesion in each and every society in the world. We all strive to be just and ensure each person is receiving their rights as God intended.