The Prophet’s justice
December 24 2020 11:48 PM

Justice is a noble moral and a magnificent characteristic which is attractive to people, infuses hope in the hearts of the wronged, and the unjust pay utmost concern for it.
By virtue of justice, matters return to their normal and right path; rights are returned to their owners, people are happy and life is rectified. Welfare is present as long as there is justice, if justice is absent people will be miserable.
Justice is a moral of those who are great, a feature of those who are pious; it is the hope of the righteous and the way to success for the believers in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. Justice was constituent in the character of the prophets, the righteous, leaders, mentors, and above all, the seal of the Messengers, the master of humans, Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), enjoyed the greatest share of it.
Justice was an aspect of the great character of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, practised it before Allah, the Almighty, in his dealings with others, with his relatives and with others, his friends, antagonists and even his stubborn enemies. Allah ordered him to be just; Allah Says (what means): {O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do} [Qur’an 5:8]
Therefore, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, obeyed the Orders of Allah in all his affairs, adopting justice with his Companions and enemies.
He would never deny anyone justice, even with those who objected to him and showed an unfavorable attitude towards him. He would rather forgive them, as in this story. Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “While he was in Yemen, ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, sent a gold-nugget to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who consequently divided it among four persons: Al-Aqra ‘Ibn Haabis Al-Hanthali, ‘Uyaynah ibn Badr Al-Fazaari, ‘Alqamah ibn ‘Ulaathah Al-‘Aamiri (a man from Banu Kilaab), and Zaydul-Khayr At-Taa’i, who was a man from Banu Nabhaan, may Allah be pleased with him. Thereupon, the Quraysh got angry because the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, bestowed gifts on the chiefs of Najd and ignored them. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, justified this action by saying that he favoured them to soften their hearts. Afterwards, a man with a thick beard, prominent cheekbones, hollow eyes, a domed forehead and a shaved head came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, telling him to fear Allah. Thereupon, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Who then would obey Allah if I disobeyed Him? Does Allah the Almighty entrust me with your affairs on earth while you do not?” “ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Such great character is clearly highlighted in a most beautiful manner when the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, asked a person to seek retaliation from himself. Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “While the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was dividing something among people, a man came and attached himself to him. The Prophet slapped him with a date stalk. The man went out and the Prophet called him to retaliate. However, he told the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, that he had forgiven him.” [An-Nasaa’i]
Moreover the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, always showed justice and hated to be distinguished from his Companions. Instead he loved equality and endured difficulties from them. Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “On the day of the battle of Badr, every three persons would ride on one camel in turns. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, had to do so with his two companions: Abu Lubaabah and ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allah be pleased with him. When it was the turn of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, to walk, the two Companions offered to walk instead of him. However he refused and said that they were not stronger than him, and he was in need of Allah’s reward just as they were in need of it.” [Ahmad]
Practicing justice within the context of his family was not brought to a halt when the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was occupied with directing the affairs of the state or being engaged in battles. He used to apportion among his wives, invoking Allah, The Almighty, not to blame him for his special love or affection paid to certain wives; as reported in a Hadeeth narrated by At-Tirmithi, but it was classified as weak.
‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, the wife of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “If the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, wanted to set out on a journey, he would draw lots among his wives so that one of them would accompany him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: “A wife of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, sent to him food in a bowl as a gift. However ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with him, hit the bowl so the food fell out and the bowl broke. Therefore, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The spilled food has to be compensated for by other [food], and the broken bowl has to be compensated by another.” [At-Tirmithi- Hasan and Al-Bukhari (with different wording)]
In passing judgment among quarrelling persons, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was perfectly fair and never committed any injustice. Haraam ibn Muhayyisah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated on the authority of his father that a female-camel belonged to Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib, may Allah be pleased with him, entered a garden belonging to a man and caused damage there. Thus, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, judged that protection of property was the responsibility of its owners during the daytime and the owners of cattle had to keep them during night. This is according to a Hadeeth narrated by Ahmad.
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, did not approve suspension of the prescribed punishment set by Allah, The Almighty, to administer justice among people, even if the criminal was his relative or favorite. When a woman from Banu Makhzoom tribe committed theft, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, rejected the intercession of Usaamah, may Allah be pleased with him, for her and said his famous words: “O people, what led to the destruction of the nations preceding you was their acquittal of the noble person if he committed theft and infliction of the punishment on the weak if he committed theft. By Allah, if Faatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, committed theft I would cut her hand off.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Also the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to order his Companions to administer justice in all matters and to achieve balance. Addressing ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “O ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr, I have been informed that you observe daily fasting and perform voluntary night prayers the whole night. Do not do so, for your body, your eyes and your wife have due rights upon you.” [Muslim]
Through this noble character, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, could draw people’s attention to him, stimulate their feelings towards his sublime principles and set a unique method for the best nation - the Muslims - who guide all humanity to observe justice and obliterate oppression and injustice.
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Doubtful things between Halal and Haram
On the authority of Abu ‘Abdullah, Al-Nu’man Ibn Bashir, may Allah be pleased with them both, who said : ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), say: “The Halal (lawful) is clear and the Haram (prohibited) is clear, and in between them there are some things that are doubtful ,which most people do not know - if they are Halal or Haram - Thus ,whoever avoids the doubtful, safeguards his religion and honour, but one who engages in the doubtful, falls in the Haram.”
The example of this is like the shepherd who grazes his animals near Al-Hima (i.e. the ground reserved for animals belonging to the king); it is thus quite likely that some of his animals will stray into it (Al-Hima). Every king has a Hima and the Hima of Allah is what He has forbidden. Truly! There is a lump of flesh in the human body; when it is healthy, the whole body is healthy, and when it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Certainly it (this lump) is the heart.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The word Halal has entered English dictionaries. It literally means lawful. In technical terms, it means the name given to the legal category of things which are permissible in Islam. Halal is that which has been made lawful through the Holy Qur’an or through the Sunnah of the Beloved Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).
According to Islam, ‘the first principle established by Islam is that the things which Allah has created and the benefits derived from them are essentially for man’s use, and hence are permissible. Nothing is Haram except what is prohibited by a sound and explicit Nass (Qur’anic verse or clear, authentic and explicit Hadith) from the Law-Giver.’
This leads us to understand that the sphere of forbidden things is very small, while the sphere of permissible things is extremely vast.

Haram or Non-Halal:
Haram literally means the prohibited or unlawful. In technical language it means ‘that which the Law-Giver has absolutely prohibited, the Holy Qur’an or in the sound clear Sunnah; anyone who engages in it is liable to incur the punishment in this world.’
As a matter of fact, ‘there is only small number of sound and explicit texts (in The Qur’an and Sunnah) concerning prohibitions.’
In the eye of Shari’ah, there are different degrees of Haram. It may be major, minor and disliked.
By the way, the right to make lawful and to prohibit is the Right of Allah alone.

According to “A Dictionary of Islam”, Hima literally means “guarded, forbidden”, a portion of land reserved by the ruler of a country as a grazing ground; a private pasture. Truly, every prince has a Hima, which is forbidden to the people, and the Hima is the thing forbidden by him to men. In other words, the grounds reserved for animals belonging to the king which are out of bounds for others’ animals. So if the others’ animals extend beyond these bounds and graze in the king’s Hima, owners will be punished.
This is a beautiful simile to show us that those who violate Allah’s Hima [prohibitions] will be punished.

Guidance and Moralities
This Hadith addresses the believer’s conscience, which is the overseer whose duty is to take charge of work and see that it is properly done. In simpler words, it is the criterion that shows the Muslim’s adherence to the Halal, avoiding the Haram and keeping away from committing doubtful actions.
This Hadith urges Muslims to avoid doubtful actions since committing them could lure one to dare the prohibited actions themselves.
This great Hadith leads us to mention a number of rules concerning the Muslim’s behaviour and conduct individually and in society. Among them are:
1. The Halal is very clear in Islam. Examples: All wholesome things, including lawful foods and drinks, clothes, good adornments, marriage, etc. since the basic principle refers the permissibility of things as long as there is no a text [from the Qur’an or Sunnah] that forbids.
2. The Haram is also clear and limited. Examples: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, wine intoxicants, killing others, perjury, ingratitude, theft, bribery, adultery, fornication, usury, swearwords, insult, cheating, envy, hatred, lying and other similar things that good people avoid.
3. Whatever is conducive to the Haram is itself Haram.
4. Good intentions do not make the Haram acceptable.
5. The Haram is prohibited to everyone alike.
6. The prohibition of things is due to their impurity and harmfulness.
7. Necessity dictates exceptions.
However, this Hadith adds that ‘there is a grey area between the clearly Halal and the clearly Haram. This is the area of what is doubtful. Some people may not be able to decide whether a particular matter is permissible or forbidden, such confusion may be due to either doubtful evidence or because of doubt concerning the applicability of the text to the particular circumstances or matter in question.
‘In relation to such matters, Islam considers it an act of piety for the Muslim to avoid doing what is doubtful in order to stay clear of doing something Haram. This is similar to what was discussed earlier concerning the blocking of the avenues, which lead to what is Haram.’
By the by, a Muslim is allowed to deal with one most of whose property is Halal, even eating from his food, unless the Muslim recognises something Haram, which we are requested to avoid since eating Haram darkens the heart and spoils one’s actions.
This Hadith states that doing what is Halal, keeping away from what is Haram and avoiding doubtful things constitute an indication of a sound heart, which represents the centre of one’s leadership and source of good and evil.
The Beloved Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “He who gives for Allah’s sake, prevents for Allah’s sake, loves for His sake, hates for His sake, has achieved a complete faith.”
Finally, if we direct our tendencies and activities toward good and for Allah’s sake, our Iman will be perfect, inward and outward.
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‘Estrangement and the strangers’
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), said: “Islam began as something strange, and it will return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” [Muslim]

The meaning of ‘strange’ in the Hadith
Many times in many situations the people that follow the religion of Allah feel a sense of not belonging, of being out of place, of not fitting in, or, in other words, of being strange. This feeling is normal when being among non-Muslims, but, unfortunately, this feeling sometimes also occurs when one is among his fellow Muslims. A person sees his brothers and sisters doing acts that are contrary to Islam or taking part in innovations that sometimes even border on Kufr (disbelief), yet he feels that he does not have enough power or courage to stop them.
Some Muslims, especially if they do not have enough Taqwa (piety) or Islamic knowledge, buckle under the pressure of their peers and join in these acts, knowing that this is not what Allah wants them to do.
However, feeling helpless, since it seems that they are alone in their ideas and without any support to help them do what is right, they succumb to such pressures.
They should take consolation in the verses of the Qur’an and in the statements of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, describing this estrangement.

Why have they been called ‘strangers?’
Allah Says (what means): “So why were there not among the generations before you those of enduring discrimination forbidding corruption on earth – except a few of those We saved from among them…?” [Qur’an 11:116] This verse speaks of the few people on earth, the “strangers”, who prohibit mankind from evil. These are the same people the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, spoke about when he said:
“Islam began as something strange, and it will return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the ‘strangers’.” [Muslim]
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, who are those strangers?” He replied: “Those who reform the people when they become corrupt.” [Abu ‘Amr Ad-Dani]. In another narration, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said in response to the same question: “They are a small group of people among a large evil population. Those who oppose them are more than those who follow them.” [Ibn ‘Asakir]
These praiseworthy people are called ‘strangers’ since they are a small minority among mankind. Thus, Muslims are strangers among mankind; the true believers are strangers among Muslims; and the scholars are strangers among the true believers.
In reality, however, their estrangement is only because they are the minority and it is not because their actions and beliefs are strange. Allah Says (what means): “And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allah. They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying.” [Qur’an 6:116]
Allah also Says (what means):
“And most of the people, although you strive [for it], are not believers.” [Qur’an 12: 103] 
“…And indeed, many among the people are defiantly disobedient.” [Qur’an 5: 49]
Therefore, Allah, The All-Knowing Creator, Knows that most of mankind will not follow the truth. Only a few will be set apart that truly and correctly believe in Him; they are the ‘strangers’ from among mankind.
The strangers in belief, however, and the strangers in character and actions are in reality the majority of mankind, for they are strange to Islam and to the laws of Allah.
There are various types of estrangement, some of which are praiseworthy, some are blameworthy, and some are neither praiseworthy nor blameworthy. We will discuss these categories below.

The various types of estrangement
The first type of estrangement: This type is that of the “People of Allah and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who were mentioned previously. This estrangement is praiseworthy because it has been praised by Allah and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Therefore, this kind should be sought after and its people must be supported.
These ‘strangers’, then, are the true believers, because they only worship Allah, and they do not follow any path except the path of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
Thus, it is apparent that this estrangement does not cause its bearer any discontent. Rather, it is a comforting estrangement, a solace to the believers. The believer knows that Allah and those who believe are with him.
Allah, Almighty, sent His Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, to people because they had strayed. There were those who worshipped rivers, trees, idols, and there were Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians. Islam, when it first appeared among people, was strange to them. If a person from among them accepted Islam, he would be shunned and even tortured by his family and his tribe. He would live as a stranger among his own people. Eventually, however, Islam spread far and wide. Then the Muslims became stronger and more numerous, so much so, that the strangers were those who did not accept Islam.
But later, Satan deceived people again. Many people abandoned Islam, thus those who remained true believers became strangers again, just as when Islam began.
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said that this nation would be divided into seventy-three groups, all of which would go to Hell except the one Saved Group (those who follow Allah and His Messenger).
The true believer should be prepared to resign himself to the life of a stranger among his people, just like his predecessors who accepted Islam were treated by their people.
The second type of estrangement: It is the blameworthy one, for its people are the evil sinners, the ignorant and the arrogant from among mankind. Their estrangement is due to their refusal to follow the right path of Allah and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. This type is the estrangement of not conforming to the religion of Islam and, as such, it will remain strange even if its followers are numerous, its power is strong, and its existence is widespread. These are the strangers to Allah.
The third type of estrangement: This type is, in essence neither praiseworthy nor blameworthy. It is the type that a traveller experiences when he travels to a different country, like a person who lives in a place for a short period of time, knowing that he has to move on.
One aspect of this estrangement is that all of us, whether we realise it or not, are strangers in this life, for we will all go one day to our permanent abode in the Hereafter. This is the meaning of the Hadith of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, when he told ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him: “Live in this world as though you are a stranger or a wayfarer.” Thus, this category of estrangement has the potential to become a praiseworthy one, if we realise the meaning of this statement of Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
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