IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
BEING THE SECOND SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF SOFAR 14/SOFAR/14397AH (3/NOV/2017CE)
SOCIAL JUSTICE: A LESSON FROM THE HIJRAH
All praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the Protector, the Provider, the firm possessor of strength. He says: (يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ إِنْ يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًا فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَى بِهِمَا فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الْهَوَى أَنْ تَعْدِلُوا وَإِنْ تَلْوُوا أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا) “ O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” We praise Him- the Exalted, the Glorified, we thank Him and seek help from Him and guidance. He whom Allah guides is the [rightly] guided, but he whom He leaves astray – never will you find for him a protecting guide. I testify there is no god but Allah, the Only One, He has no associate. I testify that Muhammad (pbuh) is the servant of Allah and His messenger. May Allah bestow peace and blessings on him (pbuh), his families, pious companions and all those who follow his guidance till the day of recompense.
As to what follow,
O people, I enjoin you and myself to fear Allah- the Exalted in the secret and the open, in compliance with the words of Allah thus: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ ( آل عمران : 102 )) ” O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].” (3: 102) .
Dear brothers and sisters, this is the second sermon in the month of Sofar, and we are still on lessons from the Hijrah. Today – by Allah’s will, we shall be discussing: Social Justice as a lesson from the Hijrah.
Social Justice as a lesson from the Hijrah
Dear Muslims, human societies can not exit without systems and laws guiding it. The laws stand as a unique method to safeguard rights, protects every individual’s dignity, ensure wealth is properly utilized, and responsibilities and rights of both individuals and groups are guaranteed. Therefore, there cannot be a society without rules guiding it, and there cannot exists a society without justice that will ensure the laws are applied to every one without exception.
What is Justice?
Justice is a very important human concept which means equality of all individual concerning their rights, and duties, according to each person’s ability and condition. It is not a demonstration of justice to treat the strong and the weak in the same manner. Under this terminology come the concept of equal opportunities for everyone and access to for fair distribution of resources, wealth and material possessions.
Achieving Justice in the Society:
Achieving justice in the society is not an easy issue, especially in light of the spread of corruption- to which absence of justice is one of its causes and at the same time one of its effects. Achieving justice is realizable through the existence of credible people in the community who would take charge of the state’s affairs and its organs, receive arbitration from the people on matters of discords and quarrels amongst them, through creation of strong judiciary institutions capable of dispensing justice in cases of disputes that occur between the people. In a way that would grant the people a sense of equality in their rights and duties, without discrimination on the basis of race, sectarian, religious, or on the basis of social status or physical forms or other forms of discrimination that could create tension in the society that would be difficult to get rid of over a long period of time except with the intervention of sincere personalities capable to overcome these crises.
The absence of justice from societies:
The absence of justice from societies is the cause of chaos, injustice, corruption, poverty and waste of rights. Such environment thereby becomes fertile for extremism, intolerance, moral decline and the prevalence of crimes. Justice also disappears from the society when a certain class of people control state’s resources while the larger part of the society experience the absence of justice, and this causes all previously mentioned calamities.
Justice is the valve that preserves states and societies:
Justice is the valve that preserves nations and societies. The concern is not in the lack of resources, but the real concern is that everyone feels that the lack of resources is a general condition that affects everyone. The theorization of justice, equality in opportunities, and respect for rights, cannot satisfy people as long as they have not seen these theorists transform from theorization to practical application of the theories. The presence of corrupt judges, leaders who embezzle, and doctors who have sold their conscience gives people the impression that these people were created for theorization and that justice is not workable. The toiling worker only takes the crumbs, while the one who sits in the most luxurious atmosphere claiming jealous concern for the public interest, steal and loot and at times may kill to satisfy his instincts and desires.
Social justice, is an economic and social system that aims to remove large economic disparities among the strata of society. It is sometimes called civil justice, and describes the idea of a society that prevails in justice in all its aspects, rather than confining that to the justice of the law alone. In general, social justice is understood as providing fair treatment and a participatory share of society’s goods.
Social justice stands as a veritable matter for debate:
Social justice stands as a rich matter for discourse in politics, religion, and the civilized society. From the left’s point of view, social justice is represented in the economic utilitarianism, and redistribution of national revenue, equal opportunity, and other aspects of the civil society.
Justice in Islam:
Islam established the rules of justice among mankind, because justice is the foundation of possession, is the highest model and the timeless values at all times and places. Allah made obligatory upon the believers to follow the truth, abide by honesty, and to eschew injustice, because the end of injustice is evil, and a darkness of the Day of Resurrection. Allah does not love the oppressors. Islam praises the human conscience to painstakingly apply justice in words and action, especially in matters of witness, because the witness is for Allah which is not permissible to conceal. Allah says: (﴿وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ وَلَمْ تَجِدُوا كَاتِبًا فَرِهَانٌ مَقْبُوضَةٌ فَإِنْ أَمِنَ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضًا فَلْيُؤَدِّ الَّذِي اؤْتُمِنَ أَمَانَتَهُ وَلْيَتَّقِ اللَّهَ رَبَّهُ وَلَا تَكْتُمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ وَمَنْ يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ آثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ﴾ [البقرة:2\283])
“And if you are on a journey and cannot find a scribe, then a security deposit [should be] taken. And if one of you entrusts another, then let him who is entrusted discharge his trust [faithfully] and let him fear Allah, his Lord. And do not conceal testimony, for whoever conceals it – his heart is indeed sinful, and Allah is Knowing of what you do. (2: 283)
Islam also imposes on the believers to uphold fairness and justice saying the truth even where that is against themselves or their parents and relatives, Allah says:
(يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاء لِلّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالأَقْرَبِينَ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقَيرًا فَاللّهُ أَوْلَى بِهِمَا فَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ الْهَوَى أَن تَعْدِلُواْ وَإِن تَلْوُواْ أَوْ تُعْرِضُواْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا﴾ [النّساء:4\135)
“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” (4: 135).
In the verse, is a directive that we should not fear the blame of the blamer in matters of Allah’s directives. We should not favour the rich due to his riches, nor the poorer due to his poverty, but we profess the truth because that is better to be followed. It is not permissible for a Muslim to follow the whim of the soul and deviate from justice and righteousness.
Islam enjoins the observance of the rules of justice with friends and enemies alike. It is not permissible for anyone to deviate from the path of truth by reason of hatred and, even with enemies, because justice is of piety of the hearts. Allah says:
(﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ لِلّهِ شُهَدَاء بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ﴾ [المائدة:5\8])
“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..” [Al-Ma’a’idah 5: 8]
The Second Sermon
All praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, his household, companions and all those who follow his footsteps till the day of judgement.
As to what follows,
Allah says: (إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ (90) وَأَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ إِذَا عَاهَدْتُمْ وَلَا تَنْقُضُوا الْأَيْمَانَ بَعْدَ تَوْكِيدِهَا وَقَدْ جَعَلْتُمُ اللَّهَ عَلَيْكُمْ كَفِيلًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ)
Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. ( 91 ) And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have taken it, [O believers], and do not break oaths after their confirmation while you have made Allah, over you, a witness. Indeed, Allah knows what you do.
Servants of Allah, justice is a fundamental quality of an effective government. The Nigerian government- both Federal or State have shown no deserving concern for this quality.
We commend the federal government for its diligence in fighting corruption of various kinds in Nigeria, especially for the courage of President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Secretary to the federal government: Babachir Lawal from his post as a punishment for his economic corruption. ….
Oh Allah accept our fast, prayers, bowing and prostration. O Allah ease for us Your remembrance, gratitude to You and sound worship. O Allah make the Qur’an the succor to our hearts, light to our faces, remover of our grief and sorrow. O Allah show us the truth and grant us the wherewithal to follow it, show us falsehood and grant us the wherewithal to desist. O Allah forgive the believers; men and women, and the Muslim men and women, both the living and the deceased, You are All- hearing, most near, answerer of prayers. O Allah make this nation- Nigeria peaceful, safe, generous, with abundant welfare, and all other Muslim nations.