Stand Out Firmly for Justice

“Oh you who believe!  Stand out firmly for justice as witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourself, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both…and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.”  ~Qur’an 4:135

The Qur’an is very clear on the subject that true justice does not play favorites.  It must be delivered to everyone equally, regardless of their relationship to us, or the power differential (as in rich or poor, parents or children.) Allah is the final judge and the one who has knowledge of all deeds and intentions.  We are responsible for the purity of our own deeds, and the intention to “enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.”  (Qur’an: 3:114)

Our society is in decline right now because we have neglected the fundamental principle that of  equal justice before the law.  We have a president and many of his appointees who believe they are above the law.  Society is filled with people with so much money and political influence that they believe they can buy their way into any position, any advantage, and any situation that will benefit them at the expense of so many others, without compunction.  How else could large corporations with billions and billions of dollars of assets be grabbing government money that is meant for businesses and individuals who are truly struggling to survive?  They believe they have a right to anything they can demand or grab, and they have no conscience that tells them otherwise.  They take whatever they can, and they get away with it because we allow it.

Our society is also filled with people of privilege who believe that they have somehow earned their privilege and therefore deserve it.  We do not acknowledge that our privilege comes largely by denying it to others.  We do not acknowledge that we continually benefit from the labor of people who are not afforded a decent wage, a fair share of society’s perks, or any security of person or possessions.  We do not acknowledge or reconcile the horrible sins of the past which have led to present persistent issues in the present.  When a white man and a black man are charged with the exact same crime in the exact same location and circumstances, the white man will go free and the black man will be sent to jail.  The white man does not know or care what happens to the black man, as long as he himself is free.  If he thinks about it at all, he says to himself, “That’s too bad, but it’s not my problem.”  We have forgotten the powerful and prophetic words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:  “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  

We must learn to believe and experience the truth of our interconnectedness.  What happens to one of us happens to all of us.  If one of our brothers is murdered by the police, we too are murdered, and we, too, are the murderers.  If one of our sisters is raped, we are also raped, and we are also the rapist.  We are responsible on many levels for everything that happens to everyone, everywhere in the world.  Think about it.  We have created this terrible imbalance of power, these inequities, and this horrendous dehumanization of people and cultures, because we have allowed it to happen.  We have stood by and said, “Well, there’s nothing I can do about that.”  We have made excuses for people and acted helpless, or turned the other way.  We have convinced ourselves we are powerless and as a result, we have abdicated power to those who are determined to grab power and keep it at any cost.  So beware – what happens to us and our society will be exactly what we deserve, unless we choose to make real changes right here and right now.  “God will not change the condition of a people unless they change the condition of their hearts.”  (Qur’an 13:11)

Leave a Reply