Harun Yahya - Justice and Tolerance in the Qur'an
Justice and Tolerance in the Qur'an

"If you do judge, judge between them justly. God loves the just."
(Our'an: 5:42)


As you read these lines, wars are going on in all corners of the world. People are being forced from their homes, dying and being maimed, injured or disabled. In heavy rain and severe cold, refugees struggling to walk to their destination hundreds of miles away are being threatened with starvation, epidemics and death, while those who are responsible for such misery sleep soundly in their warm beds. These events do not evoke a speck of guilty conscience in them. A look at some of the countries in the world in general today reveals that justice has become a tool which is applied at will by minorities who possess material wealth. If they only "came to reason," they would then extend a helping hand to the desperate, and would exercise justice. In all corners of the world, some people have ended up on welfare because of abuse of power, unjust earnings and exploitation of the poor. While punishment is inflicted on the innocent, the real offenders are awarded respect and admiration.

In brief, injustice wins out in many countries all over the world.

What is the justification for this? Don't people feel the need for just administrations?

When we talk about justice, everybody shares essentially the same basic concepts, and these are accepted by the majority of people right away. This justice will include people from all walks of life, with no discrimination between them. It will allocate resources fairly among people, without taking their race, religion and language into consideration and will aim to create a world in which the superior is the one who is right, not the powerful.

What often distances people from justice is their rejection of it. They may concur in principle, but they reject it when it conflicts with their own interests. Everyone, for instance, spurns bribery and in theory agrees that taking bribes is immoral. However, faced with an attractive offer of a bribe, some people fabricate "justifications" and violate the principles they theoretically agree with.

Similarly, everybody knows and agrees that in finding out the truth and in the establishment of justice, the authenticity of witness statements are of major importance. In courts, however, some people whose evidence is given may readily lie and mislead the jury when their own interests or the interests of someone they love are at stake. These people accept justice in principle, yet see no reason not to violate it when the truth and their personal interests turn out to be at odds. Alternatively, everybody agrees that public resources should be shared equally. However, the recipients of an "aid campaign" may attempt to take a greater share and even tread over others to accomplish that. In this case, too, personal interests supersede justice.

The examples are legion. Yet we ultimately face the very same truth: even if some people believe in the necessity of justice, they may violate it when their interests are at stake. Since people with such mentalities are in the majority in some societies, justice remains an illusionary concept.

For due administration of justice over the world, a morality which will enable people to set aside their personal benefits for the sake of justice is needed.

This morality is the values of the Qur'an which God commands and instructs us with in the Qur'an. That is because the values of the Qur'an command an absolute justice that makes no discrimination between people, that sides only with what is true and just. In Sura Nisa, God commands people to rule with justice, even if it works against themselves:

O You who believe! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for God alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, God is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or turn away, God is aware of what you do. (Qur'an, 4:135)

As the verse maintains, justice that is carried out with the fear of God and with the sole intention of earning God's approval is true justice. This form of justice makes no discrimination between people. When such justice is the main goal, neither one's personal interests, kinship, enmity, outlook on life, language, colour, nor race will influence his decisions. He will decide only in favour of righteousness. In societies in which people live by the values of the Qur'an, it is certain that people will enjoy true justice, peace and trust. Only someone who fears God and knows that he will be questioned on the Day of Judgement can exercise true justice.

Indeed, history confirms this fact. As God informs us in the verse, "Among those We have created there is a community who guide by the Truth and act justly according to it" (Qur'an, 7:181), throughout history there have been times when justice prevailed. The prophets and numerous just leaders who followed in their footsteps established peaceful societies, thereby creating a role model for the world to emulate. Both the Seljuk Turks and the Ottoman Empire ensured the co-existence of people of different religions and nations under one flag. Muslim Turks were known for their justice in the lands they ruled. Due to their tolerant, peaceable and compassionate attitudes, they were received with joy by the natives of conquered lands.

The purpose of this book is to describe the justice in the Qur'an. Yet bear in mind that to attain such a peaceable life, and one full of trust, you must also make your own efforts. For a peaceful life which will also secure a just and secure environment for the next generation, you, more than anyone else, must administer your own justice and thus become a role model for others. There is an opportunity ahead to be one of those who "command justice." (Qur'an, 3: 21) Never forget that "... God loves the just." (Qur'an, 5:42)