Babatunde Jose

Today, Allah, through the Holy Quran speaks to us about the concepts of justice, equity and fairness. A perusal of the Qur’anic evidence shows that justice is integral to the basic outlook and philosophy of life. But there is no justice in our land. Our leaders bestride our narrow world like a colossus, reaping bountiful harvests where they have not sown.  There is no gainsaying the fact that the major themes of the Qur’an include God-consciousness, fairness, equity, justice, equality and balance in all our dealings. These concepts are drummed into the believers every Juma’at service in the form of admonitions where we are enjoined to heed the words of Allah in Surah Al-Nahl Ayah 90:

Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you that ye may receive admonition. (Quran 16:90)

But we are not heeding the call of Allah, even though He stresses the doing of what is right because it is the truth.  As a reflection of Allah’s attributes of Al-’Adl (The Just One) and Al-Muqsit (The Upholder of Equity), we are urged to establish justice and deal with all in a manner that assures equity, fairness and balance and safeguards the rights, property, honour and dignity of all people.  God assures us that even though He is All-Powerful and none can challenge His Authority, He deals with all with truth, kindness, justice, and the rights of none will be transgressed on the Day of Judgment.   Allah says in Surah Al Anbia’ Ayah 47:

We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account): And enough are We to take account. (Quran 21:47)

When Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said “help the oppressor and the oppressed”, he was stressing this same concept.  The Companions responded that they understood what “helping the oppressed” meant, but what did he mean by “helping the oppressor”?  He replied, “By preventing the oppressor from oppressing others”.

God says in Surah Al Nisa’, Ayah 135:

O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: For Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do.

(Quran 4:135)

Our leaders are busy lusting after money and neglecting the poor whom they were elected to serve. According to Surah As-Shu`araa’, Ayat 181-184, Prophet Shuaib tells his people:

“Give just measure, and cause no loss (to others by fraud). “And weigh with scales true and upright. “And withhold not things justly due to men, nor do evil in the land, working mischief. “And fear Him Who created you and (Who created) the generations before (you).”  (Quran 26:181-184)  

But our leaders are doing evil and working mischief in the land; and they do not give just measures .  God instructs Prophet Muhammad, in Surah Al Shurah, Ayah 15:

Now then, for that (reason), call (them to the Faith), and stand steadfast as thou art commanded nor follow thou their vain desires; but say: “I believe in the Book which Allah has sent down; and I am commanded to judge justly between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is (our) final goal. (Quran 42:15)

Surah Al Hadeed, Ayah 25 says, in part:

We sent aforetime Our apostles with Clear signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of Right and wrong), that men may stand forth in justice; and We sent down Iron, in which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help, unseen, Him and His apostles: For Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might (and able to enforce His Will).

(Quran 57:25)

Other aspects of justice referred in the Quran are the following:

Allah doth command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due; and when ye judge between man and man, that ye judge with justice: Verily how excellent is the teaching which He giveth you! For Allah is He Who heareth and seeth all things. (Quran 4:58)

Say: “Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from”: Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want; –We provide sustenance for you and for them; -come not nigh to shameful deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: Thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom. And come not nigh to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he attain the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full) justice; -no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear; –whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfil the Covenant of Allah: Thus doth He command you that ye may remember. (Quran 6:151-152)

O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: For Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do.

(Quran 4:135)

To Him will be your return–of all of you. The promise of Allah is true and sure. It is He Who beginneth the process of creation, and repeateth it, that He may reward with justice those who believe and work righteousness; but those who reject Him will have draughts of boiling fluids, and a Penalty grievous, because they did reject Him. (Quran 10:4)

We have failed to give back trust to those to whom they are due; we luxuriate in shameful deeds; we take life which we have no power to create; we dispossess the orphans and the widows; we appropriate and covet the properties of others; and we have failed to stand firmly for justice. Now, we ask; have we been just to each other? Is there justice in the land? Is there justice in a system where some few, and I mean very few, among us have robbed the rest of a large chunk of our patrimony and for over 18 months, all we are hearing are investigations? What manner of Justice are we talking about when the landscape and skyscape of our leading cities are dotted with condominiums; proceeds of the theft of our commonwealth? Is there justice in a system where people amass humongous wealth, just because they are the spouse of a national leader, not to talk of the unimaginable wealth of the national leaders themselves? What manner of justice is it, when some people are riding in helicopters while the rest of us suffer at the bus station waiting for the rickety bus that would never come? What justice are we talking about in a country where the carnage and death on our highways is decimating our population while those who are supposed to maintain our highways have stolen the funds, with which they buy choice real estate in foreign lands? Is there justice in a system where the roads in and out of our nation’s biggest port has become a death trap for both vehicular traffic and pedestrians alike? What justice is that when businesses are folding up and investors are wary of investment in our country because the climate of commerce is not conducive for wealth creation? Is there justice in a system that cannot provide simple shelter for commuters at a bus station? No! There is no justice in the land and I see danger ahead. The cry against perceived injustice has been the clarion call of all revolutions. From the Boston Tea Party to the American Revolution; coming to the French Revolution, history is replete with remote and immediate causes of mass unrest and injustice of man to man has been a major factor. We are tired and our souls are weary. If nothing is done as soon as possible to reverse the present trend, many, including the innocent will suffer the consequence. ‘May we not be on the road, when the road is hungry’, says the Yoruba adage. Our ‘vampire leadership’ would do well to bring about the desired change NOW!

Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend


Last Line:

Parable of Dry Bones

Looking at a heap of dry bone in a cemetery, one cannot be amazed at the vanity of man. Questions about the lifetime of their owners are:

  • Who among them was beautiful?
  • Who among them was brave?
  • Who among them was powerful?
  • Who among them was rich?

They are all dry bones and belie the vanity of man.



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