Can Islam be a yardstick for social justice?

Story by  Eman Sakina | Posted by  Aasha Khosa • 3 Months ago
Indian Muslims (Representational Image)
Indian Muslims (Representational Image)

 

Eman Sakina

Did you know Islam embraces social justice and teaches the importance of implementing it in our daily lives? Social justice is the equal distribution of resources and opportunities, with no prejudice as pertains to gender, race, social class, religion, etc.

Muslim Women enjoy privileges only given to women in modern times. Islam does not look down on any race or belittle its’ status. There is no upper hand of a rich Muslim over a poor Muslim except in terms of righteousness. Islam calls for social justice for non-Muslims as well in terms of treatment and rights.

In the Quran, God promises men and women equal reward if they have belief and are righteous: “Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.” [Quran 16:97]

Muslim Women had the right to inherit, study, and work when most of the world's civilizations were still questioning the status of women. Khadijah, Prophet Muhammad’s wife was a very successful tradeswoman.

Islam teaches the importance of equality and gradually abolishes slavery. Belief and obedience to God are considered, not race, social class, etc. Prophet Muhammad said, “O mankind, your Lord is One and your Father is One. You all descended from Adam, and Adam was created from earth. He is most honoured among you in the sight of God who is most upright.

No Arab is superior to a non-Arab, no coloured person to a white person, or a white person to a coloured person except by Taqwa (piety).”

Good conduct is what elevates a person in Islam. Islam mandates non-Muslims should enjoy fair rights as well. Prophet Muhammad stated, “Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority curtails their rights burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.”

Being polite, sympathetic, and helpful to everyone is encouraged—not just to those who share your views, race, social standing, or level of wealth. God created everyone in your daily life, including your neighbours, coworkers, and others. This is just as true as it is with you. Show them decency and consideration. Help a woman who is having trouble juggling her kids and shopping bags the next time you are out. Prepare a small amount of additional food to give to your neighbour. These small gestures are also important in maintaining and spreading social justice.

It is incorrect to translate jihad as ‘holy war’. Jihad means ‘struggle’ or strife and It refers to any effort one makes to live according to God's commands, including serving one’s parents or trying to behave more morally, among other things.

“God does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, God loves those who act justly.” [Quran 60:8]

Islam is a social justice system that considers the needs of all people in addition to being a religion. The intention is to restore unity and peace to every society. We all work to be fair and make sure that everyone is granted their rights as God intended, motivated by our faith and obedience to the One and Only God.

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Many Muslims and Islamic scholars argue that the teachings and principles within Islam align with the values of social justice.