At a time when imbalances and injustice were deeply rooted in the world and both factors shaped and constituted the enactment, implementation of law and jurisprudential processes in human societies, Islamic Law emerged with moderation in legislations and juridical reformation. For the absolute fact that Islamic Law originated from the Sovereign Being, the Supreme Law Maker; Allah, it submerged all other acclaimed worldly laws.
And since time immemorial, Islamic Law has been examined, studied and proven to be the best despite all the verbal, literary and intellectual vituperation and defamation witnessed from its antagonists. In fact, its critics were rendered powerless. While not, since Islamic Law is divine in origin, human in nature, comprehensive in scope, just and fair in implementation and has no defect unlike others.
On this subject, the first religious approach taken by Islam is its consideration of man regardless of class, nation, colour, race, language as same while in the face of implementation of law. By extension, this brought about the principle of equality before the Law without any restriction. The Glorious Qur’an says:
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Q. 49:13)
Indubitably, this verse is a direct declaration of righteousness, piety and God’s consciousness as the only factor determining superiority before Allah and that all human beings are equal without restriction. Erstwhile in religious texts righteousness and good deeds was established as the sole factor to determine man’s superiority before Allah.
In order to enhance an ideal community, Islam emphasizes much, in many places in the Qur’an and Prophetic traditions, on the concept of justice as a tool to maintain law and order among the Muslim Ummah and stresses the consequences if otherwise not implemented.
“Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.” (Q4:58)
“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.” (Q16:90)
“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.” (Q5:8)
On this subject, Qur’anic injunctions and Prophetic traditions are replete on preaching implementation of justice in all institutions at all cost.
Aside the fact that Islam liberates man from servitude to fellow man, Islamic Law also liberates common man from being the only object or receiver of punishment if found guilty. Rather, it moderated the old, poor and biased system that favoured only the aristocrats, rich individuals, royal relations and their families at the detriment of lower class people and made implementation of justice a common ground binding on anyone irrespective of class, position, status and others. Hence, freedoms, rights and responsibilities and duties of Muslims were explicitly outlined under Islamic Law which shall be maintained accordingly.
While serving in spiritual, political, legislative, executive and judicial capacities, the Prophet’s entire conducts revolved around implementation of justice without minding who and who is involved. A practical example here was the pronouncement of the Prophet (S.A.W) to implement justice even if her beloved daughter, Fatimoh (R.A) falls victim.
“The people of Quraish worried about the lady from Bani Makhzum who had committed theft. They asked, “Who will intercede for her with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” Some said, “No one dare to do so except Usama bin Zaid the beloved one to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) .” When Usama spoke about that to Allah’s Apostle Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, (to him), “Do you try to intercede for somebody in a case connected with Allah’s Prescribed Punishments?” Then he got up and delivered a sermon saying, “What destroyed the nations preceding you, was that if a noble amongst them stole, they would forgive him, and if a poor person amongst them stole, they would inflict Allah’s Legal punishment on him. By Allah, if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad stole, I would cut off her hand.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3475)
This particular Hadith shows the level of seriousness of the Prophet (S.A.W) in executing Allah’s commandments and manifests justice and fairness of Islam. By this, it is obviously clear that Islam does not favour (because of any material value) or relegate (due to destitution or low status), for any imaginable factor, any section of the Ummah in the face of Justice rather, it considers them equally and implement justice accordingly.
In conclusion, the discussion so far has clearly shown that Islamic Law treats people equally, justly and fairly. While it is very important to note that no man-made law can promise Justice, fairness and equality before the Law, then there is need to adopt Islamic Law if at all, we are ready to be free from any vices and have an ideal and just society. Also, this is a clarion call to every Muslim to be just in their daily activities and our leaders most especially those at institutions implementing justice should fear Allah in their activities by executing Allah’s commands appropriately without biasness, injustice and imbalance.
– Abdulganiyu Abdulrahman is a penultimate student of Islamic Studies, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. He hails in Ilorin, Kwara State.
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