19 October, 2018 | 8 Safar, 1440 H

"A man who sits with his family is more beloved to Allah (swt) than spending the night in worship (itikaf) in my masjid"

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

Abstract

 ʿAdāla is divine justice in Islam. ʿAdāla stems from God’s Goodness, which is part of His essence. The God of Islam makes ʿadāla obligatory upon Himself out of His own goodness and makes it obligatory upon humankind. ʿAdāla is a balance, which means that if it is transgressed, it will lead to corruption and thus spiritual and material corruption.

INTRODUCTION 

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. 

 

Welcome to the Muslim Converts Channel. In our previous lesson, we looked over the concept of Tawhīd in Islam. Tawhīd is, as understood by Muslims, is the Absolute Unity, Oneness and undivided nature of God. In this lesson, we will look at one of the most essential attributes of God in Islamic theology called ʿadāla, or Divine Justice.  

 

Our first step will be to look at it from a theological perspective, namely what it means for God to be “just.” Second, we will look at it from an anthropological (human) perspective, that is, what are the implications of Divine Justice for individual persons and humankind as a whole.  

 

 BODY OF TEXT 

 

Indeed, Allah does not wrong the people in anyway, but it is people who are wrong themselves (Chapter 10, verse 44 of the Holy Qur’an) 

 

Tawhīd implies that God, in His absolute unity, is completely perfect and devoid of any faults. By faults we mean shortcomings like ignorance and need. The God of Tawhīd is Absolutely Unique and transcends all forms of limitations and imperfections. He is perfect in every sense. This means that He is absolutely self-sufficient, He is in need of nothing and no one, He is all-knowing (that is, He knows everything) and is All-Wise.   

 

Evil, according to Islam, is the product of a defect, ignorance, and need. God in Islam, in His perfection through tawhīd, is devoid of evil. People often commit evil deeds because they need or are lacking something. As a result, we see them trying to satisfy their own egos or their need for revenge. Or we see them pursuing power which they are lacking, or aim for purposeless pleasure. Sometimes they do so because of simple ignorance and foolishness.  

 

God in Islam is also known by his attribute al-Ghanī (the self-sufficient) meaning that He is fully rich in Himself and needs nothing. He is also al-ʿAlīm, the All-Knowing. He is also al-Ḥakīm, or the All-Wise. The combined result is that He is not ignorant, foolish or in need or lack of anything. So here we can conclude that He cannot commit evil by the very fact of His own nature.  

 

As He is devoid of all evil, He must be Absolutely Good and Just. Divine Justness in Islam (which stems out of God’s perfect Goodness) is called ʿadāla. ʿAdāla in Arabic literally means to keep a form of balance in weight.  In His treatment of humankind, Allah makes ʿadāla obligatory upon Himself and therefore always acts within goodness and justice. This means that He never wrongs His creation.  

 

For example, Allah is the ultimate Judge of deeds on the Day of Judgment. On that Day, God will establish justice and will not punish people with more than what they deserve. Yes, He may punish them with less than what they deserve out of His Absolute Mercy (for His Mercy takes precedence over His Justice) but He will never punish someone more than what he or she deserves.  

 

The opposite is also true. Allah makes a number of promises to His creation, one of which is to reward those who trust in Him and do good. The Qur’an says: 

 

But the ones who truly trust in God and do righteous deeds; We will admit them to gardens in which rivers flow beneath where they will live in forever. [This is] the promise of Allah  and [it is] truth. And whose word could be truer than God’s? (Chapter 4, verse 122 of the Holy Qur’an). 

 

Another part of Allah’s justice is that He does not test people beyond their capacity for it would be unfair and unjust to do otherwise. He tests with what they could potentially bear. For this reason, the God of Islam says in the Qur’an: And We task no soul except [with that which is in] its capacity, and with Us is a record which speaks with truth; and they will not be wronged. (Chapter 23, verse 62 of the Holy Qur’an) 

 

In order for all of existence to reach the Absolute Good, everything needs to be held at a perfect balance. Just as the balance of the nuclear force or the balance between matter and antimatter in the universe is essential to sustain it, there is a moral balance that must be observed among human beings. Any transgression from this balance of justice leads to corruption. 

 

According to the Ahl al-Bayt (as) or Holy Household of the Prophet Muhammad (s), good, bad, evil, justice, injustice all have intrinsic worth. Goodness and justice are not moral notions that God arbitrarily decides on. Goodness (which justice stems from) is part and parcel of Allah’s own essence. This means that whatever God creates, and whatever moral worth there is in creation, it is the expression of God’s own essence as the Absolutely Good.  

 

Notions of good, evil, justice and injustice are therefore not arbitrarily decided  nor are they subjective. For this reason, human beings cannot ultimately decide what is just and what is not. They cannot invent them for themselves and apply them to the world.  

 

They must therefore acquire them through God’s special revelation on earth and apply it first and foremost to themselves, and then to the world. According to Islam, any person who believes that he or she can solely decide questions of justice and injustice for himself or herself without any reference to God is considered a tāghūt. Tāghūt literally means one who “crosses limits” or “transgresses boundaries.”  

 

Just as idol worship is tāghūt, so is trying to act like God and set the ultimate terms of morality and justice. God, in His All-Knowing and All-Wise nature, set the balancing terms for justice for us, any transgression of this balance will lead to corruption, both within the heart as well as in the person's conduct in the world. Evil, according to the Qur’anic narrative, is always a product of “transgressing boundaries” and hence going out of the bounds of justice. 

 

The Qur’an says: those who have true faith fight for the cause of Allah whereas those who knowingly reject the truth fight in the cause of the tāghūt. So fight the friends of Satan. Indeed, Satan’s guide is weak! (Chapter 4, verse 76 of the Holy Qur’an).  

Adāla

divine justice

Subjective

Depends on human opinion 

Objective

A truth that does not depend on human opinion 

Tāghūt

Crossing the boundaries of Allah, like idol worship or making corruption 

Al-Ghanī

One of God’s names and attributes, means the “Self-Sufficient”  

Al-Ālim

God as the All-Knowing 

 

Al-Hakīm

God as the All-Wise 

Tawhīd

Oneness and Unity of God 

Q1

What is the Good?

The Good is that which leads human beings to salvation in the Afterlife. 

Q2

What is ʿAdāla?

ʿAdāla is a balance in the form of Divine Justice which God makes obligatory upon Himself and on His creation

Q3

What is Evil?

Evil is the absence of Good, it corrupts the heart, corrupts one’s beliefs and actions, and ultimately leads people to damnation.

Q4

Why does transgression of the balance lead to corruption?

The world is carefully designed, and there are special boundaries put so that people are led to salvation in the Afterlife. Transgression from these bounds means that one deviates and goes the wrong way. The wrong way leads to corruption.

Q5

Why does Allah make justice obligatory upon Himself?

Because Allah, in His nature, is good, and justice is the result of God’s good nature.  

Q6

Why does God allow evil?

Because He allows free will, without free will, there is no real good or evil. 

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principals of the Islamic faith
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belief & creed
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Divine Justice by Mujtaba Musawi Lari  

Divine Justice and the Problem of Evil by Ghulam Husayn Adeel  

Justice of God by Naser Makarem Shirazi  

Let’s Learn About Divine Justice by Naser Makarem Shirazi  

Justice of God by Saeed Akhtar Rizvi