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Chapter 16:

Justice is a necessity in everything, while a Favor is recommended

The following is one of the chapters from the book of Shaikh `Abdul Rahmaan Ibn
Naser al-Sa`dee , al-Qawaaid wal-Usool al-Jaami`ah, with the brief comments
by Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen . The following points are
covered under this chapter:
Justice does not mean equality
Between punishment and patience
When it is better not to forgive
Justice in retaliation
Justice should be a part of everyday life
Hardship opens the door to relief
An eye for an eye
The motivation to do favors

Shaikh al-Sa`dee said:
( Justice): is that you give which is upon you in the same way as you would claim that
which is for you.
( Favor): it can be real act of kindness or doing more than what is obligatory. [1]
Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen commented:
[1] Example of real act of kindness: A person gives away 100 Riyals as charity.
Example of kindness over what is required: a person owes 100 Riyals (to a labor for his services)
but instead he gives him 110 Riyals. (This extra 10 Riyals is an act of kindness over what was


Shaikh Ibn al-`Uthaymeen continues:
Here we need to know is that what is required is ( Justice) and not ( Equality), as we hear
or read from some of the writers that from the religion of Islaam is that it is the religion of Equality.
But nowhere is it mentioned in the Quraan or the Sunnah that the Deen of Islaam is the Deen of
Equality. Allaah neither commanded (the rule of) Equality nor did He praise it. Rather, most
of the time what is mentioned in the Quraan in regards to Equality is the negation of Equality not
its affirmation.
Allaah says:

{Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the conquering (of Makkah) (with
those among you who did so later)} [Surah al-Hadeed (57): 10]
And His saying:

{Are the blind and the one who sees equal?} [Surah al-Maaidah (5): 50]
And His saying:

{Say: Are those who know equal to those who know not?} [Surah al-Zumar (39): 9]
The verses in this regards are many. The call for Equality might be true (to some extend), but the
intent behind it is evil. They intend with it the Equality between men and women, between a
freeman and a slave, between the owner and the owned and what is similar to that*. But what
Allaah has commanded is ( Justice) i.e. giving every rightful person his rights and this is
what is in accordance with the Sharee`ah.
Allaah said:

{Verily, Allaah enjoins Al-`Adl and Al-Ihsaan} [Surah al-Nahl (16): 90]
The call for Equality is popular among the people but it is wrong. The best is what Allaah has

conveyed us i.e. ( Justice). For example: If you decide to give something to your children: the
justice here is to give the boy twice of what is given to the girl. But the one who speaks about
equality will say that they should be given equally.
*[Translators Note: Further to this point, the worst type of Equality is when some people try to
Equate between Allaah and other false gods; between Islaam and other false religions;
between Sunnah and Bid`ah; between the Muslimeen and the Mujrimeen (those who associate
others with Allaah); between the Mumineen and the Faasiqeen (disobedient); between the
Muttaqeen (pious) and the Fujjaar (wicked); between the Muhsineen (those who do good deeds)
and the Mufsideen (evil doers). If this was done by someone outside of Islaam, then we would have
paid no attention to him. But the reality is that this is done by those who profess Islaam as their
religion, but celebrate and participate in pagan festivals like Christmas, Halloween, Ganpati (a
Hindu festival), Holi (Hindu festival of colors), Diwali (Hindu festival of light), etc.]


Shaikh al-Sa`dee said:
Allaah said:

{and act justly, indeed, Allaah loves those who act justly} [Surah al-Hujuraat (49): 9]
Allaah also said:

{And if you punish [an enemy, O believers], punish with an equivalent of that with which
you were harmed. But if you are patient - it is better for those who are patient.} [Surah alNahl (16): 126] [2]
Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen commented:
[2] The Justice here is in the saying of Allaah is: {then punish them with the like of that with
which you were afflicted}. And the Favor is in His saying: {But if you endure patiently}.


Shaikh al-Sa`dee said:
Allaah said:

{The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof, but whoever forgives and makes
reconciliation, his reward is due from Allaah.} [Surah al-Shooraa (42): 40] [3]

Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen commented:

[3] The saying of Allaah : {but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation}, i.e. only if by
forgiveness he (the perpetrator) can be reformed. This constraint is applied in all the textual
evidence where the merit of

( forgiveness, pardon) is mentioned. Verily, it is essential that

forgiveness should consist of reformation; for forgiveness without reformation is not beneficial and
not commendable. For example: If a person wrongs another and he is known for his wickedness
and aggression, then it is not from reformation that he should be forgiven. This is because he will
only persist in his evil. But if a person became aggressive (and wrongs someone) while he is known
for his politeness and non-aggression, but he slipped and did a wrong; then pardoning him is a
means to reform him.
Similarly, in case of traffic accidents, if a person who caused it is known for his reckless driving,
carelessness for the traffic rules and lack of concern for the public safety, if the authority spares
and pardons him, then this pardoning is not in the general interest (of the society). Rather, what is
beneficial is that he should be made to pay for the damages and then punished accordingly.

Shaikh al-Sa`dee said:
Allaah permitted that the wrongdoer should be made to compensate equivalent to the
damage done and this is Justice. Thereafter if he is pardoned then this is a Favor (upon
him). [4]
Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen commented:
[4] A Question: If a person attacks another person and tears his Thobe (dress), so should the one
who is wronged be made to retaliate by tearing the Thobe of the one who attacked?
Answer: Some of the scholars said: No, he should not tear (the Thobe of the attacker) unless the
Thobe is similar to his own so that justice is served between the two actions. If the Thobe of the
one being attacked was of inferior quality which does not exceed Ten Riyals, but the other one (the
attacker) has the Thobe which costs Hundred Riyals, then his Thobe should not be torn.
Other scholars said: This returns back to the judgment of the judge. If he sees that it is better to let
the one who was wronged to retaliate for the offence of equal nature, then this is good, and this is

justice; even if the value of the Thobe (of the wrongdoer) is much greater than the one which was
torn in the first place. The issue here is more regarding the morality rather than the monetary
value. If a person hit another person on his head or his back, then the justice is that he should be
allowed to hit back. But there is an issue here, if the one who was wronged were allowed to
retaliate by himself, he would hit the offender with a force stronger than what he had himself
sustained. Therefore, the one who was wronged is advised to authorize someone on his behalf who
can hit the offender in the similar way; and upon the one who is authorized should deal with


Shaikh al-Sa`dee said:
Similarly, Justice is an essential part of everyday dealing and transaction, i.e. giving what is
due upon you and receiving what is for you, while being gracious in it is recommended.
Allaah said:

{And do not forget graciousness between yourselves} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 237]
{Graciousness}, here is for ( pardoning), i.e. forfeiting some of the rights and being
generous in the dealings. Allaah permitted to demand immediate repayment of the
debt from the one who has the means, but He commanded to give some respite to the
insolvent; and this is Justice and then (there is encouragement towards changing it to) a
Favor, as Allaah said:

{And if the debtor is in a hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for
him to repay, but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but
know.} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 280]

And Allaah made it permissible to mix the affairs of the orphans in terms of food and
drink, that it should be carried out based on justice accompanied with favor while taking
precaution (of not devouring their wealth). Allaah said:

{And if you mix your affairs with theirs, then they are your brothers. And Allaah knows
him who means mischief from him who means good} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 220] [5]


Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen commented:
[5] This is part of the principle: (

) Hardship opens the door to relief, because of

the saying of Allaah :

{And if you mix your affairs with theirs, then they are your brothers. And Allaah knows him who
means mischief from him who means good. And if Allaah had wished, He could have put you into
difficulties.} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 220]
Meaning: (Had Allaah so Willed), He could have made it difficult for you my making you
prepare the food for the orphans from their wealth in a separate container, and your food (from
your wealth) in a separate container. But Allaah ( out of His Generosity) made it permissible to
mix the wealth of the orphans, that which is related to their food and drink, with the wealth of
their caretaker so that it does not become difficult and tiring for them.


Shaikh al-Sa`dee said:
Allaah said:

{And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear,
tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.} [Surah al-Maaidah (5): 45]
This is justice. [6] Then Allaah further says:

{But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation.}
[Surah al-Maaidah (5): 45]
And this is a favor. And Allaah says:

{Allaah does not like that the evil should be uttered in public except by him who has been
wronged} [Surah al-Nisaa (4): 148]
Meaning: it has been made permissible for the person who has been wronged so that he
can get his retribution and justice. [7]
Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen commented:
[6] {And We ordained therein for them}, meaning, in the Tawraat. {Life for life}, an elderly, sane,
knowledgeable, rich person will be killed (by the authority) as retribution for killing an infant, this is
life for life; the sane will be killed for killing the insane. If a sane person kills an insane person, he
would be killed in retribution. But in no case will a Muslim be killed for killing a Kaafir, no matter
what the condition is, even if there was a treaty between them or he was under the protection or
someone living in Muslim land.
And the saying of Allaah : {eye for eye}, the only exception in this case is when the offender has
only one eye while the one who was wronged has both the eyes. So in this case, the eye of the
offender will not be put out; because if we were to do so, then we will be taking away one of his

senses, i.e. his sight; because when he harmed the other person, he harmed (only one of) his eye
but not his sight. This is why the scholars have said that in this case, that when the perpetrator has
only a single eye, his eye will not be taken (as punishment), but he will have to pay the complete
blood money for harming the eye. But if it comes to knowledge that this one-eyed perpetrator
intentionally did that while he knew that he will not be punished, then in this case, his eye will be
taken out because of the saying of Allaah : {eye for eye}. There is another opinion in this matter:
the eye will be taken out in any case and it will be said to him (the single-eyed perpetrator): you
have harmed yourself!
And the saying of Allaah : {tooth for tooth}, no doubt a similar tooth will be taken out in
retaliation. Example, the premolar tooth will not be taken out for an incisor; but an incisor for an
incisor and a molar for a molar.
And the saying of Allaah : {and wounds equal for equal}. If the offender wounded someone,
then he will be afflicted with a similar wound. But if a similar wound cannot be afflicted upon him,
then he has to pay the blood money according to the damage he has caused.
[7] If someone insults you then you can insult him; and if someone defames you, you can defame
him as long as you dont go into excess. This is why the Prophet said:

{When two men insult one another, what they say is mainly the fault of the one who began it, so
long as the one who is oppressed does not transgress.} [Saheeh Muslim (6263)]
Question: What takes place between the people who have quarreled is that when one of them
speaks about the wrongs that have been done to him, he includes in his speech a lot of backbiting.
So is that also included in the statement of Allaah : {except by him who has been wronged}?
Answer: It could be likely that the meaning of the Aayah is for the time when there are quarrels
and disputes, but in fact the meaning is more general than that. It can also be said: uttering evil in
public, means complaining to someone in authority who can give back his rights and restore the
damages. But as for backbiting, then this is not allowed.


Shaikh al-Sa`dee :
Despite this, the motivation to do Favors (to others) is mentioned in the saying of Allaah

{And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better;
and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he
was a devoted friend.} [Surah al-Fussilat (41): 34] [8]
So Justice and Favor are the two positions for the fair minded people, other than this is only
And from the branches of this principle are: Acts of worship like: Tahaarah (purification),
Salaah (prayer), Saum (fasting), and Hajj (pilgrimage) and other than them. There are those
who lack in fulfilling that which they have been commanded (and they are the oppressors).
Then there are those who abide by it and this is Justice. But completeness is when a person
does the optional acts of worship after fulfilling the obligatory ones and this is Favor (upon
Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen commented:
[8] This is what changes the hearts. If a person harms you, then you should repel his harm by doing
good to him, even if he was an enemy to you, he will become a close friends of yours. But for some
people, they are led by arrogance to more crime. They say: this is not possible. He cannot become
my friend. We say to him: Be patient and repel evil with good. Verily, what Allaah has promised
will happen.