Absolute justice is a topic not often heard of in political discourse. Nonetheless, the Spiritual heads (or Khulafa) of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community have discussed this topic for decades. Absolute justice is a quality of God as outlined in the Holy Qur’an. God is indeed the source of all justice, and it is from Him that we seek guidance and wisdom in terms of what is just. It is a fundamental principle that wherever justice is found, peace is not far behind, and wherever justice is found broken, war and discord burn free.
The fourth Spiritual Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (rh), wrote a treatise “Absolute Justice, Kindness, and Kinship” on this topic; and the current head of the community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), has been speaking on this topic in numerous speeches and sermons he delivers to world leaders and other secular and spiritual audiences. This community of Muslims is so focused on absolute justice because God Himself enjoins the righteous people to establish absolute justice. God says in the Holy Qur’an:
“Verily, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. He admonishes you that you may take heed” (1).
This verse is not just any verse from God’s perfect book. This verse and the three commandments in it are recited often in Muslim communities as it was the tradition of the Prophet (sa) to recite these commandments at the time of the Friday Prayer service (Jumu’ah). This was and is now permanently a part of the second sermon delivered in Arabic on Fridays. In this verse, we can see the emphasis on justice, but, as is incumbent on all righteous people, we must reflect on the importance and impact of these instructions from God, the Creator of all.
This verse urges three actions from humanity as well as three prohibitions. We see the first commandment is to enjoin justice followed by kindness, i.e., the doing of good to others, and, finally, kinship, i.e., giving like kindred. The three prohibitions are indecency, manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. While justice, kindness, and kinship are the three stages of morals that constitute the positive side of man’s moral development:
“Its negative side is portrayed in the three words, viz. Fahsha’ (indecency), Munkar (manifest evil) and Baghy (transgression). Fahsha’ signifies vice of which the knowledge is confined to the doer and Munkar signifies those evils which other men also see and condemn, though they may not suffer any loss or infringement of their own rights by them. Baghy, however, comprehends all those vices and evils which not only are seen, felt and denounced by other people but which do them positive harm also. These three simple words cover all conceivable vices” (2).
The commentary (above) on this verse by the Second Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad (ra), describes the three commandments as covering the various stages of moral and spiritual development of man. Were man to pursue this course and act on these commandments, he would create peace in his own body and soul. Once a man has peace from within, he indeed becomes a beacon of peace to those around him.
Justice specifically would be the balance of giving an equal amount in return for what has been given. This applies to many different scenarios and includes the bad and the good. Harm can be dispensed equivalent to the damage received; good should also be returned in an equal manner. This applies to business and commerce, social life, and all facets of human life.
Advancing from justice, one achieves a level of goodness that does not consider the opposing balance of action. In other words, goodness means doing good to others, regardless of what the other has done. This is a charity or social service where a person gives without being given anything in exchange. Goodness is a virtue that does not even consider whether harm was done. Thus, a person truly transcends justice when he is no longer concerned with balancing the bad but instead wishes to overcome it and shift the scales toward good.
The final step in this transcendence towards peace is giving like kindred or kinship. This is when one does good to others regardless of what was done to them if anything, but goodness is done as if it is directed toward blood relatives. This means that good is done by impulse or without question. There is no preceding context or basis for doing good, except to do good. This person truly represents the soul at rest that is capable of true sacrifice for others. A person can only sustain this with a strong and solid relationship with their God. Truly, God is the reward of those who can sacrifice without thought or concern for themselves or any circumstance. This is how a mother acts with her children. She sacrifices a portion of her life for her child without any thought or concern. An infant child can give nothing in return and, in fact, demands more and more, and the mother certainly keeps giving without care for herself or her condition.
One can imagine that if such people were to exist in abundance, how could peace not exist in the world? Thus, Islam, which means obedience and peace, and God, who is the source of peace, offer a path to peace simply through abiding by these virtues. It begins with justice, and if we cannot find a way to balance out the bad, then how can we even imagine what peace is genuinely like? The truth is that the peace sought by humanity, generation after generation, is only three commandments away.
1. The Holy Qur’an (16:91)
2. Farid, Malik Ghulam, The Holy Qur’an, with English Translation and Short Commentary (Islamabad, UK: Islam International Publications Ltd.,2016). Page 764
Last modified: February 2022