Story No. 235 – Justice should not be compromised: Concept of justice in Islam

Favouritism, nepotism, partiality and shutting up of mouths by big morsels, have always been the essential tools of politicians. Now a man had assumed power and captained the ship of the caliphate who profoundly detested these things. In fact his main objective was to struggle and fight against this kind of politics. Naturally, with the very inception of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib’s (as) reign, the politicians with their hopes and expectations were disappointed. Their disappointment soon grew into subversive conspiracies against Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib’s (as) government, creating for him many a headache. Well-meaning friends, with sincere goodwill, advised Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) to adopt greater flexibility in his policies for the sake of higher interests. Their advice was: “Extricate yourself from the ruses of these demagogues, as is said, ‘sewing the dog’s mouth with a big morsel.’ These are influential persons, some of whom are from the elite of the early days of Islam. Presently, your real enemy is Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, who is in control of a rich and fertile province like Syria. The wisdom lies in setting aside, for the time being, the matter of equality and justice. What harm there is in it?”

Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) replied to them:

Do you ask me to seek support through injustice [to my subjects and to sacrifice justice for the sake of political advantage]? By God! I will not do it as long as the world lasts and one star follows another in the sky [i.e. I will not do it as long as the order of the universe exists]. Even if it were my own property I would distribute it with justice, and why not when it is the property of God and when I am His trustee?

This is an example of how highly Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) valued justice and what status it held in his opinion.