ʻAdl (عدل) is an Arabic word meaning ‘justice’. Adl is essentially part of Tawheed. Belief that God is Just. He will reward or punish any person according to his deeds and thus the notion of predestination (where all decisions are God’s and not any one else’s) in one’s deeds does not exist. It is absolutely forbidden in Islam to believe that the Almighty, Merciful Allah planned our destiny and that the good and the bad are just His Will and there is no choice for us between them (Nauzubillah).
“Verily, Allaah commands ‘Adl (fairness, equity, justice) Ihsaan (excellence in servitude to Allaah, benevolence towards people, graciousness in dealings) and giving to those close to you, while He forbids Fahshaa (lewdness, indecency, licentiousness, immorality), Munkar (bad actions, undesirable activities, generally unaccepted behaviour, not fulfilling one’s obligations), and Baghy (rebellion, transgressing limits, exploiting or violating others’ rights, abuse of authority or freedom). He admonishes you so that you heed the advice.”
Those who ascribe to such lies do so because they want to blame their own evils on Allah and claim the good for themselves! Although the attribute of Allah’s Justice is not a separate entity of Allah for certainly the Almighty God can never be compartmentalized nor defined in any relative terms, it is nonetheless absolutely compulsory to believe and fully understand the importance of this attribute in Islam so as not to allow the evil suggestions of Iblees/Shaytan (curse of Allah be upon him and his progeny) and his companions from leading us astray.
The Messenger of Allaah also said:
“The fair and just people who are equitable: in passing judgements, in dealing with their family members and in using the authority delegated to them, will be on the pulpits of Noor in the audience of Allaah SWT.”
(‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar in Muslim)
The Islamic concept of ‘Adl is very comprehensive and implies fairness and equity in every thing a person says or does. It covers the comments we make, the judgements we pass, the way we handle our responsibilities and obligations to others, the way we deal with people, the way we handle differences, the way we treat others whether they are members of our family, friends, relatives, strangers or enemies. Fairness, equity and justice must be a hallmark of our behaviour in all of these areas.
“And when you speak, be just, even if it concerns a close relative.”
“O believers! Have Taqwa and say only the words that are appropriate.”
“So, those who do not repent, they indeed are the Zhaalimeen (unjust, wrongdoers, inequitable, transgressors).”
Practice of justice is such an important Islamic requirement that the Messenger of Allaah gave detailed instructions on how to ensure that justice is carried out. There are many other Ahaadeeth in which the Prophet emphasized: the need to listen to both parties properly before arriving at a decision; basing the decision on evidence, not on claim; not giving a verdict or passing a judgement when angry; etc. Justice is not possible without credible witnesses, hence he emphasized on the need of giving true witness as well as provided guidelines for accepting witnesses and oaths.
“O believers, be the enforcers/establishers of justice, giving witness for the sake of Allaah, even if it is against yourselves, your parents or your kith and kin. Whether they are rich or poor, Allaah has more rights than any on them. Do not let pursuing your desires come in the way of being just.”
It stresses the doing of what is right because it is the truth and The Truth represents one of the ninety-nine “beautiful names” of God. As a reflection of His attributes of Al-’Adl (The Just One) and Al-Muqsit (The Upholder of Equity), we are urged to establish justice and deal with all in a manner that assures equity, fairness and balance and safeguards the rights, property, honor and dignity of all people. God assures us that even though He is All-Powerful and none can challenge His Authority, He deals with all with truth, kindness, justice, and the rights of none will be transgressed on the Day of Judgment.
“Surely Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom”
[ Suran Nisa:40]
The root meanings of the word ‘Adl include the sense of Justice, Equity, Fairness, Non-Discrimination, Counter-Balance, to Rectify, Put in Order, Even-ness, Proportion and the like. When Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said “help the oppressor and the oppressed”, he was stressing this same concept meaning help the oppressor from oppressing others.
“…and Allah wills no injustice to the world”
[Surah al-Imran: 108]