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By Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadhul Haq


In the name of Allah the One, the Unique. May peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family and Companions.

'O those who believe, be upholders of justice- witnesses for Allah, even though against (the interest of) yourselves or the parents, and the kinsmen. One may be rich or poor, Allah is better caretaker of both. So do not follow desires, lest you should swerve. And if you twist or avoid (the evidence), then, Allah is all-aware of what you do.' (Al Quran 4:135)

In the verse of the Quran mentioned above and in various other verses of the Quran Muslims are instructed
to uphold justice and be true witnesses. Every Prophet (as) from Prophet Adam (as) until the last and seal of the Prophets, the Prophet Mohammad (saw) concerned themselves with implementation of justice upon the earth
and it's natural consequence of peace.

Allah says in the Quran:

'We have sent Our Messengers with clear signs and We have sent with them the Book and the Balance so that people stand firm with justice and we sent the iron in which there is great awe, and benefits for people.' (Al Quran 57:25).

The reference given to the sending down of iron at the end of the verse indicates that in the instance where good counsel is not enough the persons guilty of injustice may be punished so as to deter them from such acts in the future.

Further Allah I states:

'Be steadfast for Allah as witnesses for Justice. And malice against a people should not bid you to not doing justice. Do justice. That is nearer to Taqwa. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is all-aware of what they do.' (Al Quran 5:8)

In the above verse and that of An Nisa (4:135) Allah I instructs us to uphold and establish justice upon the earth. In doing so Allah I provides some guidelines. We are told that we should be just in our decision-making and not be influenced by family ties, social standing, and allow personal feelings of malice and other sentiments to infringe in being just witnesses. As a result of the recent New York tragedy we often hear the question being asked by the media 'George Bush says that you are with us or against us which one are you?'
It should be remembered that approximately a thousand Muslims died as a result of the tragic events that occurred on the 11th September 2001. Our response as Muslims is that we are on the side of justice, and in light of the above verses of the Quran, we would request others to be calm and to judge the case pending on it's facts before taking any action that could further effect the lives of millions of other innocent souls. As we have seen previously the criminal justice system of the United Kingdom and International laws theoretically do not assign punishment without a due process of law that requires guilt to be proven. We should put aside emotions and other prejudices and provide justice for the whole of mankind, showing that those who have a legitimate complaint can have recourse to a system that is just to all.

George Bush informed the world that one of the reasons for this attack upon the USA was 'because we are the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.' However, US foreign policy has been very selective as to whom it wishes to shine this 'beacon of light' upon. We have seen that many of the police states that are restrictive and oppressive of basic human rights and a stark contrast to the icon of democracy have been supported and maintained by American help, much to the agitation of the population of these countries. Acts of terrorism against the innocent civilians of the Middle East have gone unpunished. An example is that of the campaign of terror that saw the persecution, rape, and mass murder of the Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Chatila camps that resulted in the loss of 1800 lives on the 16th September 1982, an act orchestrated and overseen by the present Prime Minster Ariel Sharon. This has been followed by a number of other massacres and atrocities that have been committed by Israel, one of the only so call 'Democracies' in the Middle East, upon a civilian population that in no way represents a military force. However, we have never seen or heard in such instances any emotional, and stirring speeches regarding democracy or liberty, in contrast we have only heard calls for restraint.

In Srebrenicia (Bosnia) in 1995 over 8000 Muslims disappeared in one single day a number larger than the number killed in New York, since then it has been established that they were brutally murdered by the pursuing Serbian army, with evidence of mass rape and torture that took place under the very noses of the UN Dutch battalion which was positioned there to secure the safe haven set up by the UN. The bodies were not even exhumed until a year later, countries that have harbored and supported these fugitives have not even been censured. The perpetrators of this act of genocide are still at large arrogantly flouting and ignoring the War crime indictments leveled against them. Why have Radovan Karadzic and Radco Miladic not been brought to justice in the years that followed the massacre even though their whereabouts are known to the authorities pursuing them. Ironically, those countries that claim to uphold democracy, and justice are unwilling to take action against those whom there is clear evidence. Yet on the other hand they are willing to blast into oblivion a nation already ravaged by war and poverty whom they claim are a repressive, barbaric and a vile regime. Even though such a regime who apparently are in opposition to civilisation and justice are offering to hand over the alleged perpetrator of this crime if clear and substantial evidence can be produced to a neutral country where the suspect may receive a fair trial.

In Chechnya since 1999, 45,000 Muslims have been killed and twice the number wounded out of a population of 850,000, where half the population is homeless. Weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions, such as fuel air explosives, are being used which inflict maximum civilian casualties, not to mention the atrocities committed in the filtration (concentration) camps. The former Russian Minister Sergei Stephanson said "To win this war, one has to destroy the entire male population of Chechnya".

In the past ten years since the carnage and the great loss to civilian life that has been the result of the Gulf war, the UN estimates that over one million Iraqi civilians, that also includes the 600, 000 innocent children below the age of five, have died as a result of US sanctions alone. It is reported that one of the main causes of loss of life among civilians is the result of lack of clean drinking water; the water purification plants being destroyed during US bombing. Deaths commonly the result of diarrhea and dysentery primarily, and other diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and polio- all caused by bacteria and viruses in contaminated water. Sanctions have prevented Iraqi's from acquiring the easily available medicines that treat such diseases and repair of water purification plants. When the former secretary of state Madeline Albright for the USA was asked by CBS's 60 Minutes, correspondent Lesley Stahl about these 600,000 children and whether it was 'worth it.' She replied '…we think the price is worth it…' General Powell remarked regarding the number of Iraqi's killed 'its really not a number I'm terribly interested in.' Do these words in any way convey even a faint notion of concern for the sanctity of human life on the part of those who hail the flag of decency and civilization.

How many innocent lives are to be lost in Afghanistan. The USA and it's allies intend to bomb one of the most devastated and starvation-haunted countries in the world that was only ten years ago pillaged and plundered by the Red army. Christian aid and other charities have warned of the catastrophic implications upon the civilian population that George Bush aims to liberate and free. They state that approximately a quarter of the population (4-5 million) may perish during the following weeks and months. Is this a price worth paying? One may well ask in light of the words of the leaders of the civilized world as to where lies the concern for the 'sanctity of human life,' or rather is life of children, women, and the elderly expendable depending on whose national interests are to be served

In light of events both past and present we who claim to be the upholders of justice should strive to utilize our faculties of perception, scrutiny and objectivity so far as its implication on the welfare of humanity is concerned. The life of any being irrespective of race, culture or language is a gift to humanity which is irreplaceable, and hence, those entrusted with positions of authority who claim to act in the name of humanity should in themselves inculcate such lofty ideals rather than to use these as hollow slogans to manipulate the minds of the masses to serve their ulterior motives.

We as Muslims must adopt all legitimate means at our disposal in order to discharge our moral and Islamic responsibilities by standing up for truth and justice in all their forms. The sanctity of one Muslim should not be underestimated in the sight of Allah (swt) as mentioned in a famous narration from Abdullah bin Umar (ra) who relates;

"I saw the Prophet (saw) performing tawaf around the Ka'bah and saying 'How pure you are! And how pure is your fragrance! And how great you are! And how great is your sanctity! By He in whose hands lies the soul of Muhammad, the sanctity of a believer is greater with Allah than even your sanctity. (The sanctity) of his wealth, his blood, that we think nothing of him but good." (Ibn Majah).

Article taken (with Thanks) from Shariah-Institute


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This page was last updated on June 14, 2003 .