Islam is a religion of peace and justice. The quest for peace and justice is among the primary focus of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.’s mission to humanity.

Along with establishing peace and justice in society, Rasulullah s.a.w. teachings also emphasized the importance of establishing justice. 

Justice is paramount in the Islam faith. Islam will always stand for peace and justice and any path that deviates from it can never be part of Islam. 

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah mentioned in a popularly quoted statement in I’lam al-Muwaqi’in, 

“The Sharia is founded upon wisdom and welfare for the servants in this life and the afterlife. In its entirety,  it is justice, mercy, benefit, and wisdom. 

Every matter which abandons justice for tyranny, mercy for cruelty, benefit for corruption, and wisdom for foolishness is not a part of the Sharia. Even if it was introduced therein by an interpretation.”

Here are some of the Quranic verses and Hadith on peace and justice, and freedom:

1) Peace is the essence of Islam:

Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ

“O believers! Enter into Islam wholeheartedly and do not follow Satan’s footsteps. Surely he is your sworn enemy.”

(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:208)

Indeed, the Quran emphasised that peace and justice is an essential values of Islam. The term “Islam” has been derived from the same root word, “salam” which means peace and justice.

Rasulullah s.a.w, in inviting his people to accept his message, did so through peace and justice means and beautiful preaching. 

Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:

ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِين

“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.”

2)  Peace is our response to aggression

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. taught us that when we faces with aggression and intolerance, we should respond with peace and justice.

Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran:

وَعِبَادُ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى ٱلْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ ٱلْجَٰهِلُونَ قَالُوا۟ سَلَٰمًا

“And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace.”

(Surah Al-Furqan, 25:63)

3) Spread peace and mercy to all

Allah s.w.t. is the Most Merciful and His mercy encompasses all things. One of the ways to attain His mercy is to show mercy to all humankind peace and justice.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. reminded us in a hadith,

‏ لاَ يَرْحَمُ اللَّهُ مَنْ لاَ يَرْحَمُ النَّاسَ ‏

“Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to humankind.”

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

4) Being just is being conscious of God

Peace and justice is essential to Islam. Being Muslim, we are commanded to be just at all times. We should avoid any form of injustice and acts that harm others. 

Being just is the closest to piety and is part of being God-conscious. 

Allah s.w.t. says in the Quran,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُون

“O you who believe, stand up as witnesses for God in all fairness and do not let the hatred of a people deviate you from justice. Be just: This is closest to piety, and beware of God. Surely God is aware of all you do.”

(Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:8)

5) Injustices need to be avoided

Islam is against any form of injustice and violence. It says about peace and justice. Allah s.w.t. clearly forbids these in the Quran:

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَأْكُلُوٓا۟ أَمْوَٰلَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِٱلْبَٰطِلِ إِلَّآ أَن تَكُونَ تِجَٰرَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنكُمْ ۚ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا

“O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly, but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.”

(Surah An-Nisa, 4:29)

Islam forbids the violation of one’s liberty. If one subjects to any form of injustice, the oppressed person is entitled to defend and gain his/her freedom. 

Allah s.w.t mentions in the Quran,

وَلَمَنِ انْتَصَرَ بَعْدَ ظُلْمِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَا عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ

“Yet indeed, as for any who defend themselves after having been wronged – no blame whatever attaches to them”

(Surah al-Shura, 42:41)

Sometimes, the news that we read online or happenings that we see around us can make us feel angry, upset and hopeless. 

However, let’s not despair. We all play a part in creating the kind of world we want to live in. In every aspect of our lives and the multiple roles that we play, let us strive to be peace and justice, kind, and inclusive and promote justice for all.

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