Tuesday 28th of June 2022
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The Reasons for God’s Justice

Second Lecture
The Reasons for God’s Justice

Rational Goodness and Unseemliness

It should be pointed out that our wisdom realizes the goodness and unseemliness of things to a certain degree.

For instance, we know that justice and kindness are good and admired characteristics and injustice and jealousy are bad and repulsive. We know all this without religious instruction. However, there are things we could not understand through the sciences alone; to recognize them, we need the instruction of religious leaders such as the prophets.

Thus, the Ash’arites are wrong when they deny rational goodness and unseemliness.

If our wisdom was not able to distinguish between good and bad, how would we be able to acknowledge whether or not God had given miracles to an honest individual or to a liar? But when we say lying is unseemly and is uncharacteristic of God and that His statements are always right and flawless, we know that His promises are true and that He would never support a liar, so He would not provide a liar with miracles.

That is why we can trust religion and we can conclude that the belief in rational goodness and unseemliness is the very foundation of our religion.

Now, let us return to the reasons for God’s justice. To know these facts, we should be aware of the following:

What is the Source of Injustice?

Injustice is due to one of the following:


Sometimes a cruel person or a tyrant does not really know what he is doing; neither does he realize that he is destroying the rights of others.


At times, we wish to possess things which belong to others. Under these conditions, we might be tempted to become involve in injustice.

Incompetence and Inability;

At times, we may not be willing to deprive others of their rights but we cannot help it and unwillingly we become involved in injustice.

Selfishness and Revenge

Sometimes none of the above factors are responsible for our decision; rather our selfishness leads us to trespass over the rights of others. Our desire for revenge might be another factor for getting involved in injustice. Our egocentrism might be responsible for the wrong inflicted by us on others.

God has none of these defects due to the fact that He is All-knowing, He is in need of nothing, He has power over everything and He is kind towards everyone. It is therefore irrational to think that He could ever get involved in tyranny or injustice.

God is infinite; His perfection has no limit. One can expect nothing but benevolence, justice, kindness and affection from such a source of Divine Mercy.

When we observe that evildoers are punished, it is not God Who punishes them; rather their punishment is, in fact, the consequence of their wrong. This resembles the punishment of death which an addict receives because of his addiction and due to his use of narcotics and alcoholic beverages. The Holy Qur’¡n says:

هَلْ تُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْسِبُونَ؟

Shall you be rewarded for aught except what you did? [Qur’¡n 27:90]

The Qur’ªn and God’s Justice

It is worth mentioning that this fact is highly stressed in the sacred verses of the Holy Qur’¡n. For instance, on one occasion God says:

إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ النَّاسَ شَيْئاً وَلَكِنَّ النَّاسَ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ.

Surely, Allah does not do any injustice to men, but men are unjust to themselves. [Qur’¡n 10:44]

Still in another situation, the Holy Qur’¡n says:

إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ.

Surely, Allah does not do injustice the weight of an atom. [Qur’¡n 4:40]

Concerning the chastisement of the Resurrection Day, the Holy Qur’¡n states:

وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَازِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ فَلاَ تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئاً.

And We will set up a just balance on the Day of Resurrection, so no soul shall be dealt with unjustly in the least. [Qur’¡n 21:47]

Invitation to Justice

We have already said that man’s attributes should be a reflection of God’s Attributes and that God’s Attributes should be felt among the members of any society. Based on this principle, the Holy Qur’¡n emphasizes both God’s Justice, and justice among the members of human society. The Holy Qur’¡n has repeatedly considered injustice as the very essence of corruption in human society and predicts a painful fate for cruel people.

By describing the fate of people in olden times who were destroyed due to their unjust deeds, the Holy Qur’¡n warns people against practicing injustice and cruel acts.

Using it as a principle, the Holy Qur’¡n explicitly states:

إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ.

Surely, Allah enjoins the doing of justice and doing of good to others and the giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecency, evil, and rebellion. [Qur’¡n 16:90]

It is worthwhile to mention that accepting cruelty and injustice from others is just as abominable as doing injustice to others. This is explicitly stated in verse 279 of S£rah Baqara:

لاَ تَظْلِمُونَ وَلاَ تُظْلَمُونَ.

Neither shall you make the debtor suffer loss, nor shall you be made to suffer loss. [Qur’¡n 2:279]

Submission to the unjust acts of cruel people is to encourage tyrants to engage in their devilish deeds even more.


Is our intelligence or wisdom capable of distinguishing between good and bad independently and without the assistance of the Shariah?

What are the sources of injustice? What logical reasons are there for God’s justice?

What does the Holy Qur’¡n have to say about God’s justice and the negation of injustice by Him?

What is man’s duty vis-à-vis justice and injustice?

Is it considered a sin to submit to injustice?

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