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Founder’s Corner: Harvard University and Justice in Quran

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the writer alone and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of SNMC.

By Dr. Emdad Khan

Allah swt, in Surah Nisa Verse 135, describes Islamic principles of Justice.

4:135

۞ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُونُوا۟ قَوَّٰمِينَ بِٱلْقِسْطِ شُهَدَآءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ ٱلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ وَٱلْأَقْرَبِينَ ۚ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًۭا فَٱللَّهُ أَوْلَىٰ بِهِمَا ۖ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا۟ ٱلْهَوَىٰٓ أَن تَعْدِلُوا۟ ۚ وَإِن تَلْوُۥٓا۟ أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا۟ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًۭا ١٣٥

O believers! Stand firm for justice as witnesses for Allah

 even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or close relatives. 

Be they rich or poor, Allah is best to ensure their interests. 

So do not let your desires cause you to deviate ˹from justice˺. 

If you distort the testimony or refuse to give it, then ˹know that˺ Allah is certainly All-Aware of what you do.

— Dr. Mustafa Khattab, the Clear Quran

Here, it is emphasized, that we should stand firm for justice, even it is against ourselves, or our parents, or close relatives, or they are rich or poor.

Allah swt is best to ensure their interests.

It is interesting to note, at the law faculty of Harvard University the above verse of the Quran with its translation is displayed for everyone to see.

Recently with Palestine and Israel war a dispute arose, and the university wanted the president to leave the position, first time a black professor became the president.

We were surprised, the university resolved the dispute in a dignified way.

The black president left in a peaceful way and they hired a new president and the old one resumed a faculty position with honor.

The university implemented in real life, Quranic principle of justice, the Quran Verse 4.135 of Surah AlNesaa.

We hope in Canada, in Muslim organizations, we can do it.

We as Muslims also need to be just, if it is against our selves or our parents or our friends or relatives or a rich person or a poor person.

We may recite or memorize but we need to implement the Quran in our own life, in our organization and our community.

Allah swt in surah Hujarat verse 10, also says.

49:10

إِنَّمَا ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌۭ فَأَصْلِحُوا۟ بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ ۚ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ ١٠

The believers are but one brotherhood, so make peace between your brothers. And be mindful of Allah so you may be shown mercy.

So, any problems, we resolve together, in brotherly manner.

May Allah swt protect us from hypocrisy or ignorance or being making unjust dealings.

With Salaam and Regards