Friday Sermon : There’s No Peace, No Order And No Security Without Justice! By Imam Murtadha GusauFriday Sermon : There’s No Peace, No Order And No Security Without Justice! By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah the Lord of all creation. May Allah grant His praise, manifest his virtue and elevate the status of the noblest of the Prophets and the Seal of the Messengers, our Prophet Muhammad, and protect him, protect the message of Islam, protect his family and all his companions from any harm in this life or the next. As for what follows:
Dear brothers and sisters! In the Islamic worldview, justice denotes placing things in their rightful place. It also means giving others equal treatment. In Islam, justice is also a moral virtue and an attribute of human personality, as it is in the Western tradition. Justice is close to equality in the sense that it creates a state of equilibrium in the distribution of rights and duties, but they are not identical. Sometimes, justice is achieved through inequality, like in unequal distribution of wealth. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) declared that:
“There are seven categories of people whom Allah will shelter under His shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His. [One is] the just leader.” [Sahih Muslim]
Allah spoke to His Messenger (Peace be upon him) in this manner:
“O My servants, I have forbidden injustice for Myself and forbade it also for you. So avoid being unjust to one another.” [Sahih Muslim]
Thus, justice represents moral rectitude and fairness, since it means things should be where they belong.
It is a paradox that sometimes it is the Muslims who deny justice to their own people, while the cornerstone of the tenets of Islam is administration of justice. Now let us have a brief look at the significance of justice in the Islamic system.
The Noble Qur’an considers justice to be a supreme virtue. It is a basic objective of Islam to the degree that it stands next in order of priority to belief in Allah’s exclusive right to worship (Tawhid) and the truth of Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) Prophethood.
The very fact that two of the attributes of Allah are closely linked to justice, apparently, underscores the significance of imparting justice to all. The two attributes are the Just (Al-Adil) and the Dispenser of Justice (Al-Muqsit). The Noble Qur’an commands that:
“Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that you may receive admonition.” [Qur’an, 16:90]
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) underscored the importance of leaders being just in one of his famous sayings:
“There are seven categories of people whom Allah will shelter under His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His. (One will be) a just leader.” [Sahih Muslim]
The Qur’an warns believers against subjective factors or personal emotions leading them to deviate from the path of justice, which is also the path of Islam, but it weighs heavily upon those who are required to adjudicate in disputes or to give judgment on other issues:
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: That is nearer to piety, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.” [Al-Ma’idah: 8]
Muslims are also called upon to rise above social evils such as nepotism and favoritism. Almighty Allah says in the Qur’an:
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.” [Al-Nisa’: 135]
Respected brothers and sisters! A disordered society compounded of danger and distractions, unjust and troubled, provides no security for any other human pursuit let alone his spiritual development. The man who has to worry about his family’s safety all the time is diverted from the remembrance of Allah, as is the one who has suffered injustice and must struggle to eliminate feelings of anger and resentment. Injustice fractures the brotherhood and sisterhood of the believers, which is an essential element of an Islamic society.
The simple fact is that Allah, who is called “the Just (Al-Adil),” commands justice both in society and in every aspect of human relations.
There were cases in the early history of Islam when men whom the leader intended to appoint as judges fled from the court rather than assume this terrifying responsibility.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) himself when he was called upon to judge between litigants in civil matters warned that one of them might be more eloquent in putting his case than the other and thereby achieve an unjust settlement. “In such a case,” the Prophet said:
“I will have given him a portion of hellfire.”
This is clearly a grave matter indicating that those who seek justice must themselves practice it without deviation even to their own hurt.
For a Muslim, his yardstick in his life is the Noble Qur’an together with the example of the Prophet and their reflection in the human heart. There is no higher aim for the Muslim than the cultivation of an Allah-fearing heart. From the sound heart comes sound judgment.
Islam is a realistic religion. It recognises the reality of human weakness. Those who are injured are permitted to take retaliation (Al-Qisas) but they are reminded at every turn that it is better to forgive and to seek reconciliation. The Muslims are commanded to return good for evil, thus breaking the vicious circle of animosity, enmity and hatred.
In the Prophet’s dealings with the unbelievers, who tried every means to destroy him and his community, he exemplified the rule of forgiveness and reconciliation, forgiving even the most vicious of his enemies when he finally re-entered Makkah in triumph and victory, providing them with gifts so that their hard hearts might be softened and peace prevail after the years of conflict.
Justice might have required their punishment, but there is no contradiction here since there is more than one way to achieve balance, which, after all, is the ultimate objective of justice.
Islam describes its community (Muslims community) as a society of the middle way (Al-Ummah Al-Wasat), a religion of moderation in everything except the love and worship of Allah. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) condemned extremism with the greatest severity and today’s Muslims have a greater need to be reminded of this than ever before as they do of his saying that:
“Anger burns up good deeds just as fire burns up dry wood.”
Also according to a saying of the Prophet, Almighty Allah says:
“O My servants, I have forbidden injustice for Myself and forbade it also for you. So avoid being unjust to one another.” [Sahih Muslim]
The late Anthony Shadid, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who died in 2012 from an asthma attack while covering the Syrian war, once noted that the one word that you would constantly hear wherever you go to the Middle East and the Muslim world is not democracy, civil rights or even freedom, but “JUSTICE.” This is not a random observation. It goes to the heart of the problem not only in Muslim lands but in the world as a whole. It reiterates the simple yet fundamental idea that there can be no peace, no order and no security without justice!
For example, take the Muslims travelers in Plateau state/Jos Nigeria roads issue, where 32 Muslim travelers on Saturday, 14th August, 2021 were killed at Rukuba, Jos Plateau State capital. The attack was carried out by Irigwe Christians community.
Muslims are always being attacked and killed on Nigerian roads, just merely for the differences they have with some people, in languages and religion; they were always being killed, maimed and wounded and their properties being confiscated. With all the atrocities committed against them, up till today, no any justice have been done to the Nigerian Muslims Ummah!
The reprisal killings will continue unless justice is swiftly and effectively served. We must not forget that every criminal activity carried out by us will inevitably renders our loved ones prone to similar or even worse attacks. So let us all eschew violence against others in order to prevent attacks against people that are dear to us.
Take the Palestinian issue also. It is the longest standing occupation of modern history. The saga of the Palestinian people has no equivalent in any other political conflict in the 20th century. Since 1948, countless initiatives have sought the resolve the conflict. Nations went to war over the issue. But no peace initiative ended the conflict. Why? Contrary to what the Israeli propagandists claim, it is not because the Palestinians and Arabs are not interested in peace or Israel has no peace partner. It is because the so-called peace proposals always lacked the core element of justice for the Palestinians. Partitioning Palestinian lands and depriving the Palestinians of their basic rights for the security of Israel cannot lead to a sustainable peace because it is not based on justice. An enduring peace will be possible if and only when the Palestinians are accorded their rights, treated equally and fairly. Wallahi, no security consideration or political urgency will change this fact.
The Syrian war is another case where a political solution will be possible only when it is based on justice for all. With the help of its allies, the Syrian government may claim to have won the war. But this does not make it fair or legitimate. The government’s shameless attempts to erase the Syrian opposition from the ground and from the negotiating table will not bring peace or stability to Syria. An enduring peace will be possible only when all Syrians are treated fairly and equally.
The same principle applies to the growing gap between the rich and the poor countries of the world. The fact that the current economic system makes the rich countries richer and keeps the poor in an endless abyss of poverty does not make the world a better place to live.
In the Islamic intellectual tradition, justice means “putting things in their rightful place.” It is to give everything its due. It is to recognise everyone’s right regardless of their language, tribe, region, status, ethnicity or religion. As a universal principle, it holds a society together. As a sociopolitical principle, it maintains order and stability.
In this broad sense, peace cannot be just absence of war because it is not enough to prevent conflict temporarily to reach peace. It has to have other elements that would make peace an enduring reality. What some scholars have called “positive peace” entails ethical and political principles by which peace can be lasting and produce security, stability and prosperity for all. This brings us back to the principle of justice, i.e., putting everything in its proper place and giving everything its due.
These were among the issues discussed at the second TRT World Forum held in Istanbul on October 3-4 under the theme “Envisioning Peace and Security in a Fragmented World.” Gathering together world leaders and leading experts, the Forum sent a powerful message about peace, order, security and justice in an increasingly chaotic and disordered world. In his address at the closing session, President Tayyib Erdogan underlined his firm belief in a peaceful world order based on justice. From the U.N.’s current structure and Turkey’s EU membership to the Syrian war and the Palestinian conflict, he outlined Turkey’s global peace diplomacy that seeks peace and justice not just for the powerful and the rich but for all nations of the world.
Dear brothers and sisters! In this world of growing interdependence, no one is safe until everyone is safe. No single nation will enjoy peace, unity and prosperity in the full sense of the term until wealth is shared fairly to its citizens. A world without justice cannot be a safe place for anyone. It only produces more conflict and suffering. And it makes everyone unsafe and insecure.
Peace as an enduring value can be achieved only when it is based on justice. All other options are doomed to fail. The history of modern conflicts is a sad testimony to this simple fact.
All praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: [email protected] or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Muharram 11, 1443 A.H. (August 20, 2021).

Related posts