When all of us will be paid in full what we have earned

FROM the twisted politics of the influential to social dilemmas we create, every day spells oppression. As we set daily targets and accomplish worldly goals, the rights of many an innocent are treaded upon.

By Abid Ishaq

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Published: Fri 16 Feb 2007, 9:50 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:09 AM

The injustice I command shows its ugliness as I sit behind the wheel in rush hour or line up in the long queue to pay for my groceries. Dear readers, discrimination has become a part of life no matter where you live today. Good communities are quickly losing moral values as the majority of us are looking at immediate personal gains.

But the intelligent citizen understands that injustice does no prevail. Rather, just like the sincere teacher who looks out for the weakest student, these are opportunities for the people of faith to become role models and lead positively in days of mayhem. This is because the faithful are not deceived by this temporary abode and follow their noble intentions with the best possible deeds for they know that the scales of justice have been set! Here I quote a few ayaat from the Lord of the Universe.

How (will it be) when We gather them together on the day about which there is no doubt (that is, the day of resurrection). And each person will be paid in full what he has earned? And they will not be dealt with unjustly. (Quran, 3:25)

And We shall set up balances of justice on the day of resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And sufficient are We as reckoners. (Quran, 21:47) To understand the concept of universal justice in Islam, and how there is a final judgment that promises to pay all debts we need to understand that there are two kinds of relationships that are dealt with on the Day of Resurrection/Judgment. First there is the relationship between us and God and then there are the relationships between us and others. God is able to give practically infinite punishment or infinite rewards and so our relation with God is the one that really matters. We can compensate others for outstanding claims against us with the rewards that we earn from God for our good deeds and vice versa.

This relationship and how it relates to our relationships with other people and indeed our relationships with all of creation are reflected in the basic moral ethic of Islam: Show mercy and forgiveness to others so that God shows mercy and forgiveness to you. Or —in the general form —be towards others the way you would like God to be towards you.

On the day of judgment, Allah’s reward is sufficient to compensate for any suffering we receive in this life. The debt against each and every person will be fully paid out of God’s mercy and generosity. The idea that God’s generosity is in some way constrained to only give paradise to a select few would imply an injustice by God. Rather we all have to earn God’s forgiveness by exercising the correct relationship, first with God and then His creation.

So the role of an unjust citizen is not one for us to play. Our relationship with others has to be more than just perfunctory as we are first answerable to the Creator. It is through patience in the face of ease and difficulty and gratitude to the sustainer that we turn our face to Him and initiate a meaningful relationship with Him, an infinite relationship to save us from being the biggest of losers.

And the book (one’s record) will be placed (in the right hand for a believer and in the left hand for a disbeliever), and you will see the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc), fearful of that which is (recorded) therein. They will say: "Woe to us! What sort of book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has recorded it with numbers!" And they will find all that they did, placed before them, and your Lord treats no one with injustice. (Quran, 18:49)

Abid Ishaq can be reached at thelinguist75@yahoo.com

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