The Age of Injustice

Many of today’s problems are rooted in injustice. Rich countries are exploiting poor countries. These countries use their natural resources such as oil and gas and in return, they gave them the destruction and poverty!

In 2003 under the pretext of weapons of mass destruction, a country was attacked and millions of people were killed or injured or displaced. Oddly enough, after all these crimes, it was announced that there were no weapons of mass destruction!

Image

These days, there are some preparations to attack Syria under the pretext of the use of chemical weapons. I do not know how many people are in this war to be killed.

These are just a few examples of injustice in our time. Due to the lack of justice, human became cruel. In one part of the world much money is spent on pornography and illicit sex while in another part, some are dying because of hunger. Occupy Wall Street movement is the result of injustice in the West.

All these problems are due to neglect of the divine teachings. Holy Quran says: “God 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 ye may receive admonition.” (16:90)

May be it is appropriate to call this course of history, the age of injustice.

The Mutual Rights of the People and the Ruler

In a civilized society, the government and the people should do their duty, because only in this way that everyone will get their rights. In this regard, the sacred religion of Islam takes into consideration concerning the mutual Rights of the People and the Ruler. Imam Ali (the first Imam of Muslims) has said: “O people! I have rights incumbent upon you, and you have rights incumbent upon me.” (Nahjul Balaghah, sermon no.34)

First, Imam has mentioned the rights of people incumbent upon ruler: “Your rights incumbent upon me include my advising you, paying your dues fully, educating you so that you do not remain ignorant, and training you until you learn.” (Ibid)

As you see the economic and educational needs of the society should be attend by a ruler, because the poor and ignorant society cannot be successful. Poverty and ignorance are the enemies of human perfection.

Image

On the other hand, there are the rights of ruler upon people. And since the ruler, without the support of the people, cannot manage the society well, these rights should be respected.

Imam Ali (Peace Be Upon Him) continues: “And my rights [as a ruler] incumbent upon you include your remaining loyal to your pledge of allegiance to me, sincerely advising both in public and private,  responding when I call you, and obedience when I command you.” (Ibid)

As a result, according to Islam, without the cooperation of the people with the ruler the community will not be happy.

The Charity Is a Storing Away With Your Lord

“Nor forget thy portion in this world…” (The Holy Qur’an, 28:77)
Islamic teachings are based on reality. So, Islam has never commanded almsgiving entire property because the person will be poor. And it is unacceptable to Islam because one of the main goals of Islam is the elimination of poverty.
Hence, Charity in Islam is according to the financial ability of each individual and it is a form of savings. It might seem to us that we lose what we give away in charity while it is not so. Imam Sajjad (the fourth Imam of Muslims) has said: “And the right of charity is that you should know that it is a storing away with your Lord and a deposit for which you will have no need for witnesses, Then once you know this you will be more confident of it if you donate it in secret than if you donate it in public.” (The Treatise on Rights, Right n.13)

Image

Although both forms of public and private charities are beneficial but Imam highly stresses giving charity in private. Charity in private is safe from some pests such hypocrisy. Imam Hossein (the third Imam of Muslims) said: “Giving charity in secret will quench the Wrath of the Lord and wipe out wrong-doings just as water puts out fire. It will also ward off seventy types of calamities.” (Wasa’il al-Shi’ah, p.277)

As it is said, both forms of charities are beneficial. Let’s try. 

The Benefit of Charity Returns to Us

There have always been poor and needy people in the community. They are deprived of basic rights such as food, clothing and housing. However, what is the way out of poverty? The gap between the various social classes is not acceptable to Islam. So, the sacred religion of Islam has a strong emphasis on helping the poor. Encouraging people to give charity is one of the major orders of Islam. The Holy Quran says: “The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of God is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each ear hath a hundred grains. God giveth manifold increase to whom He pleaseth: And God careth for all and He knows all things.” (2:261)
This parable of how a grain of corn grows and yields a manifold increase shows how one’s charity is returned to God.

Islamic teaching says that the benefits of what we do return to ourselves. Hence, Charity has two benefits. One is for the poor and another is for us. There is an event supporting this idea.

Image

A man was going to go somewhere. The Prophet Muhammad said that a black snake would follow him and kill him. The man went and returned after a while with a load of wooden sticks on his back. The Prophet asked him to drop the load on the ground. He did so, and a black snake came out.
The Prophet him asked him what he had done that day. He said he had given one of the two loaves of bread he had to eat to a poor man. The Prophet told him that his life had been saved due to his act of charity. (Wasa’il al-Shi’ah, pp.268-277)