The Prophet's Justice
islam came with complete justice, as stated in the qur'an: indeed, allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. (16:90) and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. be just; that is nearer to righteousness. (5:8)
among the illustrations of the prophet's peace be upon him justice is that when an influential woman from bani makhzum stole something, the quraysh were concerned about the matter and wished to intercede with the prophet peace be upon him to prevent the legal punishment from being carried out on her. they said, "who will speak to the messenger of allah peace be upon him on her behalf?" and they said, "and who would dare to other than usamah ibn zaydmay allah be pleased with him, who is loved by the messenger of allahpeace be upon him?" so they brought her to the messenger of allah peace be upon him and usamahmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with himspoke to him. the messenger's peace be upon him face reddened [with anger] and he peace be upon him said,
"would you interfere in one of the legal punishments revealed by allah?!"
usamahmamay allah be pleased with him allah be pleased with himsaid, "ask forgiveness for me, o messenger of allah."
that evening the messenger of allah peace be upon him stood on the pulpit and spoke. he praised almighty allah as he should be praised and then said,
"those before you were destroyed because when a high born person stole, they would leave him but when a humble person stole they would carry out the punishment on him. by the one in whose hand is my soul, if fatimah, the daughter of muhammad, had stolen i would have cut off her hand." (al-bukhari and muslim)
such was the justice of the prophetpeace be upon him, which did not distinguish between a person of high and low class, between the rich and the poor or between the ruler and the ruled, for all are equal in the balance of right and justice.
another example is the following narration. an-nu`man ibn basheermay allah be pleased with himreported: "my father gave me a gift, but [my mother] `amrah bint rawahah, said, 'i will not agree until the messenger of allah peace be upon him witnesses.' so [my father] went to the messenger of allah peace be upon him and said, 'i have given my son from `amrah bint rawahah a gift and she told me to make you a witness.' he asked,
'have you given your other children something similar?'
he said, 'no.'
he peace be upon him said,
'then fear allah and act with justice among your children.'
so, he returned and took back the gift." (al-bukhari and muslim)
in another narration the prophet peace be upon him said,
"do you have sons other than him?" the father said, "yes." hepeace be upon him said,"have you given all of them the same as this?" he said, "no." so he peace be upon himsaid, "i will not be a witness to something unjust." (al-bukhari and muslim)
dhul-khuwaysirahat-tamimi approached while the prophet peace be upon him was dividing some properties. he said, "o messenger of allahpeace be upon him, be just." the prophet peace be upon him said,
"woe to you! and who is just if i am not just? i would be disappointed and defeated if i was not just." (al-bukhari and muslim) for he peace be upon him is the one that almighty allah chose and trusted with his revelation, so how could he not be just, and how could he not be even-handed? and he is the one who said,
"the equitable will be near allah on pedestals of light, those who are just in their judgements and among their people and in that for which they are responsible."(muslim)
as for justice among his wives, the prophet peace be upon him upheld it as it should be upheld. he peace be upon him would be as fair as possible regarding his time with them, expenditures, etc., and treated them equally whether at home or travelling. he peace be upon him would spend a night with each one and give each one equally from what he possessed. he built an apartment for each, and when he peace be upon him travelled he would draw lots between them and take the one whose name came up. he was never negligent of this, even during his final illness when he was taken to each of his wives in turn. but when it became too difficult for him, and they knew he would like to stay in the house of `a'ishah, they permitted him to be nursed in her house, so he remained there until he passed away. and in spite of his complete justice with them, he would apologize to almighty allah and say,
"o allah, this is my apportionment in what i control, so do not blame me for what you control and i do not control." (abu dawud and at-tirmidhi)
and the prophet peace be upon him warned against showing favour to one wife over another and peace be upon him said,
"anyone who has two wives and shows favour to one of them will come on the day of resurrection with half his body drooping."(muslim)
i.e., the feeling in his heart.
akhlaq an-nabiyyi fil-qur'an was-sunnah, 3/1271.