Man by nature loves justice and detests oppression. However at times he is influenced by his environment and he goes against his innate nature of justice and equity. Islam blamed “desires” and the “nafs-e-ammarah” responsible for this deviation of man from his innate nature. When craving for power and authority intensifies within him he gradually falls to deeper pits, i.e. from societal to the national and then to the international level in acquiring the same. He is always busy in devising and following newer ways to achieve his aim and finally becomes the supporter and devotee of vain and useless people. Just as Qazi Shurayh, the Chief Justice who signed the decree for killing of Imam Husain (a.s.) – became the supporter of the accursed Ibn Ziyad.
Centuries have passed in anticipation of universal justice. Countless lives have been lost for this cause. However, their dreams still remain unfulfilled. The efforts to counter and eliminate terrorism are no way less radical than the terrorists themselves.
This raises a vital question in every mind. Keeping in mind the events unfolding in the world do the discussions on justice serve any purpose? Is the discussion an exercise in futility or is it on a firm foundation? If the weak and the oppressed have lost all hopes of justice then such a discussion is in vain. However if there is light at the end of the tunnel, then in every era the call of Justice will resonate. The deceptions of the insignificant and worthless man do not have the strength and power to stand before relentless divine powers. For this very reason, the spark of justice and its discussions are the core of the Holy Quran and will never get extinguished.
In Surah Nur (24): Verse 55 Allah the Almighty has promised the faithful and the righteous that:
– He will most surely make them His successors on earth like those before them
– He will empower and grant a religious government with which He is satisfied.
– He shall replace their fear with peace and security
– They shall worship only Him and not associate any one with Him
– Anyone who disputes in the above is a transgressor
Allah has also promised thus in Surah Anbiya (21): Verse 105:
And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that (as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it.
Allah has made several similar promises and all His promises shall be fulfilled by the reappearance of Hazrat Wali-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.). The first thing that crosses our minds while discussing the reappearance of Hazrat Wali-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) is the establishment of justice and equity. The reappearance of Imam Asr (a.t.f.s.) is the cause of establishment of justice. Before we proceed further let us understand the importance of justice in Islam.
Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) says:
“Justice is the foundation on which this world is based”; “Justice is the foundation of nations and the adornment for the rulers.”; “Justice is the shield of the governments”; “Justice reforms people and in it is the betterment of the masses”; “Justice leads to increase in blessings”.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) says:
“Behaving with justice for an hour is better than sixty years of worship during which one prays in the nights and fasts during the days. Similarly ruling unjustly and with oppression for an hour is more abhorred by Allah than committing sins for sixty years”; “The heavens and earth subsist due to justice”
Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) says while explaining the verse:
Allah shall enliven the earth after its death.
“Here enlivening does not indicate through water but Allah shall send such people who shall enliven the earth with justice. The earth shall be resuscitated by the revival of justice. The enforcement of divine laws on earth is more beneficial than the drops of rain”
(Al –Kafi, vol. 7 Pg 174)
Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) while explaining the above verse says:
Allah shall enliven the earth through the Qaem when it (earth) would have died on account of the disbelief of its inhabitants.
(Tafseer-o-Noor al-Saqlain, vol. 4, pg 173)
The above points bring out the importance of justice in Islam. It is discussed at every place.
Establishment of Justice is the basic reason for raising the Prophets (a.s.).
Certainly We sent Our messengers with clear arguments, and sent down with them the Book and the balance that men may conduct themselves with equity;
(Surah Hadeed: Verse 25)
Allah told His Messenger (s.a.w.a):
And I command you to establish justice between the people.
(Surah Shura: Verse 15)
We have been instructed to deal with justice and kindness in our social life too.
Surely Allah enjoins the doing of justice and the doing of good (to others) and the giving to the kindred, and He forbids indecency and evil and rebellion; He admonishes you that you may be mindful.
(Surah Nahl : 90)
We must also give due regard to justice during conversations.
And when you speak, then be just though it be (against) a relative.
(Surah Anaam: 152 )
The principles of justice should be upheld when dealing with enemies too.
Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not the hatred of a people incite you to act inequitably; act equitably.
(Surah Maidah :8)
Under the guidance of Ahle Bait (a.s.), Shias have always regarded justice as a criterion in all the spheres of life. In the sighting of the moon, in divorce and in transactions the witnesses must be just. The justice of the narrator while narrating a tradition and of the leader of the prayers while leading the namaz and of the judge while passing a judgment is of utmost importance.
The presence of justice and equilibrium inthe body ensures its sound health whereas the establishment of justice in the society leads to eradication of oppression and inequity.
The heavens and the earth shall – if earth is purified of its injustices – shower their blessings .When actions are based on justice, all the citizens of the nation shall interact in a just manner. In the backdrop of these teachings we are awaiting a person whose reappearance shall erase all kinds of oppression from the world and establish justice. The earth shall glow with full intensity. It should be borne in mind that those who await the reappearance of just Imam day and night must make justice as a code of conduct of their lives. We should not get so used to our unjust conduct that the government of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) takes its toll on us and we oppose our Imam in the same way as Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) was opposed by the very people who were foremost in pledging their allegiance to him. The reason for their opposition was that the impartial government of Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) which was against their excessive conduct and undue expectations. A similar approach from the unbiased government of Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) too shall become manifest after his (a.s.) reappearance. However we do find some indications about his (a.s.) government in the traditions.
The Ruler and his helpers
This universal government shall be led by Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.), an infallible person and an embodiment of all the attributes of the previous Prophets (a.s.) and Imams (a.s.). Today’s era, which is replete with corruption, scams and dishonesty, the credentials and attributes of the helpers of Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) have been explained in traditions. They shall pledge allegiance to Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) on the following conditions. They shall
– Never steal
– Never abuse a Muslim
– Never shed innocent blood
– Never dishonor anyone (woman)
– Never attack anyone’s home
– Not hoard barley and wheat
– Be satisfied with little
– Support goodness and purity
– Keep away from evil deeds and filth
– Enjoin good and prohibit evil
– Wear coarse clothes
– Sleep on the floor
– Fight in the way of Allah
Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) shall reciprocate by promising them that he shall:
– Stay with them
– Walk with them
– Wear similar clothes as them
– Keep similar mount as them
– Shall be content with little
– Shall fill this earth with justice and equity in the same way as it is filled with injustice
– Shall fight in the way of Allah as is the right to fight
– Shall not keep a sentry or a gatekeeper from him (i.e. he will be accessible at all times)
(Al-Malaahim wa al-Fetan by Sayyad ibn Tawoos (r.a.), pg 49)
These conditions indicate that the helpers of Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) shall be away from oppression and near to justice. These helpers shall be from among us.Hence we should adorn ourselves with these attributes to be includedamong his helpers. After the advent of Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) not only shall the society be full of justice but the manner of thinking shall also be based on the same.
The First Public Discourse
Imam Mohammad Baaqir (a.s.) says:
Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) shall reappear in Mecca at the time of evening prayers. He (a.t.f.s.) shall be carrying the standard of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) and wearing his robe. In his hand shall be his sword and divine light shall accompany him. After performing Namaz-e-Isha he (a.t.f.s.) shall address the gathering thus:
O people! O who believe in Allah and the last day! Rise, I remind you that He has appointed his proof and I invite you to act as per the book of Allah, shun evil and revive the Sunnat.
(Mo’jam-o-Ahaadees al-Mahdi, vol. 3, pg 295)
Justice in every nook and corner
In his (a.s.) era justice shall be prevalent. There shall be no home devoid of justice. Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says:
Hazrat Imam Mahdi (a.s.) shall spread justice in every home just as the summer and winter seasons (permeate in houses).
(Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, pg 4962)
The arrival of summer and winter does not affect only a particular locality. Rather, it spreads to every nook and corner of the region.Similarly, after the advent of Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) every home shall be brimming with justice.
Devout and Brave
The companions of Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) shall be the embodiment of the teachings of Islam.On their foreheads shall be the marks of prostration; they shall be active during the day and busy worshipping in nights. They shall have nerves of steel and strength of forty people.
(Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, pg 382)
In another tradition we find:
The companions of Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) shall spread in all cities. He shall enjoin them to treat others with justice and kindness; he shall make them the governors of the country and inhabit the cities.
One of the root causes of oppression and unrest in this world is economic imbalance. On one hand, there are those who are filthy rich and lead an opulent life. On the other hand are those who are starving for days together. Some of us live in palatial houses while others sleep under the open sky. This economic imbalance gives rise to several crimes. Some of us suffer from ailments of over eating while others die of starvation. The economic policies of the governments have only increased the gap between the rich and poor. How can we expect the establishment of (economic) justice by the governments whose very existence is dependent on the affluent and corrupt people? How can they be expected to distribute their ill-gotten and hoarded wealth among the poor? In a nutshell the unequal distribution of wealth is the cause of crimes and mischief. Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a) has explained the era of reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) in the following manner:
“Justice shall spread on earth. The heavens shall shower rains and the earth shall give out its produce. In such an era my nation shall enjoy such blessings which those before them had never seen.
(Isbaatul Hudaat, vol. 3 pg. 525)
Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) foretells:
“…when our Qaem (a.s.) shall reappear he shall distribute the wealth equally among the people. He shall deal with all creatures with justice, both the righteous and sinners shall be dealt justly. One who obeys him has obeyed Allah and one who disobeys him has disobeyed Allah. All the wealth of the world shall gather before him. All the treasures on the surface and beneath the earth shall accumulate before him. He shall call out to people and say: Come and take this wealth for which you severed relations, shed blood and committed sins. He shall distribute it in a manner no one has done so before him.”
(Muntakhab al-Asar, pg 383)
In another tradition we find:
“He shall distribute wealth twice a year and shall give stipends twice a month. He shall treat people equally. The conditions shall be such that none will be deserving of Zakaat. The (wealthy) people shall approach the poor people with Zakaat but they shall refuse to take it. They (the rich) shall then place their charity in bags and go towards the Shia localities who shall inform them of their needlessness for it.”
(Al-Ghaibah of al-No’mani, pg 238)
In yet another tradition we find:
“A person shall present himself in the presence of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) and ask him to grant him wealth. Imam (a.s.) shall order a cloth to be given to him and ask him to put wealth in it and take as much as he wishes.”
(Muntakhab al-Asar, p. 384)
When all things are abundant and everyone’s needs are fulfilled, none shall be in need of anything. Every one shall be satiated and content. During this era, all crimes and mischief arising out of economic depravity and disparity shall be eradicated. If we long for such a peaceful era and wish to see poverty eradicated, then we must pray earnestly for the reappearance of Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.)
Impartiality in Verdicts
One of the reasons for oppression and injustice are the biased decisions passed by the courts of law. Corruption is so rampant today that it is commonly known that the judgments of the courts are not based on the arguments provided by the parties but on the understanding between the judge and the bribing party – a fact also accepted by the Indian Supreme Court. One of the characteristics of the government of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is as Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) explains:
“He shall do away with all the corrupt judges and those not able to judge on facts. He shall suspend oppressive and unjust rulers. He shall cleanse the earth of every deceitful person, shall put justice into practice and establish justice among you.”
(Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 51, pg 120)
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says:
“When Qaem (a.s.) reappears he shall bring out eighteen people from behind the Ka’bah. They shall be from the nation of Hazrat Musa (a.s.) and shall judge on the basis of truth.”
(Isbaatul Hudaat, vol. 3, pg 550)
Abu Baseer (r.a) enquired: Are there not other people besides them at the back of Ka’bah? He (a.s.) said:
Yes, there are but these are the jurists. These honored people shall be the rulers. Hazrat shall rub his hand on their shoulders and faces after which no judgment shall be difficult for them.
(Al-Malaahim wa al-Fitan, pg 202)
A Model Judgment
The impartial judgments and rulings of the government of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) shall be evident after his reappearance. We shall however cite an example of one of the judgments of his revered ancestor Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.).
Once, Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) passed a verdict against one of his soldiers whose name was Najaashi, who belonged to Yemen and thus the people of Yemen were upset at this. They sent Taariq Ibn Abdullah to Ameerul Momineen (a.s.). Taariq said: O Ameeral Momeneen! We did not expect that you will treat the obedient and the disobedient alike. Your treatment towards Najashi has aroused feelings of hatred in our hearts. You have torn apart our affairs and have made us tread a path that we think will lead us to hell.” Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) replied:
“This decision was difficult but for those who tread the path of Allah with fear and humility, then this work is easy. O Taariq! Is he not a Muslim? He has violated the sanctity of Allah. I have given him the punishment which was due to him. Allah says: “Beware! Let not the enmity of a group compel you to act unjustly. Always act justly. It is nearer to Taqwa.” When night fell, both Taariq and Najashi fled towards Moawiyah so that they do not have to face the judgment of Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.).
(Majallae Intezar, vol. 14, pg 82)
Would this fleeing save them from the justice of Allah? Never. When verdicts are based on justice and without an iota of partiality, then criminal minds would rectify and reform their own selves and the grounds for establishment of justice in the society shall be prepared.
Pinnacle of Knowledge
Ignorance is one of the reasons for oppression and injustice. No doubt we have taken giant strides in the field of science. Before us are the amazing results of the progress of knowledge. However our progress in the material world has made us oblivious of our inner self. “Scientific awareness” is ascending while “Self-awareness” is waning. For this very reason the development of science has not been able to establish justice and equity. The more the world advances in the material sphere, the faster it is advancing on the path of destruction.
At the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) progress of knowledge shall see hitherto unachieved milestones. Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says:
Knowledge constitutes of twenty seven parts of which only two parts have been made known to man. At his reappearance Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) shall add the remaining parts to our knowledge and make them common.
(Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52 pg 332)
Imam Muhammad Baaqir (a.s.) says:
When our Qaem (a.s.) reappears, he shall place his hand on the heads of the people due to which their intellects shall be perfected and their manners reformed.
(Muntakhab al-Asar, pg 607)
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says:
When our Qaem(a.s.) reappears, Allah will sharpen the sight and the hearing of our Shias to such an extent that they shall be needless of a message bearer. Imam will be seated at his place and all of them shall be able to see him (wherever they are).
(Muntakhab al-Asar, pg 607)
Today, the world views events and incidences through the television. At the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) the Shiites will become needless of these devices and shall – on the basis of enhanced vision and hearing – be able to see and listen to him from every nook and corner of this world. This heightened vision and hearing will not be limited to Imam but to all his followers and lovers.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says:
In the era of Qaem(a.s.), the believing brother of the west shall be able to see his believing brother in the east and vice versa.
(Muntakhab al-Asar, pg 607)
Imam (a.s.) says,
“When the Qaem (a.s.) appears, he shall appoint a representative in every place telling them that all the Islamic laws are in the palm of their hands. When you face an issue and cannot resolve it, look at your palm and act on what you find thereon.”
(Al-Ghaibah of al-Nomani, pg 319)
“Knowledge shall progress in such a way that the solution of all the problems shall be evident on the palm of their hands”
Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) says:
In the era of our Qaem (a.s.), the hearts of the people shall be purified of jealousy.
(Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 10 pg 104)
It is noteworthy that when two parts of knowledge have led to such progress, one cannot even imagine what gigantic advancement will the addition of the remaining twenty-five parts bring to humanity!
The establishment of universal harmony shall be the natural consequence of uprooting the causes of oppression, bloodshed, violence and corruption. Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) narrates:
“In that era, a lady shall travel from east to west and shall not be troubled in the least”.
(Muntakhab al-Asar, pg 379)
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) says,
“In the era of Qaem (a.s.), the blessings shall be abundant. Abundant rains shall shower over the agricultural fields, the hearts of the people shall be cleansed of envy and the wild beasts shall become docile. A lady shall travel (alone) from Iraq to Syria. Greenery shall be widespread. She shall be putting on expensive ornaments but none shall trouble her. There shall be neither fear nor anxiety.”
(MajdeIntezar Issue 14 pg 205)
Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) says:
Mahdi shall dispatch his governors to all countries so that they judge justly among the people. At that time the wolf and the sheep shall co-exist together. Children shall play with scorpions. Evil shall be removed and only goodness shall remain. Agricultural produce shall be abundant. Adultery, alcohol and usury shall be terminated. People shall turn to worship, obeying the laws of shariat and religiousness. The congregational prayers shall be full of splendour. Life spans shall increase. Trusts will be returned. The trees shall be laden with fruits and blessings shall be innumerable. The mischief mongers shall be destroyed and no enemy of Ahle Bait (a.s.) shall remain.
(Majde Intezar Issue 14 pg 205)
This is only a glimpse of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). If we long to see his government we should prepare ground for his reappearance by praying earnestly for the same and by reforming our character.
O Allah! Hasten the reappearance of our master Saaheb al-Zamaan (a.t.f.s.)! Aameen.