It’s quite unfortunate that we live in a world where the oppressed are continuously being oppressed without any end and justice has become a word that we can only ever say, but never physically or successfully see come into fruition.
From Palestinians fighting for their rights, lands, and homes, to young women being denied the right to wear their hijabs, oppression can come in many forms. And whether that oppression is coming from a Muslim or a non-Muslim, it is heartbreaking and anger-inducing for everyone who witnesses that oppression.
We feel the unfairness when our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters continue to be oppressed while the world stays quiet. We witness the prejudice and unjust ways in which powerful Muslim countries ally themselves with the oppressors and give them ‘ammunition’ to continue oppressing the innocent.
But what do our Islamic scriptures from Quran and Hadith have to say about oppression?
Oppression Is Forbidden
The Prophet told us that Allah says, “O My slaves, I have forbidden zulm (injustice, wrongdoing, unfairness) to Myself and I have made it haram (forbidden) amongst you, so do not wrong one another.” [Hadith Qudsi, narrated by Muslim]
In this Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) specifies that Allah (SWT), the creator of everything and everyone, has forbidden ZULM, the term for oppression and injustice, for Himself and made it haram for us, His slaves.
This particular Hadith is so powerful because, in this, we have Allah (SWT) not only making injustice haram for us humans and urging us to never do wrong to one another, but also forbidding it for Himself! SubhanAllah. Our merciful Lord shows us just how much injustice and oppression are abhorred by Him when He Himself forbids it for Himself.
What Allah Thinks of the Oppressors
In the Quran, Allah (SWT) expresses His hatred for the oppressors.
In fact, there are several ayahs in the Quran where Allah says that He does not love the ZALIMOON, the oppressors and transgressors who don’t repent, and says that He will not guide them either.
This ayah can come as a relief to many people around the world, knowing that our Creator does not love their oppressors and wrongdoers. On the other hand, the people who are fair and just in their lives and treatment of others are the ones Allah (SWT) loves: “… Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” [Quran, 60:8]
The Dua of the Oppressed
We all know just how powerful dua can be. There is no doubt that even the smallest of duas, a single supplication, made by a sincere heart is heard by the Almighty and accepted by Him. Prophet Muhammad said, “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.” [Sahih al Bukhari]
This Hadith is also one that we should remember at all times. Our duas hold extreme value to Allah (SWT), He always encourages us to make dua. And so the dua of an oppressed, one that is being wronged and going through injustice, no matter how big or small, there is no barrier between that dua and Allah (SWT). Imagine just how close to Allah you will be when there are no barriers between you and Him.
Allah Knows Everything
A common lesson we are taught from a very early age is that Allah (SWT) knows, sees, and hears everything. No matter how small or large our good deed, or our sin, Allah can see it, hear it, and He knows about it.
Every action that is committed in this world is being seen by the Almighty. And it is only a matter of time before Allah (SWT) deals with the oppressors accordingly.
Beware of Injustice
This life is full of ups and downs. And sometimes, we will bear witness to injustice, or be part of a group that commits injustice and oppresses the innocent. But it is essential that we remember this Hadith where the Prophet Muhammad said, “Beware of injustice, for injustice will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection. Beware of obscenity, for Allah does not love obscenity and immorality. Beware of greed, for it tempted those before you and caused them to make lawful what is unlawful, to shed blood and sever their family ties.” [Narrated by Abu Hurairah]
Allah (SWT) has promised great punishments on the day of judgement for those that are unjust, for those that are obscene and immoral, for oppressors, and for those that are greedy.
Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.[quran, 4:58]
It’s important to remain steadfast in our faith and never compromise our ethical standards and beliefs. Allah (SWT) has promised us that He will punish us accordingly.
But by keeping our faith in Him, relying on Him, and turning to Him, we are increasing our Iman as well. Everything that we do in the world is for Allah so when we do our best to fight injustice and oppression, we are showing our faith to Allah and performing an act of worship and devotion.
It’s also extremely essential that we all never, ever remain silent. We should always speak out for the oppressed, bring awareness to the injustice going on in the world — especially everything that’s happening to our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Uighur — and pray to Allah that our fellow Muslims will one day be given freedom from their oppressors.