The Manifestations of Prophets’ Justice during Reappearance
Existence of law and order is a pre-requisite for harmony and peace in any social setup. However, mere formulation of laws and regulations do not ensure their fulfilment. Also, one cannot lead a peaceful individual and social life by the mere presence of laws and policies. Real felicity and satisfaction in social life can be achieved only when a society acts on justice and equity. This in turn can be possible when laws of the society are also based on justice and equity. Allah the Almighty, on account of His infinite mercy, has made all the provisions necessary for the felicity of human beings. However, due to their ingratitude, they exposed themselves to Allah’s wrath. Divine leaders and laws based on equity and justice are the most important divine bounties. Unfortunately, man due to his ungratefulness has deprived himself of these vital gifts.
After exercising all the strength and power at his disposal, man has concluded that felicitous life, which may also be termed as an ideal society, is possible only with mutual cooperation and peaceful co-existence. However, social life depends on many pre-requisites; law and order being the most important. In the absence of law and order not only is the purpose of living in a society defeated but the very existence of its members is put in danger. This raises a basic question about the criteria of law and order, especially when they are so central to our lives? What are the different aims before the one who is formulating the guidelines of law and order? Who shall execute these policies?
It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss this topic in detail but looking at the present society and its law and order, let us briefly present three scenarios.
A. A society revolving around the path of righteousness. Such a society flourishes under the shadow of divine laws, principles and (divine) leaders in whose view (the proximity to) Allah is the beginning and end of life.
All the efforts of Prophets (a.s.) and their successors (a.s.) were aimed at establishing human society on the guidelines of righteousness. It will be correct to say that the government of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is a continuation of the (task of) Messengers and the Prophets; wherein justice shall shine with its full glory and splendour. Injustice and oppression – in all their forms – shall be virtually rendered non-existent. It is only under these conditions that one can think of justice.
B. The second case is of a society that acts against divine purpose. They are those who rebel against divine leaders, shed innocent blood and act cruelly. Even today we come across such people who use oppression and injustice to accomplish their evil plans. These are the very people who, after the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will wage a war against his system of justice and equity. Such people have been termed as ‘those on whom is Thy wrath’ in Holy Quran.
C. This society is completely unaware of moral virtues and righteousness and lives in the gloom of disbelief and ignorance. It exists in utter darkness and is far from human progress and religious civilization. Although it is possible to guide them, yet their ignorance and imprudence prevents them from stepping towards guidance. Holy Quran has classified them under the group ‘those who have gone astray’.
The events of the present era, in all aspects, are in stark contrast to the principles of justice and equity. Today, the world is under the influence of such people who want to gain a stronghold over the wealth and power of the world and keep others deprived of the same. To achieve this purpose they do not hesitate in using the most barbaric means. They exploit the slogans of human freedom, secularism, protecting the rights of the cities, global war against terrorism, prevention of the spread of atomic weapons and universal peace and harmony. These are the deceiving machinations and slogans of such people that are used to camouflage their evil plans and acts of oppression. We would therefore not be erroneous in saying – from the Quranic point of view – that the governments of this era are in the hands of ‘those on whom is divine wrath’. The righteous continue to live in minority and a state of helplessness. The group of ‘those who have gone astray’ also is hapless at the hands of ‘those on whom is divine wrath’.
The people of the world in reality do not have a universal and a comprehensive code of conduct that considers the rights of all the section of the society, understands its individual and collective needs and does not ignore even rights of animals. Actually the role of the government is to guide all the sections of the society, on the basis of justice and equity, towards perfection by fulfilling everyone’s right and preventing conflicts. Every government has to satisfy two aspects of the society – material and spiritual.
A. Material Aspect:
This ensures the prevalence of law and order and the fulfilment of economic, social and material needs and procurement of basic facilities.
B. Spiritual Aspect
This aspect of the government also strengthens the material aims. Let us briefly point out some peculiarities of the government of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) as per the verses of Holy Quran and traditions of Ahle Bait (a.s.).
A. Guiding all people towards one religion of Allah
There are several verses supporting this point.
1. Surah Ibrahim (14): Verse 1
Alif Lam Ra. (This is) a Book which We have revealed to you that you may bring forth men, by their Lord’s permission from utter darkness into light – to the way of the Mighty, the Praised One
2. Surah Baqarah (2) : Verse 257
Allah is the guardian of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light
3. Surah Hajj (22) : Verse 41
Those who – should We establish them in the land – will keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and enjoin good and forbid evil
Establishment on earth means that believers shall be given dominion over this earth and a just government shall be established through them.
4. Surah Noor (24) : Verse 55
Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those before them, and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them, and that He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange; they shall serve Me, not associating aught with Me; and whoever is ungrateful after this, these it is who are the transgressors.
This noble verse points towards four aims:
a. Universal government
b. Shiite Islamic government
c. Establishment of justice and equality
d. Eradication of polytheism from earth
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has said:
By Allah! Even if a day remains from the life of this world, Allah will prolong it so that my son Mahdi (a.s.) will reappear and fill the earth will justice and equity in the same way as it would have been replete with injustice and oppression. His government will encompass both east and the west.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse.
(Surah Taubah (6): Verse 33)
Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) says:
Allah shall make his religion dominant over other religions through Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) even though the unbelievers abhor it.
B. Enforcing Divine Laws especially Justice
There are many Quranic verses regarding this:
1. Surah Hadeed (57) : Verse 25
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.
2. Surah A’raaf (7) : Verse 29
Say: My Lord has enjoined justice…
3. Surah A’raaf (7) : Verse 157
Those who follow the Messenger-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Taurat and the Injeel (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honor him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful.
The above verse explicitly supports our view. When it is established that enjoining good and forbidding evil is the duty of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), his rightful successor, who attributes his government to him, too would tread his footsteps in discharging his duty. Moreover the greatest service to humanity is to liberate them from the clutches of ignorance. In the government of Imam Mahdi (a.s.), the conflicts between the governments of today arising from their attempts to establish superiority over others and gain ulterior motives will be unheard-of.
C. Prevalence of Spiritual and Moral Values
All of us are aware of the moral and ethical degradation in our society. The moral values are not only denied their due importance, but laws are also formed against them. Moral values are virtually non-existing in politics, economics and governance. In the government of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) moral and spiritual values shall flourish and all sorts of moral degradation shall be eliminated.
Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) says:
There will be an atmosphere of friendship, love and unity at the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.s.).
(Al-Ikhtisaas, p. 24)
D. Economic Justice:
Since its inception, this world has somehow survived despite economic imbalances. Never in turbulent past of a million years have we seen an era of justice and fulfilment of the rights of all beings. We have not seen a period where the promise of Allah ‘so that people act with justice and equity’, has been actualized. The magnitude of the economic imbalance and partiality of today is such that it has never been seen before. The gap between the rich and the poor has never been so wide. The number of people living below poverty line has never been so large. The extent of degradation faced by the poor and needy section of the society in obtaining their rights is not hidden from any dignified person.
It is sufficient to quote from a report of the Human Rights Organization that human beings are starving to death on one hand whereas on the other hand, wealthy and affluent individuals are occupied in protecting their wealth. The universal government of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will be based on justice and equity, not only from the individual aspect but also on political, economic and collective justice and equity. Many traditions state that poverty will be virtually non-existent in his government. As a result no one will be needy or poor. This will be the outcome of the equitable distribution of wealth.
Abu Saeed al-Khudri narrates from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) thus:
I give you glad tidings about the Mahdi who shall reappear from my nation for mediating and resolving the disputes among people. The inhabitants of the earth and the sky shall be satisfied with him. He will distribute the wealth among the people in a just and appropriate manner.
(Behaarul Anwaar, v. 51, p. 78)
In another tradition we find:
He shall distribute wealth among the people in such a just and appropriate manner that none will remain needy and dependent.
(Behaarul Anwaar, v. 51, p. 88)
The knowledge and science of today is limited from various aspects. It will not be incorrect to say that we can find only one kind of knowledge in this world i.e. material knowledge. All the efforts of science and research are focused on material benefits and have completely ignored the quest for spiritual peace and contentment. Moreover, even the knowledge and science of fulfilling material needs are under the control of certain people who exhibit deceit and cunningness by keep them out of the reach of common man by formulating various laws and policies. They do not share their technological knowhow with developing and under-developed countries unless they gain control over a much advanced technology. They are shared only when it (the technology) becomes obsolete and useless. However with the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) the intellects of the people shall be perfected. The benefits of advancement of knowledge shall be at the disposal of one and all.
Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) says:
When our Qaem (a.t.f.s.) will reappear, he shall grant perfection to human intellect. In his era, wisdom and knowledge shall be taught to all. So much so that the ladies in their households will pass judgements on the basis of Holy Quran and the conduct of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
(Behaarul Anwaar, v. 10, p. 104)
How pleasant and delightful will our lives be in such a universal Shiite government! May Allah give us the opportunity to live under such a government and include us among its humble servants!