Who are the people who are really responsible for trusts and justice?

The Details of the Question

Who are the people who are really responsible for trusts and justice?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“Allah doth command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due; And when ye judge between man and man, that ye judge with justice: Verily how excellent is the teaching which He giveth you! For Allah is He Who heareth and seeth all things.” (an-Nisa, 4/58)

The addressees of the people here for the fulfillment of the trusts, giving trust to people who are due and judging among people with justice are generally all people, specifically believers, and more specifically the people and institutions responsible for trust and justice on behalf of the public.

Throughout history, the peace and happiness of human societies have been gained or lost for two reasons: trust and justice.

Peace and happiness existed in the society as long as the trusts were given to those who were due and justice was secured; and treachery and injustice were among the main reasons for discontent, quarrels, wars and destruction of wealth and generations.

Trustis the material and spiritual value required to be protected. Something that a person borrows in order to use and return to its owner is a trust; similarly, the positions given to people in the state so that they will serve the public are also trusts; knowledge, religion, treaties, contracts and rights of neighbors, etc. are all trusts.

All of them need to be protected, handed over to the relevant people or authorities and used in accordance with the purpose they were entrusted.

The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following:

“There are three characteristics of a hypocrite: when he speaks, he lies, when he makes a promise, he acts treacherously, and when he something is entrusted to him, he betrays.” (Muslim, Iman, 107-109)

Thus, he described the people who betrayed the things entrusted to them as people with characteristics of munafiqs.

The judgment among people is usually given when there is a dispute and a legal case by distinguishing between the right and the wrong or by explaining to whom the right belongs.

Justice means "ensuring equality and balance".

What is meant by equality here is not giving everyone the same thing with the same quality and quantity; it is everyone being equal in obtaining their rights, what they deserve and what they are worthy of; being treated equally by the law when a person who is right but weak has a problem or disagreement with a person who is wrong but strong.

Those who violate people's rights often do so by regarding themselves superior and powerful to others.

When the public power supports the person who is right but weak, equality in practice, that is, justice, is ensured.

The realization of justice depends on having the right, equitable and balanced knowledge and criteria about who deserves what, and who is worthy of what– along with just people who apply justice. The rules of law and binding legislation are imposed in order to provide the knowledge and criteria.

If the rules of the law are imposed by people independent of divine guidance the criteria of equity and the balance of rights can be distorted since it is not possible for people not to go beyond themselves, not to be influenced by human conditions and the culture and values of the society ​.

If the knowledge is incomplete and the criteria are wrong, justice is not secured – even if system, law and courts exist.

Allah, who created man and the universe, has imposed mizan (the criteria).

Mizan means "the criteria of balance, equity and justice in material and spiritual fields". The indispensable resource related to finding the criteria for law is nass (Quranic verses and hadiths).

Related to the issues that verses and hadiths do not explain directly, it is necessary to refer to public interest, interpretation, ijtihads of qiyas (juristic expositions of analogy) and urf (custom or usage); the decrees and criteria to secure justice are obtained this way. When decrees and criteria are found and known, they are put into practice.

In practice, there are two guarantees for justice not to be corrupted:

A) Ethics based on belief.

B) Supervision by the society with the sense of trust and responsibility.

There is no reason for justice not to be secured in a place where sound rules of law, ethics and public supervision exist.

It is man who needs to obey and show respect to justice and trust; despite the perfect guide of Islam, the failures of trust and justice seen in Muslim societies originate from the lack of Islamic people, and failures of so-called Muslims in belief, ethics and deeds.

If the top administrators do not give the trusts to the people who are due as much as they can and if they do not supervise carefully, the greatest responsibility will belong to them.


Hayrettin Karaman (Prof. Dr.)

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