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Khutba  #3

In Pursuit of integrity and justice


I advise all of us, including myself, to keep Taq’wa (piety) in mind, be righteous, and revere Allah and obey His divine commands.  Let us be heedful of our choices in life and the possible consequences of such choices in the life to come.  Let us be aware of our final destination, our eventual death and departure into the everlasting life.  May Allah provide us all with the spirit of righteousness by way of His divine obedience as means of our salvation.

Allah (swt) says in Chapter 16 (al-Nah’l), Ayah 90:


إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاء ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

“Surely Allah enjoins dealing in justice and doing good to others; and the giving to the kindred.  Allah forbids doing evilness and acts of oppression; Allah admonishes you, that you may take heed”

This verse points to how high Islam holds the doing of justice and the good to others.  The significance of integrity and justice is repeatedly mentioned in the Holy Quran as well as the Hadiths, and the sayings of the 12 Imams (the family of the Prophet).

Islam appeared in a society rife with cruelty, inequity, oppression, and innumerable vices.  The rich were uncommonly arrogant, even tyrannical in dealing with others; they regarded themselves as most privileged, treating ordinary people in denigrating ways, often offensively.  They took advantage of the meek, weak and the helpless, while at the same time the weak in rank formed the silent majority of the society.  Look at how Islam had completely altered such decrepit society to one with lofty ideals, with high level of integrity.  Let us take a simple example given by Imam Al-Saadiq.

Once a person asked Imam Al-Saadiq:  “What is good behavior?” Al-Saadiq (a.s.) answered:

“Make yourself gentle,

make your words good,

and receive your brother [Muslim] with cheerfulness”.

He also advised as follows: [1] 

“The person whose tongue is truthful, his deeds will flourish and grow;

and the one whose intention is good, his livelihood will be enhanced;

and the one whose charity is good for his kin and the members of his household, his life will be extended.

Thus, with the advent of Islam, and from its very beginning, the Islamic message made sure to harshly condemn (yet in subtle ways) the practices of Jahiliyah (Character of people before the advent of Islam).  Islam regarded such practices as very wrong.  Being viewed in this manner, Islam threatened such oppressors with the strongest terms, warning them, often condemning them, and at the same time considering them as un-deserving of neither of Allah’s approval nor His blessings.

Imam Ali addresses his sons al-Hasan and al-Husain by saying:[2] 

کونا للظالم خصماً   وللمظلوم عوناً

Sons! Always campaign against the despot (the oppressor), and

Always lend a hand to assist the oppressed


Imam al-Saadiq has been quoted as saying:[3] 

ما من مؤمن یعین مؤمناً مظلوماً افضل من صیام شهر واعتکافه فی المسجد الحرام

More worthy it is for a Muslim to help an oppressed Muslim

than to fast and sit in seclusion for a whole month in Masjid al-Haram


Islam recognizes two kinds of justice (integrity):

  1. The individual justice and

  2. The social justice.

Integrity, (meaning individual or personal justice), points to high level of honesty and honor, goodness of character, and abstaining from sinfulness, lying, backbiting, hypocrisy, or committing other varieties of sins; it also means avoiding the major sins.  In other words, individual justice means to be a person of integrity, honesty, to be upright, truthful, reliable, and honorable.

In the Islamic society, a man must be “just” according to the above definition, when and if he is to be a judge, governor, Imam al-Jama’ah, or Imam of Jumu’ah, or to hold responsible position.

In Islam justice in social affairs is more significant, if not central, than simply doing the good deeds.  Social justice means we must not campaign against the rights of any man, let alone the civil rights of others.  In Islam the rights of individuals are considered sacred.  But consider our societies these days, how many of us deal in this manner?  Look around, ask yourself, find out and mull over for an answer!

Allah commands us by saying in Surah 4 (al-Nisaa), Ayah 58:


إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤدُّواْ الأَمَانَاتِ إِلَى أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَن تَحْكُمُواْ بِالْعَدْلِ إِنَّ اللّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُم بِهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا

“Verily! Allah commands that you should return the trusts to their owners;

and when you judge among men to pass judgment with justice”

On individual matters, doing well in ethics, being righteous, and refining the personal character according to the Divine Guidelines is of more significance than justice.  Allah in the Holy Quran praises the ones who give preference to others rather than themselves, even though poverty may afflict them.

To prevent hoarding wealth and to uproot the malady of poverty and suffering, Islam has prescribed many laws.  According to these laws the rich and affluent are under obligation to pay every year a defined percentage of their wealth to the poor.  The Holy Quran has mentioned this at a number of places and has given it so much importance that it is associated with the greatest of the religious duties namely “Salat”.  For example, in Surah 2, Ayah 110,  it says:


وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُواْ لأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

“And establish Salat [prayers] and give Zakat [poor-due] and whatever good you send ahead, you will find it rewarded; verily Allah sees what you do.”

In the modern world, the indigence and poverty of the majority of people and the vast class distinction have attracted the minds of religious leaders and wise men.  They are making effort to find solutions to this ailment and to reduce the frightfully dangerous gap between the classes in the society. We hope they will attain this sacred goal and pave the way to promote Islamic knowledge.


For the end of the 1st part of the Khutba, read Surah Al-Asr, take a short intermission, then start the 2nd part of the Khutba with a short Du’aa.


Allah says in Surah al-Hujuraat 49, Ayah 10:


إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

“Lo! The Believers are as brothers,

so make reconciliation among your brothers,

and fear Allah that you may receive mercy”

This Ayah discusses mutual relationship among Muslims.  In Islam all Muslims are regarded as virtual brothers of one another, i.e. brothers in spirit.  Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) recited the above verses when the enmity and ill feeling among his contemporaries was the very norm and very common.  People were and had always been in discord and they were at loggerheads with one another.  People’s hearts were full with malice and rancor.

In order to uproot or at least mitigate the bitterness and animosity, the Muslims are reminded of this Ayah.  Remarkably, this Ayah shifted the attention of the people, making Islam succeed in a remarkable manner in its bid for brotherhood of man.  Islam established peace to replace rancor, and harmony to replace discord, and it brought about mutual love among the many brothers in the faith.  It was a remarkable transformation, almost miraculous, affecting not only individuals but also the society at large.

Imam Al-Saadiq advices us with the following, making it necessary for the believer to accept advice. He said:  “The believer is in need of three matters:

  1. Success as granted by Allah, Most Great and Almighty,

  2. To be a preacher to his own self (i.e. to respond to his conscience), and

  3. To accept goodly advice."[4]

Nahjul Balaaghah mentions that just before his death Imam Ali advised his children by saying:[5]

اوصیکما  وجمیع ولدی  ومن بلغه کتابی بتقوی الله  ونظم امرکم،

فانی سمعت جدکما رسول الله (ص) یقول: صلاح ذات البین افضل من عامة الصلوة  والصیام

Sons! I advise you to practice Taq’wa (piety and righteousness),

and to keep your affairs organized and regular among yourselves. 

For I have heard your grandfather, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) say,

“Allah regards making peace between two persons as of more value than praying and fasting for sometime


For these reasons, in the early days of Islam, the leaders of the faith attached enormous significance to this subject, so much so that some of them kept extra money in trust with companions of theirs.  The purpose of the trust was to settle disputes (through payments) when financial dispute arises between two persons, thus bring about peace between them.

Basically Islam has imposed mutual responsibilities upon Muslims and called them “rights of brothers in faith”.   Imam Ali quotes from the Holy Prophet as saying:[6] 

Every Muslim has thirty rights over another Muslim which he should either perform or the other should spare him from performing them.  He elaborated by saying a Muslim:

▪    should overlook the errors of his brother in faith,

    should feel for him when he is in trouble,

    should conceal his secrets,

    should not talk about his mistakes,

    should accept his apology,

    should defend him when others try to tear down his mutual friendship,

    should pay his dues,

    should visit him when he is sick,

    should escort his funeral in the event of his death,

    should accept his invitation and his presents,

    should recompense him for his gifts, and thank him for his favors,

    should render him proper assistance,

    should protect his brother’s honor and meet his needs and make him achieve his purpose.

    [Even] If he sneezes he should invoke benedictions for him.

Then Imam Ali added:

A Muslim should channel all lost possessions to its owner, reply to his salutations, and treat his statements to be correct, consider his prize to be good, and confirm his oaths.

A Muslim is to be friendly with his friends and assist him whether he happens to be the oppressor or the oppressed one.  However, in case he is the oppressor the assistance to be rewarded is that he should be stopped from doing evil and in case he is the oppressed one, the requisite instance is to help him in receiving his due.

A Muslim should not leave his brother unaided to face hardships and should consider what is good for himself as good for his brother, and should not desire things for him which he does not desire them for himself.


Unfortunately at the present time, most Muslims are not aware of these glorious teachings, or they give them only lip service.  It is incumbent on us to apply these teachings. We must try to translate these teachings in different languages and explain them to others.  Fortunately some scholars and thinkers are dealing with this important responsibility.

How many of us apply those recommendations as outlined for the man of Taq’wa?  Think of yourself, your friends and family and see how many truly apply such lofty principles!

Let us ask ourselves:  Have we applied these wonderful principles or are we simply taking them lightly, only as a lip service!  Have we been involved in the society, individually and socially?  Isn’t it time that we follow the model and character of Muhammad (pbuh)? May we endeavor to put to practice Allah's guidance as Allah urges us to!  With Allah's help we might, insha' Allah.

We implore Allah to help us deliver the message of Islam and offer it to others.  We ask Allah (swt) to help us be in pursuit of integrity and justice and grant us the opportunity not only to reach the highest quality in character but also achieve social justice.


Let us read Surah Al-Nasr with a short Du’aa to close the Khutba.


[1] Life of Imam Al-Saadiq, Section of Sayings, Saying 456, published by Islamic reference CD

[2] Nahjul Balaaghah, Page 235.

[3] Bihaar Al-Anwaar, Vol. 15, Page 124.

[4] Life of Imam Al-Saadiq, Section of Sayings, Saying 413, published by Islamic reference CD

[5] Nahjul Balaaghah, Letter 47, Page 235.

[6] Bihaar Al-Anwaar, Vol. 15, Page 65.

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