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A Glimpse into the Life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa)

Justice and Fair Dealing

The Arabs were greatly given to favouritism and applied different standards to different persons. Even among the so-called civilized nations of today one observes a reluctance to bring prominent persons or persons occupying high positions or offices to account for their doings, though the law is enforced rigorously against the common citizen. The Holy Prophet (sa) was, however, unique in enforcing uniform standards of justice and fair dealing. On one occasion a case came before him in which a young woman belonging to a highly respectable family was found to have committed theft. This caused great consternation as, if the normal penalty were imposed upon the young woman, a leading family would be humiliated and disgraced. Many were anxious to intercede with the Prophet (sa) on behalf of the offender but were afraid to do so. Eventually Usama (ra) was prevailed upon to undertake the mission. Usama (ra)went to the Holy Prophet (sa) but the moment the latter perceived the trend of his submission he was much upset and said: ‘You had better desist. Nations have come to a bad end for showing favours to highly placed persons while pressing hard on the common people. Islam does not permit this and I will certainly not do it. Verily, if my own daughter, Fatima (ra), were to commit an offence I would not hesitate to impose the appropriate penalty.’ (Bukhari, Kitabul Hudud).[i]

[i] Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), Life of Muhammad (sa) (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 2014), 219.