29. YA ADL


He has made it impossible for Himself to be unjust, and he made it forbidden for His servants.  He is not blemished by injustice in His laws and actions.  He gives everyone His rights.  So be just in your judgments and in your actions.

From: The Children Around the Table of Allah, by Shaykh Muhammad Sa’id al-Jamal ar-Rifa’i Head of the Higher Sufi Council in Jerusalem and the Holy Land Teacher at the Dome of the Rock (al-Aqsa)


His is the absolute justice.  Justice is the opposite of tyranny.  Tyranny causes pain, destruction, and disturbance.  Justice secures peace, balance, order, and harmony.  Allah the Just is the enemy of tyrants:  He hates those who support tyrants and their friends, sympathizers, and acquaintances.  In Islam, tyranny in any form or shape is unlawful.  To be just is an honor and a distinction befitting a Muslim.

These opposites – justice and tyranny-have wide implications more important than their simple moral and social consequences.  They are equivalent to harmony versus disharmony, order versus chaos, and right versus wrong.  If in expression of his generosity someone gave money to the rich, swords to scholars, and books to soldiers, he would at one level, be considered a tyrant for swords befit soldiers, books to scholars, and the poor need the money.  Yet if Allah did the same, His act would be justice, for He sees all, the before and the after, the inner and the outer.  He is All-Knowing, the Beneficent, the Merciful, the Absolute Justice.  He creates some beautiful and others ugly, some strong and others weak; then He renders the beautiful ugly, and the strong, weak; the rich, poor, the wise, stupid; the healthy sick.  All is just.  All is right.

It seems unjust to some of us that there are people who are lame, blind, deaf, starving, insane; and that the young die.

Allah is the creator of the beautiful and of the ugly, the good as well as the bad.  In this are mysteries difficult to understand.  Yet, we understand at least that one often needs to know the opposite of a thing in order to understand it.  Whoever has not experienced sadness cannot know happiness.  If there were no ugliness we would be blind to beauty.  Both good and bad are necessary.  Allah shows one with the other, the right against the wrong, and shows us the consequences of each.  He shows the rewards versus the punishments; then He leaves us free to use our own judgment.  Each according to his lot may find salvation in misery and sickness, or damnation in riches.  Allah knows our destinies.  The realization of our destinies is His justice.

Out of respect for the beautiful names of Allah, al-‘Adl, we must learn to exercise shukr, tawakkul, and rida’ – thankfulness, trust in God, and acceptance.  We must be thankful for the good and accept, without personal judgment or complaint, whatever falls to our lot that does not seem to be good.  In so doing, perhaps the mystery of Allah’s justice will be revealed to us, and we will be happy with both the joy and the pain coming from the Beloved.

‘Abd al-‘Adl is the one who applies to himself first that which he intends to do to others.  His actions are never under the influence of anger, revenge, or self-interest; they are never to the detriment of others.  He behaves and acts according to the rules of Allah.  Yet such a person knows that divine justice is not equality as human beings imagine it to be.  He gives their rights in the right measure to those who have the right.

Someone may be fair in his treatment of others yet opposed by them.  If such a person writes this divine Name on a mouthful of bread and eats it on a Friday night, his opponents will see the truth and obey him, if Allah so wills.

From: The Name & the Named, by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti