In the seventh session of the Leadership Legacies we discussed Holistic Justice. This is comprised of:
- Fairness – the concept of sticking up for what is correct, regardless of who is around you
- Ihsan – Excellence and seeking the whole truth (which links heavily with competence)
- Conflict resolution – knowing what solutions are appropriate when and how to resolve situations
- Mediation – How to remain calm and be an arbitrator in certain scenarios
- Forgiveness – knowing when to let small matters slide, and master the concept of letting things slide for yourself but seeking holistic justice for others
We often hear the term justice, but what does holistic justice mean?
It’s the concept of seeking justice in every situation – for black lives, for disabled rights, or for those oppressed. As a Muslim it is important to seek justice in all situations, which includes things like sticking up for injustice against oneself, injustice against the ummah and injustice against Allah.
The Quran mentions this kind of justice often:
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.
An – Nisa [4:135]
Allah also shows us how important this quality is as one of His names is Al-Adl, The Just.
The Prophet ﷺ also faced many injustices during his time and always administered holistic justice. Whether that be to stand up against racial injustice, injustice against the poor and needy or stop the horrific female infanticide which is now non-existent in Arabia due to him. An example of this is when a rich woman stole, and the rich community pressured the Prophet ﷺ to let her go without consequences, whilst the poor looked to him to see what he would do. He said:
“Many a community ruined itself in the past as they only punished the poor and ignored the offences of the exalted. By Allah, if Muhammad’s (My) daughter Faatimah would have committed theft, her hand would have been severed.”
We also discussed the nature that holistic justice and Ihsan go hand in hand as a leader. You cannot have one without the other and be an effective leader.
Ultimately, if we didn’t believe in justice – we wouldn’t be part of Charity Week. By helping orphans and needy children we are trying to remove some of the world’s injustices, and this is a great start. Justice is a lot easier however, is a lot easier than holistic justice – which encompasses our every action. This means that we don’t litter because this is an injustice against our religion. This means that we don’t swear when we speak to friends as this is an injustice against ourselves. This means that we try and be the best Muslim that we can be in order to not be unjust to Allah – who has given us this beautiful deen (religion) and has made our lives relatively just.
We ask Allah to allow us to benefit the ummah and our communities, and we ask Him to allow us to learn from the beautiful example of our Prophet ﷺ and allow us to administer holistic justice in all areas of life.
- Evaluate and reflect on how you are applying holistic justice
- Do what you can for those facing injustices around the world
- Exercise justice combined with Ihsan in our roles in Charity Week
Take home lessons
- Remember that Allah is Al-Adl, The Just
- One day we will stand in front of Him and He will deliver true justice and held account for our actions
- Will we be able to say: “I did what I could with the opportunities you gave me”?
Implementing it in CW
- Clear our intentions and stick up for what is correct
- Cultivate a culture of “challenge and be open to challenge” with respect
- Realise that we cannot truly have unity without holistic justice
- Remember why we are here – to get justice for those orphans and needy children