Be fair (DW#406)

Sura Maida, verse 42: Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. (Quran 5:42)

The verse Indeed Allah loves those who act equitably or with justice appears in several places in the Quran (5:42; 49:9; 60:8) and it means that we should deal with others on the basis on timeless ethical principles revealed by God and not in accordance with our own personal arbitrary whims or likes/dislikes. It also means that we should give everyone their due and be conscious of the obligations that we have to people in our family, community and society. 

Justice or acting equitably can be very challenging when it is against our own interests or those of our loved ones. 

But in order to become those who are loved by Allah, no less is demanded of us. 

In Sura Nisa, Allah reminds us that the command to have fair-dealings with others applies even if we have to go against our loved ones. Justice, He reminds us, trumps relationships and needs to be maintained without fear or favour.

[4:135] O you who believe! be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness of Allah's sake, though it may be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives; if he be rich or poor, Allah is nearer to them both in compassion; therefore, do not follow (your) low desires, lest you deviate; and if you swerve or turn aside, then surely Allah is aware of what you do.

Justice then, is a standard of righteousness in Islam. We need to deal with others free of self interest or bias, even if do not love them or what they do.

O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably; act equitably, that is nearer to piety, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is Aware of what you do. [Sura Maida, Quran 5:8]

Fairness and justice is a challenging quality to develop both in leadership and on a personal level and it begins with awareness of the concept of fairness itself. 

On a practical level, what does fairness and justice look like? 

As a starting point, it means that we hold ourselves to the same ethical standards that we expect of others, 
that we judge friend and foe by the same ethical standards,
that we play by the rules, 
that we don’t take advantage of others and of the trust that they place in us, 
that we take responsibility for mistakes and we correct them, 
and that we don’t play favorites at home or at work.

In our dealings with others, can you see how acting with justice and being fair is closely tied to being trustworthy and being trusted as a human being? 

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