The Emphasis on Justice in Nahjul Balaghah
Justice (‘adl), according to the Shi‘a school of thought, is one of the principles of religion; anything God has said and any right He has given over anyone is based on justice. The Quran places emphasis on justice and the Prophet of God was a perfect manifestation of justice. The repetition of the term ‘justice’ appears more so in Nahj ul-Balaghah than in the Quran and Sunnah. This is because, on the one hand, after the Prophet’s demise, streams of revenues to the treasury of the Muslims began to flow; on the other, there was the caliphs’ discrimination in their distribution of revenues among the social classes. Thus, drastic class differences overcame society. Imam Ali was faced with two facts: 1) He was himself a man of justice and piety, and 2) he was faced with people who were unacquainted with the Sunnah and sira of the Prophet, and who had not observed a trace of justice in the Muslim community. Therefore, a separation was placed between society and justice, and it was Imam Ali who put forth his greatest effort in implementing justice.