Is Allah a Just Judge?

According to the Quran, is Allah a just judge?  Please read the following excerpt from the Religion of Islam website before I offer my thoughts on this subject:

The Importance of Justice

The Quran, the sacred scripture of Islam, considers justice to be a supreme virtue.  It is a basic objective of Islam to the degree that it stands next in order of priority to belief in God’s exclusive right to worship (Tawheed) and the truth of Muhammad’s prophethood.  God declares in the Quran:

God commands justice and fair dealing…” (Quran 16:90)

And in another passage:

O you who believe, be upright for God, and (be) bearers of witness with justice!…” (Quran 5:8)

Therefore, one may conclude that justice is an obligation of Islam and injustice is forbidden.  The centrality of justice to the Quranic value system is displayed by the following verse:

We sent Our Messengers with clear signs and sent down with them the Book and the Measure in order to establish justice among the people…” (Quran 57:25)

The phrase ‘Our Messengers’ shows that justice has been the goal of all revelation and scriptures sent to humanity.  The verse also shows that justice must be measured and implemented by the standards and guidelines set by revelation.  Islam’s approach to justice is comprehensive and all-embracing.  Any path that leads to justice is deemed to be in harmony with Islamic Law.  God has demanded justice and, although He has not prescribed a specific route, has provided general guidelines, on how to achieve it.  He has neither prescribed  a fixed means by which it can be obtained, nor has He declared invalid any particular means or methods that can lead to justice.  Therefore, all means, procedures, and methods that facilitate, refine, and advance the cause of justice, and do not violate the Islamic Law are valid.    (You can read this excerpt in its’ full context by clicking HERE)

When you read through this teaching, it is clear that the Quran holds justice in very high esteem.  In truth, there are many, many passages that mention Allah as being a god of justice.  But I see a really big problem here.  If Allah is a just judge like the Quran says, how can he forgive sins and allow his people into paradise?  Sins are crimes against his law, and crimes must be punished!

Here on Earth, what would happen if a judge simply let criminals go free because, after their crimes,  they had started doing good deeds and had asked for forgiveness?  I will tell you what would happen…the judge would be dismissed because he was not handing out justice!  Payment must be made for crimes here on Earth, and yet the Quran presents Allah as being a judge who simply forgives without payment.  The absence of ongoing evil deeds is not payment for past evil deeds, and good deeds do not undue guilt either.  I suspect a Muslim reading this will be offended, and claim Allah can do whatever he pleases as he is all-powerful.  While this claim may make the Muslim believer feel somewhat better, it in no way answers the charge of injustice.  For the judge to be just, punishment must be handed down, plain and simple.

Folks, this is one of the foundational differences between Christianity and Islam.  In fact, justice is the attribute that sets the God of the Bible apart from all other religions (including the cultural Christianity preached in so many modern evangelical churches).  Rest assured, the Lord of All is indeed a just and holy judge.  This is bad news for the Muslim!  Past crimes are not pardoned by good deeds, time nor prayers.  That is what Jesus Christ was doing on the Cross.  He humbled Himself to human form so as to take the punishment for the sins of His people.  Justice is maintained because the payment for crimes has been paid, and forgiveness is then possible.

What answer does the Muslim have for this dilemma?  I have never heard an adequate answer.  The conversation almost always gets diverted to other issues, or anger, or confused arguments in order to justify Muslim justice.  If you are a Muslim, before dismissing this article or responding in anger, take a few minutes to think about it.  Is the god of the Quran just?  Myself, I don’t see how he possibly could be…

Justice was recently the topic of a ChurchSalt sermon… Justice and the Gospel

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