The Concept of Justice in Islam by Sir Zafrulla Khan


Author: Sir Zafrulla Khan

The Quran has at various places reiterated this principle.

And the recompense of an injury is a penalty the like thereof; but whoso forgives and his act brings about reformation, his reward is with God. Surely, He loves not the wrongdoers.(XLII. 41)

This verse lays down the principle that the penalty in respect of a wrong or injury should be in proportion thereto, but that where forgiveness would lead to reformation, the injury should be forgiven or the penalty may be reduced. A Contravention of either of these principles would amount to wrong doing. A penalty severer than that demanded by the wrong or injury done, or, forgiveness or lenience in a case where the circumstances do not indicate that forgiveness might result in improvement or reformation would both be wrong.


Surely, God wrongs not anyone even by the weight of an atom. And if there be a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward. (IV. 41)

The same principle is repeated in various contexts. For instance:

For those who do good deeds, there shall be the best reward and yet more blessings. And neither darkness nor ignominy shall cover their faces. (X. 27)

And as for those who do. evil deeds, the punishment of an evil shall be the like thereof, and ignominy shall cover them. (X. 28)

It may be pointed out that the safeguarding against darkness and ignominy in one case and being subjected to ignominy in the other is, in the strict sense, not a part of the reward or the penalty, but is a consequence which flows from the nature of the act in each case. It is a quality of good and evil respectively.

Whoso does a good deed shall have ten times as much; but he who does an evil deed, shall have only a like reward; and they shall not be wronged. (VI. 161)

Whoso does evil will be requited only with the like of it; but whoso does good, whether male or female, and is a believer-these will enter the Garden; they will be provided therein without measure. (XL. 41)

Read the book in PDF format: The-Concept-of-Justice-in-Islam

The author has counted the very first verse of each surahBismillah, which is common to all surahs except for one. So please adjust the count by one depending on your volume of the Quran.

About the author of the book from Encyclopedia Britannica:

Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan

“Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan was a Pakistani politician, diplomat, and international jurist, known particularly for his representation of Pakistan at the United Nations (UN).

The son of the leading attorney of his native city, Zafrulla Khan studied at Government College in Lahore and received his LL.B. from King’s College, London University, in 1914. He practiced law in Sialkot and Lahore, became a member of the Punjab Legislative Council in 1926, and was a delegate in 1930, 1931, and 1932 to the Round Table Conferences on Indian reforms in London. In 1931–32 he was president of the All-India Muslim League (later the Muslim League), and he sat on the British viceroy’s executive council as its Muslim member from 1935 to 1941. He led the Indian delegation to the League of Nations in 1939, and from 1941 to 1947 he served as a judge of the Federal Court of India.

Prior to the partition of India in 1947, Zafrulla Khan presented the Muslim League’s view of the future boundaries of Pakistan to Sir Cyril Radcliffe, the man designated to decide the boundaries between India and Pakistan. Upon the independence of Pakistan, Zafrulla Khan became the new country’s minister of foreign affairs and served concurrently as leader of Pakistan’s delegation to the UN (1947–54). From 1954 to 1961 he served as a member of the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He again represented Pakistan at the UN in 1961–64 and served as president of the UN General Assembly in 1962–63. Returning to the International Court of Justice in 1964, he served as the court’s president from 1970 to 1973.

He was knighted in 1935. He is the author of Islam: Its Meaning for Modern Man (1962) and wrote a translation of the Qur’an (1970).” [Encylopaedia Britannica]

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