Allah Ta’laa declares:

“Indicted are those who oppress others and are haughty on earth”

Surah Shurah- Al-Quraan

Committing Oppression is Haraam

The purport of this Aayat is to warn over committing oppression when extracting revenge. Thus the Aaayat covers oppression irrespective of it being retaliatory or introductory, for the words of the Aayat are of general import. In fact, the prohibition of oppression can be readily understood from the Aayat in spite of the context of the Aayat being oppressing in retaliation, If it is haraam to oppress even in retaliation then to a greater degree is it haraam to commit unprovoked oppression.

When retaliating, a person is overcome with anger on account of the zulm (oppression) commited by the other party. In the frenzy the chances of overstepping the limits of revenge are not remote. In fact, it is only a man of valour who will observe the limits in such circumstances. Now when there is no permission to commit oppression in an excusable situation then how can it be permitted to be oppressive where one has no reason of justification? Thus, the Aayat’s purport covers introductory to oppression as well.

The Root Of Oppression

Then Allah Ta’laa states:

“And they are haughty and rebellious on earth”

This additional clause is to point out that the root and cause of oppression is haughtiness, It is for this reason that we find one reason for the disregard of the rights of others being the erroneous notion of rights being due solely on account of honour. People fufil the rights of one whose honour is accepted whilst disregard the rights of one who holds no position and honour in their hearts. Having no honour in the heart for someone is synonymous to thinking of that person to be inferior to one; and this is the gist of haughtiness which Allah Ta’laa speaks of in the Aayat,

“And they are haughty

The Treatment

Haughtiness is reproachable. Intelligence and norm accept this fact. Therefore, it has to be treated. Further in the Aayat Allah Ta’laa mentions the treatment,

on earth

The teachings of Allah Ta’laa are wonderful. He outlines sickness and provides the cure as well. Reflecting over the entire Qur’aan will reveal that where a sickness is mentioned the is also to be found there.

Even in this world Allah Ta’laa has implemented this pattern. Where something is harmful, the remedu is found nearby. One explorer write that there is a type of poisonous grass which inflict pain similar to the sting of a scorpion. However, close by another grass which is the antidote to the sting. By ewxternal application of this grass the pain caused by the first type of grass immediately subsides.

Similarly, the treatment of haughtiness is stated here,

“on the earth”

The gist of this is that your haughtiness is astonishing considering you live on earth and have been created from it. Ponder a little! What is your origin? Your origin is this earth and sand upon which humans and animals walk and move about, urinate and defecate. This is from what you have been created. You should therefore have shame in you.

At another place in the Qur’aan Allah Ta’laa draws attention to this by saying:

“From it sand We have created you, to it We will return you and from it We will extract you for a second time”

Surah Tahaa Verse 55

Here, too, we are taught to meditate about our origin being the earth, We have been created from the soil of the earth to which we will return when we die and decompose into dust. What then prompts us to display haughtiness?

This is truly a wonderful treatment for haughtiness. We should therefore utilize it by meditating on the condition of the soil of the earth.

“Allah Ta’laa created you from the sand. So, O Servant of Allah, be humble like sand”

Sheikh Saa’di (Rahmatullahi Alaihi

Alas! Our origin is under everyone’s feet whilst we wish to propel ourselves into the sky. All those airs are only as long as we bask in the favours of Allah Ta’laa. Let just one favour be snatched away and our airs will be reduced to dust. Look at the mentally handicapped person. What does he lack that he is considered a normal human being? His mind is impaired. Just look, then at the consequence.

A friend suffered a stroke. He was a distinguished Aalim. The stroke completely wiped out whatever he knew, He even forgot Surah Faatiha. After recovering he was taught like a child Alhamdu Lillahi Rabbil Aalameen. His brother became happy at his recovery that he distributed sweetmeats. Now what makes man haughty? Everything is going to be reduced to dust

“on earth”

draws our attention to this – living on this earth and you are haughty? Don’t you have any shame?

Source: The Road To Allah Ta’laa -Selected Discourses of Hakeemul Ummah, Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi Rahmtullahi Alaihi

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