Social Justice in Islam: Addressing Poverty and Inequality


Dr Ghulam Rasul Zahid


Social justice is a central tenet of Islam, with the Quran and teachings of Prophet Muhammad emphasizing the importance of fairness, equality, and compassion towards all members of society. In Islamic teachings, social justice encompasses a wide range of issues, including poverty alleviation, wealth distribution, human rights, and equality among individuals. One of the key principles of social justice in Islam is the concept of zakat, which is the mandatory giving of a portion of one's wealth to those in need. Zakat serves as a means of redistributing wealth and ensuring that the less fortunate members of society have their basic needs met. In addition to zakat, sadaqah (voluntary charity) is also encouraged in Islam as a way to help those in need and promote social welfare. Islam also promotes the idea of economic justice, emphasizing fair trade practices, ethical business dealings, and the prohibition of exploitation and usury. The Quran condemns the accumulation of wealth through unjust means and calls for the equitable distribution of resources among all members of society. Furthermore, Islam emphasizes the rights of the marginalized and vulnerable groups in society, including orphans, widows, and the elderly. Muslims are encouraged to show compassion and support for these individuals, and the community as a whole is responsible for providing assistance and care for those in need. Overall, social justice in Islam is rooted in the principles of compassion, equality, and fairness. Muslims are called upon to actively work towards creating a more just and equitable society, where all individuals have access to basic necessities and are treated with dignity and respect. By upholding these principles, Muslims can contribute to the promotion of social justice and the well-being of all members of society.