Lesson 8: God is Just

Earlier we read that the Creator should possess all the great qualities and should be free from all shortcomings and defects. One of the great qualities of God is justness. Because anyone who exercises tyranny and oppression is either ignorant of its evil nature or deems himself needy and does so to meet his needs. For instance, someone who seizes other peoples’ properties by force is either ignorant of the viciousness of this act or he tries to fulfill his needs or eliminate his lack of wealth that he regards as a defect.

But with regard to the Creator of the world who is absolutely needless and the source of all virtues and is acquainted with the true nature of everything through His boundless knowledge, it is quite absurd to be tyrannical and oppressive. In some prayers we read,

“O God! Anyone who exercises oppression is weak and impotent, and he does so to make up for his weakness. But Your Holy and Lofty Being is free from such defects.”1


The reason why the Shi’ahs regard justness as the second primary principles of their religion is that some Sunni sects do not consider justness necessary for God. That is, they argue that if God, the Exalted, hurl His obedient and devout servants into hell, this would not be oppression and injustice. Even if it was deemed to be unfair, when done by God, it would not be regarded as evil. They have also raised some points on free will and predestination that presuppose injustice in God.

As opposed to these groups, the Shi’ahs and some other Sunni sects have proved the quality of justness in God with irrefutable reasons and have contended that without doubt, oppression and injustice are derogatory and evil and if they were committed by God, they would continue to be so, and we all know that God will never commit any evil.

Therefore, justness occupies the second place in the primary principles of the Shi’ahs to distinguish them from these groups of Sunni sects. Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) has observed,

“God, the Exalted, won’t punish the innocent due to the sins committed by others and He won’t torment children due to the transgressions and sins perpetrated by their parents. God, the Exalted, can forgive sins and it is beneath God to exercise tyranny and oppression.”2

  • 1. Misbah al-Mujtahid, p. 188.
  • 2. Al-Tawhid by al-Saduq, p. 407.