Understanding The Prophet's Life
From Issue: 939 [Read full issue]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) made it clear that if anyone is awarded something unfairly and knows it to be unfair, they are accountable for such injustice. He warned his Companions when they put their disputes to him, reminding them that he was only human: "some of you may be able to present a better case and I rule in their favour. If I give anyone something that belongs to his brother, I am only giving him a brand of fire. He may take it or leave it." [Bukhari]
The Prophet, in addition to explaining the message of Islam and calling on people to believe in it, sought to show how it should be implemented. His statement above (about winning something unfairly by the support of a court of law) makes every individual the final arbiter with regard to what is fair. Some may be able to submit a strong case, supported by documents and evidence, and the Prophet or any judge may rule in their favour on the basis of the evidence provided. However, if deep down such people are aware that what was obtained through that ruling does not rightly belong to them, they are actually offered a spark of fire in their hands. The Prophet tells that such people have the choice of taking it and being burnt, or leaving it and saving themselves. Thus, the Prophet recruits people's consciences and their sense of faith in support of absolute justice.
"Muhammad: His Character and Conduct" - Adil Salahi