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Islamic Governance &Exemplifying Justice with the parable of Salah ad-Din Ayyubi

Sultan Salah ad-Din Ayyubi, widely known as Saladin, stands as a paragon of Islamic governance, embodying the principles of justice, compassion, and wisdom. His reign serves as a testament to the beauty of Islam’s approach to governance, drawing inspiration from the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and the Quran.

Justice in Islamic Governance

Saladin’s commitment to justice mirrors the core Islamic principle of fairness and equity. The Quran highlights in Surah An-Nisa (4:135):
“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.” 
This profound verse underscores the paramount importance of upholding justice, even if it conflicts with personal interests. The Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) also echoes this sentiment:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.”
This approach to justice, irrespective of one’s position, exemplifies the inherent beauty of Islamic governance.

The Legacy of Ali and Nur ad-Din Zengi

The legacy of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ), and Nur ad-Din Zengi, the influential ruler of Syria, further enriches the narrative of justice in Islamic governance. Both figures, renowned for their adherence to justice, famously attended court proceedings to personally adjudicate disputes, echoing the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), who was known to resolve disputes with fairness and compassion. Their actions exemplify the prophetic tradition, where the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) stated, 

“The most beloved of people according to Allah is he who brings most benefit, and the most beloved of deeds according to Allah is that you bring happiness to a fellow Muslim, or relieve him of distress, or pay off his debt, or stave away hunger from him.”

Compassion and Wisdom

Islamic governance, as epitomized by Saladin, Ali, and Nur ad-Din Zengi, is underpinned by compassion and wisdom. The Quran advocates for benevolence and empathy, stating in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:195) “And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.” This principle is echoed in the Hadith, where the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) emphasized, “The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy upon you.” The integration of compassion and wisdom in governance, as demonstrated by these exemplary leaders, encapsulates the enduring beauty of Islamic principles.

By embodying the values of justice, compassion, and wisdom, these figures have etched an indelible mark on history, serving as timeless beacons of Islamic governance’s magnificence.

  • Biography of Salah ad-Din Ayyubi by Bahā’ ad-Dīn Yusuf ibn Rafi ibn Shaddād


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