Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 September 2022
The theme of justice is central in Islam. Among the 99 ‘beautiful names’ (asma al-husna) of God is ‘al-Adl’ – the Just or Fair. The Qur’an is replete with references to the ideals and pursuit of justice, and justice was also linked with the actions and outlook of the Prophet Muhammad. This chapter elaborates on the importance of the theme of justice in different sources of Islamic normativity. It proposes that in contemporary times the salience of the ideal of justice must also be linked to access to justice. The idea of access to justice, particularly in its contemporary register, was not part of previous Islamic understandings. However, since it was important to realize justice among people and in the world, this chapter argues that access to justice, understood as the capacity for individuals or groups to reach justice-providing venues, is implicit in the Islamic emphasis on justice and may be seen as one part of an Islamic ethic of justice. The emphasis on the ideal of justice (or of acting justly), as a reflection of the justice of the divine, also suggests another facet of an Islamic ethic of justice, namely a concern with substantive fairness.
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