In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
إِنَّا عَرَضۡنَا ٱلۡأَمَانَةَ عَلَى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱلۡجِبَالِ فَأَبَيۡنَ أَن يَحۡمِلۡنَہَا وَأَشۡفَقۡنَ مِنۡہَا وَحَمَلَهَا ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ ظَلُومً۬ا جَهُولاً۬
Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment). But the human being bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results). [Surah Al-Ahzaab. Verse 72]
Abu Dharr [may Allaah be pleased with him] reported that Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Allaah – The Almighty – said, ‘O My servants! I have forbidden injustice for Myself and I have forbidden it among you, so do not oppress one another’”. [Saheeh Muslim 2577]
Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] said, “What is Dhulm -injustice or oppression? Dhulm [injustice (or oppression)] is of three types according to the people of knowledge (i.e. the scholars).
First: The greatest of them is shirk. And why is shirk referred as Dhulm [injustice]? That is because the basis of injustice is to place something in other than its rightful place. And the meaning of shirk is to direct acts of worship to other than its rightful place and this is the greatest injustice, because when they (i.e. the people of shirk) directed acts of worship to other than its rightful place and to those who are not deserving of it, they equated the created (beings) to the Creator and a weak one (i.e. a created being) to Al-Qawiy [The One Perfect in Strength (i.e. Allaah)], who is able to do everything. Therefore, is there any greater injustice after this?
The second type of Dhulm (oppression or injustice) is committed when a person oppresses himself by committing sins. A sinner oppresses himself because he exposes himself to punishment, even though it is obligated on him to save himself and place himself in an appropriate situation, and that is to obey Allaah etc
The third type of Dhulm (oppression or injustice) is committed when a person oppresses others (or commits injustice against them) by taking their wealth (unlawfully), backbiting them, spreading tales about them, stealing their wealth, violating their honour through backbiting, tale carrying, slander, or shedding their blood by way of unlawful murder, beating them, inflicting injuries, degrading them without right etc (1)
Oppression (or Injustice) Committed Between People In General
As for the Dhulm committed against one another in general, then indeed it as Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] stated, that it is “By taking wealth (unlawfully), backbiting, spreading tales, stealing wealth, violating honour through backbiting, tale carrying, slander, or shedding blood by way of unlawful murder, beating, inflicting injuries, degrading without right etc”. (2)
There is no doubt that this oppression has taken place during different eras in history. We read – in the history books – about the oppressive behaviour of the colonialists between the 15th and 18th centuries when they raided other lands, looted natural resources and transported millions of Africans to the US to work in the plantations. Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfxUAtyYLJk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1wzrrY5N8g
Then after this barbaric enterprise was abolished, it was replaced with another barbaric enterprise – neocolonialism. So, in 1884, the colonialists met in Berlin and decided to share the colonies between themselves. Then came a time in which they decided to offer a so called independence to the colonies and amazing indeed was this offer! In one offer of independence, the colonialists said to the colonized, “We’ll grant you independence, but before doing so you must agree to the following: you must deposit 85% of your bank reserves with our ministry of finance – under our central bank. And with regards to all your discovered minerals or yet to be discovered, our companies have the ‘Right of First Refusal’. Your official language has to be our language, we’ll have a military presence in your country, your military can only be trained by our military, you can only buy military equipment from us, you cannot have any military alliance with your neighbors and in the event of war you must be on our side”. This was the independence offered! The money deposited in their ministry of finance was invested in their name and all the profits belonged to them. This is how some of them treated the colonies, yet they have the audacity to tell the whole world that the countries they’ve looted and oppressed for nearly over 400 years are poor- the very countries they continue to oppress economically. In addition to this, they constantly seek to demoralize the former colonies and give their economic situations different descriptions- sometimes referring to them as “The Third World”, the “Under-developed countries”, the “Developing Countries” etc. All these descriptions are utilized to demoralize the former colonies.
Recently, we read a statement of the head of Afghanistan’s Central Bank that country’s supply of physical U.S. dollars is “close to zero.” Afghanistan has some $9 billion in reserves, Ajmal Ahmady tweeted, but most of it is held outside the country, with some $7 billion held in U.S. Federal Reserve bonds, assets and gold. Ahmady said the country did not receive a planned cash shipment amid the Taliban offensive. “The next shipment never arrived,” he wrote. “Seems like our partners had good intelligence as to what was going to happen.” He said the lack of U.S. dollars will likely lead to a depreciation of the local currency, the afghani, hurting the country’s poor. This is the Dhulm by way of which the neocolonialists cripple the economies of other nations. Many of them talk about ethics, but how many are just in their mutual dealings?! Rather, self-interested individuals and groups do not give concern to anything other than finding ways and devising tactics to enslave the former colonies. The greedy Mutaffifoon – neocolonialists also oppress other nations is through Ribaa-Usury. Click this link to read about the severity and destructive consequences of Ribaa: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/the-grave-crime-of-usury-and-interest-riba-based-transactions-what-is-allowed-and-what-is-not/
Indeed, it is impossible for countries that are always in bondage to lenders to take control of their economies. A typical example is that as soon as a nation is heavily in debt, the lenders can easily gain the upper hand through Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) – secure repayment of the debt and economic restructuring, so in some cases the weaker nation is forced to reduce spending on essential social services, such as health, education and development, whilst repayment of the debt is given priority as well as the possibility of giving the lender an easy access to the country’s raw materials. This is well known and whoever researches will come across a lot that has been written on the subject matter. Indeed, there is no benefit in providing financial assistance that is going to permanently make a nation dependant on another nation due to usury. Debt is a heavy burden, let alone when accompanied with usury. Aa’isha [may Allaah be pleased with her] narrated that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] used to invoke Allaah in the salaah [before the Tasleem] saying: “O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from the punishment of the grave and from the trial and affliction of Maseeh Ad-Dajjaal and from trial and affliction of life and death. O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from sins and from being in debt.” So somebody said to him, ’‘Why do you so frequently seek refuge with Allaah from being in debt?’’ The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] replied, “A person in debt tells lies whenever he speaks, and breaks promises whenever he makes (them)]”. [Bukhaari, Hadeeth Number: 832]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] combined [in this supplication between seeking Allaah’s refuge] from sins and debt, because indeed sins necessitate loss in the afterlife and debt necessitates loss in the worldly life. [Al-Fawaa’id: page. 97]
Trade: Also with regards to buying and selling, Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him] stated: “The way that countries buy and sell with each other does not always help people in poor countries. Producers of crops like wheat and rice will usually sell to the country that will pay them the most for it, so poor countries cannot compete and therefore cannot buy crops to feed their people. So these poor people have to grow their own crops to feed themselves. In many poor countries the rich farmers grow cash crops such as fruit and flowers that they sell to rich countries and their profit often does not help the poor people. So the Muslim is always encouraged to give aid to those less fortunate, so that no one in the land remains hungry, unclothed or unsheltered. Islam has no problem with people becoming wealthy so long as the poor not are neglected; they must be taken care of, helped, educated and empowered to look after themselves. Wealthier Muslims are obligated to give in charity (zakāt) every year, and each Ramadān (zakāt al-fitr)”. (3)
Pay attention to what Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him] stated above about empowering and educating poor people as opposed to what the greedy colonialists stated in the past! Cecil Rhodes stated: “We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labour that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods of our factories.” Nye Bevin stated: “Africa is a valuable source of manpower and raw materials. The US is very barren of essential minerals. In Africa we have them all.” Larry Summers stated: “I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.” Indeed, these are a people who never deal justly with others; rather they take as much as they desire and give less or nothing in return. Allaah [The Exalted] said:
ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا ٱكۡتَالُواْ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ يَسۡتَوۡفُونَ
وَإِذَا كَالُوهُمۡ أَو وَّزَنُوهُمۡ يُخۡسِرُونَ
أَلَا يَظُنُّ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ أَنَّہُم مَّبۡعُوثُونَ
يَوۡمَ يَقُومُ ٱلنَّاسُ لِرَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ
Woe to Al-Mutaffifin [those who give less in measure and weight (decrease the rights of others)], those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, demand full measure, and when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due. Think they not that they will be resurrected (for reckoning), on a Great Day, the Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)? [Surah Al-Mutaffifeen]
[Woe] is a word of punishment and threat of divine vengeance to those who give less in measure. (4) Qaadhi Iyaad [may Allah have mercy upon him] said that the word ’‘Waylun’‘ (Woe) has some of the following meanings: It is used whilst referring to one who has fallen into destruction. It is used whilst referring to one who deserves destruction. It is used to refer to destruction itself. It is used to refer to the difficulty found in punishment. It is used to refer to grief. It is used to refer to a valley in the hell fire. (5)
Allah explained who the Mutaffifeen are in his statement: [ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا ٱكۡتَالُواْ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ يَسۡتَوۡفُونَ – Those who, when they have to receive by measure from people, demand full measure] -Meaning, they take from them in full what is established to be their due and demand in full without any loss.
[وَإِذَا كَالُوهُمۡ أَو وَّزَنُوهُمۡ يُخۡسِرُونَ – And when they have to give by measure or weight to people, give less than what is due] -Meaning, when they give the people what they are entitled to by way of measure or weight, they give them less- either by giving short measure or weight, or by not giving the full measure or weight, or by not filling the measuring or weighing equipment and what is similar that. This is tantamount to stealing the people’s wealth and not being fair to them. If this is the threat of divine vengeance against those who give short measure and short weight, then those who take people’s wealth by force or by stealing are more deserving of this threat than those who give short measure and short weight.
This noble Aayah shows that just as a person takes from the people what he is entitled to, it is also obligated on him to give them everything they are entitled to – whether related to wealth or mutual dealings; rather included in the generality of this Aayah are proofs and statements, because indeed what usually takes place between those engaged in argumentation and discussion is that each of them is eager to establish his proofs, therefore, it is obligated on a person also to make known the proofs possessed by the other person and examine the proofs of the other person just as he examines his own proofs. In relation to this affair, the justice of a person is known as opposed to whether he is afflicted with bigotry, his humility as opposed to being haughty, his common sense as opposed to foolish behaviour. We ask Allah bestow on us every good.
Then Allah issued a threat to those who give short measure, stated with amazement regarding their state of affairs and their persistence upon what they are doing. Allah said: [أَلَا يَظُنُّ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ أَنَّہُم مَّبۡعُوثُونَ – Think they not that they will be resurrected (for reckoning), on a Great Day, the Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of all that exists – Meaning, what makes them dare to give short measure is because they do not believe in the Last Day, otherwise had they believed in it and known that they will stand before Allah to give account – whether related to something small or big, they would stopped and repent. (6)
Attempt to Topple The Upright Scholars
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee Al-Madkhali [may Allaah preseerve him] stated:
People do not acknowledge the status of the people of knowledge, and they say, “They (i.e. scholars) are not guardians over us and there are no popes in Islam”. This is tantamount to toppling the scholars, belittling them and removing them from their status [i.e. although neither are the scholars regarded as popes nor are they to be treated as popes, but they are the inheritors of the prophets and must be obeyed when they give rulings and judge based on what the Qur’aan and the Sunnah necessitate]. This chronic illness appeared since the appearance of nationalism, western colonialism [i.e. when the west began colonizing many Muslim lands], the destructive views of the Naasiriyyah [i.e. Pan Arab Socialists] and Ba’thiyyah [i.e. the Ba’ath party – socialists] etc. The figureheads of these filthy dogmas made strenuous efforts to eliminate Islaam and remove it from their path, which they could not accomplish except by toppling the scholars. Then, this disease spread amongst the (deviated) groups that attribute themselves to Islaam. (7)
Sound Knowledge, Obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, And An Independent Defense Industry Needed] – By Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him]:
The State of the Ummah: Causes that led to its Weakness and the Means of Rectification (eBook)- By Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him]
Causes of Weakness in the Muslim Ummah― and the Jihād of Evidence and Speech in Defence of Islam- By Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him]
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from I’aanah Al-Mustafeed Bi-Sharhi Kitaab At-Tawheed’ page 55-56]
[Ref 2: An Excerpt from I’aanah Al-Mustafeed Bi-Sharhi Kitaab At-Tawheed’ page 55-56]
[Ref 3: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/the-causes-of-poverty-in-light-of-climate-change-population-growth-and-other-factors-part-ii-ethics-2-4/ ]
[Ref 4 An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 5 Quoted by Shaikh Abdullaah Al-Bukhaari in Sharh Umdatul Ahkaam: lesson 2]
[Ref 6: An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 7: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages 58-60. Abridged and slightly paraphrased