Towards the oppressed

Towards the oppressed

During the age of ignorance, there was no legal system or authority that could safeguard the limits of individual rights

During the age of ignorance, there was no legal system or authority that could safeguard the limits of individual rights.

Excluding those who relied on their own power, influence, or tribal partisanship, the rest of the people were subject to all kinds of transgressions, against life, property, and family. A savage and barbarous temper and the law of the jungle were dominant. In the city of Mecca, the situation was very chaotic. Strangers were especially mistreated. Their belongings were often snatched in public and sometimes, they themselves were taken captive.

Of course, among this unrestrained multitude, there were a small number of people who had not totally abandoned human virtues, and there were traces of emotion, mercy and chivalry in their hearts. Naturally, they were annoyed at and exhausted with this abnormal situation. One day, an event occurred that significantly moved them, and in response to their dissatisfaction and the injustice they saw, they took some positive steps.

A stranger from the Zubayd tribe came to sell his merchandise in Mecca. One of the chieftains of the Quraysh, acquired the entire amount but paid nothing in return. As a result of this, Zubayd approached several influential leaders of the Quraysh to no avail. They refused to listen to him. In despair, he went to a high point and pleaded for justice in a loud voice, saying: O family of Fahr! [Fahr was the ancestor of the Quraysh, that is, Quraysh himself. He was the man who the entire tribe was related to and was well-known for his chivalry.] I am a stranger in your city. I have been shown no respect and my goods have been unjustly possessed. Where are the brave men who can come to my rescue and safeguard my right?

The sigh of the oppressed man resounded in the air and moved the hearts of the dissatisfied people of Mecca. Muhammad, accompanied by one of his uncles, rose up and with the help of some of the leaders of the clans of the Quraysh assembled in a house. Together, they made a pact for the repression of acts of lawlessness and the restoration of justice to the weak and oppressed.

Then all the members of the covenant approached together. He could not resist the angry people moved by injustice and was forced to yield and to return the merchandise of the man.

The holy Prophet remembered this event afterwards and said: I was present when the covenant was made in that house, and I will not break that covenant under any circumstance. Even right now I am ready to participate in such a pact.

From Muhammad's point of view, all the members of a society are duty-bound to resist oppressors and should not be content as onlookers. He has also been quoted to have said:

Help your brother whether he is the oppressor or the oppressed one.

When his companions asked him how they should help an oppressor he replied: By preventing him from oppressing others.

 

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