Islamic Concepts of Justice

in Varieties of Muslim Experience

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780226726168
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226726182 | DOI:
Islamic Concepts of Justice

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This chapter discusses Islam's concept of justice. If justice is the keyword to much of Islamic sentiment and discussion, frequent reference to the idea of justice, by believers and commentators alike, may simply tend to replace one unknown with another. The attributes and overtones of justice, much less the concise meaning or sense of its concrete presence or absence, often escape the discussion. The Arabic term commonly translated into English as justice is 'adel, a term we should expect to be richly textured and open-ended. The chapter suggests that justice as a cultural concept has three primary components in Arab thought—that it is composed of a kind of regulated reciprocity, that it is discernible through worldly consequence, and that it is dependent for its implications on the relationships described within a broad range of contexts in sociology.

Keywords: Islam; justice; 'adel; reciprocity; consequence; sociology

Chapter.  5352 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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