Sunday, March 9, 2008

Justice . . .

What is Justice?

Being the American I am, shame ascends when I look at our country's "justice".

The swirling inequity in the world would gladly destroy our earth !

You Judge:

If at this moment a wild Arab were to enter this place with a drawn sword, wishing to assault, wound and kill you, most assuredly I would prevent him. If I abandoned you to the Arab, that would not be justice but injustice. But if he injure me personally, I would forgive him.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 271)

Strive ye then with all your heart to treat compassionately all humankind -- except for those who have some selfish, private motive, or some disease of the soul. Kindness cannot be shown the tyrant, the deceiver, or the thief, because, far from awakening them to the error of their ways, it maketh them to continue in their perversity as before. No matter how much kindliness ye may expend upon the liar, he will but lie the more, for he believeth you to be deceived, while ye understand him but too well, and only remain silent out of your extreme compassion.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 158)

We hope that thou wilt cause the light of justice to shine more brightly. By the righteousness of God! Justice is a powerful force. It is, above all else, the conqueror of the citadels of the hearts and souls of men, and the revealer of the secrets of the world of being, and the standard-bearer of love and bounty.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 31)

They were as sheep in the midst of wolves, advocates of peace in a world that gloried in war, of justice and mercy in a civilisation founded on conquest and slavery, of unity when men and nations cherished their divisions, votaries of a universal God of love in an age of a thousand fratricidal hates. Gladly they welcomed toil and hardship, calumny, persecution, loneliness; through suffering they drew nearer to their Master's presence. No doubt dwelt in their minds. They were as men walking in the glory of the sunshine through a city of the blind.
(George Townshend, The Heart of the Gospel, p. 138)

He should weigh the statements of at least twenty persons affirmative and negative, friendly and hostile, good and evil; then ponder upon the sayings of the two sides with justice, in order that he may arrive at a truthful conclusion as to the question, and adjudge with fairness and equity.
(Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, The Brilliant Proof, p. 6)

45:9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.
(King James Bible, Ezekiel)

21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
(King James Bible, Proverbs)

A gnat came in from the garden and fields, And called on Solomon for justice, Saying, "O Solomon, you extend your equity Over demons and the sons of Adam and fairies. Fish and fowl dwell under the shelter of your justice; Where is the oppressed one whom your mercy has not sought? Grant me redress, for I am much afflicted, Being cut off from my garden and meadow haunts." Then Solomon replied, "O seeker of redress, Tell me from whom do you desire redress? Who is the oppressor, who, puffed up with arrogance Has oppressed you and smitten your face?" The gnat replied, "He from whom I seek redress is the Wind, 'Tis he who has emitted the smoke of oppression at me; Through his oppression I am in a grievous strait, Through him I drink blood with parched lip!" Solomon replied to him, "O sweet voiced one, You must hear the command of God with all your heart. God has commanded me saying, 'O dispenser of justice, Never hear one party without the other!' Till both parties come into the presence, The truth is never made plain to the judge." When the Wind heard the summons, it came swiftly, And the gnat instantly took flight. In like manner the seekers of God's presence-seat, When God appears, those seekers vanish. Though that union is life eternal, Yet at first that life is annihilation.
(Mathnavi of Rumi (E.H. Whinfield tr), The Masnavi Vol 3)