Which comes first: tolerance or justice?
10:31:30 2024-05-07 157

When a quarrel occurs between your children and you intervene to resolve it, where do your thoughts go? Do you want reconciliation to occur between them after the wronged person forgives the wrongdoer? Or do you achieve justice? So you hold the wrongdoer accountable, and restore the rights of the oppressed?

Some people view forgiveness as a procedure that reveals a weakness in the wronged person that he cannot recover, so he is forced to reconcile and is forced to forgive?!

Others find what they call “justice” an expression of revenge.

On which side should we be regarding moral values?

It may seem confusing; however, there is a fact that must be known in order to remove the confusion:

Tolerance should be initiated by the oppressed person after he feels fully capable of regaining his rights and achieving justice.

Whenever he feels that he has achieved victory, he must take the initiative to represent lofty values through forgiveness and tolerance. It was narrated on the authority of Imam Ali - peace be upon him -: “Transcend when you are defeated” and “If you gain control over your enemy, pardon him as gratitude for the power over him.”

Especially if the aggressor has admitted and confessed his sin, asked for forgiveness, and extended the hand of reconciliation, then the initiative must be taken toward forgiveness, as it will have priority.

But if the oppressed person is still usurped and oppressed, or his side of the offender is still strong and the oppressed person is weak...; the oppressed must strive seriously to achieve justice, and demand his rights through legitimate means.

It is narrated that Imam Ali, peace be upon him, was asked about the superiority of justice or generosity? He, peace be upon him, said: “Justice puts things in their place, and generosity takes them out of their direction. Justice is a general ruler, and generosity is a specific incident, so justice is the more honorable of the two!”

The priority is justice. Because it is the basis of the integrity of life and the consistency of its system, and without it, life would be chaotic, turbulent, and insecure. Justice is the soul of social life, and “sweeter than water afflicted by thirst,” as Imam Al-Sadiq, peace be upon him, says.

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