Quranic Terminology: Bakhs

آحمد صبحي منصور في الإثنين 06 يناير 2020


Quranic Terminology: Bakhs

 

 

Published in January 5, 2020

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

 

 

Firstly: injustice or (Bakhs) committed within inheritance:

1- This complaint or tragedy, regarding inheritance, occurs a lot in the countries of the Muhammadans: the elder brother sometimes consumes illicitly the inheritance shares of his brothers and sisters, especially when the inheritance is stretches of land. Some women are unable to receive their inheritance shares in such a case; sometimes, they are forced to sell their shares of inherited land at a cheap price (and it is sometimes paid within long installments!) for elder brothers. Sadly, this is common in the Arab countries. This tragedy is hardly discussed by those feminists who call for equality between males and females in inheritance laws in Arab countries.   

2- Sadly, in rural areas in the countries of the Muhammadans, the elder brother would force his (fe)male siblings to sell their inheritance shares to him at very cheap prices (sometimes paid within long installments!). This is because of corrupt rural and patriarchal culture of never allowing land to get out of control of the family; the interference of a sister's husband or a daughter's husband (i.e., to protect rights of inheritors) is never allowed. Thus, the two choices for weak females is to accept cheap prices or to never receive their inheritance shares at all; this is a grave injustice or (Bakhs).    

3- There is a wide gap between what happens in actual life within the above-mentioned injustice and the Dominant Lord's inheritance laws in the Quran; the unjust parties never heed this Quranic warning against violating the Quranic inheritance laws: "These are the laws set by God. Whoever obeys God and His Messenger, He will admit him into Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide therein forever. That is the great attainment. But whoever disobeys God and His Messenger, and transgresses His laws, He will admit him into a Fire, wherein he abides forever, and he will have a shameful torment." (4:13-14). Even if the unjust ones would own billions of US$, it is nothing when compared to Hell-torment for eternity.

4- Such a grave injustice regarding violating the Quranic inheritance laws exemplifies what (Bakhs) is; in means injustice imposed by force; the unjust ones who are powerful and might impose such injustice and the wronged parties are too afraid to resist and they have no choice but to submit to injustices committed against them.

 

Secondly: injustice or (Bakhs) in countries ruled by tyranny:

1- Tyranny is based on committing injustices or (Bakhs). 

2- Enthroned tyrants assume they own stretches of land and people living on them! They assume they can consume illicitly the money of their subjects and to murder them any time; they are like cattle to be slaughtered as per whims of tyrants or shepherds. Tyrants form their own courtiers or retinue of affluent ones who help them control, rule, and steal; they are masters while the subjects are slaves and not citizens. Slaves own nothing; they are owned by the masters! Such masters issue and impose conflicting laws as per their whims to serve their own financial interests. Within such an atmosphere of tyranny, corruption, and enslavement, all types of injustices (or Bakhs) are common as per the Law; even the people among the subjects who would have a measure of influence and high connections with the affluent criminals will not hesitate, in that case, to commit injustices against others within corruption in trade.     

3- Within regimes which claim to apply socialism and the State-control of the economy, the State interferes and destroys free market and trade and the principle of (supply and demand); the State imposes certain cheap prices to purchase crops from peasants and landlords and sell such crops at exorbitant prices; peasants and landlords cannot evade complying to such injustice or else they would face heavy fines or imprisonment; this means Bakhs or injustice is imposed by unjust laws.

 

Thirdly: the term (Bakhs), as well as its derivations, in the Quran means injustice:

 The Lord God says the following in the Quran.

1- "Whoever desires the worldly life and its glitter - We will fully recompense them for their deeds therein, and therein they will not be defrauded/yobkhasoon. These - they will have nothing but the Fire in the Hereafter. Their deeds are in vain therein, and their works are null." (11:15-16). This means the Lord God will grant them al what they desire in this world only without being wronged with injustices.

2- "O you who believe! When you incur debt among yourselves for a certain period of time, write it down. And have a scribe write in your presence, in all fairness. And let no scribe refuse to write, as God has taught him. So let him write, and let the debtor dictate. And let him fear God, his Lord, and diminish/yabkhas nothing from it..." (2:282). This is a prohibition of any kind of injustices, or Bakhs, during writing down of debts.

3- This is uttered by some believers among the jinn: "And when we heard the guidance, we believed in it. Whoever believes in his Lord fears neither loss/Bakhsan nor burden." (72:13). Believers should never fear being wronged by the Lord God Who is never unjust.

 

Fourthly: the term (Bakhs) in the Quranic stories:

1- The powerful tribe of Madian lived within a prominent location near a trade route controlled by them; they employed their might to spread corruption on earth. Madian, in the Quranic stories, is linked to corruption. The command addressed to them (and do not spread corruption on earth) is uttered by Shuaib to them three times in 11:85, 26:183, and 29:36. It is uttered once by Saleh to his tribe, Thamood, in 7:74, and by Moses who addressed the Israelites in Sinai in 2:60. The fact that these verses mention the expression (on earth) indicates that corruption of sinners is not confined to their city of Madian but within all stretches of land and routes around it under their control; they imposed corruption to serve their own financial interests.

2- In addition to preaching the monotheism of (There is no God but Allah), the main axis of the call of Shuaib to his tribe, Madian, was to prohibit cheating and corruption in trade. This is obviously inferred from the following Quranic verses.

2/1: "And to Madian, their brother Shuaib. He said, “O my people, worship God; you have no God other than Him. A clear proof has come to you from your Lord. Give full measure and weight, and do not cheat/tabkhaso people out of their rights, and do not corrupt on earth once it has been set right. This is better for you, if you are believers.”" (7:85).

2/2: "And to Madian, their brother Shuaib. He said, “O my people, worship God; you have no God other than Him. And do not short measure or short weight. I see you in good circumstances, but I fear for you the agony of an encompassing Day.” “O my people! Give full measure and full weight, in all fairness, and do not cheat/tabkhaso the people out of their rights, and do not spread corruption on earth." (11:84-85).

2/3: "The People of the Woods disbelieved the messengers. When Shuaib said to them, “Do you not fear [God]? I am to you a trustworthy messenger. So fear God, and obey me. I ask of you no payment for it. My payment is only from the Lord of the Worlds. Give full measure, and do not cheat. And weigh with accurate scales. And do not defraud/tabkhaso people of their belongings, and do not work corruption on earth." (26:176-183).

3- This means that the people of Shuaib employed force to impose their cheating within their trade transactions when they sold any merchandise and to impose cheap prices when they purchased anything.

 

Fifthly: how injustice or (Bakhs) is prohibited in the Quranic/Islamic sharia legislations:

1- There are many Quranic commands about prohibiting (Bakhs) or injustice.

1/1: Within the Quranic Ten Commandments: "...And give full weight and full measure, equitably..." (6:152).

1/2: "And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with accurate scales. That is fair, and the best determination." (17:35).

1/3: "And the sky, He raised; and He set up the balance. So do not transgress in the balance. But maintain the weights with justice, and do not violate the balance." (55:7-9).

2- Severer warning is found in this Quranic context: "Woe to the defrauders. Those who, when they take a measure from people, they take in full. But when they measure or weigh to others, they cheat. Do these not know that they will be resurrected? For a Tremendous Day. The Day when the humankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds?" (83:1-6).

3- Of course, Justice is the supreme purpose of the Quranic sharia of Islam, and transgression includes Bakhs or injustice: "God commands justice, and goodness, and generosity towards relatives. And He forbids immorality, and injustice, and transgression. He advises you, so that you may take heed." (16:90).

4- Of course, upholding justice is the reason for the descent of the Divine, Celestial Books: "We sent Our messengers with the clear proofs, and We sent down with them the Book and the Balance, that humanity may uphold justice..." (57:25).

5- Of course, justice is linked to mutual agreement which is the basis of Islamic sharia laws regarding marriage (see 2:232-233 and 4:24) and trade transactions: "O you who believe! Do not consume each other’s wealth illicitly, but trade by mutual consent..." (4:29). This means coercion and compulsion, which constitute a type of injustice, must be never included within trade transactions; justice entails mutual consent; the Lord God does not like the unjust people and He never desires injustice to the humankind. 

6- The term (Bakhs) comes in the sense of "little" without being linked to injustice since the business transaction is done within mutual consent; this is exemplified in the story of Joseph when he was sold into slavery: "And they sold him for a little price/Bakhs - a few coins - they considered him to be of little value." (12:20).

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