The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ treated people fairly. He did not allow Muslims to oppress non-Muslims and get away with it. He said: “If a Muslim kills a Christian, he will be killed (in retaliation).”1

On another occasion, a woman from the powerful tribes of Mecca was found guilty of stealing. So, the Holy Prophet ﷺpassed judgement that she would be punished. However, some of the Companions tried to plead with the Prophet not to punish her because she came from a rich family. But the Prophet instead got up and addressed his Companions, saying: “Those before were destroyed because when the elites among them stole (i.e. committed a crime), they would let them off, but if some poor person stole they would punish him (for his crime). By God, if Fățima, the daughter of Muhammad, stole, I would cut her hand also (i.e. punish her for her crime).”

From this anecdote we can see the principle of equality before the law that no one is above the law. The Prophet’s justice and fairness was so great that he would not allow the elite to get away with their crimes and punish only the common people. He declared that even his own family must abide by the law and got contravene it.

1 Set forth by al-Shafi’i in al-Musnad, p. 343. al-Bayhaqî in al-Sunan al-Kubra, 8:30 S15696.

2 Set forth by al-Bukhărī in al-Şaḥīḥ, 3:1366 $3526. Muslim in alŞahih, 3:1315 S1688.


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