DHULM - ظلم
Literally: Wrong. Oppression. Tyranny. To do a wrong. An injustice. To tyrannize over. Wrongfulness. Persecution. Cruelty.
As an Islamic term: Deviating from as-sirât al-mustaqîm. Acting upon the way of ifrât or tafrît. Dhulm is the opposite of ‘adl which is justice
The word dhulm derives from the same root of the word ظلمت (dhulmat) which means darkness. It can be said that dhulm is being deprived of the nûr of Allah and to condemn one's self to darkness.
“الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ: Know that as-sirât al-mustaqîm is justice (‘adl) and is the summary of hikmah, ‘iffah and shajâ'ah which are the wasat in the three degrees of man's three powers (quwwa).
To explain: Allah (‘Azza wa jalla) housed rûh in man's body, which is changing, needy and exposed to dangers. He introduced three powers (quwwa) in it to preserve.
The First: al-quwwa ash-shahawiyyah al-bahîmiyyah, the power of animal appetites to attract benefits.
The Second: al-quwwa al-ghadhabiyyah as-sabui’yyah, the predacious power of anger to repulse harmful and destructive things.
The Third: al-quwwa al-aqliyyah al-malakiyyah, the power of mind pertaining to the malâikah to distinguish between benefit and harm.
However, since His hikmah necessitated that mankind should achieve perfection through the mystery of competition, Allah did not determine limits on these quwwas in fitrah, as He did on those of animals. He determined limits on them through the Sharî’ah that it prohibits ifrât and tafrît and orders the wasat. This is what is clearly ordered by the âyah فَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَٓا اُمِرْتَ 1 Since there is no fıtrî limitation in these three quwwas, three degrees occur in each: the degree of tafrît which is deficiency, the degree of ifrât which is excess and the degree of wasat which is ‘adl.
Tafrît in al-quwwa al-aqliyyah is gabâwah and foolishness, and its ifrât is jarbaza2 and over-meticulousness in trivialities and its wasat is hikmah3 . وَمَنْ يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ اُو۫تِىَ خَيْرًا كَث۪يرًۜا 4 Know that just as these quwwas vary in these three degrees, so do each of their branches. For example, in the question of the creation of actions, the wasat is the madhab of ahl al-Sunnah between the Jabriyya and the Mu'tazila, and in the question of belief, the madhab of Tawhîd is the wasat between the denial of the attributes or existence of Allah (ta'til) and anthropomorphism (tashbîh). The examples can be made further on this analogy.
Tafrît in al-quwwa ash-shahawiyyah is extinction (khumud) which is having no longing for anything, while its ifrât is fujûr which is to desire whatever is encountered whether halal or haram. Its wasat is ‘iffah, which is desiring what is halal and shunning what is haram. Compare the branches of this quwwa such as eating, drinking, dressing so on with the root of this principal.
Tafrît in al-quwwa al-ghadhabiyyah is jabânah that is fear of what is not to be feared and having wahm. Its ifrât is tahawwur5 which is the source and father of despotism, domination and dhulm. And its wasat is shajâ'ah which is giving freely of one’s rûh with love and eagerness for the defence of the laws of Islam and the upholding of the Word of Tawhîd. Compare this same principle within each of its branches.
The six extremes are thus dhulm and the three wasat are ‘adl which is as-sirât al-mustaqîm and is to act in accordance with فَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَٓا اُمِرْتَ 6 Whoever passes along this way will cross the bridge suspended over the Fire.” The Sign of Miraculousness-24
“Through saying the calamities that have visited your special friends are the results of a slap, you consider them a reprimand for their laxity in the service of Qur'an. Whereas those that are truly inimical to you and the service of Qur'an remain safe and sound. Why are friends slapped and enemies exempt?
The Answer: According to the mystery of اَلظُّلْمُ لاَ يَدُومُ وَالْكُفْرُ يَدُومُ 7 the errors of friends become a sort of dhulm in our service and they are immediately punished. A person receives a compassionate slap, and if he has any sense, he will awake. However, the prevention and opposition of enemies toward the service of Qur'an are on account of dhalâlah. Knowingly or unknowingly, his transgression against our service is on account of zandaqa. Since kufr persists, they generally do not receive an immediate blow.
Just as the penalties of those perpetrating to small crimes are delivered locally. Their serious crimes are sent to the high courts. So too, judicially the small errors of people of îmân and special friends are punished immediately and in part in this world, in order to quickly purify them. But the crimes of the people of dhalâlah are so great that since their punishments cannot be contained in this brief worldly life, they are referred to the Supreme Court in al-‘âlam al-baqâ as required by justice, they usually do not receive punishment here.
The Hadith اَلدُّنْيَا سِجْنُ الْمُؤْمِنِ وَجَنَّةُ الْكَافِرِ 8 also indicates the mentioned haqiqah. That is to say, since the mu’min receives partial punishment for his faults in this world, it is a place of punishment for him. In relation to their happiness in the âkhirah, this world is a dungeon and Jahannam. Also, since the kâfirs do not exit Jahannam, they in part receive the rewards for their good works in this world and their great sins are postponed, this world is their Jannah in relation to their âkhirah. To the point of haqiqah, the mu’min also is far happier in this world than the kâfir in a ma’nawî manner. In fact, a mu’min's îmân becomes a ma’nawî Jannah in his rûh; while the kufr of the kâfir sets the fire of a ma’nawî Jahannam in his being.” The Tenth Flash-The Question
Through the decree of وَلاَ تَرْكَنُوا اِلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا فَتَمَسَّكُمُ النَّارُ 9 the noble âyah threatens terrifyingly and severely, not only those who support dhulm and are the tools of it, but also those who incline slightly towards it. For, just as consenting kufr is kufr, so too, consenting dhulm is dhulm.
Thus, one of the people of perfection perfectly interpreted one of the many jewels of this âyah as follows:
One who assists a dhâlim in the world is the men of despicableness
That is a dog, who receives pleasure from serving the unjust hunter.
The Twenty-Eighth Letter - The Fourth Matter which is the Fourth Risale
3 (To know and distinguish haqq and bâtil, obeying haqq and abstaining from bâtil)
6 [Therefore stand firm [in istiqâmah] as you are commanded (11:112)]