Harvard Recognises Quranic Verse as One of the Greatest Expressions of Justice

Harvard Law School, arguably one of the most prestigious establishments in the world, recognises a verse in the Quran to promote the idea of justice.

The institution made its view on the topic clear, using lines from the holy book at the entrance of their library, hailing it as one of the “greatest expressions of justice.”

Verse 135 of Surah Al Nisa (The Women) is posted on a wall facing the faculty’s main entrance dedicated to the best phrases conveying justice: “O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well- acquainted with all that ye do.”

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While justice is typically based on the idea of law and regulation, it seems as though Harvard Law School has explored beyond that rigid definition and included external influences on what is deemed fair and moral and therefore included the passage from the Quran alongside other notable texts such as quotes from St. Augustine and the Magna Carta.

The law school’s Islamic Law syllabus also outlines some pretty important topics in detail, only further highlighting the school’s dedication to providing a holistic point of view on Islamic jurisdiction.

The course is outlined as follows: “Based on a belief system of a divine origin, Shariah envisages, both, a religion and a social order. The course seeks to introduce core textual (as the basic source), theological (belief system), and legal components, along with historical impact, while examining different phases, through its sources and methodologies, leading to the development of schools of opinions and legal theories.”

It also aims to delve into important social components that effect law globally such as “constitutional, commercial, international, and criminal laws; and some specific areas like marriage, divorce, child custody; succession and wills.”

Not only that, but it encourages debates on the usual topics that reflect one’s morality like human rights, terrorism, politics, women’s rights, punishments, and finance.

All in all, it’s a pretty thorough investigation of how Islamic law maintains fairness and equality through a religious lens and then its application to wider society.