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  • 6/19/2013

Does End Justifies the Means?


The responsibility of learned men towards oppressed people of the society. According to Islam, responsible elite and scholars of the society have the responsibility of defending the rights of the oppressed in addition to the duty of guiding the thoughts and expanding the awareness of people.

In addition to upholding cannon law and carrying out Islamic boundaries, Imam Ali described other reason for accepting the Caliphate as restoring the rights of people and organizing the affairs of the society. [1]

Imam Sadiq says an Imam may demand obedience from people, and people demand the just distribution of Bayt al-Mal and administration of justice. [2]– Therefore upholding justice and supporting the deprived are among the most important objective of the Islamic government.

Liberalism and the resulting capitalism give free reins to political and economic powers to monopolize the society’s resources, and therefore are against this objective. 

Islamic government is value driven, but does not use every means to achieve its objective. The Islamic ruler is not allowed to sacrifice basic principles and values to strengthen his power. The philosophy of “end justifies the means”‌ is not acceptable in the Islamic government.

When Imam Ali’s followers advised him to reconcile with powerful enemies such as Muawiyah or taking measures to control certain traitors such as Talha and Zubayr, Imam Ali said, “Ibn Abbas! Do you want be to instigate oppression and punish before the crime and take to task based on suspicion and accusation? I swear to God that I will never deviate from God’s command and will not instigate hostile actions.”‌ [3]And in answer to those who claimed Muawiyah is a better politician and more skilled governor, than Imam Ali said, “People, by God Muawiyah Rather he resorts to deceit and commits transgression. And if deceit hadn’t been an undesirable quality I would have been the most clever on of all. But deceit is a sin, and the result of deceit, sin and betrayal is fire.”‌ [4]


[1] . Ibn Abi al-Hadid, commentary on the Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 20, p. 253

[2] . Muhammad Ibn Ya'qub Al-Kulayni. Usool e Kafi, vol. 1, p. 405

[3] . Muhammad Kazem Qazvini, commentary on the Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p. 250

[4] . Seyyed Sadegh Mousavi,  Nahj al-Balagha, p. 514

Ahmad Niazi, graduate of Qom Seminary and Phd student of Al Mustafa international university

Source: Political science journal, No. 3

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:‌

Objectives of a Theocracy

Enforcing Law in Islam

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