Islam Not A Religion Of Equality, But Of Justice
There are some people who speak of equality instead of justice, and this is a mistake. We should not say equality, because equality implies no differentiation between the two.
Because of this unjust call for equality, they ask, “What is the difference between male and female?” So they have made men similar to women. The communists said, “What difference is there between the ruler and the subject? No one has any authority over anyone else.” Not even the father over his son?! So they said the father has no authority over his son and so on.
Instead, if we say justice, which means giving each one what he or she is entitled, this misunderstanding no longer applies, and the word used is correct. Allah does not say in the Qur’an that He enjoins equality. He said (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, Allah enjoins Al‘Adl (i.e. justice)” (Qur’an, 16:90)
“And that when you judge between men, you judge with justice.” (Qur’an, 4:58)
Those who say that Islam is the religion of equality are lying against Islam. Rather Islam is the religion of justice, which means treating equally those who are equal and differentiating between those who are different.
No one who knows the religion of Islam would say that it is the religion of equality. Rather what shows you that this principle is false is the fact that most of what is mentioned in the Qur’an denies equality, as in the following verses:
“Say: Are those who know equal to those who know not?” (Qur’an, 39:9)
“Say: Is the blind equal to the one who sees? Or darkness equal to light?” (Qur’an, 13:16)
“Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the conquering (of Makkah, with those among you who did so later.” (Qur’an, 57:10)
“Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives.” (Qur’an, 4:95)
Not one single letter in the Qur’an enjoins equality, rather it enjoins justice.
You will also find that the word justice is acceptable to people, for I feel that if I am better than this man in terms of knowledge, or wealth, or piety, or in doing good, I would not like for him to be equal to me.
Everyone knows that it is unacceptable if we say that the male is equal to the female.
– By Sheikh Muhammad Bin Saleh Al-Uthaymeen
– Sharh Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitah, 1/180-181