JUSTICE is a regent, which regulates the state; it is a ray, giving splendour and dispelling darkness. The Almighty hath ordained this quality to his servants (when he says: Truly God gives a commandment for justice and liberality:) and Justice is this, that they should give redress to the oppressed; while liberality is this, that they apply the ointment of ease to the wounds of the afflicted. It is recorded, that, one moment of justice, in a king, is more preponderating, in the scale of the balance of obedience, than sixty years of devotion; because the result of devotion reaches none but the performer; while the advantage of justice attaches to noble and vulgar, small and great; and the fortunes of officers in church and state, and the prudent schemes of men connected with the government or religion, are secure and well organized by the happy influ­ence of it. Justice extends further than the boundaries of calculation; and is beyond the limits of judgment.

They have related that a certain prince had an inclina­tion that he would perform a pilgrimage to the house of God: and that he would acquire glory by walking with reverence the circuit of the sacred place, and become exalted and distinguished above his equals, and compeers, by an increase of sanctity and the acceptance of his prayers.

The circuit of the holy house of the Lord is
In both worlds a cause of exaltation.

The most noble of the kingdom, and the Pillars of the State, made it a matter of representation, thus, “O King! the safety of the road is a condition to the performance of a pilgrimage, and princes have many enemies: if thou set out with troops and attendants, the preparing provisions for them in this long and tedious road has great difficulty in it; and if thou proceed with a slender retinue, imminent dangers are to be apprehended: and besides, a king in his city has the properties of the heart in the body; when the shadow of the prosperity of your majesty is removed from the heads of the people, terror and confusion will come to pass; and all the pursuits of the noble and the vulgar will get out of the course of regularity.” The king said, “Since this journey cannot be accomplished, what shall I do, that I may obtain the benefits of the pilgrimage and that I may participate in the blessings of this act of obedience?” They replied, “There is in this realm a certain dervise, who, for a long period has frequented the holy temple, and has per­formed sixty pilgrimages, with all their conditions; now he is seated in the corner of retirement, and has shut the door of intercourse with mankind.

Become disgusted with the tumult of mankind;
He has withdrawn his foot under his skirt, like a mountain.

It is probable that thou mayest purchase the merit of one pilgrimage from him, and by the recompence for that, mayest attain complete satisfaction.” The king, according to the sincerity of the veneration which he had for holy men, went to pay his respects to the dervise, and in the course of conversation, said thus, “A strong wish to make a pilgrimage hath sprung up in my heart; but the Pillars of the Government and the Faith perceive advantage in refraining; and it hath happened to be heard that many pilgrimages belong to thee: what would happen if thou shouldest sell me the merit of one pilgrimage? so that thou mayest come to some comfort, and I to some merit.” The dervise said, “I will sell you the merits of all my pilgrimages.” The king asked thus, “At how much dost thou fix each pilgrimage?” He replied, “Each step which I have taken in each pilgrimage, at the whole world and all that is in the world.” The king answered, “Of the world, and the riches of the world, a very small portion, and no more, is at my disposal; and this would not suffice for the price of a single step; how then can I buy a whole pilgrimage? and at this rate, how can one form any notion of the price of the whole?” The dervise said, “O king! the payment of all my pilgrimages is easy with thee.” “How?” said he. The other replied, “Dost thou administer Justice at the suit of one that is oppressed? dost thou devote one moment to the interests of one who calls for Justice? bestow the merit of it upon me, that I may give thee the merit of my sixty pilgrimages; and still I shall have got the advantage, and shall have made a large profit in the traffic.” Thus it appears, that for a prince, after fulfilling the Positive Duties and the Institutions, there is no act of obedience more essential than being occupied in the welfare of the servants of God; or living with a feeling of Justice, and looking upon the people with an eye of impartiality and protection. For, if the protection of Justice does not exist, men of power and might will bear away the comforts of the feeble among the people; and when those of low condition are ruined, the more powerful do not continue in their station; for the subsistence of mankind is connected with their mutual dependence; and a due regulation of the ranks of society is not possible, except by Justice.

Justice is a splendour, by which the kingdom is enlightened;
And by its odour all regions are perfumed;
Display Justice, and promote the wish of the heart of the poor;
That whatever is thy desire, may be fulfilled to thee.

And of all the advantages of Justice, this one point is enough; that a just man is beloved by all mankind; even though no benefit should accrue to them from his Justice; while a tyrant is detested by the whole world, though no injury should attach to them from his tyranny. The history of Naushīrvān the Just, and Hajjāj the Cruel, proves the truth of the case, and corroborates this statement. For although Naushīrvān was an infidel, worshipping fire; and Hajjāj was born on the carpet of the Faith, and had seen the companions and disciples (of Mahomet) yet whenever men talk of Naushīrvān, they paise him for his Justice; and when any mention occurs of Hajjāj, they send impreca­tions upon him, because of his tyranny.

The exercise of Justice is essential to sovereignty;
Permanent prosperity is by the absence of oppression:
Dominion, by Justice, becomes stedfast;
Thy fortune will derive stability from thy Justice;
Whoever, in this dwelling, hath done Justice for a night;
Hath prepared his own abode for the morrow.

Abdallāh Tāhir, one day, addressed his son thus, “Alas! how long shall prosperity abide in our house?” The son replied, “As long as the seat of Justice and the carpet of equity shall be spread in this hall.”

As long as the foot of a king remains on the seat of Justice;
The crown of sovereignty shall rest upon his head;
When he stretches out his hand from the sleeve of violence;
The lot of his neck will be the yoke of a superior.

It is recorded in history, that a just king is the shadow of the benignity of God, upon earth; for every one, who is oppressed, seeks refuge with Him. And it is certain that, to whomsoever any pain may arise from the violence of the sun, for the sake of relief, he will take refuge in the shade; that his pain may be changed into pleasure: in like manner, an injured man, also, who is in trouble, from the violence of the sun of oppression, or the heat of the wickedness of tyranny, will betake himself to the shelter of the shadow of God; which is an expression for a king; that, by the blessing of that shadow, casting a shade of peace and safety, he may find rest and tranquillity from the vexation of the injustice of the tyrannical. And in the Spiritual Poem, are these Verses—

“A just king is a shadow of the benevolence of the Deity;
Whoso possesses Justice, is unlimited goodness;
Give room for the people under thy shadow;
And in glory put thy foot on the summit of the spheres.”

Philosophers have said, that Justice is the maintaining due order among the people; that is to say, he should not make one class predominant over another, but keep each rank in its own station. Now the servants of a king are, in their origin, of four classes. The first are men of the sword; as commanders and soldiers: and they may be compared to fire. The second are people of the pen; such as ministers and clerks: and they have a resemblance to the air. The third are men of business; such as mer­chants and artizans: and they hold the place of water. The fourth are people of agriculture: and these have a similitude to the earth. And therefore, just as from the predominance of one of the four elements over another, the human constitution is destroyed; so from the predominance of one class over another, of these four divisions, the political constitution goes to decay; and the comfort of the world, and the regularity of the concerns of the sons of Adam are broken and disordered.

To each one of mankind there is a particular rank;
Which was prescribed a long time ago;
If any man should transgress beyond his own limit;
Quarrels will arise, to the left and to the right;
Keep every man in his proper station;
And then sit down with prosperity in thine own place.

One of the virtues of Justice is this, that the grave produces no change in the body of a just king. They have related that a learned man recited a saying of the Prophet, at the court of Māmūn, thus. “The bodies of just kings do not fall asunder in the tomb; and their members do not crumble away from each other.” Māmūn spoke thus, “I have not an appearance of doubt as to the truth of the pro­phetic saying; but I have a desire that I might see Naushīrvān; for in fact he was a model of Justice; and it hath fallen from the miraculous tongue of the Lord of Prophecy (On whom be blessings and peace!) to this effect, ‘I was born in the time of a just king.’” So he set off for Madāin; and when he arrived gave orders, so that they opened the tomb of Naushīrvān; and he entered. He found him fresh, lying asleep in the grave; just as any person would be in sleep. And he had three rings on his hand; and on the stone of each of them was a writing: the first was thus, “Practice courtesy with friends and enemies;” the second, “Make no beginning in your undertakings, without the advice of the wise;” the third, “Do not lay aside consideration for the people.” And in one tradition it appears, that there was a tablet of gold hanging at his head; and on the table was written thus, “Whoever desires that God should make his kingdom great, bid him, that he reverence the learned men of his time; and whoever wishes that his kingdom should become extensive, bid him, that he make the character of his Justice abundant.” Māmūn commanded; so they wrote those maxims; and having sprinkled the grave with perfume, they covered him over. And it is related that, one of the courtiers of Māmūn, having asked leave to speak, after per­mission was given, went on to say, that, “There is such a virtue in Justice, that after death, it keeps off the injury of the grave from an infidel who was just; if the just man should have sought felicity in the happiness of the faith, what wonder, if in the next life, it should also keep off the injury of the fire from him?” Māmūn approved these words, and commanded; so they affixed them to the foot of the maxims.

Justice will make thee illustrious in the world:
In the resurrection it will make thee happy;
In this world, it will make thee exalted;
When thou comest to the next world, it will rejoice thee.

And one of the pillars of Justice is, listening to the language of him who calls for redress; that is, giving ear to the words of the oppressed, and turning the face of benevolence to the fulfilment of their interests; and one ought not to be wearied nor get vexed, because they talk much. For a king possesses the properties of a physician, and an oppressed man stands in the case of a sick person; and the sick person desires to set forth all his symptoms in presence of the physician: therefore, if the physician will not give ear to the whole discourse of the patient, he cannot become acquainted with the real nature of his malady, and without an acquaintance of the malady, or identifying it, how can he cure it?

Thou art a physician, and I am a patient to thee;
How can I conceal the state of my heart from thee?

One day, a person was explaining his circumstances to a nobleman; who paid no attention: he repeated it; the other gave no ear to it: a third time he explained himself; the other said, “What a headache you give me.” The poor man replied, “Thou art the head; whither shall I carry my pain.” It pleased the nobleman; and he gratified his desire.

Thou hast lifted up thy head in prosperity, give aid, with benevolence;
God hath given thee success, take the fallen by the hand.

A certain prince asked an eminent person, “They say that there is a peculiar offering for each particular thing: what is the offering for sovereignty?” He gave answer thus, “The offering for royalty and empire is this: that if an oppressed person shall make a demand for redress, or if one complaining of injustice shall set forth his desires, they should listen to his words, and speak to him with courtesy and encouragement; and not return a harsh answer; and they should not be ashamed of talking with the lowly and the poor; since communication with the lower orders, is one of the characteristics of noblemen. For Solomon (On our Prophet, and on him be peace!) in the pomp of sovereignty, and with the glory of prophecy, listened to the words of a simple ant.

Attention to the poor augments greatness:
Solomon, with such pomp, had regard for the ant.”

They have related that there was a king in the empire of China, adorned with the ornament of Justice; and the shrub of his life was enriched with the property of equity.

To tyranny destruction, to justice advantage, from him;
God pleased, and the people delighted with him.

Suddenly, an injury found way to his sense of hearing; and a heaviness broke out in his ear. He assembled the Pillars of the State, and wept so lamentably, that all who were present burst into tears at his condition; and suggested several schemes for his consolation. The king said, “Ye should not take up the idea that I am weeping over the loss of the sense of hearing; for I know that the end of all things is that debility and weakness should find a way to our faculties and senses; then how shall a sensible man be sorrowful for the decay of any of these things? my tears are for this, that unawares some sufferer, demanding redress, may complain at the gates of my palace, and the voice of his complaining may not reach my ear; he will go back dis­appointed, and I shall be held responsible, before God. But I have formed a plan in this matter: let them command that they shall give notice in this land, that any one who is other than a complainant, shall not wear a red dress; that, by this sign, I may obtain knowledge about the condition of the oppressed; and may afford them redress, with motives of equity and truth.”

Give redress to the oppressed, and forward the wishes of friends:
Maintain religion in the world, by this justice and generosity, in prosperity.

And there have been many, who, for one act of Justice that they have done, and for one complaint of an injured person to which they attended, have gained the privilege of salvation from the punishment of futurity. Accordingly, it is recorded in history, that the prince, Malik Shāh Saljūkī, was hunting one day on the banks of the Zandrūd; and alighted for a little while, for the sake of repose, in a meadow. One of the servants of the prince, who was the royal usher, entered a village; he saw a cow, which was grazing on the banks of the river; he gave the order, so they cut her throat, and he roasted a piece of the flesh of it. That cow was the property of an old woman, whose sustenance, with four orphans that she had, was derived from the cow’s milk. When she became acquainted with the event, she lost all self-control, and sat down, waiting on the middle of a bridge, over which the path of the prince lay; as soon as the retinue of the pomp of Malik Shāh arrived, she jumped up, and seized the reins of the prince’s horse; the same servant, the usher, drew forth a scourge and wanted to strike her and drive her away. The king said, “Let her alone; for she seems to be afflicted and forlorn, that I may examine what her complaint of injury is, and at whose hand her lamentation comes.” Then he turned his looks to the old woman, saying, “What tale dost thou tell?” The old woman spoke, in conformity with what they have said.

The injured man becomes bold, and valiant in speech.

She opened her tongue and said, “My son, if thou dost not give me redress at the head of the bridge of Zandrūd, by the sacredness of the glory of the Unity, I, at the head of the bridge of the narrow path, will never slacken the hand of animosity from the skirt of thy mantle, so long as I do not exact Justice from thee; consider, of these two bridges, which dost thou choose?

Do Justice to thyself, and give redress to me, to day;
It is better that thou shouldest give it, than that they should exact it from thee.”

The prince, with a dread of these words, having alighted, said, “Far be it. O my mother! I have not strength to try that bridge: who has done thee injustice? explain the state of the case, that I may take thy revenge of him.” She said, “O king! this servant, who in thy presence has drawn the scourge of punishment over my head, has dark­ened the fountain of my joy; and killed the cow, from whose milk the sustenance of myself and my orphans used to be derived, and has roasted it.” Malik Shāh gave his orders; and in consequence they punished the servant; and in return for her cow, they gave her, from a most righteous motive, seventy cows; and some time after, when the king had died, the old woman was still in existence. She went at midnight, to his tomb, and turning her face to the point of supplication, said, “O God! this thy servant, who is now in the dust, at a time when I was brought low, took me by the hand; now he is brought low, do Thou in thy mercy, give him assistance: I was helpless, he, in the infirmity of his created nature, had pity on me; but at this moment he is helpless, do Thou, in the strength of thy creative attribute, have pity upon him.” A certain person of the number of the pious, saw him, in a dream, and thus inquired of him, “What hath God done with thee?” The king said, “If the prayers of the old woman, in her complaint for me, had not come up, there would have been no escape for me, from the talons of the eagle of punishment.”

He spake thus: If on my passage, that wretched old woman
Had not come to my aid with prayer;
Without regard for royal dignity;
The state of me, sorrow-stricken, had been forlorn:
My Justice showed her the path to prayer;
The virtue of her prayers opened the gate of mercy.

Another pillar, is the observance of the Divine Laws: that is to say, the Justice which he administers ought to be conformable with the dictates of the law: and in anger or in goodwill, he ought not to transgress its limit: for His law is above all other laws. He who does not avert his head from the law of God, no man will be able to turn his head from his authority.

Wherever there is any king, or prince, or commander;
He is a subject to the threshold of the gate of Supremacy.

There is a story, that in the days of Māmūn, a certain person had committed some offence, and fled; they pro­duced his brother before Māmūn. Māmūn gave orders, that he should produce his brother, or else that they should put him to death. The man said, “O Caliph! if an officer of thine should intend to kill me; and thou shouldest send him notice, to release so and so; would he release me, or not?” He said, “To be sure; he would let thee go.” The man said, “Then, I have brought an order from that King, by whose goodness thou art in authority, that thou shouldest release me.” The prince told him to speak. The man then said, “My notice is this, that God, in his Sacred Word, speaks to this effect, that, one shall not bear the burthen of another; which means that men shall not seize any one for the offence of another.” Māmūn was affected, and wept, and said, “Release him; for he has brought an order from the Supreme, and a notice from the Irresistible. Power belongs to God, and He is the best of Sovereigns.

The command which comes from the court of the Supreme;
Is above all argument of how and wherefore:
The command which issues from the court of the Unchangeable;
In what man is there, indeed, the boldness of resistance?”

They have related that Umrū-bin-lais had imprisoned some one, at the suggestion of a person of duplicity. The mother of the man, having written a petition, put herself in the way of Umrū: When Umrū came up, the old woman, in haste, opened the paper, that she might give it into his hand; the horse of Umrū was impetuous and plunged: Umrū was exasperated, and gave orders, so they drove away the poor creature, and he passed on. Again, the old woman came to the high road, and stood there, till Umrū returned: then she advanced, and set forth her complaint. Umrū asked thus, “What manner of person is this?” They said, “She is the mother of such and such a prisoner.” Umrū was pro­voked, and averted his face, and was not attentive. The old woman said, “O Prince! what is thy decree in behalf of my innocent son?” He replied, “This; that they give him a hundred blows with a stick; and blacken his face; and lead him round the city and make proclamation, that, “whoever becomes criminal in the presence of the prince, this is his punishment.” The old woman said, “Thou makest this decree?” He replied, “Yes! “I make this decree!” The old woman said, “Then what is become of the law of God! since thou makest whatever decree thou wilt?” At the terror of these words, a trembling fell upon Umrū, and he became senseless: when he came to himself, he issued an order; so they brought the man out of prison, and put a royal robe upon him, and set him upon the horse appropriated to the king; and he said, “Cause him to pass through the city and the market, and make proclamation thus, ‘Whatever statute God hath made, who is Umrū-lais, that he should let the contrary thereof come into his mind.

He is the judge, and we are all subject to his law;
What authority belongs to us? The judgment, is the judgment of Him.’”

And another pillar, is sincerity of intention with respect to the people; and to be inclined to benevolence towards them. For the intention of the king, in this respect, has a great effect: for, if he form an intention of Justice, blessings and concord are the result: but if (we seek refuge with God) it should be otherwise, the blessing will depart from every harvest; and the tie of concord, among the people, will be torn asunder. Shaikh Musallah-ad-din Sadī (God rest his soul!) has strung this thought upon the thread of verse.

Exert thyself in this, that whatever intention thou formest
Thou have regard to the good of thy people:
For if a king form an evil intention,
He will throw the affairs of the world into confusion.