Oppression is the cruel act of unjustly afflicting any kind of burden on someone - mental, emotional, or physical. It is a form of abusive behavior that results in a variety of impacts based on the burden and the integrity of the moral, social, and psychological structures of the victim. Oppression is by all measures a condemned bad behavior and a violation of the laws of justice in the Quran.
[55:7] He constructed the sky and established the law.
[55:8] You shall not transgress the law.
[55:9] You shall establish justice; do not violate the law.
[7:33] Say, "My Lord prohibits only evil deeds, be they obvious or hidden, and sins, and unjustifiable aggression, and to set up beside GOD powerless idols, and to say about GOD what you do not know."
[16:90] GOD advocates justice, charity, and regarding the relatives. And He forbids evil, vice, and transgression. He enlightens you, that you may take heed.
Justice, mercy, and compassion are three of God's attributes. God teaches us throughout Quran how to adopt these three attributes to our behavior so we do not turn into oppressors. Because of God's mercy, compassion, and justice, He doesn't oppress us by burdening us beyond our means. He knows exactly the extent of our limits. His expectations are always within our capacity. This sets a divine example for us. We are supposed to learn from this divine wisdom and practice justice, compassion, and mercy with each other and band against cruelty and oppression.
[23:62] We never burden any soul beyond its means, and we keep a record that utters the truth. No one will suffer injustice.
Based on the emotional and general stability of the oppressed, the persistence of hurting someone might cause a minor distress to fluctuate to a deep sense of disappointment, sadness, and pain, severe struggle, and mental disorientation. In some cases, this can progress to the point of losing focus, logic, and the ability to make decisions. In others, we give up our freedom, change our stands, and get forced in a certain direction or another due to helplessness, brain-wash, or fear of those in power. Therefore, oppression is a violation of freedom which is God's given right to all humans (33:72). It is a gross injustice to the soul of the oppressor and the well-being of the oppressed.
God knows that in certain relationships, Satan will always entice us into violating the law. He triggers our egos and tempts us to take advantage of certain situations to hurt others or impose hardships on them. This can be seen in relations and/or situations such as simple friendship, marriage, divorce, parenting, inheritance, dealing with orphans, business relations and transactions, property ownership, practice of religion, and politics. God has cited many examples for us to sense the essence of justice and appreciate all the goodness and integrity that flourish with the establishment of justice. These are only a few:
-Marriage and Divorce:
Protection for Women [4:20] If you wish to marry another wife, in place of your present wife, and you had given any of them a great deal, you shall not take back anything you had given her. Would you take it fraudulently, maliciously, and sinfully?
[4:128] If a woman senses oppression or desertion from her husband, the couple shall try to reconcile their differences, for conciliation is best for them. Selfishness is a human trait, and if you do good and lead a righteous life, GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.
[65:1] O you prophet, when you people divorce the women, you shall ensure that a divorce interim is fulfilled. You shall measure such an interim precisely.* You shall reverence GOD your Lord. Do not evict them from their homes, nor shall you make life miserable for them, to force them to leave on their own, unless they commit a proven adultery. These are GOD's laws. Anyone who transgresses GOD's laws commits an injustice against himself. You never know; maybe GOD wills something good to come out of this.
[2:231] If you divorce the women, once they fulfill their interim (three menstruations), you shall allow them to live in the same home amicably, or let them leave amicably. Do not force them to stay against their will, as a revenge. Anyone who does this wrongs his own soul. Do not take GOD's revelations in vain. Remember GOD's blessings upon you, and that He sent down to you the scripture and wisdom to enlighten you.You shall observe GOD, and know that GOD is aware of all things.
[24:33] Those who cannot afford to get married shall maintain morality until GOD provides for them from His grace. Those among your servants who wish to be freed in order to marry, you shall grant them their wish, once you realize that they are honest. And give them from GOD's money that He has bestowed upon you. You shall not force your girls to commit prostitution, seeking the materials of this world, if they wish to be chaste. If anyone forces them, then GOD, seeing that they are forced, is Forgiver, Merciful.
You Shall Honor Your Parents [29:8] We enjoined the human being to honor his parents. But if they try to force you to set up idols beside Me, do not obey them. To Me is your ultimate return, then I will inform you of everything you had done.
[4:19] O you who believe, it is not lawful for you to inherit what the women leave behind, against their will. You shall not force them to give up anything you had given them, unless they commit a proven adultery. You shall treat them nicely. If you dislike them, you may dislike something wherein GOD has placed a lot of good.
-Business Relations and Transactions:
[2:280] If the debtor is unable to pay, wait for a better time. If you give up the loan as a charity, it would be better for you, if you only knew.
[2:281] Beware of the day when you are returned to GOD, and every soul is paid for everything it had done, without the least injustice.
[38:24] He said, "He is being unfair to you by asking to combine your sheep with his. Most people who combine their properties treat each other unfairly, except those who believe and work righteousness, and these are so few.".......
-Treating the Orphans:
[107:1] Do you know who really rejects the faith?
[107:2] That is the one who mistreats the orphans.
Regard the Orphans [4:2] You shall hand over to the orphans their rightful properties. Do not substitute the bad for the good, and do not consume their properties by combining them with yours. This would be a gross injustice.
-Ownership and Politics:
Murder, Suicide, and Illicit Gains Prohibited
[4:29] O you who believe, do not consume each others' properties illicitly - only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. GOD is Merciful towards you.
[4:30] Anyone who commits these transgressions, maliciously and deliberately, we will condemn him to Hell. This is easy for GOD to do.
[2:84] We made a covenant with you, that you shall not shed your blood, nor shall you evict each other from your homes. You agreed and bore witness.
[2:85] Yet, here you are killing each other, and evicting some of you from their homes, banding against them sinfully and maliciously. Even when they surrendered, you demanded ransom from them. Evicting them was prohibited for you in the first place. Do you believe in part of the scripture and disbelieve in part? What should be the retribution for those among you who do this, except humiliation in this life, and a far worse retribution on the Day of Resurrection? GOD is never unaware of anything you do.
-Practice of Religion:
[7:88] The arrogant leaders among his people said, "We will evict you, O Shu`aib, together with those who believed with you, from our town, unless you revert to our religion." He said, "Are you going to force us?
[8:39] You shall fight them to ward off oppression, and to practice your religion devoted to GOD alone. If they refrain from aggression, then GOD is fully Seer of everything they do.
[7:126] "You persecute us simply because we believed in the proofs of our Lord when they came to us." "Our Lord, grant us steadfastness, and let us die as submitters."
No Compulsion in Religion [2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
Because of the very severe psychological trauma and pain oppression leads to, God has condemned it in Quran with the strongest language. He has decreed that it is worse than murder.
Oppression Condemned [2:217]... Oppression is worse than murder." They will always fight you to revert you from your religion, if they can. Those among you who revert from their religion, and die as disbelievers, have nullified their works in this life and the Hereafter. These are the dwellers of Hell, wherein they abide forever.
[2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers.
As submitters to God and followers of His truth, we are commanded to stand strong for our rights in the face of all forms of tyranny and aggression. He has granted us the upper hand and promised those who are oppressed with the ultimate victory. Believers always remember they are created free and shall not fear anyone but their Creator.
[2:193] You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship GOD freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors.
The Believers are Fearless [4:75] Why should you not fight in the cause of GOD when weak men, women, and children are imploring: "Our Lord, deliver us from this community whose people are oppressive, and be You our Lord and Master."
[42:39] When gross injustice befalls them, they stand up for their rights.
[42:40] Although the just requital for an injustice is an equivalent retribution, those who pardon and maintain righteousness are rewarded by GOD. He does not love the unjust.
[42:41] Certainly, those who stand up for their rights, when injustice befalls them, are not committing any error.
[42:42] The wrong ones are those who treat the people unjustly, and resort to aggression without provocation. These have incurred a painful retribution.
God Defends the Believers
[22:38] GOD defends those who believe. GOD does not love any betrayer, unappreciative.
[22:39] Permission is granted to those who are being persecuted, since injustice has befallen them, and GOD is certainly able to support them. Divine Help for the Oppressed [22:60] It is decreed that if one avenges an injustice that was inflicted upon him, equitably, then he is persecuted because of this, GOD will surely support him. GOD is Pardoner, Forgiving.
God Compensates the Oppressed [28:5] We willed to compensate those who were oppressed on earth, and to turn them into leaders, and make them the inheritors.
Peaceful Friday, salaam, and God bless.