Strategic Research Circle



Oppression is unfair use of power and authority in a cruel or unjust manner. Oppression can be applied physically or mentally causing death, injury, depression, fear, or anxiety to the victims. "He who shows no mercy will not be shown any." Hadith


The Prophet (saw) said, "Allah has inspired me that you are all to be humble towards each other, such that no one transgresses against or exalts himself above another."


Say, "My Lord has only forbidden immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is hidden - and sin, and oppression without right, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know." (Araf: 33)


Oppression is of three types. The first is consuming property through lying; the second, oppressing Allah's servants by killing, hitting, causing injuries; and the third is oppressing through spoken abuse, cursing, reviling, or accusing them of adultery or sodomy without proof.


“And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.” (baqara 2:272)


It’s zulm or oppression to even kill an animal unjustly, to beat it, slap it on its face, to make it walk beyond its capacity, to overload it, and not to feed it enough or let it not drink when it needs it. such sins necessitates repentance or tauba


“The blame is only against the ones who wrong the people and tyrannize upon the earth without right. Those will have a painful punishment” (shura 42:42)


There are five types of violations of others rights;


dini related to faith

nafsi related to inner-self (Killing or mutilation, or causing bodily injury)

mal related to property, money (Theft, extortion, fraud, lying, damaging property, false testimony, bribery)

sharaf related to honor (backbiting, slander, mockery, and abusing)  

mahrami related to mahram (Disloyalty by wife or disobedience of children)


There is long history of oppression of weak by the powerful, the plundering of poorly armed by the well armed, and exploitation of less sourceful by those with resources


“I will not calm down until I will put one cheek of a tyrant on the ground and the other under my feet, and for the poor and weak, I will put my cheek on the ground” Omar Ibn Khattab, quoted by Muhammad Husayn Haykal


Everyone has moral responsibility to resist oppression in some way. Justice is only possible in a society that is constantly fighting oppression.


“So the people that committed wrong (zulm) were removed (faqutia). And praise to Allah , Lord of the worlds.” (anam 6:45)


Oppression could be on oneself or to others. When people blame their own failings they begin to absolve themselves from responsibility of fighting oppression which has its roots in exploitation and deprivation. It cannot sustained itself as long as people actively oppose it.


"They did not forbid each other the evil that they did, and how wicked was what they would do"

(Koran 5:79).


... Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr: Abu Bakr As-Siddiq said to the Prophet "O Allah's Apostle! Teach me a prayer or dua with which I may invoke Allah in my prayers." The Prophet said, "Say: O Allah! I have wronged my soul very much (oppressed myself), and none forgives the sins but You; so please bestow Your Forgiveness upon me. No doubt, You are the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."


“...and do not help one another in wrong-doing and oppression; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is severe in retribution.” (al-Ma’ida 5:2)


Abu Dharr reported Allah's Messenger (saw) saying that he reported it from his Lord, the Exalted and Glorious: “Verily I have made oppression unlawful for Me and for My servants, so do not commit oppression


Oppression includes insulting, backbiting, abusing, imprisoning, or causing physical injury unjustly.

Taking property without owner’s permission is also an oppression.


... Jabir bin 'Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Beware of injustice, for oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection; and beware of stinginess because it doomed those who were before you. It incited them to shed blood and treat the unlawful as lawful."[Muslim] ...?


Oppressors could be cruel tyrants, dictators or kings who commit oppression as a way of life. It could be a person who is unjust to others.


A person who commits unlawful or haram openly is called fasiq. The sin committed is thus fisq. The worst fisq is to commit oppression (zulm). The fisq in Arabic means to break agreement. His testimony is not accepted and he can’t hold a legal position.


“While people have the ability to stop fisq of a fasiq but don’t do it, Allah will punish all of them in this world and the next” hadith


Whoever rebels against Allah is called fasiq. Those who make others to rebel that spreads fisq are called fajir.


“And do not incline to those who are unjust, lest the fire touch you, and you have no guardians besides Allah, then you shall not be helped.”

(Surah Hud 11:113)


Kissing the hand of a just ruler or adil is permissible. Abu Obaida once kissed Omar’s hand.


 “To pray for long life of tyrant is disobedient to Allah” hadith 


Sufiyan as Sawri once asked. If a tyrant is about to die out of thirst in a desert, should we give him water. He said No. Don’t. If a tyrant takes a house he is living in by way of extortion, it’s forbidden or haram to enter that house. Showing humility to a fasiq (who is not zalim) will cost two-third of the faith.


Narrated Anas: Allah's Apostle said, "Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, "O Allah's Apostle! It is alright to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?" The Prophet said, "By preventing him from oppressing others."


Collective or group punishment is another form of oppression


Oppression could be collective; A group or a nation oppressing other groups or a nation.


“These attacks (on Palestinians) amounted to reprisals and collective punishment, and constitute war crimes. The government of Israel obviously has a duty to protect its own citizens. That in no way justifies a policy of collective punishment of a people under effective occupation, destroying their means to live a dignified life and the trauma caused by the kind of military intervention the Israeli government called Operation Cast Lead” Judge Richard Goldstone Talking to Bill Moyers at PBS, Oct 23, 2009

What happened to American Indians was inevitable but the way it happened was unconscionable.


Allah Most High says,

"The dispute is only with those who oppress people and wrongfully commit aggression in the land: these will have a painful torment" (Koran 42:42).


"Allah will certainly torture those who torture people in this world."


"Any superior who misrules his followers shall go to hell." hadith


"There will come corrupt, tyrannous rulers: whoever confirms their lies or assists them in their oppression is not of me, nor I of him, and shall not meet me at my watering place in paradise." Hadith


"the worst of your rulers shall be those whom you detest and who detest you, whom you curse and who curse you." They said, "O Messenger of Allah, can we not throw, them out?" And he replied, "No, not as long as they maintain the prescribed prayer among you." Hadith


You can make prayers (dua) for someone who oppresses others but there is difference of opinion. Asking for good health or long life for the oppressor is not permissible but it’s always good to pray for their guidance



About SRC


Founded in Silicon Valley California in 2006 SRC is a non-profit non-partisan think tank organization conducting research in significant private and public issues. Our work is communicated through seminars policy programs conferences articles interviews newsletters and open debates. 

SRC is largely funded by foundations memberships and by individuals. Our target audiences are policymakers scholars journalists businesses and the civil society 

SRC is governed by a board consisting of entrepreneurs educators professionals and philanthropists. Our areas of studies include society economy governance and foreign policy 



SRC is largely funded by foundations memberships and by individuals. Our target audiences are policymakers scholars journalists businesses and the civil society.

SRC is governed by a board consisting of entrepreneurs educators professionals and philanthropists. Our areas of studies include society economy governance and foreign policy