Dhulm: Oppression or Depression?

In the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.


All praise is due to Allah, the all-knowing, the all-seeing and we beseech Allah to send His noblest blessings on the Seal of the Prophets, Our Master and Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alayhi Wasallam).

The first crime or sin we could say, committed on the surface of the earth was perpetrated by the son of the noble Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) whose name was Qabil RH. As it is known, the sin he committed was no ordinary sin; it was none other than murder and what degree of murder could be worse than murdering a family member, his own blood brother, Habil RH. So ever since that day, every person that gets killed unjustly, the burden of the sin not only falls on the killer, but also on Qabil RH as he initiated killings.

In this worldly life, we see many forms of oppression, and Almighty Allah allows this oppression. Many people, Muslim and Non-Muslim ask why? It is NOT because Allah is pleased to see his servants committing ‘dhulm’ , rather it is something termed as ‘al-Istidraaj’. Something you could loosely explain as Allah loosening the rope and giving respite to stop and repent. It is when Allah Almighty gives fortunes to someone despite Him not being pleased with him/her. Our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) explained in a Hadith (Prophetic Tradition), “When you see that Allah Almighty gives good fortunes to his slaves who are always committing sins (disobedient), know that the person is being given istidraj by Allah.” (At-Tabrani, Ahmad and Al-Baihaqi)

However, it is the duty of others to stop dhulm as is explained in the Prophetic Tradition (Hadith),“Help your brother; be he the oppressor or the oppressed.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, I shall help him if he is oppressed but how do I help him if he is the oppressor?” He said:”Prevent him from oppression, that is you helping him.” Bukhari and Muslim.

But what exactly is oppression? It is normally termed for what goes on in war and when one takes another’s right. The literal meaning of al-Dhulm is, ‘to place something somewhere it does not belong’. For example, if one were to place his shoe on his head that would be classed as al-Dhulm as that is not the correct place for the shoe. But dhulm (oppression) in Islam has a much broader and deeper meaning. We only need to pick up a newspaper or turn on the television to see the oppression that goes on around the world, the young children suffering, the babies dying, women as well as the elderly tortured and their menfolk beaten and humiliated in front of them – the world accepts this as wrong, no matter which creed or race you are from and no matter which religion you follow.

But what I would like to shed light on is the dhulm you and I may commit; even though we would never like to be associated with dhulm or be called a ‘dhalim’ (oppressor), but sometimes we do commit oppression knowingly,or unknowingly.  Because oppression is not just what we see in Gaza or Syria, oppression is also what goes on here, in the UK; a man who beats his wife is oppression, not treating your children fairly and equally is oppression, to show ingratitude and display disobedience to your parents is oppression, to deprive a sibling of their rights to inheritance is oppression, bullying and harassing someone weaker than you in school or college or at a workplace is oppression, taking one’s anger out on an innocent individual is oppression, showing favouritism at a work place to certain employees due to unjustified reasons such as family connections, being from the same race or same sex (sometimes the opposite sex simply because they are attractive) is oppression, being ungrateful to your spouse or not spending time with him/her is oppression, not letting a father see his child without a valid reason is oppression and relaying lies or slandering someone out of jealousy and spite is oppression! The list really can go on, unfortunately.

The very sad reality is oppression is everywhere and for many of us, our hearts bleed because others cause us to bleed. Usually it is those closest to us; a family member or a relative. Hence the title of this article has been named, ‘Dhulm: Oppression or depression?’ despite the fact dhulm is normally translated as oppression it can consequently ‘lead’ to depression. And this is what we see when we look around the world; people are either suffering from oppression or depression, they are either bleeding or weeping! My little message to every brother to every sister out there who is suffering, be it equal to a prick of a thorn or the weight of a mountain, “DO NOT DESPAIR IN THE MERCY OF ALLAH!” (39:53). “Indeed, Allah is with the patient ones” (2:249). We are promised time and again in Qur’an and Hadith that Allah will give us justice for the oppression we face in this world and the injustices we have  to endure. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Give people their rights. Even the hornless sheep will take retaliation from the horned sheep (on Qiyamah)” (Adabul Mufrad).

Nothing is hidden from Allah, not even the black ant crawling on a stone in the darkness of the night nor its footprint! Let oppressors think not that Allah is unaware! Allah Almighty says, “And never think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them for a Day when eyes will stare [in horror]” (14:42). In another verse, “And those who have wronged are going to know to what [kind of] return they will be paid back” (26:227). And to serve as a final reminder and warning, Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Fear injustice. Injustice will appear as darkness on the Day of Rising. Fear avarice. Avarice destroyed people before you and led them to shed one another’s blood and to make lawful what was unlawful for them” (Adabul Mufrad).

To conclude In Sha Allah, we pray Allah protects us from committing dhulm and from being the victims of dhulm, as well as giving us the ability to help the oppressed and stop an oppressor, as the saying goes, ‘Evil spreads not because of the violence of bad people, rather because of the silence of good people’ .

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (In dire need of Allah’s mercy, forgiveness and pleasure).

27th Shawwal 1435


11 thoughts on “Dhulm: Oppression or Depression?

    1. Ameen!
      I am sorry if it did, that was not my intention. Rather it was mainly intended for those going through oppression and that have been suffering. Oppression is not just throwing bombs and killing people. It has a vast meaning, which hopefully has been explained.

      Allah saves us all from oppressing anyone or being oppressed. And help all those suffering. Ameen Ya Rabb.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m from Malaysia. Currently, I m being oppressed by my ex-husband in which he showed to the world through internet viral being watched by million of Malaysian in order to tarnish my reputation and career. He came to me only average 2 days within every 2, 3 months only for 5 times a year while other times blocked my calls. Every time he came he would snap me and shared the material with his male friends. He practices black magic by using king Farouk box(I’ve witnessed) and told me “Beware, I will use this to call your ruh & you’ll follow & dance or anything as I order.I will show to others.”.Never came across my mind that he used this and sent his gang (abt 3 of them) to peep behind windows to take video of me under a spell dancing. And now it has affected my entire life and career. During the 5th time in which he came, he called me to the living room and I heard several men outside house. I asked, “who are them?” .Then he replied, “Don’t u worry. Sit here. “Then he put his fingers on top of my head and swirled, he whispered another spell.

    His friends took video of me speaking so gentle and viral in the Insta etc. The community of Malaysia treat me differently now.They just believe what they saw. Not only that, he used those pics/vid to show that I’m insane in order to validate his 3rd (or 4th)marriage with another person.Then he sent me a divorce thru sms.He also deleted my name from religious dept registration by paying thousands to an officer. He mentioned that he didn’t have intention to marry except it is to take advantage & to shame me publicly. I become the laughing stock of the entire Malay community.My life n my kids(I was a divorcee last time) are at stake The strangers dared to break into my house, stole things etc.The most recent was they stole my Original certificates from my primary , sec, diploma, degree , tesl etc certificates n dumped into the river Sadly as if the entire community just believe and mock at me.Those idiots just believe and couldn’t care to even investigate before judging me wrongly.I m being oppressed by my crazy ex-husband ,a mutawif shite only to know that he took me as a ‘contract nikah’. (whle in fact never exist in Islam). He’s a camouflaged ustaz wth big turban, long dish dash; appear to people as the so called,”noble”.

    But Allah and His Rasul knows.I wouldn’t reveal this except Of all the injustice towards me and my kids, hitherto.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Salaams Sister,

      I am very saddened to hear about your experience with your ex-husband. It was for people like yourself I wrote this blog. we don’t know who is experiencing which difficulty at what time. I pray Allah assists you and aids you. Allah is sufficient for us, keep making dua.

      He SWT will help you.


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