Article – Divine Justice

Many religious traditions believe in a divine form of justice that originates and is governed by God or some higher power, but which is also meant to be facilitated by humans on Earth. In other words, humans are called upon to acknowledge and adhere to divine law, prioritizing it over and Earthly forms of law and governance. 

The Western Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam speak of a future Judgement Day in which God will recognize and reward those who lived righteously according to divine law. There are also several biblical instances of God’s divine justice, such as the Great Flood. There is a very similar Great Flood story in Hinduism as well, which features divine justice and the potential for redemption in its mythologies. The religions of India, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and more believe in karma, which is a form of divine justice in which good and bad deeds accumulate across an individuals various incarnations of life, with the net balance determining the fate of subsequent rebirths. 

“Scripture is clear: Justice, which is the societal expression of love, matters most to God.” 
–Mariann Edgar Budde, Episcopal bishop 

“Indeed, Allah commands justice, grace, as well as generosity to close relatives. He forbids indecency, wickedness, and aggression. He instructs you so perhaps you will be mindful.”
—The Qur’an (16:90), Islamic scripture

“The Heavenly Books, the Bible, the Qur’án, and the other Holy Writings have been given by God as guides into the paths of Divine virtue, love, justice and peace. Therefore I say unto you that ye should strive to follow the counsels of these Blessed Books, and so order your lives that ye may, following the examples set before you, become yourselves the saints of the Most High!” 
—‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i leader

“If God is a God of justice and not of power, then God can still be on our side when bad things happen to us. God can know that we are good and honest people who deserve better. Our misfortunes are none of God’s doing, and so we can turn to God for help.” 
–Harold Kushner, Rabbi and author

“Whensoever there is the fading of the Dharma and the uprising of unrighteousness, then I loose myself forth into birth. For the deliverance of the good, for the destruction of the evil-doers, for the enthroning of the Right, I am born from age to age.”
—The Bhagavad Gita (4:7-8), Hindu scripture

“To cease from evil, to do good, and to purify the mind yourself, this is the teaching of all the Buddhas.”
—The Buddha

See All Commonalities Across Religions