God commands His messengers to maintain justice among people. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the last messenger, started to spread the religion of Islam in Mecca, where he received the revelations, with a just attitude.
At that period, the Arabian Peninsula, and especially Mecca, was shaken by social problems. In the period preceding the Blessed Period, which is called the "The Age of Ignorance," there was severe discrimination between races and religions. Disputes among tribes, an unjust economic order, plundering, intolerant attitudes between members of different religions, differences between the poor and the wealthy and many other injustices were the natural consequences of such discrimination. The maintenance of justice could not be established, the poor were oppressed by those in power, and were subjected to violence because of their race, religion or language. People were forced to work under very hard conditions, and were virtually tortured.
In commercial life, under the burden of the interest-ridden system, small-scale businesses disappeared, whereas the wealthy tended to extravagant consumption. Some of these immoral acts became almost like traditions. For instance, the Arabs of the ignorant age who raided and plundered commercial caravans sold their spoils at very low prices and influenced market conditions. Sometimes, they kept these goods deliberately and generated a black market.
In the Qur'an, God gives information about the desert Arabs who made up the majority of society before the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This society's disinclination to comply with the words of the messenger is related in the following verse:
The desert Arabs are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more fitted to be ignorant of the limits which God has sent down to His Messenger. But God is Knowing, Wise. (Surat At-Tawba, 97)
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sent to such ignorant people to summon them to good morals and the right path. No difficulty could shake his commitment. He communicated God's message to a tribe which was particularly inclined to disbelief, and was throughout his life a role model for them. As also stated in the verse below, he called on his people to be just:
Say: "My Lord has commanded justice..." (Surat Al-A’raf, 29)
The message of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), coupled with his good morals, had a great impact all over the Arabian Peninsula, and people converted to Islam in great numbers. The just commands of the Qur'an good morals, tolerance, peace and a peaceful social order-prevailed during his time. One of the most important reasons for this is that, in compliance with the verse, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) observed social justice without discriminating between people:
God commands you to return to their owners the things you hold in trust and, when you judge between people, to judge with justice. How excellent is what God exhorts you to do! God is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. (Surat An-Nisa’, 58)
One example is the contract the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) signed with the people of Najran, who were among the people of the Book. This text reveals an exercise of justice which was unprecedented in that age. The article of the pact of Najran, "If any one of the people of Najran demands his rights, justice shall be done between the plaintiff and respondent. Neither oppression shall be allowed to be perpetrated on them, nor shall they be permitted to oppress any one"1, manifest the kind of justice people enjoyed at that time. Due to this unprecedented administration, people placed strong trust in God's messenger, and even his most terrible enemies could not help being impressed by the Prophet's honesty.
These examples of good morals which appeared as a consequence of the Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) meticulously observing God's commands also reflect the tolerant, peaceful order God's messengers introduced to social life. In a society where people comply with the values of the Qur'an meticulously, it is obvious that a peaceful life will be secured.