Usurpation in its literal sense means forcibly taking a thing from another. Usurpation is unlawful. Any person knowingly and willfully usurping the property of another is held to be a criminal and a sinner, and therefore, he becomes liable for compensation. Forcible possession is oppression in an extreme form of which there is a strong condemnation both in the Holy Quraan and Hadith.

Sayyiduna Salem (radi Allahu anhu) from his father reported: “Whoso extorts any portion of land unjustly will be sunk down unto seven earths on the Resurrection Day”. (Bukhari)

Sayyiduna Yah’li Bin Murrah (radi Allahu anhu) reported: ‘I heard Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) saying, Whoso encroaches upon a land without title therein will be put to near the burden of its earth on the Congregation Day. (Ahmad) Same reported: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) saying, Whoso takes a span of land by oppression, the Glorious and Almighty Allah will give him the trouble of digging it till he reaches the last of the seven earths, and then he will be thrown down till the Resurrection Day till he will be brought for judgment among men.” (Ahmad)


Oppression is, indeed, the most hateful practice a human being may follow. It is degrading to the one who commits it and to the one at the receiving end of it. It is for this reason that Islam stresses in a variety of methods the importance of justice.

The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) lists seven groups of people who will have Allah’s Shelter on the Day of Judgment. The first of these is a just ruler. With such emphasis, it is not surprising that Islamic history has known a long chain of fair-minded rulers.

The Holy Quraan says: Wrong not, and you shall not be wronged. (2:279) Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: Oppression is the darkness on the Day of Resurrection. (Bukhari & Muslim) This means that the oppressor will face severe torments on the Day of Judgment.

The Holy Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: Allah loosens the rope of the oppressor but when He tightens it, He gives no concession. Then Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) recited this verse: Even thus is the grasp of your Lord when He grasps the townships while they are doing wrong. Lo! His grasp is painful, very strong. (11: 102)

Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: Don’t say that if people will good to us we shall do good to them and if they oppress us we shall oppress them. Do good if others do good to you and if they do wrong, don’t repay them in the same coins. (Tirmidi)

The Beloved Habeeb (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: Guard against the curse of an oppressed as he will demand his right from Allah and Allah will not deny him his right. (Bay’haqi)

At the last minute of his life, Sayyiduna Ali Ibne-Abi-Taalib (radi Allahu anhu) called upon his sons and gave them the advice: O my sons! Always be truthful, be merciful and helpful to the people. Try to slay the hand of the oppressor and help the oppressed.

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