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The concept of downtroddenness

By His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)

There is no basis to restrict the term “downtroddenness” to limited usages, especially that it used to entail any form of weakness that makes one feel defeated or totally helpless; a state which tempts the others to practice dominating methods against the weak; thus, leading to social crises and humanistic problems in life…

Actually, the issue is not restricted to the state of weakness in the reality inflicting those who do not have enough money to ensure decent living, either because they cannot find a job that secures such a living for them, or because they work in difficult circumstances that make them incapable of satisfying themselves, or because they are subjugated to abusive pressurizing and exploitative methods practiced by the rich owners of factories, farms and other facilities…

The term downtroddenness actually extends to include any form of strength in the face of any form of weakness as a pressurizing element that paralyzes or cancels man’s willpower through the means of pressure that force arms him with. We see people who belong to a noble lineage, which provides them with a pressurizing power over those who do not belong to such lineage, as a result of the traditions the people regard as sacred. Another form of such strength is that of the arms by which the strong imposes oppression and domination on the weak, not to mention other forms that make a group of people attain a special position of power that enables them to persecute the people and look down on them as imposed by the social power…

It might also be related to the political reality that places a group of people in a ruling position and a position of dominion internally and externally, in terms of the oppression and persecution practiced by the evil ruling powers against the weak kind-hearted groups, as well as the humiliation, exploitation and servitude practiced by the arrogant powers against the weak subjugated peoples.

This also extends to the economic and other realities, knowing that these kinds of power might intertwine; thus, making the arrogant attain several forms of power. Moreover, power in certain fields might pave the way for the emergence of a new power from within it. For example; the power of arms might provide its owners with political power, and the economic power might turn into a means for attaining political and military power…

Parallel to this spectrum of powers we come across a spectrum of weaknesses in those fields; thus, pressures rise and problems mount, consecrating the permanent struggle between the strong and the weak and between the arrogant and the downtrodden in the eternal story of justice and injustice in life…

[Source: Wisdom in the line of Islam]

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