Abu Dhar (may Allah be pleased with him reports Allah’s Messenger (may Allah bless and greet him) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: My servants, I have made oppression unlawful for Me and unlawful for you; so do not commit oppression against one another.
This narration forms part of a Hadith-e-Qudusi reported by Abu Dhar (may Allah be pleased with him). A Hadith-e-Qudusi is a Tradition in which Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless and greet him, says that Allah said so and so. Here the Holy Messenger (may Allah bless and greet him), in the words of the Lord Creator, forbids the believers to commit oppression against one another. To commit oppression is such a heinous act that Allah first made it unlawful for His Exalted Self and then prohibited His servants from committing it. This enhances the seriousness and gravity of the commandment.
In the Arabic text of the hadith, the verb zalama, from which the noun zulm is derived, generally means: he did wrong; or acted wrongfully, injuriously, or tyrannically. These translations are correct in their own way; but in the Holy Qur’an the word al-zulm signifies the putting of a thing in a place not its own, or putting it in a wrong place, or misplacing it; it may also mean transgressing the proper limit.
Thus in the light of these meanings of the word zulm, as used in the hadith, implies that Allah does no wrong; whatever He does is based on justice; even when He punishes His servants He does what is good for them.
So far as oppression on the part of human beings is concerned, it means high-handedness upon one another. In order to ensure that one does not commit oppression against one another, it is necessary that he follows the teachings of Islam in its letter and spirit, overcomes his anger and fears Allah. Islam forbids the commission of oppression so persuasively only because oppression mars peace and equilibrium in society.