Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Lawyers - The Shari'ah Ruling

In Islam, the profession of advocacy, in itself, is permissible.

This is a service rendered to the client for which an advocate can charge a fee.

However, this permissibility is subject to three conditions:

Firstly, a Muslim advocate is not allowed to plead the case of a person whom he believes to be unjust. Therefore, if he knows that his client has committed an offence he is not allowed to plead for his innocence.

The Holy Qur'an is very clear on this point where it says:

"And do not be an advocate for those who have committed breach of trust."

Nevertheless, it is not wrong for an advocate to plead for any concession given to the culprit under the law, for example, in a case it is not allowed to plead for the innocence of an offender, however, it is permissible to plead for reduction of his sentence on the grounds of genuine mitigating circumstances.

Secondly, it is not allowed for a Muslim advocate to help his client in claiming a right which is disapproved by or Haraam in the Shari'ah, for example, if a person wants to sue his opponent for recovering usury or interest, a Muslim advocate cannot plead his case to that extent.

A Muslim advocate is not allowed to use prohibited means to advance the case of his client like false statement, forged document, etc. Subject to these three conditions the profession of advocacy is permissible and in line with the injunction of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah.

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