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In the Name of God بسم الله

What is the Standard of Practice that Ought to be Maintained by Lawyers, from an Islamic Perspective?

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As-salamu alaykum, dear brothers and sisters.

There is an age-old global stigmatisation surrounding lawyers as being deceptive, immorally corrupt and greedy. As insulting as it may sound, it is worth noting that, like any other fabrication, it is not without its share of truth and falsity. However, like any other profession, the legal profession has been given a bad name due to certain lamentable individuals and their equally lamentable practices. In my humble opinion, however, this profession remains to be amongst the noblest ones. On that note, let me ask you this:

What practices are condemned, morally and legally (with sharia and teachings of the Ahlulbyt as the comparative standards ), by Islam for legal practitioners?

I would really appreciate if lawyers, judges, academics and law students contribute to this discussion. If possible please share personal experiences. I thank you in advance for taking the trouble of contributing to this discourse. May infinite blessings of Allah shower upon you.

Edited by Disciple_of Islam
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This is an interesting question, and I'd be curious to see what answers you'll get. I think it may be a difficult question for anyone here to answer though. My impression is that it would be very problematic for a Muslim to be a criminal lawyer. I don't see any justification for helping someone you know to be guilty to escape justice.

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17 hours ago, Haydar Husayn said:

This is an interesting question, and I'd be curious to see what answers you'll get. I think it may be a difficult question for anyone here to answer though. My impression is that it would be very problematic for a Muslim to be a criminal lawyer. I don't see any justification for helping someone you know to be guilty to escape justice.

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In my opinion, the role of a lawyer is, broadly speaking, three-tier: one, to ensure representation; two, to ensure justice; three, providing legal advice, amongst other services. Assisting a guilty person in escaping from the jaws of justice does not fit into the job description of a lawyer, though inadvertently a lawyer often ends up doing just that. Criminal practice would be extremely restrictive and financially unviable for a Muslim, true; unless, of course, he resorts to defending only a few specific class of clients who are genuinely innocent and deserves representation. But the essence of this discussion is this:

Assuming that the person being defended is guilty of the charges framed against him, does mere representation in the court or providing legal advice to him amount to immoral, unethical or illegal (from an Islamic perspective, of course) act on part of the lawyer? Does conformation with due process, with the only aim to uphold the rule of law and principles of justice, amount to moral and legal condemnation? Where should one draw the line? 

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