The Student Room Group

Can Muslims practice criminal law

Hi everyone, I am a Muslim who has a big passion in criminal law and I want to be a criminal law barrister but was wondering if this is completely haram or if being a defence/prosecutor side was. What are the parts to it as I’m unsure what’s considered haram in it. Thank you!
I think you should read this thread as I believe it is helpful

https://www.google.com/amp/s/islamqa.info/amp/en/answers/75613
(edited 5 months ago)
Original post by Hailey629
Hi everyone, I am a Muslim who has a big passion in criminal law and I want to be a criminal law barrister but was wondering if this is completely haram or if being a defence/prosecutor side was. What are the parts to it as I’m unsure what’s considered haram in it. Thank you!

Criminal law haram
In which country are you considering practicing criminal law? :confused:
Reply 4
I heard studying it is halal but practicing can sometimes be haram if you defend someone who has a committed a crime that is haram or if it goes against Sharia and it's obviously Haram to defend people who are guilty.
Original post by Amb/conf
I heard studying it is halal but practicing can sometimes be haram if you defend someone who has a committed a crime that is haram or if it goes against Sharia and it's obviously Haram to defend people who are guilty.

Salaam what’s up :smile:
^^ But you wouldn’t necessarily know they’re guilty by defending them, that would only be established at the end of a trial.
Reply 7
Original post by Sorcerer of Old
^^ But you wouldn’t necessarily know they’re guilty by defending them, that would only be established at the end of a trial.

That’s what can confuse me as for lawyers you don’t necessarily defend a criminal as you won’t know if they are involved in the crime. You can choose to not do a case and you only represent the client in terms of practically saying what happened and not necessarily that they aren’t guilty or vice versa. Some say defence is haram but not prosecution or the other way round but I’m just not sure on who to go to for it
Reply 8
Original post by Hailey629
Hi everyone, I am a Muslim who has a big passion in criminal law and I want to be a criminal law barrister but was wondering if this is completely haram or if being a defence/prosecutor side was. What are the parts to it as I’m unsure what’s considered haram in it. Thank you!

Doesn’t everyone have the right to legal representation and a fair trial? Not sure how you can achieve that without representing everyone that is taken to court, irrespective of what they are charged with?
Reply 9
Original post by Hailey629
That’s what can confuse me as for lawyers you don’t necessarily defend a criminal as you won’t know if they are involved in the crime. You can choose to not do a case and you only represent the client in terms of practically saying what happened and not necessarily that they aren’t guilty or vice versa. Some say defence is haram but not prosecution or the other way round but I’m just not sure on who to go to for it

there are limited circumstances where a barrister can refuse a client, say you are not qualified or there is a conflict of interest. 'i find this person unethical and/or what they did was haram' isn't one of them, if that's the concern here? least not without breaching the bar standards and risk of disciplinary action.

Spoiler


may i ask what you think criminal barristers do for a living and what could be haram? defense team doesn't argue a defendant is innocent, if that's the worry. all they do (save from contempt of court etc) is that there's not enough evidence to prosecute beyond a reasonable doubt. is arguing there's not enough evidence or the evidence proves contrary haram?

bear in mind you might face a case tho where something is legal but not halal. let's say the case is about consensual anal sex: your client is arguing he had consensual anal sex with his wife whilst she's on her period.

in practice, your job would be to argue that your client had reasonable belief she consented pursuant to the sexual offences act 2003 and with relevant case law - *not* under god's law. need to keep ideas separate.

what if you had to prosecute muslims who conducted an illegal protest outside a school cuz it was teaching about the existence of gays and queers: could you do that in good conscience?

if you can separate the human construct of law from god's law and think of prison as a temporary holding cell and not a replacement for hell, then imo (albeit not muslim) you can do criminal law. but if that's not the case, either in islam or under personal ethics, then it's not for you. might consider solicitor work in another area that's relatively neutral (conveyancing?) or if criminal is a must consider study/work in an islamic country where there's more freedom to refuse a client.
Reply 10
Original post by Hailey629
Hi everyone, I am a Muslim who has a big passion in criminal law and I want to be a criminal law barrister but was wondering if this is completely haram or if being a defence/prosecutor side was. What are the parts to it as I’m unsure what’s considered haram in it. Thank you!

I would advise you to avoid this, may Allāh reward you, as there may be many doubtful matters included in this which you may not realise are not permissible. This is especially the case for someone who has not studied the rulings of Islām in depth. You may defend someone who according to the Sharī'ah is guilty or you may prosecute someone who according to the Sharī'ah is innocent. And there are many other problems you may face so my best advice would be for you to leave this off as the Messenger of Allah said (meaning): The lawful is clear and the unlawful is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know. Thus, he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, and he who falls into doubtful matters will fall into the unlawful as the shepherd who pastures near a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Verily, every king has a sanctum and the sanctum of Allah is His prohibitions. Verily, in the body is a piece of flesh which, if sound, the entire body is sound, and if corrupt, the entire body is corrupt. Truly, it is the heart. [Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 52, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1599]

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