Legal profession and helping criminals

Q326 :Is legal profession permissible? Can lawyers represent habitual criminals in the court of law?


A326 : The legal profession is the same as any other profession, from the Islamic point of view. In every type of work or profession, there are areas which may be against Islam and others which may be acceptable. What you do in your profession is your choice, and therefore you are responsible for it. If you use your skills or talents to achieve an illegitimate purpose, you are doing something forbidden and you are likely to be punished by Allah for it unless He, out of His grace, chooses to forgive you. The same applies to the legal profession. If you learn of law and what it requires of every citizen and how you can live on the right side of the law, then that is well and good. If you also learn about loopholes in different laws and how these can be utilized to gain benefit or repel harm in a legitimate way, then you are doing well. On the other hand, if you learn about these loopholes in order to help hardened criminals evade their proper punishment, then you are doing something wrong. If you are a famous lawyer and someone comes to you to say that he is accused of committing murder and he wants you to represent him, what should be your reaction if you are a good Muslim? The first question you ask that person is whether he has truly committed a murder or not. He may explain to you in detail what happened and you recognize that there are certain loopholes which could help you obtain a verdict of manslaughter instead of a verdict of murder. You may explain this to him and you agree a large fee and take on the case. If you take it on, you are helping a murderer. On the other hand, if you realize from the circumstances given to you that the killing was accidental and there was no intention on the part of your client to kill the other person, you may take on the case and you may be rewarded for helping a person get the right verdict.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )