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Ven if a lawyer knows that his client is guilty, he has to lie or present facts in a way to save his client’s life. Is this a sin in Islam?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

1) The legal system of most countries is such that, very often, even if a lawyer knows that his client is guilty, he has to lie or present facts in a way to save his client’s life. Is this a sin in Islam? Because the lawyer is committing a sin by lying, and by deliberately withholding or twisting the truth, and might actually be paving the way for future harm in society.

On the other hand, every personguilty or not guilty- is entitled to legal representation. And if the lawyer lies, it’s only part of his job to save his client’s life. If he didn’t, his earnings wouldn’t be Halal. In addition, maybe his client, in his opinion, is innocent.

Similarly, if a judge makes a decision CONDEMNING a person on the basis of evidence presented in court, will he be sinned if the defendant was in fact, not guilty, because the judge, made the decision according to facts presented to him. He tried his best to be fair, and any injustice that he did was out of ignorance, and not malice.

All in all, is the modern legal profession one that Islam can approve of?

Answer

If a lawyer is aware of the fact that his client is guilty but still fights the case, forwards false evidence, etc then he will be sinful and the money earned in this way will be unlawful for him, therefore a lawyer should not accept a case of that person wherein he knows that the client is guilty. On the contrary, a judges duty is to pass judgement in light of the evidence and facts that is forwarded regardless on who is in actual fact guilty. For the same reason, if a judge passes a judgement which goes in favour of the guilty, he will not be sinful if he has passed that judgement in light of the evidence and facts presented to him. A Hadith reported by Umme Salmah (R.A.) states that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “Indeed I am a human and indeed you forward your disputes in which one of you might be more eloquent (in presenting evidence) than the other and I pass judgement in his favour in light of what I hear, so if I pass judgement in favour of one of you against his brother’s right, he should never take it because in actual fact I am cutting a piece of fire for him.” (Mishkaat, Page 327, Mazaahir-e-Haqq, Vol. 3, Page 706)

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Muhammad Ashraf
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