Is It Permissible to Become a Court Judge in a Muslim-Majority Country Where Shari’a Law Does Not Exist?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


Is it haram to become a judge in a court? The case is of a majority Muslim country where sharia law is unavailable. Look at verses 4:60, 5:47, and 5:49.

If it’s haram, who will become a judge since the country is a Muslim majority?

If atheists take over the justice system entirely, there is a good chance they will start permitting blasphemy and banning Islamic dresses. Letting them take over the justice system is shooting in one’s foot. What is your opinion?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health.

A Court Judge in a Muslim Majority Country

One is allowed to become a court judge in a Muslim-majority country as long one does not go against the shari’a ethics of practicing law; for example, one only defends clients who have a genuine case and are not guilty, also not those who have perpetrated actions against the sharia. [Usmani, Contemporary Fatawa/Buhuth Fi Qadaya Fiqhiyya al-Mu’asara]

Judge by the Gospel (Verses 47 and 49)

“So let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed in it. And those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed are truly the rebellious.” [Quran, 5:47]

The context of these verses you have mentioned is the Christians, which is evident from the context of the verses. [Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

Prophetic Guidance

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “There are three types of Judges. One judge shall go to Janna and two to Jahannam. The judge who knows what is right and judges accordingly shall be in Janna. The one who knows what is right but intentionally judges unjustly will go to Jahannam, and so will the judge who rules without knowledge.” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

Working Within Non-Islamic Law

Why not begin your search for knowledge by signing up for a course on SeekersGuidance?

I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.