Praise be to Allaah.
Referring for judgement to courts of man-made law which is
contrary to sharee’ah is not permissible; the same applies to working in
them and applying those laws among people, because Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“And so judge (you O Muhammad
صلى الله عليه وسلم) among them by what Allaah has revealed and follow
not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they turn you (O Muhammad
صلى الله عليه وسلم) far away from some
of that which Allaah has sent down to you. And if they turn away, then know
that Allaah’s Will is to punish them for some sins of theirs. And truly,
most of men are Faasiqoon (rebellious and disobedient to Allaah).
50. Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of)
Ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allaah for a people who have
“O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger
(Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), and those
of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything
amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger (صلى
الله عليه وسلم), if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That
is better and more suitable for final determination.
60. Have you not seen those (hypocrites) who claim that
they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which was
sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes)
to the Taaghoot (false judges) while they have been ordered to reject them.
But Shaytaan (Satan) wishes to lead them far astray.
61. And when it is said to them: “Come to what Allaah has
sent down and to the Messenger (Muhammad صلى
الله عليه وسلم),” you (Muhammad صلى الله
عليه وسلم) see the hypocrites turn away from you (Muhammad
صلى الله عليه وسلم) with aversion”
[al-Nisa’ 4: 59 -61]
“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they
make you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)
judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance
against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission”
And there are other verses which enjoin referring for
judgement to that which Allaah has revealed and forbid referring for
judgement to anything that goes against it.
But if a person is forced to refer for judgement to man-made
laws, in order to ward off wrongdoing or get back his rights, it is
permissible for him to do that subject to certain conditions:
That he cannot get his rights
except by this way.
That he should do it
reluctantly and hate this way of referring for judgement.
That he should not take more
than his due, even if the law gives it to him.
The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas
were asked: What is the ruling on referring for judgement to American law in
a dispute between Muslims, with regard to cases of divorce, commerce and
They replied: It is not permissible for a Muslim to refer for
judgement to man-made laws except in cases of necessity if there are no
sharee’ah courts. If he is awarded something that is not his right, it is
not permissible for him to take it. End quote.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah,
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was
asked: What is the ruling on the work of a Muslim who studies man-made law,
then opens a law office and represents cases in civil courts on behalf of
companies? What is the ruling on the money that he accumulates?
He replied: Putting man-made laws that are contrary to
sharee’ah in the place of sharee’ah is kufr, because it is removing
sharee’ah and putting taghoot (falsehood) in its place, and this is included
in the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And
whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the Kaafiroon
(i.e. disbelievers — of a lesser degree as they do not act on Allaah’s Laws”
With regard to a person learning man-made law, if he is
learning it in order to ward off falsehood with truth, there is nothing
wrong with that. But if he is learning it in order to follow what is
contains of laws contrary to sharee’ah, this is haraam. Concerning that we
say: even with regard to the lawyer in a country that is governed by
sharee’ah, we say that if the lawyer wants to bring people's rights to them,
there is nothing wrong with practising this profession, but if he wants to
prove the other party wrong, whether it is true or false, this is haraam.
End quote from Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh, 33/6.
And Allaah knows best.