Is being a litigation/arbitration lawyer permissible?


I wanted to know whether being a litigation/arbitration lawyer is inherently impermissible in Islam?

I accept there are challenges but having now specialised in the area (and after focusing more on my deen for the past few years), I am becoming increasingly concerned that my income is not halal.

I am a disputes lawyer at a law firm. My main concern arises from matters which involve riba or haram goods.

For example, I am instructed by client A on a contractual dispute. Client A wishes to claim interest on an outstanding sum pursuant a clause in a contract. Would it be impermissible for me to act to assist from an Islamic perspective? The way I am seeing it potentially is that I am facilitating dealing in riba as part of my job. Alternatively, it’s something I can’t avoid, as a junior lawyer I can’t pick and choose which matters I will and won’t work on. Or another alternative is that I am not compelled to work here. I can leave this area entirely and find a sharia compliant area of law- but that is easier said than done.

Another example is this: Client A is in dispute with B. The dispute concerns haram goods (I.e alcohol). I am engaged by A to ascertain the value of the alcohol (as part of a sub-issue in dispute). Is it impermissible for me to assist?

I would really appreciate some guidance here. I have spent years (mostly at times where I was not practising and focused on specialising in litigation without regard to the Islamic consequences). I am now more conscious and want to understand my position and if I have to leave this area, what alternative areas of law I can turn to to avoid riba entirely that keeps within a contentious area.

Jazak’Allahu Khairun


May Allah bless you.
Helping people (including non Muslims) is not impermissible per se. However, if this involves assisting someone in settling a haram transaction or agreeing to a haram condition, then it is not permissible, as it would be considered to be aiding in sin.
Stay in your job for now whilst searching for an alternative, do istighfar and ask Allah Allah to help you find something more suitable inshAllah.

And Allah knows best!

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